Selling online as an artist didn't come easily for me. In 2009 when I started my business it was little more than a way to make some extra cash to pay for more clay so I could keep my hobby going. I was still a college student working multiple jobs and attending part-time classes watching as all of my peers began to graduate. I felt left behind, directionless, and broke. On Facebook I'd seen a college friend mention she was beginning to sell on Etsy, and not knowing what it was about I looked into it. That same afternoon I opened my Etsy shop.
I had plenty of pottery sitting around that I could sell... in theory. But I didn't know how to sell online, or how to take a halfway decent product photo, or how to write about my work objectively in a compelling way. I didn't let any of that stop me. I learned every single thing the hard way through sheer determination.
Early on I met fellow just-getting-started artist, Allie Dattilio. We met through Etsy and began exchanging emails. We shared the highs and lows, and encouraged each other over the years as our online art businesses grew.
We didn't set out to start a business together. That happened very organically. We recognized a need for a community for artists selling online that not only offered support, troubleshooting, and feedback but one that also got right into the nitty gritty of being a successful online entrepreneur.
Running a growing art business isn't only about the feel-good creative side of things. There are important business tasks too like bookkeeping, taxes, diversifying revenue streams, and understanding business acronyms like ROI, SEO, and TOM and how they relate to your business. Considering we'd both created thriving online businesses as artists we decided to create that community ourselves: The Studio Source.
This upcoming week on Thursday, 1/17 we're opening The Membership for a limited time (only until 1/22) and we'd love to have you join us! All the details about The Membership are here. Be sure to join The Waitlist for an email notification right when The Membership opens!
photo credit: Jacob Buwalda
Art and design lovers this one's for you! I've joined two of my favorite brands, Chairish and Jojotastic to create a truly spectacular giveaway to celebrate reader appreciation over on Joanna's site, Jojotastic! I'm a longtime fan of Joanna's and we've even become friends in real life over the years, taking turns hosting each other in our homes for visits despite living on opposite sides of the country. The internet can seriously introduce you to amazing people you'd otherwise never know!
Food52 loves food, and so do we. That's the simplest way to sum up this exciting collaboration and why it's one of my favorites to date! I design every piece of tableware with the food it'll one day serve in the forefront of my mind. Function is central to my design process. All the little details like the weight of a piece both empty and when piled high with food, the curve of the rim to properly contain the food, the glaze color and texture... it all comes back to the food and how the porcelain will work with it.
You may remember I previously designed and handmade exclusive porcelain tableware products for Food52 from 2013-2015. We had so many great hits together (read about a few of my favorites on the blog here and here) that we decided to partner up again!
This time around I designed three products destined for celebratory holiday tables. I kept the forms simple to focus on the pure, raw beauty of the porcelain clay. The undersides remain unglazed in our signature fashion, creating a non-porous surface from the high-fired porcelain. The interiors in contrast are decorated with the glossiest glaze around (our secret in-house formula) and finished with painterly splatters in real, 22k gold.
The Gold Splatter Serveware Collection debuted this week and we hope that you'll love this food-centric porcelain pottery just as much as we do! Click here to shop the collection which includes: mini bowl for condiments, serving slab, and an oval platter all entirely handmade with sparkling gold details.
Setting Up Shop: Refinishing A Vintage Rattan Settee for the Studio in Partnership with Patio Lane, Sunbrella and SilverState Fabrics
Some projects start out as a tiny spark, a flicker of an idea that probably makes no sense to anyone else, but that you can't shake. That's how this project started. I stumbled upon a vintage rattan settee two years ago for a steal. The catch, it was in poor condition, covered in mildew, and had a terribly cheesy cushion that was also covered in mildew. All I saw were great lines and potential! If only it was cleaned, stained, and had a brand new cushion it really could be a beauty! For $40 the settee came home with me and continued to poorly weather in the elements on my porch for two years. After moving into our studio space earlier this year I dreamt of finally tackling that piece and bringing it in to live at the studio. Below is the settee prior to any refinishing, looking back I'm surprised I saw the potential!
Click below to see the surprising before photos!
Setting Up Shop: Selecting Studio Furniture for a Messy Clay Studio with Patio Lane, Sunbrella, and SilverState Fabrics
Even before moving into our new studio I knew I wanted to have a designated area for meetings, casual sitting, and lounging in addition to the clay working area. The challenge was finding furniture suitable for the space that would not only look great, and be comfortable, but that could also take the unique beating that comes from a ceramic studio. Clay is messy! Whether it's the layers of porcelain dust that seem to accumulate overnight, or the wetter, splattery variety, clay gets everywhere in a studio so anything that comes into this space must be ready to stand up to those special challenges. I partnered with my friends over at Patio Lane to create a custom cushion for a vintage settee I'd been meaning to facelift and they joined forces with SilverState Fabrics to provide us with Sunbrella fabric that can stand up to just about anything!
I selected samples of Sunbrella indoor outdoor fabric from SilverState Fabrics, which promptly arrived. With samples in hand I began pulling together imagery for the overall look I want the studio lounge area to have. We already have a bold emerald velvet sofa and a blush pink wall, which put tropical vibes to the forefront of my mind. I selected a few greens, a bold black and white graphic pattern, and a woven linen-look gray.
Click below to see which fabric I picked for this custom bench and grab a coupon code!