Sweet! You’re here. I was hoping you’d stop by. Hurry, hurry, the show’s about to start. Grab a virtual cupcake (or two) + put on your paint stained pajamas. It’s time.
My name is Mayi Carles + I’ll be your host for this mission. Destination: Your metaphorical North Star. Yes, that one. The one that keeps you up at night. The one you think about in the shower. The one that lights you up when you talk about it. Exactly.
You might be tempted to ignore it. You might choose to never seek it, after all. You can convince yourself that your dream really isn’t that big a deal. Well… you can try, but something magical will be lost + all you will feel is emptiness.
Following your dreams is risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on them. Owning your story + claiming your legacy is the bravest thing you’ll ever do.
Of course on your way there stuff will get in the way. That’s why I’m here!
My goal is quite simple: I want to help you turn the messiest events in your life into a story of triumph.
Here at HEARTMADE we’re unlearning how to be perfect so we can be gorgeously human, flawed + fabulous.
There is power in being vulnerable + failing to your way to succeeding.
There is power in showing up to the dance floor + bringing your dorky moves.
There is power in looking silly + not caring that you do or what other people think.
Your “imperfections” are our greatest business asset. Your disobedience in rule books + guru formulas will be your competitive advantage.
So c’mon on over. Yes you. This is YOUR space to spill open your creativity + hopes + fears + shower epiphanies + worries + questions. You’re bound to leave here feeling lighter + empowered + most certainly loved.
do this next
- Check out my Study Guide library.
- Get messy creating something from my DIY Tutorials page.
- Join my 5-Day Life is Messy Challenge… it’s FREE!!!
Hi! I’m MAYI CARLES, a tiny Panamanian artist with a T-Rex heart making a living on the Internet by being myself + owning my weird + sharing the lesson’s I’ve learned along the way, including the messy middle.
Whether you’ve hit a plateau + you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the incompletes in your checklist + you’re looking for a smarter way to get where you want to go or you’re simply in need of a friend who gets it, I’m here, as your personal pocket-size cheerleader to help you transform your hiccups into a story of triumph.
My flagship course Life is Messy Bootcamp has helped 7,000+ save-the-world-in-pajamas types take their brilliant ideas from lightbulb to done + reclaim their neglected bucket lists + turn their multiple curiosities into a healthy money-making business.
Studied Art in Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy. Received a dual Bachelor degree in Communication Studies + Art Theory and Practice with a minor in Art History from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Completed a Masters in Art in Visual and Critical Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois.
I’ve been featured on the cover of HOLA Magazine + U.S News + Huffington Post + CreativeLive + ArtfulBlogging + almost all predominant local publications. And have also collaborated with world-renowned brands like Roxy + Kielh’s + Kate Spade NY.
I currently live in tropical paradise with the love of my life David + our beautiful baby girl Olivia, and work in a lil’ nook of a studio filled with children’s books + bunting flags + vintage toys + party props.
Here are 21 things about me that you won’t find by Googling my name:
- I call my mom everyday.
- When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an immigrations officer so I could stamp for a living. But! When I realized the job involved wearing that hideous uniform, I quickly changed my mind.
- Some days I eat salads + conquer the elliptic machine. Other times, I have an entire pizza all to myself + refuse to get out of my pajamas. It’s called balance.
- I’m T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D of lizards.
- My best ideas come in the shower, while I’m winning arguments in my head.
- I watched too much Pinky and the Brain when I was little, hence the WORLD DOMINATION inclinations.
- People who drill on the weekends make me grumpy.
- Anyone that doesn’t agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me. And I’m gonna win because I have a full Kung Fu Panda range of motion due to the fact that I’m wearing leggings as pants. Ka-POW!
- This is me on the car: Plays music. Sings lyrics. Sings backup vocals. Sings guitar riffs. Plays the drums with the stirring wheel. Head bangs. Moves hips like Shakira. I don’t sing. I perform.
- My patronus is a unicorn.
- When someone is mean, I get this sudden urge to release glitter into the sky above their head + watch it shower over them like a baptism of kindness.
- One time, I illegally crossed the Canadian border inside a trash bucket.
- I have no tolerance for critics who sit outside of the ring. See something you think you can do better? For the love of all things holy, DO IT. Do it + share it with us. Otherwise, shush your pie whole.
- I have never been able to understand what prompts people to take a drug to make a sunset more enchanting or a song more perfect. I really don’t get it. Life, real life, has always been enough for me.
- I’ve always been slightly frightened of elevator doors.
- I carry a San Benito medal in my wallet to protect me from evil spirits.
- I like people who don’t fit inside a box or stay between the lines, but who’s integrity is greater than any rule book. My kind of people.
- I respond to WhatsApp messages in my head all the time. Weeks can go by before I realize I didn’t actually respond, like in real life. I’m working on that.
- I’m an obsessive list maker + avid checkmarker. I often jot down a task I’ve just completed just so I can get the immediate satisfaction of crossing it off. There. I said it. Sue me!
- I don’t understand how people call half a square of dark chocolate a “treat” or “splurge”. If left unsupervised, I could eat an entire batch of red velvet cupcakes. Now that’s a treat!
- Sometimes I just need hubby to hug me + say “I know it’s hard. Everything is gonna be alright. I love you. Here’s 6 million dollars.”
For my convenience + yours, I’ve piled up a list of Frequently Asked Questions to give answers to your burning inquiries + your silly curiosities.
creative businessy stuff
When did you start blogging + why?
I began blogging in June of 2010 as a way to document my messy journey. I wanted + most certainly needed a space to vent + a platform to throw all instruction manuals in the trash bin + give my heart something worth beating about + inspire others to do the same. Plus, I was looking for a job that involved me working in my pajamas 95% day of the time. Blogging seems like the perfect fit.
Your site is beautiful. Who designed it?
Awwwww STOP IT. Ok don’t. I design all my websites but I work with web wizards who code everything for me. I know there are a million You Tube videos + Skillshare classes to learn how to do it all myself. But! I don’t want to. I want to live a long + healthy + heart attack free existence. Thank you very much.
Any tips on creativity?
Ignore everybody. And by “everybody” I really mean the people sitting in the sidelines, throwing tomatoes from the bleachers. Attacking + criticizing is easy. Cruelty is cheap. Pay no attention to these cowards. Sure, they might never experience defeat, but neither will they ever savor the infinite power of victory.
How do you manage to do all that you do?
Oh boy! I wish I could tell you I have an army on Minions bouncing around my studio. This is pretty much one women operation. Although I’ve gotten better at delegating the things I resent doing, like laundry, and hiring professionals who can do the job quicker + better, so I can focus my energy on what I’m great at. I’m also blessed to have inherited my dad’s intensity + obsessive discipline and mom’s self-drive + laser sharp vision. Not so secretly, I also use my Life is Messy Planners to show gremlins who’s the boss + make room for genius work. I would be in a sh*t pickle if it weren’t for my planning system.
I really enjoyed your (insert name of post here) post. Can I share it?
Of course! I love it when others enjoy my posts enough to share them with their friends + network via social media or their own sites. You have my permission. Just keep in mind, posts can’t be copied in their entirety + I do ask for a link back to the original post with credits. Also note that all layouts + tutorials + collages + printables + videos on this blog are created solely for the site, so please don’t reproduce these items without written permission. Thanks for understanding.
I love your whimsical illustrations, can you make me a custom character?
You bet. Send me an e-mail to email@example.com with the details + I’ll send you all the details – availability + pricing.
I make cool stuff. Can you feature me on your blog?
I rarely, if ever, feature just cool people + cool products or cool shops. I’m more interested in your back story + what makes your heart party like it’s your birthday + snail mail. I L-O-V-E getting surprises in the mail. A handwritten letter. Something you made. Your book. Anything that will not melt on it’s way here really. And of course if your gift is a good fit for the blog’s aesthetic + content, I’ll showcase it on a Friday Video Time episode (if applicable) + give you a shout out on my social media channels. My address is:
8619 NW 68th Street #CO142
Miami, FL, 33166
I would like to use one of your images on my blog. Can I?
I’d love for you to share my work on your blog, that’s so kind of you. I only ask that you please give credit to my work + link back. Thanks for understanding.
How you keep your videos coming?
The honest truth? Because I committed to making them every week. It’s incredible what social accountability can do for you. In the back of my mind I feel that if I don’t show up for an episode my readers will think I’ve been abducted by aliens.
You have filmed lots of videos? Which one is your favorite?
Oh man! That’s a hard one. I think this was my favorite one to film + it’s been one of my most watched + loved episodes. I called it: My Pre-Friday Video Time Ritual. Click here to watch it!
I love your videos. What video equipment do you use?
My old school videos were filmed on my MacBook Pro’s built in camera. Now I have a Flip Ultra HD + I love it. For a really long time I placed my camera on top of a flipped trash can on top of my desk, but I’m now proud to say I own + use this tripod. For lighting I use this + this for a glowing look (thanks April Bowles for the recommendation, you rock!).
What’s the one thing you’ve done for your business that changed everything?
I hit the red button behind this camera. I still wasn’t invited to the premier of The Great Gatsby, but I close my studio at noon of Fridays + don’t schedule meeting on Mondays. Cuz, I can. All because my videos clicked with you + a special group of people who believed in me + allowed me to continue doing what I love + changed everything. Thank YOU for being here. Wouldn’t be the same without you.
I love your video animation. Is it something you got done or did yourself?
You’re in for a treat. My brilliant animator, Arturo de la Guardia created a video explaining our entire collaboration. You can check it here. Hope you love it + find it really valuable.
Do you really wear pajama buttons below your outfits?
Hmmmm… next question.
let’s get personal
Is Mayi your real name?
Hmm, not really. My birth certificates says I’m a Maria Alejandra Carles Ferrer. Try saying that faster. Maria Alejandra Carles Ferrer. Maria Alejandra Carles Ferrer. Maria Alejandra Carles Ferrer. You see? Please, call me Mayi.
I’m wondering how you get your hair to look so silky/smooth all the time.
Awww stop it! OK don’t LOL. Although my hair will never be as sleek + gleaming + TV-commercial ready as I’d like, I do have to give credit to my mom for never giving me permission to dye my hair before I turned 18. Surprisingly, by the time I got to 18 I no longer wanted to jump on the painting-my-hair wagon, so what you see is the result of being 100% natural. It also help stay away from over-the-counter hair crap that feels like detergent. I’m a loyal consumer of organic shampoo’s + conditioner’s, Aveda being my absolute favorite brand.
How tall are you?
5’1″, like an Umpa Lumpa but a bit taller.
I follow you on Instagram + love your recipe posts. Are you vegan/gluten-free/sugar-free?
No. I’m not vegan + raw + vegetarian + ice-creamtarian or gluten-free. I’m a person who eats. I used to force myself to fit into little tiny categories to be able to explain to people what I am. Not anymore. Makes me claustrophobic. I eat what makes me feel great. Well, most of the time. I still love me some pepperoni pizza.
You’re cute + smiley. Tell us something about you we would never expect.
I once crossed the Canadian border illegally inside a big trash bucket. Please don’t tell my grandma’, she wouldn’t be proud.
What does Mr. Larrinaga do for a living?
Hubby is an independent insurance adviser + an avid surfer + a BBQ champion. I love + admire him unconditionally, for this + every lifetime.
How do you juggle life as a girl boss + new mom?
It’s not easy. You want to work like you never had children and you want to be a mom like you don’t have a business. I wrote about this here! Plus I shared my top 20 comeback tips.
Where in the world do you live + love + create?
Panama City, Panama… born + raised baby! Panama, in case you’re not familiar, is that tiny little country on the map sandwiched between Costa Rica + Colombia, you know, where the Panama Canal is? It’s sunny + rainy + hot + sandy + beautiful all year round. Living here does give me that bragging right.
My studio/home is located right next to my parent’s + in front of my grandmother’s + diagonal to my aunt + uncle’s + two houses away from my Godmother’s house. So, as you can probably imagine, my work is greatly influenced by my very loving + supportive family. If you ever find yourself in town, please bring me cupcakes!
If I write you an e-mail will you get back to me?
You bet. I might not be able to get back to you as quickly as I’d like to, but I promise I’ll get back to you every time. I pride myself in always being within reach + accessible to my readers. Your interest in my messy ride + this blog means the world to me.
If I send you an interesting question will you add it to this FAQ list?
Sure. Tackle me with your question baby! Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.