The best things about running a market are the people we get to meet. Our vendors are the most talented, creative, interesting group of people. We are truly in awe of them. Over the years, many have become friends. We want you to get to know them, too. We think you'll love them like we do.
Our first guest is Hannah Thees, owner of Spoons & Such. Hannah has been a vendor/friend for years. We're thrilled to introduce you to her.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Have you always been an artist?
I have been creating art since I was a kid, always drawing, painting, making things and collecting things. In middle school I realized, though, that I was a actually pretty good and one of the best in the class. (Not to toot my own horn or anything. In reality I was still pretty bad, but just better than most of the kids in my class) It was that class that made me realize that I wanted to take art more seriously. I took every art class I could during high school and after graduating, I decided to go to an art college to pursue a career in art. In the meantime, I was obsessed with collecting things, and rummaging through antique shops and garage sales. I had been collecting silverware for many years starting in middle school, and I would constantly buy old costume jewelry anytime we went antiquing. I didn't realize at the time but the combination of those things were the start of my jewelry career.
Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I remember really wanting to be an architect in middle school. For our career fair I interviewed a local architect and did an entire project on it. I realized quickly after doing that project that being an architect meant a lot of math! I did enjoy math as a class but I definitely didn't want to have to use math for the rest of my life! After that, I knew I wanted to do something art related but had no idea exactly what.
How did you get started in your craft?
I went to college at Columbus College of Art & Design and I majored in illustration. I originally thought I wanted to illustrate children's books. I really enjoyed what I was doing but I don't think I was passionate about it. It wasn't until my senior year that I started to become more curious in jewelry making. My roommate had taken a jewelry class and I immediately became interested in what she was working on and making. So when my FINAL semester at CCAD came around I was determined to get into the metalsmithing class. I made it into the class and I knew from the moment I sat down at my jeweler's bench that first day that jewelry was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do because I look forward to doing it. I wake up in the morning and I get excited to go to my studio and create. I love that I am able to work with my hands and create things every single day. I love the feeling when a customer comes up to my booth at an art show wearing a piece of jewelry that I had made in the past, and them having no knowledge that I would even be there, and each of us getting excited and chatting about it. I love that I can create my own hours and work whenever I want. And I love meeting and talking with people every weekend at markets such as the OFF Market
What would you tell your 21 year old self?
The main thing I would tell myself is to SAVE MONEY! My 21 year old self was more interested in spending money on beer than saving for a future business.
What are you most excited about in your business?
Right now at this moment I am most excited about the holiday show season. I look forward to helping people come up with the perfect Christmas gift for a friend or a loved one. I just love meeting and talking with people. In the future, I am excited to continue to grow my business and begin to work on new designs with the hopes of incorporating new materials such as gold, and high quality rare gemstones. My work is always changing and evolving and it gets me so excited when I think about what the future holds for Spoons & Such.
Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by many people including close friends and family members, but I think what inspires me most is nature, the outdoors, and traveling. I love to explore new places whether here in Cincinnati, or in other states and countries. Driving down a road I've never driven on or walking though a park I've never been through inspires me most. I love to just look up and around and take it all in. Those are the times that I feel most inspired.
What keeps you going on the hard days?
On days I am feeling unmotivated or my creativity just isn't there, things that keep me going are a long coffee date with my bestie, a walk to my favorite cafe, or a movie date in the middle of the afternoon with my boyfriend. I almost always feel better afterward and ready to get back to it. Usually noticing things are not going right, taking a step back, and relaxing for a bit help tremendously.
Do you have a favorite quote?
I wouldn't say that I have a favorite quote but I did see something the other day that really resonated with me.
"Simply creating something that did not exist in the world before, you realize your destiny" -Slava Polunin