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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

POTTER & MELLEN, INC.

POTTER & MELLEN, INC.

POTTER & MELLEN, INC., one of Cleveland's prominent jewelry stores, was founded in 1900 (sometimes given as 1899) by Horace Potter, a noted jeweler, teacher, designer, and master craftsman. Potter, a graduate of the Cleveland School of Art (see CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF ART), designed and created jewelry, silverware, and other artwork in the Potter Studio, located at E. 115th St. and Superior Ave., and subsequently in various other buildings during its early years. In 1921, he employed Louis Mellen in his shop, and incorporated the Potter Studio three years later in 1924. In 1928, Potter's partnership with Guerdon W. Bently, a creator of prints and bronzes, led the establishment of the Potter Bently Studios, Inc. The expanded business moved into a new building at 10405 Carnegie Ave. near E. 105th St. later that year. The new store, managed by Mellen, displayed the works of both artists until Bently withdrew his partnership with the firm in 1933, after which, the store became known as Potter & Mellen, Inc. The partners added fine china and glassware to its product line and a garden-and-flower shop operated at the Carnegie Ave. location for a short time. Potter and Mellen enlarged the facilities some time later to provide more space for creative work, restoration and repairing of silverware, and redesigning of old jewelry. Potter died in 1948, and in 1967, Mellen sold the firm to designer and silversmith Frederick Miller and his partner Jack Schlundt. In keeping with previous management, Potter & Mellen remained small, averaging around 10 artisans and clerks in its store, but the firm won many national and international awards for its craftsmanship. In 1989, Potter & Mellen was purchased by Ellen Stirn, who as director expanded and renovated the facility, adding antiques and giftware to the firm's line. By 2004, Potter & Mellen, one of Cleveland's finest glassware, jewelry, and artwork stores, continued to operate at 10405 Carnegie Ave. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported in December of 2008 that Porter and Mellen planned to close its store but "continue its onlines business and corporate sales," after their renowned goldsmith, Jim Mazurkewicz, retired.


See also BUSINESS, RETAIL.