Tennessee ceramicist Leanne Moe-McQueen crafts a simple yet sophisticated line of dinnerware designed to make even an everyday meal look good.
The artist & owner: Grew up in North Dakota and graduated in 2009 with a degree in ceramics from the University of Tennessee. She started working as a potter in a small shop in an old brownstone in downtown Maryville, Tenn. Three years later, McQueen moved next door to a larger space and opened a teaching studio. In 2014, she founded McQueen Pottery.
The company: McQueen Pottery makes hand-formed dinnerware with a modern shape and fresh look.
What’s popular: Five-piece place setting ($190). A set includes a dinner, salad and bread plate, plus a pasta bowl and mug.
Other favorites: Bud vases ($24), often in a grouping of three.
Fun requests: Working with chefs, including Sean Brock, Cassidee Dabney and Joseph Lenn, on dish collections for their restaurants.
Claim to fame: Selected by Garden & Gun magazine for a 2016 “Made in the South Award.”
Where to buy: www.mcqueenpottery.com
SKIP THE PAPER
Georgia’s Jennifer Zamudio started sewing cloth napkins years ago as a creative outlet. And a practical one.
The owner & inspiration: Originally from California, Zamudio worked as an art education teacher for more than 10 years in San Diego. On the side, the eco-conscious mother sewed cloth napkins to use at family meals and as gifts for friends. Fifteen years ago, she and her family moved to Georgia.
The company: Dot & Army started in 2009 in Brunswick. The company, named for Zamudio’s maternal grandparents (Dot and Army), produces reusable table and kitchen linens, including napkins for all occasions and elastic bowl covers ($14).
What’s popular: A set of 10 seersucker napkins ($50). The 18-inch napkins can be ordered in any combination of colors, but many customers order a mixed set of colors, including khaki, red, gray, blue, orange, green, navy blue, aqua and yellow.
Other favorites: The Unpaper Towels (set of 12 for $40). Use (and reuse) instead of paper towels.
Big breaks: Being part of the Food52 team (food52.com) and featured in Southern Living’s Christmas Gift Guide in 2016.
Where to buy: www.dotandarmy.com and in Atlanta at Steve McKenzie’s, 999 Brady Ave. NW, (stevemckenzies.com). Dot and Army will also be on hand at Southern Makers, a two-day event (Aug. 12-13) to celebrate Southern creativity and innovation in Birmingham, Ala.
Texas native Christine Flores knows bees are important to the planet — and her family business.
The company: The Beeswax Co. is based in Dripping Springs, Texas, a suburb of Austin. It started in 1997 and was bought by Flores’ father (John Austin) in 2010. The company produces 100 percent beeswax candles and bulk beeswax from selected growers.
The background: Christine, who runs the company, took an interest in honey bees at an early age. Her great-grandfather was a vegetarian cattle rancher who grew organic gardens and raised bees. His legacy remains. Christine hand-finishes her candles using the same simple beekeeping tools her great-grandfather used to harvest his honey.
What’s popular: Pillars in various sizes ($15 to $200) are burnished by hand to give the candles their unique finish.
Other favorites: Tea lights ($7 to $24) and standard votives ($12 to $36) for parties and weddings. Also hand-poured container candles ($16 to $38) for travel or as a decorative touch in a space.
Where to buy: beeswaxco.com