After opening their business, Cracked Up Pottery, almost three years ago, Brian and Janice Scidmore opened their first storefront location in May 2018!
While pottery is now his passion, this wasn’t Brian’s first career plan. Out of high school, Brian enlisted in the U.S. Army, and planned to make that his career. However, after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, he decided to seek out a new career path. After working in various industries, including construction and graphic design, he found his true joy in pottery, where he could work with his hands, and create “not only functional, but also beautiful pieces.”
Cracked Up Pottery “creates wheel thrown pottery, handmade in the studio” and offers classes to the community for those who have little to no experience in handmade pottery. They also rent out studio and kiln space to those who may be skilled in pottery, but need a space to do it. Janice shares that “We also offer Night Out experiences, that allows people who might not want to commit to classes, but want to see what it is like to throw something on the wheel…so people can come with their friends and get their hands dirty.”
By starting at the Downtown Bloomington Farmer’s Market, Cracked Up Pottery has created a wonderful community of support in Bloomington-Normal. But when they started discussing the opportunity to open a storefront, they reached out to the SBDC for assistance. The SBDC “really took the time to find out what we needed,” Janice explains. “We learned about the options for our specific situation, being a very small business..” and we “created a cash flow and business plan to organize ourselves…it gave us confidence that we could really open a store and hopefully be profitable.”
Brian and Janice explain that pottery is “a very tactile experience” and “a great way to step outside yourself, breathe, and enjoy creating an object that wasn’t there before.” They hope that Cracked Up Pottery becomes a place where artists of all skill levels can be themselves, learn more about pottery, and have fun with their friends and family while they are doing it!
To learn more about Cracked Up Pottery, visit their Facebook page @crackeduppottery, or stop in their shop at 616 N Main St Bloomington, IL 61701!