Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Nicole. I am the owner of Wild Bower Studio, which is a small batch ceramic studio located in upstate NY that runs on green energy and recycled rain water.
Can you walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Oh wow, this feels like a million years ago. For a long time I considered myself an oil painter up until I took a job in Brooklyn. At the time I was unable to afford a painting studio nor could I paint in my tiny Brooklyn bedroom so I looked for an artform that felt magical, out of reach and a little more affordable. I found a local ceramics studio and kind of got majorly hooked. Ceramics is a pretty wild never ending journey of learning, so I wound up working for that studio, which really gave me a crash course in ceramics. Eventually, I opened my own community studio in Brooklyn, which helped me build a solid foundation for Wild Bower but once Covid hit I decided to move my entire studio upstate to where we are now.
Take us behind the scenes, what does your day to day look like?
Well, for a long time my days felt very hectic and all over the place but I've been getting better about giving myself a stricter routine. My mornings are: wash my face, put on lotion, make tea, feed the cats, answer emails, write out a to-do list. I try to get into the studio before 9 am so I can leave at 6pm but depending on the time of the year that can get a little difficult. Recently, I've been throwing or handbuilding with wet clay in the morning so my pieces have time to dry a bit before I go to the next step. While I wait for things to dry I'm either preparing for another round of creating or I'm organizing/cleaning or photographing pieces or packing up orders etc. I wear all of the hats in this business so I do pretty much everything everyday.
What’s your favorite part about owning a business?
I think my favorite part of owning a business is the challenge of figuring it all out. I love learning, which I'm sure my high school teachers would laugh at but seriously, I'm so happy that I get to do this.
What are your mission and values?
Our mission is to create quality goods that will last a lifetime. We value the environment and conduct a business that focuses on sustainability. In early 2020, we made the switch to running solely on green energy and recycled rain water. We also greatly value giving back and empowering others either monetarily and/or by sharing space and knowledge.
What are you most proud of?
I'm proud that I've given myself space to make leaps and mistakes. That I've learned the ability to pivot, adjust and adapt rather than get upset or quit.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
Besides being a pottery nerd - I'm a Pisces who loves cats, gardening and cooking. I don't drink coffee or alcohol but I love anything that has chocolate, icing or ice cream on it or in it. I'm also in the process of building out a homestead/small farm with my partner that includes a large garden and space for chickens.