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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

MudLOVE: Giving Back, One Band at a Time

{Image Credit: MudLOVE/Sean Cruse}

The MudLOVE bands are hot-sellers. “It just goes to show that people need words to inspire them or remind them,” Wright says. {Image Credit: Codey Holliday}

As North Americans we are fortunate to live in a nation where clean water is easily accessible and delivered promptly on time each day to our homes. However, that isn’t the case on the other side of the world where the one true lifeblood of our well-being and economy has become a victim of our own apathy. With several countries today struggling without clean water and healthy hygiene, there are more than 780 million people who don’t have access to clean water, and more than 2.5 billion without adequate sanitation facilities.

While many small businesses are driven by fiscal success, one company nestled in Warsaw, Indiana is making all the difference and finding its real purpose in a humane venture aimed at benefiting communities through a socially driven economy. In an attempt to turn away from the idolatry of self-centeredness and orient one’s life by the drive to do the right thing and seek action for a better world, MudLOVE was built on the idea of giving back and aiding in the water crisis.

Selling one of a kind creations in-store and online since 2009, MudLOVE has found great success with customers in their small Indiana community. From clay creations to bands, necklaces to mugs, the philanthropic business employing 42 people between their Warsaw and Winona Lake locations, donates 20% of their profits to their water partner, Water for Good.

MudLOVE CEO, Luke Wright is all smiles. {Image Credit: Codey Holliday}

Committed to improving the lives of the world’s most neglected and unstable regions in the Central African Republic, Water for Good believes the first step out of extreme poverty and saving families from waterborne illnesses and danger is by providing clean water through the implementation of water wells, and engaging long-term with local communities through regular well maintenance.

“There are so many problems in the world to address, but sometimes addressing one specific need is the best way to do that just because it makes sense,” says MudLOVE CEO and founder, Luke Wright. “At MudLOVE, we don’t have clay—or mud—without water. At the same time, you can’t have life without water. There is a deep connection there.”

Wright started pursuing the small ceramic business some five years ago, revealing that did it because he didn’t have much work lined up, and the idea of regular nine-to-five job sounded pretty miserable to him. With a deep faith, the 29 year-old knew he had to do something in life to help make a difference and believed God called him to make a business that would “deny himself”.

“It was a clear message from Him that I couldn’t avoid,” he promptly says. “The idea of giving a portion of sales to clean water came to be and then the name MudLOVE was made. The reason for starting MudLOVE? To love. To help people in need get clean water. To equip others to love. We thirst for love like we thirst for water.”

Customers can feel good knowing that every product they purchase from MudLOVE will provide one week of clean water to those in the Central African Republic’s communities.

Wright goes on to share how Water for Good is not just a fantastic non-profit organization that helps to empower those affected in the Central African Republic, but feels incredibly connected with such an organization as they are both rooted in like-minded solutions for creating water sustainability. “They aren’t helping them by doing it for them, but rather giving them [the] opportunity to do work to help their people.”

With a 92% functionality rate of the wells they maintain, Water for Good raises the bar among clean water organizations with maintenance programs and the amount of local residents they have on staff. As a clear resource to the people in the second poorest country in the world, the organization helps generate money and security for a stagnant economy.

Making the Band: a MudLOVE employee handcrafts a ‘love’ band. {Image Credit: Codey Holliday}

Since its inception, Wright credits his community in Indiana for their company’s success. “They have taken our clay creations and used them to change the world,” he smiles. “They give the products away to hurting people, and they seem to connect really well with helping people get clean water because they understand that life without water is impossible.”

Wright goes on to share how it’s easy to relate to those in his community through the company’s mission, adding how it’s our civic duty to help and love others in life. Through the simple use of bands for fundraisers with words like ‘blessed’, ‘strength’ and ‘hope’; or even encouraging someone who needs a little hope in their day-to-day life, the company’s message is loud and clear. “Because of the participation of our local community, we now have a global community that uses MudLOVE to love others as well.”

MudLOVE is different than other small businesses across the United States. With a hope to inspire people and encourage them to ‘be the change’ in your own life, it is a very genuine grassroots company. Wright shares how though they have been on the verge of extinction plenty of times in the past, that sort of challenge has created an incredibly unique work culture.

“It forces us to think smarter and work harder. This isn’t something that can be taught,” he reveals. “Our experiences as a team haven’t always been pretty, but we’ve learned a lot along the way and I really value the trials we’ve been through. It’s the little details that make us different. The desire to see people experience joy and really thrive is in our hearts, [and] it’s not forced. That comes out in our work very organically and beautifully, and [it] sets us apart.”

With the company’s best-selling and most popular item in the catalog being the MudLOVE bands, Wright hopes his heartfelt business will be an honest and respectable household brand in five years. From opening cupboards and seeing MudLOVE mugs waiting to be used over family breakfasts or casual conversation with friends—or just, stylishly sporting bracelets as accessories by just about everyone, Wright sees his inimitable products as accents to a full and loving life that is steadfast on the pursuit of love, inspiration and generosity.

MudLOVE sells more than just bands. With an array of items in their catalog, find the perfect gift idea for anyone from apparel to magnets, necklaces to mugs. {Image Credit: Codey Holliday}

“Not for the sake of a big company, but instead being a deep company—rooted in self-denial to disrupt patterns of brokenness in a thoughtful and creative way,” he says. “I want MudLOVE to really challenge people to be good and serve people around them.”

From a lonely potter to a CEO of over 40 people, Wright really had to adjust the way he worked in order to find the success he has. The creative Hoosier finds running a company like MudLOVE interesting and rewarding. He shares that the best return from his selfless investment is when he watches his team come together and form a beautiful output. “I value teamwork like no other. I also value people’s potential,” he says.

As a blossoming entrepreneur, Luke Wright understands the meaning behind good business and work ethic. However as a considerate human being, he truly understands that life is more about others than about oneself. In being useful, honorable and compassionate, Wright reaps the rewards of making a real difference in our world and contributing in some way to make things better for all.

“It’s interesting to know that I didn’t have to study business in school to do my job well. I just need to be honest and work with conviction,” he smiles.

* * * * *

MudLOVE is located in downtown Warsaw, Indiana at 122 Buffalo Street and open Monday to Friday between 10am to 6pm. Not in the area? No problem. Do your part to help solve the water crisis and order online via MudLOVE.

Thanks to our friends at MudLOVE and just in time for the holidays, our readers will receive 10% off online orders from now till January 1, 2015—use promo code, hudsucker. Visit MudLOVE now and start on your holiday shopping!

The MudLOVE family. {Image Credit: Codey Holliday}

Connect with MudLOVE on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For more information on their partner, Water for Good, check out their official website.

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2 Comments on “MudLOVE: Giving Back, One Band at a Time”

  1. James H November 22, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    Very interesting article. Thank you for posting it

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. MudLOVE: Giving Back, One Band at a Time | westlifebunny - November 18, 2014

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