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How This Ceramics Company Is Moving Forward By Scaling Back Heath Ceramics is focusing on building value over volume.

By Carren Jao

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"Grow big, quickly" sounds like an enviable path to success for a young designer. Not so for Heath Ceramics. The venerable midcentury company is taking a slower, more studied route to growth that challenges preconceived notions of retail success.

Contrary to the usual tactic of manufacturers, the storied American ceramics-maker will have weaned itself off all its wholesale customers by the end of this year, focusing exclusively on direct sales from its own four retail stores and website.

"The low margins from typical distribution channels don't really allow manufacturing to work," explains Robin Petravic, co-owner and managing director of Heath, which has been based in Sausalito, Calif., since its founding in 1948. Rather than gain volume through large wholesale orders, Heath is looking to build value by nurturing a more direct relationship with its customers.

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