As requests for her hand painted mugs and other gift items continued to grow, Sheree knew she needed help and contacted SCORE. With the guidance of counselor John Post, she secured a loan and line of credit from TD Bank, adding staff and equipment. In the next year, sales tripled - Sheree & her staff shipped over 8000 mugs to gift vendors nationwide.
Certain that the market for her "mugs with attitude" would only grow, Sheree was stunned when in the fall of 2008, orders dried up as American's watched the nation's most prominent banks fail. With adapt or die tenacity, Sheree & her now seasoned staff made a radical change. They discontinued mugs and other small items and poured their energy into a market that was sure to survive even the worst economic climate: Weddings & babies.
By focusing on a market that is at the core of virtually every culture in the world - weddings, new baby & family celebrations, Museware Pottery has emerged as the #1 hand painted, personalized pottery company in the nation.
Museware Pottery - Hand Painted Personalized Pottery for Weddings, New Baby & Family Celebrations finished 2010 with sales up a healthy 46%. A similar increase is projected for 2011. With a staff of five, the women of Museware Pottery continue to work with SCORE as they develop and hone their product, marketing and production plans.
In March 2011, Sheree was chosen to testify about SCORE before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship at a roundtable. Her rise, fall then rise again story generated applause in the chambers.
"I was honored to be chosen to speak on behalf of SCORE. With their guidance, I have evolved from a pottery designer to a leading business person in my industry. I look forward to using the skills I've learned to volunteer as a SCORE counselor. I have a lot to share, and I have it because it was given to me - and it was given to me for free."