From Magpie Mischief
Meet Anni, The Founder of Magpie Mischief
Laura: First things first, tell me about your business? What do you create and who do you create it for?
Anni: I am a potter. I create my own illustrations that I then put on the clay while it is still wet.
I create this style of pottery for women who really want to make their homes into a welcoming haven for friends and family. While some of my pottery is decorative a lot of it is very functional and useful for everyday life or bigger holiday events.
Laura: How did you first get started in your industry?
Anni: I was an art teacher for fifteen years and I have a great aunt who was a potter. She passed on her kiln to me and I started making things for my own house that I couldn’t find elsewhere. Friends and family started making requests and eventually I started selling in local craft shows and markets.
From there my studio just grew. I pieced together equipment that I found on Craigslist and Facebook marketplace. My dad is great at fixing up things so he has been teaching me how to maintain and rewire my own kiln when necessary.
Laura: What is one thing you want people to know about you, that they may not already know?
Anni: I am a HELLP syndrome survivor—its a rare pregnancy disorder and my son was born two months early at only 2 1/2 lbs. As such I was a NICU mom for a month but it has made me a different person. It gave me a bit more grit. I have had pretty amazing opportunities to work with teen moms as well as openly discuss everything from postpartum depression and anxiety to the heartbreak walking with friends through the grief of losing their babies. I was angry the entire first year of walking through that journey of survival and mental health struggles—but now I’m so grateful for the opportunity to support other moms in difficult positions.
Laura: What do you struggle with most when it comes to running your own business?
Anni: I struggle with balancing my life with my business. I am a stay at home mom right now with a five and two year old and my pottery studio is in my basement so its difficult to separate out the two.
Laura: What is one thing that comes really easy for you?
Anni: Coming up with new illustrations for my pottery is the easiest part of the job for me. I have so many illustrations already in sketchbooks that I pull from. I also sketch on sermon notes each week and keep them all. Each time I need to create a new product line for a new season, I just go through all of my old sketches and find something that works. I then redraw the sketch on my iPad to make it fit the surfaces of the pottery I want to create for that season.
Laura: What aspect of your business is the most rewarding?
Anni: Working with customers and helping them choose pieces for their homes that will be used and loved for years to come.
I really enjoy the feedback I get as to how they have used the pottery they bought. Often at markets, I get to talk to a lot of people about what they need or why they like certain pieces.
Laura: How do you manage the stress and overwhelm of running your own business?
Anni: I have just started working out again—it clears my head enough for me to focus a bit better and wakes me up—because raising a two and five year old along with running a business can leave me pretty exhausted.
Laura: Who influences or inspires you the most in regards to your industry?
Anni: I don’t have only one potter that influences me the most. I am a part of a couple pretty strong potter communities on Facebook and the sheer volume of new ideas and gorgeous styles inspire me to create daily.
Laura: You have “a worthy brand,” I can see that, but why do you feel your brand is worthy? How do you remind yourself of your worth to continue building you business each day, how do you remind yourself, you are worth it!
Anni: I feel like my brand is a worthy brand because of my customers. I have met up with customers who bought from me a year or two earlier and they describe how having my pottery in their home makes them feel more comfortable in their own space or how friends and family are constantly complementing them on it.
Those conversations keep my business going.
Laura: And last… if you could give new or struggling entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?
Anni: I would encourage them to find a good business coach and learn as much as they can about the business side things.
Photography By Lyzenga Photography + Design & Anni Christie
Thank you Anni for sharing your story with us and sharing your beautiful pottery. I admire Anni because she always is so professional yet approachable. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Anni and the quality of everything she produces is inspiring!
From her product photos to her flawless website, Magpie Mischief will be a household name in no time. It’s all in the details as I realized when putting this post together, and all the details Anni puts into her work shows.
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