Teacher Starts Lunatick Designs Business

Rhea Patel, Writer

During a refreshing hike, art teacher Brianna Peterson takes in her surroundings. She takes mental pictures, along with photographic pictures as inspiration. Later, she takes those pictures and formulates designs to make merchandise for her newfound passion, her business Lunatick Designs.

Peterson started her clothing and accessory store around September of 2018 with her good friend since middle school, Marianne Nolley. Nolley is an art teacher at Mt. Saint Mary, so the two share a passion for art.

“We’ve been best friends forever, and we both have been involved in a lot of different art projects with one another,” Peterson said.

Before they started their business, the two made labels for a local brewery as well as poster designs for a studio in California. As they were working on these projects, they realized that they work well together on collaborative art projects.

“We talked about doing shirts together, and so we came up with designs and started creating merchandise,” Peterson said. “Right now we have hats, t-shirts and stickers.”

When deciding on the name of the business, they wanted a fun name that was not too serious. Both of them enjoy the outdoors and puns, so as they tossed ideas around, they kept going back to names that dealt with the moon.

“So we were thinking of different ‘luna’ names, and then [Nolley] just had this epiphany moment and texted me ‘lunatick designs,’” Peterson said. “We both thought that it was very clever, but I’ll have to give props to her on that one–she came up with the name.”

While they are still unsure who the merchandise is geared for, they do know that it is likely to resonate with those who enjoy the same things as them. In their opinion, there is no particular age group, it is just a matter of interest.

“We make [designs] for other people, but ultimately it stems from our own personal interest[s], so I think it’s just for like-minded people or people that have similar aesthetics,” Peterson said.

Their merchandise is found online, but they have contacted a couple of local shops to see if any were interested in selling their products. The pair have an instagram account named “lunatickdesigns” and from there, their online store can be accessed. They’ve also participated in a few festivals and pop up shops at Harvest Fest in Hillcrest, White Water Tavern, and Southern Blonde Salon. They have plans to have more pop up events and are currently talking to Electric Ghost and The Butler Center in order to schedule events there. They mostly sell at pop up events and online, because their primary focus is having fun and spending time with each other.

“I think we’re both happy with what we’re doing right now, being able to have a creative outlet and doing this together and getting time with one another, but I am a teacher and she is a teacher, and that is our main focus,” Peterson said. That’s our main job that we invest our passion into, and this is just something fun and creative for us to do on the side.”

Peterson does all of the hand-drawn illustrations for the designs, while Nolley takes all of her images and converts them digitally. Since Peterson is doing the artwork, each piece has its own meaning to her. They are all inspired by something and typically revolve around nature.

“All the hikes that I take are the root of where the illustrating comes from,” Peterson said.

The main reason for their business was to have a collaborative fun project with each other. They did not want the business to add so much excess work on their plate that they would not be able to enjoy it. Instead, they just wanted to have a fun way to spend time with each other and express their creative thoughts.

“This isn’t about something we’re doing and think that we’re going to make bank off of,” Peterson said. “Instead, this is just something that we can both have our own [responsibilities] in the process, but it still be collaborative and fun.”