“Wow. That is cool. I would so buy that if I saw it in a store.” It was a turkey platter – I’d spent hours on it, covering the entire surface with words of thanks and gratitude. It was cool. Once finished, I placed it on the drying rack and poured myself a cup of coffee. After two sips I was back at the rack, admiring my work.
It was 2005. I had spent the last three years in pursuit of my dream – owning a Paint Your Own Pottery Studio. The dream had taken flight and we ended up with three, opening a new studio every year. I was working my ass off.
Some weeks later, I was on my hands and knees, scraping chocolate cake off of the floor - remnants of a party of screeching 9 year old girls. Jillions of tiny black ants had materialized & were crawling around the mess with crazy purpose. As I sat on the cold floor with a butter knife in my hand, I thought about the turkey platter. I squashed a few ants. I made a decision.
A couple of years earlier, my business partner and I took a trip to New York to visit the studio of Lorrie Veasey; owner of Our Name is Mud. Lorrie was actively involved with CCSA – a professional organization that supports and educates owners & planners of PYOP studios. She also owned a large and growing finishware company and was selling her hand painted pottery to thousands of accounts all over the country. I told her of my dream to someday create my own line of finishware. “When you’re ready,” she said, “call me. I’ll walk you through it.”
Museware Pottery is in its third year. During its infancy, Lorrie & I exchanged many dozens of emails. I'm sure I was a complete pain. She reviewed my business plan & pricing structure; guided me through months of packing and shipping issues; warned me away from some costly big ideas; praised and encouraged my best efforts. She called it building good pottery Karma.
With her guidance, I've gone from painting at my kitchen table to a 1500 square foot studio. We need to double our space. Last year, business increased almost 300%. I'm working my ass off. I’m also waiting for my Grasshopper so that I can pass it on. If it weren’t for Lorrie’s generosity, I’d still be scraping chocolate cake off of the floors. Fricken ants.
Thanks, Mud Chick.