Meet the Maker: Shay Spaniola

Meet Shay Spaniola, the talented artist behind the company, bunglo. Shay's passion for art, travel and design is infectious, and I love that she's turned her talents into a successful, growing business. Her enthusiasm of being a business owner is something I can very much relate to. It is such an honor to have her gorgeous watercolor-patterned pillows for sale in our shop. Read on to learn more about this lovely lady!

The basics. Shay Spaniola. Austin, Texas. Designer and business owner.

Please describe yourself, your business and the story of how bunglo came about.

I've had a deep connection with making art my whole life. When I was little, I sold coloring book pages on the playground and started my first jewelry business at 10. Growing up with entrepreneurial parents, it only seemed natural to make a career out of my hobbies! After exploring various mediums from ceramics to painting, sewing and photography, I decided to study fine art at the University of Michigan. After finishing school, I spent a few years traveling with my camera and sharing my explorations on my blog. With only a backpack, I carried watercolors and a notebook where I created a collection of patterns inspired by the various locations. It came to me one day that I needed to turn my patterns into fabrics. The rest is history - I haven't been able to stop since! I enjoy all parts of the business. From finding inspiration and designing the product to breaking down numbers and analyzing finances, marketing and even small details, like picking the ribbon color. I love every part of running my own company. It's all fun and I'm never bored :)

What are you working on right now?

Right now I'm working on a duvet collection! I've spent the last year working with different manufacturers to find the highest quality fabrics and construction. I'm so excited to finally have everything in production. In July, we'll be launching a set of duvets, shams and new decorative pillows. It will be pretty dreamy :) .

Please describe your workspace.

This is an exciting topic at the moment! For the past 18 months, I've been working out of my home that I share with my boyfriend. Our place is pretty small and our upstairs office quickly became too small to house our team of 7. We've been using our spare bathroom for storage and our living room and dining room turn into our warehouse during the day. It's been fun but we were bursting at the seams a little bit, so we moved into our first office and warehouse yesterday! It will be so nice to have offices to hold meetings, a space to design and a warehouse! We'll be sure to share updates as we finish up the interior design, but we're going to make it bright, inspirational and fresh! We'll also be using this space to start a women's entrepreneur night in Austin!

How do you begin your mornings?

I wake up between 6-7am. I usually do a meditation session right when I get out of bed, then walk my dog, Hunter to our favorite coffee shop (he gets a treat there, too). I'm a big fan of routine these days, and I find waking up early is the key to a good day. It's always nice to find time to make art in the morning before my employees arrive. It's the best time for inspiration and has become a part of my creative process.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Many things! Lately, it's been a lot of training so I can expand bunglo. We'll be launching our bedding at two exciting stores this June, so I've been busy designing and working with a manufacturer in India to complete our duvet orders. There's a lot of communication involved. I try to stay on a set schedule but have learned to leave 'flexible time' for troubleshooting and planning. It helps keep the day balanced.

What inspires you on the daily?

Being outside! Nature is truly amazing, a single flower could give me inspiration for a whole collection! I try to make sure to hike, rock climb or swim at least once a week in Austin. It clears my mind and renews my inspiration.

Where do you hope your business is ten years down the road?

Oh! So many exciting goals to accomplish in the next ten years! I hope to open bunglo stores across the country in the most fabulous places. I'm excited to expand our line into clothing, accessories and all things surrounding a peaceful lifestyle. I want our stores and brand to be a source of inspiration.

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