I discovered NeededWanted a little while ago, and fell in love with the idea of Megan’s custom neighbourhood street maps. Honestly, how fun to have your own local world to play with your cars and build Lego villages around?!
Custom play map, designed to match any neighbourhood of your choice!
The NeededWanted play maps come in 3 sizes, with streets the perfect width for matchbox cars and hours of enjoyment. Now, as I investigated further, I realized there was much more to Megan and her products – there are also little custom-knitted monster critters, as well as her adorable little village pieces made out of cardboard and perfect for any kid to make their own!
This "Starter Home" comes with the required suburban tree and can be decorated however your child would like!
I love the little Starter Home, and that it requires no glue/staples/adhesive of any kind. Your child can decorate however they’d like, play with it, then fold it up and put it away until next time! Beautifully simple.
Also? The little monster guy? Perfectly sized to live inside the Starter Home, or the Bungalow or the Barn that are also available!
Needless to say, I was intrigued so I contacted Megan and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us, to give us a little more insight into her product and her process.
Canadian+Handmade: What does the name of your site, NeededWanted, mean for you?
NeededWanted: If something is both needed and wanted it is often loved in return.
I wanted to to create an online store where each and every item meets the criteria of being needed and wanted by both a child and a parent. I wanted to have a store where people would fall in love with every creation.
C+H: What started the creative fire burning for you? Do you remember a particular moment, a favourite childhood activity, something you saw and wanted to recreate or improve upon?
NW: I grew up in a house where creativity was always encouraged. I was free to dream and create anything that I could think of, limited only by my imagination and creativity.
When I was maybe 9 I can remember creating elaborate things like boardgames and stationary. One particular item that I can remember creating was a set of stationary with hippos on it. When colouring in the purple hippos on each page I can remember wanting to make sure that they matched as best as they could. I wanted them to look like they had been professionally printed. When I had the full set all finished I decided that they needed to look like they came from a store. I went off to the kitchen to get some saran wrap and a thick peice of cardboard, laid the pages down on the cardboard and wrapped the saran wrap around them as tight as I could. I guess that even at the young age, of 9, I was destined and passionate about one day owning my own store.
C+H: What is the best (and worst, if you’d like to share!) part about owning your own business?
NW: The best part of owning my business is that I own it. I just love to create and having an outlet where I can share my creations with the world, and at the end of the day I get to make all the decisions is just so amazing to me.
The worst part of owning my business is that my business is me and if people don’t like what I create with it then they don’t like me. It is really hard sometimes to separate yourself from your business and not take everything too personally.
C+H: Where do you look for inspiration?
NW: When I create I always seem to start with the raw materials whether it be a ball of yarn, a roll of vinyl or a big sheet of cardboard. I often find myself staring at them almost like it is a challenge. “What can I make with this?” Sometimes an idea comes right away and other times it can take weeks for the idea to percolate then all of a sudden in the middle of the night I need to start working.
C+H: What part of creating your pieces gives you the most joy and satisfaction?
NW: At first I thought that it would be finishing a piece that gives me the most satisfaction. Seeing the final product, the end result of all my hard work. But when I really think about it, I would have to say it is more seeing it coming together, the stage where it is almost complete but not quite yet. That is when I get the most excited and I really start to get my creative juices going. It is when I know that I am almost finished yet it can still go so many ways.
C+H: What is it about your creations that sets you apart?
NW: My creations are just that. Mine. They are as unique and eclectic as I am.
C+H: Do you feel that living in Canada has influenced your work?
NW: I think that if I lived anywhere other than Canada, then I wouldn’t have the creative freedom that I do. I also wouldn’t have the support of fellow Canadians, as nowhere else in the world supports each other quite like Canadians do. I love my country.
Hours of fun, and easy to pack away when the cars (or the kids!) run out of gas!
C+H: What advice would you give someone who is just starting out selling their work?
NW: 1. Your time is worth more than you think. Don’t undervalue your work.
C+H: Who has provided you with inspiration or mentorship in terms of business or your creative journey?
NW: My husband is always my sounding board whether he realizes it or not. I don’t think that he is always listening to every detail that I tell him nor do I think that he needs to. Sometimes you need is to say your thoughts out loud to get the ball rolling or to find a solution to a problem.
C+H: Do you listen to music or have another way of getting “in the zone” when you create?
NW: I definitely have to be in the zone to work on anything creative. Unfortunately there is no trick or switch that I can flip to put me there, so it is important that when I am in that creative mood that I make the most of it and focus on my ideas and my creativity. A big cup of tea and some music for sure helps me stay in my creative head space.
When owning a business where everything is handmade and relies on you being creative, it is important that you don’t cross that line of trying to force ideas or creations. On the days that I am not feeling super creative, I work on the other aspects of running the business. You have to know yourself. A poet can not be poetic everyday.
C+H: Do you have a favourite author or book?
NW: OK so here is the truth. I own a LOT of books. I love shopping for them. Every time that I go to the book store I spend hours picking out my selections. Often this selection process is based on the design and the feel of the book, rarely the content. I like the idea of books and the idea of reading books but I can never seem to slow myself down enough to get into a good book, but it is something that I have always wanted to do.
C+H: When you’re not creating, what is your favourite way to spend your time?
NW: I love spending time with my family. We are huge movie buffs. When I am not creating or working on my business you can usually find me curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a pair of knitting needles watching the latest addition to our movie collection.
C+H: And finally, Where can we find you online, just in case we missed you somewhere?
:: :: ::
If you made it this far, you’ve probably clicked over to NeededWanted
and are already thinking about a little person in your life who would love a play map or a little house to decorate, or a monster to snuggle. We can help!
Megan has kindly offered a 10% discount to our readers – just enter code “canadianhandmade” when you place your first order on her site to claim your discount!
Here at my house we are in the midst of a not-so-fun baby milestone. My little girl is getting her first molar(s) and it is turning out to be a pretty difficult experience for all involved. The poor kiddo is either whimpering in her sleep, sobbing in pain, or clinging on for soothing snuggles and cuddles. We are doing our best using all the standard teething tips and tricks, and hopefully soon those sneaky teeth will come through and all will be well again. In the meantime, anything that offers comfort to my little girl is golden in my books! I think these adorable hug-able fleece pillow monsters from LemonPie are just the ticket.
Toothy the Hippo would be a perfectly squishy friend to help sooth a teething baby
Lobby the Lobster has cozy claws!
Chimpi is a great monkey friend, perfect for bedtime cuddles.
These pillow pals would be perfect for a kids bedroom, or playroom, or the living room for a fun-loving family! I believe that every day should have smiles and snuggles, and these LemonPie monster creations supply plenty of both. The pillows come in regular size (about 7″ x 7″) or large (about 9″ x 9″) if you want more squeezable fun. Visit the Cargoh store or the Etsy shop to meet the rest of the LemonPie monster family. Head to the blog , facebook, or twitter, and get to know Klaudea and Lawrence (aka: the LemonPie team). There is even a giggle-worthy Monster’s Day Out video on YouTube!
Because everyone deserves the comfort of a warm, friendly hug… even if you aren’t busy growing molars!
You guys, I totally laughed out loud when I saw the Monster gloves from Boysenberry Lane tonight. Really, I’m not just LOL’ing, I mean I giggled! Just look at these Purple People Eaters:
Wouldn’t those be fun to wear?! Bet my 4.5 year old would think I was the coolest Mom! I’m thinking that there’s some extra entertainment value in getting more than one pair so that you could mix and match your monsters. These come in kids’ sizes too, and I can only imagine the voices my daughter would come up with for her Purple People Eaters!
If you still like a little flair, but maybe aren’t into the monster vibe so much, these black fleece gloves with a little flower detail are lovely.
Tammy, the creative force behind Boysenberry Lane, hails from Comox, BC and obviously has a sense of humour about her fleece creations. You can get coordinated with a matching iPod Monster case, below, or even dress up your kitty with products from her sister shop at Paws ‘n’ Tails.
You can find Tammy at her shops linked above, as well as on Twitter.