Not literally, of course. We’re talking ten years of progress, defeats, and passion for clean water. Walk with us as we explore some highlights from the last decade.
In the fall of 2009, inside a tiny garage in Indiana, big dreams are becoming a reality. The man working inside, Luke Wright, wants to do something meaningful with his new business. With nothing more than an old stamp set, a box of clay, and a plan to support clean water projects in Africa, handmade creations emerge and MudLOVE is born.
Cash is tight, but unexpected opportunities keep the business going. Luke receives a grant to teach a ceramics class to all 5th graders who attend Warsaw Community Schools. As a lesson about helping others, many students choose to sell their creations at the MudLOVE garage to support clean water through Water for Good.
On a whim, Luke rolls clay into coils, and carefully stamps the words faith, hope, and love, on 100 bracelets. He sets them out in his shop to gauge interest. They sell out in a matter of days and the rest is history, as they say.
As demand for bracelets increases, Luke partners with his dad, Paul, to make production scalable. Together they create the first bracelet jig from scraps of wood and some screws. Holes replace hooks in the only major redesign of our classic bracelet to date.
Luke hires his friend, Codey, as MudLOVE’s first full time employee. “I” becomes “we” and a community with a passion for clean water takes shape. Together they forge a path and begin to build a team.
We quickly outgrow the tiny garage in Winona Lake. We find a spacious locale in downtown Warsaw and get to work knocking down some walls. With a production space, pottery studio, warehouse, and offices, there is more space than we know what to do with.
By mid 2015 we fill our new home and grow our staff to about 50 people. This includes production people, shipping team, creative team, and customer care team. We also bring on a team of women who piece the bracelets together from home.
One chilly afternoon, the Warsaw-born star of The Bachelor pops by with his camera crew for a tour. Luke gives him a bracelet as he leaves. To our surprise, we wake up a few weeks later to discover Ben Higgins is wearing a blue “hope.” bracelet on the show! Interest in MudLOVE explodes and we work hard to keep up with the demand. We partner with Ben to provide jobs in Honduras through a non-profit, Humanity and Hope.
Using our experience fundraising with Ben and others, we launch our online fundraising platform, LoveWellFundraising. MudLOVE products have double the impact as our customers not only fund adoptions, mission trips, and medical emergencies but also clean water. To date, our customers have raised over $300,000 through MudLOVE Fundraising. Fundraise online here.
Our giving partner, Water for Good, uses a unique strategy in the Central African Republic. They use maintenance teams to ensure that wells continue to pump life-giving water. Thanks to our bonkers year, we donate a new maintenance truck to Water for Good.
As the business landscape changes we implement new strategies to respond to our most faithful customers. We unveil The Wishing Well, our rewards program, by mailing out 250 clay coins with prizes inside to a random group of fans. Haven’t signed up yet? Do it here.
Thanks to supporters around the world, we donate our one-millionth week of clean water. In other words, your purchases helped contribute over $450,000 to help end the water crisis in the Central African Republic. We celebrate with a massive balloon and put our hands back in the clay.
A decade of business is no small feat and it’s all thanks to you. We truly wouldn’t be where we are now without you. If you have a band on your wrist or a mug in your cupboard, thank you. Here’s to the next ten years!