Open for Business: Community support keeps Peoria Heights pottery shop afloat amid uncertainty

Local News

PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (WMBD) – No matter your artistic skillset, Kati Faletti says there’s a piece of Peoria Heights pottery that you can make your own.

“We think of it as an experience shop and the median is art,” said Faletti, the owner of Fired Up Paint Your Own Pottery Shop.

The business has been in Peoria Heights since the early 2000’s, encouraging crafty creativity among the community. Cups, plates, mugs and cartoon characters are just some of the blank pottery pieces waiting to be painted.

Faletti said, “You don’t have to make a masterpiece here. But you will walk away and have had a nice time while you’ve been here.”

As the owner since 2011, the Bloomington native said her business is more about the experience than it is the actual artistry.

“The big secret is I have not an artistic bone in my body. But I surround myself and we have great staff that has very extensive art background,” she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic was one vision that Faletti never could have anticipated. Her business was in the midst of celebrating its 16th anniversary when lockdown orders came down from the state.

“Like every small business in Peoria, we were scared, very scared.”

Kati faletti

“That was an emotional time honestly. And because it was just the unknown,” she said.

But what was very clear was the community support. The staff adjusted, offering pottery and paint to-go for customers.

Faletti said, “The best Saturday I walked in here, we—I looked out and there was a line down the road. And it was really customers who just knew that we needed their support and I swear to God, I’ll never forget those people.”

Fired Up Paint Your Own Pottery Shop has since reopened with new safety guidelines, including social distancing measures. As for what comes next for Faletti, she is painting a picture of optimism.

“We’re [going to] make it. We’re [going to] make it because of the dedication to small business and just that community feeling of let’s get through this together,” she said.

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