The creative world is full of talent, quirky style, and artists who never cease to amaze us. There are ladies who are spot on with innovative fashion, who write beautiful melodies, and whose paintings transport us to new places. We decided that we can’t keep them all to ourselves. Each month, we’ll feature our creative crush, a lady who inspires us with her work.
For August, we want to introduce the creative genius behind 400 Moons, Emily Marlow!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am an artist and designer, born and raised in Mississippi, who has lived in Nashville for the last 9 years. By day, I am the Creative Manager/ Senior Graphic Designer with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum; and my shop, 400 Moons, consumes most of the other waking hours of my day! I live in a little house over in East Nashville with my two beloved dogs; if I can say so, I have been blessed with some of the most inspiring friends and family a girl could ask for.
2. What inspired you to start your brand?
I have always had side projects going, whether it was freelance work for others or projects for home and myself. However, it took me about 10 years to get to the place of truly knowing that my heart is amongst the Crafts. The need to create with my hands is, first and foremost, the root of my art. Secondarily, I have to create items that serve a purpose in one’s home or life. While I have always been making things along these lines, it was not until 2011 that I gave it a name and began to create for sale more of what I was already making. Oddly enough, I started out making terrariums, and along with a friend, had my very first booth at the first Porter Flea Market. It was an odd beginning because horticulture is not my background at all; but it has proven to be an element in my life and work that fits perfectly. As much as I love to work with clay and piece fabric together, I equally love finding the perfect plant to fit into one of my hand thrown pots. The foundation of my shop revolves around one’s home and life, and finds its inspiration, first, in my own home. I am pleased to say that, over the past year, I have been able to shift my products to include a wider variety of selections; and it is exciting to have been able to expand.
3. Favorite thing about what you do?
I mostly enjoy making things that are intended for others to use in their every day, to enjoy and hopefully enhance their day-to-day. I love to have conversations with people about plants and how to care for them… or share how the platter they are buying was made. I think we all want to have a connection with the items we choose to surround ourselves with.
4. Who or what are you most inspired by?
I have always loved to wander around in antique stores. They are a constant source of inspiration for mixing items within my own home, as well as sparking an idea for a new bowl shape or a different quilt pattern. This is a love passed along to me from my grandmother, who had such a beautiful way of decorating her home by using those special pieces in her everyday life, the ones that most of us keep locked away for safekeeping in cabinets and cupboards. Her inspiration plays a big role in my own shop and life.
Visually, I have a handful of blogs that are sources of inspiration. And I never tire of flipping through magazines or even the unsolicited big box catalogs that clutter my mailbox. I have found a texture or a color in one thing that will spark an idea for something completely unrelated. But when it comes to color palettes, Nature is my constant source of inspiration—foods, landscapes, flowers.
As far as other shops and businesses go, there is a handful that I truly admire for the ways they have honed their craft into beautiful businesses: Alabama Chanin, Herriot Grace, Elephant Ceramics, Lena Corwin, and Hammerpress are chief among them. And then there are the ones that are the Ultimates to me: McCarty pottery, from the deep Mississippi delta, is, hands down, my favorite pottery; and the quilts from Gee’s Bend are some of the most inspiring pieces of art I have ever seen in my life!
5. Favorite book? Why is it your favorite?
My list of favorite books range from poetry to large format art books, and then there is a very small list of writers for whom I own every single book. But if I were to say a book that has always been a favorite, it would have to be David Sedaris‘ “Me Talk Pretty One Day”. This was the first book of his I ever read, and I didn’t know what to expect. But there have been few times where, in reading a book, I have laughed out loud, cried out loud, and fell in love with a writer any more than I did when I read this for the first time. And the wonder of it for me is that I never grow tired of it. Or any of his other work, for that matter. I own the majority of his works on audio book as well, and there are countless road trips that have been filled with his reading. To this day, I still respond to each story like it’s the first time I have heard it.
6. What is the one thing in your closet that you can’t live without?
A fitted jacket. I wear them year-round and love how quickly they can make an outfit. Pair a jacket with some black jeans, a silk tank and one of your lovely necklaces and I’m all set to go!
7. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I have always planned to go back to Australia and then hop over to Thailand, if only for the food! I have never been to Greece either, and would love to spend some time there.
8. Favorite travel memory?
Standing on the eastern most tip of Australia. I traveled to Australia with my late husband, who passed away a little over three years ago. We were there to work a 5-day music festival and had the opportunity to extend our trip to explore Sydney, as well as wander around quiet little surfer towns for days. That trip was filled with countless memories, but the afternoon we spent climbing down hundreds of steps and staring out at the ocean is a top one. I remember being in awe of how beautiful life can be, a thought I still have every time I think back on that moment.
9. You can only take 3 things with you on a trip – what do you take?
10. Anything exciting planned for the rest of 2013?
Well, I have a few new items in the works that I am planning to introduce during the holiday season! I am also excited about a few “pop-up shops” that I am planning to rotate on my website by the end of the year, with each one featuring a different small group of curated items. Some of them will be “one-of-a-kind” items; others will only be available for a month or two! Stay tuned!
11. Your favorite piece in the Alice Collection?
There were so many to love, but the long necklaces featuring the keys and pocket watches have to be my favorites! Specifically the Everly necklace. I love the square shape of the watch and how you were able to create a layered effect of more than one necklace while keeping it just the one piece. And if I can add in one more—the Cheshire necklace in pink is a stunner!
Interested in learning more about Emily?