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Meet Stacy Summer Malimban

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stacy Summer Malimban.

Stacy Summer, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My journey with macrame fiber art began when I was planning my “Camp Boho” themed wedding with my now husband. It was then that I dreamed of creating a beautiful handmade macrame backdrop that would be hung from a wooden teepee arbor as I marry the man of my dreams. I vividly envisioned elegant yet modern bohemian inspired macrame table runners to dress up our farm tables during our reception as our loved ones gathered together for dinner. Lastly, as a small keepsake for all of our guests who helped us “tie the knot,” would be these carefully crafted macrame keychains for them to take home.

All of this sounded perfect in my mind; however, at the time we were wedding planning I did not know how to macrame, let alone tie a single knot. While on our honeymoon, I mentioned to my husband that I was still interested in learning how to macrame even if the designs I created could no longer be used for our wedding. I had this strong desire to learn the art form and a short while after we returned home, I picked up a few supplies from a local arts & crafts store and learned a few basic knots. From there, I was hooked. Macrame soon became a creative outlet for me and what began as a hobby transformed into a small business. I remember the exact moment when I decided to take that leap of faith in becoming a small business owner. It was post spin class and my sister was driving us to grab some lunch when she suggested that I create an Instagram account to showcase my macrame designs. I immediately laughed at the idea, thinking that no one would be interested in seeing photos of my art flooding their Instagram feed.

After a few words of encouragement, I decided what’s the worst that could happen? I could very well just delete my Instagram account in the event that it did not take off. So there we sat, brainstorming business name ideas while listening to hip hop music in the background. A few ideas were tossed around until I said under my breath, “Knotty By Nature,” and that was the exact moment that sparked it all. I combined my passion for macrame fiber art, my love for nature and hip hop music, and the business name even included a witty pun, it was perfect. Not long after I created my Instagram account, I launched my Etsy Shop and began selling my handmade macrame designs. Fast forward three years later, I am even more passionate about macrame than I was when I first started and I have been focusing on continuing to grow Knotty By Nature.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I would be lying if I said that it has been a smooth road. Running a small business completely on your own comes with its fair share of highs and lows. In the beginning, I struggled with explaining what it is that I exactly do. Imposter syndrome quickly settled in and I had a hard time digesting the opinions of others. The thing about art, at least for me, is that it is so personal. There is a sense of vulnerability when expressing yourself through your artwork and when you showcase your art on such a public platform for all to see and judge, it can be scary. However, amidst the fear of judgment and tough critics, I have also found a community that has embraced my artwork. To be simply put, there is the common saying, “your vibe attracts your tribe.” This has been the case for me. I have found that what I have created and cultivated through my art has been a bright light for many. From handcrafting personal pieces to rejoice monumental moments in life, such as creating macrame rainbow designs to celebrate rainbow babies, to sharing my passion for macrame fiber art through teaching workshops. With anything in life, there will always be those who will try to bring you down, but just know that their negative opinions do not define you and to always pursue your dreams.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I specialize in creating modern bohemian vibes through my macrame fiber art. Everything I create is completely handmade and ranges from home décor, plant hangers, jewelry, and handbags. Being that I was originally inspired to get into the art of macrame because of my “camp boho” themed wedding, my favorite designs to create are statement pieces for weddings. From beautifully handcrafted backdrops, elegant bouquet and boutonniere wraps, bridal veils, and jewelry, I absolutely love turning my client’s boho dreams into a knotty reality! Aside from creating designs, I have fallen in love with teaching macrame workshops. Through my workshops, I can share my passion for macrame fiber art with others in the hopes that they will become inspired to continue creating and exploring their own unique style within the craft.

Due to the global pandemic, I had to pivot my in-person workshops into an online platform to maintain everyone’s safety. Being that my workshops are now conducted via Zoom, it allows the opportunity for me to teach creatives across the United States. If I were to pick one aspect I am most proud of in my creative journey as an artist, it would be that I created something from nothing. With no proper training in how to start a creative small business, I jumped right in and it has transformed into something beautiful. My outlook on life is to seize the moment and jump at opportunities that allow you to grow as an individual. I never want to dwell on the “what ifs.” It is better to try and fail than to have never tried at all because even in our failures, there are life lessons that we can learn from.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
Growing up, I always had a strong desire to try new things. I had a constant thirst for knowledge and was extremely goal-oriented. Although I was easygoing and laid back, I sometimes felt like as if I had something to prove. As I eased into adulthood, I outgrew the idea that I needed to prove my self-worth to others. I became confident and comfortable with my unique individuality and paid less attention to what others thought about me. I find myself being more focused on the present instead of worrying so much as to what is to come. Afterall, the future is still yet to be written and can always change.

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