As a kid, Lisa Pavelka was playing with an air drying clay. Today she is an author of several books, teaches around the world and is totally in love with the polymer clay and develop her own products for working with this medium.
“I never planned to have an own product line.”
How and where did you find the polymer clay?
I found the polymer clay in a local craft store when my children were very small. I was looking for a medium to create in; one that wasn’t expensive or dangerous to my children. Mediums I was working in before starting a family were too dangerous to kids (stained glass) or dried up when I had to walk away to change a diaper or feed my children. Polymer clay was a miracle medium in my mind and I was addicted from my first block.
You are known for having your own products and tools for working with the polymer, what‘s your story? What was your idea about your own products before they were started being sold successfully?
I never planned to have a product line. When I couldn’t find textures, products and tools that I wanted, I began making them for myself. The cost of prototyping was expensive and often required mass production. I wanted these items so badly for my own use, I hoped that others would too. At first it was just to cover my costs, but things took off. In the early years, I created my web store and started to cooperate with other retailers. The CEO of a button company (Jay Barr of JHB Buttons) contacted me unexpectedly with an offer to design a button line in polymer clay. He sought me out after seeing my work at tradeshows. He brought me to their headquarters in Denver, Colorado for a demonstration of the techniques that would be used in reproducing my designs. He noticed that some of my proposed designs used items like my stamps and foils. I had approached other companies before with my products only to be turned away. It was Jay who saw their potential and offered me a licensing agreement. I own the designs and intellectual property for my products, but they took over manufacturing, packaging and distribution for the sales of my products in over 60 countries. A few years ago, Jay retired and sold my license to my then marketing manager, Lisa Lambright, who still handles my line through her company, The Great Create.
Read the whole interview, buy the Polymer Week magazine (Summer 2017) today.