Suane Loomis is the founder of contemporary art studio We Are Clay and a recent graduate of TechTown’s Blocks Retail Boot Camp.
What’s your business?
We Are Clay is a contemporary art studio that offers the best recreational and therapeutic art experiences available anywhere. Founded in 2012, We Are Clay offers creative opportunities that inspire imagination using ceramics, pottery and other art forms. We create artistic possibilities for people of all ages but emphasizing primarily on Detroit youth. We host art classes, activities and special events, all of which serve to release the inner artist of the young at heart.
Why are you proud of it?
We Are Clay is proud to be working with Detroit youth and teaching ceramic arts to many who don’t receive art instruction in the public schools. It is remarkable to see a child radiate self-confidence when he or she uncovers their natural gifts. These children are encouraged to be productive instead of destructive and to channel emotions and feelings in positive ways. They start to believe that they can truly manifest their desires and dreams in life. The mission of We Are Clay is to promote physical, mental and emotional well-being for people of all ages through art, which has a lasting effect on society.
What’s your best advice for a fellow entrepreneur?
One of the best pieces of advice that I am often reminded of by other entrepreneurs is to follow your passion and the money will show up — that’s when you know you’re on the road to success. When I teach a two-hour clay class, I often feel like I haven’t really worked at all. The gifts of partnership and love that I receive from our youth always outweigh the monetary reward.
Another piece of advice is to open your mind. When we focus in one direction, we miss opportunities that come from other directions. Turn around and try a new direction, and see what’s out there. Be open to all possibilities!
What local entrepreneur do you look up to and why?
One of the many local entrepreneurs that I recently began to admire is Rick Robinson of CutTime Productions. A former Detroit Symphony Orchestra bassist, Rick took his talent and love for classical music to the masses when the DSO went on strike in 2010. As a full-time entrepreneur, he now teaches, writes and performs music to audiences who may have had little exposure to classical music. He claims he is really in the “inspiration” business, which is how I feel about We Are Clay.
What do you do when you need a mental break?
A great mental break for me is listening to a 20-minute chakra clearing meditation CD, which I use to calm and center myself. Also, I have been studying energy bodywork, such as Polarity Therapy and Healing Touch, for almost a decade. An hour of yoga at the gym works wonders, and a few laps in the pool are always great. When I grab a chunk of clay and start sculpting, I move into a different zone and let go of the everyday pressures of starting and running a new business. I also remind myself of what is most important and spend playtime with my family and three kids.