After 12 years of hard and creative work, former Midnight Star Pottery owners Cheri Wilson and Erica Childres are stepping aside as someone new takes over.
Linda Lennane, who has lived in Richmond Hill since 1984, is the new owner of the Midnight Star Pottery, a place that has special meaning to her and her family. Her and her husband had gone to the Savannah location back when they were dating.
“Each of my kids has painted something for the other each time they were born,” Lennane said. “I’ve got the handprints on the wall (at home.) It seems like a happy place every time I come in. Why wouldn’t I want to get up and go to a place that’s fun and happy?”
Lennane wants to put her family first, and she feels Midnight Star Pottery will give her the opportunity to do that.
“I’m going from staying at home to working full time, six days a week. It will be a learning curve, but this place as always been family-orientated. My kids are all in school now, but I’ll have the freedom to have my kids with me if I need to.”
The interactive pottery studio offers all kinds of art projects ranging in prices. The most popular at Midnight Star Pottery is choosing a piece of pottery to paint. Customers can choose from an array of pottery pieces, such as vases, plates, banks or figurines. The customer can also choose the colors of paint. After painting the piece, the pottery will be glazed and fired.
The studio offers glass fusing, painting canvas, clay sculpting and tie dying T-shirts. Stork visits are a service offered to new mothers where employees from Midnight Star Pottery will come to the hospital after a baby is born to stamp the small footprints on a piece of pottery as a keepsake.
Midway resident Jessie Gallaher has visited the studio four times, painting pieces for her kitchen, including a spoon-trivet, a salt-n-pepper set, a serving bowl and a serving platter. She painted them in matching styles to make a complete set.
“I love going to Midnight (Star) Pottery,” Gallaher said. “The ladies are always so nice, I have a good time and I continue to stock my home with one-of-a-kind pieces. I always take my visitors there because it’s something fun and different to do.”
The pottery studio also offers summer camps and classes for children. Lennane said she hopes to have an after-school class or camp once a week for children.
The classes will include clay projects where the children can hand-make their pieces, pick their own figurine to paint, tie dye T-shirts or make jewelry.
“I just hope to keep (the studio) up to the standards they have worked so hard to create,” Lennane said of Wilson and Childres.
The studio began in Savannah under previous owners. When Childres took her children into the studio to paint, she found out the business was for sale. After calling her mother, Wilson, on the way home, the two decided to buy the business.
“It sort of all fell in place really easy,” Wilson said. “We felt like it was what we were supposed to do, and we’ve enjoyed it. We’ve loved every minute of it for 12 years.”
Four years later, the mother-daughter duo opened the second site in Richmond Hill. After selling the Savannah site, Wilson and Childres worked on growing and improving the pottery studio in Richmond Hill.
“It has grown tremendously,” Wilson said. “We started in a tiny little house. We had about 1,100 square feet, and now we have 1,800 square feet. We’ve added the clay sculpting and the glass fusion, so it has definitely grown.”
Lennane wants the studio to keep growing. She has ideas for making packets or kits to give customers ideas and help them create what they have in mind. The kits would show what the finished product would look like and include all the materials needed.
Lennane said it would be great for those who may not feel as creative.
She plans to have two staff and extra help during camps. For more information on Midnight Star Pottery, visit the website at midnightstarpottery.com.