What started as a personal journey to cope with grief has transformed into a flourishing and rewarding business for Algona entrepreneur Sonata Arrowood. Sonata and her mother-in-law Judy Arrowood shared a very close bond and relationship.
After Judy passed away from cancer in 2016, Sonata searched for an outlet to deal with her feelings of loss and grief. She came across an article that caught her attention. The writer was taking a ceramics class to cope with a recent loss. Sonata thought, “Why not give it a try?” She signed up and attended a three-month clay class at the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum in Mason City, and as they say, the rest is history.
Sonata’s skill and love for pottery making has grown ten-fold since she took the introductory clay class in 2017. She has invested in a table-top pottery wheel and kiln, enabling her to complete projects from start to finish at her home rather than loading and transporting her pieces to Mason City.
One of Arrowood’s first pottery pieces, a mug featuring Footprints in the Sand, was an inspiration from her mother-in-law, Judy. Judy was also an artist and had painted a photo of Footprints in the Sand. The footprints mugs are a mainstay in Sonata’s creations. Since beginning this journey to resolve her own feelings of grief, Arrowood has discovered that through sharing her pottery creations, she can help others through difficult times or help memorialize a loved one. She creates unique, customized pieces upon request. Additionally, she makes a wide variety of ceramic wares, including coffee mugs, bowls, spoon rests, butter bells, and candle holders, and recently has crafted teapots, chicken roasters, and soap dispensers. She enjoys creating products that are not only useable but also meaningful: a hand-crafted sturdy coffee mug that keeps drinks hot and warms the inside too. Arrowood is continuously experimenting and challenging herself, not only on the pottery wheel but also in life. With her family rallying her on, she left a steady beloved job to pursue the goal of becoming an art teacher.
Arrowood balances being an Iowa Lakes Community College student with being a wife, mom, business owner, and artist. She states, “The hardest things are not always the easiest to achieve. If it was easy, anyone could do it.” Her pottery craft incentivizes her to stay focused on her college coursework, as it helps fund her educational investment.
Sonata looks forward to reaching many more people with her pottery creations and teaching her honed craft to others. That plan includes moving her business out of her basement into a she-shed where she can expand her creations and offer pottery lessons.
She encourages others to follow their passions to start a business – do your research, take classes, talk to other entrepreneurs, and most importantly, stay passionate and don’t give up!
Connect with entrepreneur Sonata Arrowood and her business, solder and ceramics, on Facebook, Instagram and at www.solderandceramics.com.