Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.
What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Mariel Nader, creator of our new Birthstone Mineral Soaps.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Ever since I can recall I knew I wanted to be an artist. I grew up watching my mom and especially my grandma always working on some sort of art or craft and I knew I was one of them as well.
My favorite subject at school was art, and I spent most of my summers attending art camps. I was once signed up into a drawing class for adults during the school year, and I took it really seriously at that young age. I remember walking in the studio with a huge sketchbook that I could barely carry, and feeling so important when other students would stop whatever they were doing to help giving me a lift to sit on that high stool where my feet couldn’t reach the floor. I felt like a true artist using an easel for the first time and getting so much attention from the teacher and classmates. Though now I know it wasn’t necessarily because of my outstanding work, but rather because I was trying so hard being so little that I might have looked funny!
My passion and admiration for minerals and precious stones comes from my uncle Chucho who had (and still does today) a HUGE collection of minerals in a room at his house in Mexico that looks more like a museum than just a room. When I was little and used to come visit his house, I always found that colorful, intriguing and mystical collection so fascinating (we weren’t allowed to touch).
What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
The opportunity of making a living out of what has always been my passion is one of the most exiting feelings I can experience as an artist. Also, getting my work out there and seeing how much people admire and appreciate it is SO rewarding and keeps me inspired! And of course, being my own boss and managing my time as I please. 🙂
What does your typical day in the studio look like?
As I’m just starting being a full time artist, my days are still a little disorganized, but I’m trying to keep an schedule as much as I can. First thing when I wake up is packing up orders. When I’m done I bring them to the post office. After that, making soap, cutting, polishing, wrapping, taking pictures, answering emails, folding shipping boxes, ordering supplies, making labels, keeping track of the stock… Just to name a few things. I’ll get there soon!
When I’m making mineral soap, each batch is a new challenge for me since they are all different. Each soap I make, cut and carve is like my own baby. I know where each line, inclusion and layer comes from because I put it there for a reason, giving each soap bar a soul and character of its own.
Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
My mom and dad are my talismans. Their support means everything to me. I got this inventive brain from my dad, and I have to say that the most inspirational, useful, clever and beloved object I have is the wrapping machine he built for me. We designed it over the phone one day when I had my first Christmas rush sell ever, and I got overwhelmed with all the soaps I had to wrap from scratch. I survived that, but a few months afterward, I got the most special delivery coming from Mexico right into my front door: My very own custom made wrapping machine by Mr. Felix Nader.
Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
I have shown my mineral soaps to kindergartners many times since I worked as a nanny for years. They don’t think these are soaps at first, they think they are jewels or a very interesting and intriguing object. Once they find out they are soaps and get to use them once, they simply think these are “magic soaps” and can’t wait until their next bath or to wash their hands again!
What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
“Never let your memories be greater than your dreams,” and “The present is all there is.”