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Bouncing back with thriving Scartho pottery business

AFTER suffering from post-natal depression, taking a chance on a new hobby has unlocked a change of career for a mum-of-two.

Bouncing back with thriving Scartho pottery business

A year down the line and Rachel Williams, 32, is having the time of her life at The Crafty Retreat on Pinfold Lane, Scartho.

Although the pottery painting studio has been open for three years, Rachel took ownership late December 2015, reopening on January 5, 2016.

She said: "I started coming here as a customer, in October 2014 I had post-natal depression and was told by the doctor to find a hobby and do something for me. Rachael, the previous owner offered me a Saturday job, so I started doing that for five months. Rachael realised it wasn't for her so I said jokingly, "sell the business to me" and she said yes!

"I was incredibly lucky that I had the (financial) support of my Mum and Dad and my Uncle. I studied decorative arts at university and realised I probably wasn't going to get to use my degree as a career. I remember sitting here thinking she was so lucky, I wish I could have a job like this.

"I would never have believed that I would end up taking it over and it being my business. It's pretty amazing really, it's incredible.

Proud mum to Freya, five, and Eleanor, two, Rachel left her job in learning support and has fully immersed herself into the colourful studio.

"I have made big changes, made the studio very homely," she said.

"I live in vintage swing dresses – I'm very much into vintage, floral patterns. I wanted to make it more colourful. I have a toddler myself and having been a customer I was anxious she would be off – a toddler in a pottery shop! I wanted to make the experience more enjoyable not having to worry about kids running riot."

Rachel has introduced stair gates to connect the studio and party rooms to make it child safe and family friendly. Tots can play with toys whilst their mums get creative in plain sight.

This half term the studio is open until Friday, 10am to 4.30pm. Rachel follows themes and trends throughout the year but you can decorate anything from baby footprints, teapots, fairy doors, lanterns, yarn bowls, clocks, faceted animals, cup and saucer, salt and pepper pots, trinket boxes, coasters and photo frames.

Rachel enthused: "Pottery painting is like sitting down for a meal, you can talk and interact with each other. It's old fashioned but it's nice to have a bit of that. I don't charge any studio fees, the price you pay is what you see on the shelf, it's all inclusive – it covers the cost of the pottery or foam clay, the paint and the finishing (glazing/firing).

"We've got a big selection of crystal and glitter glaze paints, kids absolutely love. There's so many possibilities and techniques. I love being able to show people and guide them. You can do something at any age, and with the finished piece there's a sense of pride."

The studio can accommodate birthday parties and adult gatherings with refreshments – just bring your own buffet!

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