Note: With our 20th Anniversary in September, we’ve been introducing some of our staff and customers who we feel help tell the story of As You Wish Pottery.
Art steeped into Greyson Barson’s bones from a young age. As a kid, his mom inspired him with her oil painting. “She is a certified Bob Ross instructor,” he explains with a chuckle. “Yes, he’s the guy who was on PBS with the great afro! Does ‘Happy Trees’ ring a bell? Ever since I was a kid with a mullet and a leather jacket, I remember sitting in on her oil painting classes and creating my own version of a ‘Bob Ross’ landscape. I look up to her as an amazing painter.”
With this artistic background, it is no surprise that Greyson found his way to As You Wish as a glazer/loader three years ago. “I did not even know about pottery painting before I walked through the door for the interview,” he remembers, adding that when he first read the job description he had a very specific vision of what to expect. “In my head, I was thinking it was super manly work with massive pots and wall size furnaces. I imagined myself wearing gloves with charcoal smeared on my face as if I was working in a mine! You should have seen my look of confusion when I walked through the front door of the Chandler Studio to see purple and green walls with families everywhere!”
Nevertheless, he easily landed what turned out to be his dream job and met the love of his life. “Nichol, the manager of the Chandler Studio at the time actually hired me,” he explains adding that they got married exactly one year to the day they met. “And yes I would like to believe she hired me because of my qualifications, not because she thought I looked like Johnny Depp — her words! She is amazing.”
With his “wishy” personality — his drive to make customers happy — Greyson quickly worked his way up in the ranks of As You Wish. He started in Chandler (and then Mesa and Tempe) as a glazer/loader supervisor. He was then promoted north to Desert Ridge assistant manager, then manager, and now serves as district manager. “It has been an amazing journey! I have learned so much, from how to glaze and load pottery and glass, to how to successfully overlook three studios and everything in between!” he says. “Most importantly, I have learned through experience how special As You Wish is to our customers. I love art and As You Wish introduces the love of painting to everyone!”
When he was the manager of the Desert Ridge studio, Greyson met Joy Lewis, who he says tops his list of many favorite customers. “I remembered her painting a bear for hours! About three months later, she came back in and I told her that I remembered how awesome her bear turned out! She was amazed that I remembered. Ever since then, it puts a smile on my face to see her in the studio. She finds real enjoyment from painting at As You Wish and it makes me feel great about what we do.”
Deb Smith of Outloud Marketing Studio is a frequent As You Wish customer and works with our marketing staff. She is also a writer and shares customer and As You Wish employee stories with us. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram at @wordsmithgirl.