From iconic wavy bowls to handmade jewelry, Susan Gordon Pottery is a local Birmingham company and top seller on Etsy. Here’s a closer look at Susan Gordon’s gorgeous pottery, what inspires her creations and why her business has been such a success.
Who is Susan Gordon Pottery?
Susan Gordon originally began selling pottery in college during the early 2000s. Would you have guessed that her first sale on Etsy wasn’t for a piece of pottery, but instead a painting? Yep! She can do more than just throw pots.
As her craft became increasingly popular, Gordon slowly began adding people to her pottery team. Can you guess where they work? At MAKEbhm in Avondale.
Here, the crew at Susan Gordon Pottery (SGP) is dedicated to creating collections of:
- Decorative accents
- Handmade jewelry
Birmingham and Beyond
When it comes to how successful an Etsy seller can become, it is impossible to know. It all boils down to what you sell, how you market your product and your dedication to your craft. For Gordon, her success has been incredible. Not only is she in the top 1% of Etsy sellers, but she has an astounding following with her shop being a favorite of over 11,600. That’s nothing. On Instagram, for example, she has over 20 thousand followers!
If you consider how many sellers are on Etsy worldwide, that is a truly remarkable accomplishment. According to Statica, as of 2018, more than 2.1 million sellers sold goods through Etsy. This is up from 1.9 million the previous year.
Her pottery has made its debut all over too, having been seen in magazines like Southern Living, HGTV Mag and Martha Stewart Weddings.
And she lives in Birmingham! That makes it so much sweeter, doesn’t it?
Speaking of Birmingham
Gordon knows just how important buying local is to those of us here. When asked if she feels Birmingham is a good place to become an independent seller, she responded with a strong “Absolutely! The loyalty and pride Birmingham has for all things local is unparalleled in my opinion. Pepper Place Market, the Mecca of finding all things to eat and buy local, is where many very successful independent makers and entrepreneurs have gotten their start.”
Gordon definitely knows what’s up in the Magic City, too, because she continued to speak about many successful companies that got their start in Birmingham, like Shipt, Fledging at Innovation Depot and more.
You are one of the top Etsy sellers. What do you think makes your business a success?
“I’ve been given two great pieces of advice: Don’t be afraid to dream big. And delegate your weaknesses. It can be hard as an artist to get out of your head, but if you want to include other people in your process, you must.”
“I have a fantastic team of talented artists that genuinely love what they do and are committed to helping me create something beautiful, timeless and unique. My team is heavily involved in the process of coming up with new products. Their input is greatly valued and I feel most successful when my team still wants to buy [the product] for themselves even after they’ve made hundreds, or thousands, of them.”
Do you have any advice/words of wisdom for other local Etsy sellers in Birmingham?
“I’d say, definitely go to the local markets and get the exposure you can there. Pepper Place is the biggest, but there are other markets that are great as well. It’ll be a great way for you to get customer feedback and see what people are interested in buying.”
What inspires your creations?
“I draw a lot of inspiration from creators in different mediums, such as interior designers, textile artists and painters… physically working with the medium is a huge source…when I get my hands in the clay, a whole new conversation starts as the clay responds to my hands and vice versa.”
Spoken like a true artiste!
What is your top seller?
“Hands down, our small wavy bowls.”
Each wavy bowl created by Susan Gordon Pottery is made from high fire ceramic stoneware and features 22K gold luster edges. Measurements are 5” wide by 1.75” high. You can order them in a variety of colors, too, each more gorgeous than the next.
While the small wavy bowl may be the most popular item of buyers, is it Susans?
“Picking favorites is especially hard for me. My favorite thing I have created is anything that is brand new.”
Does this mean Susan Gordon Pottery is creating new items buyers can look forward to?
According to Gordon, the answer is “Always! We are working on a new collection of jewelry for summer that will release in June.”
Where can you find creations by Susan Gordon Pottery?
While Etsy is Gordon’s main online outlet, she actually has about 130 retailers nationwide that she wholesales her products to. One place in Birmingham, however, that you are sure to find her work is at Pepper Place Market.
To discover more items from Susan Gordon Pottery on Etsy, click here. You can also follow her on social via @susangordonpottery.