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August 22, 2019
Ive had so many of you reach out to me and ask “How did you start?”. Let me be honest, in that I haven’t wanted to repeat the story over and over, sadly but also gratefully I just don’t have time for that…I run a real business now ~ Im a real #GirlBoss. So Thanks to you all…You inspired me to write this blog post on “How I started Moon.Flower.Child”.
This story begins back in 2013. I graduated college after studying at SCAD for Fashion Design & Painting and transferring to finish my degree in Parsons, Paris.
2013 was the year that college ended and the “Real World” as they say all began. I flew out to Hawaii, the Big Island, Pahoa side where all the hippies live. I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into but I knew I wouldn’t leave the same person. I Wwoofed on an orchid farm called Alohilani Orchid Farm, had a truck and somehow ended up adopting a catahoula that I had as my trusty warrior & protector called Moses. He had one blue eye one brown. I had a boyfriend at the time that was part of the reason I travelled to Hawaii. We had been doing long distance for 2 years and needed to find out if our love was going to be the key to our next chapter together. It wasn’t. He left to go back to Tennessee and I stayed on the Island for what was leading up to be some of the longest 9 months of my life. I was heartbroken and lost. A friend was going to Alaska for the fishing season and needed someone to house sit for them, so I gladly accepted their request and had a free place to stay. I found myself out in the middle of nowhere. No internet, no service, just myself, Moses and their 3 dogs and cat ~ In the middle of a place called the Hawaiian Acres.
I could go into so much detail of my transformative time in the Acres but we will stay on course to continue on with the story of the beginnings of Moon.Flower.Child. It was at this point that I had bought myself a sewing machine, found a discount fabric store (mostly housing Hawaiian shirt fabrics) and became somewhat of a hermit in the home. I didn’t know what else to do with my time so I began to sew. Graduating from college and having just pushed out a collection I called the “Spirit Tribe” meant that I was on this train of creating capsule collections and self discovery. I was in the middle of the Pacific, Alone. Alas my Hawaii collection was born. I named it the “Romantic Hawaiian”.
At this point in my life I was having to learn how to have a romance with, Me, Myself & I, I discovered the delicate beauty of the color blue ~ by being surrounded by the calming energy of the sea. I began designing and creating. If you must know about the money and where it was coming from, I sold my car that I had been using in the states for $9,000. When I went to Paris I had no need for a car so I had that money on reserve for this big adventure. I was invited to showcase my work at RAW Hawaii, after having met a photographer by chance in a little food store on Ohau, a woman by the name of Sara Anslow. We had to collaborate. I didn’t know it at the time but I was building the foundations of what M.F.C. would soon become.In December 2013 I realized that my time to fly home had come and I took my return ticket back to the UK. There I set up a studio in my family shed in the back yard. I dove deep into a dark place of being. I lost my way again. I had no idea who I was or where I was going. I slept of friends sofas in London hoping to make the income of a waitress at a vegan restaurant work. It did not. Home was where I was meant to be. Again in solitude and isolation. My siblings were all at boarding school/college and my Mama & Step Dad were working all throughout the day. I got a job bartending and made a small stash of cash to rebuild my reserves (yes the $9,000 dissolved into thin air after 9 months of traveling Hawaii, return flights to and from the UK included!). Anyways. I realized that I needed to transform myself…Another collection was born “Spring Emancipation”. I became deeply obsessed with listening to Emancipator and found myself surrounded by the lush velour of Winchester, UK.
Shortly after the New Year I received bad news that my Setto (Grandma) had ovarian cancer. That was it. The pivotal moment, my escape card. I took all my money a bought a one way ticket back to the USA ~ Baltimore, MD. I packed up all my studio supplies into bike boxes and brought them with me as checked luggage. 4 bike boxes, 1 suitcase, 1 backpack and a 6 hour flight back to the States and I was there living with my Dad (which I had never really done before), present with my Setto who was very poorly, and well, trying to find a job and steady ground to stand on. I got a job at a massage spa, I was the desk girl taking appointments and filling paperwork. I would knit when it was quiet and sketch when it was slow. I continued sewing and tried to start getting into the world of vending. This whole time I had been listing my work on Etsy and selling at a few farmers markets here and there nothing crazy. I wanted & needed to make some money if I was going to continue on this creative venture.
I vended at my first Yoga Festival, I vended at Artscape and at a friends wild parties. Yes all in downtown Baltimore and No it wasn’t my scene. Justin (my now Hubby) and I had met in Hawaii back in the day and kept in touch since then. At this point in our lives he had decided to move up to Baltimore until we realized that it just wasn’t going to be right for us. So alas we moved back to NC where Justin was from and ended up in Durham by accident. Durham is where things really all began for Moon.Flower.Child. I signed up to be a member at the Durham Craft Market…Finally I was accepted to something that could be long term. I would sew sew sew in between working at a coffee shop, doing freelance graphic design, retail at Anthropologie & eventually full time as a preschool teacher. Its hard to believe that I would work my job then wake up at 5am on Saturday morning pack up my gear and head to the farmers market to make about $300-$800 in a short 4-6 hour window. I was starting to make a weekly income for my business that was not actually legally a business…That had to change. I filed for all the legal B.S that you need. Things were taking off. I went to festivals and had a blast. I kept sewing. At this point we are in 2015.
2016 things had to change, I grew tired of the 10x10 life and knew I could do better. My clothing was seeing wear and tear from the outdoor setting and I wanted to create a more upscale experience for my customers. I bought a bus. I needed to do something bigger, bolder, more daring. I spent the winter fixing Meraki up and had her ready to launch Spring 2017.
I had never felt more exhilarated before in my life. I felt like I had finally made it, that my business was finally something. It was incredible to say the least. After 1 year of business “officially” and only $10,000 to build it out and buy the vessel I finally had my own retail store. 2017 was a whirlwind and if you want a recap you should check out the YouTube videos I made.
There is nothing like looking back at these beautiful moments and realizing that I did all that! WOW just WOW! I travelled up and down the east coast vending at festivals and organizing pop up shops in collaboration with other businesses. I was seriously legit! Until the bus started to give up on me. The engine needed a complete overhaul by the time she called it quits and I just didn’t want to sink more money into her after a rough year of ups and downs. So I pushed it through the winter of 2018 until I found out I was pregnant.
Now things really had to change. I decided after so much brainstorming that selling the bus was the best option that I had in order to be able to move forward and have it make sense for both my business and personal life. I liquidated all my inventory and we moved into a tiny house in preparation to move into another bus that we had bought after our wedding in 2017. After selling though all my old product on massive discounts because of the lack of storage and need for income, I found myself no longer able, due to the lack of space, to make clothing. I allowed myself to explore my creative realm and fell into metal-smithing. I found some other jewelers on Instagram and became obsessed. Van Crafted Studio I knew if they had been able to find success in this life that I could too. I had to know how to make these ideas and designs that were in my head. I paid for a 2 day immersive workshop and from there the rest is history. I continued to juggle all the balls and found a way to pay for new tools to start what would be the new direction for M.F.C. I didn’t need space, I could set up a small studio ~ a workbench, in our school bus home and create product from the road.
This pretty much leads us up to today. I have made a lot of mistakes when it comes to running my business. All of which I am grateful for as I wouldn’t be where I am today. I run an online store and make and sell all my goods from the road. I live full time out of a school bus with my husband and baby. I write blog posts (or at least try to) once a month, I am a product photographer, tattoo designer, seamstress, artist, bookkeeper (granted a pretty bad one lol), marketer, boss…all of it. Being a solo entrepreneur can for sure be hard sometimes. I of course do want to grow and hire other creative souls…the vision and end goal for Moon.Flower.Child is something of a Majestic Dream that I know will become a reality when the time and place is right. But until then this is all that I ever wanted. A way to make a living, to earn an income and do what I love to do. Be with family all day everyday making jewelry, wearable art and apothecary goods that heal the soul. I want to share my knowledge and love for self with you so that you can too learn through your own journey to love yourself.
We each have the power to do great things in life. We each have the same amount of time in a day. What you choose to do with it is up to you. Great things take time. This journey of Moon.Flower.Child and where I am now today with it wouldn’t have come without the last 5 years of hard work. I have gone through waves of self doubt, of course, its only natural to ~ But nothing has ever felt more right in my life than continuing to feed this need to create and thrive through Moon.Flower.Child.So with that. I hope you were able to learn a little more on how I ended up where I am today with my business. It by no means was easy and I definitely could never have seen myself here today, but I am and I feel complete, and all thanks to You, my Customers…You have helped this company grow and blossom to become what it is today. Thanks to you ~ following me through my metamorphosis, transformations & evolution ~ You have been patient with M.F.C and share your love by supporting my business. For that, I Thank You. I hope that I can shed this light onto your life so that you too are able to find your way and feel complete. Until Next time ~ BE YOUR OWN LIGHT
February 16, 2020
I am in a dark moment in my life, feeling a bit dreamless as it were and struggling to find what it takes to transition from aimlessly wandering to just wandering. Thanks for sharing your journey, it is comforting to know that darkness comes before dawn, everyone experiences moments of feeling lost, and that the things we don’t immediately identify as seeds are just that. Warmest.
December 01, 2019
Thank you for your story. I appreciate you sharing your journey and it does inspire. I am a single Momma with a creative soul. I have never been brave enough to own it. Working for others all my life, gaining a myriad of skills from construction to retail to caretaking and teaching, ETC… I resonate with your vibe so much, I see you as a woman of many skills and talents and am inspired by your courage as well as your authenticity. I have been working on starting my own business these last three months and you and your little family are the kick in the butt that I needed. Seeing you all live your dreams via YouTube has been a blessing. So bless you all. With tons of love and respect from NorCal. Peace SiStar.
November 01, 2019
October 30, 2019
October 28, 2019
Warrior Spirit Child! You inspire me….Peace/Blessings 👏🏽😇
October 23, 2019
October 22, 2019
October 21, 2019
October 04, 2019
Just wanna say..Congrats on ur accomplishment. May GOD continue to bless you n your family and also keep you safe on your traveling. I love everything about The wondering Boutique it so unique and different..LOVE IT💗
I live in Raleigh …
Many blessing n Love, keep up with the great job..
Peace and Love….your daughter is such a happy baby keep being you…
September 11, 2019
Namaste Juby Justin & baby Azalea. I will be ordering from you very soon. Just a word of Truth love you 3 so much!!
August 27, 2019
I recently found your YouTube channel, and you (and your family) are such a great example. I love how free you are, and I am on my own path of becoming more free. This is more in the spiritual sense. I foster a deep connection with animals and nature, as well as, being an empath. I feel the emotions and energy. Recently, I have been working on how to nurture this while tending to the industrial/corporate obligations, to include my responsibilities as a mother and wife. No matter, I still teach my children to respect nature and life. They are amazing compassionate human beings. My husband is just the same. Looking forward to seeing all that you do.
PS: received my first order, and I love it.
August 26, 2019
Wow!!! I so needed this read right about now… thanks for helping me decide to push out of this slump:)
August 24, 2019
Love your family, keep making me smile everyday 🤣🤣
August 22, 2019
I love your story Juby. I found you a few years ago when looking online about bus conversions and found you and Meraki. Followed your journey with Justin on Instagram and YouTube. Watched you morph from clothing to amazing jewellery. Love where you are and where you are going with JUstin and sweet Azalea. Proud of you girl!
March 10, 2020
February 07, 2020
January 05, 2020
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