#HomeGrownStories – Amy & Brent Welborn
Wright On High is a new shop in downtown Covington which focuses on local and handmade products. The shop has been a long-time dream for owners, Amy and Brent Welborn. For years they have wanted to create space for their creative Miami County neighbors to shine. Amy, a native of Covington, Ohio, met her husband, Brent, when they were in college near Chicago. Brent grew up in Milwaukee, but the couple has called Covington home since 2000.
On how they met and decided to live in Miami County:
Amy – I was born and raised in Covington. Brent and I met in college. We both went to Judson University in Elgin Illinois, outside of Chicago.
Brent – I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My family is all spread out and Amy’s family is here in Miami County. That’s why we decided to come here. We’ve been living in Covington since 2000.
On their business, Wright On High:
Amy – It was happenstance that Wright On High came together. We both have always wanted to have a little shop. We’ve had a lot of different ideas and we wanted to support local businesses. We have a heart for the local artists and makers in the area and everything kind of fell into place. It actually happened faster than we could chase it.
Brent – I’ve been working in business development for last 15 years or so. I work with the department of development at the state and with the Dayton Development Coalition. I do a lot of business development work in graphic design which has led to a lot of connections here. A lot of the businesses I have done work for have no way to sell their product. We’ve always thought — we have all these connections and this network — how can we help all these people out? We threw out a lot of ideas; it could be a physical place to sell or an online storefront. This idea has always been on the back burner. It kind of took off pretty quickly once we decided we were going to open up a shop.
Amy – Right now we have about 20 vendors. We’re planning on highlighting a vendor each week so people can get to know the creator of the products. Our vision is to have products that complement each other. It’s fun to get people connected to each other through their products. That’s the fun part for us. Our vendors can actually meet face-to-face! Most of the products we carry are locally made except for the baby boutique section. Everything else is created in Ohio and mostly in Miami County. We have two vendors that are from Englewood. We have everything from Rosebud’s Ranch & Garden to local maple syrup and jewelry, pillows, home decor, and hats. Hats of have been huge! And we have our T-shirts.
On the community response to Wright On High:
Amy – May 1st, 2017 was our first day being open for business. It’s been going well! We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the community, not only in Covington but throughout the county. We’ve even had people come over on their lunch break from Troy! It’s nice to have support from the other downtown business owners. They’ve been so encouraging! Mary from the antique shop next door and all the stylists at Above and Beyond Salon have stopped by to see us. The support from Joanie [Joanie’s Floral Designs] here has been just amazing. It’s been fun to be able to walk back-and-forth and get to know each other better.
Brent – It’s nice to get to see customers come in and enjoy the products we have. Some of our vendors never even had a chance to sell to the public before. We’re happy to give them a place to sell and some exposure. It’s fun to be able to see from both viewpoints, from the customer’s standpoint and the creator’s standpoint. We’re in-between so we get to see both sides of it.
Amy – We also want people to come visit our store and check out each vendor. We’re willing to add new vendors depending on what the needs of the community are. We have some really amazing people that create really amazing products.
What do you love most about Miami County?
Amy – Since I grew up here there’s that feeling of home. I also love the community and that small-town feel. My great-grandfather owned a tree business here. He planted a lot of the evergreen trees in the cemetery. I’ve always loved walking in the cemetery and seeing the evergreen trees planted by my great-grandpa. Whenever we travel coming back home — it’s so nice to be home and come back to a small town.
Brent – Growing up in a big city, I could go to the store and not know anybody. You can’t do that here. Every time you go to the store there is somebody you know that you end up talking to or say hi to. Throughout all Miami County there is that sense of community. The friendliness of the people in the community is nice too.
Amy – It’s funny. When we were dating, we’d come back home and be driving somewhere. I’d wave at everyone we drove by and Brent would ask if I knew all those people. And I would say, “yeah, pretty much!” [laughs]. So he’s learned to wave at pretty much every farmer when we drive by. It’s been neat to see that transition for him.
How Miami County is different from other places they have lived:
Amy – To reiterate what Brent said, it’s how friendly and caring everybody is. You know that if you’re going through a hardship or experiencing joy in your life that the people around you care. I loved where we went to college — it was perfect for that time in my life. It was fun living near a big city. Being back home, I know that if we’re hurting, people will feel hurt with us, but if we’re celebrating they will celebrate with us too.
Brent – The biggest difference from when we lived in Chicago is that things are a little bit slower paced here. You can be more relational with the people you come in contact with, whether it’s at home or through business.
Their Miami County recommendations for out of town visitors:
Amy – Brukner Nature Center for sure — hands-down. We love Indian’s Pizza in Pleasant Hill! Buffalo Jack’s is fun — you walk in and there’s a big buffalo or polar bear right there! [laughs] We love the parks, for sure. My favorite is Stillwater Prairie Reserve. We also like Hobart Urban Nature Preserve. They are all wonderful though. We are blessed to be in a smaller setting with such great parks. We love the Miami County Fair too, that’s another big one. It was ingrained in my life when I was growing up and now it’s part of our kid’s lives.
Brent – The community festivals are great. We enjoy Fort Rowdy here in Covington and the Troy Festival of Nations. Our kids enjoy them too.
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