We had the good fortune of connecting with Carly Quinn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carly, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Southern California and lived there until I was 10 years old. My parents moved us to Prescott, AZ. the Summer of 94′ and I fell in love with Arizona. I have always been artistic, I have been drawing ever since I can remember. My parents were always very supportive an enrolled me in art classes from a very young age. Moving to Arizona allowed me to spend a lot of time in nature which inspired my creativity. When it was time to figure out what I wanted to major in in college I had a lot of support when I decided I wanted to get an art degree. I had a tremendous amount of support from my family to pursue my passion and I think that helped form who and where I am today.
What should our readers know about your business?
I had always wanted to be an artist, it’s engrained in my bones and I literally have no choice but to make art. I am also very independent and never wanted to work for someone else. Tile came to me in my Junior year of college when I got hired for part time work at an artists studio helping her make tiles. As soon as I walked into her studio I had found my calling. From that point on I was determined to have a tile studio of my own.
I was working a 40 hour a week job as a graphic designer for a couple years out of college and was very unhappy. I had finally saved up enough money for 2 months of rent and found an amazing studio space and another artist to share the space with. I started my business in 2011 with nothing more than a plastic foldout table, a small kiln and a handful of supplies and spent every waking moment focusing on building my business.
The process was scary, there were times when I wondered if I had done the right thing and if I would be able to continue to pay my rent. But as the months went on, the work came in and within a year I was able to hire my first employee. 10 years later I have anywhere from 6-8 employees depending on the time of year and we are firing anywhere from 1,000-1,500 tiles a week!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Tucson, it’s pretty small compared to Phoenix but is very charming! Hitting up Downtown and having lunch at Hotel Congress is always fun. The historic block is close by with Old Town Artisans and the Tucson Museum of Art. My studio and showroom is in Barrio Viejo, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the Southwest which hosts many colorful an historic old Adobes.
A day drive up to Mt. Lemmon in the Summer is a must, and riding the ski lift at the top is refreshing on a hot day. The Desert Museum is a great place to take in the sights of the Sonoran Desert as well as Saguaro National Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to thank first and foremost my parents, who are no longer with us but believed in me every step of the way. I want to thank my husband, Anthony, who pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to take the leap into self employment, Lastly, I would like to thank my employees, none of this could have happened without them.