We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassie Jo Myers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassie Jo, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Since its conception, giving back has been at the heart of Open Hand Goods, even influencing our name and logo. As a family, our financial decisions have always been guided by the mantra, “save with an open hand”. We consider all that we have to be a gift, and to steward that money well means to save responsibly but to also give generously. In regards to “helping the world” we believe that every little bit counts! 5% of all our profits are donated to A21 which is an organization who’s mission is to abolish slavery and human trafficking all over the world. So we thank all of our customers for being a part of this fight with us! Luckily, the art of ceramics naturally lends itself to being planet friendly by the core materials being literally “from the earth” but we also try to be as environmentally conscious as possible in all other aspects. One of our most popular products is our Plastic-Free Travel Mug. I wanted to make an alternative to the single-use takeaway cup but take it one step further, even doing away with the lid itself which removes the need for the plastic seal. Instead, its one single piece with a built-in ceramic top. So far, nearly all of our packaging and shipping materials have been reused material that we have received from family, friends, and even neighbors. Meaning, we have done our best not to add to the plastic problem. One of our main goals, as a business, is to grow of course, but I also hope that we will always function at a capacity that allows us to continue using recycled packaging as much as possible.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Open Hand Goods is a ceramic brand made with modern, minimalistic homes in mind. Our products reflect our belief that when it comes to statement pieces, size shouldn’t matter. With our neutral color palette, dainty designs, and functionality, our many products fit seamlessly into the spaces of your homes and lives. With our hands, we have the ability to create, protect, comfort, discover, express, heal, empower, and share. The hand silhouettes and images throughout our work are meant to be a subtle reminder of our commonalities as humans and that “There is more that unites us than divides us.” My journey to becoming a self-employed artist is a simple one birthed from the common dilemma of “Now what?” Coming out of High School in 2009, my career goals were singular: to get my degree in art education and become a High School art teacher. Long story short, after my first year of teaching it was clear that it was not the career for me. Leaving teaching, I had to scramble for what to do next. Luckily, my husband was able to financial support us while I figured it out and started to dabble in the idea of selling my creations for a living. Ceramics has had my heart since the first ceramics course in my freshman year of college but unfortunately, starting a ceramics business is a daunting financial investment. I had to start somewhere else to gain the funds I needed to launch. So I started with painting and calligraphy and built a successful business that carried me for nearly 5 years. When I was ready I closed the doors to that business and launched Open Hand Goods in August of 2020 and have been playing with mud ever since.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We have a few local spots that we always take visiting friends and family. Ponce City Market is an easy choice. It just has such a cool casual vibe and its right off the Beltline so we can even bike there. Another easy choice is Krog Street Market which is like a mini version of Ponce City Market and we go there just to get the noodle bowl from Pho Nam. Our go to coffee place is Muchacho. Their outside patio is a delight and usually full of flowers, cacti, and butterflies. They also have breakfast tacos and you can’t deny a good breakfast taco. For activities we are big into Disc Golf so on a beautiful day we would take friends and family to our two favorite courses, Perkerson Park and Redan Park. Even if you consider yourself athletically challenged you can enjoy the little trails and beautiful scenery. We also love a good bar trivia night. Our favorite spots are The Midway Pub, Diesel Filling Station, and Manuel’s Tavern.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh my goodness my list is so long! It takes a village for a successful anything. At first glance it might not look like it. I even describe Open Hand Goods as a “one woman show” which is true for the most part. Every piece is handmade by me using my two hands. But I wouldn’t have made the self employed leap without the love and support of my husband, Anthony. He’s the wind beneath my wings and I mean that in the cheesiest way possible. Then there’s all the friends and family that support you in the early stages, when you’re figuring everything out and your work is crap but they love it anyways (or they’re really good at pretending they do). They praise your blurry product photos, bad design, weird color choices and poor time management. They keep you motivated when you feel like “its all been done before and done better so why bother”. Lastly, there’s no business if there’s no one buying. My amazing customers are what keep this train chugging! My heart swells every time I get a customer review or a photo of a piece in someone’s home. What a privilege it is to be a part of someone’s space and to have created something that they want to see everyday.
cassie jo myers