Happy Saturday, Sisters!!
I am so excited to share today’s post with you all! I had the opportunity to interview Mikaela from The All Saints Shop recently. I originally found her and her sister’s saint based store through Instagram and was drawn to their beautiful and artistic designs of so many of our amazing saints. Hearing their story was so inspiring and I hope you enjoy it just as much.
If you would like to learn more about their business or how to make purchases, please visit their website, allsaintsshop.com, or give them some love on Instagram @allsaintsshop.
And now, onto the interview!!
For those who aren’t familiar with your shop, tell us a little bit about yourselves.
All Saints Shop spreads the Catholic faith through our greatest intercessors, the saints. The designs are reminders of those who have come before us as holy examples and have shaped our faith in a powerful way.
The faces behind the shop are myself (Mikaela) and my older sister (Emily). We currently are studying at Christendom College. I am in my sophomore year, while Emily is in her senior year. We love traveling around the world to walk in the steps of the saints and meet them, praying at their tombs. Combined, we have been to Mexico, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Spain, and Portugal. We cannot encourage you enough to go abroad and experience the history of the Church and her people in this way!
How did you come up with the idea of the All Saints Shop? What inspired you to “take the plunge”?
Our story is something of an accident. Over the summer, I was searching on Redbubble for stickers for my laptop. After an hour of searching, I had many I liked, but was disappointed with the Catholic selection – mainly that there wasn’t a “Verso L’alto” sticker. I made my own simple text sticker. There was nothing special about the sticker, and I never ended up purchasing the design. Some others did, however, which was a shock. I had made 63 cents from the design.
A week later, my sister came home for the summer. I told her about the sales, and then the ideas started flowing. She suggested that I continue creating Catholic stickers for people like us. That night I started throwing together a design. I started with the hardest saint I could think of to see if I could even do such a design. The first saint I finished was St. John Bosco (his hat was the one thing I figured would be the hardest to design). The first design took about an hour and a half, but I was surprised how much I liked it. Next, I moved on to St. Philomena and Our Lady of Guadalupe – both of which turned out much better than I had expected. The next morning I showed the designs to Emily and she loved them! She encouraged me to continue my designs.
For the rest of the weekend, we worked together finish as many designs as possible. I would make the designs, and Emily would critique them. She often told me to keep going or to stop complaining whenever I claimed that I was not capable of a design (most often while trying to design Mother Teresa’s habit).
And that was the start of this great journey.
Do you have a background in graphic design or the like?
I have absolutely no formal background in graphic design. The closest thing to that sort of training would be basic art classes I took throughout my school days. When I was fourteen, I discovered graphic design and photo editing. I downloaded a simple, free editing program and started. Everything I know came from YouTube! It was all for my personal enjoyment. Most of what I did at that time was photo editing. Eventually, I upgraded to photoshop and it has all continued to be a learning process. Sometimes it takes hours to perfect certain elements of a design because I’m unsatisfied with the colors, don’t exactly know how to make a certain shape, or don’t know where to start with a particular saint.
What is your hope through sharing this beautiful art? Your mission?
Our hope for All Saints Shop is to create a conversation starter, not only for the saints, but also for the faith. There have been many moments in my life when something as simple as a rosary bracelet, phone case, or even book has started a conversation about the Catholic faith. Working at a Catholic summer camp and teaching CCD with hundreds of kids especially affected this. During this time, Tiny Saints were gaining popularity, and so we hung them from everything – our name badges, keys, even our bibles. The kids couldn’t get enough of them! The children would ask about the saint, and it served as a perfect transition into a teaching moment. We hope these designs will do the same – be a way to share the faith with anyone and act as a reminder of the saints we are called to be.
When did your love for the saints begin? What prompted it?
Being raised in a Catholic family, we were both sent to Catholic school for our entire lives. I remember learning about the saints all through school, and even dressing up as the saints for All Saints Day parades. Their importance, however, was not clear to me until I entered high school. Both Emily and I started working at a Catholic summer camp and became part of youth group. This was where my love for the saints truly began. I had been introduced to the saints in a real way and learned about their lives outside of a classroom. They were fascinating and it stuck with me.
Who are some of your favorite saints?
This is one of my favorite questions, and my list could go on and on! Firstly, Elizabeth Ann Seaton is my confirmation saint. I didn’t know a lot about her at the time, but since then, I’ve learned so much and see many connections between our lives. St. Francis de Sales’ feast day is my birthday, so he has a special place on my list. Before I knew this, I had started reading his letters during my holy hours, and they really impacted me. Other saints include: Bl. Pier Giorgio Frasatti, Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, St. Faustina, and Bl. Jerzy. As well as St. Joseph of Cupertino—as a student I pray to him often! And, of course, Mary, the queen of all saints.
What would you say to someone who has a hard time connecting with the saints?
Anyone who finds it hard to connect with the saints should commit him/herself to reading the lives of the saints. I think of of our biggest challenges when it comes to the saints is remembering that many of them were regular people, much like us.
How has this business strengthened your relationship with the saints, Christ, and His church?
This business has not only helped me to learn more about the lives of the saints, but it also works to keep my focus on God. Rather than catching myself thinking about a cute cat video I saw on Facebook, stressing over homework, or just letting my mind wander – I find that I’m always looking for new inspiration for the saints. I’m thinking about the saint’s lives, the symbols we connect with them, researching Catholic art and the significance of various elements, and most of all, I’m learning how to grow in the virtues they are examples of.
Lastly, what would you say to someone who wants to share about their faith in a similar way? How would you encourage them to start?
Just go for it. Everyone has a different process of going about startups – some people like to have everything in order while other people start spontaneously and go from there (All Saints Shop has definitely been the later of the two). We live in a world where so many things are possible with the use of technology, so if you have an idea and want to share it with others – just do it. I would also say to keep in mind that patience is key. It takes time to see results, especially when you’re just starting out. You just have to keep loving what you’re doing and don’t give up on your idea too fast because you’ll be surprised what can come if you just give it time. Just do it and be patient – everything else is completely based on how you work best.
I hope you enjoyed this interview and make sure to check out these ladies’ beautiful work!! I know their pieces would make a beautiful addition to your home in many ways!!