Teaching Lily how to make soap independently and efficiently took about a year, then another year of shadowing her. She’s a quick learn so it was easy and fun.
Teaching her about entrepreneurship, will take much longer. To understand and negotiate all the moving parts takes a keen eye, diligence, patience and long hours. To help her along the way, I always encourage her to meet and interview other successful entrepreneurs. So, she reached out to Christiane of www.bluedoorceramics.com.
An artist, potter and MBA entrepreneur, Christiane is a successful business woman who makes her own hours, answers to nobody and gets to work from her home studio. Most importantly, she follows her passion by seizing opportunity: providing stunning, original pottery for world-renowned chefs and fortunately, the rest of us.
It wasn’t always like this, as you’ll see below. I’d like to thank her for being candid and teaching Lily some of her hard earned lessons.
Success in entrepreneurship doesn’t come easy. Sometimes, it takes a lot of losing before there’s a sliver of winning. Most people can’t stomach this – They choose being practical over their dreams and usually just successorize themselves on social media to have the illusion of success.
In society at large, it’s usually perfectly acceptable, and even desirable, to trade one’s real dreams away for practicality. Pluck the average Joe or Jane out of the population, and chances are they’ll be complaining about their lives because they chose to follow “the norm” instead of figuring out how to weave their passion into the opportunity around them.
This isn’t normal for kids…most are filled with excited, happy expectancy and are hard-wired to seek opportunity. But somewhere along the way, as adults, most people “give up”…and settle for what seemed more doable, or do nothing at all. A kids innate world of possibility is sadly reduced to slogging through the day doing what they hate.
The MAJORITY of schools, teachers, counselors and colleges communicate this false, dysfunctional message, which encourages people to become something they’re not. They neglect art talent as whimsical and unimportant, with their connotation of “the starving artist.”
This interview shows another path.
After reading Lily’s interview, buy your favorite pottery piece at www.bluedoorceramics.com and impress your friends and family at your next party!
Lily: Who got you started on the love of pottery?
Christiane: My junior year in High School.
Lily: What inspired you to start your own business?
Christiane: When I moved to Arizona I had no job and was a stay at home mom, but I had a ceramic hobby. I went to college to study business and now I have an MBA. In 2009 I decided to start my online store at Etsy.com because I was getting a lot of orders from friends… I guess when you study business its a natural thing to try and make profit, even if its selling art. I don’t believe in a starving artist. If you have focus, faith, and hard work and love what you do, you succeed! It took me 6 months to sell my first piece online. But, I stayed persistent!
Lily: What did you do before running your own business?
Christiane: I was a Hotel/Spa Owner in Brazil. It was a slave job… I had no life. I love now that I have a flexible schedule and can enjoy my children growing and be a present mom. I used to make soaps as a hobby in Brazil as well, and sold them in my spa store. It was an amazing side business that gave me around $1,000 income per month.
(I would offer your soaps to ALL spas and resorts in Arizona. You are going to grown your business a lot! I made them focusing in well being. So one was for stress relieve, the other calming, invigorating, etc, etc…)
Lily: How did you become successful?
Christiane: I got a call one day from the editor of Phoenix Home and Garden and I thought it was a joke…hahaha I guess when they feature you in a magazine, it give not only credibility to the readers but it gives the artist self confidence as well.
Lily: Where do you get your design inspiration from?
Lily: I love your colors, how do you make them?
Christiane: I love precious stones and they inspire me for the glazes. Turquoise, emerald, aquamarine, quartz, lapis lazuli…
Lily: Did your company start small? How long did it take to grow?
Christiane: My company is small. It’s just me and an apprentice!!! I have a studio in my house.
Lily: What has been the best avenue for sales of your handmade pottery?
Christiane: Definitely having my own website. The bigger clients came from Pinterest and Instagram. That’s how they found me, and they followed the link to my website. Etsy is a must for handmade as well. Very important to learn everything you can about SEO (search engine optimization) and Tagging.