Go into any creative agency and you’ll often see traces of dream projects lying around: bits of blue tack crafted into figurines on the corner of a desk, scribbled Post-its stuck to a Mac screen detailing the layout of an imaginary website. We’ve all got side projects (we prefer not to call them pipe dreams), but they’re often too time consuming or expensive (or both) to ever make into a reality. Recognizing this, Mother New York has just created a platform to bring these plans to life with a new online store called Mother Made, where staffers can sell the fruits of their personal labors—which they’re also welcome to pursue during work hours.
As founding partner Paul Malmstorm says, “Side projects are important. There are lots of creative folks working here, many with passions outside of the work we do for our clients. So it was a no brainer that we wanted to find a way to support them. Mother simply helps with the start up costs and the individual maker makes the profit. Mother gets the halo effect in return.”
There’s no vetting process in terms of what can go into the store, so right now the projects are what you’d expect if you suddenly set a group of creatives loose—lots of in-jokes, puns, and internet absurdities. A mere $8 will get you a tweet from Chris Roan (who advertises himself as particularly well-versed in top swears, home economics, and rap) or an X-Files lapel pin.
A series of “Blanket Statements” (i.e. quilts) nonchalantly spell out “New Jersey Sucks” and “Babies are the Worst” across intricate patchwork, and the URL “www.secondbesturl.com” is going for just $10 (unfortunately “www.besturlever.com” sold out). So far nine creatives have contributed projects, but that number is rising daily.
As the site says, Mother Made specialize in “Slightly Offensive Overarching Statements, Small And Well Crafted Things That Could Become Conversation Starters, Things That Do Not Exist IRL, Pushing Pixels For LOLs, and more.”
That’s just for now, though: the content could dramatically change because makers are allowed—and encouraged—to do whatever they like. “Too often ideas that don’t contribute to some financial bottom line get killed,” says Malmstorm, “Not here at Mother. We value a sense of play.” For Mother’s NYC staff, it’s goodbye to doodling on sticky notes in between bites of lunch and those long, wistful post-work conversations over beer about ideas you’re too tired to ever bring to fruition.