Rookwood Pottery, local chip maker launch cause marketing initiatives

Rookwood Pottery has teamed up with March of Dimes Ohio and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and Hen of the Woods local snack company and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have connected for newly launched “cause marketing” initiatives.

“Darling Fiona” figurine sales will benefit March of Dimes Ohio and the Cincinnati Zoo.

Sharing the message of, “I made it and you will too,” Rookwood Pottery created a limited-edition “Darling Fiona” figurine — priced at $75 each at Homepage | Rookwood – Rookwood Pottery — that supports research, education and advocacy surrounding infant prematurity.

March of Dimes Ohio says one in 10 babies is born too soon. Fiona’s story of resilience and survival continues to be a symbol of hope and strength for families with infants overcoming obstacles related to preterm birth. Hand-painted by Rookwood artists, the purple bow adorning the neck of the Darling Fiona figurine pays homage to March of Dimes’ mission of supporting healthy moms and strong babies so that every family can have the best possible start.

Rookwood launched the sales Feb. 15, which is “World Hippo Day.” A portion of proceeds from each sale will be donated to the Cincinnati Zoo and March of Dimes. Rookwood Pottery, founded on Thanksgiving Day in 1880 by Maria Longworth Storer as the first large manufacturing enterprise started and owned by a woman in the U.S., launched the art pottery movement in America. Sales soared during the pandemic helping to keep the Over-the-Rhine-based business thriving. 

Grace Rohlfs, the mother of a 29-week-old premature baby and a senior development manager at March of Dimes Ohio, watched Fiona grow through her journey, overcoming obstacles, and pushing the limits of what anyone thought was possible. For Rohlfs, Fiona’s story served as a light of hope during her daughter’s NICU stay at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati.

“Things in the NICU can be pretty touch and go at times. To help manage expectations, our care team at Good Sam would always remind us not to say, “When we go home” but instead got us in the habit of saying “it’s almost time to go see Fiona,” said Rohlfs.

Fiona was born six-weeks premature. At her most critical time, the team at the Cincinnati Zoo found themselves turning to the NICU unit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to assist with a special IV for when Fiona stopped eating. Like other NICU units around the world, Cincinnati Children’s team of health care specialists provide around-the-clock care to sick and premature babies, using special training and equipment to handle the most challenging of situations.

Meanwhile, through February, 50 percent of all online profits at will be donated to Children’s Hospital for cancer research.

Hen of the Woods is an Ohio-based snack food brand started by three chefs located in the historic West End of Cincinnati. What started as a restaurant and market concept in 2013 has evolved over the years to a snack food brand with over 20 products, over 1,000 retail locations in 30 states. In Cincinnati, it delivers to over 150 locations monthly and offers direct shipping distribution to hundreds of accounts nationwide.

“Children’s has played a role in my life as a kid and now as a parent so I’ve experienced firsthand what having this gem in our backyard is worth,” said Brady DeLong, the company’s chief operating officer. “This partnership ushers in a new arm of Hen of the Woods called Out of the Woods, a collection of initiatives where we are partnering with leaders and nonprofit organizations locally, regionally and nationally to tackle subjects such as health and wellness, climate change and being a resource for local food entrepreneurs.” 

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