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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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Dippity and Snark

Rikki Teeters

Dippity and Snark is a stationary design studio from Akron, Ohio! We interviewed owner, Danielle Capotosto, to learn more about her local business. Meet Dippity and Snark at our Spring Maker Mart on April 7 in Cleveland!

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

Tell us about your business.

Dippity and Snark (formerly five blessings) is an independent design studio offering handmade cards, stationery, stickers and illustrated gifts. All designs are hand drawn by me, Danielle, a graphic designer and illustrator who started Dippity & Snark as a way to share my cheeky, funny and snarky creations with the world! In addition to pop-up markets and my website, I also have a small retail location in the Northside Marketplace in Akron, OH. My products are equal parts cute, punny and have lots of swear words, so I needed a name that would work with that. Dippity is a made up word derived from serendipity, which basically means “happy accident.” Snark is pretty self explanatory. Putting them together seems to perfectly describe both my sweet and sassy products!

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What drew you to your craft?

I have always loved to make things. As a child I would always rather color than play outside. When it came time to go to college, I decided graphic design seemed like a natural fit. While studying design, I was introduced to illustration and basically fell in love! After some full time design gigs, I started a freelance design business. I wasn’t getting the opportunity to do much illustration work with my clients and I was really missing the opportunity to draw and make things. At a lunch in February of 2017, I was expressing these frustrations to my husband. He basically said, "so do it!” And I did. There’s been a lot of learning along the way, and it’s still a work in progress, but I’m happy with the growth I’ve managed so far.

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

My favorite thing I have ever made are my stickers. I don’t have one in particular, but I have always adored stickers! I still have boxes full of them, some from childhood! My 10 year old self would geek out if she knew someday I would be designing and making my own!

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What did you want to be when you grew up?

As you may have guessed by now, I’ve always wanted to be some sort of artist. I wasn’t always sure how that was going to happen, but I knew it was the only path for me. I though about being an art teacher before choosing design, but am really happy I went with design instead. As fate would have it, I ended up pursuing my Master of Arts in design and now teach part time at Kent State University anyway!

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What is your creative process?

I don’t know that I really have one particular process. I basically start with an idea, usually as a response to something that has happened or something I think is funny. Then I get to drawing. I work both traditionally and digitally, using pencil, pen, watercolor, Illustrator, Photoshop, and/or Procreate. Once I’m happy with the illustration part of things, I work to put it on all the things… cards, stickers, wherever it fits the best.

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Just start, and f*ck fear! Don’t wait for the right/best time… it will never come. Don’t be afraid of what other people think of your work. I waited almost 10 years to start this business, knowing the whole time it was something I wanted. Life and other opportunities and responsibilities kept me from it, but it was always in the back of my mind. Who knows where I’d be if I had started 5 years earlier, but I’m happy to have gotten things off the ground. There’s no point in looking back, we’re not going that way. Amazingly enough to me, when I make work that makes me happy, other people love it to! Shocks me everyday, but so thankful!!!

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

Why is it not?! In all seriousness, supporting local artist/makers or any local small business does more than people realize. It allows that person to fulfill their dreams, support themselves and their families, and continue to grow. It also helps create jobs and support local economy. It really is a great way to support the local community and allow small businesses like mine to flourish.

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

Why do you love doing what you do?

I think there just really isn’t any other option for me. It might sound a little cheesy, but creating really is a part of my soul. Without the ability to make and create, I wouldn’t be me. It also brings me immense joy to see others laughing and enjoying my products. To share that creative happiness with others is pretty exciting!

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

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

There’s no better time than today. Give up on waiting, start however you can, today! Even if it’s a little step forward. Small amounts of growth is still growth!

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

Ohio has so much more to offer than people realize! We have amazing metro parks, art museums, music, and so much more! If you can’t find something great to do, you aren’t looking hard enough!

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

Shore Society

Rikki Teeters

Shore Society is an apparel company inspired by Cleveland’s coast! Their products reflect the midwestern nautical lifestyle of the Great Lakes. We interviewed owner, Rachael Koenig, to learn more about her awesome local business. Meet Shore Society at our Spring Maker Mart on April 7 in Cleveland!

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

Tell us about Shore Society.

I started Shore Society in 2012 as a creative outlet, and a way to express my love for the lake and all things coastal here in Ohio. There wasn't much on the market here that focused on Lake Erie, or the Great Lakes in general, and I wanted to capture the unique coastal feel that we have here in Cleveland. I design all of the products myself and have them made locally whenever possible. I work and manage the business out of a home studio in Lakewood, and while I sell mostly online, I wholesale to a few boutiques in the area as well!

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

What drew you to your craft?

I'm a graphic designer, and have always created my own personal work in addition to my full-time job and freelance — so I had created a few prints for fun and started selling them online. This was back at the time when Etsy was exploding, and it kind of snowballed for me from there. I never imagined I'd be making products or running a business like this, but I totally fell in love with the process of selling products and with building a brand. I love being able to think conceptually — to have a lofty idea or a piece of inspiration — and execute on it, make something tangible with it.

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

That's tough! If I had to say, I've loved creating the local city map totes along with my friend Blair Ritchey, who is a handbag designer. I pour a lot of time and effort into designing and illustrating the maps, and when we decide what landmarks or businesses will appear on them. It's a fun, collaborative process and I love the excitement we feel from customers each time we launch a new one. Otherwise, I love the Salty tee, and it's a fan fave!

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

What did you want to be when you grew up?

An artist! I didn't know what type, at the time, but I have always wanted to be involved in the art and design world. I've gone from dreaming about interior design to fashion design and back again. I just wanted to make things. I try to remind myself that my 10 year old self would be really pleased to see this in my present.

Fleeting Fox Photography Lake Erie Tee.jpg

What is your creative process?

I don't really start off with the intention of designing a product, things become too narrow too quickly and I think you lose the creativity in it. I like to gather inspiration for the look and feel of what I'm trying to capture, and sketch some lettering, icons, or a full design from there. I'm always thinking about color and how other elements, like textiles or fabric, come into play — then the design sort of tells me where it wants to live. My business mind is then of course thinking about what my customers would like to see, and how they'll want to wear or use the product — I keep them top of mind while I'm creating, too.

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Don't quit your daydream. Walk through the doors that open for you, even if you're unsure. And hire an accountant — girl, you can't do math.

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

We are all making/creating because we love it so much, and when you shop with us, you're buying a little piece of our heart and soul. It's such a fulfilling feeling and it's a huge part of what keeps me going, and we need people to keep going. Keep creating, keep enriching the community around us. I also love that you're getting something so unique, and almost collectible. I love filling my home and life with meaning and you're getting that when you shop handmade.

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

Why do you love doing what you do?

It's a form of expression for me, and also a form of pride — I love to draw attention to the beautiful lake and coastal landscape we have here. I love sharing photos I've snapped at the lake and having people from all over the country see and acknowledge its beauty, I want to shine a light on that. When they say, "oh my gosh, that's Lake Erie?!" I feel like I've done my job! Along those lines, I also love connecting with other people and my customers at shows, online, or at events. I've met so many incredible people who have been integral to my business journey and my life!

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

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

Start before you're ready. Things will never be perfect, and you can't avoid the process of learning along the way, which is inevitable. You have to allow that to take place in real time, so put your project out there without fussing too much and let it evolve. If you wait until it's perfect, you'll be waiting forever.

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

That it's always surprising me! On the lake, you'll never see the same sunset twice. The leaves in the fall won't look the same from one place to the next. There's so much to discover and I love the change of seasons — I've learned to embrace winter and I have the beautiful frozen lake sunsets to thank for that!

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

OY-L

Rikki Teeters

OY-L is an all natural skincare line based in Akron, Ohio. We love this brand’s commitment to creating sustainable products and never testing on animals. We interviewed owner Andrea Pierce-Naymon to learn more about her amazing local business! Meet OY-L at our Spring Maker Mart on April 7 at Red Space in Cleveland!

OY-L Ohio Maker Mart

Tell us about OY-L.

I am the CEO and Founder of a natural skin care line called OY-L and my mission is Beauty Without Secrets. I have been a med tech, in pharmaceautical and medical equipment sales, mother of two amazing daughters and a buyer/owner of a clothing boutique in Cleveland.

andrea headshot (1).jpg
OY-L Ohio Maker Mart

What drew you to your craft?

When my youngest daughter got sick as a junior in high school, no one was able to diagnose her for two years. She was even misdiagnosed! I became so frustrated I started reading the labels on everything in our house, thinking it was something she was exposed to. I was horrified when I started googling all the chemical ingredients. Most were toxic and carcinogenic. I got a app called Think Dirty and started scanning products. That's when I said to myself, there has to bee a better way. All the skin care products I was buying in the department stores were toxic. I didn't want to use them anymore and certainly didn't want my kids using them. So I turned the kids old play room into a lab and OY-L was born.

OY-L Ohio Maker Mart

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

That's a hard one! I'd have to say my body butter. It was my first product, it took me a long time to perfect and now I can't live without it. It was the product that got me an investor from Cincinnati and enabled me to grow my business and move into a real lab at Bounce, a business Accelerator, in the old B.F. Goodrich plant in downtown Akron.

OY-L Ohio Maker Mart

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an ER doctor.

What is your creative process?

I listen to my customers and read everything about the skincare market and determine what I can do to make a cleaner product that is also effective. There is a lot of chemistry involved and a lot of trial and error to make sure the products I bring to market are safe and effective.

OY-L Ohio Maker Mart

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Prioritize your life. Decide what is important and what you have passion for. Even though you have to pay bills, make sure you have a least a hobby you enjoy.

OY-L Ohio Maker Mart

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

It is important to support local artists and makers because we are the ones that can grow, hire, expand and support our community. Indie brands in Ohio put a lot of heart and soul into their craft and supporting them supports Ohio. I can't tell you how exciting it was to go to a national beauty expo and show the country what was happening in Akron, Ohio. By doing that I was asked to bring my line to New York and show the Saks Fifth Ave buyers my products. Six months later, I was on their website and selling my products locally and nationally. Kudos to Saks for wanting to showcase and sell products made in Akron that will help our local community.

OY-L Ohio Maker Mart

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love coming up with products that are helping people live a less toxic life. I love when I read the reviews of my products and see how much they are helping. There is a "clean and green" revolution going on now in this country. Europe is way ahead of us in the market. People don't want toxins in there products anymore. And I love teaching people what all those chemicals are and why you don't need them in our products.

OY-L Ohio Maker Mart

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

Just do it! It's a rollercoater ride, but if you are passionate about what you are doing , it is worth it. There is so much to learn and you need a good support system.

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I grew up in Cincinnati and have lived in northern Ohio my whole adult life. I love seeing how the different cities are different or even the same. I loved the hills of Cincy and the lake in Cleveland. The park system in northern Ohio is beautiful. I went to BGSU where is was flat and we rode our bikes everywhere. It's a great place to grow up.

OY-L Ohio Maker Mart