I’m back with another Q&A for my new interview series, Dream Jobs. I met Lindsay Emery of Suite One Studio at a party last year, and she is as wonderful in person as you’d hope someone with her talent to be. I fell in love with Lindsay’s beautiful ceramics work long before that, though — her work has been featured in magazines like Southern Living, Food & Wine and Better Homes and Gardens. Her Instagram account is an absolute delight to follow as well. Today, she’s sharing her career story with us! Take it away, Lindsay. // susannah
1. How would you describe Suite One Studio?
Suite One Studio is a modern, handmade porcelain tableware line with a focus on making mealtimes beautiful.
2. What were you doing before Suite One Studio? What inspired you to change paths?
I was a full-time student, full-time waitress, and a part-time art instructor when I decided to start Suite One Studio. I didn’t intentionally set out to start a business, and I certainly didn’t have a business plan or any structured ideas for what my business would become. Suite One Studio was initially a creative outlet for me, providing much needed breathing room in my over-scheduled life.
3. When ideas are scarce, where do you turn for creative inspiration?
I love Instagram. That is hands down my favorite place to look for inspiration these days. There’s something special to me about the endless ways people use the platform. Some images are meticulously styled and composed, while others are more spontaneous and unabashedly confident in their natural state.
Click through to read the whole Q&A with Lindsay Emery!
4. Describe your workspace.
I was waiting for this question. My work space is always changing and would surprise most of you. I’ve grown my business in a very natural, organic way and part of that approach is to work with what I have. I’ve been putting off moving into commercial space for years. Currently I work primarily from my converted garage. The space is a work in progress, big time. We recently insulated and added drywall, which feels tremendously satisfying and way more legit than any space I’ve had before. I have a kiln out there, plus two in my basement, and I still use my kitchen sink for my water and some of my glaze work. I’m planning to move in the next year or so, and I already have big dreams for that next space— primarily that everything I need is in one room!
5. What have been your biggest successes and challenges?
Understanding when and how to grow continues to be my biggest challenge. I’m a very intuitive, driven, yet cautious person which makes for an interesting combination. I’m not at all afraid of taking risks but I’m very deliberate in which risks I take and how exactly I undertake them. This cautious-yet-brave push and pull continues to be my greatest strength and my greatest challenge.
I consider my entire career journey so far to be my biggest success. The ongoing realization that I’ve created something out of nothing is so deeply rewarding. Every day something new happens that completely surpasses my expectations. Sometimes it’s a wonderfully kind email from a customer, and sometimes it’s a major magazine feature. The unfolding support and accolades for my hard work is my single biggest success.
6. What are your dreams for Suite One Studio?
My dreams are still coming into focus, and I like it that way. I don’t like to get too specific about what I want from life or my business because I think that being open to unexpected opportunities is wonderfully freeing, and vitally important to growth. Being able to continue doing what I love each day, and allowing myself to stay open to whatever that may be over the years, that’s my biggest dream for myself and Suite One Studio.
7. Who do you look up to?
I’m very inspired by my friend, Rebecca Atwood. She constantly surprises me with her business decisions, in the absolute best possible way. She’s incredible and I look forward to watching her business grow over the years.
8. Where and how do you love to spend your time off?
I’m still working on the whole work-life balance thing, and I don’t take as much time off as I should. Plus I’m a bit of a homebody, so I happily spend a lot of time at home. My family, friends, and pets are my favorite companions during my freetime. My dog Zoe is almost always at my side, even in the studio when I’m working. I love my walkable neighborhood and my quintessentially Southern screen porch. Now that it’s warm you’ll find me soaking up as much time as I possibly outside, gardening, reading and watching my dogs play.
9. What three books, websites or resources do you recommend to someone whose dream job is your job?
Ceramic Arts Daily is a fantastic resource for ceramics anything. My business has a definite lean towards food, so I keep a close eye on what’s happening in food styling and restaurant dining trends. Food & Wine magazine is my go-to source for that information. I also closely observe and analyze what other makers, magazine editors and artists are posting in their Instagram feeds.
10. If you weren’t running Suite One Studio, what would be your dream job?
Interior Designer/House Flipper Extraordinaire combo, for sure. I’m decor obsessed.
Know someone who has your dream job? Want to see them interviewed? I’m looking for ideas. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org!