NSC grad opens her own business

What started out as a hobby for Aimee Gurtis, a NSC grad, has turned into a new business venture – Whim Wham Pottery and Art Studio in Ormond Beach.

The studio, at 378-B West Granada Boulevard in the Granada Plaza shopping center, welcomes walk-ins to sit down and paint their own pottery pieces.

The pieces, ordered from vendors, are already made and ready to be painted with glazes and fired in a kiln. Customers also have the option of making their own pieces using wet clay. Other projects are also being offered such as glass fusion, mosaics and tie-dye.

Gurtis, a first-time business owner, said she decided to open her shop after visiting similar art studios with her children and seeing how people of all ages enjoyed doing the crafts. She said it was a combination of seeing how much fun her kids were having as well as how much she enjoyed the activity that made her realize what a great idea it was for a business.

“It’s a mix of all the things I enjoy and know how to do,” she said.

Gurtis earned a degree in marketing and public relations from the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida. She came up with the name Whim Wham from a project she worked on while studying marketing and public relations.

She said after brainstorming with her family, they all agreed that Whim Wham was as fun and whimsical as the business itself.

Gurtis co-owns the art studio with her husband, Andrew Gurtis, vice president of operations at Daytona International Speedway. He has helped her with the business side of things — such as negotiating the lease for the space and helping set up the studio, she said.

Ned Harper, director of the Small Business Development Center at Daytona State College, said hobby businesses, such as Gurtis’s, are able to thrive even in this economy if they are able to market themselves properly and make the community aware that they exist.

“If you support your community, your community will support you,” she said.

Read more about the studio here. Check out the studio’s website here.


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