Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pottery but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachel Recker, owner of Salish Sea Ceramic Studio, located in Everett, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Salish Sea Ceramic Studio is a Pottery Studio that specializes in wheel throwing, memberships, and seasonal hand-building classes. The studio has grown fast in the past 2.5 years and is posed for more growth with a dynamic curriculum and dedicated studio staff.
Our customers are everyone! They consist of local artsy people, business professionals, moms, curious individuals, celebrating people, and occasionally kids.
The Studio's Mission: Bringing clay art to Everett, Wa, and the holistic benefits with it, of mental health, community, and thriving. Which will make us better stewards of each other and our environment.
Tell us about yourself
I have been an artist my whole life. I went to art school at Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating in 2007, and moved to the PNW after doing some teaching and traveling in China. I ended up going back to school to become a Physical Therapist Assistant, where I learned all about our bodies and the medical field. I ended up working in the local area at various facilities and continuing to make art until 2020 with the Pandemic. With some extra time and rest on my hands, I was able to throw myself into my art since I always said I wanted to make more art.
When I moved from Seattle to Everett, I realized no time like the present to start a Ceramic Studio of my own, or I would always wonder what could have been. I had help from my mentor Curtis Yu and lots of friends to back me up. It's been a roller coaster ride since, and I feel like I am in college again for the third time. However, I have been able to make lots of my own art and busy getting it out there along with running the studio, planning classes, teaching, and managing employees.
We have plans to get ceramic art into Art O Mat Vending machines, I want to expand our online store, and I am actively exhibiting my sculpture most recently at Gallery 311 in Raleigh, NC, for their "Strange Love" show and at the Denver Artist League for their show "DelecTable."
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Starting the business is my biggest accomplishment. Recognizing I wanted to do this or I would always regret it. Talking to every one to break down the steps and strategizing. Getting word of mouth out there for what I needed. Asking for help and financial support of Go Fund Me. Being vulnerable with my friends and family to receive help when I needed it. Being able to find a space to rent to start in and filling it full of the necessary tools to make it a functional ceramic studio. I am also proud of the number of people's lives we have touched and affected. The trickle-down motivational effect the studio has had on other local businesses and my friends. Watching me chase and grab my passion and working in the studio has inspired a lot of other people to chase their dreams as well. I have watched my friends pursue their own business ventures, change their life, and then in the area, other businesses have started, and Everett, Wa, is really motivated by the arts and has the drive to be a happening place.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The constantness of it is what I find the most difficult. Every day there is stuff that has to be done and implemented for the continuation of the business. If I don't do it, no one will, but the bills will keep coming. I try my best to delegate the things that make sense and get people to play to their strengths, but no one is going to take the actions that I am capable of. Sometimes I wish I could just take a week-long camping trip with no reception as I used to, but I haven't gotten to that point yet. Maybe I'm up to like two days with no reception.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get a bookkeeper you vibe with.
- Use what you have for maximum effect.
- Don't be afraid to mess up and try something different.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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