A hardworking slacker, a pragmatic dreamer, a selfish altruist, a lover of unusual things. That’s me, or some part of me, Maja Mencel. Since 2014 I’ve been making children’s fantasies come alive by giving them bodies out of pieces of fabric. Other than that I’m trying to grow as a person, and to seek out new challenges to make the world a nicer and more interesting place.

I’ve made it my goal to change stale habits and stay away from beaten tracks, hoping to move beyond well-worn stereotypes. What I’ve been able to achieve so far may be a mere whisper, but I’m happy with that – it’s the whisper of a gathering storm!

Sewing cuddly plushies – is that a passion of mine?

Actually, imagination is my true passion. At one point I decided to use my sewing skills to fight dull, mass-produced mediocrity and the it’s-all-been-done-before mentality. My work involves creating tiny hand-crafted masterpieces that reflect the creativity of children. I give shape to children’s inner worlds, complete with unique visions and characters that I find wonderfully diverse, and delightfully imperfect.

Well, there you have it. Or maybe I haven’t said enough? Okay: The way I see it, I’m living a new and improved chapter in my life – filled with hard work, dull backache and active creation. And the kiddies are thrilled to be able to hug something that moments before was a mere figment of their imagination. My passion is a modest miracle of creation, and it’s jam-packed with people’s emotions…

Maja Mencel (2)

What is my dream? What are my plans for the future?

I’m a dreamer, but at this point in my life I choose action over dreaming. That’s what’s driving me, giving me the courage to face the future – and to look forward to the good things it has in store for me.

There’s nothing better than having things with a personal touch in your life. I want to bring to life the wonderful creatures of children’s imagination, even where their caregivers cannot afford such luxuries: I mean particularly children from welfare institutions and orphanages.

Although I cannot afford to finance such projects myself, I choose to view that as a challenge rather than a problem. I’ve already had some success with a crowdfunding campaign that made it possible for us to create ten cuddly toys for children from a children’s home in Gostynin, Poland. We unleashed a real storm of endorphins – first in my studio, and then again in the children’s home, when the kids finally lay their hands on the toys.

I totally promise to try and cause more storms in the future!