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Cincinnati, OH, 45227

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

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Filtering by Category: Cincinnati

Meli

Rikki Teeters

Meli was born out of my love for my Greek heritage and food. My favorite thing about Meli is that I can share my culture through my baked goods. Growing up as a first-generation Greek, I have visited different regions of Greece and can now share those cuisines with others through food. My baked goods are authentic to the islands my parents are from in Greece and these recipes have been passed down to me from my parents and grandparents. Sharing Meli's products with others is a way to share my culture. In addition, I wanted to share the language, which is why I named my business Meli. When you say "Meli," you are saying "honey" in Greek. There you go - now you're bilingual!

Meli

What drew you to your craft?

I always enjoyed baking and started making cupcakes and cookies for family parties. I then realized that my true passion for baking was in traditional Greek desserts. I missed those delicious treats that I would eat in the summers in Greece so much that I decided I should start making them in Cincinnati. I also love feeding others (typical Greek), so I figured I could start selling product to fuse my two passions!

Meli

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

That's a tough question! My favorite thing I make is baklava. As a completely biased answer, I believe mine is the best because I pay special attention to the ratio of all the ingredients. I've also received very positive feedback from people about my baklava which makes me want to share it with the world!

Meli Baklava

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always thought I wanted to be a teacher, but as I have grown up, I realize that I just want to be in a space that allows me to connect with others. Sharing my culture and experiences through my food has allowed me to connect with so many amazing people and I am so thankful for this opportunity.

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What is your creative process?

Before I start baking, I think back to how my parents and grandparents taught me the recipe. I also think of how it was presented in Greece and incorporate that experience into my baking techniques. Also, I put as much love into a recipe as possible, because that's the most important ingredient ☺

Meli

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Advice I would give myself 10 years ago is to be okay with not knowing how life would turn out. I wasted a lot of time worrying about what I would do, who I would become, etc. that I missed out on what was going on around me. The practice of mindfulness has become a priority for me in order to maintain a balanced life.

Meli

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

It is important to support local artists and makers because of the effect on your community. We are all in this together and there is room for everyone; therefore, support your local makers because we have taken the leap to share our craft with our community and we need your support! We do this for you- we want to share our passions with you - so take advantage!

Meli

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love baking for Meli because I am able to share my Greek heritage with my community. I have always been a "proud Greek" growing up here in Cincinnati. Now that I am older, I've created a space where I can share my heritage through food and pay tribute to the experiences I had in Greece. I make products that are traditional to the islands that my parents are from; therefore, you are getting the authentic experience when you eat a Meli product.

Meli

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

The advice I have for other people who want to start their own business is to just start. There is no book on how to do it. Surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to do and ask for their help and suggestions. Avcept that there will be a long trial and error period, but that's the greatest teacher! There have been plenty of times that I have felt lost or discouraged, but I remember my reason for creating Meli and it encourages me to keep going.

Meli

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

My favorite thing about exploring Ohio is the opportunity to connect with others. Being able to hear others' stories and experiences motivates me to continue my craft!

Meli Bread

SKT Ceramics

Rikki Teeters

SKT Ceramics is a well known and highly respected pottery studio based in Cincinnati. Owner, Susannah Tisue, and her team of talented artists create naturally inspired pieces. We interviewed Susannah to learn more about her thriving Ohio-made business. Our team is thrilled that SKT Ceramics is joining us for our 2018 Autumn Maker Mart at 21c Cincinnati!

SKT Ceramics

Tell us about your local business.

SKT Ceramics is a porcelain pottery and illustration studio. Our Cincinnati studio creates handcrafted, high-fired tableware and gifts. Each piece is adorned with one my 87 original illustrations and detailed with hand painted glaze. Our pieces are fired in an atmospheric gas kiln using 1,000 year old celadon glaze formulas, which gives character to our sturdy, luminous pieces. I created the line in 2008 while living in New York as moments of calm in the chaos of the city, with quiet glaze colors and detailed nature illustrations.

SKT Ceramics

What drew you to your craft?

I studied fine arts at New York University, with a focus on painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. A series of cake sculptures led me to ceramics, with the need for a ceramic cake stand. The meditative practice of throwing pottery on the wheel and quiet simplicity of functional pieces drew me to the art form. I love that our pottery pieces are simple, humble works of art that become part of everyday routines. Within the format of my functional pieces, I employ the techniques and materials that I focused on while at NYU.

After college, I completed a 3 year artist residency at Greenwich House Pottery in Manhattan’s West Village. The pottery is part of a settlement house, founded in 1909 to teach immigrants marketable skills, Since its founding, it has played a pivotal role in the lives of many ceramicists. It was at Greenwich House that I first discovered porcelain as a material, as well our iron based celadon glaze recipes. Their 3 story ceramic school surrounded a tiny courtyard. In that courtyard, I realized how critical calming moments with nature and landscape are, and those quiet moments are something I hope to capture in my pieces.

SKT Ceramics

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

In my early ceramic career, I made a hand painted penguin cup for a lifelong friend who loves penguins. It is hard to remember at this point, but I think it was the first piece that utilized the unglazed porcelain “ground” on the base that all of our land animals stand on. I intended for it to be a one of a kind cup, but fell in love with the combination of image, glaze and clay body in that piece. In a lot of ways, it strongly influences all of the pieces that we make today. The penguin has long been one of our best sellers, and I think of my friend every time I hand one to a customer!

SKT Ceramics

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve always wanted to be an artist and since preschool have been busy building worlds around concepts. I was really able to hone in on my concepts while at NYU, so I credit a lot of inspiration to that period of time, and functional pottery happened to be a perfect medium to translate those ideas into life.

SKT Ceramics

What is your creative process?

My creative process is multi faceted. All of the illustrations begin as pen and ink drawings in my sketchbook. I typically draw at home where it’s quiet and I can have a nice mug of coffee on hand! For new illustrations, I add illustrations that would be in conversation with existing drawings in the SKT line, and I always take into account customer feedback and requests. Currently the llama and hummingbird are front runners!

SKT Ceramics

All of the pieces are made from scratch in my studio by myself and a team of skilled artists. We use hand building, wheel throwing and ram pressing to make our forms, and screen print them with my drawings. They’re fired in an electric kiln for the first firing. The images are hand painted first with glaze, then wax resist before we dip them in our high fire celadon glazes.

Our pieces are fired in a gas kiln to 2,350 degrees and the composition of our particular glaze makes them dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe! Sales feed into my creative process. I launched into making and selling work full time in 2010 while at the Brooklyn Flea on both Saturdays and Sundays. Weekly customer feedback helped refine and expand my illustration and form offerings. I now have a year round booth in Cincinnati's Findlay Market and I love that the same thing is happening there. Whether it’s a reaction to the shape of the handle or the response to new illustrations, I gain so much valuable feedback from our community on a weekly basis.

SKT Ceramics

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Business ownership is not for the faint of heart. It’s a long, hard, road, but worth every minute!

SKT Ceramics

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

We have a year round space at Findlay Market, a local food and farmers market, so I see first hand the benefits of “shopping local” every weekend. Each purchase from a local artist/maker/farmer directly goes back into our community and provides jobs for our neighbors. These in-person exchanges build relationships within the community and as a general rule, I find that the quality of pieces made and purchased locally is so much higher.

SKT Ceramics

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love that our pieces mean something to our customers. When they use our pieces, they’re reminded of a particular place, event, or the person that gifted them the piece. Through my illustrations, our pottery provides moments of connection.

SKT Ceramics

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

Build your line from within. When you’re pulling from your own unique experience, people will respond to your story. You will never have to wonder where to go next and inspiration will come readily.

SKT Ceramics

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

My pieces channel quiet moments with nature out of necessity. I’m a city dweller at heart and love the walkability and unlimited potential of exploring Ohio’s downtowns. I love the shops, cafes and restaurants, from old school spots to energized newcomers. On every street and every corner there is someone who is pursuing their passion.

SKT Ceramics

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.

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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

Rock Salt Vintage

Rikki Teeters

Rock Salt Vintage is an Ohio-based company that creates unique jewelry. Every single piece made by owner, Katelin, is crafted by hand. You can see the true elegance and attention to detail throughout their whole collection. Meet Rock Salt Vintage at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!

Rock Salt Vintage

Tell us about your local business.

Rock Salt Vintage is a project initially based upon upcycling vintage and salvaged materials, but has evolved to represent handmade jewelry created from brass, sterling silver and 14k gold metals. Each piece is created by hand in my Cincinnati home studio with close attention to detail and craftsmanship. I use recycled or ethically sourced materials as much as possible to reduce the impact of waste and unsafe working conditions in the industry. 

Rock Salt Vintage

What drew you to your craft?

I love working with my hands.  I began experimenting with jewelry making about 6 years ago. I tried out a variety of methods and materials such as beading, clay, wood and more and finally settled on metalwork. The ability to manipulate metal in endless ways continues to fascinate me. Processes involve hammering, sawing, soldering and filing to name a few.

Rock Salt Vintage

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

With each new collection or wave of designs, I tend to have a new favorite. My latest favorites are the Chime Earrings, they are lightweight, playful and elevate any simple outfit.
 

Rock Salt Vintage

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I had dreams of being a Veterinarian  but like many kids, was turned off by the idea of extensive schooling. When I was a kid, I told my mom I wanted to be a beautiful jewelry lady at K-Mart. I get the jewelry part, but not sure where K-Mart comes in, ha! 

My adult dream is to photograph the beauty in landscapes, at National Parks and other pockets of the world. I find a lot of inspiration in hiking and travel, I’d do it all the time if I could. When I’m outside with my camera is when I’m most happy, doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing or there are 40mph gusts of wind. 

Rock Salt Vintage Owner

What is your creative process?

I’m often inspired by shapes I see in architecture or by spending time in nature. A design will pop into my head and I’ll jot it down for reference later. New designs most often come about during production of existing pieces. Scraps or discarded parts will be lying around and a unique shape will catch my eye, which often turns into a new design!

Rock Salt Vintage
Rock Salt Vintage Handmade Jewelry

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

When you support a local artist, you are really supporting your community and helping it grow. Because most artists like to shop small, the money you spend with a small business will likely be spent at another small business, which in turn brings a lot of life and vibrancy into the city!  You are also helping an artist achieve their dream when you purchase one of their works.

Rock Salt Vintage Holiday Market

Why do you love doing what you do?

I get to be creative, meet other inspiring artists, tackle tough challenges not only in creating the works but also in the odds and ends of running a business. I get to travel and show my work all over the country.  It’s tough work, it’s much easier to work for someone else than yourself, but I find these challenges much more satisfying.

Rock Salt Vintage Soddering

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

Make sure you love what you do. People will see that passion and drive in your work and truly begin to understand the effort that goes into it. There is a difference in those who solely care about making money and those who live for their art, happiness is key!

Rock Salt Vintage

What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?

I love that Cincinnati has grown so much since I moved here. I’ve watched the small business scene grow rapidly and it’s pretty amazing. As for nature, I grew up hiking in Yellow Springs, have had the opportunity to visit beautiful Hocking Hills, and can’t wait to check out Cleveland’s parks.

Rock Salt Vintage
Rock Salt Vintage
Rock Salt Vintage Holiday Market
Rock Salt Vintage

Meet Rock Salt Vintage at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!

Pied Paper Goods

Rikki Teeters

Pied Paper Goods is a Cincinnati maker who creates beautiful handmade art. We love the sophisticated style of each unique hand-drawn piece. This week, we interviewed owner, Jenesis, to learn about her story & her craft. Meet Pied Paper Goods at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!

Photo by  Brooke of Nomadic Newlyweds

Photo by Brooke of Nomadic Newlyweds

Tell us about your local business.

Pied Paper Goods is my side hustle and long-term dream! All of my pieces are handmade - hand painted, hand drawn, handwritten. I love that no two pieces will ever be the same. PPG Came about after some doodling throughout school and then friends asked me to make pieces for some of their big events - weddings, cards for holidays, proposal gifts. It took off after that! My goal is to provide unique and customized art at an accessible price. I live for custom requests and pour my heart into creating heirlooms for people to cherish in their homes and on their walls.

Photo by Leeka Belyaeva of Magic Memory Works Photography

Photo by Leeka Belyaeva of Magic Memory Works Photography

What drew you to your craft?

My mom has the prettiest handwriting of anyone I’ve ever met. She was my first inspiration. I remember reading a blog by another artist (that I wish I could remember!!) who said that calligraphy and hand lettering is a simple way to take something that we do every day - write - and turn it into artwork. That idea of taking the ordinary and turning it into something beautiful continues to drive me.

Photo by Leeka Belyaeva of Magic Memory Works Photography

Photo by Leeka Belyaeva of Magic Memory Works Photography

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

A recent favorite would have to be wedding vows that I transcribed onto a canvas. It was one of the most challenging but most rewarding pieces I’ve completed so far, and I was able to hand deliver them to the couple who were absolutely elated and emotional with the result. Such an honor to bring vows to life in this way!

Photo by  Brooke of Nomadic Newlyweds

Photo by Brooke of Nomadic Newlyweds

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I can remember as a child wanting to be both a writer and an artist. It’s funny looking back because I actually was really bad at traditional art classes. I love doing what I do now because somehow it has bridged the two. :)

Photo by Leeka Belyaeva of Magic Memory Works Photography

Photo by Leeka Belyaeva of Magic Memory Works Photography

What is your creative process?

I try to create pieces using quotes or sayings that speak to where I am at any given moment. I love the color inspiration that autumn and winter provide so I’m really excited to draw inspiration from nature for upcoming pieces!

Photo by Leeka Belyaeva of Magic Memory Works Photography

Photo by Leeka Belyaeva of Magic Memory Works Photography

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Oh man - I’d probably tell myself to not care so much about what other people think. Growth is so necessary in every aspect of life but especially as an artist. Don’t get caught up in what others think because that will affect your art and your heart simultaneously. Be confident in who you are and learn as much as you can to shape who you are becoming.

Photo by  Brooke of Nomadic Newlyweds

Photo by Brooke of Nomadic Newlyweds

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

Supporting local creatives is so necessary in a world that is full of instant gratification. The craft that we provide to people is so unique from anything you could find elsewhere. Local artists always create with individuals in mind instead of a mass audience. 

Photo by Pied Paper Goods

Photo by Pied Paper Goods

Why do you love doing what you do?

Art helps center me. It teaches me patience and encourages me to push myself more with each piece. I have learned to like myself because of this craft - even if I never sold a piece or if I had zero social media following, I know that I’d have to keep making art because it has become a refuge for my heart and my hands.

Photo by  Brooke of Nomadic Newlyweds

Photo by Brooke of Nomadic Newlyweds

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

Take your time and don’t get caught up in the competition. All good things take time. You won’t figure it out overnight or even in a year’s time, but you will eventually figure it out; don’t rush yourself. Don’t get discouraged by comparing your story to someone else’s when you’re in two totally different books! Find people who can affirm where you are and cheer you on, wholeheartedly supporting your dreams.Community has become so important in this journey for me and I’ve met some amazing people who have encouraged me along the way. 

Photo by Pied Paper Goods

Photo by Pied Paper Goods

What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?

I love finding new places around our beautiful state through many of the photos and and articles you share! I’m always in awe of the beauty!

Photo by Pied Paper Goods

Photo by Pied Paper Goods

Meet Pied Paper Goods at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!

The Northern Market

Rikki Teeters

The Northern Market caught our eye because of its beautiful yet functional minimalist line of handmade home goods and market bags. Owner, Lindsey Zinno, founded The Northern Market as a teenager. As a young entrepreneur and Environmental Sciences major, Lindsey applies environmental consciousness to her products and everyday life. Every piece by The Northern Market is a unique One-of-a-Kind item! This Cincinnatian is putting the city on the map by being featured in shops around the world! We are thrilled that The Northern Market will be featured at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!

The Northern Market

Tell us about your business.

My name is Lindsey Zinno, and I own The Northern Market. The Northern Market is a home and lifestyle goods shop for the modern home and individual. We strive to provide environmentally-conscious fiber art sewn out of cotton rope.

Photo by Matchbox LTD

Photo by Matchbox LTD

What drew you to your craft?

I have been sewing since a very young age, I grew up with great influences of my mom and her sisters teaching me to sew. I can say that I've always been drawn to sewing, but my true connection to fiber art didn't begin until I was about 15 when I learned to make batiks. (Batiks are a traditional wax-resist fabric dying technique to make complex patterns and even paintings.) During that time, I was taught to make baskets out of clothesline. Which brought me to where I am today.

Photo by Matchbox LTD

Photo by Matchbox LTD

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

My naturally-dyed, yellow backpack.

The Northern Market

What did you want to be when you grew up?

This is such a hard question! Because I'm graduating college in the summer, and I am not grown up yet. I am at such a crossroads with this. I can see myself being a shop owner of curated goods, a studio teacher, having an environmental job, or even getting more into product photography and interiors. I am just going to let everything take its course and feel out what I should do when the time comes. When I was a child I wanted to be a chef or a marine biologist.

Photo by Matchbox LTD

Photo by Matchbox LTD

What is your creative process?

When I'm working to create new designs, the first question I ask myself is can I make this with one continuous piece of rope. One of my most important elements of my work is continuity. I will work on sketches and sample shapes. I measure out rope so I can know how much I will need in the future to replicate, but mostly it's all in my head. Then, I start constructing the piece. Using my sewing machine, I sew each piece of rope together, building the walls of the vessel, tagging, trimming, and photographing.

Photo by Matchbox LTD

Photo by Matchbox LTD

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Well, considering I was 10-years-old ten years ago, I would tell myself to keep doing what I'm doing, to stay creative, active, and to try everything my heart desired.

Photo by Hearts & Color Co (Hannah Breidinger)

Photo by Hearts & Color Co (Hannah Breidinger)

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

I love this question! Supporting local artists is sustainable. By purchasing a piece made by a local artist, you are supporting her/his craft, time, passion, community, economy within your community, and the environment. Most local sales are done in person, which eliminates excess carbon emissions from shipping. When you are buying local, you aren't just buying from a brand, you are buying from a face, a friend, a parent, a human who values your opinion and support.

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Why do you love doing what you do?

I love running The Northern Market because I get to make something that I am proud of everyday. It isn't very common that you can center your job around creating something with your hands each day. I am proud to say that I am proud of my work and the time and energy I've put into this business.

Indigo backpack The Northern Market

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

First off, do it! Don't be afraid to fail or take risks. Be confident, manage your time well, and stay consistent with your vision for your brand. Don't hold back, and don't be left wondering what it would be like if you never tried.

The Northern Market

What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?

Ohio is beautiful. Our community is filled with kind, loving people who love to lift each other up and support local businesses and artisans.

Photo by Matchbox LTD

Photo by Matchbox LTD

The Northern Market

Meet The Northern Market at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!

Linnea Campbell Ceramic Art

Rikki Teeters

Ohio artist, Linnea Campbell, creates her own functional ceramic art from scratch. We love her unique style and integration of natural design elements such as insects and plants. We went behind the scenes with the owner in her Cincinnati studio. Linnea Campbell is one of one-hundred talented Ohioans that we will be featuring at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!

Tell us about your company.

I am the designer and creator of Linnea Campbell Ceramic Art. My work consists of one of a kind ceramic wares, using wheel throwing and hand building methods that I embellish with my illustrations of forest creatures: from microbes in the soil to insects and small mammals. Through my drawings, I want to celebrate and bring attention to these tiny creatures and the large impact they have on our world, creating pieces that provide a functional, yet whimsical, impact on people’s everyday lives. I work primarily out of my home studio on the east side of Cincinnati. I have been working part time at Queen City Clay in Hyde Park for the past 4 years and that is where I do the glaze firings of my work.

What drew you to your career path?

Since I can remember, I have loved making things with my hands as well as drawing and painting. I went to DAAP for Fine Arts focusing on 2D art but I felt I had hit a wall with the mediums I was using. After taking an intro to wheel class at Queen City Clay during my sophomore year, I fell in love with ceramics. When I started putting my images onto the pieces I was throwing, that was it. I h

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I have always wanted to be an artist and maker of some sort. Since I could hold a crayon I have been drawing and that passion has continued to grow in such a way that I want to spend my time making objects that are both beautiful and functional.

What is your creative process? 

My process is to have lots of projects going at once. As I am waiting for one batch to dry, I can be working on a different batch of products. I enjoy bouncing back and forth between throwing and hand building throughout the day. The illustrations are also a major part of my work and I like to add a new group of images every so often. I usually take a week off of clay making and really focus in on the new drawings. I then get a silk screen burned with my new images and add that into rotation with my previous images. Once I have the silkscreen, I print with underglaze onto rice paper, which I then transfer onto my unfired pot.

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

To not worry so much about my future, working hard at your passion will ultimately pay off and is so rewarding in a number of ways.

What has been your favorite thing about your journey so far?

I love the connection between my work and the natural world that inspires it. As I continue to hone my craft, I am impressed with simplicity of combining organic shapes and forms with detailed images of nature to make inspiring pieces that people enjoy using in both functional and spiritual ways. I feel like I am only at the beginning of this journey and look forward to the many unexpected paths where it will lead.

What has been the biggest reward of starting your own business?

Making connections with people that are just as passionate about handmade ceramics and the tiny creatures that I illustrate on them has been amazing! It has been so rewarding to create the things that I conjure up from my mind and then to find the people that will love using them.

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

I have had a number of female mentors in the maker community, which have been essential to me for advice and encouragement. In general, meeting other local makers and supporters of the arts has been so beneficial in expanding and growing my business.

What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?

Ohio is really a beautiful state, with Lake Erie and the Ohio River on either side. I love kayaking on the Little Miami River, as well as hiking at State Parks. Cincinnati also has so many beautiful parks, most weekends I try to make it to a park for a hike with my puppy, Rufus.

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Meet Linnea Campbell Ceramic Art on December 3rd, 2017 at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!

ELLEBRUX

Rikki Teeters

Ellebrux is one of our favorite Ohio artists! This talented lady makes beautiful art & jewelry in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to a Behind The Scenes Look at Ellebrux's Cincinnati studio, we also interviewed owner, Laura, about her journey, her craft, and her unique modern art. 

Tell us about Ellebrux.

I am Laura Brooks and I am the creative energy behind Ellebrux. Ellebrux is a handmade business created with a love for color, surface, and craftsmanship. I work out of my home studio in Northside, Cincinnati making embroidered paintings and hand-painted wood jewelry that I sell online, in local gift shops, and at weekend markets.

What drew you to your career path?

I have always dreamed of making beautiful things for a living. As kid my parents always took me to all kinds of outdoor markets and I always admired the independence of the people selling their art and goods. When I decided to stop working for big business and make a career out of my painting I knew that I wanted to get into the sun and sell goods at markets and fleas.

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Where did your business name come from?

Ellebrux, is a phonetic spelling of L. Brooks, my first initial and last name. My nickname in college was “L. Brooks” or as one friend alternatively spelled it “Ellebrux”.  When I first got Instagram I used “Ellebrux” as my handle and quickly began selling paintings and building relationships with other creatives. When I decided to become a real business I toyed with the idea of changing my name to something less abstract, but in the end I’m glad I kept it! It feels very much a part of me and I am happy that I’ve had it since day one.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be an artist. What that looked like changed over the years but I always knew I wanted to make things.

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What is your process from concept to creation?

I work in a way where something is always being painted while another is drying, and I always try to do all the things I hate (like sanding canvas, the worst) on a separate day where I can just listen to a podcast and blast through it. This way when I get into my studio it’s just smooth sailing mixing colors and going from one thing to the next in a nice workflow. I rarely sketch these days; I usually just browse through my paints and have fun with it. If a certain color palette sells like crazy I’ll keep working with it, and if there is something I loved that didn’t sell well I’ll sell the last ones and never make them again. There are many aspects to owning a business that are stressful so I like to keep my process happy and light, and I feel like that energy is reflected in my work.

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Ten years ago I was about to start college with the goal of becoming an artist. I wish I could have told myself I already was one! That would have taken away a lot of the pressure I put on myself over the years.

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 What has been your favorite thing about the Ellebrux journey so far?

I love it when I have people come up to me at shows and tell me that they have something I made that they love. Whether it’s a necklace that they get compliments on, a painting hung in a special place, or a gift they gave that was really appreciated. It makes me feel like I’m on the right path, and my business is healthy, and all my hard work is worth it.

What has been the biggest reward of starting your own business?

I love working from home and setting my own hours. I can lean into the ebbs and flows of my creativity rather than trying to schedule huge amounts of creative work after coming home from another job. For me it has been a much happier and more productive way to live and create.

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

As I have been growing my business in the last few years there have been so many resources that have helped me feel prepared for all of the chaos of starting a business. I would encourage women to insert themselves into spaces that will give them every advantage to meet people and learn from more experienced business owners. In the past year I took Co-Starters through Artworks and attended Midwest Craft Con, both of which were really fun and inspiring.

What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?

I love finding new colors, textures and wild places throughout Ohio. There are so many beautiful trails and small towns to explore and appreciate. My mountain paintings actually came out of an appreciation of Appalachian culture during my time exploring the communities beyond Ohio University. When I find myself in a new city the energy and architecture is equally inspiring in my work. There is so much to enjoy here!

RHEINOceramics

Rikki Teeters

There is something very special about handmade items. Makers put pieces of their souls into everything they craft with their hands. You can really feel that energy. Unique one-of-a-kind goods are worth much more than mass produced soulless products. We want to honor the Makers and Artists of Ohio by featuring them in our new Ohio Made blog series!

RHEINOceramics is one of our favorite local Makers. This girl has pure talent. She makes beautiful handmade ceramics with a modern twist. We were lucky enough to go behind the scenes with Jessie Rienerth, the Boss Lady of this Cincinnati brand!

Tell us about RHEINOceramics.

Rheino Ceramics is my small (side) business that I started a couple of years ago where I create small- batch, functional ceramics. I am an artist that graduated from UC’s DAAP program with a BFA and I found such a rich clay community in Cincinnati that it seemed silly not to stick around for a while after graduation. I am a full- time production supervisor at Rookwood Pottery in Over -the- Rhine, but Rheino is a better example of what I love to do. All of my work is created at my studio space in Lower Price Hill that I share with a few other artists.

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What drew you to ceramics?

I was drawn to Ceramics because of the community aspect of the material. Clay is extremely complex and broad with the amount of possibilities available. If I didn’t have my clay friends that graciously offer up knowledge and support, I wouldn’t be able to make half of the work I have created thus-far. I will never get bored of this material. It keeps me on my toes and I love that more than anything.

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Where did the name Rheino Ceramics come from?

Rheino comes from a mix of things. Mostly, it’s a nod to my Dad. Our last name is Rienerth, so his nickname with his friends is Rhino. Both of my parents are the best people in the world and my Dad has always been such a wonderfully stable person in my life. I also wanted to play with the word “rhine” due to the Cincinnati location.

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What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be so many things! I’ll try to remember everything. Superhero, basketball player, priest (when I was like 6), librarian, fire-fighter, pilot, chef, and I also thought pretty hard about architecture in my High School Days. Art therapy was also a thought.

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What is your process?

My process all depends on making. The more I make, the more ideas I get and the more organic the process becomes. I don't sketch much, and I find more satisfaction with just making a plain cylinder and going from there. Pushing my craft and the forms I make is the best way for me to grow. Same goes with the surface decoration. Testing is the best part of the process and the material.

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Ten years ago I would tell myself to just do what you really love. I know that sounds cheesy. I would not have stressed out half as much about the impending future after high school if I knew that just working really hard at something I really love would bring me this joy. There was just too much unnecessary worrying when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do in school. If you really want something, you'll make it work.

What has been your favorite thing about the Rheino Ceramics journey so far?

My favorite thing about having Rheino is the people I have met. The community is so supportive of local makers and other makers are also extremely supportive. Makers are the best people you will ever meet.

What has been the biggest reward of starting your own business?

The biggest reward of having my own business is just having the ability to make my work. I am able to feed a part of my life that has to be there. My goal when I graduated from UC was to just keep making work. I know I am going to be ok as long as I am making.

What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?

Being from Cleveland, I love that I have experienced of the two opposite poles of the states. Lake Erie will always be one of my favorite places, but there are so many other great things between the Ohio river and the lake. Mohican, the metro parks, Hocking hills, Yellow Springs, etc., you can't get bored with this place. There is a great balance of growing metropolitan areas and the cities with the awesome parks and trails throughout the state.

Meet RHEINOceramics on December 3rd, 2017 at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!