Farewell 2023. Here are some highlights!

Farewell 2023. Here are some highlights!

I can’t believe 2023 ended 2 months ago - it feels like we just finished eating Thanksgiving leftovers! In the spirit of sharing and caring, here are some highlights from last year!

A New Wolf Pup Is On The Way

We’re expecting a little Wolf Pup! Sarah Wolf, our owner, creative director, production potter, leader, founder, soon to be baby mama, is due to have a baby in just a few weeks. Sarah is still throwing pots until she can’t reach the wheel anymore. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement from Sarah and Jared on the new arrival.

Sarah and Jared bump bellies in a snowy setting

Awesome Collabs

We were thrilled to partner with several other local businesses for holiday popups, including Portland's Marigold Coffee and Madre Linen, as well as Hood River's Parts and Labor. Connecting and collaborating with other creative folks and makers is one of the things that keeps things interesting around here!

Business Oregon Sustainability Fund Grant

In August 2023 we were thrilled to be awarded a grant from the Business Oregon Sustainability Fund! What does this mean? It means that we can make moves toward making this business more sustainable in several fun, new ways - with a focus on equipment, ergonomics, leadership development and health and safety. Below are photos of us installing new air filters and receiving a huge new clay recycling machine. We can get really in the weeds on this, and we will, in a future update. This project is still unfolding!

a new ventilation system is installed
a pug mill is placed into an elevator with a person holding the door open

Our Team

We said farewell to 2 wonderful studio members, both of whom have pursued roles in ceramic education. Additionally, we welcomed Gloria and Ian to our team last July and August, respectively, ensuring our studio continues to thrive with a headcount of 5. Stay tuned for our next round of studio team updates to meet our most recent, 6th team member, Hana! 

the wolf ceramics team standing in front of a white wall 

A Note From Sarah

If there's one thing we can count on, its constant change and a steady stream of new challenges to keep things interesting around here!

I have never felt better about the quality of the ceramics that we are making and the good vibes of our studio team. However, like a lot of small businesses and creative companies, we saw a slow down in our sales in 2023. For most of the year, we were hustling just to break even. Add on finding out I was pregnant and the hope of being able to take maternity leave while ensuring that my studio team could be well supported and cared for (and get paid) in my absence. Eep! This pushed me to ask some big questions and to begin learning how to engage in more marketing in ways that are genuine and true to our values.

Why do I share this? Mostly because this is the type of candor I want to hear from my fellow small business owners and crafts people. And as a way to let you all know I love this work and my team and I'm committed to adapting and growing with Wolf Ceramics as the world around us changes. I hope it can also serve as a reminder to support the local shops and artisans that you love as much as possible, since I know we weren't the only ones to experience a slow down this year.

What sorts of things did we do to overcome this slowdown? Applied for a grant, participated in several in-person pop ups and holiday markets, got creative and real about connecting with the folks who love our products as much as we love getting to make them (aka marketing), and refreshed our branding and website! Experiencing a scary slowdown has forced Wolf Ceramics to become a more flexible and thoughtful business and we are happy you’re along for the ride with us. 

Sales turned around with the holidays and we’re starting 2024 stronger than last year. To a better year - and plenty of positive changes and growth to come.


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