By Brenlee Coates (photos by Chelsea Maier)
Chelsea Maier is calling for a revolution.
And she wants it to be personal: right from your home – or from your table, to be exact.
“We’re kind of at that point (with technology) – do we always want things to be like this or are we kind of nostalgic?” she observes.
Considering she’s been scurrying to fill orders since she launched her line of handmade table linens In Plan View in October, it’s safe to say there’s a demand for the ways of the past.
While studying environmental design at the University of Manitoba, Chelsea says she fell into a routine of quick consumption.
“When I was super, super busy, I thought I was only eating for energy.
“We should be eating for nourishment… but also for self-love.
“We have to know how to eat mindfully and how to just have conversation.”
Though she admits she doesn’t stop everything she’s doing to sit down for a meal three times a day, she finds even selecting one of her hand-painted napkins and placing it next to her coffee in the morning brings with it “a pause – even if it’s just for the tiniest sliver of a day.
“It does help you take a breath before you scarf it back,” she muses.
While on a trip to Italy last summer, she was reminded of what indulging in a proper, sit-down meal is all about.
In a centuries-old farmhouse, a multi-course meal harkened back to the days of a well-dressed table, a beautiful meal, and good people indulging in conversation.
“It’s kind of like that ‘you never know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,’” she explains.
“For every meal we had there were linens of some sort. I also just heard a lot of people comment how nice that was and how that added that extra little bit.”
The idea was sparked, but Chelsea had already committed to a big launch for her current project, a line of flowy summer fashions for men and women.
While her clientele is grasping at the colourful printed tanks and accessories, Summerskin Clothing is briefly on the backburner while In Plan View takes precedence.
Not unlikely to be found with unknown paint on her elbow, hands or face, Chelsea dabbles in several artistic mediums, including photography, poetry, and most recently, abstract painting.
She works at the Artful Owl instructing art classes and “getting messy on the ground” all day. A former teacher of hers, Stephanie Middagh, owns the art studio, and lets her house her expansive art supply collection and keep a studio space there, where she builds her In Plan View masterpieces at full-scale first, and then cuts them down to size.
Sadly, after a five-year love affair, Winnipeg will be losing Chelsea to the West Coast in February, when she returns to her home province.
It’s not because she’s missing anything from her experience in Winnipeg, however – other than family, and maybe being next to the ocean and mountains.
“Sometimes I’ll fight with locals about how awesome it is here,” laughs Chelsea.
After planning to stay in Winnipeg for just a year, Chelsea was overcome by the lustre of the Peg.
“I always say there’s a little bit more of a spark of magic in Winnipeg.
“I like how things here persist and there’s always something happening, and it’s accessible to a lot of people,” she says, citing Rainbow Trout Music Festival’s recent bike jam during Nuit Blanche, Raw:Almond and Table for 1200 as examples.
“I love how people work with the constraints of the city to make things beautiful, whether it’s music, the warming huts, or Parlour Coffee.”
With one of her whimsical copper, block-printed textiles promptly displayed in Little Sister Coffee Maker in Osborne Village, it’s safe to say Chelsea is part of that movement.
Though she’s excited for the promise of opportunities that Vancouver may bring, she hopes she and partner Brett Anderson will return to the prairies some day.
“I have a feeling I’ll be back one day. We’re totally destined for a house in Wolseley or a condo on Waterfront or something,” she says.
Her many friends in Winnipeg will be here, with spectacularly well-dressed tables, ready to welcome her back.
Visit inplanview.com for more information or to view Chelsea’s online shop.