A Potter’s Hands, A Servant’s Heart

After Luke Wright graduated from IWU with a Ceramics degree in 2008, he felt a call from the Lord to deny himself. After much thought and prayer, he was led to do something he never imagined himself doing. In the fall of 2009— with only a stamp set, some clay and a vision to help others—Wright founded MudLove, a company that handcrafts unique bracelets and pottery.

Wright knew he wanted to change the lives of people around the world through MudLove. So, he partnered with Water for Good, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to clean water for those in the Central African Republic, and committed to giving them 20 percent of MudLove’s profits.

MudLove is best known for its handcrafted elastic bands attached to a clay piece stamped with various words like love, hope, peace, and believe. The company makes nearly 80 percent of its sales through its website, but has brick and mortar locations in Warsaw and Winona Lake, Indiana.

However, starting MudLove has been far from easy. Some years even yielded little or no profit and left Wright scrambling to keep his company from falling apart.

 “The most challenging thing about starting this business has been learning how to fail and being okay with failure,” said Wright. “I’ve had to learn from my mistakes.”  

And learn from his mistakes he did. MudLove has continued to grow in its success with products sold in several retail stores such as Tree of Life Bookstores and Family Christian Stores. When asked what makes a business successful, Wright paused for a few seconds.  

“Caring how you impact others through business,” he said. “Being successful on paper doesn’t matter. But, if you’re glorifying God through it, then that’s what success is.”

For one week in April 2015, Wright travelled for the first time to the Central African Republic (CAR) with a group of colleagues from MudLove and Water for Good. While there, he witnessed the incredible impact fresh water access had on the people of the CAR. 

He observed the word that was being completed, met the African people that are employed to dig and maintain the water wells, and saw the difference MudLove and its customers are making in people’s lives.

The trip served as a reminder that MudLove’s mission goes far beyond selling products. With MudLove’s ninth anniversary quickly approaching, Wright is looking forward to seeing how the company will continue to grow and expand as it remains rooted in the values with which it was first founded.  It’s about being a group of people that is eager to learn and eager to change the world,” he said. “If people who interact with us walk away encouraged and full of excitement, joy, and love, then that was a successful moment.”

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