The roots of Hagen-Renaker stretch back to Culver City, California, a suburb of Los Angeles recognized today for the major TV and movie studios located there.
In the early 1940’s, John and Maxine Renaker (nee Hagen), began experimenting in their garage with various types of ceramics; dinnerware, flower bowls, shadowboxes. At some point, Maxine sculpted a small duck which was subsequently cast and became the starting point of Hagen-Renaker Miniatures.
In 1946, the Renakers moved to an eastern suburb of Los Angeles, Monrovia, and the growth of the pottery began in earnest. Designers were hired and additional pottery equipment was added. The majority of their production was still devoted to floral shadow boxes, plates, trays and flower bowls, but by 1949 a significant number of animals were listed in the Miniature section of their brochure.
Wildlife was the subject of most of the early miniatures including ducks, skunks, turtles, squirrels and rabbits. The addition of new designers led to the development of more domestic animals, dogs and cats, which today are one of the strongest portions of the line. Giftware magazine’s buyer opinion polls consistently rate Hagen-Renaker in the top ten for animal figurines.
In 1966 The Hagen-Renaker Pottery was moved approximately 30 miles further east to its current location in San Dimas, California. The pottery shared its home with a nursery until 1988. (John was and still is a person of many interests).
In 1980, H-R acquired another pottery from Freeman McFarlin located in San Marcos, California a northern suburb of San Diego. H-R shifted most of their production to this new pottery until 1986, when it was closed and production returned to San Dimas where it operates today. John and Maxine have retired and their eldest daughter Susan operates the business today.