Amidst whimsical walls filled with more than 300 types of paintable pottery, you’ll most definitely hear Painted Peacock owner Susan Bucci’s bubbly laughter before you see her. Formerly named the “Accidental Artist,” Bucci bought the business and transformed it into the popular paint-your-own pottery studio in Greenville’s Arlington Village…a business venture made all the more remarkable by the fact Bucci has no formal training in painting.

“What’s really great about what we do is that you don’t need to be an artist to have fun,” said Bucci. “I think that’s what appealed to me. I can’t draw. I have terrible handwriting, but you can still leave and feel proud of yourself.”

But after a few successful years in business, Bucci realized she needed to diversify to keep her customers happy. That’s when she called on the Pitt Community College Small Business Center. Bucci took a strong interest in the center’s business leadership seminars and couldn’t get enough.

“I love them, and I want to send my managers to them now because they were the best classes I’ve ever taken,” she said. “And I still can’t believe they’re free!”

PCC Small Business experts helped facilitate an ongoing survey to better identify what Bucci’s customers need. From that information, she expanded her offerings to include the popular board art and even developed partnerships with the local Girl Scout troops for fun “girls’ nights,” all at no additional cost.

“I never understood how important networking is,” she said. “You need a support system. Everybody’s helping one another out. It’s not just profitable but fun, and you get to know your community.”

– Alexander Freedman