What gave you the push to branch out and start yeiou?
After years of working in online marketing, only producing pixels, I felt the itch to get back to working with tangible things. I needed to be able to point at a physical, three-dimensional object and say “I made that!” I looked back at my life and realized that, starting with an obsession with origami in grade school, I’ve always turned to paper as a medium to make things. I love that I can make something unexpected, something that sparks joy and imagination, out of a material that is so ubiquitous and under-estimated.
What Boston-area maker(s) do you admire?
I love the geometry over at Chalk Concrete --it’s so fun to see the same sorts of shapes and forms I’m exploring in paper made in concrete, instead. Michelle Barrett makes some really lovely ceramics. And I’ve been following the story of Jeremy Spindler, at Spindler Confections for the a while--he’s opening a storefront on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge after making caramels out of his kitchen for the last several years.
Any advice for someone looking to start their own business?
You’ll see this advice everywhere, but really the secret is this: Just go for it. Try that thing, ask for that favor, make a prototype of that idea you’ve had bouncing around in your head. You won’t know if it will work until you try!
What is something most people don't know about yeiou?
Most people don’t know where the name “yeiou” comes from! I was brainstorming names many years ago, and started iterating around the letter “A”, since that’s the first letter of my name, Abigail. I then thought about the vowels, and the little rhyme “a-e-i-o-u and sometimes y”, and wondered what would happen if I promoted the “sometimes y” and dropped the “a”...and “yeiou” was born. I used the name for my personal website for a while, and decided it was fitting for my paper objects adventure.
What's one question we should have asked you and what is the answer?
I am asked this a lot at craft shows, when I have my full line of paper products out, with samples and other things, as well: “Do you cut all of this paper...by hand??!” and the answer is “Nope! I design all of my products on the computer, and then finish them and package them by hand, but the actual cutting is done by my trusty computerized cutting machine.”
Photo credit: yeiou