Meet Rachael Landry of Louisiana Loom. She’s a human resources professional who recently discovered the art of weaving. Textile arts provides a creative outlet and allows her to explore texture and color combinations inspired by nature.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.
As a child, my mom would always do arts and crafts with us and eventually taught me how to sew. The idea of weaving seemed like an extension of that craft, so I decided to give it a try. I made my first Loom about a year ago and have completely fallen in love with the art of weaving. It’s allowed me to tap into those creative elements of my personality and explore ideas through texture, color, and patterns. I’m still growing and learning with every piece I create, and it is this exploration that energizes and inspires me. I’m excited about the opportunity to create unique pieces and share my work with others.

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?
I think being a “Maker” is taking those innate gifts instilled in you, and using them to create something unique, bold, and completely reflective of your own individual talents.

Who or what inspires you?
The world around me – mostly nature. I love bringing unique color combinations found in nature into my weavings.

Is making your hobby or your business? How does it relate, if at all, to your day job?
Being on the Loom is my hobby, and now side business. I work as a Human Resources professional as my “day job” at a global IT consulting company. I’m very passionate about my field of work, and heavily involved in our HR community in Acadiana. What I enjoy most about my craft is the ability to design and create, in a tangible way, which really provides a sense of balance for me.

Why is making important to you?
Probably like most makers, it allows for that quiet decompression time. I believe that everyone should find that one thing that gives them a sense of accomplishment – whatever it may be. Seeing the final product of something you’ve created can provide such a rewarding sense of fulfillment.

What have you made that you are most proud of?
What I’m most proud of is probably the very first weaving I ever made. I made my own Loom, warped it, and started weaving away – not knowing what I was doing. I love that piece, not because it’s good (because in fact it’s really, really bad!) but because it’s a reminder that I took a leap and tried something new. At the time I had no idea that I’d eventually be asked by others to make custom pieces, or that I’d start up a small business as a result. I have it hanging in my laundry room, as a gentle reminder to not hold back out of fear, but instead to try new things and learn. And goodness, I have learned a lot along the way!

What would you make if you had unlimited resources?
Probably a 20 foot weaving. I want to make a massive wall tapestry!

What up-and-coming maker trends excite you the most?
I find myself saying “Wow. How did they do that?” more and more lately. I’m inspired by the vast innovation, craftsmanship, and true artistry I’ve been seeing. It’s truly inspirational.

What advice can you give someone who wants to get involved in the Maker movement?
Don’t ever let fear hold you back from trying. (Something I’m still reminding myself of all the time). If you have an idea, there are a million reasons you can tell yourself to not do it. But if you take that first step and just try something new, you may surprise yourself.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.
The most surprising thing may be this! Most people know me as a wife, working mom, volunteer leader, (the list goes on) but may be surprised to learn I’m also a self-taught Fiber Artist. I also love music, shows/festivals with the hubby, rollercoasters, antiques, yoga, and of course – my coffee in the mornings.