Jenn Gauer & Meghan Radick | Episode 215
Jenn Gauer and Meghan Radick make pottery that is functional and lovely. Jenn uses a fine porcelain and throws the pieces on a potter’s wheel, and Meghan decorates them using cake decorating techniques. Each bowl, cup or vase feels great and looks elegant—this is art that you are meant to use and enjoy!
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Why a partnership? Why not set up your shop all by yourself?
Jen: We really are better together. We together could make something that I could not make on my own and Meghan couldn’t make on her own. the combination of our talents allowed us to make something unique that isn’t out there already. Also it’s really really awesome to work with your best friend. I think we both encourage each other in our creativity. Knowing Meghan was going to be decorating the pieces really pushed me to consider surface.
Meghan, as the decorator what do you want from Jen as she’s working?
Meghan: Typically, the main key would be a very smooth surface. Occasionally there are some pieces that require a change in form or texture. So we will discuss what the end result we are going for is and then see if we can make it come together.
How important is communication for you two when trying to run a business?
Jen: It’s essential.
Jen: We are pretty much communicating all the time. Only recently we have had more of an opportunity to work together in the studio. Because of our work schedules, I’ll make something and cover it up with plastic and Meghan will come and decorate it while I’m not there. It turns out leaving notes written in clay is not a good idea. So hand written notes, text messages, phone calls, but mostly text messages. So yeah, constant communication actually. We would be anyway because we’re friends. But just making sure that what ever idea in my head gets communicated to Meghan so she can do her job.
Meghan: We draw a lot of pictures too.
Jen: Except Meghan sketches at this super small scale.
Meghan: I don’t want to waste the paper! You know what we like to do is go have a glass of wine at a neighborhood wine bar and take notes and talk about what our inspirations are and what we want to be doing. It’s fun! We just bounce ideas back and forth and get excited. We make a lot of lists.
How do you implement your dreams into attainable goals?
Jen: Well the lists get put up on the wall so we can see them. We’ve mostly been working on short term lists. A five year business plan hasn’t actually happened.
Meghan: We did at one point, years ago, talk about what our plan is. And we are kind of getting there right now. So you could look at that as a long term business plan that is coming to fruition. We both wanted this to grow slowly enough that it could grow naturally. We both wanted it to stay fun. So I know that’s a challenge in anything that becomes your job. If it was your passion can you keep it your passion if you have made it your obligation? I think we’re going well because jen has finally been able to quit the day job.
Jen: When people found out I quit my job the would ask ‘Oh what are your goals?’ My goals are to eat breakfast, exercise, and reqular bathing! We are talking really basic stuff.
Meghan, are you hoping to go full time?
Meghan: You know I really like my day job currently. So while I would love to it’s not my top priority. I think what we are going to do at least in the short term here is see how well we can grow the business with just Jen being full time. If it gets to the point where it makes sense for me to quit my day job as well I will.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you want to go?
Jen: I travel a lot. So I’m going to say Spain. I’ve been there twice, but I don’t think you could ever be there enough. It’s beautiful there and I love the food.
Meghan: While I am itching to go back to Spain, I haven’t ever been to Italy. I’m kind of dying to see Italy.