Thursday, May 05, 2011

Art Biz Mama: Suzanna Scott of Sushi Pot

Today I have a brand new Art Biz Mama interview! This time with Suzanna Scott of Sushipot. I remember coming across her Etsy shop and just falling in love with her creations. She is a hugely successful seller and of course a mom. Enjoy the interview friends.

Could you please share a bit about you, your family and your business? 

Hello to all you fellow artists and blog readers of the lovely Dana! I’m Suzanna Scott, a 36-year-old artist/wife/mama living in the “Little Apple” (aka Manhattan, Kansas). My best friend Patrick and I were married 10 years ago and we have a little girl named Lizzie who is at the spunky age of six. Patrick is a graduate student at Kansas State University. We homeschool Lizzie and we’ve been running a home business together, Sushipot Art Objects, since 2006. I create and sell my own ‘art objects’ and vintage goodies as well. Patrick handles the business side of things to give me more time in the studio and ‘cuz numbers make my head ache. Lizzie keeps us from getting too serious about life!
When did you make the decision to start your art business? 
Shortly after Lizzie was born in December of 2004 I started to seriously look for ways to make it happen.

 How has having children affected your business and creativity?
Both have flourished! Before Lizzie came along I had no steady business. I was an artist and would sell my work from time to time but was not making a living doing it. My daughter has inspired me to create every day from the day she was born and she is an artistic little soul herself. We feed off of each other’s creativity.

 Would you please share what a “typical day” is like for you? Is there school or childcare, etc. while you are working?
On a typical weekday Patrick and Lizzie wake up first, have breakfast together and Patrick leaves for school. They let me sleep in ‘cuz I’ve been up late working in the studio the night before! Lizzie and I take the morning a bit easy. I shower and get ready for the day while she takes care of her chores. After my first cup of coffee, Lizzie plays in her playroom or reads while I turn on my computer, answer any urgent emails, post my blog post (hopefully composed the night before) and check our Etsy shops for activity. Next we do schoolwork together, gather any orders that need to be packaged up and stop for a lunch break at 1:00 pm. After lunch we go for a short walk if the weathers nice and read a few chapters out loud from our current book. The afternoons are spent packing orders and/or working together at our huge 8 foot crafting table that Patrick made for the studio. This table has been a lifesaver ‘cuz we can work side by side and I’m able to keep working while overseeing Lizzie’s current craft projects or school work at the same time. Patrick returns home at 5ish and we cook dinner together and have family time until Lizzie’s bedtime at 7:30. I hit the ground running after the little one is in bed and work in the studio until the wee hours.

 How many hours do you give to your business each week? Are you working during the days/evenings/weekends?
Let’s just say I put in more hours at this job than any other full time position I’ve ever held! I work in pockets of time throughout the day. Before becoming a mom I’d have scoffed at the idea of working in my studio in only 15-20 minute intervals but it’s truly amazing what you can accomplish in that short amount of time. My prime studio time is from Lizzie’s bedtime until at least midnight (and dare I say sometimes later). Every weekend Patrick gives me another big chunk of studio time while he and Lizzie run errands and spend some time together. 
Balance seems to be a myth for many women.  Do you feel you have a healthy balance between your work life and your family life?
I liken the ideal of “balance” to more of an “ebb and flow” or a “give and take”. What works and lends “balance” during one season doesn’t always work for the next. There’s a constant juggling act going on during periods of transition where we have to “go with the flow” or fall off that proverbial tightrope. If it weren’t for Patrick’s voice of reason when the going gets tough I’d have fallen off a long time ago!

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us today? Any words of wisdom for other artists/moms out there who wish to create a business out of their art?

Thank you so much for inviting me to share my story with your readers Dana!! To any of you artist/mama’s out there who want to do this I’d have to just say—Go for it! Seriously, start using those tiny pockets of time in your day to create and make it happen! 

Thank you Suzanna!

You can find out more about Suzanna by following the links below.



nacherluver said...

Thanks for sharing this great interview!

Kim Hambric said...

Great interview -- quite inspirational. I've loved her work on Etsy, but have not followed her blog. Until now.

Jenny Petricek said...

Dana, thank you thank you thank you for posting great interviews with working artists! It's such an inspiration to those like me who are new to this journey! I enjoy the tips, the advice, and the great photos!

Suzanna Scott said...

Thank you so much for the interview Dana!

etsy san marcos said...

ah, those best-friend partners that know just what to say/do when we want to give it all up. what would we do without them. thanks suzanna & dana. i'm inspired. :)

Catherine Denton said...

Dana and Suzanna, thank you so much for this interview! It helps me greatly to read how other bizmom's do it. I'm only at the beginning of my journey so this is incredibly inspiring to know it CAN be done. And I love hearing about getting great amounts done in pockets of time.
My Blog

belinda marshall said...

inspiring! love that you work at night ~ that used to be the most creative time pre-kids, it can be wildly creative if you're not wrecked!!
love your work too.
thanks suzanna + dana :)

jacqueline said...

Dearest sweet dana, this is truly such an inspiring interview! Suzanna's work is just gorgeous! Thanks so much for having this awesome column on your space. Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

Jennifer Snellings said...

Thanks so much for sharing this great interview! It was so encouraging!! As a busy mommy/artist myself it is so nice to hear I'm not alone in the quest to find time to create art and balance my creative life with my family! I love hearing about and learning from creative biz Mommies out there! Can't wait for the next one!! :) And by the way, Dana, you should share your own story! You have been quite successful as well!! I'd love to know how do you do it all? :)

Take care,

converse pantoufle said...

I enjoy the tips, the advice, and the great photos!

Faith said...

Thanks for sharing another great mama artist interview Dana! I love hearing how each one makes it all work so creatively!

AG Ambroult said...

oh oh! I was not at all familiar with her work. thank you for sharing this! Suzanna's work is delightful, and it sounds like life is good over there in the little apple. Reading about mama/family success stories makes my day :)