Muse No 16: tiktok viral pottery business, Grumpy Kid

Muse No 16: tiktok viral pottery business, Grumpy Kid

Meet Garbo, founder of Grumpy Kid studios. Garbo was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and moved to Canada as a teenager, initially living in Victoria before moving to Toronto! She originally studied architecture I before she began working from home because of the pandemic, which gave her time to focus on other interests such as ceramics... which is how Grumpy came to be!

Tell us your story. 

Back in 2020, I graduated from my architecture degree and started working from home as a BIM specialist. We were forced to stay home and sit in front of a computer for work and for fun. I was searching for an outlet to release my little "creative bug", and air dry clay seemed like the best medium at the time! It was easily accessible ($20 for a pack from amazon), and no kiln was required. I would add funny faces on them to add personalities and paint them with whimsical patterns and shades. After I have created a new piece, I would photograph it and post it on social media. Slowly, it gained traction and people started inquiring about my work, which got me searching for a sturdier material and that's when I found ceramics! I took one hand-building class and the rest is history! My favourite thing about the little grumpy face is that it adds a bit of cuteness and attitude to your everyday mug, so you are less grumpy before you take your first sip of coffee ;)

What would you be doing if not Grumpy? 

    Probably still working as a BIM (Building Information Modeling) specialist/manager at different architecture and construction companies, or have a quarter-life crisis, become a baker and move to France or something like that.

    What is the inspiration behind the mala x grumpy ceramic candle? 

    We took inspiration from the scent! We did a little smelling test among our team and we collectively thought the scent of coco yuzu is the most fitting for the season and for the Grumpy brand!

    What are you looking forward to this year? 

    THE SUMMER IN MONTREAL!!!! And more grumpy wheel-thrown pieces coming to you soon.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

    Hopefully living somewhere closer to my family (walking distance preferably). Building a community around me sharing the love of everything creative!! And ofc, still playing around with clay!  

    What do you love about your job? 

    Favourite part is seeing how we can inspire young individuals who want to pursue art as a career! Not so fave part is when the little monitor on the kiln shows FAIL :'). 

    What are your passions outside of Grumpy? 

    Going to cute coffee shops and buying $7 lattes, making silver jewellery, and meeting up with potters all around the world.


    Shop our limited edition Grumpy x Mala collaboration candle inspired by AAPI heritage month, exclusively on our website this coming Monday at 9am PST. 

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