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Meet Lina Alvarez of Good Dirt LA in Del Rey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lina Alvarez.

Lina, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Medellin, Colombia and moved to the states when I was 18. Even though my parents were both lawyers they expressed a deep passion for Art and Culture. Growing up my mom was an art collector/dealer and I believe this is why I was drawn to art since I can remember. I graduated from the University of Georgia, where I taught art to children at Lyndon House Arts Center and earned her BA in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics.

My life took many different roads since. The biggest one was moving to LA to start an acting career.

After being in the Union (SAG) for six years and dedicating most of my time to commercial acting I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. This is when I decided to go back to pottery to help me cope with all of my debilitating symptoms. It was exactly the therapy I needed but I also needed to make a living. Running around town auditioning was not an option at this point.

I opened an Instagram and Etsy account and started taking orders. By the end of the year I realized I needed my own potter’s wheel so I went on craigslist to search. I didn’t see a wheel I liked but I found something better!!! A pottery studio that was closing down and needed a new owner! The studio was called Alexandria’s Pottery. I’m not sure what got into me, but I was there the next day! (Remember, I had no money at the time).
Two days after I started an Indiegogo Campaign.

“I have the opportunity to take over a small and beautiful pottery studio in Culver City. The current owner is moving out of town and it will be a tragedy to close down such a lovely and creative space. I NEED TO TAKE OVER THE SPACE BY APRIL 1ST. I need at least $12,000 to take over the lease, pay deposits and insurance, purchase the equipment from current owner, make a few improvements to the space, buy two extra wheels, build a website, purchase a sign, and cover most of my expenses as a new business owner.” – My campaign in 2015

Twenty five days later, zero sleep, millions of emails, and many phone calls I had the money and my own studio!!!! I couldn’t believe the support from friends, family, and from those who have never meet me! It has been an amazing journey and it has taught me beautiful things about people.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been very smooth road. I have an amazing team of teachers and helpers. Also, every person that comes to the studio as a student has been a great addition! We love this community.

Good Dirt LA – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I pay attention to the customer’s experience more than anything. I’m sure most business do but I go beyond.

I think of the little details to make each experience more special. For example, I have a tea section in my studio and all the ladies come and make themselves tea. This is something minimal but offers that inviting, feeling at home, sort of feeling.

I wish I could put in words what makes us different than other business, but if you come for a class you will understand the love and respect between all of us. Many of our students have become best friends and our teachers as well. It’s a group of very eclectic and creative people that have millions of things to bring to the table. They all love to be part of the studio and fill the space great energy.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
To create an object, write a book, start a business, share a concept…
Basically to put something out there new in the world that enriches the human experience- that’s success.

Pricing:

  • One Timers Intro to Pottery Workshop $55
  • One Timers Intro to The Potter’s Wheel $55
  • 4-Week Class Package – $175

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo of Lina (Owner) & Malu (The Manager) by Jim Purdum
http://www.jimpurdum.com/

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