Local Couple Gives Back Locally & Globally Through Art
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell
They say love makes the world go round, and Luke Wright strives to exemplify this idea through his Warsaw-based store MudLOVE. Luke’s business, which offers handmade clay mugs and tumblers in addition to jewelry, partners with organizations locally and abroad. It all started in a tiny garage in 2009.
“I was working with my dad doing construction, but he was going to retire so I was looking for a backup option,” Luke says. “I didn’t want to work for somebody else at the time, so I figured I’d start my own business.”
At that point Luke began transitioning from construction to the retail world. He grew from throwing pottery in his garage after shifts of construction work to opening his own store, and working there full time. From the start he knew that he wanted to help people, and he gives the credit for that thought to divine inspiration. He felt called to partner with Water for Good, a charity based in the Central African Republic.
“We give a portion of each product sale to Water for Good that equals a week of clean water,” Luke explains. “We’ve been able to align with them and understand the work that’s being done.”
MudLOVE also works to give back to local residents. Luke’s wife Whitney does so through the couple’s second store, Belove, located in Winona Lake. The shop resides in the same garage that MudLOVE started in, and carries MudLOVE products as well as Bel Kai handmade jewelry. Five percent of all sales from Belove are donated back to the community.
“We basically want to be addressing a need,” Luke says. “We like to give to things we think can help people, typically nonprofits.”
This love for others seeps into every aspect of the MudLOVE concept. Luke describes his vision for the business as putting love into action, and one of his favorite ways of doing this is through his stamped bracelets. Each bracelet comes emblazoned with an inspirational word or short phrase, and patrons can also customize the bracelets.
Customers make many types of connections through Luke’s products – in fact, so many people connect to his bracelets that since opening his doors eight years ago, he’s sold over one million stamped MudLOVE bracelets.
Besides his customers, another group of people Luke values is his employees. He says the store simply would not be possible without them, and his employees love the brand just as much as he does. They share a common goal – helping to spread love through art.
Visit MudLOVE at 122 South Buffalo Street in Warsaw, and give the store a call at 844-683-5683. For more info, visit mudlove.com.
Belove is located at 804 Park Avenue in Winona Lake. Call 574-453-1575 and go to belovegiftshop.com to learn more.