Today, I'm chatting with Melissa Gondek of Small Company Artworks, who makes the most amazing sculpture; my favorite piece is the "Everything Here Belongs To Me" cat sculpture because, of course, cats!
Does the name Small Company Artworks have any special meaning?
My small figure sculptures are intended to bring personality and love wherever they go. My husband actually suggested the name when I was starting out since he said I'm making "a little art to keep people company." It kind of stuck, and now I can't think of it any other way.
What inspired you to start your company?
As I like to say, "I sculpt to bring more smiles into the world." I first spent 17 years in business strategy and consulting, with my art practice on the side. It took a cross-country move and complete change in life circumstances to remind me how much I love bringing joy to people's lives, and sculpture helps me do that. I like to think of each little sculpture as a package of love, comfort, and celebration. Business strategy had its moments, but the fruits of sculpting feed the soul.
What makes your products special?
My collectors bring their stories to my artwork, and that makes every single piece special. I sent out a tiny love token last week, for example, that was a long-distance hug from the giver to his grieving friend. I sent a package of three sculptures to one much-loved mother from her daughter for Mother's Day, because the sculptures were "representative of their love," as she told me. And a husband asked me to create a custom sculpture to commemorate his wife's four kitties, all of whom have gone to heaven. Those are just three examples. Knowing that the work of my fingers can do all that is kind of magical.
Do you have a favorite product?
All of them! I love the cat sculptures for being cheeky, the dog sculptures because they make me smile, the hug sculptures for their eloquence, the serenity statues for their peacefulness, and the love tokens because they're portable versions of all that.
Seriously, every time I wrap a sculpture to send it out, I write a note to the collector with the package. And I'm always tempted to say, "You chose my favorite sculpture!" because they all say something different and special to me. I have to remind myself that they can't technically all by my favorites, but how do you choose?
Where can we find your shop?
My current collections are all available on my website (www.smallcompanyartworks.com
) and through Instagram and Facebook (@smallcompanyartworks). I also accept a limited number of custom sculpture requests each year through my website or just an email (firstname.lastname@example.org
). And you can read about some of my custom work (and misadventures) on my blog (smallcompanyartworks.com/blogs/news
). You can also read some of the wonderful stories my collectors have shared with me there.
Thank you so much, Melissa, for sharing your story and beautiful work with us!