Elysia Vandenbussche, owner of Local Portion, accepted the challenge of starting up a company in ceramics without any experience. Local Portion is now a successful Detroit concern focused on the beauty and functionality of simple designs.
The company also centers on the relationship between consumers and the product. “In our culture of rush, we are the best example of always wanting more,” she says. “No matter what I make, people will think ‘that’s it?’ … The value of minimalism is to emphasize the beauty of taking away what is not necessary.”
She acknowledges the challenge of simplicity, but also believes that there is value in hard work and crafting quality goods by hand.
Vandenbussche’s love for pottery began when she was a child, she says. Her parents, both Detroit natives, encouraged her to live with passion and care while supporting her craft. After completing her education at the College for Creative Studies, she graduated with a Crafts major but had trouble finding work in ceramics.
An unsuccessful job search inspired Local Portion, which also has its challenges. She finds the toughest thing about starting a company from scratch is making big decisions without fully knowing the circumstances.
“There is no guidebook out there for real life experience in starting a company with dirt, water and fire,” she says. “When I keep repeating the forms I make, I begin to learn from the object and new ideas are cultivated during the process … the importance is to keep making.”
Elysia Vandenbussche is currently working on the debut of her online shop at localportion.com.
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