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Island Stoneware relocates to Summerside, looking for to hire new staffers

Tunde Szarka, hand building a custom mug at Island Stoneware studios. Szarka has worked with Island Stoneware for five years.
Tunde Szarka, is shown hand building a custom mug at Island Stoneware studios. Szarka has worked with Island Stoneware for five years. - Contributed

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – A popular Island pottery business has found new site for its production studio.

Perry Niessen Studios Inc., makers of Island Stoneware handcrafted pottery, recently moved to a Summerside location which offers more space, improved access to skilled talent and better shipping service for the studio’s wholesale business.

The move is happening in correlation with Summerside native Randy Perry’s return home.

“About two years ago we were living in Toronto and it struck us, as much as we love the things a big city had to offer, we were ready for more space and less pace,” said Perry, co-owner of Island Stoneware.

“We started looking at opportunities to start up or buy a business on the Island and quite quickly we found Island Stoneware to be a great fit for our skills and interest.”

“About two years ago we were living in Toronto and it struck us, as much as we love the things a big city had to offer, we were ready for more space and less pace.”
-Randy Perry

Within seven months of the initial idea to move home, Perry and his spouse, Jamie Niessen, bought a home in Summerside. The couple took ownership of the business in November 2017. Before the move, Island Stoneware was located in Borden-Carleton. The company’s primary business is as a manufacturing wholesaler, selling its Island-made pottery to retailers across Canada and the United States.

“Within three weeks of announcing our move to Summerside, we found a skilled potter to join our team,” said Perry. “We’re also looking to add a new hand builder to the team.”

A hand builder makes pottery from slab, rather than on a wheel and adds designs elements to those pieces.

Perry works full time as a database developer for a Calgary-based software company.

Niessen, originally from Alberta, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the studio.

“We’ve been home for about a year-and-a-half now,” said Perry. “We still marvel at how easy it is to get places, like how quickly we can to get to the beach or enjoy a dog walk on the boardwalk. Owning a business takes a lot of effort but, on P.E.I., we have so much more time to live, not just work.”

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