Lalese Stamps is a ceramicist and the founder of Lolly Lolly Ceramics. She's a visionary and creative at heart. Her 100 day project, creating 100 mugs in 100 days, launched her into the national spotlight and she's been creating, growing and changing the way you look at your morning cup of coffee or tea ever since. Her work has been featured in more publications than you can count- Architecture Digest, British Vogue and The New York times- just to name a few. We promise, you'll never look at your mug the same again. Step inside her world.
How did you fall in love with ceramics?
I fell in love with ceramics back in undergrad when I was studying graphic design at CCAD. Playing with clay was my way to take a step away from my computer and use my hands more. After I graduated college, I worked full-time as a designer, but I maintained my love for ceramics. Eventually Lolly Lolly emerged and became a real business. I quit my full-time job just a few months ago in September of 2020.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration in furniture design and product design. Lately I’ve been investing in a lot of architecture books as well for the studio. It’s fun to take the forms of a building, deconstruct it and reimagine those parts for a smaller, more functional piece.
What's the best and hardest part about being a creative making a tangible product?
The best part about making a tangible product is knowing that my customers are going to cherish that thing and care for it for years to come. I get to cherish my pieces when they are in my care and then they get passed on to a new home. The hardest part about making things are the high demand that I now have for my work. I’m currently trying to balance order fulfillment but also quality control. I always aim to maintain the same level of integrity for each product.
Would you ever participate in the 100 day project again? What was your biggest learning from the experience?
I would participate in the project again. It was a lot of fun. Now that I’ve done it once, I have a better understanding of things to avoid. I wouldn’t want to rush another 100 day project just for the sake of it though. It would have to feel right for that stage of my life.
Who are people that are inspiring you?
I love Salehe Bembury. He recently stepped down from his role as VP of Versace footwear, but is moving on to new, bigger things. He's really out there reimagining footwear and that is super inspiring to me.
I also love Mimi Likey. She’s a ceramicist based in Portland. I’ve loved seeing the evolution of her work.
I really love Christian Robinson. He’s an illustrator based in Sacramento who makes the most beautiful children’s book designs.
Tatiana Cardona is another one to watch. She’s a ceramicist based in Miami and you just have to check out her work for yourself. No one is making anything remotely close to her.
What's next? Anything big you're working on or are excited about?
The future is bright for Lolly Lolly Ceramics. We have a lot of projects in store, including the release of new pieces, of course, and I'm considering a Youtube channel to share more of our processes behind the scenes. I have to remind myself that I've only been operating Lolly at full capacity for about 5 months now. A lot of people don't know that I worked a full-time job while growing Lolly for the past 3 years so I try to make sure I'm not getting too ahead of myself. I will say, I am having fun though.
Her mugs sell out fast (don't snooze on her product drops) and can be found on her website or at Madewell. Sign up for her newsletter or follow her on Instagram (@lollylollyceramics) for announcements about mug drops. On Instagram, she shares fun behind the scenes of her process, good music and incredibly talented creatives.
Learn more about the 100 Day Project here.