Plush moss makes Clay Pot wreaths stand out

Plush moss makes Clay Pot wreaths stand out

December 2nd, 2011 by Casey Phillips in Business Around the Region

Joe Jumper speaks about "Mood Moss Wreaths" which he is designing at his garden and decoration store The Clay Pot, located in North Chattanooga.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

What: Mood moss holiday wreath

Company: The Clay Pot

Address: 1311 Hanover St.

Website: www.dirtfromtheclaypot.com

Telephone: 265-2007

Owner: Joe Jumper

What's special: While natural materials such as pine boughs and holly are regularly used in making holiday wreaths, few are made from moss, Jumper said. The Clay Pot uses mood moss in many of its decorative items, and its distinct thickness and color stand out when used in wreaths, Jumper said. "They're really pretty with that plush green color," he said.

The origin story: The Clay Pot opened in 1991. The store has used mood moss in its products for years, but Jumper said he began incorporating it in wreaths after receiving a positive response to ones he made for a wedding earlier this year. "People just liked the plushness," he said. "This looks almost like carpet."

How it's made: The moss arrives at The Clay Pot in sheets harvested by a man in Nashville. The sheets must then be submerged in water and wrung out like a sponge to increase its flexibility. The moist moss is then wrapped around a wreath form and wrapped in wire.

What it costs: $40-$60 for standard door sizes. Wreaths for larger walls can cost $100.

Future expansions planned: The Clay Pot recently began making decorative mannequins out of cedar boughs, burlap, ribbon and wire for a North Market Street boutique. "Those have been a huge hit this year," Jumper said.

Lessons of the trade: "Always reinvent yourself," Jumper said. "We're always trying to come up with new, creative ways to take our products and make them our own. We aren't afraid to try different things, and we're doing our best to please our customers. Customer service is key."