We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Schultz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
For years I had made pottery as a way to express my own creativity and as a source of personal joy. I always preferred to give away my creations because I love people. In the midst of Covid I was faced with more time alone and less time with people and far more time to create. As my friends and family urged me to start a business and sell my pottery I was hesitant at first. It’s a vulnerable thing to put your art out there to be scrutinized. And I still really valued the idea of simply blessing people with my work. My husband was influential in encouraging me that I could still bless people with my creative work even if they paid for it. So I took the plunge and launched my business at the beginning of 2021 and it has been exciting, overwhelming, and a significant learning curve. The thing I love about it is that I get to be the influencer and creative Director behind the pieces that I sell. I love that I don’t have to be hemmed into a particular style but can maintain unique and diverse work. It has been a real gift to pursue.
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.
I make functional pottery that comes from a place of intentional artistic expression. I am a proud native Coloradan and a lot of my pieces reflect Colorado in someway or another. I’d love the detailed hand made process that has thoughtful design elements.
How I got to where I am today professionally has come from the help of dear friends who are gifted in marketing, accounting, and entrepreneurship. I really wouldn’t have done this without them and their help. It has not been easy but not because of the financial impact but because of the personal vulnerability that it has surfaced as I have put myself out there. Teaching pottery at the city pottery studio has also been influential in my journey and I find that it grounds me and provides a wonderful challenge. I love my students.
I’ve learned that it’s OK to fail and that failure is a good teacher. I’ve learned to give myself grace and not expect perfection at the beginning. And I’ve learned that it really does take community and the encouragement of others to stay the course.
I had to say what I want the world to know about my brand and story it’s that I do it because I really do love people and I love blessing people with my art. I would let them know that I’m always creating some thing new and that every piece that I make is truly made with intentional care and love.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well first of all I would tell them welcome to the best city in the United States, Fort Collins Colorado. We would begin by paddle boarding in the morning up at Horsetooth Reservoir followed by a nice breakfast in old town at the Silver Grill café. After breakfast we walk around old town and enjoy the sights and stores. We would grab a bite to eat at music city hot chicken for lunch, followed by a tour of the flower gardens by CSU campus and we might squeeze in a bike ride down the Spring Creek Trail. That evening we head back down to old town for dinner at Cooper Smith’s and enjoy the lights and people watching. To finish it all off I’d bring him to the drive-in movie theater right at the base of the foothills enjoying the beautiful Colorado air.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I for sure would give a shout out to my husband and family who are constantly cheering me on in my creative process. They are my biggest advocates. The city of Fort Collins pottery studio definitely deserves some recognition for playing a part in my ceramic journey.