Much like the Fiona story, Trish McLennan, owner of Gardenhouse Pottery, has inspired us with her story. Learn more about the boss behind the gloss in her interview with the WestSide Market.
Come out and meet Trish and many more amazing local business owners on August 4th from 10-4PM at the WestSide Market.
Business: Gardenhouse Pottery
Owner: Trish McLennan
Product: Girlboss (not serious enough for a title)
Tell us about your business, how did you get started?
I had the studio before I knew what I was going to do with it. We bought some property with an old house on it in 1998. I knew I wanted to keep the house to use as a place to do messy crafts with my kids and friends. We built our new house and kept the other one and dubbed it “The Gardenhouse.”
In 2010, friend of mine talked me into doing a pottery workshop, pressing leaves into clay. I was hooked. I bought a kiln a few months later and a wheel shortly after that. I obsessed over You Tube videos on throwing, hand building and glaze making. On our way to the beach, I would kick my family out of the car when we reached the hotel near Seagrove, North Carolina, so I could squeeze a couple hours of studio tours in before dinner. I took over the Gardenhouse and made it a pottery studio.
When my husband passed away from a sudden heart attack in 2013, I needed to make a choice about how I was going to go from stay-at-home mom to full time bread winner. I had been out of the job market for 16 years and had no desire to go back. In three years, I had established myself to the point to call it a full-time job. I didn’t start this in a traditional way, but I feel more confident in what I’m doing and excited about future projects.
How long have you been in business?
I started doing pottery in 2010 and it went from hobby to business in 2013. I still don’t really think of it as a business. I’m really just doing what I’m passionate about.
What is your favorite part of running your own business?
My favorite part is being able to switch back and forth from being completely alone and focused on my work to being thrown into a crowd of strangers. The freedom to do whatever I want in my space, on my schedule is something I do not take for granted. It’s a dream job. My favorite part about the shows is the people I meet. I never fail to be touched by hearing someone’s story.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It’s easy to see I get a lot of inspiration from my home town of Cincinnati. I went to Oakley Elementary school in 4th grade and our social studies course was on Cincinnati history. We took a field trip to the Taft Museum where we had a scavenger hunt looking for the various design details in the furniture and architecture. It was a turning point for me and I have been fine tuned to them ever since.
What are some of your favorite local businesses?
The Rhined, Memorial Hall, Indigenous, DIY Printing, Rhinegeist, Core Clay, Queen City Clay, Brewhouse, Essex Studio
Near me (Maineville) O’Bryons, The Monkey Bar and Grill, Mac’s Pizza, Bucks, Whipty Do, Loveland Canoe, Whistle Stop Pottery
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I would like to do less shows and more business online. I have a nice classroom in my studio and would like to use that as a creative space for women to do workshops in all types of mediums.
Come meet Trish and call our her amazing Cincinnati inspired pieces at the WestSide Market August 4th.