DIYWhere Are They Now?

Design*Sponge Team: Where Are They Now?

by Grace Bonney

Over the past 15 years, we’ve had the joy of working alongside so many talented writers, crafters, and photographers. So as part of our final year, we’re going to be revisiting some of our past teammates to see what they’re up to and how we can continue to follow them and support them in the future. You’ll be hearing from people like Derek and Lauren (our very first DIY editors!), Max, Amy Azzarito, Amy Merrick, Adam JK, Stephanie Todaro, Halligan Norris, Sabrina Smelko, and so many more. It’s going to be so fun to catch up with everyone and see what they’ve been up to! Today we’re starting with Jessica Marquez, who has contributed some of my favorite DIY projects we’ve ever done. Here’s Jessica! xo, Grace

  • Name: Jessica Marquez
  • Title: DIY editor (Jessica created amazing DIY projects for D*S)
  • Where can we find you online these days? @miniaturerhino and www.miniaturerhino.com 
  • Could you please share with us your favorite post/s from your time at DS and why they were your favorite? In 2013 we worked on an Embroidery 101 series together and the French Dot Constellation Runner that I designed for the series is probably one of my favorite projects ever. The runner is stitched with an array of constellations and sequins secured with french knots, so it literally sparkles and is a functional piece of home decor I use regularly for special occasions. Maxwell Tielman photographed the final project and I love how he styled the images. Just a fun collaboration all around! Pretty amazing to see people working on these projects, too.

  • Did you have any memorable moments, interactions or experiences during your time at DS you can share? I’ve learned so much from being a part of the D*S community. I appreciate how much attention was paid to highlighting makers, especially underrepresented communities in design. I feel like there was so much humanity, compassion and vulnerability in what was shared when often online spaces can feel like a glossy highlight reel. As a maker and voice in the creative community it has given me a better understanding of the importance of speaking up, and a great example on how to do so, even if I’m growing into my own comfort with being personal and vulnerable online.
  • What do you remember most about your time at DS or that has informed the work you do now? Writing posts and developing DIY content gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore topics that otherwise I might not have the access or time to delve so deeply into, like the Three Easy Ways to Mend Fabric, Inspired by Japanese Textiles post. This was a topic I was researching and exploring personally, but by working on story I was able to share my growing interest in the topic and spend some time studying and looking at vintage Japanese textiles. From there I continued researching, and developing these techniques and eventually wrote a book on sashiko embroidery and mending, called Make and Mend (Ten Speed Press), which touches on many of the topics discussed in this D*S post.

  • What are you up to now? And how can our community support you and your work these days? Last August my second book, Make and Mend was released, and I had the opportunity to travel and teach on a book tour. That was a dream of mine for a long time! I hope to travel and teach more, so look out for classes, or reach out if you’d like to host a class. I design and create a range of hand embroidery, sashiko and mending kits in my shop, Miniature Rhino, to help people connect to hands-on making wherever they may be regardless of their skill level. People can also connect and check out my work on Instagram, @miniaturerhino.


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  • This is so cool…and I have to say I am excited to hear what Amy Azzarito has been up to!!!!!!! :D

  • I am so glad you are doing this!! I am so glad we get to say good bye to your amazing team across all time all over again!! (And much love to the ones you might not have been able to get in touch for whatever reason… I love the idea of holding everyone who has contributed to our journey in our thoughts for a moment of reflection, and then let them go again.)

  • As much as I love this, it’s also making me sad a little. I’m seeing all the great content I remember reading over the years. Anyway, the Constellation Runner will make the perfect addition to my Passover table–let’s see if I can do it! Looking forward to reading about the rest of the staff.

  • Thank you for this column. I can’t wait to hear more from past contributors, especially, Amy Azzarito and Kate Pruitt. It is a warm way to say good-bye to not just the current DS team but the many that were loved along the way. You will all be missed