Moss + Twig was born out of creator and designer Lisa Yen's love of plants and nature. Lisa studied graphic design at Pratt Institute, but quickly found the limitations of two-dimensional work too frustrating and switched to industrial design. “I love playing with materials and space. I designed and built things for my apartment — furniture and little contraptions.” The transition into making terrariums came about, well, quite naturally. Lisa’s dad always had a flower and vegetable garden, and she grew up learning a lot about gardening through him. “When I moved to the city, I missed the outdoor space that I’d taken for granted and started building a little ‘rainforest’ in my apartment. Terrariums and many other projects developed, and Moss + Twig was formed. “Living in New York means space is limited, so I created my terrariums to be small, compact ecosystems.”
Moss + Twig’s aesthetic is fairly simple. Lisa says, “I’m drawn to quality wood and craftsmanship, but those things are harder to come by these days. The market is saturated with plastic and machine-made products. That’s why I designed my products with real materials — wood, glass, cork — to showcase these beautiful living plants.”
Each project is like a miniature experiment for Lisa and she enjoys “figuring out the ranges and limits for each plant. Can this grow from a clipping? How well will this do in a closed terrarium versus open?” But her favorite projects are custom designs for friends and family. “Those ones allow me to add a little something extra and personal to each piece.”
Unsurprisingly, most of her inspiration comes from nature and scenery. “Just being out and exploring is the best way to get ideas.” The only limit is her own imagination. “It’s very empowering when you know you’re able to create and design anything your imagination allows you to. This goes for everyone, not just designers.”