The Nature Of: Marisa Wilhelmi Designs

Returning for her fourth Heartmade market is one of our biggest cheerleaders, Marisa Wilhelmi! We love her spirit, her heart, and especially her ART! (Editor’s note: apologies for the accidental poetry. 😂) We were dying to know what goes on inside her head, so we thought, what better way than have her answer our questionnaire? She did not disappoint! Come see Marisa and experience her explosion of beautiful personality that comes out in every piece she creates — she’ll be at Heartmade on May 4th from 10-5PM!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

My idea of happiness can be divided in 3 categories: Eating great food, not having to yell at my kids, sewing like a maniac in my magical room. 

Which living person do you most admire?

Mmmmmmmm... My husband: He is patient, a great dad, humble, hard worker, puts up with my craziness and he is pretty much the calm that I need when I want kick people in the eye. (thanks Morrissey, that’s a great idea

What is your greatest extravagance?

As right now, I would say Rothy’s shoes and buying fabric online (like... one fat quarter away from being featured at a Hoarder show

What is your current state of mind?

I have been working like a maniac, sewing, sewing sewing, and I lost my voice. So, I would say HIGH on the adrenaline for the market (but in silence).

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

I guess every virtue has its place, and no, I am not trying to stay on the fence, but... I can’t choose 

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Oh boy... my flabdominals. FOR SURE!

What is the quality you most like in a man?

A nice gentleman goes a long way! 

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Sincerity! Authenticity! Being real! 

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Ma Che Cazzo!!!! (cursing in Italian)
Ah caralho! (cursing in Portuguese)
Guys, STOP!!!!!! (at my kids) 

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband, this man puts up with all my Latin boiling blood, my inner Tasmanian devil and our gremlins!

When and where were you happiest?


Spending time at my grandma’s house as a child, she used to let me eat all the shit my parents denied me.

Then, when I was about 20 something, back in Brazil, when my grandpa was alive, we used to meet to eat pastries and drink espresso together. 

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to know how to sketch. I pretty much mess up my stick figures. 

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

Maybe to be a little more patience, perhaps. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Growing up, I used to hate English at school, because I was SO MUCH BETTER in French. So, fast forward the years, when I met my husband I had to learn and I pretty much taught myself. Another thing that I feel proud of, leaving everything I knew behind to follow my heart. 

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing what would it be?

(Laughs) that’s a fun one. A little “slap, trap resistant” fly. So I would lurk around. 

Where would you most like to live?

France was pretty amazing to visit! I think would be a cool place to live. 

What is your most treasured possession?

Oh. All my Anna Maria Horner fabrics!!!! And a little box with my grandpa’s sewing supplies that I receives when he passed away. He was a tailor. 

What is your most marked characteristic?

I curse a lot! Like A LOT! And I am known for not faking shit, what you see is what you get. Life is too short to pretend, to lie, and sometimes people get scared (intimidate) by it. 

What do you most value in your friends?

Making themselves available for the relationship! 

Who are your favorite artists?

My favorite fabric designer is .... (drums) ANNA MARIA HORNER!!!! (every time I say her name, a start is born in the sky)

I love John Mayer.

I cried when I saw “The Scream” from Edward Munch.

Ah!!!! Maia Leppo, a delightful metal smith that makes kick ass jewelry!

Also, Jon-Michael Frank, he is a male version of me if I could draw. 

Which local artists or makers most inspire you?

I have a very dear friend/muse named Lisa Sacaris! She is beyond talented and her dyed scarves and pieces make you want to fill your bath tub and just immerse in it. 

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Mmmmmmmmmm... there’s a Brazilian writer named Castro Alves and I think we may have met each other in another universe. 

Who are your heroes in real life?

My parents!!! Both came from poverty and were able to give my sister and I a very good education, fighting every step of the way. I remember seeing my dad who is a car mechanic carrying his heavy tools to go to work by foot (when we didn’t have a car) and my mom crocheting and knitting during the night to sell her pieces to gather money to pay for my school. 

What are your favorite names?

Ahhh Marie Claire and Benjamin! 

What is your motto?

You may know my name, but you don’t know my story. 

From Vanity Fair: "The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature." We've taken the original Proust Questionnaire and modified it a bit for our artists and makers so that they can share more about themselves with all of you. Check out the series to see how they all answered.