The Southern C Summit

This April, I'm excited to be heading east again to Charleston, South Carolina for the Southern C 2015 Summit. It's a conference for Southern creatives that includes a bevy of expert panel discussions on branding, marketing, monetizing, social media and more. They fill up the three days with so many interesting people and topics, that it's impossible not to walk away enlightened and inspired...

Whitney Long and Cheri Leavy are the creative minds behind it all. I loved meeting these two last year- they're kind, giving, smart and savvy, which is essential when creating an event such as this. I personally love their focus on the South. As they shared, "The South is full of so much talent, creativity and innovation. We feel it is important to celebrate and connect Southern makers and creatives to build up our shared economy and culture." 

Their list of speakers is impressive, including Robert Leleux, Editor-in-Chief of Domino magazine and East Coast Producer and Editor of Better Homes and Gardens, Eddie Ross. Also present will be Amy Hughes, Susan Hable and Rinne Allen (to discuss book publishing) as well as Y'allsome founder Craig Evans and Proud Mary founder, Harper Poe to help us gain a better understanding of cause marketing and how to integrate it into our existing businesses. The list goes on...

To make it even sweeter, the conference is being held in downtown Charleston. Cheri and Whitney work hard to create an impressive lineup of speakers to share their insights and wisdom, but they also work equally hard to offer breaks througout the day and evening that showcase the best local food and drink. There is ample time to network and socialize, which is incredibly valuable for any Southern creative. If you'd like to partake, it's best to sign up soon as their early bird discount ends January 31 (that would be tomorrow). I hope you sign up and I hope to see y'all there...


Images: The Southern C;     Content: Sweet Peach



Little Barn Apothecary

Simplicity is a very nice thing. Joshua Morgan and Brad Scoggins think so too, which is why they started a skin care company of their own, called Little Barn Apothecary. It's built on the philosophy of combining pure, simple ingredients, or as Joshua sums it up, "We do more with less."


Their premiere collection is an impressive one and includes soaks, salves, scrubs and oils. Joshua, "When we think of the South, we think farmers, fields and gardens. We take our inspiration directly from the earth and the South holds a pure, unadulterated palette of organic raw ingredients right in our own backyard." 

When I asked the boys (who are based in Stone Mountain, Georgia) which products they'd recommend for a relaxing spa night, they were quick to come up with a plan. First, slather your face with cocoa cardamom rose detox mask, then soak in orange clove bathing milk. Follow up with the body oil and finish with a few drops of the simple, sumptuous face oil. 

Life partners as well as business partners, Joshua and Brad are a true team. Joshua spent 16 years in the beauty, spa and wellness arena while Brad has extensive expertise in marketing, hospitality and brand management. Joshua, "We literally do it all and we do it all as one. Brad photographs while I create the set and hold the lighting. He stirs, I pour, then he labels..." Ahhh, cuteness overload.

I got a hold of a few Little Barn products a couple weeks ago and had a spa night of my own. I began with their Simple Coffee Scrub (fair trade organic coffee beans, real cane sugar, sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil). The combined oils work to moisturize and soften, are anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. I loved the rich smell of coffee and it was a very effective exfoliator. The older I get, the more I like and appreciate these simple, natural ingredients on my skin.

Then I tried their Detox Mask (organic cocoa powder, Kansas organic blue cornmeal, ground cardamom seed, rose essential oil). The organic cocoa is full of antioxidants while the cornmeal is another excellent exfoliant. The cardamom is antibacterial and helps improve circulation as the rose essential oil smooths the skin. Plus, the rose aroma strengthens the heart both spiritually and emotionally. I loved it and my skin felt so soft. The added bonus is you need to use very little of this mask (and the scrub) with each use, so the shelf life is excellent.

I'm a sucker for a good logo and these guys hit it out of the park. It represents their brand philosphy to a tee. I highly recommend trying a few Little Barn Apothecary products. This impressive little company is less than a year old, with well designed products that incorporate high quality, purposeful ingredients, all bottled with love. It's just that simple.  


Images: Little Barn Apothecary; Sweet Peach    Content: Sweet Peach


Ann Ladson Utensils

Charleston has been on my mind lately. And after writing my post yesterday on my favorite shop there, The Commons, it got me thinking of local artist, Ann Ladson. I met Ann there last year and bought one of her gorgeous gold rings. So, last night, I checked out her website to see what she's been up to and apparently, it's a lot. Besides her jewelry line, Ann has added an entire new line of utensils and vessels that are absolutely exquisite. Stunning. I want each and every one please...

Her utensils are shaped by hand- a labor intensive process that, depending on the piece, consists of carving the wax, casting the molds, forging, soldering, casting and finishing. Each is an original and a true treasure to have in your very own home.  

In this set of pics, you'll find a spice spoon, an oyster spork and brass tea spoons. As Ann was once a pastry chef, she is very atune to the needs of a chef. The right tools make a world of difference- plus it can't hurt that they're also this lovely. 

Still gushing over the shiny spoons, I find myself fawning over her solid brass three legged candlesticks and tri-ped bowls. As Ann notes, these tiny bowls work just as well for your spices as they do your jewels or small keepsakes. 

A brass dinner fork and a tiny ladle? I can't take it, I just can't take it anymore. It's all so beautiful and so fun... another strong reminder that I need to stop just thinking of Charleston and return to this enchanting southern city very soon. 

See the entirety of the Ann Ladson collections, here


Images:     Content: Sweet Peach 


The Nesting Trivet

A picture has power. Like this one, which is beautifully composed and highlights a product I can't help but want to know more about. I saw this on Instagram yesterday and knew I had to share. Turns out, Erin Connelly and Kerry Clark Speake of The Commons in Charleston recently collaborated with Durham based company, Arrowhead, to create these stunning walnut and brass nesting trivet sets.

As shared on their site, this trivet serves three functions; "As a classic trivet set for your hot pots, nested together to create a sculptural fruit bowl or simply as a decorative work of art on your kitchen table."

It's a beauty- and what a wonderful gift idea too. It's the type of household item to covet and use year after year after year. Incredible work guys. To continue to be awed by Erin and Kerry's originality, check out the beautiful goods they've created and curated for their impeccable shop, The Commons, here.


Images: Megumi Shauna Arai;   Content: Sweet Peach


Side Project Skateboards

Jake Eshelman is a meticulous kind of guy. Just check out his wall of tastefully framed art, his tailored shirt and well groomed self...or more importantly, that gorgeous, carefully crafted skateboard he's holding. That perhaps speaks loudest of all. 

Jake grew up in Houston, Texas, at a time when skateboarders were well traveled on the main and side streets of the city, often barefoot, bold and spirited. It inspired him to craft his first skateboard - and then another...until word got around and he had a good side gig. Now, through his company, Side Project Skateboards, Jake continues to craft one of a kind skateboards by hand in his home town of Houston. 

Reclaimed Cherry, Maple, Walnut and Ash all make repeat appearances in Jake's shop and he relishes working with the various grains, colors and idiosyncrasies the natural woods provide. I don't have a current need for a skateboard, but if I did, I know exactly where I'd buy it... here.


Images: Side Project Skateboards    Content: Sweet Peach 



Friday Fun...

Today is Friday and it's a chilly, rainy day in Atlanta. As I continually think of warm, sunny days, I find solace in sites that remind me of summer, like Bomisch. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Bomisch is a bright and quirky online neighborhood shop, self described as offering goods that are both bohemian and aesthetically pleasing. I like that...

Morgan Fender is a curator with wanderlust. Through her travels, she collects her favorite must-haves for the Bomisch shop. I particularly like this Retro Modern Bar Essentials Set, which is all you need to dress up a cute bar cart. 

You can tell Morgan is a curious one who finds pure delight in her discoveries- like a lucky #7 tray, pure beeswax bars, shaggy dog cards, brass tip spoons and vintage floral coasters. The list goes on...check out her shop to see much more. And happy weekend y'all - I'm off to Athens for some Sweet Spots research and a little r & r ! 


Images:    Content: Sweet Peach


The Coffee Scoop

A few months ago, I fell for a walnut mug handcrafted by April Cox of April Not June. I featured the mug in my winter Sweet Spots paper and instantly became a forever fan of her work. So when April sent me pictures of some new coffee scoops she had created, I was more than happy to share them on Sweet Peach...

April has crafted wooden scoops for quite some time but was recently inspired to play with epoxy resin and more importantly, color. As April used to paint, her skills as an artist were beginning to take on a new shape and scope. In her email to me a couple weeks ago, she just barely contained her excitement. Open and inspired, April is on her exact right path as an artist. How cool is that? 

Currently, April offers these beauties in either walnut or oak with an Orange or Peacock Blue colored scoop. I have the blue one and I'm head over heels for it. But like a side, I'm a forever fan. She leaves me no choice in the matter...


Images: April Not June    Content: Sweet Peach


Billie Blooms

Ever since I first blogged about the fabulous Finkelstein dolls, I've been an avid fan. So when I noticed that they collaborated with a new company called Billie Blooms in order to create some fancy pants for a few lucky Finks- I was curious. Who and where and what are Billie Blooms? 



Turns out Billie Blooms is a company of two. Libi Molnar and Ashley Liemer stared the company last month and work between their two home bases of Brooklyn and Miami. They set out to create stylish, high quality, American made baby bloomers for both girls and boys. So far, so good...

The bloomers are made from 100% cotton with elastic waist and legs. Libi and Ashley currently have 9 styles available in their online shop and each look embraces a clean, minimal aesthetic.

Find more Billie Bloomers here and be sure to check out the Finks with fancy pants because who doesn't love matching chambray bloomers?  Too cute... 


Images:   Content: Sweet Peach



Anhaica Bag Works

Tallahassee, Florida was once known as the settlement of Anhaica. It's in an area of the panhandle that once belonged to the Apalachee people, one of the most advanced and powerful chiefdoms in Florida. Although times have changed, a hard work ethic can still be found in these parts. Marina Mertz of Anhaica Bag Works lives in Tallahassee where she crafts hand waxed, canvas bicycle bags and backpacks. Sewing and biking are her passions and her care for quality is top notch. 

Not wanting to use commerical beeswax, Marina found a local beekeeper (whose bees produce the wonderful, southern Tupelo honey) and taught herself how to hand wax all of her own canvas. So, with every bag she sells, both in the US and abroad, a bit of the South is shared with the world...I love that. 

The more I read about Marina, the more I want to be her neighbor. She's a special soul who cares deeply for her craft and her community. See all of her handcrafted bags, which include tool rolls, dopp kits, saddle bags and pouches, here. 


Images: Anhaica Bag Works   Content: Sweet Peach



Slightly Alabama

Dana Glaeser's roots are in the deep south where he was born and raised...until his life journey took him to NYC to work as a Marketing Executive. Left a tad unsatisfied in the corporate world, Dana decided to jump ship and work for himself- crafting something with his own two hands that stirred his soul. Like this crazy good Sheffield Bag, made with Horween leather and antique brass hardware.

Today, Dana's line, Slightly Alabama, has expanded to include all manner of bags, pouches and leather accessories. (I can't help but love this leather wine tote) With little interest in following trends, Dana concentrates on producing products that are durable and made of the highest quality. Then he lets the work speak for itself...


Images: Slightly Alabama   Content: Sweet Peach