There's something about the deep South that is a bit more distinctive, wild, beautiful. And Nan Myers, owner of one of my favorite shops, Firefly (of Thomasville, GA), has her pulse on it all. Her holiday Peach Picks this year are particularly good. All are centered on high quality products that are also stylish and wholly southern. I'm in love with each and every one...Thank you Nan!
Nan: I love the IDEA of entertaining, but for the most part it is not very realistic during the holidays. However, I will embrace it next weekend when I have 10 adults and 8 kiddos coming over for Sunday brunch. I will be using these cloth napkins (from $12 a bundle), some festive owl placemats, $29, and all of my R. Wood pottery, from $22. I will also cheat a little with heating up some yummy Callie's Biscuits, $40.
Animal Coat, from $140. Artist, Marty Goodall, a stay at home mother at the time, was frustrated when her two year old son refused to wear the hoods on his coats. Searching for a creative solution, she designed and made the original Ferocious Felt Lion coat to inspire him to put his hood up in the cold. Friends commented, orders were placed and Little Goodall was born. Yes, she does make adult jackets and yes, I got a Fox one for myself.
Message Booklet, $12. Sideshow Press/StitchDesign Group is a daring little letterpress factory and design studio based in Charleston, SC, with an extensive line of clever gift items ranging from all things letterpress to horseshoe cocktail picks. These little pads of 25 calling cards come in a range of sayings. Love You More and A Little Happy are my absolute favorites.
JJ's Knife Kit, $9.95. Gene Jameson first made his son JJ a wooden pocket knife back in 2008. He quickly realized not only the appeal of a wooden pocket itself, but the process of crafting it. Shortly thereafter, JJ's Knife Kits were born. As a mother of two stinky boys, I can't wait to put these in their stockings.
L Pax Mary Janes, $42. One of my sweet assistants asked me one day if I would be interested in seeing some shoes that her friend Lauren was making. "Sure" was my response. Well, minutes later Lauren and her baby strolled right in and her first 'real' order was placed and a children's brand was born. If interested, please call the store, as we have a large inventory with multiple choices. Firefly 229.226.6363
Blackberry Patch Syrups, $6.99. These syrups are locally made here in Thomasville, and have only three ingredients- berries, lemon juice and cane sugar. It is truly a simple pleasure, and my cool sister-in-law, Haile Mccollum of Fontaine Maury redid their packaging, so it is visually wonderful too!
Short Stack Cookbook, $14 each. I am pretty excited about this little series of cookbooks. Each book tackles one ingredient by one expert chef. Yesterday, I attempted poaching my first egg and I was successful. Ian Knauer, author of the first edition, Eggs, gave me the 'pep' talk that I needed. Sweet Potatoes is my next read.
Hand forged Oyster Knife/bottle opener, $40. I love oysters. I love to eat oysters. I love raw oysters. I love steamed oysters. I love fried oysters. Needless to say, I will be roasting oysters this Christmas come hell or high water. To inspire my husband to enjoy this process, I bought him this oyster knife from Carolina Shuckers.
Crap Taxidermy book. $11. I just completed a wedding this fall where the dance tent was covered up in roadkill taxidermy, lovingly collected and scraped by the Bride's mother for over two decades. No, I am not kidding and it was absolutely wonderful. This book just makes me laugh and is accurately named, as it is full of serious 'crap' taxidermy.
Ceri Hoover bag, from $134. I missed the girl gene that is attracted to fancy designer bags. I just don't get it. So when I find myself attracted to a bag, it's for a very good reason and these bags are Bad Ass. Pardon my French but Ceri Hoover of Nashville is just that and these bags appeal completely to my sensibility.
Mark Lexton Jewelry, from $55. Mark "Lex" Matthews is a master goldsmith. How many folks can say that? His collections are called Oysters, Fox Mask, Equestrian and Low Country, which automatically draws one in. However, it is the craftsmanship and timeless, classic beauty that hooks you.
John Cleaveland Painting, from $800. Art is deeply personal. It either speaks to you or not. John Cleaveland's oil paintings have always spoken to me and I am happy to be representing his work at Firefly.
Local Restaurant. I think one of the best gifts is treating someone you love to a local or regional restaurant. Two Georgia restaurants that are on my current radar are the Seabear Oyster Bar in Athens and The Florence in Savannah. I am a huge fan of the wickedly talented (and nicest guy ever), Peter Dale of Seabear. And I can't wait to meet Patrick Stubbers of The Florence, who has an impressive food background, including the infamous Supper Club, The Fourcoursemen.
Top Illustration: Rob Wilson of Silas Tom Photos: Respective artists Content: Sweet Peach