The Atascadero Chamber of Commerce has announced The Pottery as their 2024 Business of the Year. The art studio is a place for the creatives of the city to create beautiful and useful items with their own hands while also building a place for community.

“It was really emotional, if I’m perfectly honest. I got the phone call, and I didn’t quite believe it,” said The Pottery’s owner, Alecia Teague. “I think I’ve been feeling like head down and focused on setting this up so much that I hadn’t even really thought about something like that [happening]. But I felt really emotional, and I felt like it’s such a community that’s here, and it’s because of this whole community that it happened.”

Alecia and her family moved to Atascadero in 2011, which is where they have raised their three kids. Once here, Alecia started teaching art history and art appreciation at Cuesta College. The family was happily settled when Alecia’s husband was asked by the software company he was working for to move his family to Sheffield, England, in 2016.


“We’re in England, and my kids were in school, my husband was traveling all the time, and I started to get kind of bored and, honestly, pretty depressed,” Alecia said. “I’m in a foreign country. I don’t know anybody. I don’t have much purpose. I don’t have a studio setup. I found a community pottery studio. I have a Master’s degree in drawing and painting, but I had never done ceramics before. So I found this studio. I walked in. I signed up for a year-long ceramics class. Became obsessed. Then, I signed up for another year-long class and became a studio member. I found my people, and I found my place.”

The Teagues moved back to Atascadero in 2019, right before COVID struck. This led Alecia to set up a private studio in her house, where she produced pottery from customers who kept placing orders. 

“I really honed my craft on the wheel,” Alecia said. “Then I started getting this feeling. I was really missing community, and I wanted to recreate what I had found in England.”

The Teagues had just sold a house in Atascadero, and Alecia asked her husband if they could take the money from the sale and invest it in a studio space for the community. And that’s how the original Pottery was born on Entrada Avenue.

“My plan was, well, I’ll open it up. I’ll buy some wheels. I’ll buy some supplies. I’ll teach a couple classes a week, and then I’ll spend the rest of the time making my own work. The community had a different plan for us. Everybody took classes. Other teachers found me, and I hired other teachers,” continued Alecia.

Instead of a couple of classes a week, The Pottery quickly started hosting classes five to six nights a week during the day, and with its small space, it was starting to feel cramped. But that didn’t stop Alecia, and when a new location on El Camino Real opened up, she jumped on the chance to move. Once she saw the potential of the building, Alecia placed an offer on it the same night she officially looked at it and moved in by the end of January of this year.

“I’m pretty scrappy. I don’t need things to be perfect,” Alecia continued. “You just start. You don’t wait it out. Just do it. Which I think is part of working with ceramics. I feel like the skills that ceramics have taught me allowed me to do this as well. You just get going, and you don’t really think about the final product. It’s all a process, and it will build itself.”

The Pottery isn’t just a place for people who are used to working with ceramics either. Alecia has built a place for people of all skill levels and ages to come through the door. 

“The people that come and take classes have found us, and they have created this community, which is beautiful. It’s beautiful. I think I have a sensitivity to it because I myself was feeling lost and wanted a place to belong, so I know what it’s like to walk into a community studio and find your people,” added Alecia. “I’m so grateful, and so appreciative, and so happy that I opened this in Atascadero. I don’t think there would be a better place for us to be right now. I think the community has been so supportive and really encouraging to us.”


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