Our names are Mara Minuzzo and Patrick Lajoie, and we’re the makers behind Studio Liscious. We have been working together to design and make an assortment of handmade home goods for over 17 years. We live and work on our rural property in Caledon, Ontario, which is a beautiful area just north of Toronto.
I have a degree in fashion design and am a self-taught artist. Patrick studied graphic design and painting at art college, and is also a self-taught woodworker and a fine art photographer. Between the two of us, we have an interesting mix of creative skills that result in a style distinctly our own. In addition to Studio Liscious, we also run two other shops here on Etsy: Bluetrike Studio and Patrick Lajoie Photography. We keep telling ourselves that it’s crazy to take on so much, but we can’t help ourselves; we both really love to design and make things.
Our process depends on the type of item we are working on, whether wood, acrylic, image transfer or fabric. We digitally print our fabric items, and then I sew them in my home sewing studio. Our used CNC router was a major investment, so a lot of our items are designed to put it to creative use. CNC machines are typically used in standard manufacturing (things such as kitchen cabinets), so we’ve always enjoyed coming up with more interesting and unique things to create with it.
We do everything ourselves – from designing and producing all our items to packing and shipping orders. We have a little assistance from our teenage son, Max, who is a budding designer and maker. We suspect that soon he’ll want to add some of his own items to the shop. Except for Max, we choose not to have any staff or outside help. We went through a stage in our business a few years ago when we needed staff but found that we were mostly managing people instead of making things, so we decided to go back to producing only what we could manage on our own.
We pride ourselves on being sticklers for quality and for coming up with original product ideas, which is not easy to do. Ultimately our goal is to come up with products that we haven’t seen before.
To us, Etsy means a fundamental change in the way we do business and earn our living. It has given us more creative freedom than we’ve ever enjoyed. Because we enjoy a worldwide audience of customers, we sell our work exclusively through our Etsy shop instead of needing to supplement our income through wholesale orders to other retailers. This has a big impact on our creativity – we no longer have to restrict our design ideas to things we can make feasibly at wholesale prices. We have more fun with design now, and find ourselves inspired and excited about new ideas much more often.
All photographs by Patrick Lajoie Photography.