The recent shelter-in-place ruling by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has had drastic effects on our community and small business owners in particular. Although the mandates are necessary to help curb the spread of COVID-19, they have necessitated the temporary closure of all non-essential small businesses. Regular artisan markets like City Flea, Oakley’s Fancy Flea, and others have also been postponed for the foreseeable future, which means many local makers are relying on e-commerce, selling their work and wares on sites such as Etsy. From handmade polymer clay earrings to Cincinnati-themed screen-printed T-shirts, here’s a short list of some of our favorite local makers who could use your support.
Maya Collins Goods
Maya Collins makes handmade polymer clay earrings with funky designs that will make your ears pop—in the best way possible. Her mission is to bring happiness to people that may be going through a tough time by creating unique, one-off designs. “Making earrings is like a type of therapy for me, so if I can bring joy to someone from something that I’ve made, I’ve done my job,” she says on her website.
With a combined 15-plus years of woodworking experience, husband-and-wife duo Dan and Lauren Hendley create custom wooden home decor and artwork, ranging from detailed pet portraits to kitchen supplies to personalized bracelets and necklaces. So while you’re forced to spend extra time indoors, Branded Woodworks can help bring the great outdoors to you with their elaborate natural products.
What better way to stay in touch with friends and family during this quarantine than with a heartfelt letter? The self-taught artist behind Unfettered Letters, Gracia Goldberg, makes Cincinnati- and Northern Kentucky–themed postcards, prints, mugs, and more to help give your correspondence a personal touch. She also offers online calligraphy courses on her website, and now is as good a time as any to pick up a new skill.
Shannon Westmeyer Jewelry
Shannon Westmeyer crafts necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, and more that are all cast using authentic wax seals, which date back to the early 1800s. Every piece she makes is unique, whether it’s a necklace with a waning crescent moon or a skull ring that looks like it was dug up with a pirate’s treasure. Each piece also comes with a description of the wax seal’s history and origin.
Kim & Kimberly
Got a bourbon-loving scientist in your house? The owners of this namesake Etsy shop create quirky prints for your walls that break down bourbon, beer, and other drink concoctions to their molecular level. They also sell mossball terrarium kits, candles in glass beakers, science-themed drinking glassware, and an assortment of other similar gifts.
Milford-based husband-and-wife team Tomas Harper and Tabitha McClung launched McHarper Manor when they needed a little extra income after having their fourth and final kid. Together, they create quirky Cincinnati-themed graphic tees that are branded with comical musings such as Drink Wines From Local Wines, or Make S’mores Not Wars, and they also create shirts themed around local events such as Flying Pig.
Old Hills Design Co.
Middletown-based Vanessa Graham fashions timeless, elegant jewelry pieces out of precious metals and stones. She also offers made-to-order jewelry services and sells hand-thrown, low-fire coffee mugs that are emblazoned with the same jewels found on their pieces.
West Haven Candle Company
If you’re required to spend your time at home for the foreseeable future, your space might as well smell good. West Haven Candle Company can help with that, with hand-poured small-batch candles. Scents range from magnolia peony to beach linen, both of which are included in the spring candle sampler pack, along with four other seasonal scents. Our favorite scent overall? The banana bread candle, of course.