POCATELLO — A new family-owned company specializing in one-of-a-kind handmade items has opened its doors in Pocatello’s Station Square.
DNH Studios is the brainchild of Sharon Porter, her brother David Hance, her daughter Jessica Hottmann and Jessica’s husband Nick Hottmann, who is also involved in other goings-on at Station Square. Porter and Hance’s sister Deborah Burrows also contributes to the venture.
The letters “DNH” come from a combination of initials from the family members' first names, nicknames and last names.
“Of all of our names and nicknames, D, N and H are all the most common letters,” Porter said.
The idea for the business was born around the dinner table in October 2018. The family was new to Pocatello and had just attended the local Goodbye Hello Craft Show at the Mountain View Event Center.
“Seeing all the different artisans and crafters and artists out there, it just kind of got us all thinking, ‘We could do that,’” Porter said. “So DNH Studios was born, and we had our first show on Dec. 1, 2018, and we’ve done arts and crafts shows all through the area ever since then.”
The shop at 200 S. Main St., Suite Q, is a new location carved out in Station Square, and it’s the only business in the building that is exclusively accessible from Main Street.
“This was the conference room for the travel agency and that was an extra office for the insurance company,” Hance said. “… Denis (Clijsters, the co-owner of Station Square) carved out this section because nobody was using this space that they were paying for. And he’s like, ‘I can make another business out of it.’”
Porter said the location was exactly what they were looking for, so they jumped on the opportunity to lease the space.
“We wanted to be in Old Town,” Porter said. “We looked at several spaces and (needed to find) the right space, the right arrangement, the freedom to make changes if needed, things of that nature. When we found this spot, it was perfect for us, so we jumped on it. We knew it wouldn’t be here long because it’s just perfect. It’s not huge, but it has the room that we need for our purposes.”
Now, after more than a year of working out of their homes, the family has the space they need to make their products and a storefront to showcase their goods year-round.
“Everybody has their own little thing that they do,” Porter said. “We’re just a family that enjoys being together, and this is something else we can do together. We love it, we do. We spend a lot of time together and enjoy it. Everything handmade. We don’t sell anything that is not handmade and not handmade by us. Keeps us busy.”
Though the business is open now, DNH Studios will hold its grand opening during the next First Friday Art Walk, which takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. March 6 in Old Town.
DNH Studios offers a variety of items, each made by a member of the family. Porter makes burp cloths and receiving blankets. Nick and Jessica Hottmann make bath products, including bath bombs, body scrubs and soaps. Hance makes jewelry. Jessica Hottmann and Porter make dog blankets and bandannas and a hair accessory called “Not Your Ordinary Headband.” Nick Hottmann makes art and stickers. Scarves and hats are done by Burrows, Hance and Jessica Hottmann. And everyone has a hand in making the one-of-a-kind beverage coasters.
But, Porter said, “we all jump in and help. Especially if we’re on a last-minute crunch, it’s all hands on deck.”
While DHN Studios got its start at craft shows, Porter said they will only sparingly make an appearance at those now, but the family will be beefing up its Etsy shop and hopefully getting more traffic there.
For Porter and her family, it was important to have hours that made them easily accessible to customers — plus everyone in the family has full-time jobs, too. The business is open weekdays from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Porter said they’ll be open any time Old Town hosts a special event.
“That was one thing in our thinking: to be here in the evenings, and we’d really like to see nightlife a happening thing in Old Town,” Porter said. “We love Old Town, and we just want to do what we can to help promote that. If there’s somebody who absolutely cannot be here to shop and they want to shop, they can always email us or call us and we’ll make an appointment and meet them here during the day if we need to.”
The family is willing to deliver items if you live in town, too.
“We have lots of regular customers who have never been in here,” Porter said. “They’ll email us and say, ‘Here’s what I want,’ and we’ll meet them up and deliver at their workplace or meet them in the Albertsons parking lot or wherever to give them what they want in way of product.”
The shop is currently filled with winter items, but those will be rotated out when spring comes.
“We will periodically be adding new products,” Porter said. “As the weather warms up, we’ll pull the dog coats and the scarves and hats and we’ll replace those with other things. … Our bath products are huge sellers, and they won’t go away. Scents will come and go, different fragrances, different combinations of scents, but those are here to stay, ... and it makes everything smell good when you come in.”
Though DNH Studios is a side gig for her family right now, Porter said she is optimistic the business will be prosperous.
“The dream is that one day it will become a huge success, and I will just will it to my grandchildren,” she said.