We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Chan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I didn’t have a lot growing up. My parents immigrated from China and worked really hard to find success in the United States. They spoke little english and worked multiple low paying jobs just to get by. In 2005, with the little money they did have, my parents opened a restaurant in Oakland’s Chinatown. I watched them both succeed and fail on their own terms. It was the first time I saw my parents shine as makers of their own path. My mother especially had such a badass energy to her—she ran the ship, always with such grace. It was rough growing up, yet my brothers and I always envisioned a brighter future for ourselves, one which embraced the entrepreneurial spirit of our parents.
I have always reached for more than what was given and wanted to have a piece of this world to call my own. I’ve set out to start my own business, to be my own boss, and to support my dreams of a good life. It has been a wonderful challenge.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My ceramics are informed by my background in design. I create work that plays with the common principle “form follows function” both of which are of great importance to my practice. The pieces are handmade, generally thrown on the wheel and are intended for domestic functionality. I try to create beautiful ceramics that not only bring joy, but accent and enhance their counterparts and surroundings. This has led me to follow my muse in the hope my work is well received by those who value the importance of the handmade and individual.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would definitely recommend both the Huntington Library in Pasadena and the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City. I’d also take them on a stroll through the Mar Vista Farmers Market for some fresh fruit and flowers. There is a date stand there that sells a wide variety of dates, one of which taste like sweet honey and melts in your mouth—for a brief second its like you’re in heaven.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would be remiss to not thank my life partner Ben Briggance for his love and support through every step of this process. As my partner for nearly 9 years, Ben has been by my side from the moment I first worked in clay. As an excellent artist and musician in his own right, Ben’s eye and creative process keeps me curious and engaged with the world around me. I love him very much 🙂