MAKER: JEN MOULTON
I immediately bonded with Jen and our mutual love for the female powerhouse HAIM :) Her design studio Moulton ATX features beautifully crafted everyday objects that improve daily living with a NEW collection launching this week!
FAVORITE SONG/ARTIST/ALBUM FOR A SPARK OF CREATIVITY
I tend to listen to the same album or two over and over when I want to get focused and in flow. Currently, my go-to’s are Haim’s Days are Gone and James Vincent McMorrow’s Early in the Morning. I also listen to lots and lots of podcasts. My current favorites are The Tim Ferriss Show, StartUp Podcast, Up and Vanished, On Being, How I Built This, and How to Be Amazing.
BIGGEST DEBATE OF ALL: COFFEE or TEA, BE SPECIFIC ;)
Tea! I’ve never even had a cup of coffee. I don’t like how it smells and I really don’t like how it tastes. I go through periods of drinking green tea and black tea. I generally like hot tea with honey in the mornings and iced tea with lunch/on hot afternoons. I’m also an extremely basic tea drinker - I prefer plain black and plain green tea, though I love a nice rose tea.
FAVORITE LOCAL CURATED BOUTIQUE
I have a few ;). Kettle & Brine is beautifully curated, thoughtful, and real. The owner, Tarica, is incredibly kind and has amazing taste. I also love Nannie Inez - it’s full of Scandinavian designs and it is just a beautiful and inspiring space. The owner, Deeyn, is warm, kind and personable. I looked to Tarica and Deeyn a lot when I was opening my shop in November and I have an even higher level of admiration for them now that I know what goes into opening and operating a shop. A few more: Byron & Bue (my shop mate!). Outdoor Voices is just an inspiration for me as a lifestyle shop and excellently executed branding (their leggings are also the best), Take Heart, Olive, Sunroom, I could go on!
GO TO MID-DAY SNACK or ROUTINE FOR CREATIVE FUEL
When I’m feeling stuck I generally find that going for a walk or run (and not listening to anything) moves whatever is stuck. I’m (still) learning that in order to do my best creative work I need to fill myself up first - this looks like being fully rested, fed, exercised, etc.
WHAT OTHER ARTISTS HAVE YOU LOVED COLLABORATING WITH
One of the best partnerships/friendships I’ve experienced is with my pal Becky Simpson. We started as accountability partners four years ago when we were both getting started and that process of showing up weekly, supporting each other, and sharing successes and disappointments has turned into one of the the best friendships in my life. Whenever anyone asks for my advice I tell them to find an accountability partner - which to me is someone that is about where you are and is committed to walking paths with you. That’s it - you don’t have to be good friends or know each other well. You just have to be accountable to each other and in doing so, you’ll learn to be accountable to yourself. Tell them your goals, share your successes and failures, talk about your dreams, tell them your plan. They’ll cheer you on, offer insight you might not see, keep you accountable, and stretch you a little more than if you were on your own. It might last six months, it might be a few years, or they might become one of your closest friends.
HOW HAS THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY SUPPORTED YOU
I wrote this a few years ago and it still rings true: This community that you give to will become your cheering squad, they will give you feedback on your new product idea, parts of them will rub off on you and you’ll change for the better, etc. It all starts with a connection– a kind word, an instagram comment, a common friend. Don’t be afraid to reach out and create a genuine connection with them. So often we think we are competing with each other or that we need to guard our knowledge but the opposite is true– sharing your process and your knowledge builds your expert status, attracts people to you, and others will likely react in kind. The world would be a much better place if we spent our energy on giving rather than guarding
WHO DO YOU FOLLOW FOR INSTAGRAM INSPIRATION
Lately I’ve been really inspired by and interested in photography. I find I’m drawn to photos that have light play, are moody, and a strong point of view by the artist. Accounts like Alice Gao, Jamie Beck, Ashleigh Amoroso (one of my best pals!), Lucy Laucht, Jessica Comingore, Nikole Herriott.
I’m also drawn to really accounts that say a lot about the person and feels really them, if that makes sense. Like you get a sense of them and their sense of humor/personality. Some current favorites are Friend Assembly, Becky Simpson (another of my best pals), Emily Blincoe, Mary Beth LaRue, Oliver Jeffers, Jude Sue, Satsuki Shibuya, Karen Sofie. I could keep going!
I guess I’d sum it up that I’m feeling less and less drawn to curated accounts and much more interested in accounts that say something about the person, their point of view, where they are in life and find it a bonus if it’s beautifully curated. (If I’m being honest, I think this might have to do with what I’m going through personally. I’ve put a lot of focus on curating my business and my online presence and I guess I’m going through a transformation where I’m letting that go and trying to put more of me in my business, if that makes sense.).
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT SO FAR OF YOUR CRAFT
This is an interesting question. I feel like each milestone is a new most exciting moment! I think the most momentous accomplishment so far was opening my brick + mortar shop in November. But I also think that I’m always chasing the next most-exciting-moment - I don’t think anything feels better. A few recent exciting moments were receiving samples for the spring collection and completing my first fully custom wedding suite.
WHO HAS HAD THE MOST CREATIVE INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE
My family. I am a fourth generation entrepreneur and come from a line of creative women. As an adult, I find myself exploring mediums that I was exposed to as a kid - jewelry, leather, wood, painting, textiles. I think my early exposure to the arts as well as learning trades from my family drives my interests in preserving trades and creating work that persists.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR DESIGNS
I’m always working to improve how I communicate the inspiration and heart that fuels my work. It’s really hard to do well I think! I haven’t really nailed down an elevator pitch about it and usually fumble through a meandering explanation. I’ll do my best here to be concise ;).
So much of what I am drawn to create ties directly to my childhood. I don’t remember my childhood as particularly happy or easy but I do remember lots of creative time and learning different mediums. Looking back, everyone in my family had a creative outlet that they tinkered on. And I think all that tinkering planted seeds that have been sprouting up since my early 20’s.
I can tie my interest in jewelry and creating heirlooms to my grandmother’s wedding rings. I remember being very small and feeling drawn to them. I think it had to do with the meaning more than the actual rings. The concept of choosing a memento that represents so many feelings and shared experiences, of choosing between a lot of minute details to finalize the design (and what that design says about your and your partner as people), and investing some money but also your hopes and dreams for the future into a simple metal ring. I think that’s what I was thinking about when I would hold her rings in my hands, look at the engraving, and play with them.
That’s where I started back in my mid-20’s and my roots are still there. I currently create ready-to-wear collections twice a year and work on custom projects. I love that people come to me with a beautiful story when they want to create a special heirloom piece and that customers buy a piece from each collection that they see themselves passing on to their daughter/granddaughter someday.
I think, for me, it always comes down to creating objects that preserve and persist.