By the time our readers read this it will be past Thanksgiving but I am writing this just a few days before Thanksgiving. We cannot stop and reflect enough on all that we have been given.
With almost no training in the pottery business we launched Mountain Arts Pottery. There were two events that helped get the company going. The first was a little wall hanger that had a pottery bell incorporated into the design. It was very country and sold like hot cakes for several years.
Why this was so important in helping to launch our company is because of the number of bells that we were selling. The Lord helped me to throw fast and to use very soft clay. In the early days of throwing bells I wanted to be more efficient, so I used a timer. When I started, I was throwing a bell every minute and when I no longer needed to use the timer I was consistently throwing bells one every 13 seconds. Because I started the pottery business after taking twenty lessons from a local art center, I had much to learn, and the throwing techniques that I learned in creating bells I transferred and used in every item that I made on the wheel.
The other event that impacted us in starting the pottery business was the Holiday Festival of the Arts. It was, and still is, a craft show that raises money for the Help center which assists the homeless, the needy, and people who are suffering from domestic abuse.
This was the first craft show that we had ever applied for and the first place where we sold our pottery publicly. The show was a great success for us in two ways. Being in our own community, a lot of people knew us and were glad to see us at the show. We had owned an excavating business that went broke when the economy in the late 70s began to falter, and I think that people were glad to support us in another business. Our pottery was well received and at the end of the show we had sold a substantial amount of our pottery.
The only item we had at the show was the little bell hanger that we created by tying a pottery bell onto a jute weaving. It was extremely popular, but we had only put together half a dozen of them because we had no confidence that they would sell and we didn't want to have a lot left over after the sale. They sold within the hour and I was at the back of our booth putting more together. We had put a modest price on them because of our lack of confidence, and when the first batch sold we raised the price. All of the new ones I put together sold that day and we went home that night and put all of the rest of the bells together that we had on hand. By the end of the weekend we had sold out of all of the pottery bells that I had made. It was such an encouragement and confidence builder! It is one thing to be able to make a product and quite another to have people pay money for it. We are grateful for the community and now our website seen nationwide, that has made it possible for us to build our business.
From that meager beginning we have watched God guide us over the last 37 years to the company now known as Mountain Arts Pottery/The Coffee Pot Bakery Café.
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