Women in Entrepreneurship with Mikaila Boyd
Mikaila is currently studying at the University of Ottawa in hopes of earning her Bachelors in International Economics and Development. She recently launched her own pottery business named Clay Play, turning her hobby into an entrepreneurial endeavor. She transformed her time spent at home during the pandemic into an opportunity, allowing her to take refuge in the creation of new pieces of pottery. Mikaila’s creations are made with quality materials and stand out for their uniqueness and minimalist character.
As a female founder, what are you most proud of?
As an entrepreneur who has taken a creative route to developing a venture, I feel most proud about expressing myself artistically. Throughout my university career I have been so focused on my studies or my work terms that I barely took the time to explore my creative passions. The thought of having my own mugs from which to drink is a simple, but meaningful pleasure for me. It always seemed that developing and honing new skills such as creating ceramics, creating a website and marketing my products were activities exclusively for business or art majors. However, I soon realized that having a passion that brings me joy (and sharing that joy with others) has no restrictions.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young woman aspiring to become an entrepreneur, what would you say?
Any young woman looking to start a social enterprise, market their skills, or create items that bring joy and beauty into the world, should absolutely explore that side of their skillset. Whether your entrepreneurial venture is meant to, in time, replace your full-time work week, or rather be a fun side hustle, there is no harm in trying.
The lockdown in March and allowed for a huge influx of free time at my disposal. Since life has picked up again and I no longer have hours on end to spend in my workshop at home, but I still find the time to work on my marketing, which I love to do.
Tapping into any unexplored talent or skill is always a worthwhile learning opportunity.
Where do you see your business and / or entrepreneurial journey in 10 years?
In the next few years I hope to acquire a pottery wheel (which are pricey!) but so efficient. All of the pieces I have in my shop are are handmade, meaning a lot of my time is spent kneading, rolling, flattening and shaping clay. It’s satisfying and also a major arm workout! So many steps go into building an artisanal mug, bowl, or plate by hand. Not only is there shaping, but there is also bisque firing, sanding, glazing, glaze firing, and sanding some more! Having spent some time on the wheel pre-lockdown I know how much easier it is to get the perfect shape on a wheel. I will have a lot more freedom with taking commissions once I get a wheel.
*This feature was published in honour of the Women’s Entrepeneurship Day, 2020.