Sarah Cameron Ceramics: Pieces We Love and Want to Use

Sarah Cameron is a small-batch ceramics artist based in Vancouver who creates beautiful, one of a kind housewares.  For her, success in running her own business is defined by making pieces that people love and want to use.  Like many other artists who combine design with functionality, Sarah hopes that her pieces are used by her customers every day.  Explained simply in her words: “really, I just want to make someone’s favourite mug”. 

Sarah is one of the first artists in our Made in the 604 online shop.  

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Really, I just want to make someone’s favourite mug”. 

Tell us about yourself and your business.  What’s your core mission and vision?

My name is Sarah Cameron and I make small batch ceramics in Vancouver. Growing up, my grandmother was a potter. She had a studio in her backyard and kilns in the basement. I loved finding all of the experimental pieces she made around the place. All of my favourite cups of tea are still served in her mugs and poured from her teapots. I love carrying her legacy on. 

How did you start your business? What inspired you to take the leap into entrepreneurship?

My leap into entrepreneurship is recent and motivated by the fact that every surface in my little apartment was covered in bowls, mugs and vases! I was giving away pieces to everyone in my life and getting positive reactions. Seeing other potters and makers pursue this made me feel brave enough to put myself out there.

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On average how many hours do you work on your business each week?  

At my day job I work at UBC with 2 scholarship programs. In my work I get to support incredible students who are new to Canada as they pursue their education. My work is hard to describe – it is equal parts refugee resettlement, community development, counsellor, barista and administrator. 

I spend my spare time potting when I can. Any day off work is spent in the studio. Usually I spend about 10 hours a week - with many more spent dreaming up colour combinations, shapes and daydreaming about having my own studio.

How do you go about creating or designing your product line?

I am inspired by the seasons. In the winter I like using moody colours and making sturdy mugs or big bowls for soup, in the summer I like bright jewel tones and am more likely to be making vases, planters and wine cups.

For the most part, I make what I cannot find anywhere else. Going in with too much of a plan doesn’t work well – pottery is full of surprises, colours differ from batch to batch and shapes can sometimes end a little different than they started once they go in the kiln. It forces you to embrace unpredictability.

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What’s the best part of owning your business? How about the toughest?

For me, [the best part] is all in the making. I love the art and craft of pottery. The hardest part is everything else! I am not a natural salesperson, so marketing and sales definitely challenges me.

What’s next for you, your brand, or your business?

Eventually I hope this business affords me the ability to produce more work and branch out into my own space. But for now, more markets and Vancouver pop-up markets

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How do you connect with the local business community? 

Being new to the community, I have been inspired by the makers and artists around me and hearing their stories. I work out of a shared studio, I love the opportunity to share our experiences and support one another.

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