Ennis Hall inspires namesake
Ennis Hall has such heart-felt significance to Seth, ’14, ’15 and Kristina Patterson, ’15, that they named their business “Ennis Park” after the structure.
As a student, Kristina appreciated the building’s beauty before it underwent renovation. She was fascinated by the architecture.
“Even though it was empty at the time, I wanted to see the inside,” she said. “When Ennis Hall opened, it was so exciting for me to tour it and take courses there. I'm sure students who get to do even more than I did in that building have really enjoyed it.”
Although Ennis Hall was being renovated much of the time they spent on campus, Kristina took art history courses there after it opened her senior year.
“It was really cool how Ennis Hall brought all the art students together, whereas before we were all spread out in small buildings across campus,” she said. “This is what our shop does for us now.”
The couple’s store is a collection of different artisan goods including pottery, woodworking, visual arts, textiles and more.
“It's all of the arts brought together into one shop,” Seth said.
“Ennis Hall became that place at Georgia College, where all the art discipline students came together into one gathering place,” Kristina said. “I thought Ennis Hall was a cool name. Ennis Park also represents what we do by bringing all of these high-quality artisans together into one place.”
“We also wanted something that was significant to us in our lives,” Seth said. “Ennis Hall was really a representation of Georgia College as a whole.”
“Every time I crossed Front Campus, I thought it was so beautiful,” Kristina said. “It’s just a representation of a bit of our years at Georgia College.”
Their Georgia College education helped prepare them to create and operate Ennis Park.
As an art major, Kristina refers to her education as very well-rounded. Not only did she take art courses, but she took business courses, as well.
Seth was a mass communication major with a concentration in advertising. He earned his MBA while serving as a senator-at-large in the Student Government Association (SGA).
“I love the MBA program,” he said. “It was a small group of us in that cohort. And we became really close over the course of that year.”
Earning his MBA gave Seth the opportunity to go to Australia for an international business experience, which he called “amazing.”
“When you're starting your own business, there's no instruction manual on how to do it. So creative thinking is a huge aspect of that,” Seth said. “The other part is how GC’s reason, respect and responsibility applies. Our core values are centered in providing living wages to artisans worldwide. We want to make sure they're paid fairly, have safe working conditions and that the production of their goods is made in an environmentally friendly way.”
Seth works full-time in sales for Cisco Systems as a partner account manager in Atlanta, but he also works with Kristina at Ennis Park. He’s the in-house photographer for the website among other duties. From advertising to creating and maintaining a website to packing orders and finding artisans, the couple does it all.
Kristina and Seth are life-long learners. They especially enjoy the challenge of constantly learning and growing their business.
“I get really excited about that,” she said. “I think in this business, there's a feeling that you've never arrived. I’m always learning new things in every aspect of running a business. And that's what really excites me the most about it.”
Seth knows the importance of patience when starting his business. He advises those who are starting their own business to cultivate that virtue.
“It’s a lot of fun building something that you can call your own,” Seth said. “But it's also going to be difficult and take time. You’ll never know everything, so just jump in and expect it to be one big learning experience. Expect failures. Instead of quitting, use those moments to grow.”
Learn more about Ennis Park—Timeless housewares for simple living.