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Made Local: Ohio Creative Collective

The Ohio Creative Collective is a community-based organization that creates opportunities for Ohio makers. (WSYX/WTTE)

The Ohio Creative Collective is a community-based organization that creates opportunities for Ohio makers.

Jessica Foust, who is on the leadership team explains, “We give them an outlet to work with each other, to network, to facilitate events for them to learn and for them to facilitate their own creative events, as well.”

She owns Creatively Stated a boutique workshop in Downtown Dublin focused on facilitating the creative spirit through handmade products and workshops.

“We also offer art space, so we do art classes, workshops, basically a way for the community to get involved with our makers,” Jessica said.

There are more than 100 local business owners in the OCC and one of them is Chelsea Dipman the owner of Glitteracy.

“Glitteracy kind of evolved as a way for me to continue my passion in art,” Chelsea said. “I'm an art teacher K through five, but I was looking for some way to get involved in the community and sell things that I was really excited about and that reflected my love of Ohio and Columbus.”

She creates hand letterings, drawings, watercolors, t-shirts, mugs and pins.

“I always call it my adult lemonade stand, so anything that I think other people will enjoy that I can have a creative hand with.”

Michelle Kirby is another member of the OCC and she owns Shelly Lou’s Lids.

“I started it about four years ago,” Michelle said. “I'm a social worker and that job can be somewhat draining, so I needed a creative outlet.”

Shelly Lou’s Lids is made up of unique, comfortable hats that showcase state pride.

“Primarily, I make the trucker style hat. People just seem to really enjoy the mesh back. It's a little lighter for the summer. I also do a cadet style, which you may know as more of an army style hat, which is flat and it's cotton. Just real comfortable.”

April Smith says her business reimagining and repurposing art and home decor started as just a hobby.

“I created some pieces in my house to decorate,” she said. “I'm big into inspirational quotes, so I took frames from the Goodwill, that I had found, some old, ugly frames, and I turned them into something new. I created a new background and added a fun quote to them. They decorate my entire house. I ran out of wall space and kind of just kept going. I had so much fun making them that I just wanted to continue it. It was a fun outlet for me. I evolved into some other pieces and it's just been great.”

Now, that hobby is a full-fledged business: Rewined Designed.

Like many other Ohio makers, all of these women work full-time jobs as well as run their small businesses.

They agree that Ohio Creative Collective’s biggest plus is the community it provides.

“The Ohio Creative Collective is a great way to meet makers in Columbus,” April said. “I have met so many new friends and formed lifelong bonds from the events that the Ohio Creative Collective puts on. It's a lifelong friendship.”

Chelsea agrees, “I really like that they have events that help you be a better business owner...They also have networking events, which is really fun, because you get to know different other makers that you haven't met before and then you can collaborate or pick their brain on certain different things.”

“I have made so many good friends in the maker community,” Michelle said. “They're really supportive and I just feel blessed to have found this group of people... the support is just amazing and if I think about it too much, I start crying.”

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