If you follow our brand story, you know we operate a bit differently than most companies. Much of that has to do with the people who work here. When hiring, I’m looking for that customer service focus, but I’m also looking for that person’s creativity. How well is that potential employee going to transition a customer’s two-dimensional black and white logo into an artistic clay mug that develops an emotional attachment? Our customers depend on our people, originality, knowledge and follow through.
Reverse Glass Painting
Shelly, our goddess of sales, stands out in talent. She has a gift that she discovered a few years back. She paints, in reverse, on glass. You ever hear of this? Reverse glass painting is an art form consisting of applying paint to a piece of glass and then viewing the image from the other side of the glass. She paints from the backside starting with the foreground and works herself into the background. For me, it’s a bit incomprehensible how someone can do this – but she does it, quite remarkably. Even more astonishing is how she uses her talent with customers. JTH Homes and She-Brews Coffee are two customers who have benefited from her artistic talent.
Jason and Tricia Handy own JTH Custom Homes. Working together as husband and wife, they have been buying and building homes for 20+ years. The family-owned business started when they made updates to their own home and friends saw what they did and asked if they could refurbish their own homes. Well one thing led to another, and they have a business a little bit like what Chip and Joanna Gaines do on Fixer Upper – except JTH Homes started up more than 20 years ago.
As Jason and Tricia developed their building and refurbishing business, Tricia called Sunset Hill Stoneware wanting to use our mugs as client giveaway gifts. The problem was, Tricia had no logo or identity established for their business.
Now that’s a bit different for us as our business is Signature Stoneware™. We press customer brands into clay and attach that artwork to a clay mug. We’re not an ad agency – but we do end up educating and helping much of our customer base with their corporate identity. Tricia connected with Shelly and after a discussion of branding, decided to do something a bit similar to our SHS brand – using their business initials as a signature of the craftsmanship they provide to their customers.
As the years have transitioned, their artwork has evolved, yet their brand has remained consistent. We all know that if uniformity in branding is important to large companies; it is vital to small companies like JTH Homes and Sunset Hill Stoneware.
This past year Tricia called Shelly with a new challenge. Jason and she had bought a new coffee house located in the state of Washington. Tricia needed a business name, logo, mugs – and Shelly’s help!
Here’s where the story gets a bit uncanny. As they are pondering names back and forth, they eventually come up with She-Brews Coffee. Now we know that a good company name and/or tagline should express what the business does. They did a nice job with this.
Now they needed an image. Remember when I told you about Shelly’s reverse painting capabilities? Years ago, Shelly painted a photo of a woman simply because she loved it – it had no significant purpose. When she began working with Tricia, Shelly realized that the painting of the woman she had done years ago actually looked like Tricia. Shelly ended up mailing Tricia the painting as a token of their friendship. Grateful for the gift, Tricia placed the painting in her home on her mantle where it stayed for years – until the day she called Shelly about needing help with her coffee shop’s business identity.
As the two settled on the business name and pondered image possibilities over the phone, Tricia looked up at her mantle and saw the painting. It was in that instant that Tricia knew. The painting represented a strong, powerful woman and She-Brews was her. It was the very root of who she was and what she wanted their business to be.
She-Brews Coffee now had a name, a logo – and just a few weeks ago, they received their mugs with the She-Brews brand set in stone(ware).
It’s one of my favorite stories that make our stoneware.
Keeping watch. Pat