Weaver Spotlight: Meeyoo Handwovens
Multiple visionaries come together to create every single Tula Wrap Conversion Carrier, beginning with the variety of woven wraps that are sourced from around the world. Each woven wrap is creatively and thoughtfully designed with the intention of producing a functional art piece. We value the opportunity to work with these textile artists and celebrate them in our weaver spotlights. In this post, we feature the sisters behind Meeyoo, Angel and Cameo.
Who is behind the scenes of Meeyoo?
Just the two of us! From the initial design process to the warping, weaving, on to the final hemming of the wraps and even down to the marketing, photography, packaging and shipping. We are a two woman show and wear many hats!
How long have you been weaving? How did you first become interested?
We have both always been artistic, but expressed our art in different ways. We began babywearing over six years years ago and we loved it! After getting our first handwoven wrap, wearing our boys in it and just really appreciating the artistry and amazing qualities of handwovens, we started to entertain the idea of taking weaving lessons. It was actually just a joke between the two of us for a while. Then for Angel’s birthday, Cameo decided to surprise her with weaving lessons for the two of us and this amazing and fulfilling journey began almost four years ago. Now, we have two looms and each have home studios so that we can work and create while balancing family life.
How did the name Meeyoo come about?
We decided to take weaving lessons shortly after Cameo had her daughter Mary Lou. At that time, Angel’s 4 kids and Cameo’s 2 year old all lovingly called her Meeyoo as it was difficult for the younger kids to say “Mary Lou.” Because she was so little, Mary Lou was with us throughout our weaving journey, making the 4 hour round trips to weaving lessons and listening to all of our ideas and plans. She was our mascot of sorts. Meeyoo is also a play on words – Me + You, Angel + Cameo, Caregiver + Child. It could really be applied to any relationship. Thus, we create our wraps in pairs and always give them special and meaningful names: Pog Pog + Lou Lou, Partine + Udi, Oliver + Avery, etc.
How does being a babywearer prepare you for weaving baby wraps?
Being a babywearer helped us define what we liked and wanted in the wraps we create. We both love the feel and support of cotton and the look, support and simplicity of plain weave. We learned this by wearing our own babies, and of course by trying as many wraps as possible! Babywearing and keeping our little ones close has also given us the encouragement that we needed to weave and put our wraps out there so others can keep their little ones close as well. We weave all of our wraps with nothing but love and appreciation for the amazing babywearing community that we feel blessed to be a part of.
Where are your favorite places to draw inspiration from?
Honestly, we find inspiration anywhere and everywhere! New wrap designs never seem too far from our minds. We are especially inspired by the beautiful scenery and change of seasons in our small Ohio farm town.
Please tell us about your design process. How do you decide on color, fiber and weave structure for each piece?
Deciding on colors usually starts with a big pot of coffee and some sister time together while our kids play. Since we spend a good deal of time with each warp, we always make sure that we absolutely love each colorway and are 100% committed to it before beginning. We basically decide on colors by trial and error – winding yarn onto small pieces of cardboard to make little mock-ups. Sometimes we use inspiration photos or ideas. Sometimes we have certain wrap names in mind. Sometimes we just wing it. But we always bounce ideas off of one another, laugh at one another’s “flops”, and have fun while creating.
As for fiber and weave structure, there are so many talented weavers in the babywearing community that specialize in different fibers, blends, weave structures, etc. Early on, we decided that our “thing” would be to keep things simple and focus on what we feel are our strengths – amazing and sometimes surprising color choices, flawless (we try!) weaving, really neat selvedges, beautiful photography and great relationships with our customers. We definitely favor 100% cotton plain weave because we feel that it best highlights our strengths and suits our personal tastes best as well. We both love the look, simplicity, support and ease of plain weave, and while we are certainly are not limited to a specific weave, we favor plain weave for these reasons.
What does Meeyoo have in store for 2017 and beyond?
As work at home moms, sisters and best friends, Meeyoo has become our passion and outlet. Cameo has baby #4 arriving in September and Angel’s baby #5 will turn one this summer, so we are working on business ideas that will work well with both of our mommy situations. We would love to expand the Meeyoo brand and get our designs into as many homes as possible, and we are also always looking for new product ideas to bring Meeyoo into our customers’ lives. We love working with our customers and feel truly grateful to be part of such an amazing community. We also love working with Tula, sending fabric, and creating exclusive designs for them. We plan to continue to create as long as our amazing customers allow us to!!
Thank you to Cameo and Angel for chatting with us! You can learn more about Meeyoo on their Facebook Page.