Among the many lessons society has gained from the past few years, one has been discovering our homes as our sanctuaries. And for many people, learning to care for, arrange, and incorporate plants inside the home has proven to be both a challenging and rewarding part of that process. The peace and calm that nature brings to humans is scientifically proven, yet the realization that plants and flowers not only color our surroundings but also enhance our existence by creating clean air, oxygen, companionship, and sheer joy has only just come into vogue.
Torrie Savage and Paula Bartlett, owners of The Savage Way, have always known that nature and art are powerful tools that humans have at their disposal to express, evoke, and heal, which is what propelled them into the thriving business they created a decade ago. As a marketing and branding consultancy, the pair were already turning heads with their Clean Graffiti campaigns—an innovative approach to marketing that entails using a custom-designed stencil and a power washer to brand dirty sidewalks with bright, clean client logos and slogans. With clients like Coca-Cola, The Rolling Stones, and the Carolina Hurricanes, The Savage Way has put its stamp on cities across America, from Austin to the Big Apple.
The passion for eco-friendly design was inherent in their business plan, so when a client asked them to innovate yet again, they accepted the challenge. That’s when their second love child was born: moss art. “A client came to us looking for a logo that incorporated plants and moss into the design,” explains Savage. “We were hesitant at first, because it was unlike anything we’d designed to date, but with a nudge from the client to explore what came naturally to us, we discovered something that really allowed us to pour love and energy into art that helps people.”
It’s hard to see their moss-art installations and avoid fantasizing about your own creation. From pop-art pieces like Biggie Smalls and Jimmy Hendrix to intricate pieces that include neon lights, or oversized panels pieced together to custom words and letters, the possibilities are endless. “We really love the process, and it’s evident in every project,” says Bartlett.
The creators at The Savage Way work with over forty different colors of reindeer moss, as well as mood, sheet, and pole moss; forty-three types of foliage; and twenty-three types of preserved flowers, mushrooms, sticks, and leaves in their creations. Plus, by partnering with local artists, projects can shift into mixed media pieces that combine colorful moss with custom artwork, giving a whole new dimension to customizability. “No two pieces are ever alike, which is one of the reasons our clients love this medium. It’s unlike anything in anyone else’s home,” Savage explains. “The range of colors and topography that moss art provides really takes these installations to the next level.”
Bartlett adds that the styles can range from funky and colorful to neutral and calming, and anything in between. “We really work closely with clients and interior designers to explore what will work best with the aesthetic they’re creating, and it’s important to let it be a fluid process,” she says. And while the maintenance-free nature of preserved moss should be the main draw for most people, it’s just icing on the cake when you see a completed piece.
Most custom projects can be completed in about eight weeks, but some of their most popular and smaller designs are ready to ship from their online shop at thesavageway.com. “We really wanted to make it accessible for everyone to bring the benefits of nature into their homes,” says Savage. “Especially for those that want something low maintenance but high design.”