I only ever had two regular jobs in life before I decided to pursue self-employment. Besides babysitting, my first real job was being a check out girl at an Eckerd’s drugstore at Lenox square mall. I was terrible at math, so making change was anxiety producing. And I’m pretty sure I got scammed one day when a guy came in asking for change for a twenty. One summer, I was a busgirl at a busy steak restaurant. All I did was bus tables and restock the salad bar. I was too shy to wear the low cut outfits that the waitresses had to wear. The pay was $2.10 an hour. I remember thinking, "If this is all they’re paying, surely I could make at least this much selling my art.” And so I decided that’s what I’d do.
I set to painting still lives in oil in my tiny apartment and showing them where ever I could for free. I had shows at churches, banks, and libraries. I always gained fans and sold a few paintings, but I still wasn’t making enough to live on, so I still had jobs: I worked at a frame shop, I worked at a clothing store, I worked in a tailor shop, and I even worked at a Waffle House. The one thing I learned from having regular jobs is that it’s the people that make the job. I don’t think I remember anything I learned about how to “do” the jobs, I just remember the relationships and humor on the job. I learned even the most boring job is enjoyable if you like the people you work with.
Fast forward to the beginnings of R.Wood Studio. At first, I got my friends to come help glaze the orders, but I realized I couldn’t keep asking. Then I met Kristina. She was a hippy lady who was witchy with plants and herbs and things I wanted to learn more about, so I hired her. We sat for hours glazing together, or me rolling out clay to make the plates while she glazed. We got to talk about so many things and I learned so much from her about herbal teas and plant healing. from then on, I just kept hiring bright, creative people, as needed. People with good energy. People with diverse interests and skill sets. People interested in cool stuff. People you want to be around.
And so the studio has always been a place of interesting people. there is daily discourse, discussion, brainstorms, insights, laughter and creativity. It’s always been a great place to work because of the people who work there, and I think that’s the hallmark of r.wood studio: great people enjoying working together. We smile through the good times and stress together during the bad times, but always working together for solutions and success. We all want to keep working together, so everyone steps up with ways to become better. We problem solve not just work problems, but life problems. We all learn so much from each other as we keep on making or glazing plates. At R.Wood Studio, it’s the people that make the job, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had!