A Fresh Face
You know that feeling of washing all of your make-up off at the end of a long day? Or if you don’t wear make-up, maybe the feeling of showering after a day of yard work?
That’s pretty much the feeling I have gotten since making the leap of faith into MoonShine Ceramics and leaving the Trailing Collective behind, for now.
If you haven’t been around with me from the beginning, you might not know much, if anything, about the Trailing Collective. So, I’ll give you a quick summary:
While my husband and I were standing on top of Saddleback Mountain in Maine during our Appalachian Trail thru-hike, I had this massive vision of starting a business that provided space to other artists – to mimic the space that the Trail had given me for 2,000+ miles. I wanted to do everything in my power to set other artists up for success – to sell their work, to encourage their process and to help them find their worth as a maker.
And, for about a year and a half, I was able to do that. Even though I only had a fairly simple website to share, two amazing women jumped on board and brought my vision to life. Sarah Caroline Padgett entrusted me with her beautiful handmade books and Sheila Dresbach of Dandelions in December entrusted me with her elegant pressed flower necklaces.
While it was incredibly fulfilling and exciting to see such a large dream begin playing out in small spaces, it was also incredibly taxing on my heart, mind and body.
As of right now, being a potter is my full-time gig.
I provide for my family by selling my work online and traveling around North Carolina to sell work at festivals, so a lot of my time and energy each week goes towards making sure I have enough inventory to do both of these things.
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of energy to not only market yourself as an artist, but to also try to do that for others at the same time. It’s hard to explain, but I was basically trying to market myself as a new potter to the social media world while also trying to be a collective and, well, it just wasn’t working like I had planned.
Though many of you embraced the two ladies previously mentioned and purchased their artwork, it often got confusing to continually explain the “collective” and why I sign everything “MoonShine”, etc. I
So after a lot of thinking and talking it through with my husband, I decided to rebrand into MoonShine Ceramics and focus on my own brand for now. And, even though it was an incredibly difficult decision to make, I know that it is best for now.
Something that is really important to me throughout my entire pottery journey is to pay homage to the Appalachian Trail and work through the inspiration it supplied to me each step of the way. For a while I truly thought that the Trailing Collective was the only way to do that, but MoonShine Ceramics just feels even truer for me right now.
MoonShine was my Trail name and I have dearly missed being solely known by that name even since we got off Trail.
But, now, I get to work my heart’s work each day as MoonShine and there’s nothing better.