After a year of few markets and face to face events, ceramicist Nicola McCabe can’t wait for Perthshire Creates Summer Design Market.
Muthill-based Nicola wanted a career change and started Last Winter Ceramics.
Now she is heading to the Perthshire Creates Summer Design Market on July 10 with Perthshire Artisans.
Perthshire Artisans promotes the region’s range of talent, enabling artists and creatives to find new markets and get business support.
The community features 28 diverse creatives from across the region, from painters, photographers and textile designers to glass artists, illustrators and jewellers.
How and why did you start in business?
I started about three years ago after moving from Glasgow to Perthshire.
My partner’s father, who is an artist and ceramicist, introduced me to ceramics.
I had been looking for a change of career direction and I got started by buying some clay to use and practice with at the house.
I wanted to turn something I enjoyed doing into a job.
How did you get to where you are today?
I usually have a goal to work to, whether it’s an event I want to attend or a new piece of equipment for the studio.
I slowly built the business up by adding the equipment I needed over time, which has made the growth of the business both gradual and sustainable.
It’s worked for me and I feel happy with it.
Who has helped you along the way?
I’ve had great support from GrowBiz and being part of Perthshire Artisans has just been vital.
As a community of creatives, it has been a source of huge support and really helped during the pandemic, when the lack of events and markets to attend was at times very isolating.
Perthshire Artisans is both a platform to showcase our work as well as a mutually supportive community of creatives.
What was your biggest mistake?
Hesitancy and overthinking things. It’s far too easy to keep second guessing yourself and you end up holding yourself back.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Seeing my products in shops and galleries which I admire.
How has coronavirus impacted your business?
The lack of markets and face to face events, especially during the key Christmas trading time, was hugely problematic for me.
I am really excited about Perthshire Artisans attending the forthcoming Perthshire Creates Summer Design Market on 10 July.
It will allow us to meet customers face to face and showcase our work as part of the diverse range of designers, makers and artists which the area offers.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I want to keep doing what I’m doing and also have the time to experiment.
Pottery is a long learning curve, you’re never ‘done’.
I’m always experimenting and it’s so important to have the time and space to keep learning so that creative work has the opportunity to evolve.
Do you want to recruit in the future?
I can’t see it at the moment but I would like to collaborate with other small businesses to work together and support each other.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
Juggling all the things that need doing.
On any day, I may need to do marketing, e-commerce, photography, bookkeeping or admin tasks, alongside designing and making products.
Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?
Find something you love doing and just go for it.
How do you relax?
Walking the dog, cooking, gardening and just soaking up the great outdoors which we are so blessed with in Perthshire.