We are so excited to bring to you, the first in our Inspiring Femme series. We had the chance to chat with Meg from Meg Does Pottery a few times and we absolutely adore her and her artwork. Meg is seriously true to herself and that is something we admire big time. Her style, her big smile, her unique work- just everything about her screams creativity and makes you want to pull up a mug and hang all day. Meg Does Pottery is a luxury line of handbuilt and wheel thrown pottery intended to add interest or that special oooh la la to your favourite space. Known for her unique pieces like adorable alpacas, out of this world spacecats, and jazzhands dishes, her creative and colourful flair are a whimsical and welcome addition to the Manitoba pottery scene.
Meg is a woman whose beautiful soul exudes warmth and a quiet-intense joy. We had the opportunity to interview Meg about her values, her goals for the future, and the heartfelt story behind how her signature piece, the alpaca, came to be. Read below to learn all about Meg Does Pottery.
How did you get started?
I started taking a pottery class at the Winnipeg Art Gallery a few years ago with my mom and a friend. From the minute my hands felt the clay turn beneath them I was a goner… three months later I purchased a wheel as a birthday gift to myself.
What is your mission statement?
I’m not sure I have a strong set in stone mission statement just yet.
I create a small handmade luxury line of pottery – it has a modern but timeless feel with whimsical details (similar to my personal style preference). I try to create pieces that make people feel good – I try to make them with love and intention. Much like my other passions, hair and photography, pottery is another love letter that I’m writing.
Pottery is another love letter that I’m writing.
What are your values?
One of the values I’ve tried to stick to in the last year is to remain “a small and slow studio”. Clay is all about timing and refuses to be rushed. I make it a point to not create high numbers of any of my pieces – I want to keep a little bit of exclusivity or small collection feel to future seasons. I have some staple pieces but I change up the colours or I build on previous styles.
Tell us your experience as a female-driven business?
When I did my first pop up last year I actually had no idea I would be surrounded, and be keeping company, with so many of my favourite women – it’s made me proud to be a woman making what I want and leaving a mark. If this were 30 or more years ago I know I wouldn’t have as much opportunity to make and sell my products on this platform.
I’ve been finding more and more that the majority of business owners and pop up hosts are female. This is really fun because many of us speak the same language, have similar ideas and we all want to help each other out. A lot of my role models involved in the makers movement are female and they are dominating the scene. Every event and pop up is like being on the best adult playground ever…. you get a front row seat into makers’ mind and souls… you are shown how connected we are by creating beauty, which sparks even more imagination than you thought possible.
My experience thus far has already surpassed how I thought I would do. It feels good to have stores and organizers reach out.
Tell us about the trials and victories as a small business?
LOL does not having enough hours in the day count? Not everyone knows that I work in a salon 40+ hours a week (I rent a chair and I run my own business as a stylist of 20 years) so I’m not able to make pieces full time. It takes me weeks to build up enough stock for an event or a wholesale order. There are days I’ll trim a few pieces before work or glaze when I come home. No joke, in the past year I have done a few head bobs while working into the weeeeee hours of the night.
My recent victories are basically anything that has happened with my pottery over the last year or so…. I have some very lovely stockists across Canada that carry a selection of my pieces. I’ve been doing a few guest spots at stores and I learned how to make my own website!
How do you cultivate work-life balance as an entrepreneur?
Hahaha – Is there such a thing?
Since becoming self-employed I’ve started enjoying and diversifying my days as much as possible. I do a boxing workout a few times a week, try to see more art shows, listen to podcasts and shows while I work, and I’m exposed to a more personal relationship with people as there is no longer a middle man. I guess my idea of balance means just being able to be in the moment
That being said, I definitely try to plan in advance as much as I can but I’ve also accepted that I can’t do every pop-up event or sale that comes my way. I find that our local pop up markets are typically seasonal and in my down time I make pieces for my stockists. At best I’m able to spend 2-2.5 days a week physically working in my studio. But, as any business owner knows, a business runs almost 7 days a week by the time you answer messages, cross items off your list and manage your social media. I wouldn’t be nearly as productive without all the help and support I get from my husband– having your best friend there beside you all the way really helps.
I’m super lucky because I love both of my professions very much and very seldom do they seem like work.
What has been the best part of being a business owner so far?
Oh man, the list is very long!
One of the super fun kickbacks this year has been collaborating with other makers/companies and making pieces that compliment each other’s work. As the owner, I have carte blanche and I get to decide what I want to make and when it’s going to happen. I really value being in the moment and always moving on to the next idea.
Another one of my favourite things about being the owner is hearing from shops, friends and fans first hand. I get a lot of super sweet messages (some of them from people I’ve yet to meet) and everyone just writes the nicest things or sends the cutest photos of my pieces in their new spaces!
I have carte blanche and I get to decide what I want to make and when it’s going to happen. I really value being in the moment and always moving on to the next idea.
What are your goals for the future?
I would love to start doing a few pop ups in other cities at boutiques and stores – I really appreciate intimate spaces filled with treasures!
I’ve been thinking about doing some collaborations with other artists that are just a single run/collection. This excites me because I love the idea of there being just one original piece.
My everyday goals are to keep enjoying the process, keep learning and feeding the general curiosities, to keep connecting with my fellow makers, my consumers and most importantly my hands.
What inspires you?
LOVE, my husband David (more insane amounts of love), my mum and dad, my boys – all the regular good stuff!
But also just living life! I love people watching, art, Instagram, fashion, other makers, travelling, Japanese and Scandinavian potters, flowers and good conversations.
What pushed you to make the decision to pursue the life of an entrepreneur?
This is my second business I’ve started in 4 years (I started renting a chair and taking all my bookings as a stylist 4 years ago). It was because I was now able to control my hours that freed up the time to start pursuing more artistic endeavours. Both my parents worked in sales so I think I probably was going to naturally gravitate towards creating a company and/or brand at some point in time.
What is your current favourite product you sell and why?
Ha ha oh dang! Well, I truthfully have a few but my “alpacas” are most definitely on the list! My husband and I were in Peru, honouring the memory of my late father, just before I started my classes. While we were there I purchased a few different alpaca handicrafts and saw several very decorated ones roaming around everywhere. I love making them because each one of them is unique and made entirely by hand. These are one of the pieces I make that are unmistakably mine – an expression of my soul and a tribute to my pops… and there are eventually a few more versions of them coming out.
These are one of the pieces I make that are unmistakably mine – an expression of my soul and a tribute to my pops.
We love Megs spunky attitude, and heartfelt ambition that is crafted into each unique piece she makes. Be sure to check out her website and send her some love over on Instagram!
The WC gals