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We are serious about pottery... When the time to work arrives on a Monday morning - We're here doing what it takes to make the best custom pottery mugs! Saving lives is also a serious vocation and one that Red E. Fox doesn't take lightly. As the mascot for the Allentown 911 Center, Red E. Fox has to be, (as his name implies) ready for anything. Coffee is a BIG part of staying alert and what a better way to keep that coffee tasting good than in a custom handmade mug by Deneen Pottery? Helping Red and all of the individuals that work with him to keep people safe is a great honor! When Michael, Superintendent of Communications for Allentown, PA, first called to get more information I could only hope that we would get the chance to make mugs for him... Those that serve the public, especially in situations of life and death, are an invaluable part of our society.

In March we, here at Deneen Pottery, decided to do an ad campaign offering a free handmade coffee mug to those that mentioned the add when requesting a catalog on our website... I use the word 'campaign' loosely because it was just a single ad, but in a industry leading publication IQ or Innkeeping Quarterly. As PAII is the leading organization in this industry it only makes sense to test the waters with this type of an offer with them. We've always found success when working with PAII, and will continue to do so indefinitely! On a side note the president of PAII, Jay Karen, was recently here for a 'hands on' tour by our president, and my dad, Peter Deneen. To read up on that tour click here. Thanks for coming Jay, I look forward to seeing you again soon! Well, the response to that ad? It was good. And last week I began to do follow up calls to those that we sent mugs to. In the course of my calls I came across a property called Harpole's Heartland Lodge, an Illinois hunting lodge / bed and breakfast located in serene Pike County. I am a very visual person and one that likes to find connections... This connection hit me when looking at Harpole's Heartland Lodge was one of a big buck. As I've been adopted by my in-laws into the traditions of white tail hunting in northern Minnesota, anytime I see a buck my thoughts turn to the season in which we wear blaze orange and sit quietly in the woods.

The snow and cold is a distant memory, but the mornings are still starting out on the chilly side - Today it was 35º when dawn broke here at the pottery shop. Finding things that fit makes life more fulfilling, and definitely makes work more fun... Be it a perfect pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes as spring comes, or a perfect mug.

I've been waiting to find the next Innkeeper to interview and after hearing from Katherine Brown of Bloomsbury located in Camden, SC earlier this week I knew she would be perfect. In October of lat year we first talked about her property and our mugs and a few weeks later we combined a photograph of her property, and a drawing, by Randall Peterson, into this beautiful creation by Teena our Art Director.

At the start of the week I received a sorta tap-on-the-shoulder email that, more or less, hit me over the head and prompted me to see if Katherine would want to be the second official participant of  our Innkeeper Q&A. "Good morning Niles - this is where you can share a 'great laugh' with everyone at Deneen Pottery!  When we ordered mugs a few short months ago, it was primarily because I like them--I wanted to try them on our breakfast table. As it would never have occurred to me to buy a mug (with some logo) when I was traveling -- I rather dismissed when you said how well they sell.   OK - I need to place an order.   Quit laughing and tell me what you need." I don't mind being dismissed especially when I get to hear about it - That's why this statement is also on our testimonials page... It helps to look back at positive statements when you are having a rough day - And I figure if I keep stacking up the positive things that have been said, more will KNOW that we ARE the best at making Custom Stoneware Coffee Mugs!

It's April Fool's Day today and I haven't played any tricks on anyone. Yet... What I have been doing today is organizing some of our archived printing and advertising projects. In a file from 2002 I found a FAQ sheet about our handmade mugs: Realizing that none of this valuable information is posted on our website I figured that I could post it here so that it won't languish in it's small archived 2002 file. Unbelievably, most of the questions and answers are still the same. Q: Are these mugs dishwasher safe? A: Depends on who is washing your dishes... Just kidding, every piece of stoneware we make will be fine in the strongest industrial dishwasher. Just don’t drop it when you are putting them away.

This was an email that we received  a while back that should have been added here more recently! After returning from the Innkeeping Conference and Trade Show I am energized and empowered to do that little bit extra - Like posting on our blog! The answer to the question that Pamela has is YES... We can make an order of mugs without medallions. The cost is $15.00 each for a single style in one color for one address. Hi ,my name is Pamela Matherne. I am from Houma , Louisiana. My husband and I were passing through Wagonwheel Gap , CO. and stayed at the Blue Creek Lodge. I was looking for a gift to bring home to my sister and I bought her one of your handmade mugs. She says it's the one she always wants to use because it keeps her coffee warm longer.

In September of last year I received a catalog request from Warren Farha, the owner of Eighth Day Books, of Wichita, KS. As I was filling out the envelope I searched google and came across their webpage and I saw this quote, "that which is true, is ours". Little did I know that we would make an order of handmade mugs for Warren, and that that order would have a 'true' story of it's own.
Original line drawing of the store and our emblem design
And that true story is told by Joshua and it goes like this: "Just as we were unpacking your delicious shipment at the front counter (we call it the 'front counter' but it's by the back door), our friend Philip (long-time customer) came in to buy Christmas gifts for his (prodigous) family.  He was immediately entranced by the mugs, and selected 8 as stocking-stuffers." So the very first day that EIGHTH day books had their mugs, they sold EIGHT... How Cool!

All Star line-UpAll Star line-Up
By Lee Egerstrom
Economic Development Fellow
[email protected] A company of artists in St. Paul is proving that making art objects can sustain a small business, that entrepreneurs can survive economic cycles, and that quality can still trump quantity in this age of big box stores and mass marketing. Deneen Pottery is a family owned business that has endured various trials and tribulations since 1972. It makes hand-thrown stoneware products for institutional and business customers who want to exhibit glaze engraved logos, which result from a trademark protected process that Deneen master potters invented. The biggest categories of Deneen's 2,700 customers are hospitality industry companies such as bed and breakfasts, country inns and golf courses. Right behind are college bookstores, corporations that want promotional items for products or their corporate image, and restaurants. Renaissance festivals and community events that appeal to tourists who may be collectors is another important but smaller category, and Deneen has a small number of retailers as customers who specialize in merchandise for tourists.

With the defeat of the Vikings to the New Orleans Saints yesterday night, the mood here in Minnesota is somber... This is why we, here at Deneen Pottery, will turn our attention to more positive things, like the new mug for the Innkeeping Conference & Trade Show hosted by PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International). We've been proudly making mugs for PAII and their Innkeeping Show since 1992, when JoAnn Bell first sent out a form letter seeking a 'handmade mug supplier' to provide an item to commemorate PAII's second biennial event. There is much more to this story that I will be reporting on in the weeks to come. We have been honored to produce a collectable mug for each conference since 1992 and are ready to unveil the tentative mock up for this years show in Austin, Texas. Working with Pat Hardy and JoAnn Bell was a joy for my father, Peter Deneen, and I an just as pleased to be working with the President and CEO of PAII today, Jay Karen. If you are an innkeeper and are curious about PAII, and the Innkeeping Show click here: www.innkeepingshow.com