Stacks of one-of-a-kind mugs, bowls, plates, and vases line the shelves of Sarah Bak's workshop in the basement of her home. It is evidence of her unbreakable ambition.

"I wanted to be able to work from home when I had my kids," Bak said. "I quit my job to go into the studio as a full-time potter. And I thought, 'I'm going to make a career out of it and see what happens.'" Bak took up pottery in high school and worked as an apprentice for a potter in college. She went on to work in art-related fields, making pottery on the side. In 2011, she turned her hobby into a full-time job.

Last-minute gifts can still be handmade

The whir of the potter's wheel is now in overdrive, as Bak forms her handcrafted creations to meet an expected increased demand for her pottery. Bak sells her handcrafted items through her shop, Sarah Bak Pottery, on Amazon Handmade.

Just a few years ago, Bak’s business was in trouble. "After you would do a craft show that maybe wasn't profitable or where the weather was just horrible and you're just sitting out in the rain, you really do start to have doubts about whether this is the right path to take," she said.

Craft shows and art fairs weren't cutting it. Bak knew she needed to boost her online presence. In 2015 she started selling on Amazon Handmade and sales have been rising ever since. "Handmade has really launched my work out there in a way that I didn't know I could achieve."

Bak is now seeking a bigger space beyond her basement to continue growing her business. "It was my dream to be a studio potter and to be doing what I'm doing. You can't achieve your dreams if you don't put yourself out there. And luckily Handmade has made that possible for me."

Amazon Handmade has grown to offer customers hundreds of thousands of handcrafted items from thousands of artisans in all 50 states and across more than 60 countries.