Since the pandemic began, The WOW! Factory has been working hard to keep up with the demand to continue offering fun to the community. The WOW! Factory traditionally offers in-house painting of ceramics, mosaic making, tile work, and other creative projects that you can create within their studio. They also offer private parties and take-home kits so you can get creative wherever you feel safest. Recent efforts have resulted in even more impressive to-go kits and a full stock online where you can order supplies, pick them up and simply bring them back for firing when you’re done.
On the Positively West Virginia Podcast, hosted by Jim Matuga, recent guest Joanne Watson talks about the humble beginnings of The WOW! Factory in Morgantown.
Joanne and Dina Muttillo started mulling over The WOW! Factory 12 years ago on a playground where their children went to school. =The two were talking about similar experiences they had while traveling and visiting pottery studios in other states. Together, they decided to bring this experience to West Virginia, and the real planning began.
Twelve years later, The WOW! Factory has become a center for memories and creativity to thrive. Joanne stated they have not only had the privilege of watching their own children grow up there, but they’ve also watched the community grow up as well. She believes this is because their business offers an experience that nowhere else can give you.
“You can relax, spend time together with your family and you actually have an experience. You sit down and talk face to face at the table and leave with something you created, with all the memories you made.”
Joanne reflected on one of the most memorable business experiences, right when they were ready to open. They had friends and family come in to paint different pieces to use as a display.
“You know, before the pieces are fired, the colors are very dull and pastel. So Dina and I loaded up the kiln, and we were just hoping that nothing melted or went terribly wrong. We’re standing up, and we open and the kiln, and we both look in and we both went, “WOW!” Well, that was easy; now we know what to call our business.”
Joanne claims that The WOW! Factory is more of a hobby for her partner and herself. However, this hobby is run by a solid staff of 15-20 hand-picked community members. Each new employee is chosen with friendliness and service in mind and is expected to uphold family and education before the job — period. While they both continue to work full-time jobs within the community, nothing is quite as fulfilling as the fun they look forward to at the studio.
The WOW! Factory, like all small businesses, has struggled this year due to COVID-19. Joanne claims that the most challenging part of it all is denying this experience to the community. Every day she has to ask herself once more, “Do we stay open?” This question weighs heavy on their minds, but considering The WOW! Factory opened during the 2008 economic recession; nothing seems too challenging to get through.
This year is the perfect time to supply your home with safe, family-centered activities. The entire WOW! Factory stock can be viewed and purchased online. Stock up on the tools to make memories and create with your family this season.
Listen to Joanne’s full podcast episode here.
PWV QUICK BITS | JOANNE WATSON
- RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: A good attitude
- PIECE OF ADVICE: “Go for it, absolutely go for it.” advised Joanne.