Sunday, July 29, 2012
Here are three of the five Museware Pottery Women. That's Sara on the left, Nicole in the middle and me on the end. People think MP is all about me - I am the owner & designer. I'm the one they interview. True, everything about MP, the designs, the site, the marketing - comes from me. But I'm not doing the work. The real workers are The Women.
Nicole has been with me for nearly 5 years. My partner & I hired her back in 2003 to manage our first paint your own pottery studio, You're Fired. Years later when we'd both moved on, the pieces clicked - I needed to replace a key employee and Nicole needed a job.
We're both Aries. We sing. We talk. We dance. We tell stories. We get wicked excited about stuff. Nicole is much easier to get along with that me. She's accommodating. Organized. Linear. I'm bossy and eccentric. Like many creatives, I come with a head full of big ideas, tons of creative energy and the attention span of a fruit fly. Nicole is my rock. And no, you cannot have her.
Sara Louise (affectionately called SaraJane) is our youth. She joined the MP family almost 2 years ago. We snagged her from a national craft chain where she'd worked the early morning shift receiving & stocking for nearly 3 years. You know how hard it is to hire young people who know how to work? It's taken a couple of years and a lot of responsibility to hone her into the gem she is now. We're proud of our little Sara. You can't have her, either.
Missing from this photo are two important cogs in our pottery machine. We affectionately call cursive artist Jill "Ninja" because she quietly slips in out of the studio like stealth painter. Her lovely & nearly flawless cursive has spelled out the invitations and favorite songs of many newly married couples & families. She's also a skilled graphic designer and has her hands on our upcoming catalog. We don't scare her one bit.
Our bookkeeper, Karol Carroll, who we always call KarolCarroll, comes in once a week. She pays our bills, takes care of payroll and other hateful bookkeeping tasks like taxes. When those miserable state of NH forms come in, she fills them out, hands them to me for signature and then mails them. She's like a fricken angel.
Also missing but forever in our minds is Leslie. Leslie was our third leg for years, cheerfully answering the phone, handling cumbersome order entry and even unloading and sorting kilns. She was also the only one who ever cleaned the refrigerator. Family called her home, but they won't keep her forever. We miss you, Leslie.
We are The Women. We used to be the Wicked Crafty Yankee Chicks, but we've grown up. Collectively, we've turned Museware Pottery into an industry leader. We've survived those terrible & clueless first years, a misguided move and even the devastating effect of the 2008 bank failures on the giftware industry. We've streamlined production, automated ordering and reduced our lead time. We are strong. We are invincible. We are The Women.
Hear us roar :)
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Today, I find myself with 8 blogs. They all contain different content and nearly all are in a state of chronic neglect. So when I decided to blog to my retailers & social media followers, I returned to my roots. Opinions of a Broad is filled with true stories of my past life, peppered with occasional good writing & often bad language. There are many more stories - unwritten but ready for the telling. While I'm waiting for the words, I'll tell the stories of my current life, which evolve around my work, a handful of awesome and loyal employees and the MP customers and fans, who give us purpose.