2021 In Review
A Year in Review
Every January, I take a little break from making new work to rest from the season and reflect on my practices as a business. It’s always interesting to compare data year to year; see what areas improved, what could change for the following year, etc.
With all the different pieces I make (and places they are sold) it has been daunting to keep track of each individual item based on the size, color, shape and type. This year, I decided to create a list of each item with that information.
In all, 1378 pieces found new homes in 2021*. 45% of the items were sold in person from my studio, 39% of items were sold online, and 16% were sold in a mix of wholesale/commission/consignment.
Mugs were the most popular item, making up 31% of all items sold. 427 mugs found new homes in 2021. Swirly mugs and horse mugs were just about tied, making up 16% each of the mug total. 22% of the mug total were nautical mugs, 12% were soup mugs and 31% were custom logo mugs. Travel mugs made up the remaining 3% of the mug total.
I was thinking that berry bowls would have been a close second to mugs, but looking at the numbers, they were significantly less, only contributing to 5% of all items sold. It felt like I made hundreds of berry bowls, but it might be that they are just a larger item and it seemed that there were more.
Mini heart dishes were a new introduction in 2020 that were quite popular, and the trend continued into 2021. For a small item, they contributed to 8% of all items sold. I strive to have a variety of price points to serve different budgets; the mini dishes help to fulfil that role.
All crystalline items contributed to 41% of items sold, with the vase being the most popular item in that category. Mini vases were a close second (61 sold), with sake cups coming in at third place (50 sold). Sake cups were also a new introduction a couple years ago and they remain a popular item. I enjoy making them and have several that I used on a regular basis, not just for sake, but other beverages or as a small bud vase.
February consisted of a significant release of piggery, contributing to 5% of all items sold. New styles of piggery and new designs were created in 2021, but I did not have a chance to create new piggery until late December. I am looking forward to some new additions to the piggery line in 2022.
In March, I made several herds of horses and introduced the new marble cold finish hydro-horses. These new horses were a joy to create, and I am looking forward to creating new ones in the coming months. The horses contributed to 7% of sales for the year.
So- what does this all mean? What are the plans for 2022?
This year I am planning to focus more on crystalline- more new shapes, colors and glazes. Crystalline wallflowers are on the list of items to explore further. Growing dahlias is an inspiration that I am interested in expressing in clay, with their soft, delicate petals translated into a rigid medium. I am also hoping to create more larger scale items that can serve as a statement piece. Large platters for the table or wall and large vases for the floor. If I can add it in, I’d also like to explore more in the world of crystalline tile projects to expand on work started in 2020.
I would also like to create more dinnerware items- plates, platters, cereal bowls, etc. The past few years I haven’t made many of these items and the are typically requested, so I would love to have a larger inventory for you to choose from.
Even though it’s cold and there is not much color variety in the landscape, flower season will be here before we know it. I am also planning to develop a line of ‘everyday vases’ that can serve as vessels for tulip bouquets in the spring and dahlias later in the growing season.
There are so many pieces I want to create, and a limited amount of time in a year, but I will do my best to chip away at the goals to see what can happen in the coming eleven months. Between all my passions, it is a delicate balancing act to fit in time for flowers, family, horses and pottery and something I am continuing to work on every day.
Thank you all for your support over the years! It's hard to believe, but 2022 marks my 20th (!!!) year working in clay. What lies ahead? Will I achieve all these goals? I'm not really certain, but I know I'll continue growing.
Keep creating friends.