People love hand thrown stoneware and like to travel. Combining the two makes people happy – and that’s good for America and Sunset Hill Stoneware.
Since 1979, my tradition has been picking up a souvenir mug when my husband and I are on vacation. It started on our honeymoon in Hawaii. We were on Oahu and I picked up a mug at the International Marketplace. It rests in a prominent place in our home and brings back great memories. As we traveled through the years, I would stop at a museum or park store and select a mug that I liked. If I forgot, my husband would gently remind me. It makes us happy to have a visual keepsake of the places we’ve been.
The thing is – we have never considered ‘using’ the mugs. They’ve all been decorative additions. And I’m embarrassed to say, the mugs have all been made in China or a foreign land.
The week before I started at Sunset Hill Stoneware changed everything. We had traveled to Gettysburg to walk the battlefields and stopped at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. As habit would have it, I selected a mug. Prior to walking to the checkout, I wondered if Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs were available in the store. I walked around the corner and there they were – a top-to-bottom shelf display of beautiful, hand thrown, American-made mugs. I looked at the mug in my hand (from China) and put it down, while purchasing the artisan-thrown Sunset Hill Stoneware CM-8 style mug. The hand thrown Sunfire Red mug doesn’t decorate my home – it is used, daily.
Now when we travel, I’m selective about the mugs I purchase; only Sunset Hill Stoneware, only made in America. It’s a lesson I learned along the way. We need to support America, small businesses and support quality-made products.
Our customers enjoy collecting Sunset Hill Stoneware. They like the different styles, the different color options. When they visit America’s landmarks – whether it is a museum store or national park, they look to add to their pottery collection. And these aren’t decorative pieces, they use our stoneware in their daily life because they know it has been tested and safe to use in their homes. They look for our Sunset Hill Stoneware seal of approval located on the bottom of the mug.
You’ll find Sunset Hill Stoneware at events too. There’s a convention that starts today in Oshkosh called EAA AirVenture. It attracts 500,000 people and 10,000 airplanes from across the globe. Imagine 10,000 airplanes flying into Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a city that maintains a population of just over 65,000. It certainly is a sight to be seen. The EAA AirVenture convention planners have been purchasing Sunset Hill Stoneware collectible mugs since 2011 and reselling them to attendees. Imagine our product on display before 500,000 attendees. It gives me chills just thinking about it!
David Williford attends AirVenture every year – and recently sent a photo of his collection. He also shared, “I have a collection of your mugs bought each year at AirVenture, in Oshkosh, WI. The first year they were offered was in 2012. I have enjoyed collecting them.” Our team never gets tired of seeing our customer’s personal collections.
Beer fanatics are also excited about collecting beer steins – either for annual mug clubs or from different craft brewers across the country.
We’re privileged to work with Iron Hill Brewery in Pennsylvania and their fans for the past 5 years. Their King of the Hill Rewards Club offers exclusive perks including a free 24-oz beer mug. They won’t let you buy the exclusive mug; it’s for members only!
Alyssa, from Buffalo, NY shares, “I love my new SHS mug! Please make more of these for breweries in Western New York and I will collect all of them!
There are hundreds of these stories, thousands of places to find Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs. It’s a bit humbling. What personally started as a simple souvenir collection for myself, has evolved into a larger understanding that people are passionate about America, the places they’ve traveled and their collections. We create mugs and memories. Duane likes to say we create Memory Mugs.
Keeping watch. Pat