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Dream written in mud

Shawn Cumberbatch

Dream written in mud

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Alison Thomas had a dream and acted on it, believing it was a message from God.
The end result was a company called Mud To Magnificent Pottery which two years later remains a source of financial support for this businesswoman and her family.
“Mud To Magnificent Pottery symbolises every creature on this earth. We are all made from dust or clay by God who only delights in magnificent vessels,” Thomas told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
“Since I started it has been surprisingly doing well. Our favourite pieces are the lady light Bajan dolls which carry a candle, and also dolls that have character and personality. We focus also on the men, we have the Big Man and the Big Daddy mugs. Our clientele is mostly tourists, but we have a few local customers who also buy our products.”
The business is located in Clapham, Christ Church and Thomas said it was very much a family business, a case of “three members of the family working together”.
At at time when Barbadians employed in the public and private sectors are losing their jobs, and when a number of local businesses have closed their doors, Thomas said the Christian foundation on which Mud To Magnificent Pottery was built gave her confidence it would survive.
She is one of a growing group of Barbadians who have decided to use their God-given talents and skills learnt at various institutions to earn a living.
Thomas was pleased that “the business has been able to hold its own even during this recession”.
“God directs every aspect of it. The feedback that I got from my customers is ‘I have never seen this work before, I love your work’. We have lots of referrals,” she said.
“I think this is the time whereby small businesses need to be God-fearing, innovative, spontaneous and reliable. For example, take your ideas to God, then get out there and make it happen. Capitalise on the international and regional markets.
“Each business person must have this motto: whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
“If you are a beginner take advantage of the Government small business classes that are held for people in any age group, this helps for start-up businesses. I think this is the type of assistance that will help our businesses and also the country,” she added.
Thomas said while finding financial support for her business was not easy, she had found creative ways to do so.
“I got financial support by making the products then displaying them at craft markets, hotels shows, etcetera. Some people also make donations of material, which has been a blessing. Sometimes it’s a little challenging.”
Her vision for the business includes “expansion in the near future outside of Barbados” and she is confident of continued success in the future.
“I have anticipated success during this year and the next year. So far I had the best year this year during the tourist season. Now that it has slowed up a bit it’s time to incorporate new ideas that allow people to share in the pottery, for example teaching,” Thomas said.
She hopes stories like hers “will inspire young entrepreneurs”.