A new, family-friendly activity will soon be open at the Cherry and Pickwick intersection in the Rountree Neighborhood. Artistree Pottery (1423 E. Cherry St., Suite 103, Springfield) is a paint-your-own pottery studio, owned and operated by neighborhood resident Rachel Barks.
In December of 2018, Barks, who had worked as an interior designer in the area for 20 years, began losing her vision in one eye due to an autoimmune disease. By February, the vision loss crept into her other eye, and by March she was no longer able to drive.
Never one to give up, Barks knew it was time to pivot and look for a new career she could feel just as passionate about. Having also been a business owner before, she brainstormed ideas that would work in a space that could be leased within walking distance of her home. "I thought you know, there's nothing here at Cherry and Pickwick for families and for something to do and for kids," she says. "I thought a paint-your-own pottery studio would make the perfect fit." And with that, the concept for Artistree Pottery was born.