Reduce & Reuse

Alumna Puts A Creative S[pin] on Handmade Goods

Pinterest is a thing of beauty, a magical entrancement. One minute you’re looking at birthday ideas for a two-year-old, and two hours later, you find yourself pinning the twentieth version of a floating shelf for your living room. How you got to this point, no one really knows. That is the abracadabra of Pinterest.

While many of us find it hard to apply the DIY Pinterest creations to real life, Heather (Donarski) Moore ’11 (graphic design) started a small business based on this concept. Her company, Lucy Girl, turns those pin-able images that fill up many people’s dream boards into real-life creations that can fill up a home.

Mixing the Old with the New

Growing up in northern Minnesota, where the average temperature is below freezing for a majority of the year, you have to get creative with how you spend your time indoors. Making things yourself becomes part of everyday life, especially when you have a mom who is an amazing painter and a dad who is a taxidermist. “Both parents are do-it-yourself people, which in turn made it almost second nature to pick up a paintbrush or a hammer and create something,” Moore said.

Whether she was nailing birdhouses together with her dad or helping her grandpa build a deck at the lake home, Moore’s passion for DIY started at a young age. “I’ve always been a DIY’er,” Moore said. “I’ve always had the mindset, ‘Oh, I can totally do that.’”

That outlook and DIY mentality gave Moore a creative edge and helped her excel throughout college design classes. “MSUM helped me have a new spin on design problems brought to the table,” Moore said. “I feel like college showed me that if you want to get somewhere in life you need to work hard at it.”

Lucy Girl, the name derived from a long-time family nickname, gives Moore the chance to combine her love of DIY with her passion for design. “‘Lucy’ came first and ‘girl’ was added later and is still used by my mom’s side of the family,” Moore said. “It’s just got a nice ring to it.” Her goal is to create handmade home goods that are repurposed and made with love. Moore creates a wide variety of products and uses everything from wooden school rulers to old barn windows and everything in between.

“Everything has a story, and some of the materials I use are sometimes thrown out, but taking those items and creating something new is a creative challenge and a story I like to tell,” Moore said. She takes the old and mixes it with the new to create something really special and gives these pieces a second chance at life.

Building Concrete Dreams

Two years after starting Lucy Girl and hitting the local craft fair scene, Moore made a big dream concrete – literally. She, along with a group of six other women, opened a brick-and-mortar store in downtown Minot called The Market on 4th. At the shop, Moore displays a sprinkling of her Lucy Girl creations – screen-printed wine sacks with cheeky sayings like, “I have mixed drinks about feelings,” window chalkboards and handmade candles.

“We wanted to offer something the community didn’t have, but we all wanted a place to call home and settle in,” Moore said. “We all got to hold on to our identity but sell our stuff under The Market on 4th.”

Moore carved her own path, followed her passions and built her own growing business from the ground up. Her Lucy Girl creations will continually inspire with repurposed innovations, a generous sense of community and an indomitable creative spirit.

This story was first published in Moorhead Magazine, Spring 2016.

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