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Meet the Alumni

Shawn Laughlin

Sherborn, MA

Industry
Manufacturing
Year founded
2007
Business
Caskata Artisanal Home
Partner College
Wellesley College
As a small, domestic artisanal manufacturer, if you don’t own all the pieces of the manufacturing process, you’re going to have a hard time getting that product to market at a good price. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses gave me a framework in which to step back to do something.

Business Overview

Caskata is one of the last remaining porcelain manufacturers to make and design its high-end tableware in the U.S.

Challenges

Shawn founded the company by applying her expertise in graphic design to creating beautiful porcelain tableware. But as one of the last domestic porcelain manufacturers in the country, it was difficult for Shawn to turn the company profitable—despite strong sales growth.

Results

Participating in the 10,000 Small Businesses program helped Shawn think differently about the company’s processes. After graduating from the program, she restructured the company’s supply-chain processes by bringing more of the company’s production and manufacturing capabilities in house while reducing her cost of goods. She has also expanded her warehouse facilities and boosted inventory, hired two more employees and is exploring strategic partnerships.