Moon has been making jewelry since childhood, but first began to hone her talent in high school when she made and sold earrings to classmates. In 2008 she officially started a business, and by 2014 Modern Alchemy had arrived. Moon has a strong creative drive and deep desire to move others towards creativity as well, and hopes that the jewelry she creates acts as an extension of her Heart mission: to heal people.
What made you want to start creating or selling?
I always knew I was meant to do something creative, but growing up my interests ranged from painting to fashion design. When I was 19, someone I was close to told me straight up that I was not an artist. I also have a really strong desire to help other people, especially in situations where compassion is the help that's needed. These events plus the direction in which life took me resulted in the need for independence and to be able to support myself while still being able to do what my heart wants to do. And that's why I'm here!
What do you wish someone would have told you when you started? Did you have experience or did you learn as you went along?
I absolutely 100% learned as I went. I made some huge mistakes, I made some pieces that make me laugh now when I look back at photos and how far I've come, but I've grown leaps and bounds since then. And one thing you learn is that you never really stop learning. The one thing I wish someone had told me is to stop comparing myself to other people and just get to work!
What do you love most about your brand? Or the work you produce?
I don't just make pretty things, I literally get into a different mental state (almost meditative) and allow things to flow through me. When I'm working on pieces, I can feel what they need and I can feel when they're done. At times I can even *hear* when they're finished, it's almost like a bell rings in my head. A lot of people hold the title of metaphysical jeweler, but my jewelry pieces are tools of magic for more reasons than just the supplies they're made from. My jewelry is energetic alchemy. And I love when my clients connect with their perfect piece!
What kind of challenges have you had to overcome as a small business owner? As an LGBTQIA+ artist or entrepreneur?
I have been very blessed in my journey to have a free space to create during the first years of my business, and have been fortunate enough to be able to pay that forward along the way. At first I focused my efforts on helping other artists, especially new ones, network in the city and find shows to start attending. These days I can afford to literally pay it forward with a percentage of every sale* going to a different charitable organization every month that centers the most marginalized and vulnerable populations. *For each purchase $20 and over, I set aside $3, and if the sale is $19 or less, 10% is reserved for donation.
How have you pivoted or evolved your business because of Covid-19? // How has Covid-19 affected your creation process?
Art shows? What are art shows? All jokes aside, the biggest change really is not being able to see everyone's beautiful faces at markets and events! I miss the human interaction and being able to talk with folks about the magic my jewelry can work and watch their faces light up when we make a connection that's relevant to them. I've increased my online presence across new websites and the extra time to devote to creating quality content for my social media and polish my online presence has been something I've been grateful for.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I don't really have a "typical" day! Some days I start early, some days I need sleep - I think we can all relate there. My general pattern though is to pack orders and do my non-creative work (like computer stuff) early in the day, while my creative energy kicks in at night. I do most of my actual product making and creation at night. I update my shop every Friday afternoon, so I usually spend the weekend resting and packing orders.
Is this your fulltime job?
Who are some of your favorite queer artists or creators? Queer owned businesses?
Many Many Moons Ago, Allyson Lea Designs, and I have to add Indya Moore to this list because they are a National Treasure - and I hope to learn of many more through this marketplace! Sometimes creators you follow are queer and you don't know it, so it's cool to have a place where they are showcased and you can find and support them easily!
What is something you’re looking forward to in 2021?
Any organizations you love and would like folks to hear about?
This year Modern Alchemy has supported: Austin Black Pride (instagram.com/atxblackpride) National Bailout Org (linktr.ee/nationalbailout) Marsha P. Johnson Institute (linktr.ee/mpjinstitute) Until Freedom (instagram.com/untilfreedom) Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (linktr.ee/myhaam) Hope Food Pantry (hopefoodpantryaustin.org - donations to this group will be sent the first week of December 2020) And we also really love these groups: Black Mamas ATX (linktr.ee/blackmamas_atx) Kass Krew Kollective (instagram.com/kasskrewkollective) National Alliance for Mental Illness (namitexas.networkforgood.com)
One last random thing about you! Can be totally random!
I love wiener dogs! Weens are the best. My family randomly decided when I was 10 that our family dog should be a dachshund (my dad had one growing up, maybe that's why?) and we have been raising and loving their wiggly weird little selves since then. Currently my mom has two and I have one, because my cat keeps rejecting my application for a second dog. Something about being neglected, or some such nonsense. :p I also take care of 3 feral cats named Joey Tribbiani, Sergio Christine, and Grey Boy. Animals rule, y'all.
shop and learn more @ Modern Alchemy's Virtual Booth