Monica Dabney, employee for Etta B Pottery, restocks at Sugar Magnolia.
23 years ago, an artistic couple, Brent and Daryl Weathers, moved from Hernando to Etta, a small town located off Highway 30 in between Oxford and New Albany. There they began their family and a business: Etta B. Pottery.
Founded in 2008, Etta B. Pottery features hand-crafted pottery that is safe to place in a dishwasher, oven and microwave. The couple founded the pottery company initially to provide extra income but after encouragement and trial and error, the couple is fully dedicated to Etta B Pottery. Brent and Daryl have different talents, but their combined strengths make the business a success.
Brent said, “We each have different roles in the pottery business and that just happened naturally working with our strengths.”
While Brent is artistic and makes her own way through life by creating her own clothing to cooking without a recipe and painting anything from a mural to a t-shirt, Daryl is organized and disciplined in keeping the momentum high and supporting sales at local retail stores.
The business is actually a family-wide effort with the assistance of their daughter, Brooklyn DeShea Weathers and their son, Baylor Weathers.
In March 2015, Brooklyn created an online presence for Etta B Pottery and other creations by her mother for her senior year school project. The website, www.desheas.com, is named after Brooklyn and Brent’s shared middle name: DeShea’s, which is also the name of a gift shop Etta B Pottery owns in Baptist Memorial Hospital.
The online website features Etta B Pottery, painting, decorative frames and jewelry – all items one would find at DeShea’s in Baptist Memorial Hospital or at Sugar Magnolia.
Their son, Baylor Weathers, has worked with the business from the very beginning, creating the DeShea’s logo, the online presence/e-commerce website and print advertising.
The pottery store’s production staff also ensures the business’s continued success.
Brent said, “The pottery production team is a very talented group of all ages that works together daily making, painting, firing and packing the pottery. These men and women are like family, and that is what makes each day special and keeps the creativity flowing. I think each pottery brand should be unique to the person or persons who created it. Each individual has their very own vision for what they find special and beautiful and their creations should reflect that. It is of utmost importance that Etta B Pottery remains fresh, new and relevant and that each piece holds to a very high standard.”
While everything is handmade, Brent and Daryl work closely with the employees to ensure the pottery is consistently made to perfection.
“Each person at the pottery shop brings their own artistry to each piece but we do work together to keep the product consistent. It is always exciting when someone has a new idea or piece that gets added to the line,” Brent said.
With each passing year, the demand for Etta B Pottery continues to grow.
Brent said, “We are taking orders year round on our Everyday Collection, but then we also create new items for each season and write orders for these as well. We do not do many customized or commissioned pieces. Thankfully the demand for our pottery continues to grow each year, and we have a hard time keeping up with the orders coming in year round.”
Now featured in Southern Living, Etta B Pottery sells in over a hundred retail stores all over the South from Texas to South Carolina and from Florida to Missouri.
“Orders come in day to day from the retailers that carry our pottery. We make according to what is being ordered. Each day we try to complete as many pieces as possible, but most days that is several hundred pieces,” Brent said.
Etta B Pottery has come quite far in eight years, thanks to the Weathers’ family effort and hard work from the production team. To see unique Southern pottery, visit www.desheas.com and www.ettabpottery.com.
Rykia Bernard is a HottyToddy.com intern. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.