Meet The Maker is a blog series devoted to getting to know our makers, one-on-one. This week we talked to Michael and Rachel of Maptote. They let us represent our favorite Brooklyn neighborhoods with their cute, detailed wine and grocery tote bags!
How did you decide to create Maptote?
We mainly started our business because we wanted a creative outlet outside of our day jobs. We loved the idea of working for ourselves, and thought that it would be fun to create something on our own. We didn’t start our business in a traditional way - it was more born out of doing something creative together.
What is the hardest part about running a business?
The hardest part is probably the business-y aspects of having business, like managing employees and human resources.
What’s your favorite Maptote piece that you’ve created?
Michael: I love our California denim tote since I’m from California and I like the more ''rugged'' denim fabric.
Rachel: My favorite location is Brooklyn, since it was our first design and is where we live and created Maptote. I also love our large jumbo pouch as we use it all of the time to lug toiletries on trips.
What’s something that you never thought would be a part of your job?
The actual ”business” side. We’re both creative people, but just being “creative” isn’t sustainable. We’ve had a steep learning curve and now we actually enjoy the business side of Maptote. Whether it’s managing production, dealing with human resource issues, or negotiating contracts, it’s all part of our business. And designing is one of many moving parts.
What are the best/worst things about living in Brooklyn?
Best part of living in Brooklyn is that it's such a vibrant place with restaurants, stores, parks etc., while being a much more relaxed/low-key place in comparison to Manhattan. We love that we can walk to work and rarely have to leave the 10 blocks around our house/studio. Our family doesn't live close to us, so that’s probably the worst part.
What Brooklyn restaurant/bar do you love the most?
Lately we have really loved going to Bricolage in Park Slope.
Any current obsessions?
The new Netflix show, Narcos.
If you could have someone play you in a movie, who would you pick?
Michael: Louis CK!
Rachel: Tina Fey!
If we opened your fridge right now, what would be inside?
Tons of milk, fruit, and string cheese for the kiddos
Best piece of advice you’ve given or received?