The Artistry of Being an Effective Leader

Lakewood artist shares her entrepreneurial insights in Medium's leadership series

Lakewood artist Gina DeSantis told Medium magazine that she jokes that her business plan would be titled, “Not Going to do that Again.”

As owner of Gina DeSantis Ceramics, which she founded in 2013, DeSantis has learned a lot by doing when it comes to being a successful business owner.

DeSantis, a 2006 graduate of Kent State University, and her team work out of an old automobile factory in Lakewood, Ohio. As lead designer, all work is designed and thrown by DeSantis herself. No small feat when you consider that her work has been featured in Uncommon Goods, Anthropologie, McGee & Co. and the Sundance catalog, in addition to 400 retailers across the country. 

Gina DeSantis

So, when Medium reached out as part of their series “Five Things You Need To Be a Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent Times,” DeSantis had plenty to share.

“I try to be a flexible yet focused leader,” she tells Medium. “My staff are young artists who also want to launch their full-time careers at some point. I want to send them out into the world with the skills I did not learn in school.”

In the interview, DeSantis talks about what she did learn while earning her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State, and the support she receives from the Northeast Ohio community.

“I am lucky to have had many mentors,” DeSantis told Medium. “I studied under Kirk Magnus at Kent State University. The experience there taught me a studio discipline and that has helped form my work ethic. I also competed in a business grant challenge called Bad Girl Ventures. This competition paired us with mentors during and beyond the competition. I’m also extremely grateful to have launched my career in Cleveland, Ohio. The community here is extremely supportive and shopping local and handmade is engrained in the rustbelt. This town appreciates its entrepreneurs.”

Read more about DeSantis and her tips to being an effective leader in Medium.


POSTED: Monday, February 19, 2024 03:16 PM
Updated: Monday, February 19, 2024 03:31 PM
Amy Antenora
Gina DeSantis Ceramics