My name is Alexis Berry and I am the owner/operator/maker behind TerraformingMoxie. I am a hopelessly optimistic single mom with a spectacular support system and an unending drive to make things.
I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in California with my folks and my big sister. They raised me well and instilled in me the courage to venture out into the world and spread my wings. That leap from the nest led me to Santa Barbara for photography school where once I graduated, I met a man, fell in love and started a family. The relationship wasn't to last though at which point I took on single motherhood.
I have just one kiddo, a 9 year old boy named Gus. He's awesome. To know him is to love him. With a sprinkling of freckles across his nose and his mamas green eyes along with my often times completely bizarre sense of humor, and kind heart, I can't imagine being anything other than proud of what he's destined to accomplish in life. For now though, he's my little ride or die. We adventure together, play together, and battle just like any kid and his mama. He's crazy funny, wildly intelligent and loves tiny baby even more than I do. Watching his perfect little face as he sleeps regularly helps me remember the kind of mom and human I want to be for him and his future. I'm a lucky mama.
In January of 2020 I took my first ceramics class and as you can imagine, I was hooked from the start. As you can also imagine, the classes didn't last long with the onset of covid, nor was the residency in Santa Barbara. With in person school not happening and no comfortable end in sight, my little and I moved back up to the Sierra Nevada foothills to find the comfort and support we needed in my immediate family. When I was able to finally find a ceramics studio to work and learn in again, they supported my drive and for Christmas last year, the gifts I received fed into my obsession with the craft including a new to me kick wheel, the first wheel of my own. I'm not sure at what point in there I decided to work towards this becoming a business, but sometime in the last year or so, it just sort of became.
People ask me a lot where the name and also the logo for TerraformingMoxie came from, here's the story. Just before Christmas last year, my dad handed me a piece of soapstone and chiseling tools and suggested I make myself a makers mark to stamp into the work I make. With a the middle name of Chanterelle I've always been drawn to the shape of mushrooms, so the idea of using a Chantarelle mushroom in my stamp was an easy start. My dad suggested utilizing my signature to emulate grass growing up from under the mushroom. Yes, that's more or less my signature. The name TerraformingMoxie came together a few months later. Gus was really into the video game Animal Crossing which translated into the entire household getting into it. There was a goal of being able to "terraform" in the game that we all worked hard toward, putting it into our daily vocabulary. The word terraform boils down (in my head at least) to "forming earth". I realized that the art of ceramics is just that, forming earth. Moxie is a word I heard first on a road trip with my dad when I was in my early 20's listening to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It stuck with me, and years later, not long after I had met who would become one of my favorite humans, Jake, he said to me "you've got moxie Lex". I have always really liked the idea of that; a force of character. The move from Southern California was incredibly tough on me, and I spent a lot of time in the first year working really hard on myself, setting goals and manifesting a future that brought me joy and calm. I became moxie, for myself. It felt right to put them together, even more so when I looked at the name from the perspective of "forming" myself as well. I was forming moxie.