WYOMING, Ill. — To the artists or just the creatives at heart, Nicole Largent is bringing a pop of paint to Wyoming.
“I thought this small town needed some new opportunity,” said Largent.
In 2015, Largent launched Yer Kiln Me. It’s an avenue for artistry, painting and pottery in the area.
“This town really isn’t that big. And so we—all the businesses kind of draw from surrounding towns. And they’re just so happy to have—I think the revenue and the people coming in, just the buzz talking about Wyoming.”
Customers can come in and pick a variety of pieces of pottery to design. But it wasn’t until college that the East Peoria native really dove into her craft.
She said, “When I was at Bradley [University] in nursing school, I took some art classes and one of them was drawing and one of them was ceramics. And so it always interested me.”
Largent went on to work as a nurse for more than 15 years. But she opted to make the creative career change when life brought her to Wyoming.
“As a far cry from my last profession, where the people didn’t want to come in. You know, they’re sick or there’s something wrong. But here, it’s—the people are happy to be here. They want to be here. That’s the reason why the come in,” said Largent.
While nursing and art are separate careers, Largent says they both require similar thinking skills. But she finds one path less stressful.
She said, “It’s just fun. And there’s really the most stressful thing is ‘Are those two colors going to look good together?’”
Largent says her entrepreneurial spirit came from her mom who used to own a salon.
“She had that business for almost 20 years and I grew up in that business. I started working when I was 12 and worked all through college there,” she said. “I was young enough to know that it’s a fun adventure to be on. But then through the years of working there, I also knew the struggles of being a small business owner.”
While Largent enjoys the free-flow and relaxing atmosphere of Yer Kiln Me, she says she stays on her toes finding new ways to keep customers intrigued.
“So the challenge really is what’s the next best thing or what’s something that’s going to sell here? Or what’s something I can really market to anyone?” said Largent.
But she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“When people come in, they come in because they want to,” she said.
Yer Kiln Me is located at 108 North 7th Street in Wyoming.