Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Di Prinzio.
Elizabeth, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story of Earth + Element started in 2016 when I pushed “enable” on my first e-commerce site where I’d risk all of my saving’s and a decade of my career in the entertainment industry to make pottery in the backyard of my best friends shack in Topanga Canyon… But before I left the city to roam in the forest, there’s a little story before that.
Most of my days in Los Angeles were spent building my career at a photo studio in Hollywood, I had started as the receptionist and over nine years I had worked my way up to Operations Director, where I managed multiple rental studios, employees, contracts, schedules, sales teams, and the list went on and on.
It was the most challenging job I ever had, as a twenty-something-year-old WOMAN in a male-dominated industry. I worked with some really intelligent men who took me under their wing and taught me everything I know. But after many years of playing this “boss” like character, snappy, quick to the point and an aggressive negotiator, I had felt spiritually drained and slowly I started pulling away.
Conflicted on how I wanted to spend the rest of my life and what my next career path would be. I questioned whether a happy life and a happy bank account was reachable. I was living a pretty good life, and I had everything I had wanted, materialistically. But the fear of not pursuing a meaningful life was even scarier and weighed heavy on me.
That is the driving force and continues to get me up out of bed. Now after three years of E+E, I’m slowly living my dream. People actually pay me to create pieces that they use in their everyday lives, and that to me is priceless.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The struggles I face are probably like most small businesses. We have to wear multiple hats, juggle in and out of the role “Artist” and “Entrepreneur” and somehow make those transitions flawless.
One of my biggest challenges over the past three years in creating an efficient pottery studio is having enough space. I’ve had to put a cap on the amount of pieces to make solely because I had absolutely no more places to store pots. There’s just never enough shelves or floor space, things were on top of things on top of things!
So, in February of this year, I packed it all up and moved my studio to the valley where I could get into a bigger space and have the ability to expand! I’m really happy in my new studio, and it has created a new wave of energy and ideas.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Earth + Element story. Tell us more about the business.
At Earth + Element we make ceramics for your everyday rituals. Most people will spot an Earth + Element piece by our Moon Phase cups that are glazed in real 24k gold. Besides our popular gold luster moon and eye cups, we also make modern rustic tableware which we’ll be expanding and offering more of this year: plates, bowls, serving bowls and trays.
Again, due to space, we were limited on creating an entire set of tableware but this spring you’ll be able to purchase sets online in multiple colors! I believe what sets me apart is that I design pieces that leave a trace of the maker on them. Every piece is one of a kind and I hardly ever use a ruler. I mean, who wants to sit with a ruler all day measuring every single piece and adjusting? Not me.
But because I’ve thrown probably over 1000 pieces now, my hands have become little machines, and when things start looking too perfect, I start messing them up. I’m working on a line of tumblers that have all been literally squished right after being thrown on the wheel. They’re wonky and beautiful, and I absolutely freaking love them!
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is: hard work + timing = aligning.
So with that belief, I work a 9-5 schedule like the rest of the world and try not to say no to any opportunities that come my way. I refer to it as turning over every rock to find a little piece of magic. Another aspect of creating a profitable/successful business is to track your spending and try to keep everything at a basic level of needs.
I’m kind of an excel and quick-books nerd and enjoy my time analyzing where I can do better. Being the “Artist” is just not enough for me. I love tech and applications that can help my business.
- Website: https://www.earthandelement.com/shopceramics
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Perri Photo