About Cleo and Friz

Hello & Welcome to Cleo and Friz!


My name is Tonya and this store is dedicated to my two maternal Great-Grandmother's, Cleo and Friz. I knew Cleo very well. She lived into her 90's. Grandma Friz, passed before I knew her, but her spirit has lived on in all the stories my mom and family have told me. So let me share the inspiration these beautiful ladies poured into me and the creation of CleoandFriz.com.

So many memories come to my mind when I see this picture portrait. I have it hanging in my hallway, so I can see it often. Cleo and Papaw Estell were well into their 60's when I was born. I remember going to their home in rural, VERY rural Kentucky for long weekends.  It was about 80 miles away from my home in Southern Indiana, so it seemed to take FOREVER to get there! While I was probably only 6 or 7 when I really remember the drive, I always thought, "Who would want to live in this tiny, country Kentucky home?". Quite a big thought from a little girl. I loved shopping, and going places with lots and lots of people. Small-town Kentucky was the furthest thing from any of these things.  

It was quiet, cozy, country, and the tv NEVER had a good picture (probably doesn't have a wi-fi connection today). There were no Saturday morning cartoons, and on Sunday, the best we could get was the Everly Brothers or Gaither's singing southern Gospel.

What I didn't know as a little girl, is that this home in Kentucky was my roots. And they were planted deep. I remember Papaw getting potatoes for dinner from the cellar under the house. That was so different. Cleo, as she was always affectionately called, because as a little girl, my mom drove her crazy calling her Grandma, grandma, grandma....finally she had enough and said child, call me Cleo!!! And it remained her beloved name until her death in her 90's! What mom or grandma can't relate to that story?!

She would feed us like kings and queens. We always had a huge breakfast of Biscuits and gravy, (white and black-eyed), smoked ham, jam, molasses and a whole lot of deliciousness! Papaw Estell would drink coffee from his saucer, so not to burn his mouth. All served on the most colorful table of Fiesta-ware....the original. Here at CleoandFriz.com we hope to help you bring that warm fuzzy feeling to your family. And have fun while doing it!


And NOW, meet Friz!

I come from a long line of creatives:  My grandma, Dorothy Agnes,  is shown in the photo, by her shadow. It was probably a mistake because using film and having it developed was expensive. She was probably even a little annoyed that she didn't have the perfect lighting for this photo. But today, this is a most magical, expressive "mistake" that make this picture priceless to me.

This was probably around 1940. My great-grandparents were seeing off their son Jay to the war effort in WW2. Papa John on the left, Jay, and Grandma Friz. Look at the concern on their faces as they send their son off to an unknown outcome of the war. The determination of this generation, parents of the greatest generation, was deep and full of resolve and grace. Knowing what might lie ahead, yet knowing what was at stake, led them to live one day at a time and making the most of the present. Even amidst war rations of sugar, gas, cotton, the things we take for granted today. Because reality says, we don't know what tomorrow holds. 

I want to introduce you to my family and where I come from and provide products that support the love, nostalgia, drive and determination of families to not only survive the generations, but enjoy family and LIFE, and have FUN,  despite what life throws at us. 

THIS is the Friz of Cleoandfriz.com.