Name: Wendy Barnes
Company: Wendy Barnes Design
Items sold in LMC gift store:
Masks, reusable straw cases (for straws and utensils), snack bags, tote bags
Where you’re from and currently reside?
I grew up in southeastern CT, did my undergraduate at Northeastern University in Boston and graduate school at NYU. I currently live in Melbourne, Florida.
What are some of your fan-favorite products?
Anything with a sea turtle on it is a fan-favorite of course! Pre-COVID-19, snack bags were quickly becoming my number one product as we ditch the single-use plastic.
Can you walk us through how you create your masks designs?
I tested several sizes and styles and have found that the accordion style and sizing fits 95% of my customers. Making sure I include a filter pocket, so a triple layer mask can be created, is essential. Breathable, 100% cotton guarantees comfort during these hot summer days!
How did your love for wildlife and sustainability come to be?
Becoming a mother in 2012 increased my sensitivity to all life with no voice. I developed a strong motherly love and need to contribute to the protection of wildlife while drawing artwork for my daughter's nursery. I instantly connected to the animals drawn and explored ways I could use my design background to make a difference. Sustainable practices protect our natural world. Therefore, once I created products from my fabrics using the artwork, I knew I wanted to ensure they were reusable and provide a way for my customers to participate in wildlife conservation by giving back a percentage for every sale.
Do you have a life motto that has powered your business?
Positivity, patience and persistence: "Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow" to inspire others to follow their dreams.
What’s a positive trend that you have seen as a result of our current situation?
While our world was 'shut down' we all witnessed positive effects on nature – the Himalayas coming into view once again, wildlife thriving and our waters cleansing themselves of pollution. I feel many of us were inspired by the rapid improvement that are now more willing to enact new measures to make positive changes going forward.