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Ohio Explored's mission is simply to awaken people to the beauty of Ohio.

Ohio Made

Filtering by Category: 2018 Summer Maker Mart

Prospect Jam Co.

Rikki Teeters

Prospect Jam Co. is a small business based in Cincinnati. Owner, Emily Hutton, makes small-batch preserves with natural ingredients. We interviewed this new business owner about her delicious jams! Meet Prospect Jam Co. on June 3 at our Summer Maker Mart at Strongwater Columbus!

Prospect Jam Co

Tell us about your business (name, location, background, mission, etc.).

Prospect Jam Co. is an artisan preserve company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. We make Copper Crafted, Small-Batch Preserves. PJco specializes in a variety of jams and marmalades with a focus on seasonal and intentionally unique flavors.

We take pride in our process. Our preserves are cooked in copper pots and produced in small batches. By crafting in the traditional French method, we are able to extract only the natural pectin within the fruit itself, without the addition of preservatives. We focus on the details, from the ingredients we use, to our packaging, to how we prepare each fruit before preservation. We believe in sourcing organic and local ingredients when we can.

We’re brand new (!) and we’re super excited to be a part of the Ohio maker community. You can currently find selections of our preserves at the following retailers in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio: Pistacia Vera (Columbus), The Rhined, Rooted Juicery, Deerhaus Decor and Mainwood Pastry. Keep a look out for us at local fleas and markets too!

Prospect Jam Co.

What drew you to your craft?

It has been such an amazing journey and a fairly organic one. Honestly, I needed every stepping stone to get where I am today, and look forward to many more. It started baking beside my grandmother. I always loved being her helper when she let me. I loved everything about the art of baking and its process. The more we spent time in the kitchen together the more I wanted to help out. When it came to settling on a program in college; it was the same commitment to process that came with making, that drew me to visual art. It became clear that working with my hands was how I liked to work, interacting with and touching the materials themselves. I became fond of organic materials specifically, from there, it only made sense that I explore working in clay. I graduated with a BFA in ceramics from The Ohio State University. There, I had been making things out of clay that looked liked edible pastries. I knew it was time to start working in the food industry, in whatever capacity I could get.

I am very fortunate to have connected with two amazing, hard-working, family owned businesses in the years following. Both, The Northstar Cafe and Pistacia Vera, in Columbus provided me with experience in the food world. While balancing teaching ceramics at a small studio and learning the workings of the restaurant, I fell in love with the environment and the hospitality industry. At that point, the opportunity to work full time in the pastry kitchen presented itself, of course I said yes. There I learned everything I could and continued to pursue my interests in food in whatever spare time I had. Eventually, I was given the opportunity to lead a team of people doing the thing I was most passionate about, making things like cake, cookies, dough and jam, as well as creating experiences for our guests.

My husband and I had the opportunity to move to Cincinnati in 2015 and I couldn’t say no. The culinary scene here is thriving with independent business and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. The preserve business was a natural transition from the pastry gig, where I had done development for a line of jam and marmalades. The experience I had working with materials and ingredients in the past and the relationship between them, played a role in deciding to pursue my interest in preservation. It’s almost as if every batch has its own identity, just as a single platter or mug can have its own. For me, the joy is in nurturing every batch to create something lovely.

Prospect Jam Co.

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

I’ve made a lot of things, in lots of mediums at this point. Many of them on a crazy, conceptual idea. ( i.e. a chocolate molded Barbie filled with rendered bacon fat - not intended for consumption, to be clear, but now that I think about it…) My favorite is a simple brioche dough. I still enjoy baking it and eating it, topped with a little salt and sugar with a PJco seasonal jam. Though, the marmalades tend to be my favorite. In a way, it becomes a variation on the Orange Rolls I used to make with my Grandmother every holiday.

PROSPECT_JAM_co.jpg

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was younger, I had a decent rock collection so naturally I wanted to be a geologist. I spent a lot of time looking at sand underneath microscopes and recording what part of the world it came from and the minerals it was composed of. Looking back, my experiences in some way have shaped who I am and what I do today. I was able to apply my interest in materials to ceramics previously. Now I get to apply the science to ingredients and fruit through cooking and pastry.

Prospect Jam Co.

What is your creative process?

I’m a Virgo so, lots of list making. Brainstorming combined with shopping at farmers markets and liquor stores for inspiration. I always tell people I build the jam flavors like I would build a cocktail, so that's where the liquor piece come in. It also comes with a fair amount of testing, adding layers of flavors or ingredients and finding the most dynamic, unique and satisfying one. I find a lot of inspiration through travel and the eating experiences I have had and the cocktails I’ve imbibed.

Prospect Jam Co.

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Of course, people say this all the time but truly, you will learn invaluable lessons from making mistakes and experiencing failure. Take those, apply what you have learned and move forward.

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

My father is an artist, so I grew up around art. Throughout my life, I’ve continued to surround myself with people that make art in some way, shape, or form. Not only do I appreciate art, but I feel it is important to support artists because those are the people that fuel my own creativity and the communities around them. The makers, whether that be a ceramicist, a chef, a painter or an artisan bread baker, these are the people that help shape the culture within our state and beyond.

Prospect Jam Co.

Why do you love doing what you do?

I am continuously grateful for the opportunity to get to do what I do. To be a maker. The support I have received from my husband, small business owners, professors and family where they have provided mentorship, education and encouragement is incredible. I love the process, the continuous learning and the explorative nature of being a business owner and jam maker. The cooking part, especially pastry and sweet things, requires intuition and patience. I get to learn and practice both of those too. I get the opportunity to teach and learn about flavors and ingredients simultaneously. I get to continue exploring. I get to share it with others, in hopes of inspiring someone else or simply creating a moment of enjoyment. To be able to share and create an experience through a tiny detail that might be tucked on a cheese board or hidden in a layer of cake. Or maybe the preserve is the star of the show on morning toast. These are the things that make it rewarding.

Prospect Jam Co.

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

I don’t know how qualified I am to be giving advice, I am a brand new business owner! The one thing I will say is when you know you are passionate about something, when something feels just right when you’re participating in it, pursue that. Pursue the things that your intuition, mind and body are telling you to do and commit to it.

Prospect Jam Co.

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I have lived in Ohio my whole life. I’ve gotten to witness its growth as a state. I am proud to see national recognition for the artisans and businesses that have created something noteworthy. I also love seeing connections that business owners and organizations, such as Ohio Explored, are providing to link more of our Ohio cities together. Moving from Columbus to Cincinnati, I had hoped to see more of a connection between the two cities and it is happening. I can’t wait to see how strong our mighty Ohio community can grow.

Prospect Jam Co.

Lucca Workshop

Rikki Teeters

Lucca Workshop is a small business in Cincinnati. Owner, Lindsey Estes, creates laser cut products in her beautiful Over-the-Rhine studio. She designs high quality unique goods that you cannot find anywhere else. Lucca is often celebrated as one of Etsy's best Makers! We interviewed this awesome local maker to learn more about her journey and her craft. Meet Lucca on June 3 at our Summer Maker Mart

Lucca

Tell us about your local business.

My name is Lindsey, and I am the owner, designer and machinist behind Lucca Workshop! Lucca is a retail shop and laser studio that specializes in wood and paper gifts, home decor and custom design. Our mission is to create natural, functional and affordable products; mixing the importance of using natural eco-conscious products and mixing beauty with function!

Lucca

What drew you to your craft?

I was raised in my father's machine shop - I learned the trade of laser design and the perseverance of entrepreneurship from him. Being trained on creating highly detailed, industrial parts, I always knew the details of the machines were very similar to the detail of my drawing techniques. After my first year of University at CCAD, I quickly realized school was not the route for me. So with my love for linear design and symmetrical detail, I took my knowledge for machining and my love for functional, natural design and I started my own business!

Lucca

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

My favorite product to create is my greeting cards. We don't create just any normal greeting card here at Lucca. We have an array of laser cut wood, paper and floral cards! Creating cards is my stress reliever. They can be as goofy, creative and weird as I want them to be! Creating an item I have never seen before is my goal :)

Lucca
Lucca

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a little girl my mom gave me a journal. Each day the journal prompted questions and you filled them out accordingly. I remember one of the questions at the intro of the journal was, "What do you want to do when you're older?" I wrote, "I want to be a mom, an artist and own a store." Here I am, 28, a mother to a little boy, a designer, and I have a small retail store in the heart of Cincinnati :)

Lucca

What is your creative process?

The creative process here at Lucca consists of A LOT of design work. Many hours are spent every day designing, setting up our machines, testing designs and editing. All of our designs are created or sourced by Lucca. Even when we purchase artwork from other artists, there is an extensive process the design has to endure before it is ready to be created into a product. When people think laser machine they believe it's as simple as hitting 'print' on a printer - our process is MUCH more extensive than that. Aside from the countless hours designing, most of our time is spent prepping wood, sanding, staining, sealing, packaging, etc.. On top of our product line, we also create all of our packaging here at Lucca!

Lucca
Lucca

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

If I could give myself any advice, past and present me, DO WHAT YOU WANT! If you want to do something, create something, start a business, just DO IT. Stop waiting around for the right moment or to get people's opinions. The best time to start is NOW. And if you have an idea just run with it! The best way to test opinion is just to create the product and put it out there. It might not catch right away, it might not be perfect, but there is no better time to try than right now, and no one is going to see it unless you confidently put it out into the world. Do it. Do it NOW!

Lucca

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

It is important to support small and local because that is the way a city murmurs. Your money spent is a small investment in how you want the future to be. Supporting "small" is allowing all of us to have more availability to new jobs, creativity, new products and a thriving city! You are supporting a small business venture and allowing a product to be in this world that might not exist in a big box store.

Lucca

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love doing what I do because I am able to freely create whatever I want. The moment I create a new product, I can stick it directly into my retail store and test the market. Although I regiment my schedule, design process and the way we run Lucca's retail store, I have a lot of flexibility in the fact that I can do whatever I want with my business! I am my own boss, and there is no one to direct me. If I believe something will work, all I have to do is try! :)

Lucca

What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?

Advice I would lend to other business owners... If you want to create work for someone or a custom brand, just create it for them! Work for the companies you want to work for by presenting your work in front of them. Other companies are constantly in search of new products, designs and merchandising - the best way to get in front of them is to present yourself to them.

Lucca

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

My favorite thing about Ohio is the community within the cities! Everyone is so willing to work within Ohio, support local, search local, shop local. It is really a unique location because there is SO MUCH to explore, shop and see. And everyone in Ohio seems to want to pay it forward within Ohio. Sometimes people think Ohio is just a barren farmland, but it is quite the opposite!

Lucca

Eco-Raw Studio

Rikki Teeters

Eco-Raw is a small business located in Cincinnati. Owner, Sonja Thams, naturally dyes textiles by hand. We love her dedication to using ethically made materials! We interviewed this talented local Maker to learn more about her craft. Meet Eco-Raw Studio on June 3, 2018 at our Summer Maker Mart in Columbus, Ohio!

Eco-Raw Studio

Tell us about your local business.

Eco-Raw Studio is a natural dye or plant based dye textile studio located in Cincinnati, Ohio. My focus is on handmade, local, sustainable and eco friendly designs. Our mission is to create items for everyday use that are ethically made from start to finish. Fabrics are dyed using ancient and new techniques that create bright and beautiful colors. Lots of experimenting and testing of colors and fabrics goes into the process of making an item before it is ready to be sold.

Eco-Raw Studio

What drew you to your craft?

During my studies at the Columbus College of Art and Design, I had a focus in fashion and attended several surface design courses. In one of my classes we had a small project with natural dyes and ever since then I was drawn to the craft. I started experimenting and testing out new designs and colors. From there I expanded and used natural dyes in my senior thesis and continued my experimentation and learning after school.

One of the most intriguing things about dyeing with plants is how sensitive each dye can be to different environments such as heat, water PH, vinegar and so on. I found experimenting fascinating and kept trying new thing to see how many solutions I could come up with. One the year i worked on my thesis I came up with over 100 different colors from about 10 different dye sources. 

Eco-Raw Studio
Eco-Raw Studio

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

One of my favorite items i have made was part of my thesis project. It is a all natural wool tear drop room divider that is naturally dyed dark blue and hangs from floor to ceiling. Among my designs were also a yellow light fixture and green wall hangings. All my designs were naturally dyed, cut and sew by hand.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I never had just one profession that I wanted to be when I was young, but I always knew that I wanted to do something with nature or animals. For awhile I wanted to be a vet, then a marine biologist. Throughout my education, I have gained interest in becoming my own boss and growing my own business. I looked into ways I could combine my passions.

Eco-Raw Studio

What is your creative process?

I get inspired by details and colors I find in nature from my local area and my travels. I love to find unique textures shapes and colors and integrate them into my work. 

Eco-Raw Studio

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

I would tell my 10 year old self to never stop being creative and push the boundaries of art and design. As well as keep imagining it ones of the best tools we have as artists.

Eco-Raw Studio

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

As an artist myself and as a shop owner of Deerhaus Decor, I see the importance of supporting local and USA made work more than ever. People have shifted to appreciating quality handmade goods that are made with time and care. Items that are handmade last longer and give people pride of ownership. These are some of the many reason I think it is important to support local makers and artists

Eco-Raw Studio

Why do you love doing what you do?

I do what I do because I love to work with my hands and be able to create and design. I love to have the flexibility and freedom that being your own boss gives you.

Eco-Raw Studio

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

If you want to start your own business you need to really enjoy what you are doing because you will end up working some long and hard days. Working for yourself or being the boss means that no matter what, you are finally responsible for thing getting done. And finally be flexible to change and shift as your business grows.

Eco-Raw Studio

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I enjoying finding all the unique hidden parks that are so gorgeous and inspirational. I also enjoy meeting new people and making connections.

Eco-Raw Studio

Double Clutched

Rikki Teeters

Double Clutched is a small business based out of Columbus. Owner, Cheryl Williams, creates unique bags and accessories by hand. We interviewed this amazing local entrepreneur to learn more about her Ohio-made business. Meet Double Clutched on June 3, 2018 at our Summer Maker Mart in Columbus, Ohio!

Double Clutched

Tell us about your Ohio-made business.

Double Clutched is owned by Cheryl Williams and was started in 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. You’ll find uniquely crafted and inspiring functional handcrafted clutches, wallets, and handbags from Double Clutched. In 2017, Double Clutched expanded to the Double Clutched Mobile Shop, which is a 6x12 trailer turned lifestyle goods and accessories shop. Each vendor inside the mobile shop is a women owned business and the items are handcrafted and from all over the United States.

Double Clutched

What drew you to your craft?

Both my mother and brother sew. They are gifted with the craft of sewing clothing. Myself, not so much. I sew clothes for myself but that’s were I know my limitations. 😊 However handbags can be created to be so bold yet also functional. Everyone doesn’t necessarily want the same styled tote or crossbody bag. They may want something only a few people can get and something that compliments what they already wear and feel comfortable in.

Double Clutched

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

Last winter I started making a new design for my fold over clutches. They are so functional having a back pocket along with a snap closure but are still compact. I’ll start adding adjustable straps to them soon, to be used as a crossbody bag.

Double Clutched

What did you want to be when you grew up?

An astronaut. I will still go to space given the chance. In April I got to see the Endeavor Space Shuttle in person and it was so amazing to experience.

Double Clutched

What is your creative process?

Designs have to make sense to me. A nice looking bag or wallet is nothing if you can’t fit anything in it or only use it to look good. It needs to be functional AND look good. I only pick designs based on that. Fabrics have to unique, likeable, and something that looks nice on a variety of designs. Those two together is what inspires me to create my bags.

Double Clutched

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

It’s ok to find a job you love and be an entrepreneur. You can have both and be successful. Balance is key and time management will be extremely important. Also, it’s okay to ask for help.

Double Clutched

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

It’s important to support local artists & makers because they are your friends, your neighbors, your family, your colleagues, your teachers, your waiter, etc. They are what makes something local. Local creates a city’s identity and uniqueness.

Double Clutched

Why do you love doing what you do?

Sewing is a creative outlet for me. No two bags are alike. There’s so much variation and that keeps it motivating and exciting. The mobile shop allows me to further support small businesses and bring a uniqueness to local shoppers.

Double Clutched

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

Find a network. Whether it’s Facebook groups, Meet Ups, conferences, craft show buddies, doesn’t matter. Makers can always learn from each other, near and far.

Double Clutched

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

It’s always growing and bringing in new people to add to the city’s local scene, uniqueness and diversity.

Double Clutched

sarahthehout: creative endeavors

Rikki Teeters

Sarah DeAngulo Hout is an artist in Columbus, Ohio. She creates illustrations, art and large scale murals through her small business "sarahthehout: creative endeavors". We interviewed Sarah to learn more about her background and her craft. Meet sarahthehout: creative endeavors at our Summer Maker Mart on June 3, 2018! 

sarahthehout

Tell us about your local business.

I am Sarah DeAngulo Hout and my freelance biz is “sarahthehout: creative endeavors.” My main gig is mural painting and random commission work, but sometimes I create smaller works so that I can indulge in an artist market here and there. I also have a side hustle I started a year ago called BrightEyes Prints & Fundraising. I grew up in the village of West Milton, Ohio, but I have called Columbus, Ohio home now for about 14 years. My overall mission is to create artwork that bears divine weight – images that move the heart, but engage the mind as well.

sarahthehout

What drew you to your craft?

Creating has always been natural and exhilarating for me. However, if it weren’t for my high school art teacher, Mrs. Tryon, I don’t think I would have ever decided to focus on art as my career. She encouraged me to pursue a degree at the Columbus College of Art & Design… And giving in to her loving prod was honestly one of the best decisions of my life. While at CCAD, I chose to make Illustration my focus – I loved the diversity of each assignment, and that is why I love what I do now. Though I rarely create classically termed “illustration” work these days, each job is totally different than the last… Each gig has unique challenges and subject matter, and I find that fantastically fulfilling.

sarahthehout

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

Oh man, that’s a tough one! I pour my heart into every mural and work of art that I create, and even though there are pieces that I created 10 years ago that I desperately want to alter because I’ve grown leaps and bounds since then, I still have such a deep affection for those older works. Each painting is one of my children, haha… They’re all my favorites. ;)

sarahthehout

What did you want to be when you grew up?

If you asked me when I was 9, I would have said a “teacher.” But that’s because I didn’t know I could actually be an artist! In my small town, the only artists I knew growing up were the lady who did rad outdoor senior photos and the crazy guy who created giraffe sculptures with a chainsaw out of wood. I never knew I that being an artist was actually a career option!

sarahthehout

What is your creative process?

Since I create a lot of custom commission work, I often go to the space where the piece is going to be viewed. Then I ask about the overall vision of the client (if any) and feel it out. I ask myself questions like, “What colors will accent the work’s future home and make it sing? What ideas can I communicate visually that bridge the gap between the artwork and the space?) I marinate in all of the elements, and I do my best to not rush the inspiration process. I try to push past my initial ideas, because you never know what juicy ones are laying a little deeper, waiting to be unearthed.

sarahthehout: creative endeavors

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Take more risks. Don’t be afraid to look like a fool. Get to know the artists who are shaking up the city, and put yourself in positions where you can chat with the affluent business owners and make more connections. Stop worrying about how you’re going to pay the bills, and just keep moving forward. Don’t let a seeming lack of resources make you stagnant – they will come as long as you put one foot in front of the other.

sarahthehout

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

Why wouldn’t you?! Why buy commercial when you have the option to buy local? Invest in your community. Artist and makers are front line pioneers who work hard to create unique, personal works, pushing the envelope and saying no to fear. They’re the right kind of risk takers and they represent the character of the community.

sarahthehout

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

Just go for it. Don’t despise small beginnings, and just start taking those baby steps. Stop making excuses and waiting for the right moment. Doors of opportunity don’t usually open unless you’re moving forward.

sarahthehout

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

Surprises are one of my ultimate love languages, and I’m constantly amazed & surprised at how beautiful our state is! I love that we have so many different types of landscapes… from wide open fields that roll for miles, to gorgeous wooded trails, lazy lakes and sprawling northern coast lines… what’s not to love!?

sarahthehout

Lily Noelle

Rikki Teeters

Lily Noelle is an awesome small jewelry business in Columbus, Ohio! Owner, Heidi Kliewer, says that her mission is to empower women to feel beautiful. She creates key statement pieces using hand-cut leather, hand-painted wood, semi-precious stones, and hand-wrapped sterling silver. Her meticulous craftsmanship inspires confidence through beauty & color. Meet Lily Noelle at our Summer Maker Mart on June 3!

Portions of Lily Noelle's sales benefit at-risk women in the Dominican Republic where Lily Noelle was privileged to teach the art of jewelry making & as a result an organization was formed to provide education, training, & the skill-set necessary to earn an income with dignity.

Lily Noelle Jewelry

Tell us about your Ohio-made business.

Momma by day, designer by night! Lily Noelle is an original line of jewelry meticulously crafted from my studio in Clintonville. I use semi-precious stones, sterling silver, gold-filled findings, hand-painted wood, leather, crystal and vintage items. The process of each design begins with me personally selecting each stone and material while venturing to shows and auctions worldwide, and ends with heart-felt packaging and customer service. Since childhood, I have had a flair for style and a love for jewelry. I attribute my love for color and all things beautiful and unique to the creative and talented women in my family. My mother, aunts, grandmother and great grandmothers all excelled in the home arts and instilled an appreciation for beauty and quality craftsmanship in me. In college, the design classes I took helped me look outside the box and embrace color and pattern as inspiration.

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What drew you to your craft?

Making and designing jewelry is instant gratification. Having loved jewelry at an early age, creating something for myself to wear or to give away to friends & family is a joy!

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

I’m proud of the Heidi Collection - one of a kind pieces made from vintage brooches. I love taking a family heirloom with a story & remaking it into something relevant today.

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What did you want to be when you grew up?

My degree is in mathematics education. I taught high school math for 4 years and started my small business early in my teaching career. Soon, I found myself filling orders on nights and weekends and went out on my own! Now 15 years later, I am so thankful for that decision & for the opportunities I have had.

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What is your creative process?

My creative process has changed through the years. 15 years ago, I didn’t have children, so my day revolved around my business. Now I have to be content on smaller snippets of time to be creative, and this happens once they are in bed. This will evolve over time, and I want to be grateful for the time I have with my children while they are young.

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

I would tell myself to have confidence & keep doing what I love. Don’t worry about others’ success by comparing yourself to them. Be thankful for the blessings you have and always be grateful.

Lily Noelle Jewelry

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

I love shopping local and investing in small businesses. The community I have found in Columbus is so encouraging and welcoming. Having started my business in VA, and then moving to SC, then to Ohio nearly 4 years ago, I can say that Ohio has been the most welcoming. And I love that because I was born and raised in Columbus.

Lily Noelle Jewelry

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love empowering women to feel beautiful by creating key statement pieces with quality materials & meticulous craftsmanship that inspire confidence through beauty & color.

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

If people are begging you to buy what you are wearing, then you know you have a great product! Do it the right way from the start...legally through the state and with insurance. Work hard, but don’t do it if you don’t love it! Because if you love it, then it’s not work!

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I love exploring Ohio in all four seasons - from beautiful scenery, especially flowers, to the local foodie destinations around town. I love that Ohio has so much to offer and I know that I will never lack for things to explore!

Lily Noelle Jewelry

Behind the Scenes with mrly

Rikki Teeters

mrly was founded in December 2016 by Kyoko Seki and Trevor Potulski. After spending a combined nineteen years in fashion retail at Abercrombie & Fitch, they each decided it was time for a new adventure. mrly is now a thriving local brand that makes simply comfortable clothing for children. Last year, we interviewed mrly to learn more about their new business. Now, they are taking us behind the scenes to see how their high quality goods are brought to live. Meet mrly on June 3 at our Summer Maker Mart in Columbus, Ohio!

mrly Brand Columbus

The most important thing that we learned in our professional careers in corporate retail is that product is king. Nothing matters if the customer doesn’t like your product, it’s as simple as that. This perspective is so deeply rooted in our mindset and an obsessive focus on the product is what drives us every single day.

Creating new product is easily our favorite part of the job—we are constantly tinkering with the details until it’s perfect. After all, as they say in retail, change is the only constant!

All of our items start as an idea formed from creative brainstorm sessions.

mrly Brand Ohio

The idea is then translated to a hand drawn sketch by Kyoko.

mrly Brand Ohio

Once we sign off on the sketch, we like to pick out colors to really bring the product to life.

mrly Brand Ohio

With the color palette finalized, it’s time to create a paper pattern (the template used to cut out the fabric pieces) and a tech pack that includes all of the instructions on how to sew and construct the garment.

If everything turns out the way that we intend, we have a good-looking prototype that is ready to be reviewed on different bodies to ensure that it fits well.

mrly Brand Ohio

After the fit has been reviewed and perfected for all sizes, we are able to begin bulk production. We’ll use past selling info as well as our gut to decide how many to make by color and size.

mrly Brand Ohio

Now that we have all the inventory, it’s time to start selling! You can find our product online at www.mrlybrand.com or all across Ohio at different markets, fleas and pop-ups.

mrly Brand Ohio
mrly Brand Ohio

And don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @mrlybrand-- seeing your pics makes us so happy!

mrly Brand Columbus
mrly Brand Columbus
mrly Brand Columbus
mrly Brand Columbus
mrly Brand Columbus
mrly Brand Columbus

Deep Valley Crafts

Rikki Teeters

Deep Valley Crafts creates hand embroidered pieces & accessories in Dublin, Ohio. We have several of their patches and we love them! Owner, Brittni Tiefenthal, was kind enough to allow us to interview her for our Ohio Made blog! Meet Deep Valley Crafts at our Summer Maker Mart on June 3, 2018!  

Deep Valley Crafts

Tell us about your local business.

My name is Brittni and I make hand embroidered accessories out of Dublin, Ohio. The name of my business actually comes from my own last name – Tiefenthal means “Deep Valley” in German. I began this business simply as a way to direct my creative energy, but I’ve found that it’s morphing into my way of helping people (and myself) display who they are and what they’re proud of. Personal identity is a crazy important thing to be aware of and celebrate, and I think pinning what you’re about to your jacket makes it easier to love and accept yourself.

Deep Valley Crafts

What drew you to your craft?

I’ve always been attracted to fiber art of all sorts – I’ve tried crochet, knitting, macramé, needle felting, sewing, and more. I still love those creative outlets, but once I landed on embroidery I knew that it was the craft I would stick with. It combines aspects of many other mediums which keeps things interesting, and the process is very therapeutic and meditative for me. Embroidery is making a comeback in some cheeky and unexpected ways, and I absolutely love pushing what people expect to see when I say “I’m an embroidery artist”. I also love that embroidery is a relatively inexpensive hobby to pick up and try, and I encourage anyone out there to grab a needle!

Deep Valley Crafts

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

This is a tricky question for me because I typically enjoy the creative process much more than the actual finished product. The pieces I like the most are the ones where a tough decision or new technique really pays off. I’m quite proud of my honeybee hoop, which was one of the first projects I tried incorporating watercolor into. I also love how my first attempt at thread-painting, a little framed pansy I made for a coworker, turned out. I really live for the moments when I nail a custom order and my client is excited about it!

Deep Valley Crafts

Deep Valley Crafts made the patches for this beautiful wedding dress!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was in High School I was sure I wanted to be an English teacher and author. Then I was sure I wanted to be a curator in a museum, and started taking Art History courses at OSU. I decided that I wasn’t dedicated enough to that field and switched to an English major, and graduated with Art History and Professional Writing as minors. Now 3 years out of college, I’m working in an unrelated field while running my own small business and freelance writing on the side. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up! My goal now is to be able to look back and be proud of what I’ve accomplished so far rather than stress about choosing my “calling” before I’ve tried everything else.

Deep Valley Crafts

What is your creative process?

I am greatly inspired by my contemporaries regarding both the creative and the business aspects of selling my own work. I follow embroidery artists, enamel pin makers, textile artists, photographers, digital artists, small business owners, Etsy sellers, and more across various social media platforms, and I am constantly delighted by the innovations and trends I see. I think a sense of community is extremely important for handmade and creative businesses, and seeing other textile artists come together and support each other along with social and political causes is incredibly motivational.

In terms of my personal creativity, nailing down a concept I’m really excited about is one of the hardest parts of my embroidery. The second most challenging aspect for me is color choice. I think it’s about time I learn some color theory! Once that’s all decided though, the rest is usually smooth sailing. I enjoy the methodical and meditative stitching process and love to see things come together.

Deep Valley Crafts

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

It’s taken me a very long time to stop apologizing for who I’m not and be confident in who I am. Negative thinking is a hard rut to get out of and I still find myself doubting my self-worth and convictions, even while writing this little paragraph! I would tell myself to start breaking these negative habits and start celebrating the things about myself that I was proud of much sooner.

Deep Valley Crafts

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

Honestly? It’s in everyone’s best interest! You get to support a unique and diverse local economy which is amazing, yes. But in less grand-scheme terms, you get to relate to the person or group who made your local item in a way you can’t to an Amazon Prime box. Local makers are influenced by and create for their environment, meaning that your products are catered specifically to someone just like you. That sense of community and uniqueness is something I really love and appreciate.

Deep Valley Crafts

Why do you love doing what you do?

My love of selling my own embroidery is twofold. The first reason is because I get to continuously make things without cluttering up my house or over-gifting to my family! The second is due to the reactions of the people who receive my work. Enthusiastic feedback from customers really keeps me going, especially when their item proudly displays what makes them unique.

Deep Valley Crafts

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

Never stop paying attention and learning! Staying flexible, trying out new approaches, and evaluating how you feel after experimenting during every aspect of your process is really important while determining your brand, your style, your product, and your niche. This also means paying attention to yourself – you should try to prioritize your happiness and values over everything, because if you’re overworked or unhappy it will show.

Deep Valley Crafts

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

Ohio, Columbus in particular, has something for everyone. Pretty much whatever your thing is, you can either find it already established or find the right community to support you while you introduce it yourself. It’s boggling to see just how many things go on around here, and how many of those things are new!

Deep Valley Crafts

Midwest Mermaid

Rikki Teeters

Midwest Mermaid is a small business in Columbus. Owner, Angela Stiftar, creates prints by hand in her Ohio-based studio. We love the whimsical nature of her designs. We interviewed Angela to learn more about her background and her creative process. Meet Midwest Mermiad on June 3 at our Summer Maker Mart!

Midwest Mermaid

Tell us about your Ohio-made business.

I am Angela Stiftar, the founder of Midwest Mermaid. From a young age I have been infatuated with all things creative: drawing, painting, poetry, theatre, dance, photography, you name it. I believe inspiration is everywhere and world travel is my favorite source. My whimsical love of mermaids symbolizes beauty, courage, adventure, and folklore. The midwest to me signifies friendliness and family, plus it is where I proudly call home. Mix these values together, and there you have it – Midwest Mermaid was born!

Midwest Mermaid

What drew you to your craft?

Drawing and painting have always been a hobby, but unfortunately one that was constantly pushed aside due to long hours in agency life. Once I started freelancing, I finally had the creative energy to pursue my fine art again, and my newfound love of print making emerged. The therapeutic process of carving the blocks is my favorite part; not having an easy ⌘Z (undo button) forces me to slow down and enjoy the creativity.

mermay.jpg

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

My favorite piece I have carved to date is my “SAVE THE BEES” print! Making things that look pretty AND serve a purpose that you are passionate about always hold a special place in your heart. Fifty percent of each sale is donated to the Center for Honeybee Research in Asheville NC, who offers education programs for the general public/beekeepers & conduct research on how to save this ever so important creature.

Midwest Mermaid

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Well, it changed a lot but the most consistent dream was to be an architect. Architecture is still a love of mine, especially historical buildings.

Midwest Mermaid

What is your creative process?

My creative process includes more steps than I would like to admit. I’ve always been a planner but I wish I could be more spontaneous so I could spend more time carving and less time doing everything else. But for now, once I come up with an idea, my process is: research, finding inspiration images, sketching, scanning, computer tweaking, printing, transferring, then FINALLY carving.

Midwest Mermaid

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago? Ten years ago?

Woah. I was a freshman in College stressing INSANELY about getting an A in my color theory class + about 15 other credit hours. I would say ENJOY the process, ENJOY the learning, ENJOY the art & stop worrying about ONLY the final product.

Midwest Mermaid

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

In an era where ANYTHING is available on Amazon, it is important to remember that there is a person behind every product. But with local artists & makers, you know that person! You see their face! You see them doing what they love and loving to share it with you! Supporting local helps your neighbors, your community, and LITERALLY brings a smile to someone’s face when you purchase their product.

Midwest Mermaid

Why do you love doing what you do?

I primarily carve for the process, for myself! My brain moves a million miles a minute but while carving I have to focus on one thing (otherwise I will lose a finger) and I think it is as close as I will ever be to meditating.

Midwest Mermaid

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

Stick to it! If you do what you love, (and don’t mess up things during tax season) you will be a success!

Midwest Mermaid

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I love finding things equally as cool or cooler in Ohio as other states & countries I have visited! I beam like a proud mama when I find something AWESOME and get to tell people about it because “Ohio Rules” and everyone should know that!

Midwest Mermaid

ThankfulKnits

Rikki Teeters

ThankfulKnits is a small business located in Columbus, Ohio. Owner, Abby, creates macramé and crochet products by hand. We love her design style and sophisticated product line. She donates a portion of all sales to local non-profits. We interviewed ThankfulKnits to learn more about her craft. Meet ThankfulKnits on June 3 at our Summer Maker Mart

ThankfulKnits

Tell us about your local business.

The name of my business is ThankfulKnits and I’m based out of Columbus Ohio. What began as a side hustle with only knit and crochet products has expanded to include macramé and I couldn’t be more thrilled! The mission of ThankfulKnits is to provide a way for people to purchase handcrafted quality fiber art products for their home and wardrobe while extending a “thank you” to non-profits, charities who are getting it right in the local community and around the world. A portion of every sale of ThankfulKnits products goes out in support.

I do this because in my own life I have experienced the radical positive impact that having a heart posture of gratitude has and I want to create more ways for folks to live with and express a thankful spirit. Through this business, my customers and I have been able to donate and say “thank you” to Blessings in a Backpack, Hospice of Central Ohio, and we are currently supporting the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

ThankfulKnits

What drew you to your craft?

My entire life I have loved working with my hands. I am always down for crafty adventures, I play the piano, guitar and a few other instruments and I love to garden. There is an aspect of macramé, knitting and crochet that is very repetitive. I’d go so far as to say it is somewhat meditative. I have two very young children (a 2 year old and a 9 month old) so life can be busy, loud and messy. It is very soothing to zone out when I’m in my creative work space and making things. Being able to create items that make someone’s home more beautiful or keep their head warm in the winter brings me an incredible joy and is such an honor.

ThankfulKnits

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

Definitely my first multi-layered macramé on a branch. No pattern or plan, it just flowed so naturally- t was like a hug for my boho heart. A close second is the chunky knit hats I make in the winter.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A teacher. That happened too- I went to school for it and taught preschool and elementary school for several years.

ThankfulKnits

What is your creative process?

Since I stay home full time with my two kiddos. I work when they sleep basically. I always have my dream book around where I’ll jot down or sketch ideas…then when its go time, I get to creating. I’m inspired by nature, past pieces I’ve created or a new technique I want to try out. Sometimes the design I start out with doesn’t end up being what happens, but I love the flexibility of being a creative and having a style that can handle a change of mind. I usually listen to either music or podcasts while I create and work through things in my head while my hands are busy knotting and knitting.

ThankfulKnits

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Stop telling yourself no! Oh the limitations were just ridiculous. Thank goodness for wisdom from good people and experiences that helped me recognize that I have something unique to offer. When people are pouring positivity, wisdom and encouragement into you…listen. Let those things help you grow and don’t brush it off thinking it doesn’t apply to you or your situation.

ThankfulKnits

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

There is something so incredible about community. Our local community is where life happens! Time, energy, love and resources went into creating something and when you shop local you become a part of that person’s story and they become a part of yours. Technology is great, but we are running the risk of losing face to face community and really knowing people. Supporting local connects us.

ThankfulKnits

Why do you love doing what you do?

It gives me a chance to express my creativity with my hands, I can help others make purposeful purchases by donating to various causes and organizations, and I can work while raising my babies at home!

ThankfulKnits

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

DO IT! We live in a time when the threshold for starting is really quite low. Access to the internet, your creativity and a little time can get you going! Also, grow slow. I’ve committed to growing my business without debt and it brings such a sense of freedom with it!

ThankfulKnits

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

Ohio- the heart shaped state. Oh how I love it. I was born and raised here, moved to the west coast after college then over several years worked my way back. I appreciate it so much more now that I’ve seen other places. It has such a variety of landscapes, cultures, and access to so much nature. Also you can get anywhere in 3-ish hours. That’s a cool idea- two very different places in half a day! Hocking Hills, Amish Country, and did you know there is a national park?! Just south of CLE! Lets not forget this part- where else can you live and get all four seasons in the span of one week? Hahaha! :) Anyways, yeah just getting outside is probably my favorite thing- camping, nature and exploring!

ThankfulKnits

Smoore Paper

Rikki Teeters

Smoore Paper is a small business in Columbus, Ohio! Owner, Sarah Moore, designs custom illustrations and paper goods. We interviewed this awesome Ohioan to learn more about her background and creative process. Meet Smoore Paper on June 3 at our Summer Maker Mart!

Smoore Paper Columbus Ohio

Tell us about your local business.

Smoore Paper is a one-person stationery and paper goods project and was born out of the need to continue making after graduating from Columbus College of Art & Design. As a graphic designer living and working in Columbus, Ohio, I am always looking for new outlets to spread my personal creativity and positivity in a tactile way. Creating stationery and other products is the perfect way to do just that while merging my love of illustration and graphic design knowledge.

Smoore Paper Plant Passion

What drew you to your craft?

Growing up, I loved to get my hands dirty working on various art projects. To combat the computer-heaviness while studying graphic design in college, I loved to draw and work on personal projects in my spare time. In one of my early design courses, we had to create a line of product featuring a themed pattern and list it on Society6. When I made a few unexpected sales, I started listing my personal art. I've always had a little entrepreneurial bug in ear, but knowing that other people wanted purchase my work drove me to push my craft. Eventually I left Society6 and moved to creating my own products and home and selling them through art fairs, my website, and Etsy.

Smoore Design

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

That's a hard one, and to answer truthfully, I don't think I've made it yet! I am always practicing and trying new things, so I might not be as proud of something I made 6 months ago compared to something I'm currently working on. In my case, I think that's a positive! That drive of wanting to get better is what helps me to continue my work. If I had to pick a recent favorite though, I think it would be my Case Bound Journals. I haven't truly mastered the art of book binding yet, but teaching myself a new skill is exhilarating. I make my own book cloth, sew each text block, and decorate the cover myself. I've gone through many rounds of trial and error and I love the learning process.

Smoore Designs

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I either wanted to do something with animals or art. I pursued the latter, but animals are still very important to me.

What is your creative process?

I always have to start with a sketch on paper. I think of things that I would like to have, use, or display and go from there. Sometimes creating the design on paper carries me all the way through and sometimes I end up finishing things on the computer. Because I am always trying different things, I don't have a very rigid creative process.

Smoore Paper

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Be patient, explore different methods of creativity, and stop comparing yourself to others!

Smoore Paper

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

There are so many benefits to supporting local businesses. You can't find unique pieces with actual stories behind them in a major store. When shopping local, you get something that was made carefully out of love instead of something mass produced. With so many name brands ripping off independent artists, it's important to give them support so that they can continue doing what they love.

Smoore Paper

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love making things that have a purpose. Whether it be a notebook or a card, I love the idea of connecting with others in their day-to-day life. My products are intended to add a little bit of brightness to someone's day, and I am so glad when that happens.

Smoore Paper

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

I'm just getting started myself, but my advice would be to not let self-doubt hold you back. I feel like a lot of creative people struggle with imposter syndrome, myself included. Sometimes it's really hard to put yourself out there, so start small and grow from there!

Smoore Paper

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I've lived in Ohio my whole life and there are still places I want to explore! I love learning about the history of places, visiting local museums, and seeking out the nearest natural swimming hole.

Smoore Paper

Simple Times Mixers

Rikki Teeters

Simple Times Mixers is a small business in Columbus, Ohio. They create natural cocktail mixers from local produce. We interviewed owner, Rian Howells, about this awesome local brand. Meet Simple Times Mixers on June 3, 2018 at our Summer Maker Mart

Simple Times Mixers

Tell us about your Ohio-made business.

We are Simple Times Mixers, based out of Columbus, OH. We craft our mixers at 1400 Food Lab in Grandview. Our mixers are 100% All-Natural, that means no added flavors, colorings or preservatives. We use fresh whole fruits and produce. We pride ourselves in handcrafting the highest quality while staying true to our mission of putting a craft cocktail in the hands of all that want one, no matter their skill level, tools or where they are. The word mixer has been dragged through the mud for long enough. The best taste comes from real 100% all-natural ingredients, the way nature intended it. We cut no corners and put quality first in all that we do, never tainting our creations with added flavors or preservative.

Simple Times Mixers

What drew you to your craft?

Coming from a background in the spirits industry we were sick of high quality Spirits being polluted with artificial, overly sweetened mixers. We believe that everyone deserves a delicious cocktail and they shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for convenience.

Simple Times Mixers

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

That’s a tough one, I love everything we make, but if I had to choose just one it would be our Pineapple Mule mixer. That is cocktail that started it all for us.

Simple Times Mixers

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A firefighter or professional athlete, I never thought as a child I would be making cocktail mixers and selling spirits, but here I am, and I love it!

What is your creative process?

We start with a few general ideas of what we want to create and then work from there to get to our final product. We go through many different combinations and recipes before we get to what you see being sold.

Simple Times Mixers

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Don’t sweat the small stuff & know that each day is a new opportunity.

Simple Times Mixers

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

One word: Community. The stronger the support and community, the better we all do.

Simple Times Mixers

Why do you love doing what you do?

We enjoy creating a high-quality product that allows people to truly enjoy their time with one another and not have to be stressed with the mess of creating great cocktails at home.

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

Try and stay even keeled, each day is a roller coaster of highs and lows, believe in what you’re doing and know that it will pay off in the end. Be comfortable with changing things on the fly and not always being perfect.

Simple Times Mixers

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

The diversity of our state and all the different makers and small business that take pride in where we are from. They showcase what makes Ohio great!

Simple Times Mixers

Too Legit to Quilt

Rikki Teeters

Too Legit To Quilt is one of the coolest local makers in Ohio. Owner, Dre, creates quilted goods by hand. She has a very unique style that stands out in a crowd. We have been following this amazing artist on Instagram for a while and we were excited to have the opportunity to interview her. Meet Too Legit to Quilt at our Summer Maker Mart on June 3, 2018!

Too Legit to Quilt

Tell us about your local business.

My business is called Too Legit to Quilt, a name that a friend came up with 6 years ago when I was still exclusively quilting! I live in Columbus, OH and have been here a little over two years. I always knew that I wanted to be an artist, but was encouraged to choose something more financially fruitful, so I decided to study Fashion Design. I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design, and halfway through school, I realized that I hated Fashion Design, but I developed a total obsession for beautiful textiles. Having grown up in Appalachia, my grandmothers and their mothers quilted and I absolutely loved their quilts, so once I found a love for textiles, it seemed natural that I would start quilting.

Too Legit to Quilt

My quilts evolved into layered, appliquéd wall hangings, which evolved into patches! My mission is to use textiles to express myself artistically, but to also to create intentionally. I use mostly repurposed materials in my work. There is a great deal of waste produced in the fashion industry, and fast fashion and constantly changing trends create a desire to always want to buy the next thing, to always have NEW, and to toss out the old. 80% of those clothes that people toss out end up in a landfill…only 20% are reused or recycled. And with billions of people on the planet, just imagine how detrimental this can be to our environment. So I continue to use repurposed textiles, to do my small part and to spread knowledge about waste.

Too Legit to Quilt

What drew you to your craft?

I was drawn to textiles in college. They are so lovely, soft, comforting, diverse, and play an important role in our lives! Quilting is a familial craft, so joining my love of textiles and quilting just made sense for me. And I knew that I wanted to express myself even further with textiles, and I always loved collage, so the appliquéd wall hangings became a marriage of my favored artistic techniques.

Too Legit to Quilt
Too Legit to Quilt

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

I love *almost* everything l make (trial and error means some things are no good) and I'm always trying to outdo myself so I can't pick a favorite. However, there are things that I have made that were turning points or lightbulb moments for me, and those are really notable. One example is when I first started to make wall hangings, and I made what ended up being a skeleton torso. It felt like it created itself. My original plan was to just make a small anatomical heart, but from there I kept adding more and more elements. It was the first time I had quieted my mind and allowed a piece to organically evolve until it was completed.

Too Legit to Quilt

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was in first grade, I entered a self portrait into an art contest and won. From then on I knew I wanted to be an artist.

Too Legit to Quilt

What is your creative process?

I usually create based on issues I’m dealing with (and others are dealing with), or a stage I’m at in my life, or things I want to work on within myself. I use a lot of symbols; usually symbols of power or wisdom that I feel would benefit me in my efforts to better myself, and a lot of times they resonate with other people, too. Once I’m ready to make something I always sketch it out, then choose fabrics, and just let loose! I have a good amount of fabric stored up, and am always looking for more interesting textiles, while remaining mindful not to hoard. I try to live somewhat minimally, but it’s a lot harder with art supplies. It’s better for my creative process to have things on hand when I’m in a good work flow. But it’s all about balance (like most things)!

Too Legit to Quilt

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

It’s hard to say what advice I would give myself. Experiences are such a critical part of our individual journeys. I wouldn’t be in the place I am, or know the things I do if I hadn’t learned the lessons along the way. Advice is great, but if you’re not in the right mindspace or open to receiving it, its empty…it won’t resonate with you! I’ve gotten so much advice (mostly unsolicited), that I NOW see was really great advice, but at the time I wasn’t where I needed to be to receive it. But maybe THAT’S what I would tell myself.

Too Legit to Quilt

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

For an artist, the bottom line isn’t moneymaking or greed. It’s the love of carefully and intentionally creating something that is an expression of self, and the connection and exchange of energy when it resonates with someone else. Supporting a creator whose work resonates with you is a really special way to connect! It’s also sort of a vote with your dollar. When you keep your support within your community, you’re strengthening it! Think global, act local, ya know?

Too Legit to Quilt

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love doing what I do because it’s such an integral part of me. It is what I was born to do.

Too Legit to Quilt

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

I don’t always consider what I do a business, I think of myself more as a working artist. I don’t know if I would even qualify to hand out business advice! But for me, what has been effective is working very hard and being patient. I put a lot of time into what I do, take responsibility for and learn from my mistakes, remain true to what resonates with me (despite what may “sell well”), and never give up if I hit road blocks.

Too Legit to Quilt

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

My favorite thing about exploring Ohio is how much is always surprises me. It’s easy to give in to believing stereotypes about a place, or making assumptions, and it’s a powerful lesson to learn not to do that! Ohio is beautiful….there are so many places to love, magical unexpected corners, and people who love it and want to make their home the special place it is!

Too Legit to Quilt

Botanibites

Rikki Teeters

Botanibites is a small woman-owned business in Waverly, Ohio. Owner, Sasha, provides tasty, guilt free snacks that also add value and purpose to your mind, body and soul. We interviewed Sasha to learn more about her small business and her mission. Meet Botani Bites at our Summer Maker Mart on June 3, 2018! 

Botanibites

Tell us about your local business.

The business is Botanibites LLC, herbal treats made with function and purpose in each bite. Right now Botanibites features mini muffins in unique, herb infused flavors. Each recipe is organic, paleo friendly, and made with coconut based ingredients like coconut flour, coconut sugar, coconut milk and eggs. It started in March 2017 when I discovered the paleo recipe through trial and error and merged my passions of health, wellness, and herbal medicine. People raved about the flavor, consistency and effects so much that I decided to launch it. My mission is to educate others about eating a whole food based diet free of processed ingredients, high sugar, grains and common allergens, while providing a deeper purpose through incorporating herbal tinctures and powders. I eventually hope to expand to other goodies like nut butter cups, cookies, and others that fall under the Botanibites guidelines/basics of being paleo, organic, and herbal.

Botanibites

What drew you to your craft?

Kitchen experiments that started after wanting to create a healthy dessert that suited my dietary restrictions but also made me feel better and more purposeful. I was in a very creative period of my life and constantly cooked/baked as well. The merging of my greatest passions came together through the process of finding the perfect recipe and once it was found, I knew that was it. I never baked, and don't consider myself a baker considering my impatient, ADD nature. The way the Botanibites recipe came about felt like divine energy and I was instantly hooked!

Botanibites

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

My favorite thing I have ever made would have to be the Botaibites Maca Marble mini muffin. It's such a unique flavor and it's entirely paleo but you really wouldn't guess that it is. I thought I would just be the odd one that liked it but it became customers' favorite really fast! Of all the things I have cooked or baked, that is my favorite by far and I now get to make it on the regular!

Botanibites

What did you want to be when you grew up?

An astronaut just so I could visit the moon... Other than that I honestly didn't have any dreams or visions of becoming anything specific.

What is your creative process?

Wear something colorful to wake me up, play a mix of Billie Holiday/Etta James/Ray Charles on Pandora (or Radiohead) and start mixing and baking. Outside of baking, my ideas and creative flow are highest when I wake up when all is still quiet and the sun is shining. I write ideas down or draw them out as soon as they come to me, especially using symbols, sketches and lists. Most of the creation happens in a random moment, unexpected.

Botanibites

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

10 years ago would put me at 15. I have always been extremely responsible, motivated, and proactive in school and work so I think I would tell myself to take it easyyyy. Not to place stress on myself or care what others think so much and just find what resonates with me most and not what others expect me to do. Break away from outside expectations that are irrelevant to my spiritual needs, wants and desires and constantly find yourself and do what moves you most each and every day. 

Botanibites

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

It's important to support local artists and makers because I believe creating and serving passion makes a happy human being. Local support is ideal because you are directly supporting your community and inspiring others around you to follow their individualism and intricacies. 

Botanibites

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love doing what I do because it encompasses all of my innate and learned habits, interests and tendencies. I have thoroughly enjoyed every little bit of the entrepreneur process with Botanibites and love challenging myself in every way. It's been a lovely journey and I can't wait for this brain child to continue to blossom and grow. Knowing I have made a product that others are positively effected by also makes me extremely happy and motivated to pursue my goal completely. 

Botanibites

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

DO ITTTT! The only difference between them and you is that they did it.. Ideas are just the foundation but don't mean much if they aren't brought out into the world through action. Listen to some podcasts of how other businesses started, present your idea to others, be vulnerable, be confident, and just go for it. Life is long. Challenge, change and growth are everything. 

Botanibites

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

Everything! Aside from loving to explore in general, I love Ohio for its seasons, varied landscape, hills, presence of nature and animals, and it's growing community of food, health and entertainment. Ohio has always felt like home to me even though I grew up in Florida so I am excited to explore Ohio more and more now that I live here. 

Botanibites

Fat T's Cookies

Rikki Teeters

Fat T's Cookies is a small business in Akron, Ohio. The first time we tried Fat T's Cookies we fell in love. They were a huge hit at our Holiday Maker Mart! We recently interviewed owner, Travis, to learn more about his local Cookie empire. Meet Fat T's Cookies at our Summer Maker Mart on June 3, 2018! 

Fat T's Cookies

Tell us about your local business.

Fat T’s Cookies officially became a business in October of 2017 in Akron, Ohio. My company was recently named “Best In CLE” by Cleveland Magazine. I specialize in Big. Fat. Chewy. Quarter. Pound. Cookies.

Fat T's Cookies

What drew you to your craft?

I fell into baking by accident. After moving back from grad school in April of 2017 in pursuit of a full time job, about two months into that I needed to get my mind off the job search and wanted to get a gym membership. I started looking for ways to make $40 to pay the monthly membership and in June 2017, for the first time in my life, I decided to bake a cookie. 

Fat T's Cookies

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

My personal favorite cookie I make is my seasonal S’mummer Camp. It is a s’mores flavored cookie. Besides just being flat out delicious, half of the net proceeds from this cookie go to the Akron Rotary Camp. The Akron Rotary Camp is a camp for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities that I worked at for 4 years and forever left an impact on my life.

Fat T's Cookies

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Let’s do this one in stages. Real little, a magician or an astronaut because who didn’t?!? During high school I realized that I had a passion for high school athletic administration and pursued that during my undergrad and graduate years in college.  

Fat T's Cookies

What is your creative process?

My creative process is pretty random and sporadic. I try to push the boundaries of what a traditional cookie is. Normal is boring and never gets remembered, so I try to think BIG!

Fat T's Cookies

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

I would tell 16 year old Travis “Be unapologetically yourself and never try to be someone else.” Only one you, so be the best you that you can.

Fat T's Cookies

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

No big idea started off big. Everything starts from an idea and blossoms from there. Besides helping someone with their dream, you might find the next big thing.

Fat T's Cookies

Why do you love doing what you do?

Seeing people smile. I’m not in the cookie business, I’m in the business of people. The best customers I can have are happy ones.

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

You can only make shots if you shoot the ball. Take chances, make mistakes, but always move forward.

Fat T's Cookies

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

Always finding something new to do (especially eat). Most people don’t realize that Ohio is a giant melting pot. Luckily for me, Northeast Ohio has expressed that in the culinary aspect. One day you can eat authentic Polish food and the next you can experience Napali food.

Fat T's Cookies

Salvage & Bloom

Rikki Teeters

Salvage & Bloom is a small business located in Cincinnati. Owner, Lynda, creates unique flower sculptures from wood & metals. We interviewed this Ohio entrepreneur to learn more about her background and creative process. Meet Salvage & Bloom at our Summer Maker Mart on June 3, 2018. 

Salvage & Bloom

Tell us about your local business.

I started Salvage & Bloom in 2012 here in Cincinnati. I make flower wall sculpture from wood, reclaimed wood and salvaged metal.

Salvage & Bloom

What drew you to your craft?

I was merely looking for a flower wreath to hang on my back porch and I couldn't find anything that looked like it would hold up to the elements. So, I went down to my barn and started cutting some old fence boards. Within a few hours, I had designed a flower.

Salvage & Bloom

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

I make a lot of custom flowers for homes, restaurants and offices. I did a flower for a customer fighting breast cancer and she wanted pink ribbons and inspirational words on it. It was a challenge, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process. It gave me goosebumps when she described how happy the flower made her. That was when I realized I was finally where I wanted to be in my own life - making art, making flowers using reclaimed resources.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I grew up in the Ohio 4-H Equine and Livestock program and competed in equestrian sports for many years. I wanted to be a professional equestrian or a writer. I wound up as a newspaper reporter for about 18 years, and I continued with horses as a hobby. On a side note, every one of my horses, dogs and cats have all been rescues. I'm so happy about that!

Salvage & Bloom

What is your creative process?

My mom taught me her love of gardening at an early age, so working in the garden was always a joy. Flowers in nature - a photo, a flower shop or garden - inspire my designs. I never get tired of flowers. Music also has a tremendous effect on my work. I've been a Jackson Browne fan for many years so his music rotates heavily in my Spotify library.

Salvage & Bloom

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

I would not have been so filled with self doubt. I failed many times at small business before I became successful. I finally learned to laser-focus on my one passion and become an expert at it. Once I did that, I began earning a good income, and I still do.

Salvage & Bloom

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

As a consumer I feel so inundated with poorly made home decor junk that lasts for maybe one or two seasons and is then thrown out. In the long run, we wind up spending more money. Local makers create items that last. You get what you pay for - so when I buy locally, I know I'm helping our economy and buying something that was made with care, and yes, with love.

Salvage & Bloom

Why do you love doing what you do? When I am finished with a spray paint can, it actually becomes part of a future flower. Very little is thrown away in my process. I also love the fact that every flower I make is truly unique - like flowers in nature, no two are exactly alike. I also am always on the hunt for salvaged metal and wood. It all works together.

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

Don't be afraid to spend money on your business, and don't be afraid to fail. Every failure I had became a lesson learned.

Salvage & Bloom

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

My daughter is a junior at Ohio University so I am currently exploring that area when I visit her. But whether it's Cincinnati's rich music scene, the dedicated animal rescues in Ohio like the Last Chance Corral in Athens or Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary in Ravenna, Ohio or enjoying the outdoors in one of Ohio's parks, there is always something new to discover. I was born and raised a Buckeye and I'm still finding new sites and events to enjoy.

Salvage & Bloom

The Hand Letter Shop

Rikki Teeters

The Hand Letter Shop is a small business in Cleveland, Ohio. Owner, Vivian, creates designs by hand. We interviewed this local entrepreneur to learn more about her background & her craft. Meet The Hand Letter Shop on June 3rd, 2018 at our Ohio Explored Summer Maker Mart at Strongwater Columbus.

The Hand Letter Shop

Tell us about your business.

I’m Vivian, creator of The Hand Letter Shop. For weddings, I help brides who are wildly in love take the stress out of planning a wedding with fine art wedding paper they can trust. For home decor, I help women create a simpler, more intentional home as they tackle the chaos of “adulting.” I make everything in The Hand Letter Shop from the desk of my cozy studio in Cleveland, Ohio. After 8+ years of drawing and painting, art is my passion–I love being creative and encouraging creativity in others. My husband Caleb and I are always working on some kind of creative project together.

The Hand Letter Shop

What drew you to your craft?

I began learning calligraphy as a way to encourage the women in my life. I love how hand lettered words can be both a reminder of truth and beauty, and how pretty florals can add just a little extra joy and intention to your everyday.

The Hand Letter Shop

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

In August of 2017, I created what has become iconic in my shop: red poppy watercolor flowers. I love the delicate petals and stems of poppy flowers, and how they can be used in so many different ways–cards, art prints, desktop wallpapers, and wedding invitations.

The Hand Letter Shop

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve wanted to be many things, and I’m still trying to figure out what I really want to be when I grow up, but I do know that I’ve always wanted to be an artist, and use my creativity to build up others around me. Other dreams have been a veterinarian, an English teacher, and a graphic designer, so I’m still on the search for a job that might include all three.

The Hand Letter Shop

What is your creative process?

I use a traditional calligraphy dip-pens, watercolor, and paintbrushes. I LOVE sharing behind the scenes photos and videos of client’s orders on social media so they can watch them come to life! For florals, I first draw the design by hand with a calligraphy pen onto thick watercolor paper. Then, I add watercolor, layering it to create petal and leaf textures. I digitize my florals for printing purposes, and then print them on a high quality paper. I don’t modify my designs digitally, but prefer to draw them by hand. For calligraphy, the process is much the same, with a bit more digital formatting and correcting when necessary.

The Hand Letter Shop

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

I would tell myself to practice enjoying the moment more and not to wish time away.

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

When you support local artists and makers, you’re supporting a whole community of people who are actually chasing their dreams. I saw a quote once that said something along the lines of “You can choose to help someone else build their dream, or you can choose to build your own.” That idea has stuck with me. Local artists and makers are so inspiring for me to be around because they are the real deal dream builders.

The Hand Letter Shop

Why do you love doing what you do?

Creating something beautiful makes my heart happy. Creating something beautiful that also builds up another human makes my heart just overflow with joy. I love viewing my business as a way to truly serve other people and help them feel loved and known.

The Hand Letter Shop
The Hand Letter Shop

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

Oh boy, there’s so much. First, I would say that you can’t be everything to everyone. The most successful creative businesses do just one thing, and they do it well. You’ve got to be specific about who your “ideal” customer is and isn’t. Then, I would also say that owning a business is a LOT of work, and usually doesn’t make a lot of money right away, so don’t get discouraged. It is so, so important to join a community of other makers that you can encourage, ask questions and who will be able to encourage you.

The Hand Letter Shop

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

One of my absolute favorite things to do anywhere, anytime, is go to a cute little coffee shop and walk around little downtown streets. I love how Ohio has so many gems like that.

The Hand Letter Shop

Keep It Simple Socks

Rikki Teeters

Keep It Simple Socks is a small business in Columbus, Ohio. Owners Paul & Michael design funky & functional socks. We interviewed Paul to learn more about this local brand. Meet Keep It Simple Socks on June 3rd, 2018 at our Summer Maker Mart!

Keep It Simple Socks

Tell us about your local business.

My name is Paul Hopler, and our business is Keep It Simple Socks, based out of Columbus, Ohio. I started this company, along with my business partner Michael Grenier, because of our love for fun socks and for always looking good. Our mission is to give people the confidence, with our socks, to put their best foot forward. When you look good, you feel good.

Keep It Simple Socks Ohio

What drew you to your craft?

My business partner Michael and I have always loved fun socks, and our friend group was all about them! One day the name Keep It Simple Socks came to Michael from a friend saying it, and it was a hit. Pretty soon after, we started working on creating this business.

Keep It Simple Socks Ohio

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

My favorite thing we have made would have to be our Local Collection. We made close to 15 designs that are locally inspired, mainly referencing Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Ohio in general, with the designs and the colors. I love locally inspired projects and I love Ohio, so doing this was a no-brainer. Specifically, we did a Save The Crew collab design that I really loved!

DirectionSocks-Group-1-e1499455226625-1024x437.jpg
Keep It Simple Socks Ohio Columbus Crew Collab

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I would have loved to be a soccer player or a musician, but realistically, working in business and finance was always what I knew I enjoyed doing and was good at, and so being able to utilize those skills for Keep It Simple Socks has been thrilling.

Keep It Simple Socks Ohio

What is your creative process?

Michael and I brainstorm ideas for designs, either doing a line of designs (i.e. we did an 80's/90's line of designs) or doing seasonally inspired designs (spring, fall, etc.). After we come up with ideas and specific designs we want to make, we work with our graphic design team to come up with truly awesome socks!

Keep It Simple Socks Ohio

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

I would tell myself to spend more time researching small business and entrepreneurship, and figuring out how to be your own boss, whatever business you end up in. I love doing what I do now so much, so knowing even more and being a step ahead of where I am now would always be amazing.

Keep It Simple Socks Ohio

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

I truly believe in supporting your local community. Without that, that creative process and spirit of entrepreneurship would inevitably die out. When you support someone local, and small businesses, you really are helping them take one more step towards their dreams, and I can confirm that through personal experience with my business as well.

keep it simple socks.jpg

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love doing it because there's not a lot more fun than being able to design awesome socks, collab with other businesses and artists on custom designs, and even the day-to-day of running the business is something that I naturally enjoy. How could I not love it?

Keep It Simple Socks Ohio

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

My advice is: 1) Just go for it! Jump in fully. Start researching what it will take and do it. You'll regret the things you don't try so much more than if you try it and it just doesn't work out. 2) Secondly, keep the train moving. Things will inevitably get difficult and slow down and you'll be tempted to give up. It's not always something huge and dramatic, it could just be a holdup early on in the process that discourages you. But keep things organized and keep moving forward. One way to do that is to set weekly goals of what you want to get done.

Keep It Simple Socks Ohio

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I love so much about Ohio! The people here are so nice and genuine, and there is such a thriving community in so many areas.

Keep It Simple Socks Ohio