Production Schedule


Custom Mugs Tag

When your family business began with college sweethearts throwing and decorating pots in a garage, the idea of receiving an award for being a top Minnesota company is somewhat unreal. But then again, we have sprinkled in a lifetime of sacrifice while adding a second generation that's fueled by...

In the middle of our conference season, and coming off the Birkie (a 31 mile ski race from Cable to Hayward), I have found it difficult to remember to blog. If there is one thing that you are supposed to do with your blog - It is write often, put in pictures, and post them. So I'm going to keep this one really 'Short and Sweet'... The 'Short' part is about the Birkie - Annie and I participated in this Cross Country Ski event in 2009 and 2010 but with the birth of Eloise, Annie was sidelined this this year.

An exciting thing about the Birkie is that I contacted them in the summer and we were able to work with their staff in creating custom mugs  for their Trail Run event in the Fall, trophies for the age class categories for all the ski races, and a line of handmade mugs for retail! Here are just a couple of images of the mugs that we made. The artwork shows the 2 Norwegian warriors rescuing the infant Prince Haakon Haakonsson in 1205 - For more on the legend click here.

Although my time wasn't as good as last year, I enjoyed myself... The air temps was about -3ºF at the start and maybe about 4ºF when I finished... Luckily after the race was over I got to drive back to MN and see my beautiful baby girl and amazing wife...

Now we enter the 'sweet' part of the blog, more pictures of Eloise!

A good friend and photographer, Becca Sabot, came over to our house 2 weeks ago and shot some amazing images of our baby girl. We talked about a few ideas and then began moving furniture and staging things - Eloise was great but didn't exactly go along with our 'plans'... She must be taking after dad. For the shots that we wanted to do with her asleep she would wake up, and then when we tried to go along with her being awake, she would... Yep you guessed it, she fell asleep. At any rate here are some of the favorites!

Estes Park, CO - Owned and operated Lois H. Smith - Stoneware by Deneen Pottery

We are now in our second year of working with the Baldpate Inn and we are just into the heart of the busy season. Thing are going well... Really well actually:

"HELP!  The mugs are flying off the shelves!  We can barely use them in the restaurant we have sold so many!!!   Can we get another order ASAP?  I think you have already sent all I had on my January Pack & Ship order."

"I guess I should have realized these would sell so great, but just didn't anticipate the demand" wrote Lois in a second email after her next order of 350 handmade custom mugs was approved.

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!

Just before Thanksgiving Tammie, owner of The Coffee Cup located in Cameron, OK, was searching google for handmade mugs when she came across our website. "I looked at others but your product, professionalism, and website blew the others away."  Now we have her design ready for approval and we are eagerly looking forward to working on her first order of custom mugs!