Yelis, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story of falling in love with pottery painting started with my father’s cerebral hemorrhage.
I have a Travel Agency and I’ve been organizing international and national congresses for 25 years in Turkey. After my father’s illness, I started to question that whether tourism is the right job for me for the rest of my life. My father stayed at the hospital for 18 months and I was visiting him around lunchtime everyday. After 7-8 months, I started to feel worse. The days and my father’s condition was getting worse and I could feel that the depression was on its way. Then one of my friends referred me to join pottery painting classes in order to made my mind busy. After a class of painting pottery, I was feeling happy and joyful and it played a great role for my recovery from the depression I was facing. I couldn’t wait to go there again. I’ve ordered dozens of bisques and glazes online in order to draw and paint at home whenever I found time to. It was helping me overcome stress and overthinking so much that I drew and painted more than 400 bisques in ten months.
After painting pottery for few weeks, I knew what my passion was and I knew how my life was going to look like in the future, if I recovered by painting pottery in such a short period, I could offer the same opportunity to people as well. When my husband and I decided to move to Lauderdale By the Sea, I knew what was next for me; and that was opening a ceramic painting studio. What a great idea!!! But how? I didn’t know how to establish a new business in a different country, I didn’t have any network, I had only two friends in Miami area and they would be abroad for three months during my grand opening period. So how would I overcome these problems and find clients? I saw one more time that if a woman wants to do something, nothing will stop her from doing it.
I had to make connections and get to know people in order to invite them to my grand opening and spread the word out for me that there is a new pottery painting studio opening in Lauderdale By the Sea. Right After renting my studio, my lovely neighbor invited me into a private Facebook group chat where there were over 5000 women in it. I’ve found my employee from there and I’ve started networking. Moreover, through one of my Turkish friends, I met with the most helpful woman that I have ever known in my entire life and she invited me to another group on Whatsapp. After decorating my studio with my families help, I decided to organize two workshops on the grand opening day for 50 people. I’ve started to think how I could find people to fill my studio for my opening. I’ve designed an invitation and shared it with two different groups and started to get registrations for the opening classes. It was a miracle, I succeed to fill my studio with 50 people on the opening day. I can’t express my feelings it was an amazing day for me.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Of course, there were some struggles along the way. For example, the establishment process in USA was completely different from my home country. There were so many new rules, paper works, etc. But it was a good way to get educated about the US rules. On the other hand, networking takes time in a different country, but if you follow the rules, it is easier to do your job and US citizens encourage you to be successful. I’m really happy to be here.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Atelier Newday LLC story. Tell us more about the business.
After my grand opening, things started to get into track; I started to host birthday parties for adults and kids, girls’ night-outs, independent living residents, seniors, mom&daughters, seasonal parties, team building parties, motivation events for cooperate companies, etc. for painting potteries. Of course, we always welcome walk-ins too.
My studio’s most attractive part is, it looks so bright, clean, tidy and colorful. My clients also find plain bisques besides various styles of stenciled bisques that are hand-drawn. We treat our clients with snacks and refreshments during the painting session. They also brought their own snacks and beverages until we temporarily stopped face to face classes and meetings due to Covid-19.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe that you create your own luck yourself. Nothing is a coincidence.
If I wouldn’t had a good relationship with my neighbor, or my friend, who met me with their community, I mean if I wouldn’t been honest giving my love to them, they would have never helped me. They felt my sincerity.
If I wouldn’t work hard, I would never had that amount of clients. I joined so many groups through my landlord, friends, clients. and doing these helped me a lot to build and expand my network and my business.
Publisher: Voyage Mia