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Starting a business, questions and frustrations


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Hi, so happy I found this forum full of information. I'm starting a business and my focus is pottery decoration. I'll be selling glazes,  stencils, carving tools, underglazes, stains, and more, as well as providing information and videos on how to use each of this techniques. 

My question for you is; As a potter what is your biggest frustration when making pottery? 

I've attached a 5 min survey that would help me to better understand what other potters do and want. (Link removed, see below.)

Thank you in advance for your time!

UPDATE, Feb 2023:  link removed by moderator as the form is no longer available. 

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welcome to the forum>

canada has a lot of open space, where are you planning to have a store, if that is what you plan to do?   the kind of business you describe could be called a pottery supplier if you sold equipment and clay.   it sounds a little like a "paint your own pottery" place.   where do you plan to draw customers from, an urban area or do you plan to ship things? 

 

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There used to be a store set up like you’re describing in Calgary, one that sold glazes, lustres, china paints and decorating stuff, but no clay, dry materials or equipment. She retired a couple of years ago, but did quite well. So you are describing a proven business model.

Nancy’s clientele was a lot of learners and hobbyists who relied on bottled glazes, and the china painting groups. She had the best selection of underglazes in town. And for a while, it was the only local place to get lustres and china paint, because Ceramics Canada didn’t carry them. (They started selling gold when she closed down.)

As to your question about what frustrates me, that’s a little tricky to answer, because I think it depends on what point in your pottery making adventures you’re at. My pain points as someone with a lot of experience now is very different than what I was frustrated with when I was starting out. And I have always mixed my own glazes, so I’m probably not your ideal customer. I’d be more likely to come to you if, hypothetically, I was interested in adding china paint to my work and needed help with that because they didn’t cover that in my college courses. Or less hypothetically, if you sold tissue transfers and stock decals that I didn’t have to buy out of the States. None of the other regional suppliers carry them. 

What I can say from observing a lot of questions here over the years though, is that folks come in with a lot of questions about how to fix glaze flaws. Even though commercial glazes and underglazes are set up to be as easy to use as possible, the key words there are “as possible.” And it’s tricky to troubleshoot that stuff, because the recipes are proprietary. If you can offer technical help based on skill and experience, that would be very valuable.

 

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Thank you for your answers, and thank you Callie for the observation note on the glaze flaws, that helps a lot.

I believe that as potters we are all extremally creative people and my mission is to inspire this creative minds through learning and exploring of new techniques and discovering new pottery tools.  

Thanks again :)

Karla

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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

@Stephenthe post you’re referring to is marked as spam now, and has been removed. 

If anyone ever has concerns about spam posts, don’t hesitate to dm a moderator. We have email notifications turned on so we can remove this kind of thing quickly, even if we’re not on the forum when it happens. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

In my experience, achieving consistent results is one of the biggest frustrations when making pottery. It can be frustrating when a glaze or technique doesn't turn out how you expected, especially when you've put a lot of time and effort into a piece. Additionally, finding high-quality materials and tools can also be a challenge.
Your survey is a great idea and will provide valuable insights into what other potters are looking for. But I also suggest (edited to remove link by moderator) to evaluate the project strategy. I hope that my advice helps.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi there! It's great to hear you're starting a business in pottery decoration! As someone who doesn't personally work with pottery, I, unfortunately, can't answer your survey question, but I'm sure other potters will have valuable insights to share with you. Don't be discouraged if you don't receive responses right away - sometimes, getting a good sample size takes a bit of time. I also suggest taking some finance courses (like finance for non finance) to improve your money management and investing skills. It helped me a lot to start my business, and it can help you. Good luck!

Edited by elijahkrieger4
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