Mandi Benincasa-Intera

Meet the Maker

small business owner • graphic & web designer • sewist • product photographer • social media marketing manager & more :)

How it started...

My name is Amanda (but you can call me Mandi), and I am the Designer & Sewist behind all the items you'll see in this shop!

2010: My business was originally established when I first began my training program at Durham College for Graphic Design. I started freelancing from the start. I was able to grow my clientele over the next few years specifically in the Wedding & Event Stationery industry which I absolutely loved!

2016: I began designing for a niche audience - specifically, scripturally themed stationery for Christian meetings. I've always loved Stationery and prefer the physical act of writing as opposed to taking digital notes; this paired with my training as a Graphic Designer, it only seemed natural to create these very specific items for our special events while continuing to freelance.

2018: I started working as a Part Time Graphic Designer for a local company; the stability of the schedule and the wonderful work environment is just what I needed after freelancing for so long. I still kept my online stationery shop open, which all all allowed me to continue my full time volunteer work as well.

Then came along 2020.

How it's Going...

2020 – Present: Since my part time "day job" had fully transitioned to working completely from home (and now doing virtual volunteer work as well), I found myself at home every day - which to be honest, I don't mind! I'm very much a homebody, but the sudden change of circumstances led my creative brain to need to find something new to work on. That's when the Handmade by Mandi division was born, without really realizing what it would grow into at the time!

I decided in April 2020 to buy myself a basic sewing machine. I watched hours upon hours of YouTube tutorials, called my Nonna ("grandma" in Italian) for tips & tricks, and finally started making myself and my family some cute handmade face masks!

I remember thinking: I wonder what would happen if I added one of my handmade masks to my Etsy shop... it doesn't hurt to try!

So I did, and it blew up! Now here I am a couple years later with a fully customized website, a handful of retail stockists where new customers can find my products in-store, multiple vendor markets under my belt, and 2 dedicated office workspaces in our home (one for designing/shipping and another for sewing and containing my huge fabric collection - my hubby is very supportive!)

I am so grateful that I have been able to continue to expand my creative outlets all these years later - to those of you who have been with me from the start, I will never be able to express how truly grateful I am for your support! And to all the new friends here, thanks for taking the time to learn about me! I hope you find something you love, and if not, I have 300+ fabric options to create something to suit your unique personality ;)

xo -mandi

Mandi

follow me on insta, read my story below, or scroll to the bottom to send me a message!

@benincasadesign @handmade.by.mandi

Nutella

quality control & inspection
(very high standards)

@nutellathekitten

Taco

customer satisfaction
(happy to give out lots of cuddles)

@lil.taco.cat

*All orders are created, packed and shipped from sanitized anti-pet-access zones!

these are a few of my favourite things:

quality craftsmanship • attention to detail • locally sourced materials • eco-friendly packaging

Then vs. Now
Stationery + Gifts

Though I have been freelance designing since 2010, my first official JW Stationery items were introduced in the summer of 2016 with Spiritual Gems and CLM Notebooks.

Fast forward to autumn of 2021 when I re-released a new deluxe Spiritual Gems Journal and coordinating collection for my 5 year #jw stationery anniversary :)

*My love of the colour Chartreuse goes all the way back to the beginning! My brand colours haven't changed since 2010 and are always incorporated into my home decor and every day accessories.

Then vs. Now
Handmade Accessories

Oh how things have come a long way since the picture on the right!

Before I owned a sewing machine, it took me 2 whole days to hand sew this face mask. I was so proud of myself haha!

Never give up on your goals - if you put your mind to something, you can do it! You just need to... practice, practice, practice.