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Hidden Gems: Meet Morgan Baum of Clay Coyote Gallery & Pottery

Today we’d like to introduce you to Morgan Baum.

Hi Morgan, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
The Clay Coyote has been making handcrafted clay cookware since 1994. I’m the second-generation owner, my folks founded the business, and my husband and I took over in 2016. Our most popular pottery is our Flameware Cookware Line, designed to enhance your kitchen. We use a special clay and glaze combination, Clay Coyote Flameware, that allows our pottery to go over direct heat on a stovetop or grill. We employ eight potters and make around 6,000 pots a year. We offer flexible hours, buying power, and access to a state-of-the-art shipping department. We also have an onsite retail gallery featuring handmade artwork from North America. Our Studio is also home to a small business incubator for our potters to grow their pottery lines and business.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
When the pandemic hit, we were already making many online sales (many artists were not), but the problem was that the stay-at-home orders meant we couldn’t make pots. So we got creative and hosted a few zoom-ins where we showed the customers only what was available and offered free shipping. Another struggle we’re facing now is that inflation and global supply shortages are impacting our operations. Our shipping costs are through the roof. We haven’t raised prices since 2019, but we will have to do something to cover our increased expenses.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Clay Coyote Gallery & Pottery?
The Clay Coyote was founded in 1994 with just 2 potters. Now in 2022, we have grown to eight potters. In 2016, we launched our new Emerging Artists Studio program, where we hire artists to help make our unique pottery. And they can hone their skills, access more materials and equipment, leverage our buying power to keep their costs down, and get advice as they grow their small businesses.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help. I’ve learned that we’re all trying to figure entrepreneurship out one step at a time. The best mentoring may be a cup of coffee for commiserating. It may be in that conversation a spark is ignited.

Pricing:

  • Make sure not to undervalue your work.
  • Use margin calculations to ensure that you’re covering your costs and time.
  • Look for ways to share costs or create partnerships for buying power.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Clay Coyote Team Kristine Leuze Photography

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