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Biz Ladies Profile: Alexia Klompje of Klomp Ceramics

Biz Ladies Profile: Klomp Ceramics
Today’s Biz Ladies Profile comes to us from Alexia Klompje of Klomp Ceramics. After surviving a brain tumor, Alexia decided to pursue “gentler” work during her healing process. So she went back to her first love of ceramics and never looked back. Today she shares a bit about her journey into the creative realm and the ups and downs of owning a business. Thank you, Alexia, for sharing your amazing story with us! –Stephanie

This post is brought to you by Staples. We’ve got everything a business needs to make more happen. Even a handmade ceramics business.

Read the full interview after the jump…

Biz Ladies Profile: Klomp Ceramics

Why did you decide to start your own business?

After surviving a brain tumor, which left half my body paralyzed a couple years ago, I needed a lifestyle change and wanted to find something gentler to do whilst healing. I had been working really hard as a stylist for the previous ten years and found the industry to be stressful. Ceramics is an art form I’d dabbled with since I was a child and always loved it, and so I began with a few bags of clay and before I knew it Klomp Ceramics was born! It’s been a beautiful way to heal and, in a way, reconstruct myself and my life.

When you first decided to start your own business, how did you define what your business would be?

I’ve started a business before that I didn’t enjoy doing so every step was stressful and unpleasant for me. For this business I wanted the opposite so it started with my basic need of doing what I love and grew from there.

Biz Ladies Profile: Klomp Ceramics

Biz Ladies Profile: Klomp Ceramics

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?

My husband gives me the best advice. With business he’s always reminding me that it takes time. I’m an incredibly impatient person so when I get on the fast track he slows me down a bit. Businesses take time to build. Philosophically speaking, everything unfolds as and when it should.

What was the most difficult part of starting your business?

There were practical delays and hiccups but I found that learning to believe in myself and what I’m doing and the courage to get it out there was actually the most difficult part. Realizing those challenges made dealing with the practical difficulties a lot more manageable.

Biz Ladies Profile: Klomp Ceramics

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business?

Confidence. Confidence in myself, in my choices, in my products, in growing and learning, in where I’d like to take my business. It all requires big confidence and a sense of knowing what you are capable of.

Can you name a moment of failure in your business experiences?

Not really. In life and in business I try to see any failures as opportunities to grow and learn so I don’t know if I believe in failures as such!

Can you name your greatest success in your business experiences?

Waking up and being overjoyed by walking into the studio and starting my day! To me this is the greatest success.

What business books/resources (if any) would you recommend to someone starting a creative business of their own?

I personally do a lot of research online. There’s so much out there about starting businesses, creative fields, what people have themselves experienced, how others did it, inspiration. If looking for general advice or advice on a particular topic I’d definitely recommend a good browse. Design*Sponge Biz Ladies is a great place to start!

Biz Ladies Profile: Klomp Ceramics

Biz Ladies Profile: Klomp Ceramics

In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business?

Is this something you’re going to love doing? There’s no point in doing something that makes you miserable. Life’s too short in my opinion and starting a business can be challenging so the love of it will be your greatest ally.

Can you find the strength and courage in this moment to make your dreams a reality? Starting a business successfully relies heavily on timing. Maybe right now you are ready, maybe only in a year or two and that’s ok. Either way it’s going to take a little chutzpah!

Are you feeling enthusiastic about your amazing ideas and super excited to get your business started?! For me enthusiasm and a positive attitude go a long way. If you’re enthusiastic, others will be too.

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18 Comments

Jullian

Thank you Design Sponge and Alexia Klompje. This article is inspiring and it has given me much wisdom and assurance to follow my passion. I’m definitely bookmarking this to look back to :)

Julie

Thanks so much for this! What a lovely post, and so uplifting and inspirational. I love stories about the people behind the beautiful creations. People are always the “real” story!

Jenn

I love being introduced to her work via Design Sponge. Great work highlighting more wonderful ceramics!

Laura

Thank you for sharing Alexia. I just decided to let go of a coaching business that wasn’t doing well financially, which I’d begun after “retiring” from office work 5 years ago. I have to admit I’m burned out. LOL
It’s serendipitous to come across this article today because last week I decided to take up my first loves, sculpting and pottery, again. It’s nice to be doing something I love and taking it one hour, one day at a time. This time it feels “just right”. :-) Wishing you all the best, Laura (aka LaloBean)

Nadine

What a nice story! It’s true that when you have health problems, your priorities change, and you want to do something you love. Sad that so many people wait till they have health problems before they choose this path! Good luck to you Alexia!

Ansie Zondagh du Toit

Nice to read about you, Alexia. You are doing stunning work. Love

Casey

I really enjoyed reading Alexia’s story, especially the part about confidence being the biggest lesson in running your own business. When all the decisions are up to you it’s easy to get caught-up in self doubt. It’s something I’ve been working on, too, since I took the leap into self-employment a few months ago. Thanks so much for sharing!

Tina W.

What a wonderfully inspiring story to start off my day! One question – did you make those awesome earrings you’re wearing?

Bernadette

Everything I need to hear! Thank you fo the insight and inspiration…heartfelt!!

Carina

Thank you so much for your inspiring post! I too am an [amateur] ceramicist and happen to be at that place of needing to believe in myself to create my own ceramics business!! I fear my skills aren’t up to par, in the actual manufacturing process as well as in dealing with retail, which I have zero experience at, but my heart and soul have been screaming for me to do this for years and I would love nothing better. I too get the greatest joy in waking up to spend the day in my studio, and I want to live my life that way.
Alexja, did you have the same challenges when you started out? Did you start selling gradually? Do you make your living entirely off your ceramics business now? If so, how did you transition to that? I am single and find it really challenging to let go of my day job that pays the bills to jump into this great unknown, yet if I don’t I will never get the time to make it happen, it’s very challenging… I’d love to hear how you started in more detail. Thank you so much!

Nathan G

Totally agree with her thoughts on failure, there is no such thing! Super motivational interview, thank you for this

Galina

Thanks for interview.”Doing what I love and grew from there” – the worlds that so important for me . I wish to Alexia a great success.I love her geometric plates.

Savannah Potafiy

Timely advice! I am embarking on starting my own business, hopefully ready to launch in about 2 months. I loved reading this: “There were practical delays and hiccups but I found that learning to believe in myself and what I’m doing and the courage to get it out there was actually the most difficult part. ”
I find that to be the hardest part for me, as well. It’s very encouraging to see that someone as successful and happy as you also dealt with the same thing in the beginning. Thank you for putting yourself out there and going after your dream!

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