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Cincinnati, OH, 45227

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

Ohio Made

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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

sarahthehout: creative endeavors

Rikki Teeters

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

sarahthehout

Tell us about your local business.

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

sarahthehout

What drew you to your craft?

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

sarahthehout

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

sarahthehout

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

sarahthehout

What is your creative process?

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

sarahthehout: creative endeavors

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

sarahthehout

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

sarahthehout

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

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

sarahthehout

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

sarahthehout

Lily Noelle

Rikki Teeters

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

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

Tell us about your Ohio-made business.

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What drew you to your craft?

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What is your creative process?

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

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

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

Lily Noelle Jewelry

Behind the Scenes with mrly

Rikki Teeters

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

mrly Brand Columbus

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

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

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

mrly Brand Ohio

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

mrly Brand Ohio

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

mrly Brand Ohio

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

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

mrly Brand Ohio

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

mrly Brand Ohio

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

mrly Brand Ohio
mrly Brand Ohio

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

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

Midwest Mermaid

Rikki Teeters

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

Midwest Mermaid

Tell us about your Ohio-made business.

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

Midwest Mermaid

What drew you to your craft?

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

mermay.jpg

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

Midwest Mermaid

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

Midwest Mermaid

What is your creative process?

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

Midwest Mermaid

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

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

Midwest Mermaid

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

Midwest Mermaid

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

Midwest Mermaid

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

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

Midwest Mermaid

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

Midwest Mermaid

ThankfulKnits

Rikki Teeters

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

ThankfulKnits

Tell us about your local business.

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

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

ThankfulKnits

What drew you to your craft?

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

ThankfulKnits

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

ThankfulKnits

What is your creative process?

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

ThankfulKnits

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

ThankfulKnits

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

ThankfulKnits

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

ThankfulKnits

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

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

ThankfulKnits

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

ThankfulKnits

Smoore Paper

Rikki Teeters

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

Smoore Paper Columbus Ohio

Tell us about your local business.

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

Smoore Paper Plant Passion

What drew you to your craft?

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

Smoore Design

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

Smoore Designs

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

What is your creative process?

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

Smoore Paper

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

Smoore Paper

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

Smoore Paper

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

Smoore Paper

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

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

Smoore Paper

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

Smoore Paper

Simple Times Mixers

Rikki Teeters

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

Simple Times Mixers

Tell us about your Ohio-made business.

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

Simple Times Mixers

What drew you to your craft?

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

Simple Times Mixers

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

Simple Times Mixers

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

What is your creative process?

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

Simple Times Mixers

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

Simple Times Mixers

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

Simple Times Mixers

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

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

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

Simple Times Mixers

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

Simple Times Mixers

Too Legit to Quilt

Rikki Teeters

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

Too Legit to Quilt

Tell us about your local business.

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

Too Legit to Quilt

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

Too Legit to Quilt

What drew you to your craft?

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

Too Legit to Quilt
Too Legit to Quilt

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

Too Legit to Quilt

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

Too Legit to Quilt

What is your creative process?

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

Too Legit to Quilt

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

Too Legit to Quilt

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

Too Legit to Quilt

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

Too Legit to Quilt

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

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

Too Legit to Quilt

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

Too Legit to Quilt

Botanibites

Rikki Teeters

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

Botanibites

Tell us about your local business.

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

Botanibites

What drew you to your craft?

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

Botanibites

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

Botanibites

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

What is your creative process?

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

Botanibites

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

Botanibites

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

Botanibites

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

Botanibites

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

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

Botanibites

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

Botanibites

Fat T's Cookies

Rikki Teeters

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

Fat T's Cookies

Tell us about your local business.

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

Fat T's Cookies

What drew you to your craft?

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

Fat T's Cookies

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

Fat T's Cookies

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

Fat T's Cookies

What is your creative process?

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

Fat T's Cookies

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

Fat T's Cookies

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

Fat T's Cookies

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

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

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

Fat T's Cookies

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

Fat T's Cookies

Salvage & Bloom

Rikki Teeters

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

Salvage & Bloom

Tell us about your local business.

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

Salvage & Bloom

What drew you to your craft?

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

Salvage & Bloom

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

Salvage & Bloom

What is your creative process?

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

Salvage & Bloom

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

Salvage & Bloom

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

Salvage & Bloom

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

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

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

Salvage & Bloom

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

Salvage & Bloom

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

Natterdoodle

Rikki Teeters

Natterdoodle creates hand-lettered art in Columbus, Ohio! Owner, Natalie, was the first artist we collaborated with at Ohio Explored more than 2 years ago! We interviewed Natterdoodle to learn more about her small business. 

Females-are-Strong-as-Hell-Print-by-Morgan-Anderson-Photography(2of4)-1.jpg

Tell us about your local business.

Natterdoodle is heartfelt handwriting with a mission to sprinkle positivity confetti. As a lettering artist, I aim to use the power of written word to inspire hearts, minds and fits of giggles.

static1.squarespace.jpg

What drew you to your craft?

Ever since childhood, I have been a doodler and a writer. I grew up writing poetry and scribbling little doodads inside my journal. I loved language and was always hunting for hidden meaning in song lyrics. Words can wield so much power; in an instant they can bring joy, tug on a memory or cut deep. Lettering art was a natural way to combine my love of art and language; most of the time the words are my own and sometimes I get to borrow and illustrate the lovely thoughts of others.

Natterdoodle

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

Impossible question. I really couldn't answer it. I can list my top 10 favorite animals in 5 seconds flat, but I can't rate my own art that way!

Natterdoodles

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer for Rolling Stone.

Natterdoodle

What is your creative process?

Sometimes an inside joke will inspire me, sometimes it's pop culture. Other times it's a social cause I care deeply about. Getting the words right takes time and getting the lettering right is a very slow process. I'll sketch something a dozen times and spend hours on it before I feel good about it. While I love to use my iPad Pro, I'm still drawn to ink and paper above anything else. One of the hardest things for me is settling on color - I love color so much I can barely hold myself back from dumping every color under the sun onto the page.

Natterdoodle

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

10 years ago if you'd told me I'd be a full-time artist I wouldn't have believed you. I would tell myself to remain open to the wondrous possibilities that might cross your path. And I'd also share one of my personal mottos I wish I was able to embrace earlier: stay tender, stay tough.

Natterdoodle

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

When you shop local, you're investing in someone's dream. You know that someone touched it with their own two hands and they put love and personal care into every piece. I feel so grateful to live in Ohio; it's a very warm and welcoming environment for entrepreneurs.

Natterdoodle

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love seeing folks' faces light up when they interact with my work. And I love starting out with a fresh white canvas and breathing a whole other world into it.

Natterdoodle

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

Find a supportive community of women who will champion you and your work. Look for women from all different facets of industry and backgrounds; I love hanging with other artists but sometimes I need a community organizer or a non-profit guru to offer me another perspective. You'll need women who will go to bat for you, pick you up when you're down and give you real talk and a swift kick when you need it.

Natterdoodle

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I'm always surprised by Ohio. Just when I think I know everything there is to know and have seen everything there is to see, something jumps out and grabs me and makes me even more proud to call Ohio my home.

Natterdoodle
Natterdoodle

Glass Sky Jewelry

Rikki Teeters

Glass Sky creates jewelry to "connect you to your natural, beautiful, nuanced self". We interviewed owner, Andrea, to learn more about her small business. Meet Glass Sky Jewelry at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd! 

Glass Sky Jewelry

Tell us about your local business.

Hi! I'm Andrea, the artist behind Glass Sky Jewelry. My background is in Fashion Design and while I was working in that corporate world, my least favorite thing was the message that you aren't good enough unless you wear ___ and know ___ and follow the fashion "rules." With Glass Sky, I hope to focus instead on emboldening, supporting, and really celebrating the strong, natural spirits of the amazing, complex, everyday women.

Glass Sky Jewelry

What drew you to your craft?

I have always been a maker and am infinitely inspired by shapes and textures. Metal-smithing started for me as a hobby and, honestly, as stress relief because it gave me a chance to be creative for no reason other than expression and enjoyment. Putting on the jewelry I made ended up becoming a daily ritual of self care and the pieces became like armor, keeping me connected with my authentic self through out the day. It confirmed for me that jewelry can be something we love to wear for looks, and also for connection to ourselves. Jewelry is almost more intimate than clothing because I think a lot of us end up having our favorite pieces that we wear again and again. I love having the chance to create pieces that can become staples of your style and spirit.

Glass Sky Jewelry

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

My number one go-to piece to wear is the Many Moons bracelet. It's the first design I made with metalsmithing skills. It has grown on me and with me and feels so full of energy. I had this assignment in an astronomy class in college to observe the moon on different days and at different times to watch its progression. While I don't do it everyday now, I still love to look for the moon and I feel comforted knowing that it's cycling through constant changes. I love contrast and the tension of juxtaposition, so the idea that it reliably changes is so inspiring to me. Other top favorites are the broken glass earrings (I made the first pair on a fire escape in Brooklyn) and the custom pieces that give me a chance to try to tell a story and create something one of a kind and full of meaning.

Glass Sky Jewelry Moons

What did you want to be when you grew up?

In my late teens, I remember talking to adults who had these fascinating journeys and stories of how they came to what they loved. I have always felt very open to the journey. My jump to entrepreneurship though was the first time I felt like I was not only picking a job, but also a lifestyle that I believed in. I didn't realize until I left my old job how much anxiety I carried with me everyday, how sleep deprived I was, and how drained my spirit was. When I left that world, I told my mom it felt like the square peg to my round hole spirit. Being a maker and working in a way where I receive from what I give is really the dream, the Round Peg. And it supports a lifestyle where I can be healthy, content, and inspired. What more could you want?

Glass Sky Jewelry

What is your creative process?

For me it starts with emotional inspiration. I pull from my own experiences and from the things I hear around me. I hope to capture some of those grey moments of life, where things are complex and nuanced and so human. A theme I've been working with lately is dusk and the idea that it's a transition with no clear tipping point. It's self-fueled, unwavering, reliable, unstoppable. The key shape I'm playing with is what I'm calling the Balance Symbol. It shows a strong horizon with the moon and the sun hanging halfway in the balance. Lately I've been riffing off of this shape, adding in materials, creating variations, and really listening to what the women who shop my jewelry ask for. My goal is to create jewelry that supports you, so I love to hear what people are responding to and let that be inspiration to create more.

Glass Sky Jewelry

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

My message would be the one I hope to share with others through my jewelry today.. Don't apologize for who you are. Don't be hard on yourself for who you are not. Embolden and celebrate your strong, natural spirit, whatever that means to you.

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

It is so easy to buy a thing. But when you buy from an artist or a maker, you buy more than just the thing, you're also buying their passion and their point of view or their view of the world really. I think the reason we emotionally connect with things is because they represent something we believe in too. So when you buy from a local maker, you say with your purchase "I believe in what you believe in. And I support it." And that connection is unbeatable. It serves that artist and their work, but I think it might even serve us as buyers more.

Glass Sky Jewelry

Why do you love doing what you do?

The connections. The challenges. The rewards. It's more than I know how to say really.

Glass Sky Jewelry

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

1. Don't be motivated by fear.

2. The other makers and artists around you are not your competition, they are your colleagues and your community. Don't forget to connect with them and share with them! 

Glass Sky Jewelry

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

Fall leaves, sunsets, and live music.

Glass Sky Jewelry

Meet Glass Sky Jewelry at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd, 2017!

Kylie Meiser Design

Rikki Teeters

Kylie Meiser is a photographer and designer that creates letterpress goods in Cincinnati, Ohio! We interviewed owner, Kylie, to learn more about her small business. Meet Kylie Meiser Design at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!

Kylie Meiser Design

Tell us about your local business.

My original plan all along was to graduate college and get a full-time job as a Graphic Designer. After graduating last December, my plans quickly changed after my experience working at Pistachio Press where I learned more about owning a small business. I knew that working there and starting my own creative business was exactly where I was meant to be on this journey as an artist. My business consists of photography and design services as well as my newly added shop of handmade print and gift items. I strive to constantly educate myself on how to be an environmentally friendly business. Each of my products are created and packaged using a combination of recycled, tree-free, and compostable materials.

Kylie Meiser Design

What drew you to your craft?

Learning the art of letterpress printing during my internship has really inspired me to where I am today as an artist. I love the idea of taking something I’ve designed from the computer and turning it into a hand-printed piece of art that someone else can enjoy.

Kylie Meiser Design

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

Definitely my Cincinnati Craft Brewery Map! After visiting many of the breweries I started to realize just how big the beer scene is here in Cincinnati. I knew there had to be an interactive way of keeping up with them all, while also creating a piece of art. I took my design to print in August and it’s amazing to see how much my business has grown from this experience. I’m excited to see how I can develop these into other cities and ideas.

Kylie Meiser Design

What did you want to be when you grew up?

As a kid, you could always find me with my nose in a craft book while covered in paint, glue, and whatever else I could get my hands on. When I got a little older my mom bought me a computer program to create little greeting cards and flyers. After all of the years of crafting and making things on the computer I knew my passion was in the creative field.

Kylie Meiser Design

What is your creative process?

I am constantly thinking about what I can make next–most of these ideas happen late at night. Everything starts with a random idea and leads to a ton of research, sketching, and planning (I’m a bit of a perfectionist) until I eventually begin designing on the computer. With my letterpress goods, I send off my digital designs to have a plate created so I can print it on a printing press.

Kylie Meiser Design

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Never have a set path for your journey in life. Always have an open mind and a free spirit that allows you to follow your heart as it will always guide you in the right direction.

Kylie-93.jpg

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

Local artists and makers are the bread and butter of our community. Behind every purchase from a local artist there is a passionate, hard-working, and dedicated human being who poured their hearts into what you’re taking home.

Kylie Meiser Design

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love the human interaction I get to experience with all of this. Whether its a brief chat with someone at a craft market or a long lasting friendship with a client, I’m truly grateful for all of it. I have been welcomed with open arms by this community and I am so proud to be a part of it.

Kylie Meiser Design
Kylie Meiser Design

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

You will be a part of a community of empowering women who are set out to help one another. Reach out to other small businesses for help or advice, because chances are they are thrilled to help out!

Kylie Meiser Design

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I’m a Louisville, Kentucky native who has always loved visiting Ohio. I enjoy the variety in culture and landscape throughout the entire state that creates endless opportunities for adventure. I have a long list of things I’d like to do in Ohio and I can’t wait to keep exploring! 

Kylie Meiser Design

Meet Kylie Meiser Design at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd, 2017!

Go Magnetic North

Rikki Teeters

Go Magnetic North makes "Wayward Workbooks" to help travelers prepare for trips, track adventures, and reflect on journeys. We interviewed owner, Amanda, to learn more about her unqiue local business. Meet Go Magnetic North at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!

Go Magnetic North

Tell us about your local business.

Go Magnetic North started with me sitting on the floor of my apartment in Madisonville chicken-scratch sketching in a random notebook pages of what I hoped would turn into something useful. It almost came to me too easy; within a month I had my first printed Wayward Workbook in my hands. That's when I realized how powerful passion can translate into production.

It all stemmed from being questioned by people everywhere I went about how I travel so much and expressing their envy in my trips. It made me feel uncomfortable, like they had this impression that I was superior to them or had something they didn't. The fact is, travel is my passion so I do everything I can to do it as much as I can. I wanted a way to inspire people to take the trip they've been dreaming of, that it is possible to afford it if you know what to look for, that you do have the time, and make the resources more available to them. GMN is still in its infancy, but I am so excited about the direction that it is going and developments that will happen in the future.

Go Magnetic North

What drew you to your craft?

With the Wayward Workbook, I wanted to give people a resource that helped them not only plan and organize their trip, but remember all the moments, big and small, of their adventure. I would always bring a notebook with me while traveling, but never took the time to actually journal in it. So with the Wayward Workbook, I provide short prompts for the traveler to jot those small, but significant moments down without having to take time out of their trip to write entire journal entries.

After we travel, we realize that all of those small moments tend to have the biggest impact on us. I wanted to provide a way to never lose sight of being in the moment wherever you are, but having a special way to look back on and remember those moments later on.

Go Magnetic North

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

Connections. I know that's beyond the aim of this question, but that is by far my favorite thing that has come from my travels and dipping my toes into the world of creatives. I have connected with some of the most incredible, inspiring people. I don't think anything I could ever create could overshadow the connections I've made, and it is because of those connections that I continue to create.

Go Magnetic North

What did you want to be when you grew up?

My standard answer would be a teacher, but my favorite phase is when I aspired to be a grocery-bagger. I can't tell you why I looked up to cashiers and baggers at grocery stores, but going to Aldi with my grandparents and being able to bag my own groceries was a highlight for me as a kid. Two things to take from this: 1. You never know who you're inspiring, no matter how mundane the work you're doing seems to be. 2. We're all a little weird. Just own it and roll with it.

Go Magnetic North

What is your creative process?

Coffee, mostly, and music. In all honesty, I don't know if I really have a process. Sometimes I go weeks feeling uninspired and stuck, other times a spark of inspiration hits and I leverage it for all it's worth in that moment. I've never identified myself with being a "creative", but the older I've gotten the more I've learned to lean into those 'out of the box' thoughts that occur because it usually means I'm on to something good. One thing I have learned is that you cannot force creativity.

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

10 years ago I was 18. I could write a novel about the advice I would give myself! I'm sure I could write another one 10 years from now as well. The two biggest pieces of advice I would tell myself are to embrace the moments you think against the norm and out of the box, and to start packing your bags now to see as much of the world as you can. Oh, and your parents were right about basically everything.

Go Magnetic North

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

Because they keep the world full of spirit, inspiration, and hope in the pursuit of a dream! In Cincinnati alone, there is an overwhelming amount of creative talent that I feel so lucky to be surrounded by. The local artists and makers are truly the glue to our communities, connecting us all in ways that otherwise would have never happened without putting themselves and their craft out for us all to experience; the groundbreaking Blink event that happened in Cincinnati is a prime example.

Go Magnetic North

Why do you love doing what you do?

It gives me an opportunity to talk about travel with people and hear their stories. If you ask anyone that knows me, they will probably tell you that I immediately light up when discussing a recent trip I went on, or when someone asks me for travel advice. Seriously, please reach out if you are planning an adventure somewhere! There are so many breathtaking places hidden in this world of ours that truly change you when you get to see them firsthand, and make you realize the importance of protecting this Earth we live on. Also, how humbling it is to be in a completely unknown city/state/country and connect with complete strangers.

Go Magnetic North

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

Don't you dare doubt yourself! The only reason my business exists today is because of fellow female business owners encouraging me to pursue my ideas, so find that tribe and keep them close! There is nothing more inspiring than a woman going against the norm to pursue her dream, and nothing more empowering than being a woman and taking charge to set your own rules for how your life is going to go. If you have a passion or dream that keeps you up at night and gives you butterflies during the day, it is meant to be shared with the world. Share on, girl. Also, keep a regular yoga practice and a bottle of wine on hand at all times.

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I've lived in Ohio for majority of my life (from Cleveland to Cincinnati) and it wasn't until the past few years that I really started to appreciate it for what it's worth. The small towns are filled with incredible charm that haven't changed one bit since I was a kid. It feels like going home again every time I drive through them. On the other hand, the bigger cities have gone through some major transformations and it has been so exciting to watch the changes happen and the positive impact it's had on our cities. I love discovering new local stores, restaurants, coffee shops, art, etc. knowing that place is unique to our city or our state and hearing the story behind the owners and how it all came about. I am so proud to be from Ohio and live in Cincinnati and it is because of our strength and support of local businesses and makers that I have this pride.

Go Magnetic North

Meet Go Magnetic North at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd, 2017!

SE Designs

Rikki Teeters

SE Designs creates handmade jewelry in Cincinnati, Ohio. We interviewed owner, Samantha, to learn more about her local business. Meet SE Designs at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!

SE Designs

Tell us about your local business.

About five years ago, I started working at a local bead store in Cincinnati for some extra spending money while I was working full-time as a lab tech. I learned how to make jewelry there, and completely fell in love. Around the same time, a co-worker at my full-time job taught me how to knit. Together, these became the creative outlet I didn’t know I was missing.

I finally started SE Designs last year. “SE” stands for Samantha Elizabeth, my first and middle name.  I strive to create unique, high-quality jewelry and hand knit accessories.

What drew you to your craft?

I have always loved creating. I am drawn to anything I can make with my hands. If I have the time and means to make something myself, I’ll give it a try.

SE Designs

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

I recently made a ring with this huge, beautiful moonstone cabochon. It was the first ring I tried to make with an open bezel setting, and turned into a little bit of an experiment. It’s perfectly imperfect.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I have never had an answer to this question! I wanted to be and try everything.

SE Designs

What is your creative process?

My inspiration comes from the materials. It’s kind of backwards, but I get gemstones and yarn that I love, and then make a mess laying everything out and deciding how best to showcase the materials. Very rarely do I have an idea in my head first and then get materials to bring that image to life. The best part about jewelry and knitwear? If I’m not happy with what I make, I can tear it apart and start over.

SE Designs

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Keep your eyes on your own paper. In the age of social media, it can be easy to compare your life to the lives of your peers.

SE Designs

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

When you support local artists, you are helping to support someone’s dream. Each item you purchase is a representation of someone’s time and passion.

SE Designs

Why do you love doing what you do?

There are always new techniques to create, learn, and master; I love experimenting with new techniques. It is impossible to get bored when you are obsessed with your craft.

SE Designs

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

Be confident in your products and your process! It would be great if everyone liked everything you made, but it’s not realistic. Try not to rely on the approval of others.

SE Designs

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

My favorite thing about exploring Cincinnati is that it is really a city of neighborhoods. You can move 5 to 10 minutes away and have a completely new living experience. I’ve lived in Norwood, Oakley, Walnut Hills, and Columbia Tusculum, and love different things about each neighborhood.

SE Designs

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

Winks & Whiskers

Rikki Teeters

Winks & Whiskers is a small business that creates apparel for "Pet Parents". We interviewed owners, Kayla & Eric, to learn more about their story. Meet Winks & Whiskers at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!

Winks & Whiskers

Tell us about your local business.

We are the Owners of Winks and Whiskers, a Pet Parent Apparel company I co-founded with my husband Eric and our pup Sadie. We sell our original designs on tees, tanks and totes to the pet parent community. We lived in Columbus for 6 years before taking off on the road and we are both originally from the Cincinnati area. Ohio Pride!

Winks and Whiskers was born out of a love between pet and parent. Our driving force behind building a business as a family is that we got married to spend the rest of our life with each other, but after a 9-5 job there isn’t a lot of day left together. So for the next 5 months we spent all non-working hours in our spare bedroom office cranking away at building a business and a brand—a company inspired by our love for each other and our rescue.

Two months after our launch (May 2016) we bought an RV and started traveling full time. We now attend different pet events along the way selling our apparel as a family. With Sadie, our One-Eyed-Wonder by our side, we're bringing the world fresh, on trend graphic tees, tanks and accessories.

Winks & Whiskers

What drew you to your craft?

One afternoon in 2014 at a rescue shelter, we met Sadie, a five-year-old, one-eyed rottie/chow mix who stole our hearts. From that moment on, our lives were changed for good. Neither of us ever imagined how much pet adoption would affect us. Since that day almost four years ago, Sadie has never left our side. In attendance to any dog event we could find, we notice the lack of fashion forward tees for the proud animal lover. So, in a little (pet friendly) coffee shop in Grandview, Ohio, we came up with an idea for a line of apparel that would speak to pet parents like ourselves: proud and passionate with an eye for great design, Winks and Whiskers was born.

Winks & Whiskers

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

We take a lot of pride in our designs and the shirts we make them on. Our favorite tee we’ve made would have to be our Camping Buddy Tee. It’s our lifestyle through and through.

Camping Buddy

What did you want to be when you grew up?

We both wanted to be marine biologists. Free Willy was obviously played too much as we were kids! Fun fact: we finally got to see wild Orcas while traveling, one of the many advantages of living small and mobile!

Winks & Whiskers

What is your creative process?

We take so much pride in our designs. Everything is crafted in house by Eric, the creative of Winks and Whiskers and a lot of times it starts on paper in his favorite sketchbook. After that we pass it around to our closest pet parent friends to see if they’d wear it or not!

Winks & Whiskers

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Don’t wait and just do. You WILL learn along the way! If it fails, you learned so much during that journey about yourself, your family, and your friends.

Winks & Whiskers

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

People in your own community are putting their passions out for the world to see. Supporting them means you are supporting that person's dreams, artistic talents and ability to maintain being a maker in your community.

Winks & Whiskers

Why do you love doing what you do?

After rescuing Sadie, we knew Winks and Whiskers had to be more than just about a trendy design or in-season-saying. We had to make a difference. A portion of every purchase goes straight back to our Spotlight Charities. That means every two months we cut hardworking animal advocate groups a check and send it their way! The ability to do something together as a family and give a portion of it back to dogs and volunteers in need is the major reason we love what we do.

Winks & Whiskers

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

Do it! Take the leap and experience the good, the bad and the ugly. When you look back you will feel more fulfilled. Eric likes to compare it to the hour after a long run. You feel like you accomplished something and though your body is tired, you feel at peace and good about yourself.

Winks & Whiskers

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

Ohio is our home state! It’s funny when we talk to other people from more “adventurous” areas of the U.S. and they are so surprised when we tell them Ohio has more than just miles and miles of farms. We keep finding new places to visit and explore. You can’t go wrong with a full day or two at Hocking Hills!

Winks & Whiskers

Meet Winks & Whiskers at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd, 2017!

Clayflower Studios

Rikki Teeters

Clayflower Studios creates ceramics & grows potted plants in Cincinnati, Ohio. We interviewed owner, Britney, to learn more about her local business. Meet Clayflower Studios at our Mini Holiday Maker Mart Popup Shop on December 9th!

Clayflower Studios

Tell us about your local business.

Clayflower Studios is a potted plant and ceramic art business started by Britney Rhine and currently located in Cincinnati, Ohio. As an artist and self-proclaimed "plant mom", Britney wants to give people the tools to have healthy, happy plants and supply them with unique, handcrafted 'homes' for their plant friends!

Clayflower Studios

What drew you to your craft?

My Dad is both a skilled woodworker and avid gardener. His hobbies really led me to where I am today. Some of my earliest memories are either working with him out in our garden or in his woodshop. My love of plants and need to be surrounded by them was instilled at an early age. Working at Cincinnati's Civic Garden Center and then Delhi's West Hills Greenhouses really helped me hone in on my skills and knowledge of plants and learn the best ways to care for them. As an artist, my craft originally began in woodworking, mostly focusing on indoor and outdoor planter systems. However, after loosing access to my school's woodshop, it was necessary to find a more accessible medium for those forms. It wasn't until I began working and taking classes at Cincinnati's Queen City Clay that I was able to translate those skills to the clay world.

Clayflower Studios

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

Some of my more recent geometric planter pieces have been my favorite so far. After taking a really great handbuilding class at QCC, I learned how to work with hard slabs to create more angular forms. Even though clay can be a soft, malleable material, working in this way has been an interesting correlation to crafting with wood. I also really love making my "cactus cuties", that come in the form of pins, magnets, keychains, pendants or ornaments. They started as just a way of using up some excess clay, as I just cut out the cacti shapes from the leftover areas on the parts of the slab. All the shapes are cut out by hand, painted with underglaze, and carved using a sgraffito technique, making each piece completely one-of-a-kind. In both style and process, I feel like they are an expressive and fun companion to the more simple and precise geometric pieces. 

Clayflower Studios

What did you want to be when you grew up?

An artist, for sure. I always, always wanted to be an artist. My Mom actually has photos of me from a day in 4th or 5th grade, when we were supposed to come dressed as who we wanted to be when we grew up. I came dressed as Pablo Picasso.

Clayflower Studios

What is your creative process?

For both the plants and ceramic side of it, my process is actually surprisingly meticulous. I really thrive in a clean, organized environment. For the plants, I have separate trays for anything that I'm starting as a top cut vs leaf cutting, etc. For my ceramic work, I love doing everything in the same stages. I cut all my shapes out at the same time, assemble things, then clean all the forms, and do any glazing. I don't like the processes to overlap too much. 

Clayflower Studios

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

I think I would have waited a year or so to head off to school. I fumbled around quite a bit in my first couple years at the Art Academy. I went into school just thinking that I wanted to be an "artist", but I don't think I was mature enough at the time to really know what that meant. I knew plants were important to me, but I was never really sure how to turn them into "art". It wasn't until after graduating that I was really able to connect all the dots.

Clayflower Studios

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

Of course it is always so imperative to support the arts, but for me it also has a lot to do with our impacts on the environment. By purchasing any sort of item from a local maker, you know for a fact that that item was made here, by that person's hand, likely with local materials, and didn't have to be shipped 1000+ miles to your doorstep. I feel like buying local and handmade is one of the smallest steps we could take towards combating climate change.

Clayflower Studios

Why do you love doing what you do?

It's hard to even describe that feeling. Connecting with people and being able to share a love of plants and the natural world, as well as a love of the arts... it's just beyond words. I love seeing people go home with something that they adore and giving them the tools to care for it so that they might have it for years to come. 

Clayflower Studios

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

My advice to other women who want to be business owners is to use any resource available in your community that you can. Don't be too shy to ask others for help or advice. Cincinnati especially has such a wonderful community and a strong support system for makers and artists. I've learned so much just by observing and talking with other makers and entrepreneurs in this area. The greatest tool is those around you!

Clayflower Studios

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

The greatest thing about Exploring Ohio has got to be all the PARKS! I'm originally from a small town in southern Illinois that is completely surrounded by state parks, wildlife preserves, etc. Hiking, and exploring in general was such a huge part of my childhood so I was originally a little weary of moving to a city. However the transition to Cincinnati was so easy because even though I'm living in this (what feels like to me) "big city", we are completely surrounded by nature. Some of my favorite parks to visit are Glen Helen Nature Preserve, John Bryan State Park, Hocking Hills, Stonelick State Park and literally any/all of the Great Parks of Hamilton County!

Clayflower Studios
Clayflower Studios