Howard Bank Names The Broken Plate Co. the Winner of Annual “Keep It Local” Contest

Baltimore City-based craft studio is awarded $10,000

BALTIMORE, MD, June 28, 2021Howard Bank, a commercial-focused community bank serving businesses, professionals, and individuals, today named The Broken Plate Co. as the winner of its third annual “Keep it Local” contest.

The craft studio—which is located in Baltimore City and specializes in creating art and jewelry from recycled, broken, and sentimental china—has been awarded $10,000. Owner Juliet Ames will use the funds to find a larger workspace and to boost Baltimore City’s Salt Box program.

“I want to personally congratulate The Broken Plate for winning this year’s contest and extend my gratitude to all of the other applicants and finalists that participated,” shared Mary Ann Scully, CEO and Chairman of Howard Bank. “In a challenging year, owner Juliet Ames created opportunities to support the community and rallied our neighbors together for a common cause.”

What started as a fun craft project turned into The Broken Plate in 2006. Since then, Ames has designed one-of-a-kind pieces from broken, vintage dishes that are sold locally and across the country. Ames also designs custom work, using shattered family dishes to create wearable, heirloom pieces that hold sentimental value for her customers.

As a lifelong resident of Baltimore, Ames has always been charmed by the city’s yellow salt boxes. When the salt boxes did not get picked up in 2020, she feared that the city had given up on the program. So, she decided to decorate one with the words “SALT BOX” cut from recycled china. She was elated to get a positive response from the Department of Transportation, which then encouraged other artists to make something of the salt boxes too. In Ames’ words, “what followed was some Baltimore Magic.”

From December to April, 76 other local artists joined her in decorating more than 200 salt boxes across the city. Ames purchased and painted more than 50 boards for these artists to use in refurbishing the boxes so they could amplify the program alongside her.

Beyond spreading joy, Ames helped to ensure that the city’s Salt Box program will continue. When the program returns next fall, the boxes will be mapped to help with maintenance and filling, and will showcase artist information so that other local artists can get recognition. Ames has also created opportunities for children to be involved— she created a public coloring sheet so they can design their dream salt boxes and plans to bring some of them to life in the fall.

“Each year, we come out of this contest so impressed with small businesses we have in Maryland,” said Robert Kunisch, COO and President at Howard Bank. “The creativity and heart of small business owners is what drives our economic and community fortunes alike, and it’s an honor for us to help The Broken Plate with the funding necessary to continue investing into Baltimore.”

“Our Keep It Local contest is designed to pinpoint and recognize a small, local business that extends outstanding service to its community,” said Erica Starr, Director of Marketing at Howard Bank. “The Broken Plate has a really unique story to tell, and we’re thrilled to back its work.”

The Keep It Local contest recognizes small businesses in Baltimore City and the Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Harford, and Howard counties that have shown outstanding service in their communities. Previous winners include Rise N’ Grind Café and Impact Martial Arts.

For more information on the contest, visit the Keep It Local contest page.

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