Meet The Seattle Duo Crafting Playful Wood Pieces With Passion


Various wooden vessels and sculptures, including a planter, together on a table

Photo: Theodora Teodosiadis

Curvy, organic-shaped wooden tray

Photo: Courtesy Mayest

Two curvy wooden vases with plants coming out of them

Photo: Theodora Teodosiadis

curved detail on a piece of wooden furniture

Photo: Courtesy Mayest

When partners in work and life Anna and Sam Adler first met at a summer architecture program in 2013, they could have never guessed how their paths would converge. After losing touch for years, the duo reconnected in 2019 and soon launched their Seattle-based design studio, Mayest, where they craft playful yet functional furniture and home goods, primarily in wood. Here, the Adlers reflect on their path together.

What draws you to wood?

Sam Adler: I appreciate the solidity of working with wood. It’s so varied and alive, and the tools used to process it are so violent and unforgiving that it requires a patient, calm approach.

Anna Adler: The scent of wood. The labor of it. The delight of unearthing beautiful swirls of grain. We’re both very familiar with being utterly humbled by the constraints of the material.

What inspires you?

SA: We’re very inspired by nature and light and the process of translating those moments into wood. We love to challenge ourselves by letting our imaginations take precedent over what we may think our abilities are. We’ve also been really energized by the process of designing together.

You recently launched a series of introductory woodworking classes. Why?

AA: Woodshops can be hard to access, and we have both experienced them as very male-centric spaces that can be exclusive, judgmental and unhelpful. We want our classes to provide the opposite of that, welcoming others in and providing opportunities to learn and create.

What do you hope people take away from your work?

AA: Everything we do is playful, so we hope some of that energy is embedded into our pieces—a little bit of whimsy, oddity and, we hope, an appreciation for the time and skill we put into them.