Pottery store owner seeks to inspire youth with art

Pottery store owner seeks to inspire youth with art

March 15th, 2011 Kimberly McMillian in Business Around the Region

• What: Decorate and paint unfinished pottery

• Company: Paint the Town Pottery LLC

• Address: 1336 Market St., Dayton, Tenn.

Jennifer Beam, owner of Paint the Town Pottery LLC in Dayton, Tenn., places a completed plate on the shelf for display in her store. Customers can paint their own design on her unfinished pottery before she adds a glazed finish. Beam will open her second store on Thursday in Cleveland, Tenn. Photo by Kimberly McMillian

• New location: On Thursday, a second pottery outlet will open at 4691 N. Lee Highway in Cleveland, Tenn.

• Website: paintthetown.info

• Telephone: 285-5121

• Owner: Jennifer Blevins Beam

• Products/Services: Unfinished ceramic plates and platters, bowls, ashtrays, frogs, cats and dogs, pitchers and ornaments; birthday parties; "Pottery-To-Go"

• Age: 38

• Startup Investment/anticipated annual sales: Under $40,000 for startup of second store; Beam anticipates enough sales to repay the loan

• Target market: All ages. Beam visits schools within a 50-mile radius and assists elementary students with projects year-round.

• Biggest hurdle: Managing her time between the "Pottery-To-Go" at schools, running the current location and opening her second store in Cleveland.

• Challenge: More productivity, less inactivity. Also, she encourages schools to use pottery as tools in the classroom.

• Lesson learned: Bad art is good art, if it comes from the heart.

• Five-year goal: To open stores in surrounding areas, along with a workshop to teach classes on pottery making to customers. She would like to be self-sufficient with providing her own handmade "American-made" pottery, rather than using pottery made from China, Thailand and other countries.

- Compiled by staff writer Kimberly McMillian, kdj424@bellsouth.net.