I began making art for people when I was a child. My mom and grand mom knitted, baked, sewed and always seemed to make a little something to give to a friend, teacher, daughter, the lady at the post office, or simply for someone who needed a lift. Gifts were for all occasions, big or small, happy or sad. I started making things too and I realized that the things I made by hand carried with them my feelings.
The handmade pieces I crafted seemed to speak from my heart more than anything I could say with words.
I started making gifts to sell about 30 years ago in the basement of our home. I made pieces of art from clay and I carved poetry into each. The poems celebrated the people in our lives and special moments we share. I gave my art to friends and also began doing local craft shows and, before I knew it, I had a following of people who collected my handmade pottery. I called them “Messages from the Heart,” because that was exactly what each one was.
After thirty-some years of making art, I am still committed to the original mission of helping people connect one heart at a time.
I have come to learn over the years that connecting, communicating, and belonging are at the core of a meaningful and happy life.
We all simply want to connect, to belong, to love, and be loved.
I make ideas, art, books, cards, gifts, and experiences that offer people a way to reach out and connect in a meaningful and expressive way with someone in their life.
I make all this art because I, too, want to connect more fully and truly with the people in my life.
My work speaks to the good times, the bad times and all the times in between. My words and images are shared with mothers, fathers, grandparents, grandchildren, daughters, sisters, friends, co-workers, lovers, haters, dogs, cats, and even the occasional diva!
My messages are our messages. They are the sayings, the thoughts, the quotes, the feelings, the heart of generations and of our fellow human beings.
I’ve had a full and treasured life and I am so thankful that I have been able to make things that have touched others in a positive way. I am so grateful for the stories that people have shared with me that detail how my work was given and why it was given in the service of trying to make a heartfelt and real connection.
I’ve found my purpose and I look forward to creating and making things everyday. Each one of us are the artists of our own lives and we have the great privilege of creating the life we imagine.
Enjoy, explore, and wander through the pages of this site. I hope your find an idea, a saying, or an image that touches your heart.
All my best,
Sandra Magsamen has touched millions of people, one heart at a time. Her products have been warmly embraced for over 25 years. As an artist, art therapist, mom, and award-winning author, Sandra uses her own creativity and spirit to design gifts, books, and collections that help people express themselves and connect with one other. Sandra reminds and teaches us to explore and experience each day with more heart, meaning, purpose, and joy.
In 1987, Sandra began creating her own art in her kitchen to commemorate the varied experiences and inspirations embedded in everyday life. She created a collection of pottery for her newborn daughter as a gift of life lessons. This gift became the essence of her life work.
In response to a growing demand for her handmade originals, Sandra founded Table Tiles, Inc., her handmade gift company in 1991, which, in less than a decade, expanded into a multimillion dollar gift business.
In 1997, she began licensing her ideas. Since then, she has designed successful collections for national department stores, mid-tier, specialty, and mass market through her national lifestyle brands From the Studio of Sandra Magsamen, Messages from the Heart, Wishes & Kisses, and Treasured.
Sandra’s reach has grown both in categories and partnerships over the years. Today you can find her successful greeting card program in over 10,000 U.S. Post Offices as well as Office Depot, Barnes & Noble, and various other outlets across the United States. Her gift, accessories, and jewelry collections can be shopped in a boutique setting at JCPenney, regional department stores, specialty stores, and Walmart.
In 2013, Sandra partnered with online retailer 1-800-Flowers and their sister companies Popcorn Factory, Cheryl’s, Fine Stationery, and Fannie May to design exclusive collections for their customers. Sandra has said of the collaboration, “1-800-Flowers wants to help connect people and so do I, so our partnership is one of deep understanding and shared commitment.”
Sandra is a best selling and award-winning author of over 55 adult and children’s books and has sold over 2 million copies to date. Her children’s books consistently rank as best-sellers at Barnes & Noble, Target, and Walmart and are additionally sold nationally at wholesale clubs, specialty markets, and online retailers.
Sandra’s signature lifestyle book, Living Artfully, and “Living Artfully with Sandra Magsamen,” premiered on PBS stations nationwide on December 2006. Sandra has been featured on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, Oprah Magazine, Woman’s Day, Woman’s World, In Touch, US Weekly, and Life & Style. She is a featured columnist on Oprah.com with 200+ articles.
Personalization is a natural extension of Sandra’s work and in 2014 announced partnerships with Walmart.com, TysToyBox.com, and 1800Flowers.com to bring them personalized product for their customer. Sandra is also developing a personalized publishing program with PutMeInTheStory.com launching Holiday 2014.
Sandra continues to create and collaborate with new partners. She shares her time between her home in Maryland, near where she grew up, and her studio in Vermont, living artfully with her family.
About Hannah Magsamen Barry
Growing up in a house in the middle of the countryside with two visual artists as parents meant that I inevitably ended up spending most of my hours after school and summer holidays painting, drawing, sculpting with clay, getting messy, learning to load kilns with pottery, mastering the art of glazing a plate, expertly centering a bowl on a potters wheel, and never even questioning that this wasn’t what other kids were doing too.
Being an only child with parents who were just beginning a business in the arts meant that I was taken just about everywhere my parents could get away with, and this included hiding me behind their booth at craft and trade shows in the early 90’s so they could sell their work when there was no babysitter to be found. As the creative spirit was so alive and encouraged in my home as a child, I have never been able to separate what about the visual arts appeals to me naturally and what about it just feels like home, but in any case – it’s what I love.
Having focused my undergraduate studies in anthropology and the visual arts (specifically sculpture and printmaking) I spent the first years of college and post-college working for international aid organizations, primarily in the areas of migration, human rights, and water and sanitation.
About two years ago, I felt the need for change, a big one, and so I moved to Paris to study for a Master’s degree. I graduated in the spring of 2014 with a degree in Global Communications.
Today, I proudly combine my experience in international branding and communications, the visual arts, and design into working with the company that my mother created over 30 years ago.