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  • Writer's pictureRonda LaRue-Clements

The Art of the Vessel

Synergy in Collaboration: the action of working with 2 or more people to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts…


MATT:  Ronda and I just completed this collaborative clay vessel pictured here.  We love projects. We love work. And we work well together.

“Concepts and Details Baby!” That’s my motto when it comes to working with my wife in life, business, and art. As Ronda says: “We’re a master work in progress” (Or was that: “you’re a real piece of work”  …I forget…)

Truthfully, I’d forgotten all about this clay pot I’d thrown on the potter’s wheel in our art studio several months ago. It had been left sitting on a shelf  – set aside as nothing unique or special.

But when this unique finished piece suddenly showed up at our dining table this Easter Morning looking all resurrected and new, I was again astonished (and then again not!) by the interplay and outcome of two people when heart-fully engaging life and creative focus.

I will let Ronda take over from here, because  – well – she’s the “creative Concepts” to my “Poindexter”  (her word) “Details” in this marriage…. And writing may seem like a detail to you, but for me, it definitely falls into the category, concepts.  Take it, Ronda.


RONDA:  I asked to write this post today.  Not only because I’m charmed by how this little clay vessel turned out, but primarily here because (as I look at this ceramic vessel) so many metaphors come to me about the unique way that Matt has evolved his company and his relationship with his investor/client/friends.  I see metaphor and I learn something more about my life, about what is real and what truly matters in relationship to all things – including how my money supports my life.

A very short detour: I remember when Matt was going to “quit his business”. It was shortly after he and I had met in our 40’s.  He was dismayed by the generic ways most financial investment managers and companies worked.

He was frustrated and disturbed to see people come to him with a portfolio from one of the common investment choices utilized by most people today and to find that these individuals all had the same cookie-cutter portfolios (almost to the dotting of the i and crossing of the t ) and regardless of each person’s very different needs, circumstances and values.

What is significant and to the point for me here,  is this:

I have seen first hand, what has evolved in Matt’s business life over the past decade: going from “ready to discard it” dismay over an unremarkable generic industry approach that has continued to under-served the people for whom their money is being managed… to completely revamping and creating this gem of a new business model  – one that now shines (much like this one-of-a-kind vessel) with a uniquely personalized luster that only a deeply engaged collaborative synergy between client and advisor can produce.  That is just so damn cool.

Like the “plain generic clay pot” which sat on our shelf: incomplete, unattended, unused  – a pot that was solid technically but one having not yet been given any personality, luster, finish:  It seems to me that an apropos analogy can be drawn to standard offerings of most money management firms today… They tend to remain similarly generic with plans left on a shelf – under-attended. Utilitarian perhaps, but not directly tied to the beauty of each individual, nor ignited to meaningfully reflect and support that life.

Am I stretching it here?  I don’t think so.  When I look at this finished clay pot made with human hands from the ingredients available: elements of earth, water, and minerals turned by the fire into a lasting legacy of stone and glass, I find myself drawn to many parallels.

spiritual financial money management for personalized investment from RIA Matt Clements Ventura County Ojai California

Collaborative art work: Ronda and Matt Clements 2017

For example, I am drawn to the gold dots that trail the vessel in a seeming random way. And I can’t help but to reflect on the unique pathways for managing money that Matt has developed over the past several years after being ready to “chuck it all” because the utilitarian model of financial investment was not good enough – did not serve what people really genuinely need and deserve as a direct reflection of their lives.

From the fiery frustration with what he saw as insufficient and seriously lacking in the industry today, he has created an integrated, individualized life-specific model for working with people, their lives, and their money. I can see that Matt has brought out the life and luster of his business offering.  He is offering synergy and collaboration so that his clients can experience, first hand, what a real relationship with one’s own money must be and can do to rightly serve and reflect their lives.

…I see the gold dots that play across the rim in an unpredictable way, and I think of our life trail together with it’s movement and sense of direction, but also with it’s many surprises and unanticipated points along the way.  And that makes me appreciate and smile that this is what Matt too designed into his new business model by offering his clients a “financial GPS system” of collaboration together.  He’s not looking to be some expert removed from the changing realities of his client’s lives. He’s making a specific invitation to join forces and create a new financial sum with your currencies – one that goes well beyond the parts alone…

Matt P Clements RIA unique personalized independent registered investment management Ventura County Ojai Caifornia

Ronda and Matt Clements

Well well: I honestly did not know (until just now) why I wanted to write today about this collaborative art work.  I’m proud yes. But more than that: I wanted to write about this clay pot today because (as often is the case in our married life together) Matt created the vessel and solid structure as the ground (and canvass) from which he helped support and facilitate my art and personality coming to life.  And because too: I share Matt’s passion for helping people find, follow, and express their unique beauty and path of purpose.   What a fun surprise to share it here in this way too.

Thank you Matt. Awesome “working” with you!

Post by Ronda LaRue Clements


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