Meet The Maker: Malcolm McDowell

I've had the pleasure of working with Malcolm McDowell, founder of NowOpenSunday (a Philadelphia based design studio focusing on handmade home goods), and selling his extraordinary candles through The Frequency House!

If you’re able to catch his online product drops, which mostly sell out at launch, you’ll be able to get your hands on beautiful one-of-kind candles, dinnerware, planter pots, and more.

(Source: NowOpenSunday Instagram)

I treat Malcolm’s candles as reserved inventory for The Frequency House pop-ups, because you get to really experience, smell, and see the beautiful nature of his work in person. There’s something special about being able to touch and feel a NowOpenSunday candle in real life before committing to making it yours.

We often forget the physical sensory experiences that come with our purchasing practices. Malcolm’s candles are exemptions from this habit--you can truly appreciate his work and quickly fall in love with the candle scents he creates. At least, that’s the honest reaction I get from folks at shopping events.

(Source: NowOpenSunday Instagram)

Malcolm shares his journey and thought processes on starting NowOpenSunday from diving into ceramics in 2020. Now a business venture for him, Malcolm responds to a Q&A about the ins and outs of his entrepreneurship.

Enjoy this Q&A below!

Q: Back in 2020, you said that you “blindly dove into ceramics”, which was a catalyst decision for the birth of NowOpenSunday. Why did you decide to learn ceramics?
A: The goal for NowOpenSunday has always been to design home goods. However, I struggled to find a way to create in my one bedroom apartment. At some point I learned about the process of slip casting. It gave me the capability to work in small spaces and create unique designs. So I ran with it.

Q: At what point in the process of you learning ceramics did you think “I should turn this into a business”?
A: I always knew it would be a business. I guess I’ve always loved the idea of making a living through my art.

Q: Tell us a bit more about your past professional life, before NowOpenSunday existed.
A: Aside from design, I’ve spent most of the past ten years working in restaurants. I still bartend to this day.

Q: Philadelphia has a plethora of BEAUTIFUL independently owned businesses and projects. Do you feel connected and supported by this creative community? And if so, in what capacity? If not, what are the barriers?
A: Philadelphia’s creative community is super supportive. I’ve been lucky enough to build relationships with artists and businesses alike. If it weren’t for these relationships I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Q: What value does being an entrepreneur (and the really really really difficult process) bring to your life?
A: I think the journey of entrepreneurship centers me in a way. It gives me a clear purpose and reason to wake up in the morning.

Q: Who are the NowOpenSunday customers?
A: NowOpenSunday customers are people who understand the importance of home. They understand that every little thing we see or interact with throughout our day effects the fullness of our lives. Most importantly, they appreciate the small things.

Q: What are the long term goals for NowOpenSunday?
A: The goal is slow and steady growth. I hope to one day release a full line of loungewear along with home decor.

Q: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far for the company?
A: My biggest accomplishment has to be securing studio space for my business. As I mentioned before I was previously working out of my one bedroom apartment. It’s amazing to have a creative space to work in. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s mine.

Q: What has been your biggest hurdle?
A: Time management. As a small business owner they’re is so much to be done. And most of the work has nothing to do with the actual act or creating.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners?
A: Start now. There will always be more to learn. Nothing will ever be perfect. But the sooner you start, the sooner you can improve.

Follow @NowOpenSunday
Written by Lauryn Lee