Crystal Tilson loved her job at Crock A Doodle so much that she bought the franchise. “I have been here for five years and I purchased the franchise three years ago,” Crystal says. “I have always been an entrepreneur and I absolutely love this business. It's a fun business environment and a great business opportunity. Our studio helps get adults and children off their devices and reconnect with their creative sides."
Sarnia’s Crock A Doodle is a place where customers choose a piece of premade pottery to paint. Each piece is individually priced and Crystal and her staff will teach the customer how to use the paints. “You just use your creativity and transform the pottery piece into your own unique masterpiece,” Crystal says. Once customers complete their painting, Crystal and her staff do the glazing and firing to seal in the colours. “We have everything from mugs to plates to figurines and ornaments. They are already made so you just come in and paint them. It’s fun and it’s easy.”
Crock A Doodle is able to accommodate a variety of groups. "We host many events, groups, parties and have had a lot of success in fundraising for local organizations," says Crystal. "We have worked with all different ages and we have even gone out to retirement communities. It seems people of all ages enjoy doing this – both male and female.” Crystal even gives customers the option of painting at the store or taking a kit home. “We have lots of samples at the store to inspire our customers,” Crystal says. “We also have a little mini wall with lots of ideas." Crock A Doodle offers project kits that give customers a step-by-step on how to make certain designs. "We have many different techniques we can show you. Once you have completed your painting you then leave it with our staff to glaze and fire. Pieces are ready every Wednesday to bring home.”Crystal is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Prior to working and owning Crock A Doodle, Crystal owned the Sarnia Trade Centre. She has also worked at pharmacies as an assistant and ran a floral store out of her home. "Like with any business, Crock A Doodle has its difficulties, but overall it has been the most challenging and the most rewarding of jobs." Working with kids is Crystal's favourite part of the job. “We love seeing how excited the kids are when they get their pieces back,” Crystal says. “You see how much work they put into it and when they come back to get the finished product, it is such a surprise for them because there is a huge difference between when they are working on it compared to when it is finished. To see the smile on their face when they see what they have created is amazing.”