1. Tell us about yourself! How did you start your ceramics & knitwear business?
I’m Mikayla Hounchell, but I really go by Mik. I am a third year industrial design student at UC and I have a minor in fine arts where I am trying to focus my time in ceramics. I first learned to throw clay on the wheel in March of 2018 when I was an intern in Los Angeles. I really love it; It is very peaceful for me and I feel greatly accomplished when I make something from start to finish. Its really amazing and I want to share that with everyone!! My grandma taught me to knit a while ago and I have always had a fascination with fibers and materials so I am always looking for the softest, most interesting yarn, material or fiber. I also love texture so I will be selling some misc. abstract textural embroideries as well! I am running the Chicago Marathon this fall as a charity runner for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America and all of the proceeds from the Makers Market will be donated to HDSA. Stop by and see me to see why it’s so important to me. I can’t wait to chat!
2. Has DAAP had any influence on the way that you create art?
DAAP has been deeply influential on my life. I have the work ethic that I have because of DAAP but it’s taught me to explore art in a new and more purposeful way. I had never taken an art class before I started at DAAP but, I had always been artistic; I guess I never really felt qualified or capable of making things that were “ good art”. But, I have felt so encouraged by everyone at DAAP and ceramics has helped me find my niche; I feel like it is actually something I feel good at and am really encouraged when I can make something that I am really proud of!! I mostly feel like DAAP has helped me to become more confident in doing anything I want creatively because to me, the worst thing that could happen is that I fail and then I just start over again!
3. Do you have a favorite DAAP memory?
I don’t really have anything specific that I can recall but going to some of my professors art shows freshman year was really pivotal for me because my design professors were doing their own artwork and different stuff after class and it inspired me to do that too!
4. How do you want to grow your brand in the future?
I would really love to have a pottery studio at some point in my life!
5. Do you have any advice/words of encouragement for people who want to start their own business?
Just do it! I mostly don’t know what I am doing but it makes me really happy and I always surround myself with people who support me and push me to succeed. So make sure you do that. I also work for a small business which really inspires me to work really hard to create stuff outside of my super busy schedule. Having a work—life—fun—passion balance is really important and I’m still working on getting it all figured out but I really value anyone who’s ever supported me. Also, don’t get discouraged if you take a really big leap and fail miserably; that’s happened to all of us and you’ll be better because of it!!
6. What do you love most about the maker community?
The support and networking we give to one another. I feel like theres always healthy and friendly competition but we all really just want to see each other succeed because thats what matters.
7. What is something you’re super excited about for the future of your business?
The ability to potentially translate the ceramics and fiber passion that I have into my capstone and possibly career! Who knows whats gonna happen!