Updated: Jun 9
Unexpected, underestimated & unknowing. Why the heck not!
I've always been creative. No matter what type of medium it was, I had to get my hands on it and make something no matter the medium
There's a history of creativity in my family that was passed down to me in many forms:
My Mom is an amazing seamstress specializing in bridal & formal wear
My Nana was a master of all crafts, who unfortunately passed away when I was quite young, but am reminded often how like her I am
My Great Aunt who was a beautiful illustrator and water colour painter. All holiday & birthday gifts included some sort of art supply
Its ironic though, that for someone that needs & wants to be creative, I ALWAYS seemed to have other "important things" that coincided with the time of my high school art classes that left me unable to attend... My Mom always encouraged me to try art classes outside of school, but because I was a teenager and she suggested it, I chose to ignore that.
When I did finally get my self (somewhat) sorted out, I realized how much joy I got from creating and wanted to pursue it further. I completed a visual arts program in Victoria, BC where I practiced with multiple mediums- one of my favourites being ceramics. I was, and to this day, am still not super great at hand built & wheel thrown pottery- but there's still time to practice & learn. So imagine the appeal to me when I found an industry that had pre-made ceramics just sitting as a blank canvas ready to paint!
Let me tell you- becoming a studio owner happened FAST!
I was someone who had no business going into business. I had no financing, advertising or marketing background to help me along. I learned (and failed) a LOT of things during my 4 years as a studio owner.
I wasn't looking to own my own business, but I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and things just fell together. I was lucky to purchase a pre-existing PYOP studio so I had the foundation of the business to build off, a retail location, and an already established customer base. But there was lots of work to be done to have the studio & branding represent me. Oddly & helpfully I ended up having connections to people in the pottery world I didn't know about beforehand and were able to help answer some questions on how to operate a kiln and where to order inventory & supplies from.
When I say becoming a studio owner happened fast- I mean it happened within 5 months. From meeting the previous studio owner at the end of April 2015, to my official grand opening October 3 2015, I had taken on the responsibility of having my own paint your own pottery studio at the age of 23. It, and I, was totally crazy. I had minimal knowledge, understanding or savings to help keep my business afloat, but it did. Successfully. For 4 years. Looking back, it's probably better I didn't have more time to think it through or I would have got cold feet. I just needed to jump right in.
Don't get me wrong though, there were MANY low lows and it became abundantly clear how little I knew about the operations of a paint your own pottery studio & small business entrepreneurship. But, somehow, I managed. I managed to build a community within our community of passionate customers supporting a locally owned & operated small business, and creating amazing works of art.
By the end of 4 years though, I was exhausted. In every sense of the word. Emotionally, physically & mentally. Choosing to close my studio was a hard decision, but absolutely the right one. I knew after closing my studio though that I wanted to remain in the industry that welcomed, supported & encouraged me right from the start- without owning my own studio.
While I no longer have a physical retail studio, I hope to grow my own Lindsay Marr Studio as an online resource that can provide as much to other studio owners as they did for me.