Say hello to Jenalyn (@mahalmadeco) - our new Ribblr of the Week and the designer behind [Mahalmadeco]
Hi! Happy to have you here, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Jenalyn and I’m 19. I love all things fashion, cute, silly, and horror. I’m currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship, and I am the artist behind MahalMadeCo.
MahalMadeCo is something that although I call it my small business, I’ve been starting to see it as less of a small business, and more of a vehicle for me to share my art with the world. “Mahal” translates to love in Tagalog, and it is also my middle name. Since everything I make is made with love, I developed the name “Mahal Made” when I introduced it to the world on my 18th birthday in February of 2022.
When did you start crafting and how?
I genuinely couldn’t tell you when I started crafting! I had always been an art kid growing up, watching so many YouTube tutorials on how to use alcohol markers, watercolors, and polymer clay.
In middle school, of course, art really became a big part of my personality, and I definitely never fully left it behind. During fall of 2020, I eventually found my way to the famous Harry Styles patchwork crochet sweater on Pinterest. Though I was never a huge Harry Styles or One Direction fan, that was the moment I knew I wanted to start crocheting. I rushed to YouTube to find a simple tutorial for that sweater, and ended up following several of them! I purchased a bunch of pastel acrylic yarn from JoAnn, a darning needle, and a starter crochet hook, and got to work!
And how did you start designing?
I actually started designing clothing in my sophomore year of high school! While I was in a fashion design class, I had ideas for a dress inspired by Red Riding Hood and other designs based around Filipino culture, but they never came to light as a result of the pandemic lockdown. I do hope to bring those designs back in the future if given the resources! I designed and published my first pattern in April of this year: the Lover Beanie pattern! It was a pretty simple design but I was heavily inspired by K-Pop, specifically the girl group NewJeans when I created it.
Do you have a favorite craft type and if so - why?
My favorite craft type at the moment is definitely crochet! I think in the future it could definitely switch to knit when I become more experienced with it, but crochet is definitely where I feel the most at home. There is so much you can do with crochet, whether it’s amigurumi or simple accessories, or full-on fashionable outfits. It’s also proven to be the easiest to learn and work with for me, as I’ve tried both sewing and knitting, but have had my best experiences with crochet. It’s also the first craft medium where I’ve found a community to immerse myself in!
What has been the most memorable project you worked on?
My most memorable project I’ve worked on is definitely my NANA sweater. It’s my most viral project, and it’s also the one that I put the most time and effort into. It was inspired by the anime NANA, which is a piece of media that affected me deeply during the time I watched it, and left a permanent mark on who I am as a person and how I view fashion. It took me 3 months to fully finish it, and I ended up so happy with the final product!
What are you currently working on? Be honest - how many WIP do you have right now?
I was about to say I only have one WIP, but I realized I have a ton, haha! I have a hand-knit freehanded shrug tucked away on one of my craft carts for the next time I have some free time, but for the most part, I’m currently working on making some Sanrio and San-X blind bags for a December vendor event. I’m following @knotmichelle’s 7-in-1 free crochet pattern, and I’ve got a bunch of Hello Kitty and Keroppi plushies waiting to have felt faces!
Which of your makes/designs are you most proud of?
I’m probably most proud of my NANA sweater as I mentioned before, but I’m also extremely proud of a few other makes I’ve put together in the past. One is a super cool freehanded furry beanie commission for my friend mot gumry, another would be the Spider-Man inspired set I freehanded to watch Across the Spider-verse, and I also really love the Graphic Tee Dress I put together inspired by Twinelle and Lifer! My most recent proud project would be the freehanded knit sweater I made for my halloween costume this year. It was a mix of machine and hand knit efforts, with some handsewn lace added to it as well!
What is your usual process of designing?
My usual process of designing usually starts with an initial sketch on procreate, followed by choosing a color palette and placing those colors on the sketch accordingly. Then, I decide what stitches I’d like to use, or if I’d like to use crochet or knit. If the design is a wearable, I take any needed measurements and I usually just get to work with crocheting/knitting/sewing!
What inspires you to create/design?
So many things inspire my art! I love watching movies and getting into new TV shows or anime, though I can be pretty picky on what I really enjoy. I tend to be really inspired by the pieces of media I consume, if it isn’t already obvious by my NANA chart patterns or my South Park amigurumi patterns! I also have a huge appreciation for creative music artists who delve deep into story concepts, such as Melanie Martinez, or various K-Pop groups. I also recently have been inspired by some of Sappho’s poetry fragments, and I’ve got a design planned in the future as a result!
Any favorite song, book or movie you would like to recommend?
If I may, I’d like to recommend a few movies that have creatively inspired me the most. Wong Kar Wai’s Fallen Angels (1995), Vera Chytilova’s Daisies (1966), Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975), David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), and Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas (1990). Growing up as an art kid and always being an art girl, I hold those who have an understanding of color theory so high! These films have some of the most jaw-dropping, life-changing cinematography I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. After watching each of these films, I felt like I had experienced a new form of art. Each is truly such an inspirational experience!
Share a funny story that happened to you recently!
It’s hard for me to name a funny story that happened to me recently, but at my last event, I ended up selling a bucket hat to one of my former elementary school teachers! It was my third time being a vendor for the annual holiday craft fair at my old elementary school, and I was able to sell one of my Boba Bucket Hats to my former 2nd grader teacher. She didn’t recognize me at first, but once I told her she remembered both me and my mom! I gave her a discount and it was a sweet moment.
What is your favorite feature on Ribblr?
My favorite feature on Ribblr by far is the tools they have to help you keep track of your place in whatever type of pattern you are currently working with! Not only can you mark each step off as you go along, but you can also mark off individual repeating rows! It’s just so convenient and helpful.
Pay it forward - your shoutout to a fellow Ribblr
I have so many favorite designers on Ribblr! Some off the top of my head would be:
Thanks so much for being here this week Jenalyn, it’s a pleasure reading about you!
Want to read more?
Check out all our previous featured Ribblrs here.
Want to be our next Ribblr of the week and earn a special badge?
Send us a message and be our next Ribblr of the week (plus earn our special Ribblr of the week gold badge)