Heather Knight got started by making things she would want in her own home. Her business, Element Clay Studio, started as a way to supplement her income. Today, her line of nature-inspired ceramics is her full-time job, something she says was due, in part, to her decision to sell on Etsy.
"I received such great press and visibility that I was able to make it my full-time job within a year," she says. Her creations all come out of a converted shipping container on her property in Savannah, GA. She is helped out by her husband Mike, who takes care of customer service, keeping her websites updated, and generally helping out around the studio.
We talked with Knight about the story behind her shop's name, how she stays inspired, and where she shops when she's on Etsy. Take a closer look below:
Does your shop's name have a backstory?
Element has a few meanings. It stands for Earth and Fire or course, and also the thing that heats up my kiln is called an element as well. It is kind of perfect.
Where do you create your products? I work in a shipping container building on my property in Savannah, Ga.
What is one hard part of your work that people may not realize? Ceramics are very time-intensive and my work is all handmade, so it takes a lot of time to make. Then it has to dry slowly over many weeks, and then you have to get things just right in the kiln or it will be destroyed. The work is not instant or guaranteed, but good work is worth waiting for. I keep all the work in my shop in stock to balance this out, so that I end up doing most of the waiting and not the customer.
What do you do for inspiration when you're stuck?
I take a break . Go antique shopping, go to the beach, meditating, even just walking away for a day to rest can get me back to a good place when I return to work.
What celebrity would you like most to buy one of your products? Oprah, definitely Oprah.
How do you imagine people using your products at home?
I hope they are using the little dishes to hold things precious to them or putting them in a place that makes them happy every day. Beyond that, I hope that my work sticks around through trends and moves through different styles with ease so it can make my clients happy for years and years.