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Phillidia

Home Studio Vs Rented Studio Space (Long)

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8 years ago a purchased a "Paint your own Pottery" studio with the intention of expanding it into both painting pottery, and a clay studio with pottery wheels, demos, classes, etc. I thought it would be great to be able to make my own pieces, display and sell them in the studio, as well as have the usual clientelle who just came in to paint.

 

But over the years I have been too busy working to get work done! haha. Payroll, bookkeeping, taxes, scheduling employees, working extra shifts, teaching classes, customer service, ordering supplies, etc... plus getting all of our customer's pottery fired and out on time has left me very little time for what I really wanted to do from the begining, which is my own work. Paying off student loans, business loans and rent and utilities for both my home and studio space has me working for almost nothing. Each month I pay my bills and that's about it. And it's become increasingly stressful and less enjoyable over time.

 

So I have decided to sell the paint your own pottery business. I already have someone interested and we are awaiting the landlord's approval at the moment before moving further.  I'm selling the business for how much I owe on it and am really happy to just be walking away debt free. Fresh start.

 

I'd love to start up a little home studio. Work a "real" job part time, and make my own pieces part time. I have a small etsy shop currently and I have my first big art sale this September, and would love to start doing both regularly when I am able to produce more work.

 

My question is this: Is having a home studio easier to opperate than a rented studio space? I know by downsizing I'll save on rent and utilities, and not having employees. But, otherwise, is the business basically the same? Insurance, licences and fees, taxes, bookkeeping... How much time do you spend on those vs making work? There is a little negative voice in the back of my mind saying all the things I stress about now are still going to be there. Maybe I have the pottery skills, but not the business skills. I just want pottery to be fun again! And to grow and get better. And maybe, just maybe, actually make a profit.

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you should also read Mea's story on her website.  LOTS of factual information re all the things you are thinking of.   just click on her link above.  also, where are you?

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(My question is this: Is having a home studio easier to opperate than a rented studio space? I know by downsizing I'll save on rent and utilities, and not having employees. But, otherwise, is the business basically the same? Insurance, licences and fees, taxes, bookkeeping... How much time do you spend on those vs making work? There is a little negative voice in the back of my mind saying all the things I stress about now are still going to be there. Maybe I have the pottery skills, but not the business skills. I just want pottery to be fun again! And to grow and get better. And maybe, just maybe, actually make a profit.)

 

What pottery not fun! Come on make what you want when you want and people throw money at you-or at least thats what I have heard.

Tell me this ain't so?Really not the case -paperwork and taxes-what next an audit?

 

Ok the real deal is its a busines only if you want it to be. It can be a hobby

(I have no idea what thats like so I will not make one up)

But as a business you should structure as a business-do the paperwork/taxes and banking as a business.

depending on which state you are in will determine what paperwork is needed to some degree.

As far as how much time does this take away from making pottery-thats up to you as to your own efficiency with paperwork 

I do mine on computer and try to keep current until my busy fall schedule of selling takes over. Then in mid winter(after x-mas) I get my  paperwork in order to do taxes with my account.

Depending on how you work profit can be had from pottery but time managment is key. 

You will be miles ahead working from your home instead of renting a studio space (again I do not know anything about where you live so New York City may be an issue?)

Plan on about 95% paperwork  3% social media hype 2% clay work-ok just kidding again-I have been reading these darn CMs that say how much time everyone spends on work vs paperwork.

Most of your time will be spent making the next part will be selling and yes you do have some paperwork but it not that bad really (I say this after my account did my taxes on 65 pages of papers and had 20 different forms)

Keep in mind this is my life making pottery for over 40 years mostly full time.

It can be fun really.

Like today dropping pottery orders off at three shops-big fun-throwing 30 bowls and loading small glaze kiln and trimming 30 bowls and making some slab work-tonght my feet hurt for some reason?

 

What type of part time work are you considering?CEO for large multi National Company or injury attorney work?

Ok I ts late and I have a large sense of humor-there are a few tips for you above but we need a bit more info to help you.

Mark

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Hi a lot depends on where you live, and what kind of pottery you are doing. Also what kind of investment you have.

 So if you own your own home,or will be staying there long term: do you heave a realistic space separate from your living quarters? One reason is the need for the space to avoid contaminating your home space, but also tax reasons- a separate space is much easier for tax purposes. 

You have run a business before, which puts you ahead of the game, but you also sound a bit overwhelmed, so if the business is at home , you can ramp it up at will, rather than have the pressure again of meeting many obligations.

also , once up to speed you can examine where your product would better fit in, rather than try to figure it all out now.

The down sides to not having a shop are: isolation,feeling out of the loop or not important(after having so many people rely on you).

really depends on where you live, if an open studio is feasible. 

you can run into the same difficulties if you are home or rent. you could get away w a hobby shop at home, but zoning is what determines whether the shop is legal whether at home or rented. Starting at home can lead to owning /sharing a gallery. Really depends a lot on your circumstances and your market, so tell us more....

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Thanks for the replys. I've been reading Mea's blog all morning :)

 

I'm in Oregon. Portland at the moment, but after I sell the studio I'll be moving down south to Salem. My boyfriend has a good job in the medical field and we'll be moving closer to his work. Which means I won't know where I'll be living next year, so won't know what type of studio space I'll be able to acheive till then. I also won't have a kiln. The new owner doesn't do clay, so I will be able to keep all the clay/supplies and wheel, but will have to leave the kilns so the store can stay in business glaze firing all the pyop's customer masterpieces. So I'll be out of it for at least a few months while life changes completely.

 

As for my "part time real job" I've been out of the regular job field so long I don't really know what I qualify for. I have a Bachelor's in Graphic Design, but was a cake decorator at a bakery before the pottery studio. I've never had a desk job. But I'm willing to start at the bottom somewhere, if need be.

 

And it will start out as a hobby, getting back into the swing of things, setting stuff up etc, but would love for it to evolve into a business eventually. I've thought about hooking a kiln up in a relative's detached garage/woodshop but I've read through that thread here already lol. I guess, when I move I'll have to specifically look for a place with a home studio in mind.

 

I've added a few (bad quality) pictures of some of my work. It's a lot of texture and a lot of hand painted designs. I don't have a "set style" which I know I'll have to continue to develop.

 

 

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You are good shape for several reasons-you already know about kilns and business as stated above.

Look for a rental that has preferablly a 200 amp electrical service and has room for a studio.

This will make your transition easier in the long run

Since your in Oregon you already do have less paperwork as there is no sales tax to track and report and pay.

Start slow and build it up only getting what you have to.

Your local farmers markets alow pottery selling at most so you have a ready small market to tap into.

When you hit the big time the Salem art show is highly ranked and its in your backyard.

Your on a good path already.

Mark

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seeing your work and knowing that you have business experience, if you can't find anywhere else, i have a studio with everything you need.  except it is in west va and i live here.  there are 2 empty bedrooms! :rolleyes:

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