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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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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

Linnea Head

Rikki Teeters

Linnea Head is a wildlife artist in Cincinnati, Ohio! She is one of our very favorite local artists. We interviewed Linnea to learn more about her local business. Meet this extremely talented local artist at our 2018 Ohio Maker Marts!

Linnea Head Art

Tell us about your local business.

I am Linnea Head, Wildlife Artist. I paint in acrylic and draw with oil pastels and have created collages since I could safely hold a pair of scissors. I mix media a lot, book pages, my own drawings, etc. I got my degree at Xavier University for Philosophy. I wrote my thesis on Immanuel Kant's third critique, titled, "What Art Is."

My artistic goal is to raise awareness in the beauty of our natural world, representing (mainly) animal portraits with vivid colors to capture their essence. Eyes are my favorite thing to depict, as I feel they are both what have the ability to capture a creature's soul and connect us to them. I believe art reveals what is not visible to the sensible eye, but is revealed through the reflective mind's eye.

Linnea Head

What drew you to your craft?

Hmm, this one is a tough question since I have been drawing and painting since the tender age of 4, my favorite subject being horses and people's faces. I doodled throughout high school until I became much more focused on academics, socializing, sports, clubs, and generally practicing being a responsible young adult... it wasn't until I spent an extended summer in Montana, my second year of college, that I started painting again. The wildness of big sky country begged representation and called me back.

Linnea Head
Linnea Head

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

I guess I have a couple. A horse painting, titled "red horse" and currently a lion, called "Fire".

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I grow up, I want to be an artist and a lawyer and master hostage negotiator. However, I think I'm still dreaming.

Linnea Head
Linnea Head

What is your creative process?

My creative process has been slowly progressing. With no real starting point, cultivated through nature walks, dreaming, books and other artist's images, I simply show up to my studio every moment I can. I take out a canvas and start. Sometimes I have a clear idea, sometimes I don't. I always choose an animal before hand, and if it's a new one, I watch videos for a while (e.g. I started painting gorillas and so I watched videos of them and went to the zoo to see how they move and interact with each other... I also listened to the Tarzan soundtrack while drawing them).

Linnea Head

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

I would tell myself to relax and know that things will turn out if I work hard (I would like to tell myself this now as advice for 10 years in the future). Follow your heart and continue to surround yourself with supportive and intelligent people. Brush off unimportant matters and keep your eyes on your goals. Seek wisdom from others. And most importantly, perseverance.

Linnea Head

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

First, shopping local brings people together. You enforce the creativity of the people around you. By supporting local artists, you bring more color and creative diversity to your city. It makes you and your city more vibrant and interesting. Secondly, it makes the community more independent and unique. It is easy to buy things from Amazon and get them delivered to you immediately (I am guilty of this myself) but it involves no interactions and rarely does it involve true craft. Local Art/craft is a reflection of your place, your city- make it flourish!

Linnea Head

Why do you love doing what you do?

I have to say that I love being my own boss. I also love all the options I have to use my skills to make the world a better place... I have been able to donate pieces to the Cincinnati zoo and support their efforts in conservation and community building, even though my donations may be small, I feel lucky that I have something to offer. I have felt for a long time that since I was given certain opportunities, it is my duty to make the world a better place than I found that. If I didn't see a way I could do that with my art, I would never pick up a brush again. (Although, I am forever learning how to do this, so please send me your ideas if you have some!!!)

Linnea Head

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

Well, I will start by saying that economically and entrepreneurial speaking, we have lived in a man's world for centuries. However, I truly believed that has changed in the past 100-150 years. Some might view it as slow and that there is still a lot of progress to be made. I chose to look at how far we have come as a civilization and as humans. I don't have any fear that I can succeed as much or more as my male counterparts. My advice to other women is be bold and believe in yourself. Look at the bright side and cultivate the skills the world hasn't seen yet... most of all, and I would say this to both men and women - be yourself, your true self. Not everyone will like you or your products, but if you show your real stuff, some people will LOVE it.

Fiona The Hippo Art Linnea Head

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!

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!