For some, creativity is something that pulses through their veins. This is certainly true of Maisie Callcott, the teenaged business owner and maker behind Maypole Design’s gorgeous wares for people and their homes. This tough crafting cookie is proving that age, copy cats and time restraints are no obstacle to a determinded Adelaidian living out her dream. Is she superhuman? Well, we have our suspicions. Discover the truth below …
Tell us, who’s the maker behind Maypole Design?
My name is Maisie Callcott and I am a 17 year old living in Adelaide, Australia. I attend a gorgeous school where I am currently studying year 12, doing English, Maths, French, History and of course Business Studies! My week nights are spent doing homework and playing sport, and my weekends are spent with family and friends, and creating for Maypole! I absolutely love the beach, watching sunsets and eating ice-cream … sometimes all at the same time!
How old were you when you began Maypole Design?
I was 12 – in year seven at school.
What inspires your gorgeous designs?
I am inspired by everything around me! Instagram and Pinterest are what I use daily to find inspiration for new weaving styles or new product designs. I spend a lot of time scrolling and double tapping! I am also inspired by other designers, interior magazines, and the latest fashion and colour trends. Another way I get inspiration is by going outside, whether it be shopping, the beach, or a long walk; there is always something that will catch my eye and give me a new idea.
Where did your knack for creativity come from?
My mum is extremely creative so I guess it is in my blood! For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be something creative when I grow up. I would spend hours drawing and colouring in, or making little knick-knacks from our family craft box. I guess Maypole comes naturally, and that is probably why I find it so fun!
Do you have a strict routine when it comes to creating, or are you a little more spontaneous about things?
This depends on my workload for Maypole and for school. Usually, I try to dedicate my Sundays to make all orders, and 15 minutes each night replying to emails. As I am in year 12, I am really conscious this year to make sure that my study comes first but Maypole is a good chance to take a break from the stress and assignments. Sometimes it is quite a juggle, trying to get all my school and Maypole work done, as well as hanging out with my friends and family, but I think I have a great balance. I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could!
You run a business around school and study – what’s your secret to staying on top of it all?
Organisation, planning and lists! I usually plan my days step-by-step with everything that I need to get done. I have a calendar/diary from MiGoals (AH-mazing!), and I find this is really helpful to get my head in order! Ticking tasks off brings a sense of fulfilment so I will put EVERYTHING on my lists – even the little things like ‘tidy room’ or ‘walk the dog’. This way I can look back over my day and see all the tasks I have achieved making me feel like I have my life under control, and I am then much more prepared for the next day to come. I think using my time wisely is another key tip – asking myself “what could I be doing now?” is something I am constantly doing. However, also making sure I have balance and down time is important to me, as this way I am more refreshed and can put my all into every task.
We adore your handwoven wall hangings – how long can a piece like that take you to create?
Ohh thank you! Usually a woven wall hanging will take me around four-six hours to make. Sometimes I will sit down for a whole day just solely with the aim to finish a weaving but other times I am a little bit more flexible and I will do small parts at a time.
What’s your favourite thing about running a creative business?
I think that my favourite thing would be the excitement I feel when someone purchases one of my products. Every time I receive an order I still get the same feeling of joy and pride that I did when I sold my first necklace.
What’s the most challenging part for you?
Probably remembering that Maypole is meant to be something fun, not stressful, and I need to remember that when I start feeling overwhelmed with orders. Also, at first I was embarrassed about what people would think about me being so young and having my business, and I worried that they wouldn’t take me seriously. Learning that age isn’t something to stop anyone from doing something they love is one of the biggest hurdles I have had to get over.
Copyright is also something I have struggled with, as I have had numerous businesses (big and small) copy my work. I do find it frustrating when I have put so much handwork into creating my pieces and then someone just comes along and rips my designs off! I guess also the other side I could look at it though is that it is a compliment to my creativity and style!
What has been your most popular product?
This changes depending on what my most recent post on Instagram is! But I think overall it would be my necklaces and woven wall hangings.
Do you have any tips for fellow teens who want to start a small business while at school or uni?
I have actually written an eBook with a step by step guide on how to start your own small business while in school and it contains lots of handy tips and secrets! You can purchase it here.
Where can littleWren readers find your wonderful work?