Some people make crappy art, figuratively speaking. And then there are some who make crappy art, literally.
Maine-based artist Mary Winchenbach started creating art from moose droppings way back in 2005, but after a video of her selling poopy art went viral on Facebook, she has quit her job and dedicated herself to her art full-time.
Mary and her partner, Deb Nicholls, have since been working 12-hour days to produce enough moose-turd-related goods to meet demand.
Almost overnight, her homespun business, called Tirdy Works, has turned into a massive company. Mary had to hire a lawyer to help her with the murky world of business, and hire her sister-in-law, Rachel Morse, to manage the website and schedule interviews.
“We didn’t think we’d make enough to pay for the booth,” Winchenbach told the Portland Press Herald. “All of a sudden we show up nine years later and out of the blue people are filming me.”
It appears that Mary’s met the huge international demand for moose turd art too. Orders have come from as far away as Russia, Greece, Ireland, and Denmark.
The odd thing is that art from moose poo isn’t unique to Mary’s store – its commonly sold across Alaska. It can be used as fertiliser, or once dehydrated and coated in polyurethane, hung decoratively above your bed… whatever floats your boat. There are plenty of products out on the market, including a ‘Poo-Poo Clock’, a ‘Moose Tird’ keychain, and a ‘Santa Tird’ Christmas ornament.
Mary plans to take full advantage of her newfound fame too, by releasing new products.
“We have 10 new products that are going to be coming out. We are going to make a character called Forrest Gump, except we’re gonna do Forrest Dump,” she said. “Deb has started making some pretty moose-turd earrings.”
Winchenbach hasn’t disclosed how much money she’s made since the video went viral, but she admitted that they had received so many orders that both the Tirdy Works Facebook page and Etsy page are currently on back order.
“An opportunity like this comes along once in a lifetime,” she concluded. “I’ve worked my whole life. If I fail at this, I’ll find work. I just have to give this a shot.”
It’s a philosophy that we could all live by, poo artist or not.