November 19, 2015

Our Handmade Holiday Gift Guide

I don't know about you, but gifts are my love language. I love giving them, I love receiving them, I love wrapping them with cute handmade wrapping paper... I will also never stop being grateful that people buy my jewelry to give as a gift! I could insert a "#blessed" tag here but I'll spare you. #yourewelcome But seriously, making a living off of my craft is still amazing even after 9 years.

In the spirit of the ultimate gifting season, I pulled together a little list of handmade goods for your giving inspiration. These are all items created by makers I personally know, so trust me that you're supporting amazingly awesome people when you purchase any of them.

1. 1Canoe2. I'm friends with this bunch, and I can never get enough of their hand painted designs and fun paper products. This Berry Basket Recipe Box is perfect for people who are starting to discover their cooking potential! Co-founder Beth Snyder used to live in Nashville - she and I actually met at the American Artisan Festival!

2. Little Things Studio. My gal Kate is amazing at transforming words into a work of art. It's hard to choose, but we happen to really like this one. Kate and her husband just bought their first house in East Nashville and their renovations have been epic!

3. Hello Soap. You could always keep the gift-giving clean and go with some handmade soap! My production assistant Britt has all the smell-good soaps and lip balms you need. In fact, we couldn't pick a favorite scent, so we're betting this set of four citrus soaps would be a crowd pleaser.

4. Freshie & Zero. Of course I'll be giving some of my jewelry as Christmas presents! The Little Facet Necklace (center) is one of our newer pieces most often hinted at by my relatives... 

5. Pine Street Makery. Who can resist a lovely hand printed tea towel? And aren't tea towels with hand illustrated succulents on them even better? My production assistant Jessica has a knack for quirky illustrations which she prints on totes, tea towels, and more.

6. Corbé Company. I discovered this modern ceramics duo at Renegade this fall. I'm smitten with their pinch dishes and have already given several as gifts!

7. Clawson's Pub & Deli. If the men in your life are anything like the men we know, they love craft beer. And Clawson's serves up a rotating selection of them which you can give in the form of a gift card or inside a growler! Ann & Jens Clawson moved here from California to pursue their dream of opening up a restaurant, and I'm so glad they landed in my studio building, because they're awesome and you know, beer down the hall.

8. Rinse.  My friends at Rinse have everything from beer soap (another guy gift!) to wine soap (mom gift!) to pet wash (dog gift!), but we picked this little Bouquet of Skin Sticks from their personal care arsenal. Heather started Rinse after finding that she had a knack for soap making, and she now operates an entire Rinse Store in Monroe, Georgia with her husband, son, and now a newborn baby!

Well, those are some of my go-to presents! Do you have any favorite things you'll be wrapping up for your loved ones with this season?

November 15, 2015

We're headed east for the Retropolitan Craft Fair

Just in time for the holidays, we are excited to head down the road to Knoxville to participate in the Retropolitan Craft Fair

 Retropolitan Craft

Retro-what, you ask? Well, RETROPOLITAN! The fair promises to feature:
"the Southeast’s finest talents in contemporary craft and design while also incorporating upcycled goods with a funky, vintage inspired, and fabulously quirky vibe."
Sounds like our kind of place!

If you're going to be in the Knoxville area on November 21, swing by to see us and get a jumpstart on your Christmas shopping!

Saturday, November 21, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The Southern Railway Station (In Old City)
306 West Depot Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917

Click here to visit Retropolitan's website!

October 07, 2015

We're going to the Atlanta Apparel Market!

This fall has been a whirlwind! I can't believe next week will be our return to the Atlanta Apparel Market after almost three years! We were originally going to be in a showroom but due to unfortunate circumstances beyond our control, the showroom will not be open. Luckily, we were able to snag a last minute opening in the Premiere Accessories section, almost in the same spot we were in last time! It's been quite a while since we have exhibited there, so we're excited to go back. And I will definitely be visiting Ikea in my free time...

If you are planning on coming to the show this October, please stop in our booth to say hello! We will have show specials. . .  and probably some candy. I love candy.

Here I am at our last Atlanta Apparel Market in 2013, ready to set up!

October 01, 2015

We Welcome Refugees

I have been so heartbroken by the images of the Syrian refugee crisis. I feel helpless, but I know there are small ways in which I can help. Coincidentally, my friend and fellow Nashvillian Kate Whitley of Little Things Studio designed the above graphic and reached out to her network of makers like myself to encourage us to donate a portion of our sales to one of the organizations actively helping the refugees. The quote below is from Kate's response:
I’ve often thought what would I have done if I had lived during WWII and known about the concentration camps in Germany. Would I have sent money? Would I have spoken out and talked to my friends, local church, my city, and my government? Especially when some of the persecuted practiced a faith I did not. Because that’s what I would want to do. I wouldn’t want to live in regret. I don’t want to live in regret now over the refugee crisis. What if this moment is in our history books? What if it gets worse? And what if I did nothing?
I love Kate. So to help, we decided we would donate 10% of our booth sales and our online retail sales during the Renegade Craft Fair held on September 19+20, 2015 to World Relief. We officially donated the money we raised today and it feels so good to help, even if it just a drop in the bucket of what is truly needed to help these people. If you would also like to donate to World Relief, click here to learn more.

I also donated to the Migrant Offshore Aid Station - click to read about it if you haven't heard of the amazing rescue ship in the Mediterranean.

To read more about the crisis and what you can do to help, read "5 Ways To Stand Up" and visit We Welcome Refugees. You can read Kate's entire blog post that really resonated with me about why we should take action in this crisis.

Thank YOU friends and customers, for supporting Freshie & Zero (for 9 years!) and allowing me to not only support my family, but also to donate to causes where my heart is called. Something my pastor said to us in church a few weeks ago really struck me. I'm paraphrasing, but he said something like "You may not be called to help in this crisis in Syria. But if you are a Christian, you are called to help the poor." I would also like to believe that if you are just a human, you are called to help the poor. 

On a mostly unrelated note, if you haven't heard the Death Sex & Money podcasts about Hurricane Katrina, go listen now. SO eye opening to what people in New Orleans actually went through - I had no idea. My favorites were Big Freedia and Terri Coleman.