We are a social enterprise for low-income women who have been impacted by homelessness, trauma, poverty and mental health issues. Inspirations Studio is a project of Sistering a woman’s organization that offers practical and emotional support and works to change social conditions, which endanger women’s welfare.
The Mission of Inspirations Studio is to build on women’s capacity to supplement their income and enhance their livelihoods through arts/crafts training, production and business development and related employment and social supports.
Our members attend Inspirations Studio to learn pottery and businesses skills so that they can earn income. Attendance at Inspirations Studio facilitates the recovery of self-esteem, respect, dignity and creates a community of entrepreneurs.
Membership is open to those who identify as women, who are on Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program and who are interested in running a pottery based micro-business. Intake interviews take place in January and classes start in February. Please call 416 367 2728 to ask us about becoming a member.
Inspirations Studio is staffed by professional potters and has five potter’s wheels, two electric kilns, an extruder and slab roller. Members are taught both hand building and wheel throwing; each member is responsible for all aspects of her pottery production with the exception of firing.
Inspiration Studio is also active in the Toronto social enterprise community with membership to Social Enterprise Toronto (SET)
With funding from the Women’s Community Economic Development Network, Inspirations was first established as a craft/artisan collective for under-housed and homeless women in 1994 in a converted church at 761 Queen West. The women who participated were from various art or craft groups from Toronto hostels and drop-in’s, Sistering was one of the drop ins’. Participants received training in artistic and craft production and micro business literacy. Members produced craft products and participated in off-site market places on a regular basis.
The studio received funding from the Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses and then became part of the 761 Community Development Corporation. The shop Prezents of Mind was established on the group floor of 761 Queen as a marketplace for products made by individuals experiencing long-term poverty; the shop sold the work of the members of Inspirations as well as work from artisans across the province.
In 2001 the 761 Community Development Corporation closed and Inspirations lost their funding. The studio members approached Sistering for assistance. Sistering secured funding with the Toronto Enterprise Fund and assumed responsibility for the project. Since then Inspirations Studio has been an innovative social enterprise and has grown since its beginnings in the early 90s.
To purchase our pottery
To buy pottery from the studio or to place a custom order, please contact the studio at 416 367 2728 or email inspirations[at]sistering.org.
To donate to Inspirations Studio
Please contact the Director of Resource Development at 416 962 9762 x 226 or email poconnell[at]sistering.org for addition information on how to target your donation to Inspirations Studio. We are also interested in any ceramic supplies or equipment.
To become a Sistering volunteer
Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 416 926 9762 x 239 or zcastanos[at]sistering.org. We are looking for assistance with photography, graphics and sales at Inspirations Studio sale events.
If you are interested in textiles
If you wish to earn income but prefer to work with textiles, please contact Sistering’s Spun Studio by email at spunstudio[at]sistering.org or call 416 926 9762 x 240. Spun Studio is part of the On The Path Program at Sistering.