Quirky Ceramics from SMO
Women Supporting Women
HERstory Month Interview Series
This month in honor of Women's HERstory Month we are asking a few makers that have supported us from the beginning to share their stories. When women encourage each other incredible things happen!
Sarah is wearing our Eye Print Smock Top and Eye Print Linen Pants
Shortly after opening Jenny Lemons, a friend introduced me to Sarah’s adorable ceramics. They were so quirky and fun- I immediately ordered some to sell in our shop. Sarah has been involved at Jenny Lemons since the beginning as a maker, and now as our shop and brand manager! I value her positive attitude, creative mind, and always adorable outfits!
Why did you start your business?
"After working in recruiting for years I missed having a creative outlet so I decided to take a ceramic class at City College SF. Right away I was hooked. I loved making things with my hands, and most of all I loved being part of a creative community again. I started making cute little fruit dishes and a friend in the class, Anastasia , said she had a friend who just opened a store and thought my work would be a perfect fit. That person turned out to be Jennie of Jenny Lemons, she placed my very first wholesale order, and the rest is history! SMO Ceramics was born and I continued down the path of growing my own business. I have met so many wonderful women through this creative outlet and I am thankful for all their help and support."
Tell us about a women who mentored you or who influenced your business.
"Many women have influenced and mentored me throughout my life, starting with my Grandmother and Mother, who set a strong example by being strong women who owned their own business’. They instilled an entrepreneurial spirit in me that made me confident in starting my own venture. In my growth as a ceramicist, there have been so many women who have helped me along the way. Just to list a few, Amanda Durbin helped get my creative juices flowing and let me use her kiln when I first started, and Joan Pear, my ceramics fairy godmother. Joan helped me when I was first learning, taught me about glazes and lots of different techniques to help with SMO Ceramics. She has always been my number one fan. "
Starting your own business is scary, but if it’s your passion, it’s worth it.-Sarah Ogden
What advice would you give other women who are interested in starting their own business?
"Starting your own business is scary, but if it’s your passion, it’s worth it. Try it out on a part time basis, see how it goes. Also, engage with the community around you, and remember you are not alone. Someone out there is figuring out or has figured out the same things!"
What are your favorite women owned boutique stores in San Francisco?
- Of course Jenny Lemons. I love how they support local artists and have become a staple in the neighborhood. I am so fortunate to have been able to partner with Jennie.
- Perdita, a beautiful store on Divisadero that carries work from local artists and unique things you won't find anywhere else. The owner has the best taste in literature and stocks all her favorite books.
- Tantrum, the best toy store in town, so many cute things to look at, not just for kids :)
- Rare Device is another go-to shop right down the street from me. I know I will always find the right gift and see an awesome artist in their gallery.
Sarah fell in love with clay while taking courses in ceramics at CCSF. She saw the joy that her handmade creations brought friends and family and wanted to spread that enjoyment further. As a result, SMO (an acronym for Sarah Michelle Ogden) was started in 2017 from an apartment building in San Francisco’s Lower Haight. Finding inspiration in the small moments that brighten up a day, from a bowl of fruit to a neighborhood dog park, Sarah aims to amplify life’s positive forces through her work and bring that energy into personal spaces.
Stitches Smock Top paired with Linen Pants
Eye Print Smock Top paired with Printed Linen Pants
By Jennie Lennick
Designer, entrepreneur, and lover of crafts! Boss Lady at Jenny Lemons in San Francisco