My grandfather, Ed Handmaker was a traveling salesman. A schmata salesman as some would call him as he sold women’s dresses. My grandmother, Sydelle Handmaker owned a millinery shop. Neither had a formal education but both knew the importance of hard work and doing whatever it takes to get the job done right. My mother, Joyce Handmaker (an identical twin) became an artist, stylist, and a fashion designer. Her twin sister,  Suzie Handmaker was an incredible artist and painter.  I come from a long line of hard-working creative types who had a knack for being ahead of the trends. When I was a buyer, I often selected "Oprah's Favorite things" before she did!

So, With an eye for design,  sprinkled with 30 years experience in retail and wholesale sales, marketing, merchandising, buying and shop-keeping , I became inspired to start the Handmaker Collective. My joy comes from discovering the best products on the market and sharing them with local retailers.  

I have always assumed that my eye for color and design came from the Handmaker side of the family, so it’s only fitting that I name my business after them. I am grateful to have inherited the Handmaker's design aesthetic, sensibilities and their respect for hard work.  Being raised by an artist/designer,  I have considerable appreciation for the dedication, passion and drive that it takes to live that creative life.  My mother often said " work, thank god for the might of it, the sheer delight of it"

As I searched for a name, a dear friend suggested to me that my mother’s maiden name, Handmaker, was just so perfect! With a nod to the powerful, strong and creative soul who created me and an acknowledgement that the women in my life are the fuel that keeps me going. Here’s to the lines that empower women and drove me to follow my own passion.

The Handmaker Collective is comprised of thoughtfully curated lines for the discerning buyer. These are special lines that reflect a number of key components. Each line has a special appeal. Most of the lines are owned by women, run as a small family business, most are handmade in the USA, some have a spiritual aesthetic, a few are social enterprises, others are wry and witty, others have the purest ingredients and all are created with love, passion, and beauty.

To the cherished women in my life who give me inspiration, with gratitude to those women who not only encouraged me to start this business, but also lent their own business savvy and assistance.  Thanks to Mary Olivieri, Gretchen Kroll and Tripar, Alice Lerman, Elizabeth Black, Tana Erikson, Lisa Grass Schultz, DeAnna Woods, Siobahn Straka, and Cat Conrad you are all godesses.