Featured spotlight: Samantha Leung

So you’ve met Tony Quach who knows how to shave some good ice and blend it well with never-ending toppings, and you’ve met Judy Lai who makes beautiful Asian-flavor inspired cakes.  There’s no better inspiration than to hear from the owners themselves!  So this week, let’s meet more awesome people. They have a remarkable talent for art and nature and I’m really excited to share their work with you!

Considering how I was never able to keep a plant alive for long, I recently gained an interest in plants after working in the garden with my students. I decided that when I’ve made room in my apartment one day, I would get some, and there’s no place I would rather get my first air plant than from the Etsy shop, Handmade Sam*Made.  

Samantha Leung, also the writer and creator behind www.handmadesammade.com, creates beautiful Himmeli ornaments and pairs them perfectly with different types of air plants.  She has had an interest in plants her entire life.  “When I was really young, as young as I can remember – around 2-3, I remember spending entire weekends at the Chicago Botanical Gardens with my Mom. We would get there as early as we could, and we would just walk around and read all of the little placards over and over until they would close up for the day. My favorite rooms were always the ones that resembled the rainforest. That shock of warmth and humidity that would envelop you as soon as you walked in, and the scent of the plants and flowers surrounding you. I can actually picture it right now. My mom has always had a green thumb. She is always in the midst of propagating plants, repotting and giving them away to friends. She has the uncanny ability to bring back any plant from the brink, and she’s currently growing a lemon tree in her condo that she started from a lemon that she got from a local grocery store! (Mariano’s for anyone from Chicago.)

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Her talent and passion has definitely come a long way. Now living with super-supportive husband, Andy, and their adorable cat, Winston, they bring together a love for plants and are growing a variety including sugar snap peas, two types of onions, heirloom tomatoes, early girl tomatoes, cilantro, oregano, rosemary, sage, pineapple sage, mint, basil, thai basil, thyme, parsley, epazote, catnip, poinsettias, hydrangeas, and English culinary lavender. Samantha adds, “And then inside we have an enormous aloe, four different types of succulents, an asparagus fern, as well as a beautiful Pachira plant!”

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Samantha has been featured in many places including Seattle Magazine (April 2015 Signs of Life, Shelter: Favorite Things), Refinery 29, West Elm blog | Front + Main, Style Me Pretty (March 2015 Modern Geometric Wedding Inspiration), and Decoist. Her followers and sales have bloomed in the last year, and when asked what her favorite part about it was, she replied, “Honestly my hands down favorite thing about all of this is knowing that I am making someone around the world happy with what I can make. That they enjoy it, and that it exists because I am here to make it. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way, through groups, Instagram, and through customers turned friends. It’s been so nice to find a community online that is so supportive of one another. Not just maker to maker, but person to person.”

When she’s not creating or packaging for her customers, she can be found cooking, gardening, baking, in the pottery studio, weaving, exploring the PNW, and binge watching Netflix…  Samantha, you’re incredible!

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Inspired by her work?  You can follow her on Instagram @handmadesammade. Then be sure to check in on June 21stfor a very special giveaway on our Instagrams!

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