Small Ceramics - September Update

Small Ceramics - September Update

Hi everyone! Daisy here from Small Ceramics.

I am writing this blog post to try and explain some of the things going on with Small ceramics. I know that I have never done a blog like this before so it’s probably time I did! Historically I have kept things very anonymous and secretive on my page in relation to who we are and what our grand plan was, as this business was merely a side hobby for myself and my partner while we worked on our full-time jobs. But, in recent months as we have become more popular, people want to know our future plans more definitely. I want to be as forthcoming as possible with you all to help you understand what is happening with our business.

Up until this current moment, we have made our Small Pottery wheels using 3d printers which worked well for us as we had very small order quantities. In fact, in the beginning I remember that we put about 30 wheels up on our website and we were ecstatic if we even sold one a day! Which is a crazy thought looking back now. I’ve always done pottery as a hobby and I only really planned on making maybe 50 wheels in total to sell. But you all came out the woodwork wanting them and it totally changed the direction of Small Ceramics.
My partner is pretty much the reason that the wheel exists as it does today. He is so smart and resourceful. He designed the wheel from scratch, and was able to finesse it into what exists today, which I find incredible as I wouldn’t even know where to start. He never settles for second best and has pushed the design further and further to always make the product the best it can be. And I think this shows, as so many people have told me how much better our mini wheel is than ones bought on Amazon.

But of course success is a double-edged sword, and due to the demand we now have, we’ve had to start thinking bigger.

I know that for the past few months I have said over and over that we will be opening pre-orders soon, and it hasn’t materialised. I want to expand on this point now.
We started looking at injection moulding back in February of this year, we found a place in the UK to do it, we visited the factory and got all the plans together. It sounds quite straightforward when I say it like this! But there were two things that held us back. The first was that I felt the wheel could still be improved in its design, and the second was the money. It costs a hell of a lot to make the tools necessary for injection moulding, and we just didn’t have it.
We decided that the best way to pay for the manufacturing was to open pre-orders, but in case things didn’t go right in the tooling process, we would only do this after we’d produced a satisfactory sample from the factory, to avoid any mistakes or disappointments. This meant that we needed to raise the capital necessary by continuing to sell wheels. (Which is a bit of a catch 22!)

Naturally, doing it this way means that we are currently still limited to making the wheels at home, which isn’t nearly fast enough for the quantity of people waiting, and I know we have ruffled some feathers choosing this route. But right now, we feel it is the best option.

So here we are in September, with pre-orders still not open. Why is this? Well, along the road to large-scale manufacturing we have had many bumps, twists and turns. This is something that neither of us have done before and the learning curve is very steep. So we have actually employed the services of a company that specialises in this kind of thing to help us do all the steps properly. I am very happy that we have chosen to do this, as I believe it will save us a lot of hassle in the future and make sure that we are producing the best quality product possible. However…. It means that we are looking at our first batch around springtime of next year!!
I know once we are up and running that we shouldn't have the issue of selling out again, but there are 7 months between here and there, which is quite a long time.
My partner therefore wants to buy more 3D printers to try and print as many as the two of us can make as an interim plan between now and then. As I said, this is a large learning curve and every decision we’ve made so far has been long debated between us and often we have to review previous decisions taken to ensure that we are able to achieve the end goal.

I know I say this often, but to everyone who is following our journey and has stuck by us even after missing out drop after drop, I really, truly appreciate it. I appreciate your love of our product and I love seeing the creations that are made by those of you who have bought one. I am sorry that we haven’t been able to create more wheels more quickly, but it is what it is. We are just two people in the end.

A loose timeline is that you can expect some more 3D printed wheels in early december drops, and then the opening of pre-orders once we have our approved manufacturing samples.
We will keep you updated as we go along.

I hope that this answers some of your questions and satiates your curiosity as to what we are up to and why things aren’t moving faster! If you have any specific questions, please comment them below and I will reply to every single one.
Until then, thanks again for all your support.

Daisy and Stefano ❤️

Back to blog

1 comment

Does this mean that there won’t be an October drop as listed on the website? Don’t worry, I’m not among the ruffled feathers, just making sure I have things straight. You have a great product and like everyone else, I want it now, but am willing to wait. Keep up the good work!

Susan Barra

Leave a comment