Hazy Mae didn’t steal the cookie from the cookie jar. Rather, she reinvented it. A few years ago, inspired by a cookie jar she received as a gift, the artist-slash-business woman joined a ceramics studio and began an empire of historically, culturally, and imagination-inspired handcrafted cookie jars. From fashion icons, Iris Apfel to Grace Jones, and fun original characters like Cactus Girl and Busy Bee, her array of options has something to offer everyone. While the jars themselves act as centerpieces and decor (along with snickerdoodle storage) to owners, Mae also projects her creativity onto canvases, drawings, and animated films of her characters. For those who prefer flowers to flour, Hazy sells a line of vases, complete with the same charm and personality as her jars. It takes more than an idea and artistry to become a successful New York businesswoman, however. Mae has built her brand through marketing at major trade shows, and collaborations with designers, interior decorators, and boutiques who increase exposure and excitement about her functional art. The cookie has certainly crumbled in Hazy Mae’s favor, and deservingly so. Meet the cookie jar queen in our #MakerMonday below, and find a place for your pastries at www.hazymae.com.
Andrew: What’s your wakeup ritual?
Hazy: I wake up at 6-6:30 and help my younger daughter get ready for school, and put on my running clothes take the subway and the bus 45 minutes to her school and run back home. Once I’m home I will do a yoga video and then meditate for 10-20 minutes and free association write and sketch for 5-10 minutes. Then I write a love letter to my boyfriend and a love letter to my older daughter, then text it to them. Then I usually run back out, it’s only about a 10 minute run to get coffee and breakfast and walk back with it, and then I get to work making cookie jars.
Andrew: What’s your go to bed ritual?
Hazy: Stay up and make cookie jars til I drop. Which is always much much later than I should be going to bed.
Andrew: How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Hazy: I told a couple people this questioned and they all laughed and said “you don’t!” So, haha… I guess that answers that. But I love to get beautiful clothes, and eat great food, and I research obsessively about different things I’m interested in, I run and do yoga and meditate. So I think I do those things to feed the work that I’m making, and to me that’s a real work life balance. But I mostly work constantly and I don’t sleep a whole lot, and making cookie jars takes up the majority of my time and my mental space, and probably during conversations with me that’s most of what you’ll hear about. But I do that because I love it and it’s the most fun thing for me, and I think- I hope- that the people in my life feel loved by me, and that when I’m with them I’m present with them.
Andrew: Dream country to work in? Or dream project to take on.
Hazy: I’m obsessed with France and I’m trying to learn French. I’ve never been but I’d love to do Maison & Objet in Paris, or an interactive pop-up cookie jar shop during Paris Design week.
Andrew: Vintage or new?
Hazy: I like vintage-inspired new.
Andrew: Style (or design) icon?
Hazy: There are so many, a lot of the people I make cookie jars of are my favorite fashion icons – like Coco Chanel, Grace Jones, Iris Apfel, Georgia O’Keeffe, Karl Lagerfeld, Vivienne Westwood also design icons whose work I love are Kevin O’Callaghan and Louise Fili, also Kelly Wearstler, Elsa Schiaparelli, Gary Panter and Wayne White who designed Pee Wee’s playhouse, I want a house like that one day.
Andrew: How would you define your work in three words?
Hazy: Fun Whimsical and Joyful.
Andrew: Favorite piece of clothing you own?
Hazy: I love all of my clothes, I have this Burberry Prorsum crop coat that I especially love and also my Burberry silver boots that match my cookie jars. And I also have a huge collection of Ted Baker dresses that I love, wearing them I feel perfectly myself.
Andrew: If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?
Hazy: Make more new designs for new cookie jars.
Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Hazy: I would tell her to stop caring so much what people think of her. That she’s going to go through so much, but it’s going to be okay, and her dreams will come true. To love herself more. And that all those people judging her and making fun of her, she’ll eventually look back and feel bad for them. But if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t be this crazy inspired grateful person I am now maybe, so I’d probably tell her- you’re really interesting and talented, I bet you’ll be really great at something one day. I would’ve liked that.
Andrew: A book that everyone should read?
Hazy: I read a lot and listen to audible constantly while I work, and there are a lot of books I love, fiction, non-fiction, everything, but the book that changed my life in the most was May Cause Miracles by Gabby Bernstein.
Andrew: Best gift you’ve ever received?
Hazy: My first cookie jar was a gift that inspired this whole thing. I love it as much now as I did the day it was given to me.
Andrew: A skill you’re working on mastering?
Hazy: Getting 0% of my cookie jars to blow up or break in the kiln.
Andrew: Favorite scent?
Andrew: Last piece of content you consumed that made you cry?
Hazy: I am a hopeless romantic and dramatic so I cry a lot, even commercials when I’m feeling especially grateful. Plus I actually have a thing that almost my whole life I didn’t know was a thing- I tend to hang around very funny people and so I’m laughing a lot and I cry so much when I do, tears streaming down my face, and one day I looked it up because so many people say wow, you cry so much when you laugh, and I found out on the internet that I have overactive tear duct syndrome. But the last thing that made me cry cry was when I opened my mother’s day gift from my older daughter and it was a pillow she made by hand of my main cookie jar character Mamo as a surprise, I was so surprised and I cried my eyes out, happy tears.
Andrew: Who is your ideal client?
Hazy: People who are super stylish fun-sophisticated, a little eccentric and bold. Art and design lovers who enjoy life and like to smile.
Andrew: What are you most excited about at this time in your life?
Hazy: I’m very excited to see where this cookie jar adventure will take me. Before I started making cookie jars I used to feel so overwhelmed with life like why are all these bad things happening to me? And I changed my way of thinking to- bring it! It’s all going to be okay and I can’t wait to keep going on this day after day. I feel such gratitude now and my life keeps getting better and better and I know it’s because I write down and think of what I want while feeling thankful for what I have.
Andrew: Your affirmation for today?
Hazy: Every day in every way my life gets better and better.
Andrew: What is one Instagram account you can’t live without?
Hazy: Hands down Ashley Longshore- she’s a great artist, she’s outrageous and funny, she’s got great clothes and jewelry, she’s a fashion icon and she’s rich and beautiful, she supports so many other artists. Mostly she’s a kind and brilliant businesswoman. She’s 100% unapologetically herself and I love it.
About The Maker | One Tuesday a gift package was delivered to me, and when I opened it I found a sweet boy bear Cookie Jar inside. I was instantly smitten- the size, the character, the utility- so I- sort of obsessively- started collecting them, and collected almost a hundred vintage cookie jars.
With all of the Cookie Jar characters around me, I started making paintings and drawings and animated films of my favorite ones. Then one day I decided that I wanted to make my own Cookie Jars, so I started sketching ideas, and joined a ceramics studio and absolutely fell in love with making them.
Now with the love of art and design and great characters, I hand build each fun and functional cookie jar in limited editions of 10 for interior designers, art collectors and beautiful shops and boutiques and interior design showrooms all over the country.