1) How did you come up with the idea for Brush Strokes Pottery?
I was visiting Boulder, CO and came across a small Paint Your Own Pottery (PYOP) studio. Immediately I fell in love with everything about it. Prior to this I never thought I’d be pursuing a career in art. My background thus far in Corporate America had been in Communication and Marketing.For some reason it really spoke to me and I knew that I wanted to own a studio. I got home and immediately put a business plan together and started looking for retail space. After months of searching nothing seemed to be working out to find a location. I didn’t want this to stop my dream. So thinking outside of the box again I decided who needs a location…I’ll bring the pottery to the customers. And with that Brush Strokes – Austin’s original mobile pottery painting studio was born.
2) How long have you been an artist?
Ever since I was a little girl. My mom is an incredibly talented watercolor and mixed media artist. I always say that she is the “ true artist” in the family and my sister and I are the crafty ones. Growing up we were always surrounded by art and creative thinking, so far as long as I can remember I’ve been writing poems, building make believe cities drawing and painting. Of course I never would take classes or learn from my mother. I’ve always wanted to go a little off track and try it my own way. I guess that’s a true sign of an artist.
3) Can you explain how a mobile studio works?
It’s super simple…we bring the pottery party to you. Customers choose the items they want to paint ahead of time from our website or Pinterest boards. Then we bring all the pottery and painting supplies to their home, school, office, restaurant and more. Theres no limit on where we can go. Being mobile allows Brush Strokes accommodate large groups (ex: corporate team building and sorority events) in addition to at home Kids birthday parties or Girls Nights.
I want everyone who paints with Brush Strokes to have a great experience. Kids are still so filled with creativity and imagination that they love painting. We joke about music and pop culture, and we dance around with them. With grown-ups, we are very hands-on with teaching techniques so they feel they will have a finished piece they will be proud of. We bring lot of tools with us to help the creative process and are constantly pinning examples to our Pinterest boards for inspiration
4) What’s your favorite form of pottery to make?
Eeek that’s a hard one. It’s not so much the piece of pottery but rather the design itself that I enjoy painting. We have recently launched a line of Austin and Texas inspired designs on mugs, plates and ornaments. It has been incredible to see my little sketches transform onto pieces people really love.
On the same note, I’d also have to say I love creating our custom designs with kids hand, foot or thumbprints. They seriously make me giggle every time after I see them turned into little people or objects. Plus the keepsake value parents or teachers enjoy once they receive them absolutely makes my heart smile.
5) Who inspires you?
My grandmother! She’s one tough lady who would do and still does anything for her family and friends. When I say tough I mean tough! She grew up on a farm in Alabama during the Great Depression so needless to say we have tons of stories of Granny shooting pesky birds with a bee bee gun, killing snakes, trapping raccoons and so on. At the same time she’ll turn around and make you the best Banana bread or sugar cookies you’ve ever tasted. At 93 years old she still bakes and takes sweet treats and her famous Bluebonnets around to people in the community to brighten their day. One of the favorite things she always says to me is “Courtney, you know you have to be a friend to have a friend!” It’s simple and straightforward advice – just like Granny – but it’s true. I try every day to abide by that philosophy.
6) What makes you happy?
Making people smile! This applies to my business and personal life. I’m always acting goofy or sending little notes to tell people how much they mean to me. With the business I love helping people de-stress and enjoy being in the moment of life. It seems pretty simple but I think the world looks brighter when we all smile.
Plus now I have the best reason or should I say person in my life who makes me smile and incredibly happy every single day! <insert blushing>