Customer Spotlight: Sakai Harts & Crafts

How a fun hobby turned into a creative business

When it comes to spreading good vibes, Sakai Harts & Crafts shines bright with its cute and colorful handcrafted pottery and other goodies. Talented artist and owner, Michelle Sakai-Hart, is passionate about creating fresh and fun designs for one-of-a-kind pieces that are as functional as they are playful. What began as a creative way to relax and unwind has blossomed into a thriving small business.

This customer spotlight highlights Michelle’s journey from hobbyist to successful entrepreneur. We’ll also touch on how she uses Avery products to help build her vibrant brand by adding the perfect finishing touch to her joyful creations.

How did you get started?

Image of Sakai Harts & Crafts colorful handmade ceramic mug and pot in front of gift bag with customized Avery round label.

I got started in pottery for fun! While I was in graduate school at LMU and working full time as a teacher, I decided to take a class. I was finishing up my teaching credential and Masters in Education program and wanted to take a class as a fun way to destress. Little did I know that I would fall in love with pottery.

I ended up taking a studio job as a ceramics teacher shortly after graduation and kept building my skills. I eventually decided to start my own business and sell my pottery. It was not a super serious endeavor at first, but I have grown my artistic skills enough to turn my hobby into a business. I never could have guessed that I would dive so deep into the ceramics world, but it’s been an incredible journey.

What has been your biggest success for Sakai Harts & Crafts ?

My biggest success for Sakai Harts & Crafts has been seeing my artwork in shops on the West Coast and, more recently, in gallery spaces in Los Angeles, California. I’ve been able to connect with so many talented business owners, artists, and members of the community through my business. I only started pottery five years ago, and to see my work in these spaces has been so incredible.

What have been your biggest challenges? 

My biggest challenges have been building and scaling my business. I have no prior business knowledge, so everything I have created I learned on my own. Now that I have made more connections in the small business community, I am able to ask friends for advice, but the beginning was a lot of hard work and taking chances. It is difficult to get started and can feel lonely, but forging connections with others makes such a difference.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to scale back on making my day-to-day functional pottery and focus more on creating sculptural work. It’s been a project I have been wanting to do but haven’t had the right inspiration strike until recently. My skill set has really grown, and this, along with being more established as a business, will allow me to explore these new ideas.

Why did you choose Avery for your label needs? 

I chose Avery for my label needs because it’s affordable and so easy to create from home! I love that I can customize the labels to whatever I need to use them for and only print what I need. They also come in handy when I need a last-minute print job for an event and don’t have the time to outsource and order a product!

Any special labeling tips and tricks you’d like to share?

I’ve found it super helpful to create my labels in Canva before I print them out. It has made it easier for me to customize what I need to match my branding. Then I just drop my design right into the Avery Design & Print software and can easily print it at home!

Michelle currently uses Avery 3″ matte white round labels and hang tags to enhance the packaging for Sakai Harts & Crafts products. She also uses Avery rounded corner business cards as backing cards to display her custom enamel pins.

Image of Sakai Harts & Crafts colorful stickers and enamel pins n front of gift bag with customized Avery round label and Avery business card used as custom pin backing cards.

Visit the Sakai Harts & Crafts online shop to browse Michelle’s line of bright and cheerful handmade ceramics and other goodies. You can also follow her shop on Instagram and Facebook.

Author: Rachel Gerharter

Rachel is a versatile writer with a passion for storytelling and the written word. With a background in both technical and creative writing, she has written articles and blogs on everything from car buying tips and makeup must-haves to celebrity panic disorders and personal organization. Throughout Rachel’s career in copywriting, marketing, and SEO, the main objective of her writing has always been to create content that will help the reader achieve whatever goal they need. No matter what the job entails, she’s always eager to share her knowledge and experience. When she’s not behind a computer, you can usually find Rachel spending time with her family. Whether it's reading to her precocious two-year-old daughter or catching up on the latest Star Trek episodes with her husband, she loves spending her free time with her loved ones. As a native of Southern California, don’t be surprised if you catch her at one of the many theme parks or museums in the area as well. She also likes expressing her creativity in other ways, like knitting, crafting, baking, and pretending she can paint.