Kevin Potter began as fine jeweler in Tucson, Arizona. He specialized in carving custom waxes and casting but also drew the designs and set stones, essentially designing pieces from start to finish. He eventually worked into having his own lineof jewelry that was sold in stores throughout the US. Kevin gained experience using machine tools while attending The University of Arizona, where he received a BFA in drawing/painting.
He worked in the machine shop on campus and eventually started his own machine shop where he used his tools for the production of stainless steel jewelry. He quickly decided to make silver smithing stakes. He always enjoyed using them in college, but could never afford to purchase them. After he made his first few sets, he advertised them on Craig's list in several cities known as artist communities: Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, etc.
Kevin always liked Otto Frei jewelry supply and contacted them about his stakes. They liked them and decided to carry his line of stakes. Gradually he began to make other tools and started the Potter USA website with the help of a friend who was a retired computer programmer.
Kevin Potter owns the company with his wife, Danielle. Kevin works full time for the business. Danielle joined the business full-time in July 2015 and does bookkeeping, website management, marketing and any other items that arise. Their son, Vincent, graduated high school May 2017 and is attending college, where he is majoring in art. He does tool manufacturing and fills in where needed.
Lauren Thompson is Operations Manager. She keeps the place going. The heart of our operations and order fulfillment is in Lauren's area.She oversees the fulfillment of all orders, the packaging and ordering of all products. Frequently she answers the phone to provide direct customer service. Lauren is attending the University of Arizona full-time.
Annie Pennington is our Marketing and Sales Director. She handles social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, You Tube)and places many items for sale on Facebook. She handles the Monthly Potter Box, a subscription for dies each month. Her teaching experience is helpful because she will be making teaching videos for Potter USA. She has a Master's degree in metalsmithing and is former Assistant Editor of Art Jewelry Magazine.
Adolfo Murillo Chavez is the Shipping Manager. He processes the daily orders, prepares the packages, prints labels, processes refunds, and provides customer service through email and the phone. As with our other employees, he also fills in where needed and prepares impression die pucks, presses impression dies and runs errands.
Ian Peterson is our Tool Assembler. He has been working for us since 2015, part-time. He graduated from high school in May 2017 and began working full-time. He assembles the hydraulic presses, guillotine shears and benchtop shears, as well as many of the press accessories. He also prepares all items for freight shipping.
Chris Schmidt is our Marketing Assistant. He photographs and uploads products to the website, manages our Potter People group on Facebook, as well as the Potter Pets group. Website responsibilities are the majority of his job, but he also helps out as needed,and assists with heavy lifting, packing, and other areas. Chris is also learning CAD drawing and is assisting Kevin by drawing new tools.
Eli Roepke is an assistant in shipping and a specialist at pressing impression dies. A large part of the job is finding the dies that have been ordered and pressing them into pucks. Pulling the items to be shipped and packing them in boxes and preparing the daily mailis the other part of the job. He has been a wonderful addition to the team, joining us in May 2018.
Andie Thornton is an artist and assists with packing and shipping. Andie works part-time and has drawn jewelry ideas using our impression dies, has drawn pet images for impression dies. She is working on a mural for our back patio at the shop, which will make it a more welcoming space for our work day BBQs.
Tim Kundrat and Tyler Hummell work part-time as machinists. They both have other jobs but enjoy the antique machines. Their expertise is extremely useful in developing new tools.