Nora Meets the Maker: Anne Mende
by Kollabora Follow

posted 6 years ago

From her beautiful knits to her intricate embroidery, Anne Mende is one of those skilled, detail-oriented makers that leaves us in awe with each new project. Lucky for us she's sharing her knowledge with her 7 Days of Stitches project and offering up some of her awesome patterns at a sweet discount for this week only! If you've been waiting to brush up on your needle and thread know-how, there's no better time than now! 

My name is Anne Mende but you may know me as Pumora and my DIY weapons of choice are needles!

I'm never actually looking for inspiration, it's more something that keeps happening in the most unlikely situations.

After a long day of making things I like to go for a walk with my kids and let the day drop off my mind.

I got started making when my mother gave me her old sewing machine in 5th grade. I concentrated on drawing as a teen mostly and found the craft world again when I spent a year in Japan at 17.

When I think about starting a new project I get all excited and it kind of feels like my head explodes. Ideas come to me like a giant network of possibilities which I have to sort out first. New projects can start with a sketch or the materials. Sometimes I just look into my yarn or fabric stash and the project evolves around that, sometimes it's a certain concept that get's my attention which mostly means a lot more preparation.

The best part about running my own business is that I can do what I want, I was never good at doing what other people wanted me to do.

I think there are 2 things everyone should know or try to get to know when running a business:

  1. What is your one strength that stands out over everything. This is not necessarily a craft-related skill, but something overlaying all of how you do things
  2. Which kind of people are you doing this for and how does your strength affect them? I think it's important to not only consider how you get your own benefit out of your business, but how you can benefit others with your work.

If I wasn’t a knitting and embroidery designer I would love to be a travel photographer and journalist. I love to travel and look into new worlds, telling stories and facts about it afterwards. I find it amazing how different each part of the world is and how the people are often a mirror image of the landscape they live in.

The song that can cheer me out of any bad mood is “Put the lime in the coconut” by Harry Nilsson.

I like it a lot when people try out new mediums to express their inner vision. I admire the all crafty homesteading mothers who blog about their worlds- good and bad.

One of the first artists I found in my early days of knitting was Geninne Zlatkis – she is an illustrator with a great sense for colors and shapes. She tries out a lot of crafts and manages to let her style float into everything and makes it look just right. I admire this ability!

My favorite thing about making is that I can do things how I like them to be. Also every time I make something myself I learn something new – even if it is that it was a bad idea to make it like I wanted and not like every single book or website showed it.

To me, DIY means learning to think what and how you can do things on your own (and actually do it!).

The first thing I made was a pencil case with different jeans fabrics and a zipper.

Three words that describe me: spontaneous, calculated (meaning: when I jump into something new spontaneously I make a huge list of what to do next, what I need etc. in my head), according to my kids I'm also mean ;)

Three words that describe my work: colorful, structured, organic

Best creative advice I ever received is to do what you want

If I could live in any other country it would be rural Canada or Sweden. I would love to get out into the woods in my own cabin with my partner some day when the kids are out of the house. The idea of stepping out of my house and be right in the forest or at a lake is overwhelmingly pleasant for me.

One fact about me that’s embarrassingly awesome is when I wrote my resumé for the application for the exchange program in Japan I wrote that my hobbies are drawing and painting. Obviously this was enough to get me in an art high school in Tokyo, which was really awesome!

My DIY secret weapon is needle and thread – I can fix everything with these two (at least temporary)

The biggest DIY mistake I ever made was sewing sleeves in with the wrong side – this still keeps happening to me!

My next project is a new collection of knitting and embroidery patterns with the theme “Inside-Outside” and a book about embroidery in german.

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