We had the good fortune of connecting with Merry Cox and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Merry, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When one lives in a resort, is a single parent of a kidlet in school & the best paying jobs are at night as a waitron in good restaurant, the choice to create your own job or struggle along at a limited wage was a no brainer. I didn’t want a night job. I would never see my child. I figured that I could give my pottery biz a shot, work hard for myself & see how it would develop. There was just a hint in the corner of my mind that I could always retreat. After rounding up my courage, I headed out to find just one store that would like to carry my work. The right time, right designs, right store all aligned in order for me to be a creative for most of my adult life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Creativity is a nag. I made a pledge to myself to write down all ideas, even the dumbest or insanest and I pledged to do them. Some were impossible but most got done. Some of those ideas got developed into business ventures. My on going obsession to create bee pathways and bird migration safe havens totally affected my art… “Celebrate nature as a form of prayer.” Thoreau “Birds, Bedsprings & Found Objects plus Bird Prayer Flags are our ‘Messengers of Joy & Goodwill’ made to celebrate nature & to make you smile. ”Putting a bird on it” has been making a tiny environmental difference. 3% of sales creates habitat & plants trees. Not wanting to have a real job was a very motivating factor. Risk taking pays off. Perseverance has favored my longevity.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is such beauty to be found when going for a walk in nature… Hiking above tree line: Crest Trail to Green’s Creek Water Dog Lakes Checkout the peak finder dial at Monarch Ski Area accessed via Continental Divide trail Westside of pass Not a hiker? Rent an inner tube and float the river. Mountain bike the Arkansas Hills Trail system (hike there too) Day Trip to the Sand Dunes National Park esp. if the creek is flowing ( May-June) one of 2 pulsating rivers in the world. Stay until after dark & be amazed at the quantity of stars. Or camp. Soak at Joyful Journey Hot Springs on the way back. Then head over to Saguache to the 4th Street Diner for great pie In town: Go to the Biker & the Baker for your morning goodies. Café Dawn for Java…Grab a coffee then go hang out on the Arkansas river near the boat ramp. Fifty Burgers for your burgers, fries & shakes Learn about the history of the valley at the Salida Museum. Explorers, miners, and ranchers were among the first to settle in the area, aided by an early agreement with the Ute Indians. Art is all around town so checkout the galleries and studio storefronts.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
• Looming poverty deserve a bit of credit. •George Knox the owner of Moose’s Caboose in Vail, the first store that I asked to buy my work, gave my name & number to any store owner who asked, ‘Where did you get that pottery?” • After 6 months I had to hire employees. My first employee, Forrest Anderson, was such a good mentor. He had had a production pottery, knew the business but no longer wanted to deal with stores. My luck. • My great employees deserve a whole lot of credit. They helped me make decisions, did a lot of things I couldn’t & hung around for 16 years.