From Crafting Success to Social Media Strategies with Ammie Y'all
[00:00:00] Made Remarkable Intro: Welcome back. And thanks for tuning in to the Made Remarkable podcast, hosted by Kellee Wynne. In today's episode, Kellee is talking with the inspiring Ammie Y'all AKA. Ammie Williams. To discuss creativity, overcoming challenges in business and the complexities of embracing one's authentic self. In a world of labels.
Ammie shares her journey of transitioning to full-time entrepreneurship. The highs and lows of managing a successful pottery business and the importance of setting boundaries in the online space.
With a passion for teaching and supporting the pottery industry. Ammie's story is both inspiring and practical. Check out the show notes and transcripts for more information about Ammie exclusive promotional offers and any special links mentioned during the episode. Kellee loves connecting with listeners.
So don't be shy. Reach out on social media and together let's build a community that celebrates the remarkable.
If you want to be notified every time a new episode hits the airwaves. Just hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform. Thank you for joining us today and always remember that you are made remarkable. Destined to achieve the unimaginable. Now let's get to the good part. Introducing Kellee Wynne and Ammie Y'all
[00:01:16] Kellee Wynne: Well, hello. Hello. I'm Kelly Wynn, artist, author, mentor, fiercely independent mother and wife, and the founder of a multiple six figure creative business. And I love my life, but I've been where you're at. I was slogging away at this art business thing for more than a decade. Once I finally connected with my true calling, unlock the magic of marketing and built a system that could scale, while I realize I can make an impact and make a substantial income, I'm finally running a business that I love and it makes all the.
Difference in the world. My biggest dream is to help you do the same. Let this podcast be the catalyst to your biggest success. You already have it in you because you are made remarkable.
Hello, Ammie. Hi, Ammie. Your last name is Williams. It's not y'all.
[00:02:10] Ammie Y'all: No, it's shocking. I know. I know. But is your middle name Wynne or is that your last name?
[00:02:15] Kellee Wynne: It's actually my middle name. And I just kind of use it as my stage name.
[00:02:20] Ammie Y'all: Yeah, my middle name is Lynn. So we have very rhyming situations.
[00:02:25] Kellee Wynne: Yeah. Ammie, Lynn, Kelly, look, we're meant to be friends.
[00:02:30] Ammie Y'all: It's true.
[00:02:31] Kellee Wynne: I love it. So the reason you are on the podcast today is I've been following you for a while. And I guess maybe a mutual following, but threads happened as many know, by the time this comes out, and I'm sure threads is old news, but threads came out.
And so then we're having more casual conversations on threads. And someone must've asked you if you would start a podcast and you're like, that would be so boring. And I'm like, I up for the challenge to find out. So come and be on my podcast.
[00:03:01] Ammie Y'all: I love it. And to be fair, the podcast itself is not boring. It's just the thought of me having to weekly be like, this is what we're going to talk about.
I would end up being like, my hair feels weird today. And everyone would be like, I'm not listening anymore.
[00:03:17] Kellee Wynne: I would so listen to that. And that's what we're here to challenge. We need different points of view. We need the, the quirkiness in the industries as well as like this creative industry is getting a lot repetitive.
And I was like, okay, here's a fresh voice. You're a Southern girl. You, paint pottery. You don't paint paintings, which a lot of the people in my community paint. Paintings. You are lesbian. You have a partner. Is she your girlfriend or your wife?
[00:03:46] Ammie Y'all: She's my girlfriend. We've been together almost a decade though.
[00:03:49] Kellee Wynne: Yes. And so there's just like so many different elements that we can open up our minds to. And that's why I was like, you would be so much, you're so much fun to follow on Instagram. You will be fun on a podcast. However, as busy business people, adding one more thing to the to do list is just enough for us to like break.
So, yeah. Better that you just come on to Made remarkable.
[00:04:11] Ammie Y'all: Absolutely. Yes. I would rather do that any day.
[00:04:16] Kellee Wynne: So I tried to get a mug the other day.
[00:04:20] Ammie Y'all: Oh no.
[00:04:22] Kellee Wynne: And I kid you not. So she has these, the most gorgeous rainbow mugs, hand painted. And of course, you know, Color Crush Creative, my co brand, my art making brand.
Is all about color and rainbows and everything, fun and playful. And I'm like, well, I have to get a couple of these. Yeah, 3 minutes to check out and I still couldn't get 1.
[00:04:43] Ammie Y'all: Oh, no. Yeah, if that was your 1st try, I tell people that it takes like, at least a couple goes at it because the 1st 1, you're just like, yeah, this will be fine.
This is normal. I've done this before. And then before, you know, it, like, you reach for your credit card and all of them are gone. And then the second time you're like a little bit more prepared for it. So you like have everything in front of you, you know, and sometimes even on the second attempt, it doesn't work.
But yeah, these mugs, man, they really have a life of their own.
[00:05:12] Kellee Wynne: Yeah. How many do you do each time you do a release?
[00:05:15] Ammie Y'all: It depends. I'll do anywhere from, like, 20 to 60. Okay. But I've, obviously, the fewer I offer, like, the more people get mad. My whole thought was, like, Cause they're pre order, they're totally custom.
You get to pick your colors, you know, you get to pick what goes on the bottom and everything.
[00:05:33] Kellee Wynne: There's no time for that. There's no time for that. Just get the mug.
[00:05:38] Ammie Y'all: Yes. And so in my mind, I'm like, well, if I offer 20, then I can get them out super quickly. And then I can have another one, another sale, like really soon, but then people get so upset.
So I tend to bog myself down and do more like 50 mugs at a time. And then of course it takes me longer to get those out. So it's, it's really like. No one is happy in, in any situation. But yeah, this year I'll have to, I need to do the math, but I think by September on this next sale, I have, I'll have reached my thousandth rainbow mug.
[00:06:10] Kellee Wynne: That is
so awesome. I love it. Yes.
So for me, I've seen this happen with other brands before. Sometimes it's with artists with paintings. Sometimes it's with beautiful ceramics. Sometimes it's with jewelry where you've built up enough of a following. And a system for yourself that you have these limited releases and they always sell out.
Now, I know on the customer's end. It's frustrating. It's like, I really, really did want a rainbow bug. No doubt about it. But I also, from a, a business owner's point of view, understand this is what you have to do in order to create systems for yourself. You can't, you're not a machine. It's not like you can just Make a thousand of them in one, each city, right?
Unless you were to outsource it, it wouldn't be exciting. Right. So I, and I remember experiencing it way back in the 2000s when I had the subscription kit and they would sell out of all the extra stuff, like this fast. People will be mad at the company and I'm sure you get all kinds of, of hate, hate mail of even, I don't, I hope it's not mean, but like.
Angry people, but they don't realize twofold. And one is that you're a human trying to manage a human business that's creative. And on two on that is congratulations. I'm building a following that you sell out every single time within a few minutes.
[00:07:34] Ammie Y'all: Yeah. Yeah. It's, it is never what I. thought could happen.
I mean, I think three years ago, when I started offering these things, it was never like, I just didn't expect it to happen basically. And, and I do get like my fair share of, you know, rude messages, but I have truly trained my audience. To not do that anymore like I something happened January of last year where my website like like people truly broke my website trying to get a mug and in it like I won't get into the details about it but no one was able to get one and so for like a few minutes, everyone's freaking out freaking out and I don't know anything's wrong until you know a few minutes in and then I have to kind of Stop, fix everything, make it go back on, but in like three minutes of the website breaking, I received just a massive amount of messages and emails, of people being frustrated, angry, mad, like, what's happening?
I'm trying to get this thing and it broke me, like, I went quiet for like a week on Instagram, which for me is unheard of. I may as well have just like moved into a cave. But it soured the whole thing for me and I have really slowed down since then I'm off topic a little bit here but it's crazy that something that is just supposed to be joyful and fun.
And of course, make me money can bring out the worst in. Some people. So since then I have really been upfront about like, if you don't get a mug this round, call your mom, call your boyfriend, call your sister, complain to them. Do not bring it to me because I don't have that kind of space.
And you're right. Like no one is saying congratulations. That's amazing. Everyone's just. Pissed that they didn't get one. So it really kind of like knocks the wind out of my sails. And I I've been really, really upfront about that over the past year or so. And I do notice it helps to have those boundaries, but yeah, I never expected this to happen.
[00:09:38] Kellee Wynne: I noticed you were setting those boundaries too, which I was like, so impressed with that you forewarning. It's not easy, but eventually you'll get it. I have many customers who have, please don't complain. This is the system. This is the best I can do. Can you imagine if it was open all the time? Then, well, one, you could either not keep up with it, or I want to point out another point of view, which, because yeah, Majority of the people hopefully who are listening to this podcast are listening because they want to improve their business and they're coming up with new ideas and we're really like.
Focused on that, that, forward movement with our business, think about how creating that hype around it in a lot of ways is helping grow your business as well. You can all only dream of being in a position where we sell out every time.
[00:10:28] Ammie Y'all: And they become like collector's items. You know, and like, and if you are a person that has, you know, tried three times to get it and you finally get it, you're like elated and that joy, then, you're probably going to tell someone about it and then they're going to hear about you for the first time and then go through the process.
And so like, I mean, truly my business has grown because of word of mouth, because of this, I've never, I don't do like targeted ads. I don't do anything like that. It's truly just like my audience sharing with their audience.
[00:10:58] Kellee Wynne: But also they're really cute mugs.
[00:11:01] Ammie Y'all: That does help. Thankfully,
[00:11:04] Kellee Wynne: you're talented. You've got something that's really fun and playful and the whole spirit of how you've built your business is fun and playful.
You see it and how you show up. So many things you say are just so humorous and back to threads. It's like, I get to see an even different side of Ammie. And it's like, would I ever be that brave to just share who I am? But I think that works so well for you because I, I personally find it endearing.
Maybe other people are turned off, but that's the whole point of how we do social media marketing. Repel the people who are not interested, attract the people who are, and then you'll have more people energetically aligned to what you're doing.
[00:11:44] Ammie Y'all: Totally, yeah, and I, you know, I was looking for something last night in my stories archive on Instagram, and I noticed, like, Before my audience grew a little bit more, I was being so much more unhinged on stories and like, I have always had a really dedicated audience and my engagement, my messages are crazy.
Like my engagement is high one because I'm on the app and I use it, you know, you can't have engagement without putting stuff out. But yeah, I used to. Post the craziest stuff and so much stuff and I have kind of stopped doing that because I am having a hard time with the constant feedback of people lately, I feel like it's gotten a little bit worse.
I feel like the tick tock of it all is giving people. Permission. They think they have permission to just say whatever they want to, and it makes me feel a little bit weird. And so I pulled back a lot, but I have noticed on threads. I'm like, being the more unhinged version that I used to be on store and I, I would like to kind of marry them together because, we don't know how long threads is going to last.
Like you were saying earlier, like, by the time this comes out, people could be like, Oh my God, I can't believe we're talking about threads, but I'm enjoying that space. Thanks. While also forgetting that, people can still see it. And that is truly how I used to treat my Instagram. Like, like, I was treating it like nobody was watching.
It was my own reality show for my entertainment alone. And that really works for my followers. They really like that. And it helps because it's just me. If I had a business partner, I think they'd be like, what are you doing? But yeah.
[00:13:20] Kellee Wynne: What about your partner, partner?
[00:13:22] Ammie Y'all: You know, she's fine with it.
At first, I started my Instagram account in like 2016 and really nobody was. Was here or paying attention and back then she was very much like don't post You know videos of me like she was like worried about how she looked and everything and now like the other day She got recognized somewhere without me and she came home and was like Someone saw me and they they said hi and and so now I think she kind of likes it But she would never fully admit to it, you know, but I think she likes being adored I joke all the time like my followers Are only still here for Elaine, my girlfriend, and Jace, one of my nephews who's like, he's the craziest 10 year old you've ever met.
Yeah, they're not here for me. They're, they're here for my family basically.
[00:14:10] Kellee Wynne: That's super awesome. But although I think they're there for you too, . I hope so. . I hope so too. So then what's cool about what you do is yes, you're a maker like most of us, who somehow end up with. A business involved with it, but you also support other makers.
So, I actually want to talk more about that part. And really thinking about the business side of things and, and how you think outside of the box, including your marketing and. you know, how to have some of that bravery around showing up. Like I personally, I'm like, if you see me from the shoulders up only, it's because I still have all this self conscious body image.
I have a messy studio, so I'm never showing off my cute studio, right? Like, so I'm always like still predetermining and trying to control it. And I know that that doesn't help anything because there's so many sides of me that I haven't shown up as. Online, I'd love to hear, like, how you get to that point and then what kind of advice, because I know you have Instagram audits and things like that.
[00:15:16] Ammie Y'all: Yeah, I started working from home at my previous job. And I had gone from like working in a studio, having coworkers, like being around people all the time, customers all the time.
And then my position shifted. And it was, Easier for me to work at home and I started getting so lonely and I couldn't call my girlfriend every five minutes to be like Listen to this funny thought that I have and so I just turned to instagram stories They had like just come out And I was truly back then I was talking like face to camera for probably like seven minutes Of content like a day at a time and so like You know, the people that were watching, they were dedicated and they liked it and they enjoyed it.
I can't imagine it was that many, but I really got past the, self consciousness of it all. And maybe that's because, I was okay with how I looked back then. I've certainly gone like ebbed and flowed, you know, of how self conscious I am kind of about my appearance, but I mean, at the end of the day, I would rather see your messy studio and I would rather see you show up than.
Nothing. And I know people that are in the Instagram space and like, you know, they're on their camera and they're being like, oh, I have to fix my hair ahead of time. And like, they spend 15 seconds of a story being like, I just look so bad. And my hair is a mess and my lipstick is over here.
And it's like. If you had not pointed that out, we would not know, you know, and so and I kind of move through the world in that way of we don't have to be like, you look crazy or, you know, you don't have to announce every bad thing that's ever happened. When you show up. And so, I just kind of got used to just being like, this is it.
You know, if you like it, amazing. And if you don't, then that's okay. Normalize it. Yeah. Yeah. Normalize it. Totally. And sometimes there are times where like, I get a little frustrated on the internet in terms of sharing because when you're a person that shares volume a lot, people or your audience assumes that you know
that there's nothing that you keep secret and it's like that's just not the truth like just because you're seeing me often doesn't mean that like you know about like, Help the family members or this stressful thing I'm going through in my personal life. Like and that's just something that kind of bothers me, you know when people are like Oh, you're just always talking on the internet and it's like I'm really not just because you're seeing me a few times a day Doesn't mean that I'm always
[00:17:48] Kellee Wynne: Seven minutes. That was seven minutes of an entire 24 hour period. Totally, totally, totally. Right? I've shown you little clips of what it is, not the whole picture. But that, that was something that I was actually having a conversation with someone for a podcast before this is that when we share enough, we connect enough.
And sometimes on our longer video formats or a podcast or whatever, People start feeling like they're part of your world. And in some ways that like you can have some feedback of that. But also those who want to be part of it are more likely to invest in who you are, what you're offering the things that you sell, and follow along for the journey because they feel closer to you.
So it's a risk. Sure. But in the long run, it's a, I think it's a risk worth taking.
[00:18:37] Ammie Y'all: I agree. And I'm certainly still trying to figure out the like balance between that, because some of my best customers are some of the most annoying followers that I have. And they often cross the line with me because they think we're best friends.
They know what I had for dinner. Therefore we're best friends, but I don't know anything about them. And there are some days where I can really let that go and I can be like, Oh, it's, I understand parasocial relationships, and there are other days where I'm like, one little comment will just make me insane, but I don't ever, I'm a person that doesn't want to like, yuck someone's yum, and especially If you've been a huge customer of mine and you owe, and you own, my God, 20 of my pieces and you say something to me that you think is a joke and I, and I'm having a bad day and I take it not as a joke and I snap back at you, you have 20 pieces around your house to remind you of that moment that we had.
And I don't want to do that to anybody. I try to stay very... Aware of that and truly just log off if I'm, feeling annoyed or like I have learned the power of not responding or just double tapping a like I, I used to give so much myself to people and I, I just am learning how not to do that as much anymore.
[00:19:56] Kellee Wynne: Right? I mean, we're going to get some feedback. We're going to get some pushback and the best thing we can do. I'm telling you, you know, those long emails you write and you're like, totally. Yep. Totally. Sometimes I don't even respond and sometimes it's like, okay, here, and I actually hired somebody to answer all my emails, so I no longer have to deal with most of that.
Most of the time it's pretty kind, but I don't think I'm taking as many risks as you do. So, you know, it's a big challenge, but I see that it works for you in the sense that honestly, for me, it's a relief in a whole sea full of the same. You know, it feels like this circle of content that just keeps like, it's all the same.
It's all the same. All the same. It's all the same. So it's like taking that risk means you stand out, but it also means you get to build a business because of it. So are you 100 percent full time on your own business? How long have you been doing that?
[00:20:56] Ammie Y'all: So I got laid off of a company that I had spent almost 10 years at in 2019, August of 2019.
And I spent a month or two kind of floundering about that and being like, what is my identity? What do I do? And I pretty much like. December of 2019 went off on my own and have been full time for myself since March. I mean, a lot of that is because the pandemic hit and I mean, we had no choice.
[00:21:29] Kellee Wynne: You were already poised to be taking care of yourself.
[00:21:32] Ammie Y'all: Totally. And I, you know, honestly, the pandemic was the best, professional move. Of course, that was like high anxiety and like panicky all the time and made a lot of things very hard, but I was forced to build a business, or not necessarily.
I had always wanted to build a business. I had the idea. But I finally had the time to do it. Right. So I totally, and like, I laugh sometimes because people are like, Oh yeah, they think about like early pandemic. They're like, Oh, I watched like 15 movies a day. And they, I watched that during the pandemic, blah, blah, blah.
And I'm like, Oh, I missed all of that. Like I made a few rounds of sourdough bread and then the rest was just working. I was working so much. But it was great. Yeah. I've been full time since then.
[00:22:16] Kellee Wynne: I mean, I kind of feel that same way too, where it's like, yeah, fortunately during 2020, I didn't have all the other obligations.
And for some reason, I still managed to watch Tiger King and I regret it completely. But that was about the only trend thing that I got onto because the rest of the time I was showing up for my business. And it was a golden peak for everyone who came online. Saw success and even 2021 was pretty easy, but then 2022 comes and now it's like, okay, so what's happening?
That was a good rush. And we had all these people who came online to build a business and now they're like, but wait a minute. It was like easy then I'm like, well, it's time to actually learn.
[00:23:01] Ammie Y'all: And I'm actually like 2022 was a very difficult year for me, business wise. Like I made some moves for myself that I thought would help me.
Like I closed programs because I was feeling overwhelmed and now I'm like, Oh, that's income that I was guaranteed monthly and now I don't have it. And I pushed back on some contract work that I had, you know, in 2022. They canceled the contract entirely. So then I took a huge hit. And so it's, it's been like, you know, since I was about a year, it's been sort of like, Oh, things are different and hard.
And I have not recovered from the moves. And you're right. Like thinking back to 2020 and 2021, I'm like, Oh, what a sweet time. Everything was so much easier. Like, yes, I was working quadruple the amount I'm working now, but man, was at a time where it felt. Easy.
[00:23:54] Kellee Wynne: Right. But then we realized, like for me, I just, I hit a wall because I was working so much. And so we're trying to figure out now how to balance actually being a normal human and running a business. And I think that there was some burnout from that and I'm just barely starting to recover from it now, three years later, but it's like trying to figure out where is that happy balance between making a healthy income and not killing
ourselves doing it.
[00:24:22] Ammie Y'all: Totally. And I, you know, building this business in the pandemic where I had endless amount of time and nothing else to do, I created a level of working that I have no longer been able to meet. And, and then I start to feel bad because I'm like the output I was able to do three years ago was so much higher than what I'm able to do now.
So then I feel like I'm lazy or I feel like I'm a failure and, you know, that I could be doing more constantly and I can't, you know, it's like things are not the same,
[00:24:54] Kellee Wynne: right. And society, for some reason has decided to equal our worth and value with productivity. Yeah.
Yes. And I've always been like that. Always.
I mean, I'm, I'm mostly that kind of personality as well. So how do
we balance it then?
[00:25:11] Ammie Y'all: Let me know when you find out.
[00:25:14] Kellee Wynne: Well, I will tell you that the first thing that has helped is hiring the right people to help me. And I've been able to grow better because of that, because I'm not doing the things that I don't need to do.
I mean, the only thing like, sure, maybe you could even probably outsource the painting, but then it wouldn't be as, as sweet for us. But there are parts that I am making my own art, but like, I don't have to answer my emails. You know, so there's some space for me to have a little more energy for only the things that I can do.
And. I don't know, I'm still really determined and passionate to get there, you know?
[00:25:49] Ammie Y'all: Yeah. There are some days where I'm like, what if I get a job at Starbucks?
[00:25:54] Kellee Wynne: Yeah. Because at the end of the day, you're not still thinking about Starbucks. Totally. Yeah. With being an entrepreneur, you're always still thinking about it.
I know. I don't know. I'm not very employable at this point because I'm not either, but I'm not either.
I know. I know. What a hole we have dug ourselves into.
Well, it seems like one thing that you've done that makes sense in order to. Sustain a certain kind of income without always having to produce a product, a physical product is you're really helping people with their paint your own pottery businesses.
Am I correct in understanding what your y'all's stars is about?
[00:26:33] Ammie Y'all: Yes, yes. I, yeah, and I'm happy to explain that. I started out in the paint your own pottery space, that industry. I'm from a super small town in Georgia. I had never heard what that was. And I moved to Atlanta and like was looking for something fun to do and, and found the studio.
And I was like, Oh, this is so cool. I have never. And then in college kind of needed a job and they were hiring and I had done like ceramics in college. And so I was like, cool, this will be a nice, like, creative thing. You know, you think like art job. And then at the end of the day, it's like, oh, this is a customer service cleaning job.
It's not the same thing. But yeah, I was there for 10 years before they said, yeah, we're going to let you go. And I just became so passionate about like. This crazy medium that has been so guarded for so long, you know, the ceramics world can be a confusing place because it goes through chemistry.
Like, sometimes people are like, how does that work? And I'm like, I don't know science and then just move on from there. But yeah, I wanted to stay in the space after I was let go from that job because I really made a name for myself. In the industry. It's a relatively small industry across the world.
There's probably only 600 studios. So we're a pretty tiny place and I started creating these lesson plans essentially, because a lot of these studios want to do events, but maybe they don't have the time to figure out like what's trendy or make a project or figure out what their customers like.
So that's what I supply with my y'all stars. PYOP club subscription service. It's a monthly thing. And they get like a little lesson plan every month and marketing materials and all that stuff. And that has been really good for me.
[00:28:18] Kellee Wynne: That's amazing, like thinking outside of the box is what I'm all about with businesses and especially when you have an information sort of base business that can couple with your like actual making art and selling art.
Right? Because sometimes we don't really want to give up that part of us, but how many mugs can you make? As you say, you might be coming to a thousand, but a thousand is still like, unless you put it into mass production from China, it's never going to be the million dollar maker. Right? Right.
[00:28:47] Ammie Y'all: Yes, and those thousand were blood, sweat, and tears, and so I am constantly looking for like, you know, like you said, things that are not me sitting down and painting one dish, you know, and, and trying to do that a thousand times.
So that's been really good. I also design, um, This square. So people that are not in this space, this is pottery that's been fired once and is ready to be glazed. So when you walk into a paint your own pottery studio, and you just see, walls of white pottery, that's Matt and, Just sitting there ready for you to paint.
So I design shapes. I have like a designer line with this company that I work with. They manufacture those shapes and they get sent around to studios all over the world, which is amazing. So I get like royalties from that. That has been an incredible source of income for me because, that's another thing I'm not having to sit down and try to make every single day.
[00:29:45] Kellee Wynne: I love that. Then there's so many different ways to connect back to what you do and what you learn through 10 years of working in the industry. In the 1st place, you also provide, like, color guides and all kinds of, like, really great resources plus you help with the marketing. And I like that ideas.
You're not just giving them the idea that they're going to be able to teach their students and their paint your own pottery. Thank you. Class, right? But actual marketing material that they can put on their social media or hang in their window or whatever that they need to do. And I hope that what this is is triggering for a lot of people in the audience, like those who are those are our listeners who are thinking, what is my next move with my business?
I'm an expert at creating this particular thing. How can I take it to the next level where I can make it a repeatable process for someone else? And this is just like so many different things we don't think about, providing advertisement for someone else, providing licensing ideas for someone else to make.
And so I love that you've really built an all, all encompassing kind of viewpoint for that business. Plus you also like to help people with their social media.
[00:31:01] Ammie Y'all: Yes. Yeah, I love I've started doing Instagram audits this year, I think, which is crazy because I, I mean, I've done so many at this point, but it's fun for me.
Like, it feels like a puzzle. I'm basically going to their Instagram account and, telling them what to fix based on like goals they've given me. And, Struggles that they've told me that they have and like who they're hoping to attract you know, as a customer. And that has been so, so fun.
I'm really loving that.
[00:31:29] Kellee Wynne: Do you have, some tips and tricks about what's like working with social media right now? Or is it the age old adage? Just be yourself.
[00:31:38] Ammie Y'all: Well, my my very harsh advice is that it's not the algorithms fault ever. It's actually your fault. Yes. Nobody likes to hear that.
[00:31:49] Kellee Wynne: I'm jumping on that bandwagon with you.
We have the algorithm.
[00:31:54] Ammie Y'all: Yes. And I think people forget that, social media is a conversation and you have to treat it that way. And sometimes that means that you need to provide more context so that your customers understand what you're even talking about. I think we get so close to our own work in our own industry that we forget that if we want someone else.
That's new to come in. They might not know what you're talking about. Like for me, you know, there's a lot of the world that has no idea what a kiln is. And they're calling it an oven or they're calling it like a kennel or a Kindle or something. And it's my responsibility. If I want you to fully understand how valuable my pieces are is to show you that this gets fired, you know, up to a certain degree and it takes this long.
And then after that, we have to process it in this way. So I'm really big on context. And I'm also just really big on paying attention to what you're doing, like, what is the point of what you're putting out? Are you putting out a video that you have half thought through because quote unquote, the algorithm likes videos, or is it something that your audience is finding value in?
You know, I think people get so bogged down and I'm like, well, I have to show up in this space. And they're just. Producing stuff for the sake of producing when it can still be fun. It's supposed to be fun, right?
[00:33:15] Kellee Wynne: But if you do a song and dance, but your audience that they're not interested in song and dance, what can, I don't know many artists who are willing to do song and dance, but this is hypothetically, then sure.
Great. You had something go viral, but it's not even the audience that you were intending it for
[00:33:31] Ammie Y'all: A thousand percent. I have a good friend of mine and she does. Similar things as me. She works with ceramics. Her niche is like cactuses. That's where she has sold a ton of cactus and she does a lot of dancing on her Instagram.
And I love her to death and she finds so much joy in it. But like she's had a couple of videos, reach a million views of her dancing with her cute little college employees. And. What's she getting from it? I can't imagine it's sales. Like I'm seeing a lot of mean comments pop up and that's not worth it to me.
I'm like so antigo viral, you know? Like I can't sustain it. If I were to hit a million views on a rainbow mug tomorrow and then I start getting thousands new customers and not that like, that can even happen. But if the, in the perfect world, that's what would happen. I can't sustain that.
Right. I'm not, I'm just one person.
[00:34:21] Kellee Wynne: Right. Well, you could probably sustain it if people wanted to join your membership and learn the whole paint your own pottery. Right.
[00:34:29] Ammie Y'all: But again, there's only, so many studios in the world, literally. So, yeah, it's, it's very interesting, like the, the internet of it all.
And I'm definitely just a big fan of like fostering relationships with the audience that you have and being welcoming for new people when they do come in.
[00:34:47] Kellee Wynne: Right. Absolutely. I love that. And when the algorithm and your post tanks, it's because you've been saying the same monotonous thing a million times and everyone's over it.
And the algorithm is really the people who are following you aren't interested in what you're saying anymore. It's just the thing. 100. And I've, I've fallen victim to that. How many times do people want to hear me promote my courses or my offers? They get tired of it after a while, which is one of the reasons I took a nice break this summer is because I'm like, Oh no, I'm in the content circle of death at this.
[00:35:23] Ammie Y'all: I hear you. But also like something I tell people all the time in my audits is like, if you change the way you're talking about it just a little bit or like diversify how you're showing it, it becomes a lot less like, Oh, it's me again. And I'm talking about this one thing again, but it takes time and planning and strategy.
And sometimes, you know, when we've just built the course or we've finished, painting a whole round of things for sale, like you just don't have that kind of energy. So I totally get it. I'm a big fan of like, do what you can and see how it goes.
[00:35:55] Kellee Wynne: Yeah, do what you can, but Each time learn and iterate from that.
Totally. Yeah, but you know, I like what you're saying. The most important part is is show up for the people who are already there.
So, were you always creative? What did you go to school for?
[00:36:12] Ammie Y'all: I have always been creative. I went to school, this is so funny, I went to school, For I was going to be a painter. I grew up oil painting. I started oil painting when I was seven years old and I thought I'm just going to do that because I was good at it.
I grew up in a small town, you know, when you're like have the least bit of talent, everyone's like you're incredible. And then I got to college and they're like, you're average. And I was like, Oh, this is difficult for me. and I got a couple semesters in and was like, Oh, this path is probably not like the smartest.
So I switched to art education with a concentration on drawing, painting, and printmaking. If my girlfriend was here, she'd be making fun of me because I can't just be like, Oh, I have a BFA in art education. I always have to tell you the concentration because I paid, I paid for it. And so you're going to hear it.
And when I called my dad to be like, yeah, I've changed my majors. Instead of just being a regular, like, you know, I'm going to be a painter. I'm just going to be an art teacher. And my dad goes, okay, well, I think that's a great idea. I mean, we can't all be millionaires and I'm like, okay, realistic.
Got it. He knows I'm not going to make any money. And I went through that and I, I did my. Student teaching and when I graduated it came time for me to like start applying to schools and stuff and The pottery studio I worked for they were very manipulative and they were like, well, you don't want to do that And you know i'm 21 22 and i'm like, okay, I don't want to do that And they're like, yeah, you want to stay here and develop like classes and courses for us and I was like, okay Yeah, I want to do that So like built these things from the ground up.
That's not what you asked me, but, um, I did. a
[00:37:51] Kellee Wynne: very important like pathway.
[00:37:54] Ammie Y'all: Yes. So I did a ton of teaching for kids, for adults, for about like on and off for, eight years. And I still do a ton of teaching in my industry. Next month we have our big, Convention for the industry. I'm going, I'm teaching four classes and doing like speaking engagements and stuff.
And, I love it. Like I come alive truly. When you hand me a microphone, I'm like in my, in my, like where I'm supposed to be, you know, like in my heart. I'm like a pop star without that sort of talent. I mean, as a kid, I was like super, super shy, but always like, I loved lettering as a kid.
I remember I had like, you know, back in the 90s when like the craft books were so popular. I had all of those and I had like a lettering book I was obsessed with. I was always the one that was like making the signs for my friends in middle school that said like, you know, Ammie loves Jeremy.
He did not love me back, but I was like really good at making those like cute little lettered signs and stuff. And was always just like a painter. I've just loved, I love paint. Like I love any medium truly, like even the ones I'm kind of bad at, but I was never really good at sports. So I was always just defaulted into the art thing.
[00:39:08] Kellee Wynne: Now what's this?
Amy loves Jeremy.
[00:39:10] Ammie Y'all: Mm hmm. Yes, Jeremy was my middle school crush up until like high school, but like, you know, in middle school, it was like huge for us to have, but I'm like really kind of speaking about a certain type of person at a certain age in our binders.
I feel like the first like 15 pages were like, absolutely, signs that your friends make, you know, and mine always said, Amy loves Jeremy. Even though he didn't love me back. Awww.
[00:39:41] Kellee Wynne: Well, tell me a little bit about the path to, having a girlfriend and if being from a small town made a difference.
[00:39:51] Ammie Y'all: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I didn't know I was queer until I met my girlfriend Elaine. I dated men. I was in a very serious relationship when she and I met, and I was like, oh no! I like this person in a way that I have never liked a girl before and it was a similar situation for her I Resisted it for a long time because I didn't understand it and in my small town, obviously, there were queer people, there were gay people, but we just sort of, didn't talk about it, kind of thing, and I didn't know how my family was gonna react, so I would say for, like, almost three years. I was like, let's not like you can kind of resist this. It's just a one off thing. It's not worth pursuing, but I truly could not stay away from Elaine. That's my girlfriend. And finally broke up with my ex boyfriend and she and I, um, You know, we were never like secret, you know, after I broke up with my boyfriend, but I just sort of wasn't talking about it and she would come home with me and it was very much like roommate vibes, you know, and finally my dad was like, you guys aren't just friends. Right. And that's like the conversation we had, like, he very much kind of outed me in that way. And I was like, no, we're not. And it was tough. And this was like, man, at this point it was probably seven years ago.
And it was hard. It was really hard because I felt like I don't like to be misunderstood or misrepresented. That is something that really bothers me. And so, I'm just trying to tell my whole family, like, I'm still the same person. I haven't been hiding anything from you. You're figuring out, like, you know, in the grand scheme of things, like, at the same time as me.
I'm just the same person. And so that was really tough. And now, of course, everything's totally fine. And, they love Elaine. Elaine's family is super supportive, so it's been easy in the long run, but I can't imagine, like, if I had realized at a younger age, it feels like that would have been very difficult.
I was probably in some way, protecting myself a little bit, because I knew it was, like, not... The time that that could have happened. And I, you know, I've been with Elaine forever and, with my own sexuality, I'm like, some days I identify as lesbian, other days I identify as bisexual, I don't necessarily need a, like, label anymore.
It was really, really important to me in the beginning, and I see, like, as I get older and, like, move through this relationship and the world, it doesn't bother me, like, I'll take whatever, I'm whoever, you know what I mean?
[00:42:34] Kellee Wynne: The label thing has been really interesting to me as well, and I love that.
In all honesty, because I watch my kids going through high school and then in their early years where it's non issue for them, non issue, it's not even the, there's no blip, one of their friends came out trans the other day, and they're like, good for her, right? Good for her, and I'm like, I love that their generation, which they're a little bit younger than you, but, you know, their generation is just like non issue and I know now that sexuality is fluid and it's a spectrum. Right. Not so black and white as the world wants to make it.
And I think that's probably where we're getting all of these like friction and heart felt hurts. Yeah. People, but when you step back to see it, it's seriously a non issue. It's not a non issue.
[00:43:29] Ammie Y'all: People get so afraid and that was kind of the response I got from my parents. I mean, my, my mom doesn't care, you know, at the end of the day, she's just like include me, like, I just want to know what's going on.
Like, you know, she wants to kind of be friends but my dad was just like, you know, He asked me, are you going to be like this forever? And at the time I was like, so hurt by that because it was like, cause I know I'm just me, you know? So yes, I am going to continue to be me forever. He, you know, it's just this fear of like, is her life going to be harder?
Like what does everything look like? And yes, there are things that are more difficult. I'm the age now where a lot of my friends are having children and I was just having this conversation this weekend. Like I always, from a teenage age, assumed I would just accidentally get pregnant one day.
I never thought about it. Some of us did. Totally. And I just assumed, you know, that it was just going to happen. And like, if I had never met Elaine, I'd probably be married to my stupid ex boyfriend and thank God I'm not, but you know, I'd be married to him. I'd have a couple of kids and that would be fine.
But now with her. If we want to have children, it's such a choice and it's such a journey and like then it becomes very expensive and then it becomes do we do IVF? Do we adopt? Do we whatever?
So it's, it just becomes not easy anymore. So I don't know if that's a choice that I want to make. I'm 33 years old. I don't feel like the clock is crazy ticking, but it will be eventually. And like, yeah. Will I want to? I, I don't know. , it's very strange.
[00:45:07] Kellee Wynne: So let's tie it to business just a little bit and current times where I feel like we're at a weird pivot point where being queer Should be a non issue.
It's not for some people. We've taken like 100 steps back. I watched this massive progress and then all of a sudden it's like with progress. You're going to have the pendulum swing the other way. How does it affect your business? Or is it a non issue with your business?
[00:45:34] Ammie Y'all: You know, that's an interesting question because I'm curious, like, how much I'm just not kind of paying attention to.
I do notice, some people, when they share me with their audience, they make a point to say, like, queer, woman artists. And they kind of lead with that, but I don't necessarily do that in my own kind of marketing and it's not because I don't think it's valuable because I do think it's very valuable.
I'm about to say two very different things. So one, I'm just showing up as myself, just like we're saying, I'm just like, this is me. Like, I just happened to be queer, like whatever. In other spaces, I am not queer enough. And like, I feel very much like not. Like in the way that I can't wear the badge.
Back in June, I did a queer artist market. And, if you just lined us all up and you were like, which one of these people are straight, they'd be like her and point to me because I just like, look not the part. And I know that's so crazy to say.
And like, there are some people that are just like switched off the podcast right now. And that's not what I mean. I don't think like. You have to look a certain way to be queer, but if there are some spaces where I feel like, oh, you just look like you could be like heteronormative or you have passing privilege in that way.
And that makes me feel a little self conscious and maybe like, that's the only time between two worlds a little bit. Yeah. Like very much. Just sort of feeling weird and then I think they hear that I've had an ex boyfriend and they're like, oh, okay. And of course that is like definitely my own insecurity coming out to play and everyone is so nice and so welcoming and no one would ever be like, you're not queer enough to be here.
But, yeah, there are certainly some places where I feel like I feel weird about leading with like, I'm queer, you know, but.
[00:47:26] Kellee Wynne: Well, but don't we get tired of tokenizing everything? Totally. And maybe this is wrong on me and I have some growth to do, but you know, I really tried to stand up during Black Lives Matter.
But then it became like, we have to have Black people on during Black History Month and we have to have gay people on during Pride Month. And I'm like, oh my goodness, we are just like making a, almost making a parade of. Different things like, and not just respecting them all year long. Right? Yeah. So I'm not good at falling into the whole, I guess tokenizing is the best way to say it. I just want it to be all the time.
[00:48:01] Ammie Y'all: I know it does. It gets so embarrassing. Like, when. February rolls around or when it's like pride month and people are sharing like people who never ever talk about it start sharing like the same meme over and over again.
It's just like, what is this for? What is the point? Who is this for? Is this making you feel better? Like it's just. It's very tricky.
[00:48:25] Kellee Wynne: It is, and I will say I've lost followers because I've stood up for Black Lives Matter, especially in 2020 when it was really seriously highlighted. It's still a serious problem even today. And I won't ever back down from saying, this is where I am. I'm a very liberal, liberal person.
So in fact, my kids kind of make fun of me because I kind of have a capitalist job and I'm like, a minute of itself from small makers is not the problem. And I definitely am still mindful of that, but. I know that sometimes people are just like, Nope, she's not for me.
And you know what I'd rather than think for me, but I also don't want to be the kind of person who's just only flying the flags during the month, whatever it is, it just becomes a natural part of who I am and my support. And I just tried to show up and show it, but maybe I still have a lot to learn because I don't know, you know, there's still so much for me to open up my heart and mind about, but at the same time I'm trying to, and I know we've gone deep on the subject of being queer, LGBTQ, but I think I wanted to have the discussion because I think that it is an issue that we have to pay attention to at this point. And in the end, can we be without labels in some ways? And that would be really kind of cool.
[00:49:41] Ammie Y'all: I hear that, and I don't disagree with that, but, I mean, even hearing you say, like, I'm glad we had this conversation, because if I'm a listener and I'm queer, and I'm also hearing in this conversation that, like, you're introducing me to another queer person, I'm like, nice.
You know, like, I'm always looking around and kind of feel a connection, like, when I do. Meet a new queer person. And so there is value in the label, but I think when it becomes your only defining factor, that's where maybe the, the problem is, or maybe not that maybe there are some people that truly.
And I think that's great. That's not necessarily me. I'm obsessed with myself, you know, like I don't have to lead. I want you to know me because I'm like talented and funny and like have occasionally good hair. I don't care if you also know that I'm queer, even though like, you know, right. Right. I would like you to know.
[00:50:35] Kellee Wynne: Well. I agree, but can we put it like queer and artists like no one's like, you know, like the only label I'm going to say is I'm a mom, right?
[00:50:46] Ammie Y'all: We wear so many hats.
[00:50:47] Kellee Wynne: Right. So like not everything has to be that far defined, but I do agree in order to make connections and feel like we're not alone. There is value in our identity. Totally, totally. So how about we take it full circle and just bring it back to business for a minute. They can find you at Amy y'all
[00:51:08] Ammie Y'all: it is. A M M I E Y A L L. You can find me at amyyall.
com, amyyall on Instagram. I don't really use TikTok for business. I certainly try not to use Facebook for business. So that's kind of the two spots to find me.
[00:51:24] Kellee Wynne: Oh, and make sure you find her on threads.
[00:51:26] Ammie Y'all: Oh, yes, that's it. Somebody actually followed me yesterday. They're like, I actually found you on threads.
And I was like, Oh God.
[00:51:32] Kellee Wynne: I have quite a few that have too. I mean, I think there's still potential. Let's see where it goes. I love the casualness of it. I love the The non perfect strategy of it, which makes it really easy to use. I knew that there'd be a big growth and then a dip, and we're only like a, not even a month into having threads. So I like to be able to have those. Conversations. And I would really love to take some inspiration from you and just show up a little bit more of myself, all aspects of who I am and even my messy studio or no hair or makeup days and be comfortable
and I appreciate about you is just that you're showing aspects of your life that honestly make me feel more. Included and normal in a lot of ways, you know,
[00:52:22] Ammie Y'all: that's great. I want to see it all basically when I connect with someone on the internet, I want to see your good days.
I'm going to see your bad days. I want to see your just like boring days, you know, because it makes me feel like, oh, I have those too.
[00:52:34] Kellee Wynne: Yeah. Yeah. We are, we're just human behind the screen trying to sell our pottery and don't get mad at when it sells out in three minutes.
[00:52:43] Ammie Y'all: Yes. Yeah. And my only advice to anyone that's listening that wants to start doing face to camera is please don't look at yourself while you're doing face to camera, look into the camera, not your eyes.
I get so crazy when people are like very clearly looking at themselves while they're recording something. I'm like, look at the camera. Good. Great.
[00:53:05] Kellee Wynne: I Love it. Thank you so much. Oh, thank you. One more thing. I always ask every now and then I forget to ask, but I don't want to forget to ask what's your big audacious dream?
[00:53:17] Ammie Y'all: I want my own TV show. I used to skip school when I was a kid, when I knew that someone was coming on the Martha Stewart show that I really wanted to see and I would fake six so I could stay home and watch it. And I I want to be the next Martha Stewart without the jail time, but just like a TV show where I'm like, this is how you do everything.
I am the authority.
[00:53:39] Kellee Wynne: Well, all right, so. Y'all show I'd go. I'd watch that. I want to see how you make stuff.
[00:53:45] Ammie Y'all: Let's do it. If you know anybody, please send them my way.
[00:53:49] Kellee Wynne: Well, you can at least start with YouTube and I'd be watching you there.
[00:53:52] Ammie Y'all: That's true. That's true.
[00:53:54] Kellee Wynne: Okay. Thank you so much.
[00:53:57] Ammie Y'all: Thank you.
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