Mike Cerv | Episode 849
Mike Cerv is a ceramic artist from Kansas who loves exploring processes and glaze chemistry. Mike received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from Louisiana State University. Currently Mike is back in Kansas as a teaching resident at The University of Kansas.
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Why do you think we build the mental roadblocks that keep us from moving forward?
I really think it comes down to fear, at least that’s what it is for me. Fear for one thing or another. Fear of being ashamed, fear of losing money, fear of all sorts of things. So I think that’s what it was for me.
What was the key factor for getting over the roadblock?
Well I think the support that I got from my partner Griffin was really just insurmountable, you know, and by that I mean that I could have run as fast as I could and I would have still felt like she would be there to help me make this business.
Did you and Griffin write out a business plan or a pathway for yourselves?
No, maybe we should. (laughter) No we hadn’t even formed an LLC or gotten a business account when we had our first sale. We have just been jumping in the deep end, learning as we go.
When did you know it was time to pull the trigger and spend the cash?
I think it was just seeing enough interest on Instagram for me. You know, like, having enough people ask , Are you going to sell this? It really put the idea in your brain. Like you said, it’s only five hundred dollars. It’s not that much.
Once you purchased the laser cutter and then you did a little bit of advertising and then you had a first sale. What did that feel like?
Oh man, that was a roller coast of emotions. It was at it’s base the real. I had no idea so many people would actually want the things that I was selling. Griffin and I were sitting by the laptop watching the sales come in and it just kept happening. So we were just sitting there screaming at the screen.
Can you give me a short list of things that you had to spend money on that you weren’t expecting before you ever made a sale?
Oh man, before I made a sale. There’s a lot of things and they just keep coming in. Little things like all the packing materials I feel are easily forgotten. We spent over two hundred dollars just on boxes. Rolls and rolls of tar paper. So many rolls. We have gone through hundreds of feet of tar paper. Let’s see what else, binder clips, thank you notes, all the little things.