Unique items handcrafted for unique people.
Lady Maggie is a collaborative effort by husband and wife team Richard and Rebecca Clafton. We've taken our love of the quirky (and sometimes geeky) and combined old fashioned crafting with 21st century technology.
Originally, Lady Maggie started out as a sideline business for me (Rebecca) to sell handmade applique pillows and dog accessories. We named the shop after our beloved rescue Pug, Maggie. From the initial offerings of hand-sewn and embroidered items, we branched out into engraved keepsakes such as ornaments.
That first Christmas we offered custom engraved wooden ornaments with silhouettes of pets, personalized with their names as a fundraiser for the Pug rescue where we adopted Maggie. We were overwhelmed by the response and a light bulb went off! We looked for non-seasonal items to create after Christmas and hit upon engraved key chains. Our wooden key chains, with the ability to add a personalized engraved message, quickly began outselling our pillows and dog beds.
We branched out into acrylic key rings, earrings and cake toppers. The business took off as people appreciated our unique designs, and our sideline business became our full-time business. We began to offer our own designs on pillowcases, t-shirts and decals. We can engrave nearly any material, and we offer everything from wooden chopping boards and coasters to custom memorial stones.
Richard, originally from Leeds, England, uses his past experience as a graphic designer and all around IT guru to use the latest software to help him bring his designs to life. While I, a former NASA geek originally from Florida, am able to bring my passion for crafting and handmade creations to the mix. Together, we make things that we like, our friends like, and hopefully our customers like too.
About our materials:
All of our wood is ethically sourced and sustainable. We use the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the Forest Stewardship Council certifications to ensure that we are using only sustainable resources. Whenever possible, we use reclaimed wood. As most of our items are small, we are able to use off-cuts or waste products from other manufacturers, reducing the carbon footprint of these materials. We are committed to creating attractive, high quality items in an environmentally responsible manner.
We use the following wood species:
Bamboo: As everyone knows, bamboo is one of the most eco-friendly woods available. It is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, which means it is a highly renewable and extremely sustainable resource.
Birch ply: Baltic birch ply differs from traditional plywood because the inner layers are solid birch veneers, not composite material. Birch trees are sustainable and considered a renewable resource because they are abundant and fast growing. Birch trees can reach maturity up to twice as fast as oak. There is no destruction or disruption of biodiversity when birch is felled.
Maple, Eastern Cherry, Red Oak, Walnut, Yellow Poplar (Tuliptree): We use these woods for their grain and appearance. These are native to North America, FSC-certified and sustainable wood species.
Sapele: Sapele is a member of the Mahogany family and is increasingly replacing teak (which is not eco-friendly) due to it's hardness and beauty. Previously unregulated harvesting in Western Africa threatened the species at one time. But there are now strict regulations in place and countries such as Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire have established plantations of these very fast-growing, sustainable species of trees. It is not listed on the CITES Appendices of threatened species.
Shellac: Shellac is a natural, non-toxic and hypo-allergenic finish. Shellac is completely edible, and is in fact used in medications, food processing and to coat fresh fruit for transport. This makes it ideal for finishing wood items which might end up in the mouths of children, though we would never recommend using our wooden keyrings as teething rings!
Polycrylic: A small number of our items require a more durable and waterproof finish. For those items we use polycrylic instead of polyurethane. This is a water-based formula, which means our clean-up involves only soap and water instead of harsh solvents.