We had the good fortune of connecting with Abby Reczek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Abby, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
The balance between my personal life and work life is something I am always considering. I think this happens a lot for artists and small business owners because it never feels like we have totally left work for the day. What helps me so much with not getting overwhelmed by this is how much I love both of my businesses. I am a potter and very grateful to have a space in my home that I am able to work out of. I am alone in my studio and have the option to listen to whatever I want to or be as quiet as I need. When I am in my craft gallery I am with the public and always have to “be on” and socialize. This in itself creates a really great balance in fulfilling two types of needs I have. And then of course I make sure to find time to get outside, totally leave work behind and be active.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
While I am also a business owner, I find the term artist to be the best one to describe myself. I am a potter who makes functional pottery and sells it at Troika Crafts, the craft gallery I own with one other woman artist. I am most proud of my courage. I moved to Floyd, VA to do a two year apprenticeship and I didn’t know anyone living anywhere in the area. I barely knew the woman I was moving to apprentice with. I’m so proud of myself for following my intuition because it led me to so many great things and new adventures. I can’t say it was easy, but I just kept trying and putting myself out there even when it was uncomfortable. The best lesson I’ve learned along the way is from my mentor/friend Silvie Granatelli. She always says “Life is long.” Hearing that makes you relax and not put so much pressure on the moment. And also remember the changing nature of life which helps you realize that you probably won’t be stuck in any situation forever. I also realize that so many of my challenges were made easier by the privileges I have. I want the world to know that I’m just doing what I love and seeing how it goes!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Floyd, VA is a town in the very center of the arts, good food, and being outside. One thing I always make sure to do with folks that are visiting is take them to some of my favorite hiking spots. Buffalo Mountain has a view that overlooks the whole valley in every direction. I would also want to go for a float down the Little River. It’s always a very leisurely float with lots of swim breaks. In Floyd we have some great restaurants, but also have a brewery, two wineries and a moonshine distillery. They are all really fun places to take folks stopping in for a visit. We would of course stop by Troika Crafts, my craft gallery, and see Annie Armistead, the other owner of the shop who has so much personality and excitement to her presence. I usually always take friends and family up to Silvie Granatelli’s pottery studio and gallery so that these important people in my life can either meet each other, or see each other again and catch up.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Silvie Granatelli, my mentor in pottery and life. Also one of the original owners of the gallery.
Instagram: abbyreczekpottery or troikacrafts
Facebook: Troika Crafts