Stitched by MN

By Emma Reiser, MUTV-23 News reporter


Many can attest that last year was a year of change, and while tough times can pull the worst from people, they can also show the best. Maya Johnson is a junior at the University of Missouri who took a quarantine hobby – and turned it into a business.

StitchedbyMN launched on the online retailer Etsy just a few weeks ago, featuring Johnson’s custom bonnets. A bonnet, she describes, is a product worn often by the African American community throughout the day or when they go to sleep. 

“I use Satin which is softer than cotton,” said Johnson. “We put them on our head so that there’s a soft texture between our hair and the pillow we sleep on..”

Johnson continued listing the benefits such as less frizz and the retaining of moisture. 

Originally, Johnson did not plan on making bonnets. Her first projects actually included sewing masks.

“I got really lucky [when buying a sewing machine] because that was when they were scarce and people were just trying to make masks,” said Johnson. “I had fun making those too but one day I looked on YouTube and I was like ‘let me try to make a bonnet for my hair.’”

With each attempt, Johnson improved her design. She even prefers her own designs to those at the beauty supply store. Hers “really hold at your hairline,” she states. 

Speaking of designs, Johnson mentioned her sister, who has helped with the graphic designs of her shop and her Instagram. Aside from the help from her sister, and a few early sewing tutorials from her mom, Johnson has pioneered much of this by herself. 

“There’s just something in me that I’m like, ‘I want to do it by myself,’” said Johnson. “There is this urge in me, ‘I can do it, I can do one more thing.’”

As Maya pushes herself to try new things, she insists that school is still a top priority. She doesn’t foresee herself going into the fashion business as a result of her Etsy shop, but she will enjoy her creative outlet while she can.

For more information, you can find Maya’s Etsy shop at and on her Instagram at


Edited by Rachel Henderson

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