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    How to Write a Mission Statement

    May 28th, 2010

    Developing a mission statement for a company that has been in business for over 30 years is quite a challenge!  But that’s just what we have done in the past several months. Here is an overview of our process and the mission statement with which we ended up.

    1. What is a mission statement? We reviewed the definition of a mission statement to make sure that everyone involved knew what we were looking for.  Thanks to, we know that a mission statemtent is a “Written declaration of a firm’s core purpose and focus which normally remain unchanged, whereas business strategies and practices may frequently be altered to adapt to the changing circumstances.”
    2. Brainstorming. Next, we had a brainstorming meeting and invited people who had been involved in Jean Elton at one time or another throughout the years.  During that meeting, we examined various mission statements from companies similar to ours in size and industry.  Then everyone took some time to list words and phrases that they thought described Jean Elton and were central to its purpose.  Next, we answered some essential questions about Jean Elton.  Some examples include, “What need does the company fulfill?” and “How do we differ from our competitors and what is our competitive advantage?”.  And finally, everyone put together a mission statement using various descriptive words and answering the most important questions.
    3. Party. After the brainstorming meeting, we had a dinner party for more people that played some sort of role at Jean Elton, plus the people from the original brainstoming meeting.  In this way, we could gain some new insight on our original ideas and discuss further descriptive words and phrases.
    4. A Collaboration. After the meeting and party, we took all of the most important ideas and merged them into one cohesive statement.  This took on many forms before we finally settled on the statement below.  We hope that it makes it clear who we are and what we are about.

    Jean Elton Studio & Gallery is a stoneware pottery company committed to creating functional and decorative dinnerware and home decor from our studio in Fairfield County, CT.

    The ceramic products in our ever-evolving product line fuse artistic design and practical durability.

    Our custom work celebrates the collaboration of artist and client on a journey to inspire and delight, and to create one-of-a kind objects pleasing to the eye and to the touch.

    Why Stoneware?

    May 19th, 2010

    At Jean Elton Studio, we work exclusively with stoneware and have for over 30 years.  We love stoneware because of its durability in every day use, as well as the ability to dress it up for more formal table settings.

    Stoneware is so durable because it is made with clay and then fired at very high temperatures.  We fire our pieces at over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit!  Like its name implies, the resulting material is like stone: hard to break and waterproof.  Many of the dinnerware that you can buy at big box stores are made of another type of porcelain dinnerware and tend to break more easily.  Like Lois says, “While we believe they are of better quality, safer, and better designed than many of the imports currently available in the marketplace, we hope you will want to own them because you love the way they look and feel!”

    On a personal note, as the daughter of “Jean” and “Elton”, Read the rest of this entry »

    Hand-Painted Mugs

    May 14th, 2010


    Sometimes when I’m between projects, I try to come up with new ideas for our pottery.  A couple weeks ago, you saw the evolution of our large bowls through the years.  It seemed like such a big jump when I started hand-painting our bowls with so many different colors!  From there, I started hand-painting everything!  But only this past week did it occur to me to hand-paint our mugs.  The picture above shows the first ever Jean Elton painted mugs and I am so excited about them that I will probably keep them in my kitchen for myself.  But even if someone didn’t want a whole set, wouldn’t just one be a fun gift?

    Lois Signature