The Collective: Fiber Artist Mandi Smethells

Fiber artist Mandi Smethells embraces color, revels in pattern, and takes on texture with her playful, imaginative designs

Portrait by Liz Schultz, product shots by Mandi Smethells

Mandi Smethells describes herself as an “imaginative” fiber artist, but first and foremost, she’s a mother—and that’s where she finds her inspiration to “create something beautiful every day.” Like many before her, she completed an art degree but went corporate with her career. In 2018, she returned to her passion for creating. Her materials are familiar, but her designs are all her own—full of color, twists, and fluff. From rainbows and evil eyes to bejeweled arthropods, her creations cause us to pause, smile, and see the positive. Smethells’ mantra is simple: Embrace color, revel in pattern and texture, and play wildly.

In the wake of COVID-19, Smethells found herself packing up her south Minneapolis 1920s bungalow and moving her family to Eagan. The new 1989 house was everything she was not, from the oak trim to the beige color palette. For tons of vintage, charm, and color, follow along with her home remodel on Instagram here.

Midwest Home features local makers in each issue via The Collective. Find more on Curated by Jerrod Sumner, founder of Brandtabulous, a Minneapolis-based marketing and brand storytelling agency that specializes in promoting American makers, including the one featured on this page.

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