Stacy Moseley is a Jacksonville native who grew up in the Avondale neighborhood.
After college, she knew she wanted to go somewhere else for a while.
“I went to Kenyon, a small liberal arts college in Ohio,” she said. “That was the school I got accepted to that was the furthest away! I got a B.A. in Fine Arts.”
Moseley was trained as a sculptor, but wasn’t interested in sculpting.
She mentioned that she had known that she has wanted to design playgrounds for adults since she was two years old.
“I would always just look at playgrounds, or architecture, the top of a roof, the top of a tree, and think, ‘wouldn’t that be so cool to climb or to jump across?’” she said. “If I was in a church, and it had flying buttresses or rafters, I would be a little kid, thinking, ‘I would love to climb on that!’”
No one in the U.S. was building the kind of adult playgrounds that Moseley imagined, but it was being built in Europe.
“I’d literally work long enough to save money, and take it go to Europe, and I’d photograph their playgrounds,” Mosley said. “The Europeans were doing really interesting things. The English invented the ‘adventure playground’ — they had so much rubble left over from World War II. The children were having a blast with it. And then I’d come back to the United States and get another job.”
Eventually, Moseley wanted to start a career and raise a family. She realized that designing playgrounds wasn’t going to further those goals, so she moved to New York City and went back to school.
She said she went to the Pratt Institute for graphic design, and turned out to be a better business developer than a designer.
Moseley also mentioned that she also met her husband there, and had their first child.
“We had wonderful place to live, an apartment with a garden,” she said.
After a number of years in the city, Moseley started to think about coming home, and her husband was in favor of it.
Moseley says that her husband is a Midwesterner and loved the South.
“We wanted to raise our kids somewhere where they had roots. My family was still here, and we had moved my husband’s mother down here,” Moseley said. “We loved New York, but my heart called out for being back in Jacksonville. The water. There’s something very visceral about my love for Jacksonville. We left the Christmas before 9/11.”
Moseley stayed busy for the next years raising children and doing various jobs.
Then, about a year ago, she attended an educational conference.
“This playground company had a booth. I turned the corner, and I just walked up to them and said, ‘where have you been my whole life?’ It was just unbelievable. When I saw their designs, this was what I’d always dreamed that playgrounds should look like. The person who started the company was a Danish sculptor, so a lot of the same thinking that went into form and movement that I had always wanted to see had already been done,” Moseley said.
“They were looking for someone like me here in in North Florida,” she said. “People who know me my whole life can’t even believe that I had found the perfect fit after so many years of being passionate about something.”