I really, really love what I do. It's a blessed life I lead, being able to work from home and care for my babies, creating ceramic pieces that are useful to people and loved. And a shout out to my husband, Marc Tippin, for supporting me chasing this dream. This is a fun Q&A with one of my favorite clients to work with: Amy and Ellen from HERE. a pop-up shop, who are continuously inspiring in their entrepreneurial bravery. #loveannapolis #buylocal !!
Spring! It's finally Spring! Joyful Clay is in full production mode, preparing for a new season of farmers markets, continuing to sell in various stores across the country (world, actually, now with the addition of New Zealand!) as well as online, and introducing some really exciting new ventures that I'll discuss below. And speaking of new ventures, check out my new WHOLESALE page. Happy spring, everyone!
Like last year, I will be selling my work at the bountiful Severna Park farmers market, every other Saturday beginning May 7.
I'll be at the Frederick City farmers market once monthly.
Dates are announced on my shop local page.
Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Herbst of Sparrow
NEW LOCATIONS TO FIND JOYFUL CLAY
Sparrow Gorgeous jewelry and gifts for the home in Annapolis, Maryland. Go see the new storefront at 198 West Street-- stunning! Joyful Clay has collaborated with Sparrow to create an exclusive line of jewelry dishes.
Whimsicality The sweetest little gift shop in the heart of the Cape St. Claire neighborhood in Annapolis, Maryland. Whimsicality is featuring Joyful Clay's Annapolis mugs and crab spoon rests for a little flavor of Maryland!
HERE. a pop up shop, our favorite all-things-local gift shop here in Annapolis, is doing some really exciting things these days, among them being the launch of their new online shop. Joyful Clay has collaborated with them to create a line of HERE & NOW mugs and some adorable trinket dishes. Coming in April.
STARBUCKS COFFEE COMPANY has a very special store in Baltimore, Maryland: the Inner Harbor East store. They serve the finest Reserve coffees in the world, and very soon they'll also be selling their own exclusive line of Joyful Clay's logo mugs. As a former Starbucks partner, I'm proud of this most recent venture; truly the stuff of dreams. Coming in late April or early May.
As the handmade movement becomes more and more coveted by our society, retail establishments are responding by offering one-of-a-kind and handmade pieces created by artists and craftsmen(women) all over the country. Naturally, Etsy, a site designated for the sale and promotion of hand-crafted items, is the perfect place for buyers to look to stock up the shelves of their shops. The local movement then meets the handmade movement as customers flock to their local retail store to buy that perfect handmade gift!
It is with great excitement that I announce that Joyful Clay has joined on with Etsy Wholesale to provide wholesale items to retail buyers and small business owners everywhere!
I've decided to start with what is easily my biggest seller on both Etsy and Amazon: my fun and functional spoon rests. I'll be offering my most popular four styles.
In addition, I'll be offering my beautiful ikebana flower arrangers, which are by far my hottest selling item at my farmers markets.
More items are in the works as I continue to focus on my Joyful Clay line, but let me ask you-- what is your favorite Joyful Clay piece that you'd like to see in a local gift shop?
If you represent a retail business and are interested in becoming a buyer on Etsy Wholesale, follow the link here.
These few quiet months, when the markets are at rest and the weather is cold (supposed to be, anyway), I'm slowing down a bit on production and looking inward; planning for the season ahead. Each year it is my goal to bring some freshness to my 'line'-- continuing favorites, of course, but also adding new colors and looks to keep you all interested, and to keep the artist alive within me.
I'm particularly drawn to bringing a bit of earthiness to my table-- olive green, burnt sienna, and plum. Also, wooden, hand-carved stamps from India! There's a plethora of shops on etsy that sell these beautiful, intricate stamps, and I'm having difficulty narrowing my selection down to a few. My mugs are calling for them, though!
Some new items are in order, to welcome in the new year. Demitasse cups, for one, to further promote habitual coffee drinking. Essential oil diffusers are another new addition, which have become rather popular to my online customers (and in my own home!).
It's important to me, for this year, to get organized. I like having many offerings on my table, but I want consistency. One style vase in 5 different colors, for example, as opposed to several one of a kind pieces that can never be replicated. Because I've found that offering one of a kind pieces can be rather frustrating for customers. A customer might like the vase, to continue the example, but maybe not in white. If I stop with the one of a kind, and start the line of product, I think we'll find more satisfaction all around. While it may be fun to not know what you're ever going to find on my market table, it's even more fun to know that if you like a particular piece, you can get it in the color of your choosing, don't you think? So I've created a brainstorm (above), highlighting the pieces I will create and the colors I will offer, and I'm sticking with it.
Happy New year, everyone. May 2016 bring you joy and inspiration. May you live deliberately and adventurously, and may you follow your heart on this life's journey.
I'm overjoyed to announce that Joyful Clay is now a seller on Amazon Handmade, the new and exciting platform for selling handmade online. Please check out my offerings at:
As I get more familiar with the site, I'll be adding more products, so be sure to check back frequently. And yes, I'll still continue to sell on etsy.com so please stop by my etsy shop to see my work.
It's so refreshing to have more and more nights stay above freezing temperatures, and thankfully soon we will be past the point of frost. Warmer weather means my studio can stay in my studio. For the past several bitterly cold months I've been storing clay and glaze in our dining room, and schlepping in all of my creations nightly to sit on a folding table in the middle of the living room to keep it all from freezing. Clay doesn't like the cold. It's rather intrusive on our home life having pottery take over. It's dusty, and big, and bulky.
I have to admit, though, having my wares around me in various stages of completeness keeps my head actively working all the time; thinking pottery all the time. And this is really exactly what I need as I gear up for the next market season and begin to think of new items to design, create, and sell! I think I'm most excited about finding silicone lids so I can create travel mugs--something I've wanted to make forever, and now I can! I'm stocking up on my vegetable steamers, too, and some fun berry bowls, pitchers, and vessels for all those bunches and bunches of gorgeous flowers you'll find at the market.
And because I love them so very much, Joyful Clay will be in two farmers markets this summer: Every Saturday morning at the Severna Park Farmers Market in Severna Park, Maryland, and every other Sunday at the Frederick City Farmers Market in Frederick, Maryland.
So come on, warm weather. I'm ready to exchange my little space heater for a fan in my studio, clear out my house and start packing up my creations for the markets!
February. month seven of being in business. With the first six months under my belt, and with the new year, I'm feeling the need to lay out some goals with my business for 2015. But first, a recap of 2014:
Summer, 2014: Joyful Clay became a trade name and an official business. Many important things happened behind the scenes: I sampled many, many different glazes and clays. Tried out my (new to me) kiln, resulting in some success and a ton of failure until finally figuring out what the heck I was doing. Played with different forms until deciding what kinds of things I wanted to make. Practiced, practiced, practiced. I began building up stock in my items. I took many deep breaths and repeated my mantra: You can do this. This is not crazy. You can do this.
Fall, 2014: I hit the ground running, signing up for markets, sending work to local shops (being picked up by Twisted Sisters, Sweet Clover Barn, and HERE.) launching my etsy site. I managed to make pottery in between the endless hours spent building my website and promoting on etsy. Oh, and still was mama to my two littles and took care of all that goes along with that. Thank goodness for my super ultra supportive husband!
Winter, 2014: Probably the most exciting news came in late fall when Starbucks (yep, Starbucks!!) contacted me to do a promotional line of mugs for one of their exclusive stores in Seattle, Roy Street Coffee and Tea. I repeated my mantra several times (you can do this), took some deep breaths, the little voice in my head called self doubt receded, and I got to work. After a few weeks I had 17 samples ready to send out to Roy Street just in time for Christmas. Much to my surprise, they put the samples right on the shelf and they.all.sold. The Starbucks partners narrowed the selection down to their top five favorites, and I recently shipped my first order, with more surprises in the works to be announced shortly.
Needless to say, It's been a busy six months. And now, February. 2015. New year, new plans. In 5 months I will hit my one year anniversary. Where do I want to be? Here are my goals, in brief.
Goals for 2015:
Thank you so very much for your support over the last 6 months. Your encouragement keeps me moving forward with this crazy dream that was born 20 years ago when I first sat down to a potters wheel and realized this was really something special. Looking forward to the year ahead, and I hope you are too!
So very joyfully,
September is proving to be a very busy month around here! Friday the 19th is an exceptionally important day for Joyful Clay, as it launches its debut in two new storefronts: HERE. a pop up shop in Annapolis, Maryland, and Sweet Clover Barn in Frederick, Maryland. I am so proud to be included in HERE., the pop up shop that supports local, supports art, and supports small business. (not to mention happens to be the talk of Annapolis)! You'll find a sampling of all of my wares HERE., from soap dish to necklace, coffee mug to sweet little affirmation ornaments.
And below is a sneak peek of my jewelry display at Sweet Clover! (as a side note, how cute is that table? Sweet Clover has some of the best one of a kind finds. When I walk in there, I wish I had brought a moving truck because I want to take EVERYTHING home with me).
And finally, to round off September as being the busiest month, Joyful Clay will be at two markets: every other Saturday at the Severna Park Farmers Market in Severna Park, Maryland, until its closing for the season on October 25th, and every first Saturday at the Makers Market at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center in Dowell, Maryland. Be sure to stop by and say hi!
Wishing you all a wonderful TGIF!
For directions and hours and details on all of these happenings, please see my Events page.