Mamas in Small Biz Series : Rickie Drake – Owner of Lola Arts

Do you ever come across a booming shop online run by a SAHM or see a mama running her own business while juggling a family & wonder how she does it all? I know I do!

This season, I am highlighting some of my favorite small businesses run by moms right here in Maine! My wish is that through these interviews, you feel inspired by these incredible mamas to take the next step in following your own dreams or consider supporting these mamas as they work hard to continue pursuing theirs. 

Though my family keeps our gift giving small, we try to be incredibly intentional about how & where we spend our dollars. I know for a fact that we can make an impact in our own community by supporting small businesses & those run by other mums have a special place in my heart. ♥

I am so honored to share with you a delightfully creative & humble “Mama in Small Biz”, Rickie Drake – Owner of Lola Arts. A couple years ago my mum gave me a set of the most gorgeous handmade ceramic dishes I’d ever seen. It was soon after that I became obsessed with styling my food in these very dishes even when I had no one to entertain or cheesily smiling while I ate my cheerios from the prettiest bowl in the house. Let’s hear how this mama brings her work to fruition…

Mamas in Small Biz Series : Lola Arts Handmade Pottery. #ShopSmall #ChristmasGifts.

{All photos provided by & owned by Rickie Drake}



Interview with Rickie Drake – Owner of Lola Arts:

1. What is your business & what product or service do you specialize in? I run a small ceramic business called Lola Arts where I make functional pottery by hand.

2. How & when did you start your business? I started my business very slowly in 2012 and have been building to the best of my ability ever since, in addition to my other business as a massage therapist. Lola Arts fills my creative side and since making pottery is such an expensive endeavor, I started selling it so that I could keep creating.

3. What is your WHY? Not just the practical reason for starting your own business but what drives you to keep going? Honestly, I am a very independent person and love to change things up in my life frequently. Working for myself lets me revisit and reinvent myself in a way that is difficult to do when working for other people. I have never been someone who was only interested in one thing or had one clear path. I’m constantly evolving and wanting to try new things so, I gain skills and then kind of morph them into what I want to do next. That has led me to working for myself so that I can create the life I want for myself and my family.
4. Tell us a little bit about your family dynamic? I have been with my husband for ten years and we got married just over two years ago. This past June we had Sawyer who is somehow six months old already! We also have a dog Lola, the namesake of my business.
5. How do you balance work & family life? I am still so very new at this and I’m not sure that balance is what I have yet but I’m working on it! I made some big changes in my business to prepare for life with a little one. I moved my studio home to our basement and finally invested in my own kiln so that I can be completely independent in my production, save money by not renting space and have complete flexibility to work when Sawyer will let me – even if it’s 20 minutes at a time (which happens often!) I also switched up the work I am doing, at least temporarily, to a very simple line that is easier for me to make and easier to sell. I put my massage practice on hold and am staying home with Sawyer while trying to fit my business in around my “new mama-ing”. I am so lucky to have a mother in law that lives close by and comes over to help so that I can have some time here and there to work or I squeeze some in while he is napping. It’s been an interesting transition trying to balance my brain being in two places while learning to let go of my obsessive thoughts as well as my own need to get things done so, that I can enjoy my little guy and meet all of his needs. It really does take a village but I am slowly learning how to do both!
6. What is the most rewarding part about owning your own business? There are so many things that are great… I think the biggest thing for me is having flexibility to make career choices that support what I want my life to look like – to have full creative control over my work and my personal life.
7. What is the most challenging part of owning your own business? Being in charge of EVERYTHING. I am luckily interested in all parts of my business; from the creating to the marketing and essential business practices but it’s hard to be the only one trying to get everything done. I am by no means great at all aspects of it but I’m doing my best and learning a lot along the way!
8. What is one way you give back or support fellow moms or small business owners? I try to buy locally from small businesses as much as I can and I do a lot of shopping when I am working at a craft fair or show. I think the other piece is just connecting with each other, sharing business successes and struggles. I’m lucky that my shows bring me together with other artists and small businesses because working for yourself can be very isolating. I try to connect as much as possible so that we can encourage and support each other to be successful as we are all muddling through.
9. How do we as consumers impact your family when we support your small business? Every cent from my business is either going back into it so that I can continue to grow or literally paying my bills and putting food on the table. My business is just me at this point and I have learned so much about how hard individuals work, what it takes to make a business run and how every purchase you make from a small business owner (especially a single person business) is really straight up helping them survive and have the life they want.
10. What has been the best compliment, review or piece of feedback received from a client or customer? {Yes, we want you to toot your own horn!} I constantly hear how my work just makes people smile and feel happy. That is exactly what it does for me too and the very kind of impact that I want to make in the world so, it’s just a wonderful reminder that my work matters and makes a difference in the world. Even if it’s in a small way…
Clearly Rickie’s work speaks for itself but hearing the behind-the-scenes story of how she imperfectly juggles being a new mum while still staying true to her need to fuel her creative business is something I think can resonate with all of us who are pursuing our work while raising a family…
And… not to brag or anything but I do have the most gorgeous handmade ceramic ornament, ever on my Christmas tree… and well, you should probably hurry up & get yours too while they last – especially now, because she’s offering a generous coupon for my followers below!
{Valid online only through 12/31/16}



→ If you missed our other “Mamas in Small Biz”, you can read previous posts in the series HERE!


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I did not receive any form of compensation for this post. I support other moms out of the kindness of my heart in hopes that you will do the same!

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