Smartfish Studio & Sustainable Supply is located at 1301 Main St. in the heart of Over-The-Rhine, Cincinnati. This design and art supply store is focused on materials, tools, and resources that are made in the US, produced sustainably, and beyond the basics currently available in the local market. It’s the kind of store this city has needed since I was a student at DAAP, and we were spending days sourcing the supplies we were supposed to be working with, on our own. We also sell handmade shoes and teach a shoemaking class from our studio.
As an Industrial Design student at DAAP, we struggled to source the supplies we needed, and after graduation as I began working within the independent designer community, we were continually running into the same sourcing issues. We were spending days and days hunting for well-made materials and tools, that were produced sustainably, made in the US, and beyond the basics available locally, so that’s what my shop provides.
Less of a thought and more of a dance was done upon being selected as a finalist. My first impression of the program is that it was intense, but so good. The quality of information, the dedicated instructors, and the overall support system makes all the work worth it. My favorite part of the program is meeting all of the amazing people involved in the program, the staff, the instructors, the mentors, the past finalists, the other current finalists, what an inspiring group to be a part of.
My inspiration comes from the caliber and concentration of art and design programs in Cincinnati is rare and inspiring. I love being able to support these students and schools, and the working designer and artist community that has emerged as we are finallyretaining more and more of these talented alumnae. And, on a personal level, I am incredibly fortunate to have Chris Davis of Fabricate, Katie Garber of Atomic Number Ten, and Lisa Kagen of Meltand Picnic & Pantry, as mentors, friends, and inspiration.
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