Clintonville's The Brass Hand Brings the Southwest to Central Ohio

Boutique owner Heather McCloud curates a desert oasis in Clintonville.

Emma Frankart Henterly
Columbus Monthly
Heather McCloud in the potting room of her Clintonville store, The Brass Hand

Central Ohioans jonesing for a taste of the Southwest need not fly cross-country to get their fix. Just hop in the car and head to The Brass Hand in Clintonville, where owner, Arizona native and self-described “desert baby” Heather McCloud sells a curated collection of pieces designed to evoke the region she knows and loves.

“I’m very attached to Columbus, which is kind of a driving force behind The Brass Hand,” McCloud says. “I’m very rooted here, so I’m trying to bring what I love—which is the desert—to Columbus so I can have a little bit of both. And I think that meets a need for a lot of people in our community.”

A bold statement, perhaps, but McCloud has the sales to back it up. She launched The Brass Hand on Instagram in December 2020, selling cacti, succulents and desert-inspired home goods from her Worthington home. She quickly outgrew her home office and opened a small space in Olde Towne East, where she hosted private shopping appointments. By May 2021, she had quit her corporate job and signed a lease on the Clintonville storefront, which opened in August.

Potting supplies at The Brass Hand in Clintonville

Customers often remark that stepping inside the shop at 3327 N. High St. feels like being in Sedona or Joshua Tree, McCloud says, “and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. Maybe it started out of a need for myself; now it’s a communal space for people who are looking for that little piece of desert.”

Products include vintage pieces and plants that McCloud sources from the Southwest herself; she makes multiple trips a year to her old stomping grounds. There’s also a selection of traditional retail (think: home décor, apothecary goods, jewelry), most of it made by local artists and artisans.

“We have 30 local makers represented here in the shop,” McCloud says. “There are two other curators here [helping source vintage goods], but everything else in the shop, I hand-pick, I vet for sustainable practices and progressive values.”

The shop also has a potting room; guests can pick out a plant and a pot, and The Brass Hand staff will guide them through the process of repotting using the shop’s blend of cactus-specific soil and decorating the arrangement with top dressings and accessories—like crystals, glass figurines and more—all included with the purchase of a plant and pot. The potting room is open for walk-ins during regular business hours and can be rented for private events.