The MNY Spotlight

Susan Gordon, Founder and Chief-Creator of Susan Gordon Pottery

This week's Tastemaker Tuesday features Susan Gordon, who creates handcrafted pottery, jewelry, and framed flowers.

Introduce yourself! 

Hey y’all! I’m Susan Gordon, Founder, CCO, and Owner of Susan Gordon Pottery. My team and I design and create handmade pottery, framed clay intaglios, and jewelry from squishy wads of humble clay. Our aesthetic is classic at its core, but purposefully ever-evolving. I have two rambunctious kiddos, ages 4 and 6, that keep me laughing and exhausted. 

Susan Gordon, Founder and Chief-Creator of Susan Gordon Pottery
What characteristics (cultural, personality etc) make you unique? 

My family on my mother’s side is originally from France and many of them worked in the textile industry in France and in America. I am fascinated by my French heritage and named several of my signature pieces in honor of several of my relatives. 

What motivated you to start your own venture creating handcrafted pottery and jewelry?

Ever since college, I have worked an art side hustle while working full-time. My goal from day one was to work for myself. For almost a decade, I spent countless weekends in my basement/garage studio. In 2013, my efforts finally showed some promise, the business started to gain some traction, and I hired my first employee. It was pretty incredible timing, because I found out, simultaneously, that I was pregnant with my firstborn. 

Susan wears the new Torero Gown.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs? 

Fashion and textiles have always been a huge source of inspiration for my work. My mother’s side of the family is from France and they were all in the textile industry. I was lucky enough to inherit my Great Grandmother’s tatting and a hand woven piece by my Great Grandfather. Mood-boarding with Pinterest and magazines have become a big source of inspiration for me, as well. Lately, I am pinning and cutting out a lot of flowers, wallpaper, and plaster relief. This process helps me to pin point something I am loving, even if I am not sure how it relates back to my work just yet. Eventually, the process informs my work, but it might take years! 

Some of Susan's handcrafted designs.

You can find more on her Instagram,@susangordonpottery, and shop for them on her website.

What is the most rewarding aspect about what you do? 

Seeing my designs come to life in my customer’s homes! It never gets old. I am incredibly lucky to be able to create what I really want to and then see that people want to buy it!! I do not take that gift for granted. I know what it is like to not sell a single piece at an art show or craft fair (it’s happened MORE than I care to admit!). It is the most defeating feeling to put your all into your work and for it to not be received well...or at all. 

How do you interpret “invest in yourself?” and what are the types of things you do to invest in/ empower yourself? 
I have a few ways: 
First, creative alone time to nurture creativity. I keep a sketchbook journal, in which I sketch every single day. This creative habit is akin to eating, breathing, and sleeping. Necessary functions for a fruitful creative life. Many of the sketches are too embarrassing to see the light of day. Some were the starting point of a whole line of new products. It is important to never put pressure on myself, and just let it be a part of the process of nurturing my creativity. 
Second, I have been part of an all-women's business mastermind group for the past 18 months. It has been radically life-changing for myself and for my business. We are able to problem-solve, help each other, share processes, vent about issues, and just be CEO friends. 

 Third, Travel. Travel with my little family or my husband, girl trips, and big family trips. It takes me a few days to decompress, but when I finally do, creativity flows so much more freely. 

Why is it important to you to empower women? 

As a daughter to a working woman and a working mom to a daughter aged 7 years old, I want to leave a legacy of dreams accomplished. I desire to teach my daughter that, rather than being afraid of her dreams, she should unashamedly embrace them! 

What draws you to the Mestiza brand? 

As a fellow woman-owned business, I am drawn to brands that uplift, encourage and empower women. Mestiza’s commitment to inclusivity and to classic, timeless design resonates deeply with me. I love how much value Alessandra and Louisa put on their family history, future legacy, and how they aspire to create products and a brand that will live for generations to come. 

How did you like your Mestiza piece?! Any details on how it fit or made you feel? 

This dress has a classic, figure-flattering cut with the most gorgeous detail. Being in the business of handmade pottery, it’s not often I get the privilege of dressing up in such a beautiful, well-made piece. As a lover of bold pattern, the floral, tropical design gives me all the best chinoiserie vibes. 

Please share an inspirational tip to someone looking to follow your 
footsteps and any tips you have on owning a business during these tough Times. 
Know your strengths and weaknesses and don’t be afraid to delegate the tasks that drain you or that you’re not as good at. If you’re doing it all on your own, give yourself grace. Done is sometimes better than perfect. And then maybe think about hiring help.

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1 comment

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    Susan: April 25, 2021

    Very, very insightful. Inspiring article and a boost for women!

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