Through the years, Tena has continued to refine her craft into an art, experimenting with glazes and different clay types. In her free time, in between having children, working, and raising her family, Tena continued making pottery, always wondering how she could make a living doing what she loved. And one day, she stumbled across the answer, quite by accident.
Tena and her family were farming shiitake mushrooms and had a banner crop. She decided to sell some of them to a well known chef, James Beard Award winner Chris Hastings of Hot & Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Tena and Chris discussed her pottery craft and he commissioned her to make unique dinnerware and serving pieces for his restaurant. From that, a succession of culinary and hospitality shows all over the country followed which resulted in the launch of Earthborn Studios. As well as serving the hospitality community, Tena sells pottery to retail stores, produces several custom lines, produces awards for corporations, and even makes a line of bathroom sinks.
Earthborn Pottery has grown, expanded, and now has become the sole employer for Tena, her husband and her children; she finally gets to make a living doing what she loves every day. Other accomplishments include: Charter Member of Artist’s Inc., American Craft Council member, serves as a judge for art shows across the country, and is a certified member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. (WBENC) In her spare time, Tena still harvests shiitake mushrooms, plays with her seven grandchildren and still throws on the potter’s wheel.