Meet our Makers
JOHN MCQUADE PHOTOGRAPHY
John's appreciation for natural beauty is evident in his photography. The most simple things are transformed into images that can take viewers to another place. He can bring us to a southern plantation in the mid-1800s just as easily as he can to the extraordinary plush mountain range in another country. We are there with him, enjoying the moment as if our own.
Over the years, John has photographed areas all over the United States and has ventured into Canada, Ireland, Italy, and Iceland. His travels always bring him back home to North Carolina where he has great enthusiasm for photographing along our coast and in our mountains. John continues to master various techniques; moving from developing black and white photographs in the darkroom to creating digital images on the computer. The gallery for John McQuade Photography is located within Small Batch where you'll be delighted to find a collection of images as well as stationery and encaustic photo journals in a variety of sizes. And fun fact... John McQuade is also Shannon's dad!
ASHEVILLE SPICE COMPANY
Created by friends Brian Smith, Zach Neill and Dustin Dow, Asheville Spice Company seeks to restore the trust in home cooking. Brian is an Asheville chef and restaurateur, owning Rezaz Pan Mediterranean Cuisine and Baba Nahm – a Mediterranean Grab & Go. His spice blends are born out of experience. Tested and true, they add the right amount of flavor and spice to every meal. Zach, born and raised in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina, is an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. He fly fishes and camps; grills and barbecues. He loves Everyman Spice for his steaks and burgers and River Spice for his mountain trout. Dustin, a single parent and busy lawyer, represents the city man. He has no time to heat the grill or baste a perfectly roasted chicken. He needs flavor fast and dinner easy. Whether it is adding a pinch of Yard Bird to a chicken breast or dry rubbing a ribeye with Everyman Spice, Dustin always pulls off a family dinner. We love them all!!
CAROLINA COFFEE COMPANY
After twenty plus years in the restaurant business, Steve Owens was ready to slow down a bit, spend more time with his family and use his talents and experience doing something different. He wasn't quite sure what it would be, but he was intrigued with the sudden growth of the gourmet coffee industry. Still searching himself for a really good cup of coffee he set his sights and ideas in that direction.
Steve and his wife Ann love working together side-by-side each day in the wonderful world they call coffee. They are passionate about what they do and consider their customers their friends as well. They are grateful for the opportunity to do something they love to do and to continue to create new coffees and gifts for "Your Sipping Pleasure"!
Dianne holds a BFA in Art with an emphasis in Design. Her early career was spent working in Interior Design, and later as an Art teacher in the Craven County school system.
Since retiring she has concentrated on painting in acrylics and mixed media on canvas. Nudes and abstracts are her favorites, but she also does expressive faces and art for children's rooms.
"I hope my art speaks to the viewer and whatever it says is fine. I am not trying to convey a message. I want the marriage of color and form to be interesting and pleasing."
Dianne resides in Trent Woods and paints from her home studio. Her work is found in a number of private collections in the United States and abroad.
Earthen is a collection of functional ceramics and homeware rooted in folk craft and modern design. Independent, woman-owned, and based in San Francisco, Earthen creates simple, timeless pieces that celebrate the beauty of everyday rituals. Each piece is handmade with durable stoneware and is dishwasher + microwave safe.
FRENCH BROAD CHOCOLATE
In 2012, Dan and Jael’s dream of becoming bean-to-bar chocolate makers was realized, and they opened French Broad Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room. Intent on nurturing connections to the source, French Broad Chocolates began sourcing cacao from trusted farmers and transforming it into fine chocolate, which we continue to this day. The flavors of cacao, paired with ingredients thoughtfully selected for their integrity, provide inspiration for a compendium of confections and desserts, which are humbly served to our patrons in Asheville and beyond.
GRETCHEN QUINN POTTERY
Gretchen makes functional ceramics that are a reflection of her love for simple luxuries. By combining hand-carved patterns with clean, modern shapes, she craft wares that are a pleasure to both use and admire.
GINGER LEIGH DESIGNS
Though she has lived in many places, Ginger Leigh credits her birth in New Orleans with creating the foundation of her soul and spirt. It is what gave her a true appreciation for all things old and with a history.
Ginger graduated from University of Colorado with a pre-med degree; however, having always been surrounded by artistic people, she developed a true appreciation and talent for combining colors, textures, and styles. She explored numerous artistic mediums, tools, theories, subjects and business endeavors, and in true Southern style, coined her business, "Ginger Leigh Designs", 12 years ago.
After piloting a stationery company, a retail storefront and a licensing company always selling her artistic designs, Ginger now has a blossoming wholesale business, and we are thrilled to have her unique works of art in Small Batch.
GRIS GRIS COCKTAIL MAGIC
Never without a wide array of hot sauces, Jutta created Gris Gris Cocktail Magic as a way to bring my love of all things spicy to her cocktails. Her mother, a New Orleans native who was a gifted cook and a relaxed, gracious hostess, loved nothing more than a good laugh with her friends and family … Gris Gris Cocktail Magic is a nod to her joie de vivre. When you add a splash to your drink, we hope it also brings you a little happiness with each sip. Thank you so much for letting Gris Gris be part of your next gathering!
GRIT & GRACE STUDIO
Grit & Grace Studio's beautifully painted oyster and clam shells add seaside flair to any home. Additionally, it is a green company with an in-house oyster shell recycling program. We recycle 10 oysters for each shell jewelry dish sold and have returned more than 5,000 gallons of shells to our coast through oyster reef restoration efforts. Each purchase made has a positive impact on our precious Earth!
JUNE AND DECEMBER
Husband and wife team in Detroit, Michigan, Nick and Katie Forte, founded June & December with an adventurous spirit and the idea that the most memorable gifts have a meaningful story to tell. Katie’s amazing artwork celebrates and explores the natural wonder found all around us. The company focuses not just great design, but great products: Their texture, their weight, the feel of quality-made paper and fabrics. The company also uses locally sources materials made in the USA.
Katie Curry has been painting since childhood but more recently taught herself watercolors to design her own wedding invitations in 2015. Once she had some experience designing her own invites, Katie decided to start a business creating custom wedding invitations for others. While she was working on weddings, Katie also began selling flour sack tea towels printed with her beautiful watercolor designs. She loved the concept that people were using an everyday item that had my watercolor artwork on it. Unlike wedding invitations, these towels were made to last!
IRON FISH DISTILLERY
Iron Fish Distillery is Michigan’s first working farm solely dedicated to the practice of distilling small-batch craft spirits. The family reclaimed a late 1890’s abandoned farmstead with a simple mission in mind: to create exceptional spirits from the ground up, growing their own grain and sourcing grain from Michigan farmers with practices that respect the health of nearby watersheds. Their true passion is to offer customers and visitors the craft of soil-to-spirit distilling from a family that cares about its employees, community, and the living land. Iron Fish is committed to replacing global with local wherever they can, with the highest standards along the way. While we of course do not offer Iron Fish spirits in the shop, we are delighted to be able to share their delicious maple syrup, which is stored in bourbon barrels until the flavors of maple and oak marry with a hint of bourbon whiskey.
For almost two decades, Mariella Luz, the 'm' of m.bueno, worked behind the scenes in the music industry. She worked for a record label and ran an all ages venue. In 2014, when the music venue closed its doors, she took a ceramics class, and a year later, sold some of her first work. Needless to say, she was hooked. Based in a small town in Washington State, m.bueno attempts to create work that is beautiful, functional and affordable; items that can be used every day and are simple enough to mix in with things you already own.
This San Francisco Bay area studio was founded by designer Lisa Willis in 2008 with a mission to bring stylish correspondence to mailboxes everywhere. Her offerings have expanded to include greeting cards, social stationery, announcements, and more. Each piece is hand-printed on vintage presses, using luxurious cotton and recycled content papers. This collection of charming cards and social stationery is will delight both the writer and the recipient
NATE COTTERMAN GLASSWARE
Nate Cotterman is known for his modern interpretation of glass objects, using traditional Venetian glass blowing techniques, he challenges low-end production with innovative design and handmade quality. He has created a line of bar ware, lighting, & home décor that is both subtle and powerful. His simple forms highlight the natural beauty of the material.
Nate is currently 1 of 7 Artists in Residence at Penland School of Crafts. He will live and work in Penland North Carolina from Sept 2018-2021, building his own hot shop and growing his business alongside some of the craft world’s most talented makers. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Glass and has worked as a gaffer for some of today’s top designers and makers. In addition, he is a sought-after instructor in the field, having demonstrated across the US at institutions such as the University of Montana, Cleveland Institute of Art, Pittsburgh Glass Center, and Pilchuck School of Glass.
A couple years ago, a fun family trip ended up becoming a memorable event in Nina’s life when she and her family, so enraptured by the beauty of the olive groves in the Spain’s rolling hills, bought their very own small olive grove. Their plot of land in Sorbas in the Almeria Region had nine hundred matured Spanish Arbequina and Manzanillo trees. The land is classified as Organic, and they have regular inspections for the renewal of our EU Organic Farm Certificate every year.
Since Nina’s grove is an EU certified organic grove, they don’t use insecticides, pesticides, or herbicides at all. They believe in the natural healing wonders of the Sun, which is abundantly available to use 320 days of the year, and the wonderful caressing winds that blow through their grove. Legend has it that Clint Eastwood once walked upon the very land that is now home to Nina’s grove. In fact, the beautiful desert hills of Tabernas (not far from the farm) are where Mr. Eastwood chose to film his famous movie, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. And best of all, Nina’s olive oil always tastes fresh and fantastic!
OLIVE & LOOM
Olive & Loom. Soul-made, simple, traditional, functional products. We started this journey in 2016 inspired by the wonderful Turkish Baths / Hamam rooted in the rich history of the Ottoman Empire. Our hand-loomed peshtemal towels are made from 100% Turkish cotton, enriched by bright sunny skies and warm Mediterranean breezes. We accompany our towels with rich Olive Oil soap bars: natural, moisturizing & soothing, and infused with wonderful fragrances.
Laura Lobdell began her career in graphic design, and much of what she does today is rooted in and well served by her extensive design background. On any given day, you may find Laure creating a new painting, sketching plans for future collections, or gathering inspiration by the sea. Much of her art is influenced by my coastal surroundings. Laura lives and works in the Wilmington, North Carolina area with her husband their two creative, ocean loving children.
Prodigal Pottery started from the dream to create jobs for women fleeing homelessness and domestic abuse in a safe and therapeutic environment. Kings Home is home and safe haven to over 50 women who are seeking hope and restoration from pasts riddled with abuse and homelessness. When King's Home was donated an industrial kiln and pottery supplies, the dream to create jobs for the women of Kings Home in a safe and therapeutic environment became a reality. Since Prodigal Pottery started, the women, many who are working on their GEDs, grow in their basic job skills. As they have learned how to roll clay, “love” any imperfections, paint, tag and inventory pottery, they are also creatively solving problems and developing relationships in the workplace.
Usa Leckenby, the woman behind PurePalette, hails from Thailand, but gathered design experience after college at a furniture and rug company in Southern California. She was inspired to start her own business after moving to Woodbridge, Virginia and now creates her own scents and crafts hand-poured soy candles. In addition to candles, she produces a wide variety of natural products, including massage and body oils, room sprays, reed diffusers, lip balms, and more.
RVPottery was founded in 2015 by ceramic artist and entrepreneur Rachel Vandivort. Rachel earned a degree in Studio Arts with an emphasis in ceramics from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. It was during her time at Belmont that she fell in love with clay, quickly finding her own signature style as a functional potter. She has continued to develop and reinvent her craft and strives to create beautiful, unique pottery that finds use in people’s everyday lives. Rachel hand throws and fires all pieces at her home studio in Dickson, TN.
All of Julie Spako's ceramics are made in her studio near Austin, Texas. Each piece is hand drawn with underglaze and then dipped in glaze. All of her glazes are food and microwave safe. She makes small batch one of a kind ceramic pieces, and loves the balance between the complexity of drawing with the simplicity of hand-built pottery. All of her glazes are food safe, dishwasher and microwave safe.