Meet the Maker – Heather Knight of Element Clay Studio

Chloe Tate

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know Heather Knight, the ceramic artist behind the beautiful ceramics studio Element Clay Studio.

The beautiful Heather Knight
The beautiful Heather Knight

LBC: What inspired you to take the leap as an entrepreneur?
Heather: I was teaching, but in between semesters, and quit my part time restaurant job. A friend introduced me to Etsy and the rest is history!

LBC: How would you describe what you create?
Heather: Design Forward Sculptural Ceramics.

LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?
Heather: I didn’t really have a grand vision at the beginning. Etsy was fairly new and I had just started a group ceramics studio that was supplementing my income. In the beginning it was just a “try it and see” kind of approach, the only thing I really had in place was my determination and professional images.

LBC: Where can we find your products?
Heather: Etsy, my studio, and about 40 retailers worldwide.

Element Clay Studio's Beautiful Sea Biscuit Sand Dollar Bowls
Element Clay Studio’s Beautiful Sea Biscuit Sand Dollar Bowls

LBC: Walk us through a typical work day.
Heather: I briefly check emails in the morning, (Tuesday and Thursday mornings I have 2-4 hours of concentrated office time) and then head to the studio. I roll bowls and get organized for the day in the mornings, and then by the time we open, I am ready to sit down and concentrate on the more repetitive work. We have family lunch together every day and I take a break with the baby afterwards to break up the day.  Towards the end of the day, I glaze and load kilns, since it gets me up on my feet and helps me wake up a little.

During the busiest times, leading up to Holidays, I am usually at work between 10-13 hours, 6 days a week. My normal schedule is 10 hours 5 days per week.

LBC: What are the some things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?
Heather: Realistic evaluation of your personal work ethic, your goals for the business, and your financial expectations versus needs.

LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?
Heather: Generally, the best thing I can do is to walk away from work – for at least a day. My mother calls this “taking a mental health day.” I hang out at home, go shopping, cook, go to the book store and get a giant coffee. Sometimes it is better to just take a moment to regroup so that you can appreciate where you are.

Sculptural Wall Art by Element Clay Studio - these textures are so delicious!
Sculptural Wall Art by Element Clay Studio – these textures are so delicious!

LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.
Heather: I think that there are no bad decisions. Even when I have tried things that didn’t work, I was supplied with answers. I try to make sure that there is always money in the reserves and follow my gut.

LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. 
Heather: I think the biggest mistake I ever made was hiring a good friend who wasn’t the best personality fit for the position. When the time came, I made a decision to let her go and hired my husband, who is a more multifaceted candidate and also a better communicator.

LBC: Is there a cause or a particular organization that you contribute to that you’re particularly passionate about?
Heather: I donate to the Humane Society every year.

LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox you can’t do without?
Heather: My Accountant, My Camera ( a Nikon D90), and my Husband!

Tortoise + Baby Turtle Shell Bowls - these beauties are molded from real shells!
Tortoise + Baby Turtle Shell Bowls – these beauties are molded from real shells!

LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If we blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?
Heather: In 5 years, I will have a production line and still be garnering attention in the design world with my unique work!

LBC: Share one of your guiltiest pleasures. 
Heather: Binge watching Gilmore Girls while I work.

LBC: What’s your favorite quote, and who said it?
”Fake it ‘till you make it”

LBC: Have you ever held an odd job or one you weren’t particularly fond of?
Heather: Cleaning Houses and Painting. I was bored to tears.

Thank you, Heather, for sharing your talent with us!  We absolutely love your beautiful line and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for Element Clay Studio! We’re cheering you on!

Connect with Heather and Element Clay Studio all around the web:
Company Website

Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker Monday” series? Drop us a line: hello AT Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!

About the Author

Chloe Tate

Once described as “relentlessly cheerful,” Chloe is a lover of all things colorful and practically every fruit known to man. She lives in Atlanta and divides her time between supporting Lucky Break clients, keeping shop at a local artisan market, and event planning for business conferences. She’s also working on the launch of her skincare line while finishing her degree in Organizational & Leadership Studies. True story: Chloe shares 50% of Lela’s DNA and is poised to inherit her obscenely large shoe collection.

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