Women Supporting Women
This month in honor of Women's HERstory Month we are asking a few makers that have supported us from the beginning to share their stories. When women encourage each other incredible things happen!
Sarah is wearing our Kathy's Herbs Box Top
Sarah Duyer is a San Francisco based ceramics artist and painter. Since college, Sarah has been selling her work online but six years ago is when she decided to start focusing on her small business and selling her work.
"I was working in retail and making ceramics in my spare time and I started selling my wares as a way to help cover my studio costs. Doing craft shows helped me to narrow the focus of my work and create a more cohesive line of products. I still think of myself as more of an artist or craftsperson than a business owner since my main focus is on creating work that I would want to use every day in my own home but I really enjoy seeing my pieces go out into the world where they can be used and appreciated by my customers. "
What advice would you give other women who are interested in starting their own business?
"I think the most important thing is really being passionate about what you do and enthusiastic about the work that you’re making. Starting a creative small business has been incredibly challenging and there were a lot of points where I nearly called it quits. I think that without that love for my craft I don’t think I would have been able to tough it out. Having a supportive community of other artists to bounce ideas off and get advice from has also been crucial and I’m very thankful for the generosity of my fellow artists I’ve met through doing craft shows."
Tell us about a woman/women who mentored you or who influenced your business
"It’s difficult to pinpoint one woman who helped shaped my business but I have been so fortunate to have an incredible community of female artists in San Francisco. Over the years I have been able to call on my fellow creative women for help with things like photoshoots or working the booth at a craft fair and I would not be where I am today without them. A lot of my community has grown out of doing craft shows (that’s how I met Jennie [Jenny Lemons]) and it’s been wonderful to see how all our styles and businesses have changed and grown over the years. I feel like I can reach out to them for advice or collaboration and I’m so glad that we are able to lift each other up and support each others businesses as we grow."
Sarah is wearing our Fern Box Top
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
"In five years I want to be pursuing my craft full time though I’m not sure what form that will take. I feel most fulfilled when I’m working in my studio, experimenting with new ideas and creating something with my hands. I don’t know what life has to offer in 5 years but I hope to be happy, inspired, and learning new things in my studio.'
We love your Pot Punisher Project, can you tell us about it?
"Pot Punisher is a silly performance art project I started last year that explores the fragility and frustration that ceramics can cause. Failure is a big part of ceramics, with many points at which a piece can be lost throughout the process, and while that can be heartbreaking at times it has taught me to be less precious with my work in order to learn what I can from the mistake and move forward. In making the videos I found a way to express my frustration and release my aggression in a way that is both fun and cathartic. We are conditioned to only present the best versions of our work on social media, excluding the struggles, mistakes, and experimental stages a piece goes through to become a finished piece and the videos are a celebration of destruction and acceptance of failure as part of the creative process. Through the project I have also found a camaraderie with fellow artists and was really happy to start having had a more open dialogue about the frustrations we all feel as creators. But most importantly it’s just really fun to smash things sometimes."
San Francisco based ceramics artist, painter, and burrito enthusiast
Kathy's Herbs Box Top paired with Block Printed Silk Scarf
Written by: Sarah Ogden
Sarah is the Brand and Store Manager of Jenny Lemons. She is a lover of all things cute and is the maker of SMO Ceramics