We had the good fortune of connecting with Caron Dessoye and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Caron, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I graduated from UNT with my MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry. Many of my friends also graduated from UNT in both Metalsmithing and Ceramics. One of the most painful parts of graduating is realizing that you will no longer be able to access the tools and equipment that the school provides. The tools and equipment for these crafts are often too big and dangerous for apartments/landlords. This was the initial motivation but then it did evolve into the idea of a community art center. Somewhere where folks could learn, make, and sell their art.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I think that everyone hears that opening a business is hard but does not actually know that until they are doing it. And hard includes learning new skills, and paying attention to things that you haven’t had to before but mostly it is hard because of the time it takes. Time for everything from buying toilet paper to social media to teach. I will never just tell anyone it is hard, people need to know why it is hard. I was only able to get this far because of the kindness and patience of friends, family, and strangers. If I did it all again, I would not have focused on the things I initially focused on. For example, how things look vs how they work. It is always more important that it works!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Folks expect Texas/the south to be republican, white, conservative, straight, polite and wearing boots. Denton proves that wrong. I have had trouble convincing my friends to come here (from Pennsylvania) because of their pre-conceived notions. Once they are here they know that Texans can also be diverse, loving, queer, open-minded, and wearing boots. Most recently, my sister-in-law came to town to visit. She is a vegan Brazilian. She was most impressed by the food in Denton!!! We took her to Komodo-Loco, which was her favorite.
Our stops with her included Recycled Books, the square, Miss Angelines, Pasqual’s, and all of that was enough to keep her entertained for two days. We did not even have to go to Dallas or Fort Worth.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many…people from my home state of Pennsylvania and here in Denton that have been so supportive either with funds or tools or moral support. Gillian Hernandez, my shop manager, has the same dedication to the idea that I do which has made all of it successful. My former professors at UNT let me explore ideas, listened, and helped me execute them. My husband is always ready to jump in and help. My parents have always supported my ideas in every way they can. Even if they don’t always work out. My mother for continuing to be supportive after my father’s passing this spring. My brother and sister in law who are my best cheer leaders, business advisors, and friends…My former students from UNT who have helped in so many little and big ways. My landlord for leasing the space who knew full well what I wanted to do and helped me actualize it. My neighbors of the business. Danielle Longueville, Engagement Director of The Gracious Mind in Denton, for website support and including us in the Glitterbomb family. Our buds at Denton’s 23 Design Co. who keep us honest and help with the heavy lifting, even when that is just our spirits.

Website: www.dentonworkbench.com

Instagram: @dentonworkbench

Twitter: @dentonworkbench

Facebook: Denton Workbench

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.