All images © Mimi Ceramics.
This November, Res Nova Law shines its Small Business Spotlight on Portland, Oregon's very own Mimi Ceramics, a woman-owned, creative business that shares hand-crafted pottery all over the world. We had the pleasure of chatting with ceramicist and founder Mica DeMarquez to learn more about what motivates her in terms of creativity and entrepreneurship.
“What I find most fulfilling about what I do is being my own boss. Not answering to anyone else is great, but mostly I like just making what I want. I have the freedom to just goof around and express myself. ”
— Mica DeMarquez, Founder of Mimi Ceramics
From Part-Time Artist to Full-Time Entrepreneur:
Prior to founding Mimi Ceramics, Mica was dividing her time and attention between the day job that she enjoyed for years, and her art. For a while, Mica was able to keep everything afloat working her full-time job by day and going to her studio at night, often working into the early morning hours. But as she continued receiving more orders for her hand-crafted pottery, the strain on her time and energy became too much. In a bold move, Mica quit her day job and decided to make pottery her sole focus.
Fired up in Portland & Thriving Worldwide:
Mica describes her art as practical and functional. Inspired by bold colors and simple shapes, her growing collection includes a variety of ceramic mugs, chains, uniquely tubular vases, and more. Each piece is hand made on her potter's wheel, hand glazed, and decorated, and fired to completion. Mimi Ceramics has a few stock items for purchase in select U.S. boutique shops as well as international boutiques in Australia, Canada, France, Norway, and Japan. Every other piece is made to order.
The Backend of Business:
Mica enjoys the freedom of being her own boss and having control over her business goals, her schedule, and most of all, her creative vision. Although being a one-woman-show is very rewarding, Mica knows all too well that keeping up with business logistics can be taxing. As much as she wishes she could throw clay day in and day out, Mica dedicates her resources to business logistics such as taking photos of her work, attending events, keeping her website fresh, and much more to keep Mimi Ceramics' clientele growing.
Long-Term Vision for Growth:
Over the years, Mica has continued to practice and refine her artistic and business management skills. She is continuously grateful for all the support she receives from friends and family, and the strangers who happen to see her work and love it. Mica's long term goals go beyond her personal success, however. She hopes to one day own a community space where she can help facilitate the growth of other women and femme-identified artists.
We'll leave you with Mica's three key steps for creatives thinking about taking the leap and starting their own businesses:
- Take a business class;
- Get organized; and
- Hire a bookkeeper.
Thanks for chatting with us, Mica! We can't wait to see what you fire up next. You can view (and purchase) Mimi Ceramic's beautiful pieces by clicking below.
All images © Mimi Ceramics.
Res Nova Law is an intellectual property and business law firm based in beautiful Portland, Oregon, serving innovative companies and entrepreneurs across the Pacific Northwest. We're your go-to lawyers for startups and well-established businesses of all sizes and in every stage of business growth. Our legal services include business formation, contract drafting, intellectual property advising and litigation, business advising and litigation, and more. We also offer outside counsel plans for businesses with ongoing legal needs.