People are always more than they seem. The age-old expression ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ has proven true time and time again, and, whenever we think we have someone figured out, they swoop in, amaze us, and show us something new.
Our latest source of surprise and inspiration came from Jim Keffer – yes, that Jim Keffer. You may know him as the owner and operator of Charlotte’s Keffer Auto Group. A distinguished businessman, Keffer’s life and career is seemingly dominated by the auto-sales industry and all that it takes to keep that up as a thriving business. But there’s something more driving Jim Keffer: art. When he isn’t running his businesses, you’ll find Keffer tinkering with beautiful pottery.
Like most young people, Jim Keffer only sought out Appalachian State’s Introduction to Pottery class for an easy A in college. Soon, Keffer was spending his days and nights in the studio, and developed a real passion for pottery throwing.
But, as with most things we love in our youth, Keffer’s art had to take a back seat for the remainder of his college years. Thirty years and a hugely successful career later, Keffer found pottery again when he made the acquaintance of his now close friend and fellow potter Lambeth Marshall. Through Marshall, Keffer was able to reignite his love for pottery and delve back into the work he once enjoyed so much.
Now, in the humble garage studio space that he’s allocated for himself, Keffer crafts his works of clay. And it isn’t merely a creative outlet, rather Keffer’s aim is a noble one: to create gallery-worthy pieces, sell them, and promptly give all of the proceeds back to charity.
“The auto sales business and pottery-making are completely different endeavors,” Keffer explains, “but I have a wide range of interests, and participating in activities that are completely different helps satisfy my desire to get the most out of life with the gifts that I have been given.” Jim Keffer has surprised us in the best possible way: “I’ve always believed in paying it forward and giving back. Having the opportunity to help others is the right thing to do and feels great.”