Make more art. That is what I thought I could do if I helped fellow potters ship their artwork. I'd save them money, they could buy more supplies and make MORE ART. That simple phrase ended up taking me on an exciting and life-changing journey. Today, for example, I have an artist who built their Uline crate inside their house only to find it was too large to pass through their doorway. Oh, those darn details.
You see, I had been a studio potter for ten years. I fell, fast and completely, in love with the process and the ritual work of throwing pots. Wedging, trimming, all of it, but I only intended to give my work as gifts. At age fourteen, I was lucky enough to take a ceramics class at the community college. By the time I was twenty-three, I had my own Randall wheel and big ol' Skutt kiln; it was love. I think when I came to the Archie Bray Foundation and plopped down my credit card, ready to buy it all, they thought I was crazy. I had David Shaner with me that day. I had toured his studio; it was all his fault. Dave was there, and he told "Chip" (Chip Clawson) the gent behind the counter, I was seriously planning to buy a studio that day.
Beautiful moments caused by clay.
Years later, a move happened to my husband's job, and I lost my studio. The relocation wasn't ideal, and I wanted to do more with my time. I became a Fleet Manager at a trucking company. The duties entailed managing drivers; 165 gentlemen from the deep south. Although this was an informative experience in transportation, it was not my path or door into becoming a broker just yet.
Years later, purely by luck, I answered an ad for a dispatcher and landed a job at a freight broker company. I saw a narrow window into my dream. I can guide artists through the most challenging part, letting go of their pieces for risky travel and perhaps a new home. Somehow, I knew I needed to move into sales, but that proved to be a battle since the company liked me in this dispatcher position, helping other sales reps. I was profitable because I helped each agent secure business. But I wanted my own client base, a group of muddy buddies that had no idea how to ship their work to galleries. Maybe I could ship for NCECA and artists who were exhibiting at SOFA. I knew, however, that the old pros likely worked with trusted brokers....