The obvious advantage is my grasp of the term branding, which means I can choose how I want others to perceive my business (this might be the topic of a future blog post). But this post is about something more important ... a bedrock-level way of thinking that I learned in college and have been using everyday since ... the design process. The design process means that the first time you execute a new idea is just the first draft. A finished design requires cycles of revision and refinement. There are too many details and decisions to get them all right on the first draft. You must be willing to see the process through. Every successful potter I've met understands this. I've also met plenty of wannabes who don't.
I always give credit for good ideas. Last year, my dinnerware design consisted of a square dinner plate, a round salad plate, and a flower-shaped dipping bowl. Phyllis Castells, owner of Heart of the Home in New Hope, PA, said that she'd rather have me offer two different sets ... all squares and all circles. I knew immediately that she was right. A year later, I finally finished the design of the all-squares set, which actually evolved into rectangles. I'm hoping to finish the all-circles set by next year.