Weed smoke and queer folk came together at Ferndale Pride this year. The smell of marijuana was in the air, and many local dispensaries handed out goodies and coupons. While I’m not a stoner myself, I am a lover of art, and one cannabis-related tent did draw me in — that of Mol Murph’s Creations.
Apart from jewelry and home decor, the seller offered an array of smoking paraphernalia including ashtrays, rolling trays and lighters wrapped in her logo, an endearing, simply illustrated daisy with a pink center. Amidst the overstimulating crowd, I grabbed a business card and left the tent as quickly as I found it, hoping to learn more about the artist later on. And that I did.
“[Ferndale Pride] was the best show I think all year, I'm sure of it,” the business owner Molly Murphy tells Pride Source. “I went last year for the first time and it was sweet. So I thought if I do craft shows, it would be cool to do that one."
Murphy, a 25-year-old from Grosse Pointe who identifies as pansexual, loves gardening, hockey and creating floral resin art for fellow Michiganders. She launched her business in 2019 and now travels across Michigan for craft shows. Murphy launched her line primarily with necklaces and earrings, but got fully into rolling trays, coasters and dishes in 2021.“That's when I really went full-time doing craft shows,” Murphy says. “Pre-Covid, it was mostly just, like, online sales through Instagram and my website.”
Today, she says in-person craft shows are one of her favorite ways to sell her creations, and she loves when people are interested in hearing about her process. “I pick and press all of the flowers, and then that takes like a month or two,” she says. “Then I lay them out, and then I pour the resin. Then I pour more resin, and then it cures for like 24 hours. And that's about it. Take it out of the mold, sand it.”
Like many of her customers, Murphy, too, is "absolutely" a stoner, she says.
She didn’t always know she could fuse both weed and her creativity, but Murphy's artistic journey started early, shaped by lifelong experiences of gardening alongside her mother and grandmother and tagging along with her father when he was an art student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. From childhood endeavors in ceramics to painting flowers and rocks, her passion for creation blossomed.
“Growing up, we always painted and made gifts from rocks we found,” Molly’s mother Suzy Murphy says. “It was awesome. I still have mine that Molly made for me.” Now, Murphy says her mother helps her a lot with the “bookkeeping and the business end of the business,” as well as with setting up at shows.
Murphy’s love of gardening shines through in her creations, as each piece contains a unique array of locally sourced flowers. "My grandma and my mom, they have huge gardens, so I use both of theirs. They've helped me learn a lot." Many of the craft shows where Murphy sells her work are near where her grandmother lives in northern Michigan, so she is able to visit her and her garden and make sales at the same time.
Murphy uses gardening and the picking and pressing of flowers for her art as a daily therapeutic activity. She cites the calming nature of her passion, which cannabis is sometimes a part of, as beneficial to her mental health. “Not when I'm actually doing the resin but when I lay out my flowers and do designs like that, I tend to smoke and it helps,” she says.
Besides marijuana, Murphy’s favorite flowers are forget-me-nots and butterfly wheat and she loves incorporating certain colored plants into her work. “I love using pinks and whites and blues, but they're the hardest to have in stock,” Murphy says. “There are not many plants that are blue, and there's not many plants that stay pink when you press them.”
Through her artwork, Murphy's exuberant personality finds expression, with bright and colorful flowers being her signature motifs. "I feel like I'm a pretty cheerful, happy person, so making art that resembles that is cool,” Murphy says.
“I love watching Molly’s creative spirit soar,” Suzy Murphy says. “I really enjoy the time we get to spend together. I'm so proud of her.”
Looking ahead, Murphy hopes to continue to expand her business — in fact, in the future, she's got her eye on selling her work at large music festivals.
Visit molmurphs.com, where Murphy presents her work with unique names, lists past and upcoming shows and provides tips to customers on how to care for products.