KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — There’s a good chance you’ve never seen a door decoration quite like what the Grim Wreather makes. She specializes in spooky.
Sarah Claxton is the Knoxville crafter behind the business, the Grim Wreath.
She has only been creating her signature scary wreaths for about a year and a half. In that time, she’s gained tens of thousands of followers and hundreds of orders.
Inside Claxton’s home, spooky is a constant state of mind.
“Halloween isn’t just one day of the year for us — it’s a lifestyle,” Claxton said. “It’s 365 days a year, and that’s what I base my business around. People have just absolutely loved it.”
Her dining room is the headquarters for her business right now. There’s always a project being painted on the table. She takes door decorating to the next level.
“Obviously I draw a lot of inspiration from horror movies and very spooky culture, but all of my ideas are my own,” Claxton said.
It’s more than just a horror-filled hobby. It’s her full-time job.
“It’s my life,” Claxton said. “Wreathing is my life and literally it saved my life. I found myself in a very dark place around this time two years ago.”
Like many others, the pandemic gave her a new perspective on how she wanted to spend her time. It started with a wreath she made for herself.
When she posted the picture on social media, it got thousands of shares. Quickly, people started filling her inbox asking for their own wreaths.
“I just started practicing more and more, and woke up one day, about 3 months into making wreaths and decided I was going to quit my job to pursue wreathing full time,” Claxton said.
She took a leap of fright.
“Quitting my day job was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but it was absolutely worth it to me,” Claxton said. “I feel very happy that I get to wake up every day and do what I love.”
Since then, she’s gained tens of thousands of followers online who share her love of making creepy creative.
“I thought for a long time that I was the only one that was kind of like this, that enjoyed the spooky 365 days a year, but you’d be really surprised at how many people actually do,” Claxton said.
Now, she puts her spin on scary holidays and movies.
“The concepts come at the weirdest times: in the gym or at the grocery store,” Claxton said. “I’m grateful. I’ve never had to turn away a concept yet because I couldn’t do it.”
Not everything has to be gory, though, and she finds a way to incorporate holidays all-year-round into her creepy theme.
“My wreaths aren’t for everybody, and that’s okay,” Claxton said. “Everybody has their own specific tastes, but I’ve also been asked to, create wreaths that are not so spooky, and my customers have loved them.”
Universal even recognized her work and gave her the most gruesome opportunity of a lifetime.
“[They] asked me to create a wreath for them for their 2021 Home Entertainment release of Candyman,” Claxton said. “So I ended up creating a wreath for Universal Studios, and I was the very first ‘wreather’ to ever work for them.”
Even though her crafts may be creepy to some, the inspiration she’s found will fuel her fire for years to come.
“Don’t let fear stop you,” Claxton said. “Fear will be your biggest downfall with any business venture or creative adventure that you want to go on.”
The Grim Wreather will continue to handle with “scare.” She plans to open her own studio in the near future. She has already hired an assistant to help with the influx of orders.
The Grim Wreather is currently not accepting new orders until May, and if you want to get on her Halloween wreath commission list, you should aim to sign up in May.
Claxton also plans to give back to others in the future. She believes everyone has creativity inside of them, and she wants to help reveal that.
You can follow along with her creations on all social media channels. To order and check out past work, go to grimwreathstore.com.
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