Miles and Jessie Holbert, both lifelong residents of Fairmont working as educators, took on the endeavor of purchasing the dilapidated building at 1200 Speedway Avenue 14 years ago. Despite being near condemnable, the Holberts moved into the basement and began work immediately, in hopes of turning the place into an art shop and studio. “We lived in the basement and would come upstairs in the middle of the night to work on the floors,” says Jessie. “I think the roof had 17 holes in it. Water was pouring through. This has been our life’s work for a long portion of our lives.”
Today, the structure at 1200 Speedway Ave, now known as Mountain Creative, has become a haven for all walks of life to explore their inner creative selves. The multi-purpose art shop’s offerings include paint-your-own pottery, mosaics, hand building & wheel lessons with clay, beginner’s soap making, jewelry and pottery for sale by local artisans, and the newest feature of the shop, the Mountain Mess Room.
The newly opened Mountain Mess Room is a reservation-based experience where you step inside and are given free will to make a mess and throw paint anywhere you’d like, literally. “Go in and do your thing,” says Miles. “Take your aggression out or create a new masterpiece, it’s paint therapy.” The Mess Room gives you an opportunity to throw paint onto an empty canvas, creating a souvenir to take away from your experience. According to the Holberts, the Mess Room has been attracting many visitors from outside of the Fairmont area. This has given Miles and Jessie the opportunity to give these guests travel tips and plans for staying in town for the weekend. When asked about being located in Fairmont, Jessie says “We love it here. For a short time we thought we would move to the beach or something and then we were like nope, this is our home. We’re here forever.”
Mountain Creative’s customers have no common age range or demographic, as Miles and Jessie have made the shop’s offerings appealing to just about everyone. “Some people who are just single come in here to relax but we also host large parties and loud celebrations,” says Jessie. They’ve also partnered with many of the schools in the county through the PDIS Reward programs.
Facing the ever-changing and unpredictable circumstances of COVID-19, Mountain Creative has persisted and persevered to serve the community in new ways. The inside of the building closed on March 23rd and remained that way until June 10th. During this time, the business switched its model to primarily serving guests take-home pottery to-go kits. When asked about the driving force behind their success over the past few months, Jessie says “It really hasn’t been us. It’s been our loyal supporters. It’s been people still coming and asking for things. Most of our ideas come from our customers asking can you do this or you should do this.” “It hasn’t been us, it’s been them,” exclaims Miles.
“We closed officially for about a week and a half to regroup and figure everything out,” says Jessie. “Since then, we’ve been here. We’ve been here always, but we’ve had to change the way that we accommodate our customers.”
Mountain Creative is the City of Fairmont’s Local Business of the Month for the month of July and will be highlighted throughout. We encourage all citizens to consider checking out Mountain Creative and everything that they have to offer throughout the year. They are located at 1200 Speedway Ave and you can learn more about them by visiting www.mountaincreativewv.com/ or giving them a call at 304-612-6425.
For more story info and pictures.. check out our Local Business of the Month page at https://www.fairmontfirst.com/july-mountain-creative .