Last summer, Good Dirt LA was honored to be featured in The Story Exchange, an award-winning nonprofit media organization dedicated to telling the personal and professional stories of women business owners—and to exploring the role of entrepreneurship in advancing women’s economic independence.
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The Pottery Pivoter
Lina Alvarez shows her young students pottery techniques while they watch on a device. (Lina Alvarez via @dianafeil_photography)
Another camp owner trying to embrace change is Lina Alvarez, who founded Good Dirt LA, a pottery studio in Los Angeles, 5 years ago.
She used to be able to accommodate up to 16 students ages 6 to 12 in her summer camp, but with an 800-square-foot studio, she can only host three now. Others who sign up learn how to make pinch pots and hanging bells online, and then have contactless drop-off and pick-up so their creations can be fired at the studio.
Still, Alvarez is anxious about how she will stay in business.
“There is not a demand for classes,” she said. “I was worried about how to make the rent when we were closed, now it’s how to do it while we’re open.”
She is currently exploring other revenue streams, including remote birthday parties and offering clients “creative time” — hours they can purchase to use the studio for their own projects.
“For three hours they pay $50 and come and use the studio,” Alvarez said, adding that the feedback was “overwhelming.”
“They said they really needed a place to just come and do something different,” she continued. “Even if they get to socialize with one other person, it’s nice.”
A mother-daughter duo sign up each week to make their own pottery, as well as an elderly couple who book three hours together every Sunday.
“It’s so therapeutic to come here and create and be away from everything,” Alvarez said. “I’m working a lot to keep the business open, but it’s nice to be able to share the space to be creative.”