First of all, how have you been coping with the pandemic this year?
It allowed me to have a much-needed reset – I’m a workaholic and I always take on too much and then run around trying to get everything done so the lockdown gave me a chance to stop. Mentally it was good to slow down without the pressure of work. I spent more time, cooking, baking and a lot of gardening.
Has it affected how you operate your business?
I feel like I was in a lucky position, having an online business and being able to work alone in my studio. I did close the shop for 6 weeks during the lockdown but then reopened and have been busier than ever.
How long have you been selling on Etsy for?
I opened my Etsy shop back in 2012 and run it alongside my own website.
What did you study to be able to work on your art for a living?
I studied Graphic Design at Uni and then worked in London as a children’s book illustrator/designer for 8 years before taking the plunge and opening my ceramic studio.
What is the Atelier Stella Ceramics mission statement?
Stylish, handmade ceramics to make you smile.
What’s your best seller?
What are you currently working?
The collection is constantly changing as I have so many new ideas I just need to find the time to make them! Next on the list are some new pieces for Christmas.
How did you find the process of creating products for the Zoella X Etsy Collab?
It went really smoothly, the Zoella/ Etsy team sent over some ideas of pieces they liked and mood boards for patterns colours. I did some glaze tests and came up with a prototype which was approved the first time.
What’s the best thing about working for yourself?
Being able to take the afternoon off to go for a sea swim when the sun is shining.
How long does your end to end process take when designing and selling something new for your shop?
It varies as some new pieces I design I add straight to the shop and others sit on the shelf for a while so I can think about tweaks or glaze ideas. But generally, I could probably get a new piece from a paper sketch to photographed and in the shop in about 2/3 weeks.
What inspires you?
The collection evolves with influences from vintage ceramics, folk art, ancient pottery and geometric shapes. I keep a sketchbook of notes and mix all my ideas to create something that is uniquely my style.
How do you relax outside of work?
Two years ago I set about transforming our overgrown garden, I’ve put a lot of time and love into it and I spend hours pottering, drinking coffee and staring at the flowers.
If you could give one piece of advice to our audience who want to start making their own products what would it be?
Take your time and experiment! It’s easy to copy what someone else is doing and get a quick product but if you make something from the heart that is yours, you will never tire of making it and will always be proud of your originality.