How I Started Azulina

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

 - Kurt Vonnegut

This is the quote that started everything for me.

It is visual, it is relatable and when I first read it, it described the mindset I needed to start this whole shebang.

At the time, back in the fall of 2012, I had already come across our blue and white ceramics, but I didn't yet know how to manage the ideas flying around in my head.

I knew there was an opportunity, I felt like there were more people out there who would also love these ceramics and I thought that I was in the perfect position to start a business selling Colombian dinnerware back home in the US.

Now it's easy to see, but I struggled to connect the dots at the time.

With the help of my uncle's entrepreneurial advice: "go big or go home", "the customer is king", "just do it", among others... I took the leap and figured everything out as I went along.

I wanted to write this because I know so many people who are on the verge of making a big decision. Given some of the experiences I've had over these past three years failing/succeeding/crying/sighing, I want you to know that you will develop your wings on the way down.

Photograph by the lovely Eva Drago

Photograph by the lovely Eva Drago

I promise.

I first laid my eyes on these hand-painted Colombian ceramics three years ago, I shipped a 20-foot container two years ago, and today, Azulina's dinnerware is sold in over 35 stores all the way from Maine to Hawaii.

I'm sharing that not to brag, but because while I accomplished all those things, along the way I had no clue what I was doing.

The important part is that I figured it out.

I'm nowhere near where I thought I would be two years ago (my goal was 100 stores by now and a container a month), but I am moving along consistently and learning important lessons every single day.

It's hard. It's lonely at times. But goddamnit it's worth it.

Sometimes it's nice to hear it from someone else before you decide to take the leap.

So. Just do it. (and tell me so I can cheer you on from the sidelines!)

 

Con Mucho Amor,

Melissa

Founder, Azulina Ceramics