May 8, 2019 - Written by: Nancy Pollard
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A Good Potholder Is Hard To Find

Tanya Ernst site photoI don’t know how I ever found Tanya Ernst in the ether of the internet.  I was desperately looking for someone who would make washable suede potholders to replace an unreliable producer who had inherited the business from a cousin.  A long story that does not bear repeating.  But Google did not fail me!  In the third or fourth Google page, just when you are really past giving up, but you continue since you are avoiding some household chore. her name appeared next to “suede potholders”.

But why suede over terry, or silicone or quilted fabric? If you know that riveter and welder gloves were always made of leather, then you  understand why we liked the idea of  suede potholders so much.  They are more heat and flame resistant than any fabric combination.  And with silicone, both our customers and the Cuisinettes found them to be clammy and sometimes a bit iffy in its grip.  And there are several tries to capture the leather benefit on the market, but the ones from Ernst and Company are the ones that should be hanging around your stove.  


My Kind of Company

First a little about this unusual family and company whose logo is: Integrity in Design.  Integrity in Materials,  Integrity in Manufacturing.

Ernst farm and factoryTanya and her six children reside in the Catskills, maintain chickens on their farmland as well as some serious potager gardens. The children are home schooled, but their dogs are not. One of her daughters is a gifted ballet dancer while a son has become skilled in forging iron pieces. Some of his ironwork is  available on their company website. 

Ernst & Company 2919 ToteHer designs always have a surprising and functional origin. I have one of her earlier waxed canvas grocers’ bags which which has been the envy of several shoppers at farmers’ markets.Those were based on a paper grocery bag.   Her new hand- painted canvas bags are inspired by the original Louis Vuitton designs.  which were unique travel trunks and boxes covered in painted canvas. Her very chic bags have double rivets, not just single ones anda zippered interior pocket. And what I really like is that they stand up when placed on the ground instead of flopping over.  These bags measure 13 inches in height, 12 inches wide and have a 6.5 inch depth.  They pack easily and wipe clean. 

The birth of her suede potholders is very funny.  She had a suede bag displayed at her local bank with square suede color samples so prospective clients could choose a color – all were stolen. ” I wondered what use they would be to someone, as most people do not have a sewing machine strong enough to go through 6 ounces of suede.  I placed a piece of suede in my hand and brainstormed.  The only thing I could come up with was a potholder.  I quickly cut out some suede, stitched them together and created my first pair of potholders.  My suede potholders sales have steadily grown and proudly includes some very well known kitchen stores!”  And La Cuisine was one of them. 

So About Those Potholders

sample Tanya Ernst suede potholderThese potholders are double in thickness, and measure 7.5 inches square.   As just one of the marks of her integrity toward US products, Tanya only uses premier American hides with a 2-3oz weight.  The hanging loop is quite sturdy (I had some others, in which the loop became useless within a few months).  I wash mine in cold water wash and dry Ernst & Company Suede Handle Holderthem on the delicate cycle. That setting will soften the leather as it dries. She, however, recommends that they be laid flat to dry.  A 9″ size has an opening on one end so that you can slip your hand in to make a short oven mitt. 

Try a couple of her skillet sleeves too.  They are long enough to allow your hand to have a real grip on the handle and pretty much resist burns from your hob’s heat source.  Her durable coasters are made from smaller pieces of the same  high-quality suede and would make a neat hostess gift – their design evolved from Tanya’s “waste not, want not” philosphy. 


Extracurricular Designs

Ernst teeny pouchesWhile I am not curently a knitter, and she is, check out her little suede pouches for pattern markers and Ernst & Company Cash Bagssupplies. I plan to use mine for holding my cheesy earrings when they are not on my ears.   Another design which I use for holding receipts, cards from businesses that strike my fancy and my phone, is  her cash bag also in suede. – But whatever you choose, you will be assured of the Ernst integrity of materials, design and manufacture.  

And as KD readers you will receive a 20% discount on your purchases from the Ernst and Company website when you use the Code KDREADERS at checkout.  And shipping from Ernst & Company is always free on all orders.  Tanya’s discount for KD readers ends May 31, 2019.

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5 years ago

Don’t miss this generous Instagram post from Tanya Ernst of Ernst and Company! –

Tarah F Taylor
5 years ago
Reply to  dev_sgw5iu

I have a question but is not related to the above article. Those do look like really nice pot holders!
Since you have so many years experience with cooking, could you recommend the top copper pieces of cookware for someone just started to build their kitchen? Thank you for your knowledgeable advice!!!