Meet the Maker – Laura of Wild and Free Designs

Chloe Tate

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know Laura Maxcy, who is the creative force and hand lettering artist behind Wild and Free Designs.


The Gorgeous Laura of Wild and Free Designs
The Gorgeous Laura of Wild and Free Designs


LBC: What inspired you to take the leap as an entrepreneur?
Laura: I have a degree in graphic design but I wasn’t finding design jobs in my area.  When I did, they would be jobs that mostly involved typesetting and not much creative work.  I was looking for a job that would allow me to do what I love: practicing a balance between digital design and working with my hands on tangible, tactile pieces.  When I couldn’t find that job I created it!


LBC: How would you describe what you create?
Laura: Vintage-Inspired Art and Home Decor.  Hand lettering is an important part of all my pieces, especially my globes, as it transforms an everyday item into a statement piece in your home.  Also, my work takes something that is old and makes it new, fresh and modern!


LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?
Laura: I wanted my business to stand out by offering products that were unique and different from the multitudes out there.  I am a self-professed “Craftist”  in that I identify as a crafter but believe each of my globes are art pieces that deserved a certain care, attention to detail, and importance.


LBC: Where can we find your products?
Laura: You can find my products on the Wild and Free Designs website, which also takes you to my Etsy shop.  Hopefully, I will soon be in some brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. and abroad.


Wild and Free Designs' Not All Those Who Wander are Lost hand lettered globe
Wild and Free Designs’ Not All Those Who Wander are Lost hand lettered globe


LBC: Walk us through a typical work day.
Laura: A typical work day always starts with a cup of coffee and answering emails, but the rest of the days are different.  I recently started focusing on specific tasks each day, and I’m finding it keeps me more focused and productive.  For example, Mondays are for working on custom orders and stock globes, Wednesday are for lettering, and Fridays are for brainstorming new ideas and keeping up with “business stuff.”  Of course, I have to make exceptions every now and then, but for the most part I stick to it.


LBC: What are the three things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?
Laura: #1 Decide if your product is something that will stand out from all the others already out there.

#2  Don’t undervalue your work, because if it takes off you will be at a dead end with no where to go pretty quickly.

#3  Be prepared to spend almost all your time on your business, especially in the beginning.  (Lots of weekends and late nights)  You will eventually find a balance with your social life, but it takes time to find that balance.


LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?
Laura: When I get overwhelmed in my office, I get outside or go thrifting.  I usually get so inspired on these trips out that I return with a renewed enthusiasm and better focus.  Also, my husband helps when things get overwhelming!


Wild and Free Designs' Explore hand lettered globe
Wild and Free Designs’ Explore hand lettered globe


LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.
Laura: When I first started dreaming up the idea of what I wanted my business to be, I felt like I had to have everything perfect – perfect photos, perfect branding, perfect products – before I “officially” opened my shop to sell.  My best decision was to stop over-planning and over-thinking and just DO IT!


LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?
Laura: Very early on, on my first or second time shipping my products out, I mixed up the addresses on a couple packages and sent one customer’s globe to another customer.  Thankfully, the person I mistakenly sent the globe to, a fellow Etsy shop owner, completely understood and shipped that globe to the correct person for me but I was mortified.  This prompted me to start a better system of organizing and labeling products to ship.  After that, I haven’t had another mistake like it, thank goodness!


Wild and Free Designs' The World Is Your Oyster hand lettered globe
Wild and Free Designs’ The World Is Your Oyster hand lettered globe


LBC: Is there a cause or a particular organization that you contribute to that you’re particularly passionate about?
Laura: I regularly donate products to auctions for adoption fundraising, which is a natural fit because most of my products tend to be popular for nurseries/baby showers.  I feel that, for someone who wants to have a family through adoption,  the huge financial aspect of it can be very worrisome so it’s nice to do what I can to help them out.


LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox you can’t do without?
Laura:  Instagram, for sure!  It is the vehicle I use to announce news for my business, sneak peeks of new products, little looks into my day-to-day activities, etc.  And it is the best for meeting like-minded creatives, some of whom I have become fast friends with.  Secondly, my lettering tools are definitely essential to my business, as the hand lettering aspect is what I believe differentiates me and makes my work a little more unique.  Also, the Etsy forums have helped me many times when I’ve had a question or needed a quick solution to a problem because there is always someone there who can help you out.


LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If we blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?
Laura:  In two years, I would have eased myself in wholesale and my products would be in stores across the country.  I also would be showing at events such as NY Now, which is a goal of mine.  My line of products would be extended into other areas of home decor, such as pillows or wall hangings.


LBC: Your music play list is full of … 
Laura: First Aid Kit, Shakey Graves, Band of Horses, and anything else that is jangly and folksy 🙂


LBC: What’s the one thing you would eat, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?
Laura: It’s not really “one” thing but Mexican food!  I already want to eat it every day!


Laura and some of her beautiful work
Laura and some of her beautiful work


LBC: Tell me about a few of the places on your travel “bucket list”?
Laura:  Mykonos and Santorini, Greece is a top choice.  Also Alaska and the national parks of the Northwestern U.S.


Thank you, Laura, for sharing your fabulous and unique talent with us!  We absolutely love your line and  we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for Wild and Free Designs. We’re cheering you on!


Connect with Laura and Wild and Free Designs all around the web:
Company Website


Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker Monday” series? Drop us a line: hello AT Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!


About the Author

Chloe Tate

Once described as “relentlessly cheerful,” Chloe is a lover of all things colorful and practically every fruit known to man. She lives in Atlanta and divides her time between supporting Lucky Break clients, keeping shop at a local artisan market, and event planning for business conferences. She’s also working on the launch of her skincare line while finishing her degree in Organizational & Leadership Studies. True story: Chloe shares 50% of Lela’s DNA and is poised to inherit her obscenely large shoe collection.

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