Hello to all of you, and hello to 2015! That doesn’t seem quite possible, but time only moves in one direction, and it seems to be in warp speed these days. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season celebrating friends, family and all other things you hold dear to you. We are so honored to have contributed to so many of your holidays via our pottery!
Now that the gift-giving season is behind us once more, it’s time that I focus on the new year. And what a year it will be! With all the excitement that comes with renovations and a store opening comes a lot of stress, scheduling conflicts and compromises. I have spent the last week or so off of the social media train (per the request of my ever loving husband), and have had time to really look at out timeline for completing our apartment, finishing renovations of the storefront, budgeting, branding our company and opening the business.
To say we have a lot on our plate is an understatement.
But I believe in time management, and have the experience of college and planning our DIY wedding in 3 months while working 40+ hours a week to prove it. The first thing to consider is how to split my time between making pottery, and doing renovations. To me, the answer was simple: 50/50. We still have a demand for our popular mug designs, but our building has remained all but stagnant over the last few months as we put traveling to festivals and pottery production first. This was wonderful for our holiday season and short term goals, but TERRIBLE for the long term ones.
As a compromise, we will be making some TEMPORARY changes to the way we do business. What does that mean for you? Let’s explore.
First off, our Esty store will be going on hiatus. It will not be open for business until we have more time to devote to our online sales. If you favored our store through that website, no worries, it will be back soon. This is just a simple way to minimize how much time will be spent checking/ keeping up with online venues. We will be selling work via our website exclusively.
We will not be doing any wholesale business for a few months. We were lucky enough to be approached by several small business venues from around the state over the last few months about putting our work in their shops. I was ecstatic about the idea of having our work easy to locate for our fans, and to eliminate some need for shipping! But when I lay out my priorities to accomplish our long-term goals, this cannot be on the top of it. First and foremost we need to serve you, our friends. If we try to satisfy all of the wholesale buyers, we will never have the time to make pottery to sell straight to you. I thoroughly enjoy the time that I put into addressing each customer on a personal level via handwritten notes and emails. I would feel disconnected from our customer base if I sold solely to wholesale buyers. With time, I am 100% confident that we will be in other stores in Kentucky.
No personalized work until we move into our new space. This one is a hard one for me to do because I enjoy making unique pieces. There is nothing like creating work that you know for a fact will be loved. But logically, it must be done. By splitting my pottery time with construction, I have to prioritize and capitalize on the time allotted for making new work. I can make many more pieces if I work in a production line fashion, duplicating without creative changes. This cut would also shrink the time I spend at night emailing and communicating with customers on a one-on-one basis. Not only this, but I plan on working two weeks straight on pottery, then two weeks straight on renovations. This would make the waiting time on any custom piece go from 2 weeks from the time of purchase, to a month. I do not fancy making anybody wait that long.
Our online stock selection will be skinny. I plan on using my narrow time to produce work that has the most demand, and will make the most customers smile. You will see many of the same designs being posted, until I find the need for them to be lessened. There will be the famous mug designs, as well as colanders, cake platters, simple mugs, etc. But the color and design options will be fewer than I prefer. Bare with us on this because I have some knockout ideas in my mental sketchbook. Creativity & originality will soon return to our website.
I hope that these compromises are doable for you all! These are all important parts of our idealogy that I consider necessary in our business, and will return when time is on our side. I am not happy about making any changes, but I think in the long run it’s the best thing to do. We have reached the maximum amount of production that a 16x16 ft building with no water and limited electricity can accomplish. In order for us to grow, we must have a larger space. In order to have a larger space, I MUST make time to work on North Main Street. A small amount of compromise for a few months will go a long way for Dirty South Pottery!
I just cannot wait for all of this work to be over, and for the real fun to start! We have so many amazing ideas for the place, as well as events to hold there, that my head is constantly buzzing. I just need to focus on breathing, organizing, staying on track, and drinking coffee over the next few months to get through. Lots of coffee. And sweet tea. Yeeeeeessssss.
Yes, that is a mustache post-it note.