VOL. 116 | NO. 191 | Wednesday, October 2, 2002
Pottery studio poised to market to communities creativity
New pottery studio fires imagination
By SUE PEASE
The Daily News
When Collierville resident Jennifer VanDyke visited a
pottery studio in Franklin, Tenn., a few months ago to paint dinnerware for her
family, the trip sparked an idea.
Why not open a pottery studio in Collierville?
I didnt go with the idea of opening a business, but it
didnt take me long to know this hands-on creative contemporary pottery studio
would be just the right thing to open in Collierville, VanDyke said.
A space in Colliervilles historic town square became
available, making the business venture even more attractive.
So, together with her sister Candy Craig, Van Dyke will open
Courtyard Clay Monday at 122 Mulberry St.
The two sisters are not new to business projects.
Their entrepreneurial spirit pushed them to open CJ
Enterprises, which not only owns Courtyard Clay, but also CJ Lilly & Co., a
floral and gift shop established in 2000. It is located in a nearby space on
the historic square.
The full-time business owners and moms took just two months
to have the new shop ready to open.
Craig and VanDyke, along with their mother, Nancy Williams,
took Duncan certification classes and are now certified to teach
The 2,400-square-foot shop includes a kiln, numerous pottery
pieces, non-toxic paints, chairs and worktables, and is ready for customers to
paint their chosen pottery pieces.
To begin their creative session, customers pay a $6 studio
fee, which covers the paints, glazing and firing, along with paying for the raw
piece, which could range from $6 to $100.
Up to 60 varieties of pottery pieces are available to choose
from including plates, cups, popcorn bowls, vases, platters, coffee mugs and
The store joins the ranks of a handful of pottery studios in
the Memphis area.
One such store, Paint A Piece, opened in Cordova in 1998 and
has been gaining in popularity since. Manager Laura Kersbergen said business
has grown every year and carved a niche in the marketplace by being a pottery
business geared toward children.
While the store caters to all audiences and has customers of
all ages, she said storeowner Kami Hatley wanted the business to be very
The store contains a pottery selection just for youngsters
and hosts many childrens birthday parties.
There are lots of kids and a lot of families, Kersbergen
Another pottery business, Seize the Clay, is celebrating its
fifth anniversary. Recently it moved from Poplar Avenue to 555 S. Perkins
Extended in the Oak Hall Building.
The business, where customers can not only paint pottery,
but also make their own, has been growing in popularity since its opening, said
owner Kelly Bauch.
The business is a success because it has become the opposite
of what people thought it was at first a fad, she said.
Instead, making and painting pottery has become a venue for
people to spend one-on-one time with each other, where there are not many
entertainment outlets for quality time such as that, Bauch said.
Also, the business caters to all ages, Bauch said,
mentioning the store has had birthday parties not just for toddlers, but also
We are really lucky because most businesses dont cater to
all ages from 2 to 92.