Pete & Patty Stutsman

Ladybug Ceramics has been in business for six years. In the beginning, Patty was working as an office manager at Super Kmart, while Pete had already retired from his job. Patty started her ceramic hobby in 1970 by taking classes on ceramics from little shops around the area, and going to paint company seminars.

The beginning idea was to start a ceramic shop after Patty retired from Super Kmart. That changed when she went to a garage sale and found a kiln and over hundred molds for a decent price. They started collecting other molds from the surrounding ceramics shops that started to close. At this time, the interest in ceramics was not diminishing, but the individuals who ran the stores were getting to the retirement age. Patty also attended some teacher seminars during this time, so she could gain the basic knowledge that is needed to teach individuals.

Opening day was on October 8, 1995. During this time Patty was working forty hours at the Super Kmart and Pete was running the store during the day. In the evening Patty would come home and teach class, and pour more molds. A friend of Patty's, from her class days, helped her learn how to use the kiln. Also, by teaching classes, Patty learned with her students.

To help get the word out and to attract customers Pete and Patty decided to advertise in the Thrify Nickel, PAX TV, and the Courier. As the years went by they built Ladybug ceramics little by little with the help of many friends in the ceramics industry. Friends helped them find the best suppliers and which local retail stores carry good supplies. Pete and Patty entered the ceramic market competing with 10-12 other retailers. Today, there are only three retail stores in the Evansville area, including Ladybug Ceramics.