Ceramists “hugging beggars” and pandemics – small businesses do double sales in big businesses

Ceramists "hugging beggars" and pandemics - small businesses do double sales in big businesses

Atelier’s stakes on hugs for hugs (Photo: reproduction / Instagram)

Yaran Palamira is 47 years old and was born in Arafira, in the interior of Alagoas. Ementon Kroll, 45, is from Pernambuco. They met at Recife, after more than 20 years, when he worked at a music production company. At the time, Palmyra was doing jingles and Kroll was a producer. The relationship between them was immediate and since then, both in private life and at work, they have not separated.

A few years after the meeting, he opened his own music production company, but he says he was always stressed by his work. A close friend and neighbor of the couple, Coletto suggests that they do artistic activities to relax.

Entrepreneurs begin production of dolls after the death of a friend (Photo: reproduction / Instagram)

Entrepreneurs begin production of dolls after the death of a friend (Photo: reproduction / Instagram)

Thus, in 2015, entrepreneurs ventured into the unknown. Palmyra discovered her passion for painting, while Kroll handled clay. In the beginning, artistic activities were nothing more than a hobby and he had no idea of ​​the potential of his creations. “We used to relax and even hide the pieces made at home so that no one could see our pictures”, he joked.

It was not long before close friends started repairing and praising the works. Encouraged again by Cleto, he began selling the pieces on Facebook.

In the same year Caletto, a victim of cardiac arrest, died. “We were so sad that we sold the apartment, where we lived and think about leaving the arts,” Palmyra says. The following year, Kroll found videos on the Internet about how to deal with trauma and realized that producing artistic pieces would be a way to honor his friend.

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Thus, in 2016, he created the first “hugging beggar”, a name given to a piece of ceramic, symbolizing a person, with open arms, asking for a hug. For Palmyra, the gesture of a hug includes “thanks, generosity, affection, inclusion, protection, solidarity, and even a loving look”.

Family and friends who lost their loved ones hugged (Photo: Reproduction / Instagram)

Family and friends who lost their loved ones hugged (Photo: Reproduction / Instagram)

The pieces were successful on social networks and ceramics became the duo’s main activity. This was the reason when he decided to build ArmoryArt Studio located in the rough Kuruaru of Pernambuco. Artists develop all stages of the production of their pieces: sculpture, drying, baking, and painting. “The process is completely manual and each piece takes about 25 days to prepare. It starts with Ementon and ends with me, ”says Palmyra.

With the social distance imposed by the epidemic, orders have doubled. “We received many requests from people who had lost family members or friends and wanted a gar hugging beggar” to symbolize them. We work with emotions, we create a piece with very deep meaning ”, he explains.

On average, 50 “hugging beggars” sell on average, and the studio’s turnover is about $ 40,000. Palmyra’s two sons joined the production line to help demand.

Ateliê wants to open an affiliate in Portugal to increase international sales (Photo: reproduction / Instagram)

Ateliê wants to open an affiliate in Portugal to increase international sales (Photo: reproduction / Instagram)

Most of the orders have been placed via Instagram and are primarily destined for the state of São Paulo. However, the studio has already exported “hugging beggars” to countries such as China, Argentina, the United States, Germany, France and Portugal, where the couple intends to open an Armorite branch to facilitate international sales.

“For us, it’s a great honor to create in Caruarro, where Mestre Vitalino, a great icon in the history of Northeast handicrafts, was born”, says entrepreneurs who want to incorporate studios with social companies in the future Huh. In some way, the people of the Northeast can benefit.

In the epidemic, orders from the studio doubled (Photo: Reproduction / Instagram)

In the epidemic, orders from the studio doubled (Photo: Reproduction / Instagram)

Sarah Gracie

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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