In 2016, Catie Miller started listening to the Create & Thrive Podcast.

Fast-forward to 2019, and she now has a full-time, growing ceramics business! She listened to the show from the start, and used it as a ‘roadmap to success’.

I was so excited to chat to someone like Catie who has actually used this podcast to find success in her handmade business – and she has a fabulous story to share!

Not only has she managed to grow a thriving business – she’s done it all while having babies, building a house, moving studios… not to mention dealing with a broken kiln right when she had a big order to produce!

Catie is a trained artist who chose to focus on ceramics as her canvas – though she’s done other artwork, too – including a large public piece in her hometown of Fargo.

You’ll love this interview with Catie – she’s super down-to-earth, open and honest about the struggles of crafting a handmade business… don’t miss this one!

P.S. Exciting news – the Thriver Circle – my membership community & educational hub for makers – is opening to NEW members next week! Click here to find out more about how the Circle can help you grow your handmade biz… faster.

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Quotes and highlights from this episode:


  • Catie went to school to study art education and at the end of her degree applied for, and won, a two-year artist residency interstate. 
  • After her residency, she moved back home to Fargo, North Dakota and started working at a museum and selling her works on the side. After a year Catie made the decision to become pursue her art full time.
  • “It always feels like now is the perfect time and then when you do it you think – why did I do this?!” {Catie}
  • Finding the balance between making work that engages you and making a living can be a challenge.
  • “I want to make work that excites me. I could make work that is quicker but I don’t do something I don’t love” {Catie}
  • Consider strategic ways to preserve your creative energy and time. As her initial artistic work can be extremely time consuming, Catie has created a bank of designs that she is able to use across the different range of products she makes including plates, mugs and bowls.
  • With wholesale designs, Catie streamlines her product range to best use her production time. For example, the design on mugs is limited to one colour.
  • “I love the idea of my work outlasting me” {Jess}
  • Invest time to build strong relationships with your customers. Catie develops strong engagement and community on Instagram by answering questions (no matter how repetitious they may be!) and replying to comments.
  • “Set some time restraints for the work you are trying to do” {Catie}
  • Don’t let the idea of perfection stop you from starting a task. Remember you can always come back to edit and refine!
  • Catie’s current favourite quote – is this an opportunity or is this a distraction?
  • Check out Catie’s work – Catie Miller Ceramics.

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