In case you're one of the people who follows our shop and doesn't know us: hi! We are Chris and Lauren, the owners and makers behind the lifestyle goods shop, Yucca Society. We run our shop out of our one bedroom, 700 square foot apartment in Nashville, Tennessee. A portion of this production (our ceramics) are thrown in our bedroom which Chris outfitted to be half sleeping space, half workspace. Talk about working where you live!
But let's backup for a second. How did we get here? Why did we start our shop?
Today, I want to share Chris's story.
First things first, you should know that Chris wouldn't call himself a born entrepreneur. In fact, he would say the exact opposite.
Chris grew up in a traditional home where pursuing art for a living was not encouraged; in fact, it was very much frowned upon. The goal of his parents was to push him into a stable living-one at a desk that demanded a high salary. Anything less was met with disapproval.
If you know Chris at all, you know that he's artistic and doesn't fit the corporate type at all. From a young age, he found a love for working with his hands which led to a job at a bakery then to a job as a full-time production potter and now to his current role as a tortilla making boss.
The five year stint as a production potter is where his love for making ceramics was solidified. He had taken pottery classes in both high school and college but it wasn't until that role that he truly began to hone in on his personal aesthetic. It was in this job that he learned how to make products consistently and quickly, a skill that truly blows my mind. At one point, he was throwing 500 mugs a week on the wheel, each clocking in to about 3.5 minutes per piece! If you think that's crazy, what's even more astonishing is how much each mug looked alike. You would've guessed that they were made by a machine. Nope! Just a guy with an amazing gift.
Chris was let go from this role shortly after we got married in the winter of 2019 for, let's call it, a difference of opinion. To be honest, it was a toxic job and I was thrilled when I found out. Anyways, it was then that we realized that we were standing at a crossroads. One evening, we sat down in our living room and brainstormed our future which included a shop.
Long story short, that was the night the dream of Yucca Society began! We didn't have a name, a moodboard, a business plan....nothing! All we knew is that we wanted to run a shop together and 3 years later, here we are, launching our small town dream in the big city!
Stay tuned for part two of this saga where I will share when I first fell in love with owning a small business.