From Idea to Growth: Sego Lily Pottery
Sego Lily Pottery is the passion project of Miranda Trostle and was founded in 2015, named after the state flower of Utah in celebration of the artist’s birthplace. Trostle began her studio with a strong foundation in the craft from several years of classes at a community art center in her hometown and a degree in art from Earlham College (2010).
The sego lily is a source of food as well as ephemeral beauty, and embodies the union of function and aesthetics, as well as representing the importance of landscape and place in Trostle’s work and life.
Sego Lily Pottery is a small scale production pottery studio based in SE Portland that creates unique, functional ceramics that inspire those who value handcrafted objects to celebrate the rituals of daily life. Every vessel sparks a conversation between material, maker, and the person who incorporates it into their life and explores the balance of utility and aesthetics through elegant stoneware designs and landscape-inspired glaze application.
Her business knowledge was initially limited, so she was grateful to find Mercy Corps Northwest in 2016 and the resources we offer entrepreneurs. The Business Foundations II course, Business Plan Workshop, and Marketing Fundamentals course filled in a lot of the business knowledge that had been previously lacking and helped clarify the direction she wants to take her studio. Trostle completed the MCNW IDA program in July 2018, and the grant money has been instrumental in optimizing her limited 150 sq. ft. studio space and taking her business to the next level in terms of production as well as professionalism.
After starting Sego Lily Pottery, Trostle felt challenged in accessing a community of working artists and solopreneurs, something she has not felt she had until recently. The Women in Business seminar series at MCNW has been instrumental for Trostle in terms of networking, and has led to friendships with other makers, collaborations with other women-owned businesses, and some wholesale orders. The ability to connect and communicate with other people who are starting their own businesses has been invaluable.
With the momentum she has been building since enrolling in Business Foundations, Trostle looks forward to expanding Sego Lily Pottery in the coming years to acquire more wholesale accounts, place her work in brick and mortar stores in the Portland area, teach more wheel-throwing classes, and establish her online store.