Founder story

The importance of appreciating the simpler pleasures in life, like a home cooked meal on a beautiful plate is deeply rooted in the founder story of Johanna Hampf. A Swedish creative who always struggled to find “inspiring-tableware” for everyday eating & entertaining.

Born by the Artic Circle, in the village of Övermorjär, in the far north of Sweden. A place known for its dramatic beauty with vast woodlands, mountains and roaring-rivers. But also for its creative people and their crafts. As Johanna grew up surrounded by nature she began to develop her own artistic content, leaning more towards fashion. She left home at the age of sixteen to study at the Waldorf School in Stockholm, an academy with a holistic approach and a clear focus on arts and crafts.

Johanna later landed a position with Danish fashion & interior-design-brand Day Birger et Mikkelsen, and it was during her years in retail that she discovered her passion for lifestyle, interior design and food – inspired by the legendary designers Tricia Guild, Terence Conran and Ralph Lauren. At that time the offering of dinnerware in Sweden was limited so the entrepreneurially minded Johanna decided to make her own products. After exploring the home market, (to expensive and limiting), as well as France, Italy and even Morocco, they landed on Portugal for its established sustainability ethos and like-minded often family owned factories.

PotteryJo was launched in 2011 as a small direct-to-consumers only company. Johanna wanted to test the market to see how it would react to her taste & needs for tableware.

The company grew from a storage space in the backyard, to a company selling both to retailers and customers around Scandinavia. After a successful crowd founding /investment run in 2016, Johanna was able to grow the company into a flourishing business with more staff, suppliers and vast storage space, selling internationally to Japan, South Korea, and Germany. But more importantly, she was able to focus on her creativity, heritage and quality-of-life. This is reflected in the choice to manufacture in Portugal and building a relationship with the community surrounding the family-owned- factory where the first PotterJo was created.

“For us at PotteryJo its important to nurture the artisanal know-how that has been deteriorated when prioritizing big volume/ fast production business. One positive outcome from the pandemic is the growing interest in artisanal craftsmanship among the younger generations in Portugal. Breathing new life into the artisanal-side of tableware manufacturing, that need skilled and qualified people”, Johanna.

The choice of Portugal ties into the overall wellbeing and sustainability ethos of PotteryJo and Johanna Hampf – It is a way of living and working with quality-of-life. Building long-term, close relationships that benefits the supply-chain, the company, customers and the climate. This goes hand in hand with Johanna’s need to anchor nature & crafts with the love of beauty. Johanna is genuinely interest in gardening, food and the importance of eating a nutritious, well-prepared-meal on a plate.

”All senses should be activated during a meal, carving out even small moments to support better values, reduce stress and raise your quality of life - alone, with family or friends. As a child we always gathered around the dinner table, no phones or take-out boxes, just treasured time together. I hope that we can inspire you to do the same with our articles/ collaborations and more-to-come on social,” Johanna Hampf.