This #mississippimonday is a special one! We are interviewing our friend, Mary Claire Primos, founder/creator of Stray at Home Art & Music Festival! This local festival happens once a year in May and we have a booth! We are big fans of supporting local, especially when it's literally right around the corner!How does Mississippi play a role? MC: Well, I put on the festival and I’m from Jackson, MS ;) I love my home state and have loved promoting local and regional MS artists the last 4 years! It has been fun to spotlight local food trucks and bands and other small business through the festival. We want to encourage and perhaps be a small spoke in the wheel of progressive happenings in Jackson and that bleeding into a greater network of festival happenings. What are your goals for Stray at Home? MC: The high design, modern, festival market is a really growing around the country. Two of my favorites are Renegade Craft Fair (which originated in Chicago) and the Porter Flea, which is in Nashville. While those festivals are not near the same time as Stray at Home, there are other smaller festivals in Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas and New Orleans. It is still a challenge to get great designers from other cities to participate in Stray at Home – but we are working towards it. However we do have 4 out of State artists coming this year! I would love day to one day have 50 awesome makers in Stray at Home. I am excited about the local and regional MS artists that are participating this coming May 7th and can’t wait for everyone to get to shop their booths! What is your background? MC: I graduated Ole Miss with a Marketing and Psychology Major. Didn’t really know what I wanted to do and I guess I’m still trying to figure that out. Some folks say I am an artist, but I say I’m more of an art enthusiast and appreciator. I have worked in the art field before and there I sold other makers works and helped get local Nashville painters into a few galleries and design shops. Where do you find inspiration? MC: Inspiration is everywhere.. I’ll get excited and inspired over a pretty plate of food and a good meal. ;) I’m extremely visual always noticing details, etc. I love good design and beauty. I often will be driving through a neighborhood and will stop to take a picture of a yard, or an angle of a house or a front door. If I’m out in the country I’ll pull over and walk through a field to get a good landscape shot. I also love thrifting and finding treasures whether that be an awesome Danish modern chair or a neat piece of old pottery. I’m also inspired through other makers’ craft and paintings as well as good lyrics in a song and good tunes! And Poetry, specifically Wendell Berry. Check him out! What do you like to do when you aren’t at the office? MC: Some of the above, playing tennis, photography, fellowshipping with friends, watching a good film, watching sunsets, and fishing. What are some of your favorite local places to shop and dine? MC: I love shopping at Thimblepress®, Bliss Home, View Gallery, Arco Avenue and I love to walk through Summer House. Dining: Parlor Market, Primos Café, Saltine, The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, Babalu, Sakura Bana (but there are a ton of great places to eat in Greater Jackson!) What are some of the reasons you call Mississippi home? MC: My family is here, dear friends, my church – Redeemer and my church family. There are so many fabulous writers and musicians from MS too. We as a State are going through a lot of trials right now but I do believe that there are a ton of good, positive, things to celebrate and I’m going to keep fighting and praying for reconciliation and joy and growth and creativity! I love the SIP’ !! How do you think what you are doing is helping to shape your local community as well as the image of MS? MC: I hope that other makers & makers who don’t know they’re makers yet, will be inspired to create and start a business once they come to Stray at Home and see other creatives creating and doing. I hope these people will see good design and be inspired to create. I hope one day investors and artists will come together and help each other bring more small businesses to our city! Same goes with food trucks and other various vendors. People seeing creativity and invention come to life and be successful – it’s so inspiring for me to see all this birth in our hometown of Jackson, MS. One of the food trucks that was at Stray at Home last year 2for7 Kitchen told me that they were inspired to decorate the outside of their truck from being at Stray at home 2015. They were the only food truck that had nothing on the outside of their truck and realized they needed a makeover! Right After Stray at Home – they were embolded and approached the Museum of Art group and they helped them partner up with a some local school kids who then painted their whole truck. I was delighted to hear this story. We and a few other festivals have helped breathe a little life back into Smith Park – which is a fantastic park that is underutilized and also in need of some renovation BUT we love the setting and its location (right behind the Governors Mansion)! Our downtown is fabulous and we love being able to offer a day where folks who don’t live downtown can come hang out and enjoy it – and for many discovery it for the first time! There are several restaurants downtown that we hope people will go enjoy after the festival is over on May 7th! As with all things good and positive, which we think Stray at Home is, - people gravitate towards and want to eat, shop, play, and live in and around these things. We hope more people even through little Stray at Home Festival will be inspired to live in Jackson and be a part and contribute to the creative economy!
. . .