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Life and Work with Katie Gibbons

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Gibbons.

Katie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Klay started in 2017 after a long break from working in ceramics. I graduated with a degree in ceramics in 2011 but found myself creatively frustrated and bouncing between cities. During that time, I never felt confident enough to be an artist. Finally, dissatisfied with my attempts to pursue a career outside art, I came back to clay (thank god!).

I’ve always wanted to be a small business owner. My father’s entrepreneurial spirit encouraged me to find a connection between my passions and running a business. My family was excited when I shared the news that I was finally going to follow my passion for ceramics, and I receive continued support and encouragement from them.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There was a long gap between graduating from college and starting Klay. For almost six years, I had not worked with clay. The hiatus was partly due to work constraints and partly fear. I made a lot of excuses to avoid creating in those years. When I moved to Malden in 2017, I was given the chance to use my uncle’s pottery studio in New Hampshire. Despite the distance, it was the perfect place for me to get back on the wheel and rebuild my skills.

Now, that I have a home studio I can work anytime. Yet the challenge remains to balance a full-time job and bring Klay to fruition.

My bit of wisdom for other females who are starting out, or struggling to shake the fear of  entrepreneurship, would be that you definitely don’t have to appeal to everyone. Take the time to give your business is a personality. Social media really helped me curate exactly how I want Klay to be perceived and ultimately target my ideal customer. Klay’s branding continues to evolve, even after several versions. But I find that the value and importance of maintaining visual content rely on a clean and clear platform. Make things easy and pleasing for the customer!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Klay Ceramics – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Klay is all about functional ware! I offer mugs, bowls, vases and other home goods. Each piece is hand glazed with earthy yellows and whites with pops of blue or matte black. My goal is to create pieces to complement and complete a personal vision of home.

I am proud to present a product that brings me joy. From start to finish, the process brings me closer and closer to the creator I denied myself from being for so many years. When a person looks though Klay’s catalog and finds that one piece that brings them joy, they are sharing in my joy!

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
I find the current focus on the challenges women face has actually helped push me to stay on track. It has created a need in women to connect with other creative females. In that way, it has actually created opportunities.

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Image Credit:

Gabrielle Purchon

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