Julie Green, from UpUpCreative, gave me the low down on the crafty scene in Rochester, New York. Julie is a talented graphic designer whose work is bright & bold. She’s also the brains behind the Each Penny Pretty design blog. Check her out on Twitter!
There are over two-hundred tomato seedlings living out their days in seed trays on my kitchen counter. The fruit of every single one of them is intended for consumption by myself, my family; no one else. I may have gone a little overboard. But we love — and I do mean love — tomatoes.
It’s no surprise then, if a producer wants to catch my eye all they have to do is market something inventive, something tomato-ey. Katchkie Farm of Kinderhook, New York did just that. And from there I fell further and further in love.
Katchkie Farm doesn’t just sell Tomato Jam — a product that they report has a little kick, but goes down smooth thanks to the included ginger and cayenne pepper — from their Foodzie Shop. Owned by Great Performances, a New York City company famous for its local catering and cafe menus, Katchkie Farm also brings their local, organic products to consumers in the NYC area via Farmer’s Markets in the city throughout the year. Plus, they offer weekly and bi-weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares to families in the Tribeca and surrounding communities; shares that not only include their own vegetables but also fruit sourced from other local growers for a round, family diet.
And you know, if we stopped there Katchkie Farm may be in a class with so many others — small farms and producers who are all striving for the same goals and functioning on the same mission; good honest and important goals — but they’ve taken it a step further, thoroughly earning their place in the Try Handmade hall of fame. Katchkie Farm is home to The Sylvia Center; a garden-to-table program that connects kids with the source of their food and empowers them to make healthful decisions in fueling their bodies. In my opinion, there is no work more important.
You’re in for a treat today — a guest post from my friend Casey at the Moosh in Indy blog. She’s always fabulous but especially so last month when she was in New York for Fashion Week. Read on to hear how she styled herself in handmade for this high-power event, and love her for helping spread the word that handmade is better and more beautiful and closer to the heart than mass-produced.
There was the most wonderful crocheted hat at the most unique little boutique on Pier 17 in NYC. I had it in my hand ready to purchase when a little sticker came out that read “Made in Taiwan.”
If I’ve learned anything from living part of my life on the internet it is that I don’t need to stand for “Made in Taiwan.”
In February I went to New York during fashion week for a “work thing.” I have no shame in admitting that my first thought was “WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?” It was at that moment I decided to go handmade for my trip.
I first gathered up all of my own etsy and farmers market purchases.
I then put the question out to my followers on twitter, “Anybody on here make stuff?” Simple as that. Even if someone didn’t make something themselves they knew somebody who made something or had purchased something from someone and were more than willing to brag about their wares.
Suddenly the internet became my own little personal boutique.
And you know what? No one else had what I had. When I was asked “Where did you find that?” I was able to answer a real person’s name and hand them a card rather than answer a big box store. I’ve met a lot of these people, I’ve had conversations with them, had things custom made or tweaked. There’s nothing quite like getting a compliment on an item when you know yours is the only one in existence.
Now I’d like to present to you the handmade items that made me feel unique in a city of chain stores, trends and a million other people. I can vouch for all of them, some I’ve known for years, others only a month, but they are all fantastic.
Accessoire. This girl is just down the road from me in Indianapolis, all of her lovely wool flowers have feminine names and she warned me that Lillith must put out and that’s why people like her so much.
Pere Custom Handbags. I was told by a New Yorker that out of towners stand out most when they bring a big handbag to evening events. She said a leeedle teeny clutch was key in not standing out like an unfashionable sore thumb. I’m addicted to jewel tones so her pinch puff clutch stole my heart immediately. The thought of carrying one of her other handbags actually gets me more excited than going out in the first place.
Necklush. I. LOVE. SCARVES. Necklushes are even cooler than the coolest scarf I own, which is why I own two. Everytime I wear one I can’t go out without at least two or three comments on it (complete with touches, I don’t even mind the touches if that says anything.) There’s a dozen different ways to wear one and all of them are awesome.
Cheryl’s Jewelry. Another local. I have admired her intricate wirework from afar for awhile but never had the occasion to wear such art around my neck. She picks the most amazing jewels for her work and the hours spent on each piece is apparent. Wish her luck as she tries to get into the local art market scene.
Studio Jewel. Ever built an outfit around a necklace and then spend the day with your hair up and your chin up showing off the necklace? That’s how I feel in my Studio Jewel necklace. It just feels good. And pretty. And what’s even better is since she’s the boss, she was able to size it down for my puny little neck.
Round House Designs. Not only did she make a custom ring based off of my blog for me, she and my husband went into cahoots for Valentine’s Day. Not to rub it in, but my Valentine’s gift kicked your Valentine’s gifts’ trash.
What’s fantastic about this? I just told you about all of the secrets in my closet but you’ll never be able to duplicate exactly what I have. Why? Handmade, that’s why.
Syracuse is a great little university town! Nevermind, of course, that ne’er a day goes by that it doesn’t snow between October and April…
A university with killer academic programs and great sports means there’s no dearth of good spirits, great food, and even better design.
Two cultural happenings strangely began during the same week this year: the Olympics, and New York Fashion Week. In honor of both events, I’ve found a few fashion and accessories designers located in the Olympics host city, Vancouver, BC. One of my favorite cities in the world, I was thrilled to have a chance to virtually explore Vancouver for local designers and their beautiful creations.
The first designer, Mehran, has so many great things I had a hard time choosing just one to feature. I settled on this pleated bag because I love her story behind it–after she made a custom bag for someone, she was so happy with how it turned out she decided to make more. I can see why she was happy– this bag is a perfect way to accessorize any fashion you choose to sport.
See this top? Well it may not be available for long because I just might have to pick it up myself it’s so perfect for me and by post-two-babies-body. This design, by Christintina, is a perfect example of how jersey can be really flattering, when it’s gathered. The fabric this designer uses also happens to be organic bamboo, which is incredibly soft and comfortable.
This red jacket by Littlehouses [previously featured] is the perfect thing for this post about Vancouver and New York. This Vancouver designer has a New York eye–the model could definitely work it on the runway. Red lips, pixie hair, and totally fab red jacket–red is definitely not my color, but this is very tempting. The fabric of the jacket is a thick, soft cotton, my favorite because it’s seasonless, so you can wear it anytime–whether you’re in Vancouver, New York, or (hopefully) somewhere much warmer.