PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- West Philly native and ceramic artist Stefani Threet recently accomplished her dream goal, opening a pottery shop in her hometown.
While Ceramic Concept currently is the only Black-owned pottery shop in Philadelphia, Threet looks to inspire other ceramic artists and encourage the youth to explore it as an alternative career path.
"I have lived all over, and I spent some time living in Oaxaca, Mexico. My mom was ill at the time, so I came back to help her sort of recuperate," said Threet.
Threet was introduced to ceramics during her high school days at Overbrook High School in West Philadelphia.
She later went on to take art classes at St. Joe's University, which later led to Threet earning an arts degree from Alfred University.
It wasn't a long term plan to be back in Philadelphia Threet says, but once she made it her home again, she decided to put down roots.
Threet says while her clients are based in many areas both inside and outside the United States, establishing her headquarters along the corridors on Baltimore Avenue in West Philly was her way of giving back.
"Opening the store Ceramic Concept here in West Philly was really important to me because this is the neighborhood I grew up in," she added.
Threet says growing up near 49th and Locust streets, which is only a few blocks from her current storefront on 50th and Baltimore Avenue, She says she's ultimately grateful.
"Just having and creating a space where people could see works of art from many artist of color, different women, and local artists were really important to me," said Threet. "I want people to be able to see that there's something here in the neighborhood that's reflective of opportunities and options that they could have in the future as well as a career."
Threet currently carries over 50 artists in the shop that includes new artists who are displaying their work for the first time.
But while many businesses have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, Threet says she felt that it was time for her to take a leap of faith.
"This was sort of a time that was really about transformation and change," she said. "So of the things that held me back from being able to have the courage to do this before suddenly just faded away."
Overall, Threet is optimistic and sees a bright future for Ceramic Concept.
"I feel like we're really creating a nice little corridor here on Baltimore Avenue. My goal here is to really focus and shine the light on the artist here," said Threet.