A Vulnerable Conversation of Life as as Artist | Jen Fontenella | Episode 284

Jen Fontenella | Episode 284

Jen Fontanella is a ceramist in Overland Park, Kansas. She makes brightly colored contemporary pieces for the home and garden. Everything is made in small batches honoring the art of handmade. She’s a California native, a mother to a two-year-old, an ethnic food junkie and a craft beer enthusiast.





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Number 1 brand in America for a reason. Skutt.com


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As a person who helped develop marketing strategies what is the main thing you are thinking about when you are trying to promote a product?

The look and feel of my product. I want to capture the essence of the product. I want to make sure it will make them stop in their tracks and Make the say, Ooo, I like that and I want to buy it. 

So that makes you put emphasis on the imagery. What makes really good imagery then?

What I think is just simplicity and lively color. I think I had a problem with ceramics just because I am always working in grey and my studio is really dark so I try to make everything very bright, airy and simple. Ceramics can be very cluttered so I just try to make it very simple.

You mentioned that you use a lot of social media for your promoting. Do you pay attention to things like timing of posts? 


So what is the best time for a person to post, say on Instagram or Facebook?

I personally find on Instagram the best time for me to post is in the morning when the West Coast wakes up and in the evening when I go to bed at 10 o’clock. On Facebook I haven’t done the whole algorithm thing. I haven’t figured it out, it’s just way too cluttered and I can’t break through, so it’s just whenever people are on most probably. I hear 3 o’clock is really good because people are about to get off work. I could be wrong, that could have changed.

Video versus still photography? Which is best for engagement?


When you are doing video, which kind of video do you like to put out there for engagement? Is it process or finished product?

Process. I find with me people really like the process. They like to watch me throw .When I do Instagram Stories, if I am doing a wholesale order, I will show people the process. I will do a bunch of 10 second shorts of the process.

 What should one put in their bio to make it as effective as possible? 

I try to make it a little human, which I am still working on because sometimes I am a little too dry about it. Something kitschy and something about me and then about my work. I just try to have one little tag line and where I located for sure to help make it feel more handmade.

Paul: Yours says: Ceramicist. Mother. Kansas City. Made in small batches. Colorful modern pieces for your home and garden. Then you have your website that is written out. Then you have your clickable Etsy Shop.

Jen: Yes, definitely always include something clickable for sure. It makes it easier for the customer to get to your website.

You always want to drive your customer to where you sell your work.

If you could sit down and have a meal with anyone in the whole world (living or dead) who would it be and what would you want them to tell you? And what questions would you ask?

I don’t know. I wish I could have prepared for this. I think the first person that comes to mind is Jane Austen. I assume she was strong while she wrote what she wrote. So I would like to ask her how she stayed strong and how she broke the barriers to do what she wanted to do.

Do you feel like there are barriers between you and what you want to do?

I think they are all created, I think I create them.


The Female Brain 



Instagram: @artbyjenf

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