We had the good fortune of connecting with Mallory McClendon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mallory, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
I think as a parent the biggest and most important thing I could do to make an impact on my children is to show up every day and put in the work that it takes to achieve the goals I have set for myself. For me, that means figuring out a balance between building and growing my business while still being as close to 100% present with them. I’ve included them in every step of this journey. They have witnessed a lot of my failures, my frustration, sometimes anger, but they’ve also seen grit, determination, perseverance, and overwhelming happiness when they see everything that has been going wrong, finally go right.

Something I hear a lot is, “Children are a product of their environment”. I think the environment I’ve created for my kids will allow them to flourish into being their best selves and finding what makes them happy. The saying is “Lead by example”, I can only hope that the example I’m setting for my children leads them to happiness. I can’t imagine being able to make a better or more important impact on their lives.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a creative person who loves to work with my hands. I struggle with calling myself an artist because I don’t paint big murals or sculpt elaborate ceramic pieces. I’m someone that loves to take the skills I learned while gardening with my Grandfathers, watching my Dad use his power tools, and cooking with my Mom, to create things that artistically showcase those skills. I wouldn’t say I specialize in one thing in particular, “I know a little about a lot of things, but I don’t know a lot about everything.” (one of my favorite quotes, Samuel J. Wurzelbacher). I’m proud to set an example to my kids of what it looks like to work toward a dream, to put something beautiful out into the world, and to be undeniably yourself. Clint tells me that I have this ability to learn the in’s and out’s of everything that I’m passionate about. So much so that I can explain it back to him in a way that makes sense. I’d like to say that sets me apart and allows me to pick up things quicker. I’m proud of that.

Easy? Definitely not. I decided to walk away from a career path that I was good at and knew would provide my kids with financial stability. I was starting a business doing things I’ve never done before. I knew I wanted to create something. I needed to challenge myself. I had to teach myself all these new skills. I learned about all the different parts of pottery: the clay, the tools, centering, the equipment. Learning how to make repairs and calibrations on a kiln, having never run or been around a kiln before was scary. I researched hours on end, becoming addicted to learning. Lots of failures over and over and over before a few successes. I have become a self-taught learner in pottery, screen printing, candle making, masonry, branding/marketing, design, and most recently woodworking (I’m creating an A-Frame Sign out of Pine!). Trying to do all that and starting a business while being a full-time mom during a pandemic has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m learning that a lot of things are going to go wrong before they finally go right, but it is one of the most rewarding feelings when all your hard work comes to fruition.

Starting a business, building up my studio, balancing motherhood and dealing with a pandemic have shown me what I’m truly capable of and forced some much needed personal growth. I’m just getting started, and I have such a fire in me to accomplish every goal I set.

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.
One word, Camping.

I have become obsessed with camping in this beautiful state! I would take them up north to visit Flagstaff and walk around, hit the bookstore, grab some crispy Brussel sprouts from Lotus Lounge. Head to Jerome and throw a quarter in the toilet on the way to the Carrot Cake at Haunted Hamburger.

Some of the best trips have been just getting in the car and driving with no destination. Hit all the sights, stop and see the beauty that is Sedona. Going to all the little shops in Globe is on my list, so that would be a fun trip to take. I love exploring the small towns that make up this state,

If we are staying local though, we’d probably start with a hike up A mountain, then grab a matcha latte from Copper Star Coffee before heading into Modern Manor.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my boyfriend Clint. From day one he has been nothing but supportive of the choices I’ve made, not only in the way I choose to parent, but also in my approach to business choices. He encourages me when I’m struggling with whatever project it is I’m working on. He reminds me that I have the ability to accomplish anything and if this was easy, everybody would do it. He motivates me when I’m down on myself and is there to help me reset when I’m ready to throw my hands up and say screw it all. He is on board with just about any crazy idea I have, without complaint.

Clint has inspired me to chase my dreams, big or small. I have never felt more sure of the path I’m on, all because of him.

Website: instagram.com/flagship.mercantile

Instagram: instagram.com/mallory_makes_things

Other: mallorymakesthings@gmail.com

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