We have been shortlisted for the Parent and Baby Show’s Family Business award!
We are literally astounded that our customers took the time to vote for us, thank you so much! Below Caroline has written a little bit about ourselves and our journey so far, so they you can get a feel of who we are and what our business means to us.
What we do
Doodle Pots is a friendly pottery painting studio in Holt. As well as offering a fun craft activity for children and adults, we also offer a hand and footprint service to our customers with little ones. We love this side of our business, helping to create timeless keepsakes for parents by using their little one’s tiny fingers and toes.
Although many people opt for simple designs, we really love to get creative and transform children’s hands and feet into flamingos, the hungry caterpillar, superheroes and much much more! The items we make are unique to each little person and are idea gifts for grandparents!
How the current Doodle Pots developed
I worked at Doodle Pots whist studying for my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and made great friends with the previous owner. After having a “proper job” for 5 years, I was offered to take on the studio. I literally jumped at the chance to have my own business.
Leaving behind my secure job was terrifying, but the challenge of running a small enterprise was too appealing. My dad was extremely supportive, both financially and mentally, encouraging me to take a leap. I saw so many opportunities to explore whilst working part time at Doodle Pots, I was so eager to get myself established and push things forward.
I was inspired by my very first time in the studio, painting a piece with my mum on my 18th birthday. The magic of seeing your pot transform stayed with me throughout my job, and pushed me to want to share the experience with others.
When we took over we really focused on building the customer experience of the studio. I am proud to say we have made so many improvements to ensure customers leave happy, including our calm and supportive approach to new mums that want to make precious pots with their babies. Now that I have a baby of my own, I truly see the magic of having a plate, money box or vase with a print from when your little one was only a week old. Something that can never be replicated, but only takes a few minutes to create in our studio.
Doodle Pot’s Family Support
My biggest support is my Dad. From the moment I frantically emailed him to say the business was potentially for sale, he has been behind me 100%. Not only did he support me financially in the purchase, he also sorts out all of our accounts, sources different advertising routes, keeps on top of the recycling and is chief cupcake buyer for the team! Doodle Dad is the best behind-the-scenes supporter.
My mum also works at the studio part time, but mostly helps during the school holidays when we go to Kelling Heath, offering a craft activity. Doodle Mum has very high paint brush and paint bottle cleaning standards and always makes sure everything is in order when she is in the studio. She is also chief teacup and saucer painter, making sure our tea and coffee cups are beautifully decorated.
Charlie, one of my best friends, is studio manager. Whilst I have been on maternity leave, Charlie has kept the studio more than just running, but has excelled in taking hundreds of creative baby prints. She is the organised one, keeping the studio ship shape, so creative, with her beautiful writing, and is totally AMAZING at getting babies to put their hands in cold paint and stay still for the prints. Doodle Charlie keeps me going and brings so many fresh ideas to the team.
My husband Sam has been amazing in letting me ditch my career and follow my heart. In my personal life he has been so supportive in allowing my creative dreams to take shape. Doodle husband is also a carpenter (pretty damn handy when the studio needed a facelift).
We can’t forget Doodle Baby Willow, our newest team member, who supports us by creating cute new samples to show customers, but also provides the best form of distraction for the team.
Gearing Up For Christmas
This time of year is the BEST, as we are beginning to see more and more babies and little people each day to create hand and footprint pottery for the festive season.
Our days are filled with taking prints, then turning them into beautiful gifts by putting our artwork on them. Our love hate relationship with ceramic baubles is in full swing! The baubles we help create, either with a handprint robin, family fingerprints or a footprint reindeer, are truly beautiful once finished.
However, they are the fiddliest things to glaze and load into the kiln! So each night we have to do a little prayer that they will fire ok. The studio is always filled with a buzz between October and the end of December, we truly feel like Santa’s little elves.
December Awards Night
We are up against some amazing local businesses that are also nominated for the Family Business award. The result doesn’t matter at the end of the day, we are just so thrilled to have been nominated!
It is sure to be a fantastic night for the whole team; dressing up, eating, the odd tipple, and a little dancing for Caroline, Dennis, Jill, Sam, Charlie, Haili and Cat. We will obviously let you know how we get on!