Platypus Max Blog

Minimizing Packaging Waste - and How to Reuse Padded Mailers

I've spent a lot of time thinking about packaging. And mailers. As a small business owner, making handcrafted, gift-able products, I wanted my products to reflect my personal and brand philosophy, but also to make sure that my work reaches my customers safely and protected from the elements. And I didn't want to bring more unnecessary material into the world, especially plastic, for this single use of getting my products from my shop to my customers.  Product Packaging For the products themselves, I wanted a simple, no-plastic, flexible option that I could make myself for small batches and then outsource...

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Low-Maintenance Hair: A How-To Guide (of Sorts)

I have long, straight hair, and it has been this way for most of my life, other than a few short periods between hair donations. I used to blow-dry it every morning before, and style it with hairspray and other "product" so it would sit calmly slightly off my face, or in a tidy ponytail or bun, before packing up and heading off to work for the day. Then I stopped working in an office, and I felt no real need to blow-dry my hair.  After some time, this weird thing happened, where I realized that my hair looked pretty...

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Leather Impressions: In Search of My Perfect Hair Barrette

barrettes how its made leather

As a life-long maker, artist, and designer, it was a real surprise to me when I learned what an amazingly versatile material leather is to work with. But before leather, there was clay. For me anyhow. If you’ve ever worked with clay, you may be familiar with the term “leather hard” and there’s a reason for this! Before it is dyed and sealed, raw vegetable tanned leather acts a lot like leather-hard clay, taking stamps, and impressions of various found objects.

I discovered this while trying to make myself the perfect hair barrette. I love the simplicity of putting my hair up in them. Elastics just don’t work all that well for me, I just can’t get the hair to sit the way I like it in front. But I get annoyed by finding cute or pretty barrettes at craft fairs or even at Target just that don’t seem like they were designed to hold my full head of hair. Some pinch some were put together with hot glue and fall apart after a few uses, and some just don’t hold. I wanted a barrette that would hold all of MY hair, and I wanted it to look pretty. 

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Maker of Things: How I Got Here. On Setting My Own Course

artist life how its made momlife woman owned business

Hello and welcome to my journey as a designer, maker, online shop owner and chronic upcycler. What a journey it has been, and I feel like I am just starting off on the upswing of it, with the destination yet to be seen. 


As a designer or artist, there is a sort of magic that takes place when your work goes out into the world and is purchased by someone other than your mom or best friend -- a complete stranger is out there validating that what you have done is real enough to spend their money on it.


Making things that are sustainable is also of critical importance to me. This doesn't always mean the same thing. Sometimes it's about less material, sometimes it's about durable materials, and sometimes it's about finding a use for trash, and I am happy to say that I feel like I'm generally finding the sweet spot on this with everything I create. 

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