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

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Filtering by Category: Cleveland

Dippity and Snark

Rikki Teeters

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

Tell us about your business.

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What drew you to your craft?

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What is your creative process?

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

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

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

Dippity and Snark Ohio Maker Mart

Shore Society

Rikki Teeters

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

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

Tell us about Shore Society.

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

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

What drew you to your craft?

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

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

Fleeting Fox Photography Lake Erie Tee.jpg

What is your creative process?

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

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

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

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

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

Shore Society Ohio Maker Mart

Little Birdie Design Studio

Rikki Teeters

Little Birdie Design Studio is a small local business in Akron, Ohio. They specialize in creating knit products by hand. We recently interviewed owner, Tori, to learn more about her company. Meet Little Birdie Design Studio on June 3, 2018 at our Summer Maker Mart!

Little Birdie Design Studio

Tell us about your local business.

Little Birdie Design Studio, located in Akron Ohio. Founded in 2009, Little Birdie Design Studio has grown from a crafting hobby into an established company that specializes in hand-knit statement pieces. Each product has been hand-knit from a custom design pattern created by owner/designer, Tori Tedesco. LBDS values the art of knitting and the process it takes to create each individual piece. Every item is handcrafted with attention to detail, giving each finished product a personalized touch. Our mission is to combine the craft of knitting with the world of fashion accessories. LBDS offers seasonal accessory collections that are both stylish and functional.

Little Birdie Design Studio

What drew you to your craft?

As a graphic designer I was looking for a creative outlet that I could do in the evenings to get my mind off of work and my eyes off of a computer screen. When I was young my mother taught me to crochet, but I had always had an interest in knitting. So I started teaching myself how to knit. From there my love for working with yarn grew!

Little Birdie Design Studio

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

I think my favorite piece I have ever made is my new Cross Body Tote Bag. This design was a real labor of love. I spent almost a year finding the right materials, creating the design pattern and fine tuning the finished product.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was young I was in love with both Ballet and Photography. I had dreams of being in either field and being truly happy. After graduation, I attended Kent State University where I majored in Visual Communication Design and followed my dreams by minoring in Photography and Dance Performance. After college I went on to join 2 different dance companies in Cleveland and continued to follow my love for photography by picking up freelance jobs. As time went on, my body could no longer take the demands of dance world and I had to give up on a passion I had had since I was 5 years old.

Little Birdie Design Studio

What is your creative process?

The way I design each piece starts with a vision of something I would want to wear or use. From there I select a yarn that fits the style I am going for and then I start knitting the piece by trial and error. All of my pieces come from my own design (never from another artist’s pattern) and I build my pattern as the piece develops. I will work on the design until I have it just perfect and fitting the function I was looking for in the beginning.

Little Birdie Design Studio

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Get ready and hold on to your hat, because your life is about to head in a direction you could have never imagine! But everything is going to be ok, just trust your gut, stay true to yourself and believe in yourself.

Little Birdie Design Studio

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

Supporting local artist and makers means you are keeping your money local and supporting your community and those in it. There is something truly special about being able to buy a product from a local business or maker, being able to meet the maker, and knowing you can trust the materials and craftsmanship that went into the product.

Little Birdie Design Studio

Why do you love doing what you do?

I love seeing people wearing and enjoying a product that I made with my own hands.

Little Birdie Design Studio

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

Love what you do! Believe in your product. If you do not love it, then others will not either.

Little Birdie Design Studio

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

I grew up in Dover Ohio, but enjoyed my youth playing in the fields of my grandparents’ dairy farm in Ragersville, Ohio. After moving to the Akron area I was afraid I would not have places to go to enjoy the outdoors and hiking. However, after meeting my husband, who grew up in the Akron area, he showed me just how much hiking and adventure we can have through the Summit Metro Parks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. When time allows and when the weather is decent, you will find us out hiking with our pups your kayaking the Cuyahoga.

Little Birdie Design Studio

The Hand Letter Shop

Rikki Teeters

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

The Hand Letter Shop

Tell us about your business.

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

The Hand Letter Shop

What drew you to your craft?

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

The Hand Letter Shop

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

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

The Hand Letter Shop

What did you want to be when you grew up?

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

The Hand Letter Shop

What is your creative process?

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

The Hand Letter Shop

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

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

Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

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

The Hand Letter Shop

Why do you love doing what you do?

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

The Hand Letter Shop
The Hand Letter Shop

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

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

The Hand Letter Shop

What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

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

The Hand Letter Shop