Mass MoCA & Tandem Ceramics
I think people should surround themselves with objects that they love; things that excite them.
Justine Barrett Figura and her husband, Grant, dreamed of combining their crafts to start a business. The potter and printmaker opened Tandem Ceramics in 2014 with a kiln financed by online seed-funding.
Located in the Arts and Industry Building, an artists’ cluster in this Northampton village, Tandem and neighboring studios are supported by specialists from the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts (MASS MoCA) who help convert their passions into paychecks.
Tandem offers a high-quality product line, but marketing to wholesale and retail customers proved challenging. The entrepreneurs, who work part-time jobs, only have time for production.
Mass MoCA provided Justine and Grant technical assistance services to promote the business and increase its sales.
Tandem Ceramics’ products were featured in multiple shops in Massachusetts and one in California in 2015, as well as a boutique in Brooklyn, New York in 2016 and sales doubled. The couple hopes to work full-time in the studio and further expand their business.