The Wind and The Sail

American Made Since 2011

Laura Stantz

Spencer, Indiana
The Wind & The Sail makes modern plush animals and rattles with a nod to vintage design. Charming & sweet, they encapsulate the joy of childhood.

Tell us about your business.

The Wind and The Sail began three years ago with the making of a fox to commemorate a litter of pups being born outside my office window. That little plush fox opened a vein of creativity that quickly lead to the making of a giraffe, then a walrus and now twelve different animals and 15 different styles of plush rattles. Each piece begins with a simple paper cut out of a general shape. It tends to be something that sparked some creativity in my mind. An amazing PBS documentary, a well illustrated children's book, a suggestion from a visitor to our craft fair booth. That shape evolves and changes as I begin to sew and stuff. Most of the animals are made in separate pieces and threaded together like vintage animals so that the legs and arms move. There's nothing like seeing a customer pick up an animal and exclaim, "it moves!" The Wind and The Sail will continue to grow by connecting with more and more stores, 80 and counting! I want to bring happiness and warmth to the world!

What's the best business advice you've received?

"Less talking, more doing." When I first started my business, I wanted to plan. I wanted to have everything written out, planned down to the very last detail. It kept me from actually making things. One day, someone just simply said to me, "stop talking about it and do it." I did.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.