Four years ago I did something that made me nervous. I had this great pink glaze formula I'd finally mastered (learn about my favorite glaze making resources here) and I was already working with gold and making dessert plates, but I'd never combined these elements into one design. On a whim I did it. I added swirls of my pink glaze to the organic form of my dessert plates and painted a wavering gold line onto the plate's rim. When that first set came out of the kiln I knew I was onto something! This is a screenshot of that first set shared on instagram back when using filters was the thing to do on instagram, because artsy!
This design changed everything. Millennial Pink was about to start its ascension and these plates spoke to the resurgence of well made, thoughtfully designed products made by artists preferred over mass production and anonymity. Opportunities, interviews, magazine features, design licensing, you name it.. many of my favorite moments in my business came from this singular moment of trusting my gut and creating something I wanted to buy but that didn't exist. Since then this plate has become synonymous with the Suite One Studio brand!
To celebrate we're offering 25% all dessert plates in the shop this week! Stock up for your holiday entertaining or get started on that Xmas list early. Use code: DESSERT at checkout! Shop here! A huge thank you to the thousands (that literally makes me giddy to think about just how many of you have believed in my vision!) of your who have purchased these glamorous plates over the years. We truly couldn't have grown this tiny handmade business into what it is today without your support!
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!
Last September Kim and I traveled down to Atlanta to meet with the team at Candlefish to continue a collaboration idea we'd been discussing over email. I'd wanted to add a candle into my line for ages but wasn't sure how to go about doing it. In my online searches for a private label candle company I'd learned about Candlefish; shortly thereafter through a somewhat serendipitous personal connection I'd been introduced to a team member at their new Atlanta location. Candlefish offered to host us for a Candle Making Workshop event in their inspiring Atlanta store-- which includes a candle library with 100 different fragrances!
The workshop was so much fun! My bff, Katie was living in Atlanta at the time so she joined us for bubbly (it's a BYOB event!) and candle making under the direction of the Candlefish Chandlers, which I now know is what candlemakers are called. Who knew!
Our chandler, Erin was a wealth of knowledge and assisted us throughout the workshop. After the workshop she helped us to select the *just* right fragrance for our first holiday candle. There were literally 100 options to choose from, so picking just one fragrance wasn't an easy task! Each of the numbered amber bottles holds the fragrances available in their fragrance library!
We finally landed on the perfect woodsy, subtly wintery scent that I'll admit I've been burning basically on repeat for this past entire year, even through this summer!
Attending this workshop and going through the process of pouring my own soy candles deepened my appreciation for the luxurious simplicity of a good scented candle.
We're re-releasing our popular, 100% soy, hand-poured in Atlanta candles this upcoming fall! Each candle comes with a custom printed in the US label that features a print of my watercolor original painting in a luxe Malachite pattern. (Three independent companies work collaboratively to make this product come to life!) Want to know the moment these limited edition candles are available? Click here and sign-up for the back in stock email notification.
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!
Omg guys, this announcement has been giving me butterflies! Today's the day to finally share the news, I've partnered with my friend and incredible painter, Allie Dattilio to create a community for artists selling online called, The Studio Source. This project has been a longtime coming. Allie and I met seven-ish years ago online (Twitter? Etsy? Not sure. The internet was smaller and we somehow found each other.) We immediately began sharing emails and Etsy convos about our experiences as new artists on the scene. We didn't realize then exactly what those conversations could become, but we kept up those meaningful exchanges over the years.
Periodically we'd check in with each other; reaching out to troubleshoot, cheering each other on through the hurdles, celebrating those big business moments, and even collaborating on #TheChiaroscuroCollection back in 2017. Fast forward to today and we've collaborated once again to launch The Studio Source! This group is starting over on Facebook and is designed for artists in any medium selling their work online-- or if you're not quite at the selling online part as long as that's an active goal for you, this group is made for you.
One of my favorite things about The Studio Source right here on day one is how organically Allie and I arrived at this idea. We've been big fans of each other's work over the years and it's been amazing to witness the growth of another artist from those very early days until now. Over the last several months Allie and I both independently began talking on instagram (I'm over @suiteonestudio and Allie is @alliedattilio) with our fans about creating some sort of workshop or learning course to share what we've learned and to learn from other artists out there in the big, vast internet. That's the thing when you own your own creative business, you know in theory others are having these same challenges and celebrations, but it can be hard to really tap into that sense of community; most of us work alone or in tiny studio teams!
The lightbulbs flashed. It was serendipity! At the same moment in time we were ready to venture into teaching and creating a community for artists selling online.
Side note: out of curiosity I just dug through my email archives and found our first detailed exchange from 2011 right after Allie had her first sale on Etsy! I was still baby Etsy seller myself, not quite two years into the online selling game. In that email we chatted about the importance of blogging (I lamented that I was too infrequent-- I've gotten better but still working on that one, lol), why it's important to connect to other artists within the community for support, and how we price our work. Wow. So much has changed since then, yet we still have these same conversations... just a little more evolved to the stage our businesses are in now.
Our goal is that The Studio Source will become the online community we wish we'd had back when we first started, and the network of encouragers we still need today.
If you're an artist selling online and you're looking to connect with others on this same wild, wonderful ride then The Studio Source is for you. There's a brief questionnaire that'll help us provide meaningful framework for discussions within the group. We hope you'll join us!