One year ago today we signed the lease to rent 2212 North 30th Street in Tacoma and took the giant leap of faith to begin our own business, Throwing Mud Gallery.
It's been a whirlwind of a year. As soon as the lease was signed we were busily working to open as soon as possible. We had walls to take down and build up, plumbing changes to make, wall colors to choose and paint, furniture and shelving to research and purchase and lots of cleaning and brightening up the space.
This is what it looked like, standing at the front of the store on December 21, 2010:
Mark standing in front of the window last year:
And the same view today:
In the last year we've had 77 people take 6-week pottery classes and 45 people "Try It" in our 2-hour introductory class. For our first official session of pottery classes we had 14 people enrolled. The last session of the year that just ended had 42 people enrolled.
In the gallery, we started out with pretty much just Mark's pottery, some soap and several pairs of earrings. Now we carry the handcrafted work of over 60 different artists, including some pretty prominent names in the pottery field. One of the potters who stopped by the gallery last week thanked us for opening up the gallery so that he and the others have a local place to showcase their work. In a world dominated by mass produced stereotypical items made in other countries, it's important to support the independent artists and craftspeople who are struggling to make a living in a difficult economy. We are proud of our role in helping them.
Throwing Mud Gallery has pretty much taken over our lives this year, and I'm sure some people thought we were a little crazy to open up a brick and mortar store in this economy...and maybe so. But it was something we had talked about and dreamed of for years and the time just seemed right to go for it. After a year, the good has FAR outweighed the not so good (I can't honestly say there hasn't been many "bad" times). We've met some wonderful people and made many new friends. Throwing Mud Gallery has become a little community of people who enjoy being creative and playing with clay or who want to buy a unique product handmade with care.
We're looking forward to seeing what the next year brings!