Black Moth is a small business founded in 2014 by me, Maris Blanchard. I founded this company based on my love for nature and the outdoors. I believe everyone should be able to collect a gorgeous display piece for their home that reminds them of how beautiful the world can be. My work encourages conversations and tells stories that will last for years to come.
Returns and Exchanges Policy
- I gladly accept returns and exchanges. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase for any reason I would be happy to reimburse you.To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. Buyer is responsible for all shipping costs. Items must be shipped back within 60 days of purchase. In the event that the item is returned to me damaged I will be unable to issue a refund.
- You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.
- If you would like to exchange your items please contact me. Buyer is responsible for all shipping costs. Items must be shipped back within 60 days of purchase.
- Once your return is received and inspected, I will send you an email to notify you that I have received your returned item. I will also notify you of the approval or rejection of your refund. If you are approved, then your refund will be processed, and a credit will automatically be applied to your credit card or original method of payment, within a certain amount of days.
- Late or missing refunds (if applicable)
- If you haven’t received a refund yet, first check your bank account again. Then contact your credit card company, it may take some time before your refund is officially posted. Next contact your bank, there is often some processing time before a refund is posted. If you’ve done all of this and you still have not received your refund yet, please contact me at email@example.com.
- If you are shipping an item over $75, you should consider using a trackable shipping service or purchasing shipping insurance. I can't guarantee that I will receive your returned item.
- I strive to ship all items in the most cost effective and safest way possible. I do not make any money off of shipping. I charge the exact amount it costs to ship.
- Please allow 2 business days for items to be processed and sent out. You will be emailed via email when your purchase is on it’s way.
- USPS First Class Package- Does not come with insurance
- USPS Priority Mail- Automatically comes with $50 insurance
- USPS Priority Mail Express- Automatically comes with $100 insurance
- Insurance includes lost or damaged items in transit
- If you are worried about the safety of your items in transit, I urge you, please contact me to purchase additional shipping insurance. I cannot control what happens after the package leaves my hands. I cannot control delays, loss of package, or other outside factors. I can only control when and how I ship your product.
- If you have more questions about USPS shipping- https://www.usps.com/ship/welcome.htm
- I prefer PayPal (you do not need an account with PayPal to send payment) or direct checkout via Shopify, but also accept money orders and checks via snail mail. If you choose to mail in payment, please contact me for further instructions. Your purchase will not be shipped until payment has cleared.
How did you get into this?
From a very early age I have always been interested in collecting nature. My grandmother would take me into the woods to pick up rocks, bones, and bugs to place into a collection. She saved all sorts of things we found outside. These items went into a room dedicated to nature. There you could find insects, hand spun wool, a beaver tail she and my great grandmother preserved, and many things collected over the years. Fast forward to 2013 when I attended my first Halloween trade show (bet you didn’t know that was a thing!). A booth had a real cow skull they were selling and lights went off in my head. It was then and there Black Moth was born.
Is everything real?
Yes! Everything I sell and work with is real. With the acception of the occasional faux plant in a display, everything has been collected from outside. While highly realistic, I do not sell skull replicas.
Where do you get your stuff?
Honestly, all over the place. In the beginning it was mostly me finding everything outside myself. As Black Moth has grown I have had to outsource some of my products. I have made friends with hunters that would normally throw away the rest of the animal after getting the meat. There are people who think of me when they see a wasp nest on the ground or a cool rock while on a walk and save them for me. Not everything comes from here in the US. Many of my products come from all around the world.
Is it ethical?
All of my items come from sources that would have normally thrown them away. Nothing is being killed for the purpose of resale.
Is it legal?
The laws regarding resale and ownership of animal parts is always changing, state and federally. I am always researching the current laws and abide by them. If you are curious about all the exact laws, they can be found here- http://www.thegreenwolf.com/u-s-state-laws/
Can I give you something I found/have?
Yes, of course! I am always looking for new Black Moth suppliers!
Would you like to buy something from me? Do you trade?
Maybe. Depending on what you have I may be interested, it never hurts to ask! But please don’t be offended if I say no.
I would like to sell your stuff in my store, do you do wholesale?
I would love it if my work was in stores all over the place. Unfortunately because I am a one woman show it just simply isn’t profitable for me to mark my items down that low. I also do not work in high volumes, my work is dependant on what I can find at the time.
Do you do custom work?
At this time I am not accepting custom orders. I am busy keeping my website full and working on inventory for upcoming shows.
How is your work made?
I assess each animal/item I come across to determine the best way I can preserve it based on it’s condition. If it comes to me in poor condition sometimes I am limited in my options. My options are to create a wet specimen, mummify the item, or process it for the bones. I currently do not do any traditional taxidermy.
- Wet specimen- The animal is fixed with formalin and then stored in 70% aclohol.
- Mummification- The animal is injected with both a drying agent and fixative. Then it goes into a drying mixture for anywhere from a 1-6 months until mummified.
- Bones- Depending on the animal there are a few options to harvest bones. Maceration, natural being cleaned outside, burial, and dermestid beetles. Once the meat is gone the bones are de-greased, naturally whitened, and then sometimes sealed.
Can you go into more detail about your processes?
Yes! I believe in sharing all of the information I have available to me. For years I tried to learn these techniques but would be turned away because they were “trade secrets.” So, I set out on my own to experiment and google things till my fingers fell off. The cool thing about the nature of this work is there are so many ways to do it. I am not claiming to be an expert but I am currently working on blog posts to explain my methods. I am always researching and aiming to improve!
Do you really do everything yourself?
Yes I do. I photograph, run the website, run all my social media, keep up with inventory, do all the shipping, etc. It's a lot of work but I am pursuing my true passion so it's worth every minute!
How do I take care of my new Black Moth piece?
My work is meant to be cared for like any other art piece. They are meant for indoor display use and not to be heavily handled. My pieces are made from REAL organic items that have come from outside. This can make them prone to little critters. I do my absolute best to seal everything so that nothing outside your piece can get in. Over time this seal can break down. Items should be checked every few months to ensure no damage. If you do see little bugs in your piece wrap in a plastic sack and place in freezer for up to a week to ensure nothing survives.
- Wet Specimen- Over time the alcohol in your specimen may begin to turn a yellow color. No worries! This is perfectly normal and can be fixed. Using rubber gloves, remove your specimen and replace the alcohol. 70% alcohol can be purchased cheaply at most drug stores and Walmart.
- Air Plant- Air plants should be kept where they'll receive bright, indirect sunlight or under fluorescent home/office lighting. Your plants should be watered once per week, and 2-3 times is recommended for optimal care. As a main method of watering your plants, I recommend letting them soak in a bath of water for 20-30 minutes. A longer, 2-hour soak is recommended every 2-3 weeks. If you are in a drier, hotter climate, more frequent watering or misting will be needed. You'll begin to notice that after watering, your plant's leaves will feel stiffer and full of water and they'll be softer and lighter in color when they're in need of water. Wrinkled or rolled leaves can be a sign of dehydration.
Where can I find more of your stuff?
- I am always posting pictures of my process and new work in Instagram @black.moth
- Check out my blog where I share tips and tricks on everything I make and do (coming soon)- Black Moth Blog
- Come see me at a show! Show dates and locations are updated weekly right here
- Transworld Halloween & Attractions Show- March 22nd-26th, 10am-5pm @ Saint Louis Convention Center
- Kansas City Oddities Expo- March 31st, 11am-5pm, @ KCI Expo Center
- Tulsa First Friday Art Walk- April 6th, 9-6PM @ Brady Arts District in Downtown Tulsa
- Blue Dome Arts Festival- May 18th-20th, @ 2nd and Elgin Downtown Tulsa
Have another question I didn't cover here or just want to say hi?
I do my best to respond within 24 hours!