Meet your makers

Meet Joe

Skater, co-founder, meaningful maker.

From skateboarder to entrepreneur, Joe's wild ride to Hennepin Made

"I’d be sitting down throwing pots by myself just alone in my thoughts just looking over my shoulder there’d be metal blaring, sweaty people hanging out, working together, throwing glass around. I remember going “that looks way more fun.” So I started blowing glass and that’s where Jackson and I met, and I had no idea that this was only the beginning."

Fine art meets heavy metal

Joe cut his teeth as a craftsman making skate and snowboard ramps, rails and obstacles. The environment provided balance between free-spirited artistry and disciplined, precisely detailed execution. Drawing from both ends of the spectrum, Joe landed on glassblowing after initially studying ceramics. Lured by glassblowers collaborating over the grind of heavy metal and the smell of sweat, Joe knew this was his kind of party. Next enters Jackson. Just returning from studying glass in Australia, Jackson first hired Joe as an assistant but soon Joe became a full collaborator.

Joe sees the light

Now a duo, the two began showing glass pieces at craft fairs all around the country. Being scrappy was a necessity in the early days, but the two J’s found a market in creating light fixtures. Thus, Hennepin Made was born. As the company grew, a culture formed. Fresh blood was added to the mix and Hennepin Made became a place for both playful collaboration and meticulous consideration of what was being made. Joe’s early understanding that people care where objects came from kept Hennepin Made on the cutting edge of manufacturing. Today, Hennepin Made is putting Minneapolis on the map as a capital of glassmaking and sustainability. And it all started with skate ramps.



"It seems there are more consumers who are concerned with where things come from now. We want to be purposeful with how we spend our money and how we interact with the rest of the world. Surrounding ourselves with meaningful objects that were made by a skilled craftsperson that has dedicated their life to being able to produce those objects is pretty important."
"It's funny to look back and realize Jackson and I don't have business experience. We went to school to be artists and study craft and learn how to blow glass. Thankfully we have a good mix of skill sets between the two of us. He was really excited about learning about the rest of that world while I was excited to really hone in our craft, how our business works operationally from a glass making perspective."