Adapting to Changes | Maria Stone | Episode 632


Maria Stone | Episode 632

Maria Stone is a Richmond-based artist focused on creating functional and decorative ceramic wares. Instead of throwing pottery on a wheel, Maria’s work is created using rolled slabs of clay or by pinching and molding by hand. Maria adorns each piece with intricate free-hand illustrations and carvings.


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With all these changes, did  you have to in the process keep a sense of humor?

Yeah, I think you always have to keep a sense of humor in anything really. You can’t take things too seriously. I mean, obviously things are pretty serious but it’s important to laugh  a little.

Yeah, I totally agree with you. I know for me there is a sense of panic and problems that come up and I found that when I could name the problem and the feelings it felt more manageable. When I could focus on the problems and talk about the problems the changes and challenges became more palatable. Did you find it that way also, that if you could talk it through with someone, it worked better for you for adapting to the changes? 

Yeah, I think so. It is definitely helpful to get a second opinion and it’s really easy to kind of go down a rabbit hole of what you think you need to do or how to do it and stepping back a bit and having a conversation with someone else and really figuring it out is definitely really helpful.

When you realize you couldn’t go to the fairs and your income could end, did you have to just face your fears and figure it out?

Yes, definitely. And part of it was also I had been wanting to get this website going for awhile and I did plan for it getting launched sometime in March before NCECA so it was part of my schedule for the season and I did end up staying on track with that timeline and so it wasn’t suddenly, Oh I have to get the shop up. It was more, Oh, now I have the time to do this. Because I was planning on doing it anyway. I am not going to be hustling in the studio to make all those pieces for shows I can go straight to photographing what I have and get that rolling. It was part of the plan I guess.

So is it fair to say you were basically ready for change?

Yes, I was ready to get that part of my business moving forward. It was a big kick in the butt to do it as quickly as I have to work with it.

What kind of support did you have to get the ball rolling in the right direction? What resources did you use or people you talk to?

Like digital resources?

It could be, yeah, I am thinking it could be digital or it could be people that you talked to.

You mean figuring out how to work the website?


I had sort of poked around with it and talked with some friends about it but a lot of them are in the same boat as me-they wanted to to a shop but also do a lot of physical shows and are more consumed by that end of their business so they hadn’t quite gotten their websites going. A lot of it was just figuring that out and looking at videos and just trying to think through and trying to be rational. My husband has been really helpful with a lot of the tech end of things because he is much more computer and web savvy. So that has been really helpful. But I definitely have to learn it on my own because I can’t always go to people to solve my whatever dilemma I am in.

Did it take a certain amount of courage to start sending out an email to a list that you had basically collected but never nurtured?

Oh, yes, for sure. I already am a pretty anxious person so I wrote it up and I was like, Am I saying this right?I don’t know. So I was definitely a little nervous about it but fortunately my husband is a copy writer so he did edit it. It is a very useful skill to have on hand when sending a newsletter. He likes writing in a playful voice so it was good to get feedback and what to do and what not to do.

When you opened your site were you encouraged that people actually started to buy from you?

Yeah, it what is nice about the newsletter is that it is a targeted audience that you already know and people who are clearly interested in your work because they signed up for your newsletter. Because they are clearly interested in what you are making and want to know more about it. Most of the shows that I travel to are in the area within a three hour drive so not too far. But there were some sales coming from some places that I hadn’t been to in years so that was kind of neat to reconnect with another person that I had met a while back. I do a home deliver to people who live in Richmond because shipping costs are so expensive and it’s nice way to get out the house right now-go on a delivery run.

When you do your delivers do you just drop it off and ring the door bell and run?

I have only done a few. I don’t do the full packaging with the double boxing. I just leave them in a bag. I do photograph the package on the doorstep and either email it or text it to them. Just as a confirmation that it was delivered. Some of the time the people were home and we had an awkward exchange where I set it down and backed up and they pick it up and we sort of talk from ten feet away and catch up a little bit. But sometimes people weren’t home so yeah, I would just drop it and dash.


500 Teapots



Instagram: @mariastonestudio

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