Adam & Sarah Spector | Episode 369
Adam and Sarah Spector met covered in clay while completing BFA degrees in Ceramics at Alfred University. As a couple they have built both a studio and a life together in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Over the course of their careers, they’ve learned to share the work load and explore many different making-processes through their love of clay. Adam and Sarah have been full time ceramic artists since 2002 and have participated in 20 juried art shows each year as well as working with galleries to sell their pottery and sculpture.
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How do you keep the balance between the drive for making a living and being creative?
Sarah: I think being creative has always proven to recharge us. When we get too bogged down, only focusing on making things to sell it sometimes backfires because that creativity shows through the pieces that we make and people kind of connect with them always.
What are some of the biggest frustrations you have in running a business right now?
Adam: I guess right now I feel like we are away from home a little bit too much. So I would like to knock down a few of the shows and focus on work on building our efforts on our online business. That is why I have been doing so much with Instagram and redoing our website. Sarah has been doing a great job redoing our website. So I think a little bit more time home making and less time in the van would be really nice.
What has you really stoked right now?
Adam: Surface. I am really excited about ceramic surfaces right now. I am kind of combining all these different things I have been learning how to do over the years into surfaces that have architectural elements and hard lines and soft lines and relief and all these different things.
Sarah: And throwing again too.
Adam: And throwing.
Sarah: We took a break from throwing but now I will often wake up in the morning and he’ll be gone and I will hear the whirl of the wheel in the downstairs studio. Oh, Adam is back on the potter’s wheel again.
You said you are trying to grow your online sales. So what is your biggest challenge for going from shows to the internet?
Adam:I guess just building a customer base. We have started working on that. We used to have this problem with our online store where we would have pieces listed online that were on the shelf all the time and then we would have to constantly have to raid those pieces for shows. We never quite had time to make that work that we needed so we would take work from the website and it was all this wasted time. So what we are trying to do now is a sale on our website for just three days and then go back to shows for a little bit. So I will see if I can replace one of our shows with an online show and maybe do that a few times throughout the year.
Sarah: Just being able to have enough inventory has always been a problem.
What are you doing now towards your online sales to build your customer base?
Adam: Instagram. Mostly Instagram and passing out cards with our website. Also talking about our online sales at shows. We get to talk to a lot of people that show interest in that. We capture emails at shows
What are you doing to grow your followership on Instagram?
I am trying to provide the best content that I can. So I do some demonstrations and some photos of finished work. I am not trying to promote a lot of sales right now on Instagram I am just building a following. I am also trying to share and give back to the community that has given so much to me.
You guys did a giveaway a little while ago on your Instagram feed. How effective was that for gaining new followers?
Sarah: It was pretty effective.
Adam: We were really happy. I think we ended up with 300 new followers.
Was the value of the new followers worth the value of the new cup that you gave away?
Adam: I guess we will know that after our sale. But I think so.
You guys do pottery together, you do shows together, but what is your perfect date night?
Sarah: Crab legs.
Adam: We don’t get to be home all that much so we go to the grocery store and buy four pounds of crab legs and we take them home and steam them and eat them on the couch watching videos. It’s bliss.