End of 2019 Silke Avanici came to visit our Atelier and sat down with Muriel for a few questions. You can see the original article on the chixxs on board website with all the pictures and it s glory... and if german is not your language, you can find the translation down below:
Translation by DeepL:
MAMU Skateboards - the woman behind it
Out of a newly discovered passion and lack of money, Muriel Wirth discovered one passion after the other, which still shapes her path today. Muriel is self-confident. And fearless. She produces hand-made skateboards under the brand MAMU Skateboards, and in this still male-dominated profession, she never lets anyone get under her skin. She designs the entire production process herself: from pressing the wood in the self-made press, to sanding, designing, painting and assembling.
To get it straight away: What is MAMU Skateboards anyway?
My therapist, my compensation. The possibility to pack all creative into something productive and give it a platform and challenge myself. It is also always something completely different depending on my life situation, because it has developed and formed completely naturally, depending on how I have used it, i.e. what I needed in the different moments.
So MAMU is much more to you than just skateboards. What does that mean in concrete terms, how do you "use" it?
During the construction process of my first longboard I already noticed that it is much more than just a fun project. Unintentionally I have dealt with myself very hard during the work. The work with wood as well as with paint needs a lot of concentration and sometimes has something meditative about it. I can think and feel especially well and let my emotions out. When I look at the products I have made, I know later exactly how I felt. So every project is very personal. The style has changed a lot over the years, just like me. Sand paper and brushes are my therapists. The projects are adapted to my needs, so MAMU is a tool for me in many aspects.
You have discovered through one passion, the next. How did it come about?
In 2014, I participated for the first time in a Chixxs on Board Workshop for longboard beginners. I had my "mind blow" moment there when, I rode down Rigiblick. Thats how I discovered my passion for skateboarding. At that time I was there with a cruiser and immediately realized that I needed a longboard for what I would like to do. But at that time I was still studying and had absolutley no money.
Which is why I started watching YouTube videos and then put the diy project into my head. When I told my boyfriend Matti and his roommate about my project, they first said "never ever gonna happen", I had no idea how to bend wood and I had never worked with wood before. I simply said I would do it anyways, help me or not, and so he helped me.
We built Oskari, my first longboard. Back then it was all about having one. But when it was finished I realized how sad it was that it was over. We made another one for my best friend and already started thinking about how we could change the process.
The creative vein also only came with time. Since Matti, who already comes from the creative industry, didn't have time for the design at the time and I couldn't wait, I then painted Oskari with coloured pencils. It was a very emotional time because I had never really painted before. I worked even more with geometric doodles and painted for nights on end, and I was able to process so many things that were on my mind. So actually, parallel to building a longboard, my two other passions developed: working with wood and painting.
How did it go on for you when you realized that by pursuing your passions a product is created?
In 2015 I had a lot of time because I broke my foot. I started building boards for friends. I also started to develop my creativity. I was able to set up the basement compartment of my former flat share as a workshop, built myself a better press and made a website. I tried to finance the new press with dyed socks and self-made sunglass straps.
In 2016 we sold our first products in Frau Gerold's garden. Over time, more and more ideas and products were added, but I always produce what I enjoyed at the time. Today I work 80% as a physio and have the #mamumonday. In reality, however, Friday evening, all Saturday, all Sunday and all Monday is MAMU day and I could also imagine investing even more time in it in the future.
What does "MAMU" actually stand for?
Mamu is made up of Mattis and my name. It is also the Finnish abbreviation for "foreigner". Since one of us is always the foreigner (Matti is from Finland), this was the decisive reason. But all in all the name was more of a gimmick in the beginning and was created as a joke. Actually I plan and build the skateboards by myself and Matti helps me from time to time when I need support.
I find it inspiring that you take the time to do what you really love. Many of us today are often stuck in a job that doesn't fulfill them. What message do you have for them?
It doesn't matter in what context that you pursue your passion. It doesn't matter if you haven't discovered it yet. The important thing is that you try new things and learn to find an outlet for your creativity and find what suits you, no matter in which area. Creativity isn't something you just have, I'm proof of that."
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator