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Take a stroll from the water front down Kingsford Smith Street and you’ll find the colourful gallery frontage and studio of Sue Dasler Pottery. Nestled just metres away from the Lyall Bay foreshore, the large gallery windows that greet passers-by highlight the exquisite pottery work of Sue Dasler, a domestic ware potter who has been working in the pottery industry for over 25 years.

Sue Dasler Pottery

Sue has been working in Lyall Bay for the past three years and based in her current studio for the last two. Her domestic ware pottery range has been going for 15 years now. She supplies her work to around 30 outlets around the country, along with running a retail store from her studio here in Lyall Bay. "People find it interesting as it's a rare thing to have a potter, producing handmade crafts and making a full time living out of it."

Growing up in Kaikoura, the decision to work from Lyall Bay was largely driven by the environment. The sandblasted coastal appeal was a good fit for Sue who admits she's "never really lived in a big city, not that Wellingtons very big, but I really love being by the coast.... I basically wanted to be out of the city, I didn't really want the noise and the buzz of that. I liked the idea of being able to go out to the beach each day to work, being able to walk the dog or bike round the bay on nice days and be back in the studio within half an hour"

Hand Crafted Kiwi Made Products

Sue's pottery is all hand crafted at her studio on Kingsford Smith Street. This is surprising to many when considering the intricate details of the work and the industrial environment in which it's been created. "People are usually surprised that I make it here or that it's been hand made. They're shocked that I'm here for a start, because it's such an industrial sort of 'blokey' street - there's Bunnings, there's Leightons - they don't expect to see a pottery shop in the middle of it all."

Live Work Bay

Since arriving in Lyall Bay, Sue has seen some noticeable changes in the area - the biggest of which being the growing number of new businesses. "It just feels like it's starting to get a bit of a life, you know. With the likes of Spruce Goose, a lot more people seem to be coming out here and taking more interest in what's happening. I'm always surprised to find out what new businesses there are out here."

The beauty of being self-employed is that you can pick and choose where and how you're going to do business. For Sue, Lyall Bay offered the perfect setting to help facilitate her craft "For me personally I like being close to the beach. It's just a lifestyle really and I think that's the great thing about being self-employed - being able to choose where you are and how you do it."

Like many based in Lyall Bay, the appeal for Sue lies in the lifestyle you can create out here. Lyall Bay is fast becoming a viable and attractive place to do business for many. The likes of Sue Dasler Pottery and other businesses in the area are drawing people out this way, and further business development will be a natural progression to this.

For more information on Sue Dasler Pottery check out her website or pay her a visit in sunny Lyall Bay! Like Sue, many other local businesses are proudly based in Lyall Bay.