For this week's Shop Small Saturday Showcase feature, I am so excited to share the adorable items from Hello Maupoo! I interviewed Hyun after meeting her at Patchwork Long Beach and spying her amazingly creative and colorful tote bags.
Personally, I am a fan of her retro-inspired, graphic, colorful prints, but she has so many wonderful designs from quirky goats to cheery rainbows to angular teardrops! Her creations are found on tote bags, calendars, wall prints, greeting cards, and more. She even makes pretty pins and rings as well!
Check out all the eye candy below and find out which of her fabulous designs is the most popular. It's not what you are expecting!
Tell me a little bit about yourself!
I realized later in my life how important it is to me to live freely doing what I love. I am living that dream now.
Hello, my name is Hyun Yu. I love to create, preferring images over words. I am a graphic designer. Back in 2013 I took a plunge and quit my job to pursue my dream of building my own design products. My shop lets me be lighthearted and curious. It's fun to dress animals in clothes, give them personalities, explore the interplay of characters who take on lives of their own. I am still learning the ropes of running a business, a journey for me with ups and downs. It's always been helpful for me to keep in mind to take one step at a time, if things get overwhelming.
Where did the name of your store come from?
The name of my shop comes from my cat, Mau, and her nickname is Maupoo. I say she represents all animals, because through her I’ve learned to relate and love them all.
Why did you start making goods for Hello Maupoo?
Back in 2008, I was working fulltime as an in-house designer for a non-profit organization. I got to be creative in my job but not on the things that most interested me. My creativity needed an outlet and Hello Maupoo was born. In my spare time I started designing things that made me feel happy and lighthearted.
What is your favorite item?
Let see, it's hard to pick just one item. I guess in a body of work they are all special to me in their own way, but my Dropps collection does stand out. For this collection I mainly used a tear drop shape to create a series of unique designs. I was really surprised how many unique designs are possible. You will see wide range of Dropps collection products in my Hello Maupoo shop.
What is your most popular item?
Goat designs are very popular in my shop, especially my goat pattern print "this too shall pass".
Where do you get the inspiration for your work?
It's hard to pinpoint exactly where I get my inspiration. I am visually oriented, and I do seek visually stimulating sites, online and out there in the world. There is an explosion of great design and art sites on the net that always inspire and excite me. “Out there” in the real world I enjoy nature and L.A. downtown. Nature gives me that sense of freedom, and Downtown LA draws me in with its enclaves of vibrant street art, artsy shops, the best restaurants, and communities of artists. Like anybody I am tuned into my environment. My mind is, I think unconsciously, always absorbing and defining the world. When I am ready to work, all that comes out through my expression.
What makes your store unique?
My shop gives me a place to be lighthearted and helps me be curious. Whenever I create designs, I’ve stepped into to the world of imagination, a place where I can be completely free and happy. My hope is to offer a similar experience to my visitors. It's an online shop, which means you don't actually get to touch anything, but I’m doing my best to create an environment that brings you in close. My hope is to offer a little happiness and inspiration to the people who visit my shop.
What is the toughest part about making your goods/your artistic process?
The biggest challenge is resources. I have many ideas for new products but making them is another story. Being a small business, it's difficult to fund a project freely.
Do you take custom orders?
I take custom orders. Any designs you see in my shops can be modified -- color, sizes, and text can be changed. I am a freelance graphic designer so I offer a variety of design services too. Here's my portolio site www.hyworks.com
Where can I see more of your work and buy a gift?
Don't you want one of everything? I love, love, love the so many of the tote bags! Also, the greeting cards are just so cheery, I would buy a set to send to my friends and a set just to keep for myself! Make sure to check out more new designs on Hello Maupoo's Etsy shop and blog and keep up with Hyun on her social media above as well for all the newest updates.