Editor’s Note: Made in Tarrant is an occasional Q&A series for small businesses starting in Tarrant County.submit your business Gentlemen.
Garrett Pendergrass Pottery
who? Garret Pendergrass is the founder of Garret Pendergrass Pottery.
when? Garret Pendergrass Pottery started in 2013. Keith Thomson of Firehouse Pottery allowed him to rent space in the back of the building to get up and running.
Where? 1307 Hurley Avenue Fort Worth, Texas 76008.
What? Offers group lessons, private lessons, open studios for independent work and firing pottery for at-home studio potters without a kiln.
817.705.4685 – Deanna, my scheduling assistant.
Garret Pendergrass is the founder of Garret Pendergrass Pottery. He shares his business story with Fort Worth Report’s Sandra Sadek.
Sadek: How did you get into this field?
Pendergrass: My college advisor reminded me that I would have to take an art class in order to graduate. I really wanted to take a sculpting class, but the class was canceled and all that was left was ceramics. I really didn’t want to take the class because I thought it was for old ladies painting flowers on teapots. To say the least, I was hooked! I bought a wheel right after graduation. Fortunately, the professor let me sit in on advanced courses for three semesters. Since I wasn’t officially taking ceramics classes, he gave me space in the closet in the clean room to study and hone my skills. I’ve been in clay ever since!
Sadek: What is the most challenging part of starting a business?
Pendergrass: Overcoming fear and “assumptions” was definitely the biggest hurdle. When I started working, a lot of people started asking “what is my real job?” It was definitely a blow to the ego. No one except my wife thought that being a potter and lecturer would be successful outside of academia.
Sadek: What advice would you give to those who want to start their own business?
Pendergrass: Preparing and knowing your industry is important, but not everything. The most important piece of advice for starting a business is to be strong when you succeed and forgive yourself when you fail. There are a lot of things I do wrong, or quickly realize where I need to improve. I use those moments to improve my business practices instead of beating myself up.
Sadek: Is there anything else you want to share?
Pendergrass: Both my instructor and I enjoy teaching various pottery techniques at all levels. If you want to learn a new skill or find a way to balance your mind, I’d love to meet you in the studio. We offer group lessons, private lessons, open studios for independent work and firing pottery for at-home studio potters without a kiln. We also have some very exciting news. In 2023, we’ll be introducing Raku to Fort Worth students and the public! Raku is a fun, quick, and creative way to fire pottery that can create some great, unique finishes.