Well, next time one of those people has a birthday, anniversary or other big milestone occasion coming up, you may want to have downtown Herndon's newest business, Potter's Fire, on speed-dial.
Potter's Fire is the new second "dream career" of Mike Faul. Faul used to run a marketing agency out of the space at 797-B Center Street. Eventually, he closed the business when he needed to take time off to take care of his father, who had Alzheimer's, after his mother passed away.
Today, Faul is still in the space at 797-B Center, but it looks just a bit different. The desks, computers and office supplies have all been traded for kilns, clay and display shelves, all bearing the name of his new baby, Potter's Fire.
Faul said, after everything that had happened, he started taking ceramics classes as a creative outlet, and he fell in love with the practice.
"I thought, this is amazing - and I was actually pretty good at it," he explained.
Now, he is turning that passion into a second "dream" career.
Potter's Fire is an entirely new and different kind of pottery studio, where customers can find - and even help design - unique, one-of-a-kind gifts and keepsakes.
Faul said, the studio will offer three different lines - Heritage, Agape, and Artisan.
The Heritage line is inspired by his father, who served in the military for much of his life, including in both the Korean War and Vietnam.
Heritage features a number of products that will bear the seals and regimental crests of the branches of the military and other such first responders in a very real and tangible way, Faul said.
"Everything we do has a real three-dimensional aspect to it," he said. "So, the seals won't feel flat like a sticker. When you hold one of our mugs or steins or plates in your hand, the design is tactile - you can feel it in your hand."
As an example, Faul said he has already received his first order - to create some products with the caduceus on them, the symbol of the medical profession, as a gift for someone graduating from medical school.
The second line is the Agape line. Faul said, agape is the Greek word for "abundant love." The Agape line will be a custom line for gifts of love, such as for weddings and anniversaries.
The Agape line will offer something truly different for couples - they can come in and, for free, with the help of Faul, create a symbol that is representative of their love or their lives together. Then, they can "register" on the Potter's Fire website and people will be able to buy them all manner of gifts featuring their one-of-a-kind symbol, such as wedding dinnerware, platters, mugs, keepsakes and the like.
"However they want [that symbol or design] reproduced, we can do that," he said, saying, there is no type of product he isn't willing to try to make.
The third and final line is the Artisan line, which will feature all manner of products that Faul will create on his own.
"It will be my own line featuring my personal artistic expression," he said, such as sculptural items, garden pots, fountains, mugs, beer steins and more, many of which will be on display in the studio that people can come and browse, and also available for order through the website.
Faul's wife, Rose Faul, a teacher at Herndon High, is also a big part of the store, helping out with the business side while Faul runs the product side of things.
Mike and Rose also wanted people to know that giving back to the community is a big part of their business, and very important to them. They said Potter's Fire will donate a minimum of 10 percent of sales to charity, starting with the Fisher House Foundation and eventually branching out to others as well.
"That's our way of giving back, because we've been very blessed with our careers," Faul said.
They also make a point to buy and use supplies and equipment that are made in the U.S.A. whenever available.
Rose and Mike said, the studio is currently enjoying a soft opening, taking just a few orders and being available by appointment for consultations. The website should be up by September, and a grand opening for the studio with the Mayor and Town representatives is scheduled for Oct. 7.
"We're very grateful to the Mayor and Town Council," he said, explaining that they worked hard to help him secure the proper zoning needed to change his old office space into a pottery studio for Potter's Fire.
What do you think of the idea behind Potter's Fire? Tell us in the comments.
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