Maker's Spotlight: Loving WV
There are a lot of rewarding things about running the Wild and Wonderful Box but one of our favorites is connecting with and learning about the other WV small businesses that make the W&WB possible. These folks are real genuine West Virginians with a deep passion and love for the State and truly impressive talents. This is the first in a new blog series we’re calling the “Maker’s Spotlight” that is intended to introduce you to these small business and the amazing people behind them.
In the past, we’ve shared our own story about how the Wild and Wonderful Box came to be. Like many others, we followed jobs that forced us to move away from our West Virginia hills. We missed our home and wanted a way to reconnect with it. Loving WV is an online clothing, vinyl decal, and gift shop that shares a similar origin story to us. They were one of our first partners and we’ve enjoyed following their story from what was just an idea and a single design (that got a ton of social media buzz), to a full-fledged business with shirts, decals, mugs, and more that have been spotted all around the country.
So without further ado, here is our Q/A with Loving WV. We hope you enjoy!
Who are you?
Evan Chapman and Evan-Nicole Chapman Owners of LovingWV.com (Yes, we are a husband and wife team with the same first name, and before you ask yes, it gets confusing sometimes.
How would you describe what your business does and what inspired you to start it?
Loving WV is an online clothing, vinyl decal, and gift shop that intersects my two favorite things good interesting designs and my love for my home state West Virginia. Loving WV started as a way for me to get back in touch with the love that I felt for my home state. I am a West Virginia native that had to leave the state for work. I have grown to learn that no matter how many miles away you are from the state you will always be a West Virginian and I figured if I felt this way there must have been other people that felt the same way.
What do you love about West Virginia?
The people, the beauty, and the fact there is hardly ever any traffic.
What do you think sets your business apart from others?
Our designs are unique, and our products are high quality. We have spent many hours refining our designs, and many more picking out the right products to showcase them. Too often I see people sporting the $5 shirts that you can pick up at a local gas station or a roadside gift shop without having any other options available to them. I am hoping to bring good design to forefront to help people represent West Virginia in the way it deserves.
What has been the most exciting thing that has happened since starting your business? What has made you the most proud?
Our proudest moment was getting our stuff in our first brick and mortar store. It kind of solidified what we were doing, it is one thing to sell things to friends and family, but it is another thing to be approached by a business who wants to sell your stuff. It is pretty neat! As for the most exciting thing…. I’m not sure it is a tie between two things. One was I got a call from a family friend who said a Canadian CEO that had an office in Wheeling, WV wanted to buy some shirts to give away as gifts. He ended up buying all the shirts we had in stock. It was kind of surreal. The second which might sounds less exciting, but we were driving on I-79 and a car that I didn’t recognize had one of our West Virginia Fly Fishing decals on the back window. I hit my wife on the arm who was in the passenger seat and said “LOOK LOOK” she was totally sleeping and thought we were getting in a wreck.
Any awards/recognitions you would like to mention?
No awards or recognitions just yet, but we have a place on our mantle waiting if someone wasn’t to send us a trophy.