Jess Anderson is an artist who makes look-a-like pots for quirky customers
A mum has revealed how her cheeky hobby creating ‘look-a-like’ plant pots for her loved ones quickly became a successful business.
Speaking to FEMAIL artist and mum-of-four Jess Anderson, from the Hunter region in New South Wales, said she was surprised when her business took off.
The 38-year-old began by making tongue-in-cheek versions of her sister, her kids’ school teachers and friends but then the orders soon started to rise.
Now she can make up to ten pots featuring strangers’ faces each day but averages three or four outside of peak periods.
‘I have never had a face I didn’t want to make, faces are all so interesting, especially once you have been staring at them for hours,’ she said.
In the past year Jess has made 1,200 of the quirky pots, with her customers sending photos along with detailed descriptions of their friends and loved ones.
The mum-of-four loves making the pots – but was surprised when the hobby turned into a thriving business
‘Some people even want me to make themselves, especially people who have really distinct looks that they are proud of,’ she said.
‘Like face tattoos and dread locks or heaps of piercings – and they are really fun to make.’
The ‘extra details’ like big bows, zany broaches or strict colour schemes help to set her artwork apart and capture personalities.
‘I prefer to do strangers, with the information given to me by their loved ones, I find it really hard to do people I know because you know too much about them. It is easier to compress a person in a photograph.
The more outrageous or detailed the better, according to Jess who loved making this pot
‘I prefer to do strangers, with the information given to me by their loved ones, I find it really hard to do people I know because you know too much about them. It is easier to compress a person in a photograph,’ she said
Jess began using clay two and a half years ago after she stumbled across some old tools at an op shop.
After trying everything else are related the creative mum decided to take them home and ‘give them a go’.
‘I have finally found my thing, and I feel really please because some people go their whole lives without finding it,’ she said.
‘I usually get bored and move on but I just love it,’ she revealed.
She still has the old tools but rarely uses them as she has upgraded, she even has her own kiln in the backyard which ‘runs 24/7’.
‘I have taken up the whole house, there are heads everywhere,’ she laughed.
‘There’s usually a row of heads looking out the window into the backyard, it is pretty creepy actually,’ she said.
She said people with strong appearances that they are very proud of are more likely to order pots of themselves for themselves
This pot truly shows off its owner’s quirky style – including piercings and tattoos
The pots ‘take a few hours’ to make, then a few days to dry before they can be fired. Then Jess spends another hour or so painting each one.
‘I have finished a pot and decided it didn’t work and started again. It is pretty heartbreaking but I am a perfectionist.’
The mum sells her pots on Etsy and at markets, charging between $70 and $100 depending on the size of the planter.
Other people ask for signature features like earrings or headbands
This pot was made after Jess was sent the above photo
Jess said she is very customer focused and wants everyone to be super pleased with their pot – so waiting for their feedback is the hardest part.
‘It kills me every time. I send photos before the final varnish. Sometimes they get back in two minute and sometimes it takes two days.’
The time between sending the text and getting a reply is ‘excruciating’ for the perfectionist.
But most people are ecstatic with the results, which is reflected in her rave reviews on the crafter’s platform.