May 7, 2010Van Antwerp Pottery - Christina Anderson - Testimonial
Van Antwerp Pottery - Christina Anderson
For ten years, I had worked 40 -60 hrs/week at ahigh paced photo lab, while my two small childrenlived at daycare. I told myself that this was the bestsituation for everyone. My family would have a house,a good car, new clothes, savings and extra money todo things with as a family. But, being raised myself bybaby-sitters and daycare, I had always dreamed, as ayoung child, of being home everyday with my mom ordad. As nice and loving as the people who baby-sat forme were, nothing was as good as my own mother.Remembering my own childhood yearnings and watching my2 small children go down the same road I had gonedown, I decided to turn things around. I wasdetermined to give my kids what I had, as a child sowished for; a full time mom. At the age of 30, thatchildhood dream became my goal for my own kids.
The sacrifices my husband and I have endured inorder for me to stay at home were beyond the credulityof dual income families. We had no cable, never wentout to dinner, had no vacation, no magazinesubscriptions, no new clothes unless absolutelynecessary. But we were a happy family, and I knew mykids#146; every thought, action, need and secret. I wasmom 24 hours/day. What a privilege!
Eventually, our living expenses started to rise andmy husband's income remained the same. I knew I had todo something with out giving up my new foundobligation to my kids. With an interest and someexperience in pottery, and a 2 hour gap of free timewhen my kids napped, I knew I could make some money.
Van Antwerp Pottery was soon created! I started atthe library. I read every book there was on pottery,marketing and small businesses. I visited localpotters, only listening to the optimistic ones (Ilater learned they were also the successful ones). Atthat point I knew what I needed to start: clay, a kilnand a wheel. I found everything 2nd hand.
I practiced during my kid's nap time and at nightuntil I had a line I thought people would want. I thenapproached almost every gift shop in my adjoiningneighborhoods until I had one store in each town whoagreed to buy my pottery wholesale.
Customers soon started making requests for differentpieces and colors, so I adapted my line accordingly. Idecided whatever the customers wanted, I woulddevelop that product as part of my line. They werealways right!
Now, 4 kids and 8 years later, I am a successfulbusiness mom! My grungy, dark basement has become abright, efficient workshop. I have 4 salesrepresentatives in NY state and WV who do all theselling for me. I also set up a web site to sellretail. (
There will always be those trying times when I havea big job to get out, and that emergencyparent/teacher conference, but I found that once yourpriorities are set, the solutions are close at hand!As St. Catherine of Siena says, "Nothing great wasever done without much enduring."
Christine's daughter designed pencil holders specifically to help The Dr. Laura Schlessinger Foundation in which 50% of the proceeds go to the foundation. To view/purchase those:
Donations and Fund Raising at www.vapottery.com
Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.
Posted by Staff at 1:42 AM