wing+tree

handcrafted decoupage glass trays featuring original art & inspirational messages

Mentoring

New York, Yew Nork

Sheree Burlington5 Comments

Last week I spent a week in New York. Because enough hasn't been written about the Big A, The City That Never Sleeps, I'm compelled to add my take: There are a shit load of people in NY. From my room on the 21st floor, on 34th and 8th, I could look down upon enough tiny people to populate my entire town. Most of them were walking.

Unless being led around by their dogs, people in my world walk under these circumstances: 1. Dead car. 2. No car. 3. No license. While there may be exceptions - those who trudge through snow up to their knees along unplowed terrain because they want to, these people are generally crazy and should be avoided. If you get too close, they may ask you to join them. My best friend Janet, falls into this category.

My trip into The City was flawless. I hit the road at 7:15 and arrived in NY State at 11:30. Drove right past my hotel on the way to the Javits. Pulled into the Javits Center and right into a parking spot. After dropping off my load, I asked one of New York's finest for directions. He was pleased to tell me that I look just like Lauren Holly. I had no idea who she was (it's lonely under my rock) but since it's rare for someone to say that you look just like some dog, I received his compliment in a most charming way. When I arrived at my hotel, there was a parking space out front. I handed my keys to some guy and watched it drive away.

I won't bore you with show details. The best part about it was the great company in my booth - Larry of Clay Design and Victoria of Dream Fabric Printing. All three of us are pretty much non-stop talkers. Sometimes we actually listened to one another. They were great company and I can't wait to see them again in August.

As planned, I had dinner at Chez Veasey, home of the wicked famous LorrieVeasey and Sexyhusbandomine. Here is the real scoop on the Veasey family: Sexyhusbandomine = Hunk. And he fed the kids and did the dishes while we talked. He should host a husband/boyfriend bootcamp. I'd immediately sign up Ireland. Oh, and those cute kids she blogs about? Seriously cute. And polite. We may think Lorrie walks on water, but she's a regular gal like the rest of us. I hugged her and those Beautiful Berthas moved right out of the way just like regular, non-famous boobage.

Cut to the last day of the trip. I call for my car - which sounds almost as cool as my agent. Two hours later, I'm still waiting. I'm beginning to wonder if the guy in front of the hotel drove it to Jersey and cut it into tiny pieces. Eventually it shows up. Whew. I'm not an idiot. I drive to the Javits and find it in absolute grid lock. No way to get anywhere near it. I drive around the block and approach it from a new angle. Not happening. As I prepare to make another 1/2 hour pass around the block, my gas light comes on. I see a entrance to the parking lot. I don't wonder why no one else is taking advantage of this clear passage. I just drive right in.

"License and registration, please." Do I know what I just did, he asks? I just ignored a Do Not Enter sign. (Ok, I am an idiot.) As I reach for my papers, I hear him say "Hey, you're the one who looks just like Lauren Holly." I flash him my most convincing LH smile. I still don't know who she is. That's ok, he says. Why don't you just back right into that space over there.

I heart New York.

Waiting For My Grasshopper

Sheree BurlingtonComment

“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.