Curious Kathryn

"I had an idea. A big one. To start a business." That's how 9 year old Kathryn Miles Bauer introduces herself on  her website. And I think those three sentences tell you a lot about Kathryn- she's bold, motivated, fearless and with each passing day, more and more business savvy. 

Kathryn lives in Atlanta, Georgia where she recently launched a candle line under her shop name, Curious Kathryn. She currently offers three scents; Very Vanilla, Lavender and Magic Spell. She hopes to add a few new scents soon, including HOTlanta, a mix of cinnamon and peach. 

I was at her home a couple of weeks ago to capture a bit of her process. She is careful, organized and meticulous with every step- from measuring out the wax to melting to the exact right temperature, then adding the neccessary oils... 

Kathryn has a love for fragrances and especially likes how they can instantly put you in a happy mood or a calm mood. When I asked her what her plans are for Curious Kathryn over the next year, she replied, "My plans are super huge. I was thinking of running a mobile cart and I really love to bake and cook so I was thinking I could have a whole stand and business for kids called The Curious Little Bakery.

I particularly love Kathryn's list of top 5 skills needed for business success:  1. Always be confident and persuasive  2 Organize your time and budget to get your company straight  3. Have business meetings  4. Be very persistant  5. Think big and outside the box  6. Always smile, be adorable and act very mature. 

Kathryn currently sells her candles at Made Again in Atlanta and is hoping to add an online shop to her website soon. Her mom, Celeste, pictured above, is the best mom any young entrepreneur could ask for- kind, smart, encouraging. Good entrepreneurs have good role models, which is all the more reason to follow Kathryn on Facebook and Twitter to see what smart and savvy idea she comes up with next. Miss Curious Kathryn is going places...can't you tell? 

 

Images and Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Blackjack Candle Co.

A few days ago I posted about some soft and stylish tea towels I found at 200 Mill in Marietta, Georgia. While there, I also found this candle, thanks to Lindsay Troutman of Copper and Torch. She picked up this Spanish Moss scent by Blackjack Candle Co. in Meridian, Mississippi and said it's one of her favorites. So I bought it...and now it's one of mine. 

So many times, candles can smell good in the shop but not always when you burn them. This Spanish Moss scent is woodsy and herbacious and just instantly calms and soothes. Now I just need to check out some of Blackjack's other inventive scents like Front Porch and Film Noir. See their entire collection, here.

 

 

Spotted...

I'm back in town after a long weekend out west and have a bit of time to share a few pretty things that caught my eye on the flight home. My endless gratitude for Gogo inflight...

I'm currently searching for more artwork for my own home that is original yet affordable. Painter, Lynne Millar was raised in McLean, Virginia, and sells her floral-themed oils on paper at such great prices. ($80 or $40 for these....) 

Then, there's the gorgeous water cut candles I spotted over at JM Dry Goods in Austin, Texas. These eye catching candles come in 8 different colors for $62. 

And checking back in with my favorite Mississippi shop, Amelia Presents, I spotted this gorgeous hand painted clutch for $60 that is offered in blue, green or pink tones (or simply request your favorite color). It's exlusive to Amelia and I dare say, such a good find. 

 

WAX

I saw my savvy friend, Nan Myers of Firefly this weekend and as usual, I questioned her on all her current favorite product lines. One that she shared was this candle company- simply called, Wax. 

Hand poured and packaged along the Mississippi River in Helena, Arkansas, Wax Candle Company offers a fab selection of manly scents... like Boot, Oak Moss, Lakeside, Smoke Fir, Tobacco Leaf and The Gentleman. And at $18 a jar, there's no reason not to buy two or three. I want...

 

Images: Wax Candle Co


Himalayan for the Holidays...

Julia Leaphart is a visionary. She was one of the first to sell candles in unorthodox, reusable containers. Half English and half Indian, Julia has traveled much of her life and is always drawn back to India to find original materials. This year, she relied on local Indian artisans to etch pretty designs on galvanized iron pots.

I'm particularly attracted to her hand painted tins which take inspiration from henna designs. Both the tins and pots come in small and large sizes offered in over a dozen scrumptious scents- like Campfire, Patchouli Ginger, Jasmine and Amber. 

Julia has slowly grown her HImalayan Trading candle company, based in Decatur, GA, to a nationwide force. She continually updates her containers and scents so you never quite know what to expect. Just expect to love them...

My personal favorite this holiday season is the Mistletoe candle - offered in a variety of containers as it's widely popular this time of year. It's a wonderful fragrant candle, making your whole house smell like Christmas. (good hostess gift too) 

I'm always impressed by the unique vessels and scents available online and also- if you're in or near Atlanta, the factory and shop. Julia has a small store open to the public with a wide range of candles to choose from, both new and old. Plus, most are discounted...I'll be stopping by there today actually. 

And if you're in this part of town this coming Friday and Saturday, (Dec 5/6) check out Julia's Holiday Open House from 10am-5pm each day. Perfect spot for checking gifts off your list...

 

Photos: Himalayan Trading Co.     Content: Sweet Peach


Produce Candles

When I saw a pic of these Produce Candles on Nan Myers' Instagram last week, I was quick to leave a comment. I knew I had to blog about them. Lucky for me, the creators, based in Charleston, South Carolina were in Atlanta this past weekend for the Gift Mart so I grabbed my camera and headed over to learn more... 

Sara Crosby and Beau Burdette are the hard working team behind this new brand. After Beau helped to build the home fragrance brand, Rewined, he took this knowledge and paired it with his love for locally grown food and organic farming. Produce Candles was founded upon strong ideals and deep passion...and it shows. 

Sara is working close with Beau on the entire project from the everyday production to marketing and branding. Their amazing booth at AmericasMart certainly stood out amongst the fray. I especially loved the white brick facade, vintage bike and mini colander pendants.

All of the Produce Candle scents are inspired by local farms, which Beau and Sarah visited countless times. Sarah, "When dealing with fruits and veggies, it's much easier to fall into an artificial fragrance pattern so we did a lot of back and forth tweaking. We really wanted to be as raw and organic as possible." They also wanted to promote and celebrate that Slow Food mentality of connecting with local growers, buying seasonally and truly experiencing the freshness and beauty of produce. 

They've created their base candles which will be available year round. These include Carrot, Honey, Kale, Melon, Peanut, Radish and Wildflower. Others will be added seasonally- like this spring you'll also find Rhubarb, Snap Pea and Cilantro and in the summer look for Tomato, Corn and Peach (above). 

I have to say, my personal favorite is Radish. I've always wanted to name my dog Radish- I love the name, I love the color, their fresh, crispy taste and of course, the smell. I took one of these candles home and its been burning in my kitchen ever since. I'm a fan, to say the least, and excited to try more. Sara's favorite was Rhubarb, then it was Honey, now it's Cilantro. As she shared, "I have found myself just holding the Cilantro in front of my nose." They're really addictive.

The incredibly talented Stitch Design Co. in Charleston designed all of their labels which are vibrant, charming and dare I say, adorable. They quickly do their job in making you want to pick one up and see what they're all about. 

Another thing to love about this company is how they and Rewined both support and hire employees from The South Carolina Vocational Rehab Center. This center helps Carolinians with disabilities prepare for and maintain employment. Learn more about Produce Candles here and please tell your local shop owners about them. I have a feeling these brilliantly conceived (and packaged) candles are about to strike it big...

**You can pre-order candles now on their site & they'll be ready to ship directly on February 24th. 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach      Additional workshop photos: Produce Candles


Time to Shop...

One of my favorite shops is Mockingbird Domestics in Austin, Texas so I made sure to include them in the Holiday Picks this year. The talented team, headed by Jeff and Laura Daly, support Texas artisans by offering their scrumptious, well-designed home provisions in their popular shop. And lucky for us, their well stocked online shop allows all of us to get a taste of Texas... 

LONGHORN TRAVEL POSTER, $21. These travel posters come in a variety of themes and feature different landmarks around Texas. Plus, as unique works of art, these prints are known to trigger feelings of nostalgia...

BOOT SCRAP WALLET, $42. Made from workshop scraps by the Cobra Rock Boot Company in Marfa, these wallets are simple, rugged and slim. Brown, oil-tanned leather complements the compartments for cash and cards. 

CONCRETE SOAP DISH, $22. This soap dish is handmade in Austin and is perfect for a housewarming gift. Pair it with some Marfa Brand soap and you'll be feeling the love. 

MARFA BRAND CAMPFIRE SCENTED SOAP, $10. A woodsy smoky scent infused with lapsang souchong tea, this soap will have you dreaming of bonfires and crisp autumn nights. 

SET OF 6 TEXAS BEESWAX CANDLES, $12. These candles make the perfect little hostess gift without breaking the bank. They are hand-poured in Austin and their natural honey scent is just perfect. 

CHICKEN TEA TOWEL, $18. These tea towels are hand screened in Austin with love- it even says so on the sleeve. They make the perfect holiday or hostess gift and come in a large array of designs and colors. 

AUSTIN STAR PLANTER WITH SUCCULENTS, $210. This concrete star planter is perfect for your Christmas cactus collection. Plus, it's a nice reminder of the rich heritage of our Lone Star state. 

 

Himalayan Trading Post

A couple days ago, I finally made it over to Himalayan Trading Post in Decatur, Georgia. They make incredible candles in some beautiful, reusable vessels and containers. I've known about the owner, Julia Leaphart for the past year and have been looking forward to meeting her in person....

As her candles are now sold in over 1200 stores nationwide, you may have seen them before. All the reusable containers come via India, where Julia grew up. (She's half English/half Indian) Now residing here in Georgia, she began the line as a way of reconnecting to her roots. 

It all began back in 2004 when Julia bought some wax and a book on candlemaking. She poured the wax in traditional wooden containers from India, like this one above, and sold them at a local Atlanta antique market. The candles sold out almost immediately. No one was doing what she just did. Most candles, up until then, weren't made in anything other than a glass container. She had found her niche. 

From making candles in her kitchen to an ever growing factory in Decatur, Julia is encouraged by all the support and enthusiasm surrounding her unique candles. She now works with half a dozen small manufacturers in India to constantly create new and interesting containers- like her version of an old spice pot or antique powder puff. 

All of the candles are hand poured in small batches. She just recently increased the fragrance oil to wax ratio to 9%, which increases the aromatic experience. I didn't realize that the fragrance oil is the most expensive part of the equation, but I also hadn't really though about it before...

Julia also has the fun job of coming up with new incredible aromas. My personal favorites are the Bourbon Vanilla, Campfire and the Mistletoe -which smells just like Christmas. For the autumn, Julia recommends Cinnamon Tree, Mountain Forest or her best seller, Ginger Patchouli. The great thing is, there is no bad decision. This is my new favorite hostess gift...love, love, love. See more of her scrumptious candles, here. 

 

Photos: Himalayan Trading Post, Sweet Peach       Content: Sweet Peach


Brooks Barrow

Brooks Barrow is now an Alabama guy. Having recently relocated to Montgomery from Winsconsin, Brooks brings with him an immense artistic talent as a stonemason and some special glacial stones dating back to the ice age. 

With a rich texture and smooth, durable nature, these black basalt glacial stones are perfect for carving. Brooks describes the black basalt as "a dense, hard stone similar to granite but with a more uniform grain." He offers these tealight candle holders in black granite or white marble as well. 

These pretty tealight candle holders are made of Dolomitic Limestone found in the Winsconsin base bedrock. 

I've been loving the look of concrete planters lately so I was happy to see Brooks dive into the mix with these hand carved stone planters, made from reclaimed, natural Indiana limestone. Left to weather the elements outside, these pots will take on a rich and pretty patina as the years go on... 

These glacial bowls have been "patiently polished to a satin eggshell finish while preserving the natural form."

Such gorgeous stones transformed into the loveliest home decor. Peruse Brooks entire site here.

 

Photos: Brooks Barrow      Content: Sweet Peach


John Rich's Holiday Picks for Men ... (Includes a special discount!)

John Rich is a cool cat. He is the best curator of men's goods I know so I was thrilled when he said yes to our 2nd annual John Rich Holiday Picks. (2011's list) John recently closed his shop in Braselton, Georgia and has moved all his USA made goods into two rooms inside his home. His doors are open by appointment, which I recommend... but he also has a revamped website with all of his favorites. The gift selections here are available via his website, unless indicated otherwise. Let's get started...

Whenever I see a nice tie on a guy, I compliment him because it's a rare occurance. One way to avoid bad-tie-syndrome is to buy a Hitsman tie. ($75) Hitsman is based in Oklahoma and offers classicly stylish neckwear and leather goods. 

These limited edition bowties John had made by Sally Peek of Columbia, SC. The fabrics used are from old Civil War reenactment materials and retail for $65.  

A couple of my friends are currently producing Duck Dynasty on A&E, making duck calling all the more fashionable. John was quick to appreciate the handiwork of his fellow Braselton resident, Brett Akins, who crafted these game calls with exotic woods such as zebra, purple heart and black wood. ($60)

Every man loves a good knife and John has plenty to choose from on his site. One of his favorite craftsman is Marvin Poole from Commerce, Georgia. These above beauties are handcrafted fillet knives with a 5.75 inch blade. The handles are made with camel bone (right) and buffalo horn (left) with rifle checkering. ($175)

A good hat will last a guy a long time. John recommends Strong Brand, (He's wearing one in his photo). As stated on the Strong site, these hats are good for "boozing, sailing the open seas and shooting guns." ($15/$25) This handsome set of wood grain holders were designed and made by Amy McClure of Decatur, GA. (They come with green or orange accents on the inside or bottom of each piece. $24-$32)  


At first glance, it's hard not to fall in love with this Outlaw Franky wool blanket. The entire thing is hand loomed and made with a gorgeous vintage style plaid in natural, red and blue. ($398)  With the purchase of this blanket, John will also throw in this stylish leather holder, handcrafted by Shaun Garcia in Spartanburg, SC. 

I'm a big fan of the luscious Beekman 1802 goat milk soaps. Last Christmas, I featured their Year in the Country set which is always an amazing gift. 

Every man needs a good bar of soap all to himself and the fabulous Beekman boys now offer many handcrafted, hand wrapped options, including Winter, Honey, Bug Repellant and After the Sun. ($12-$14) 

I think every guy's office or bedside table needs a good candle. Himalayan Trading Post, based in Decatur, Georgia, creates incredible smelling scents, packaged in replica spice tins. These tins have an antiqued distressed finish with hardwood lids. Scents featured are Bourbon Vanilla and Campfire. ($18)

I love seeing artwork that stands apart and feels unique to that artist. Stephen Skurnick is just that guy. He offers hand drawn prints based off of his original pieces. And what I really like is they all arrive framed. These 8 x 10 and 10 x 13 inch works are an easy way to add manly style to a guy's office or bachelor pad. ($50)

Just ask my nephew Cameron, who I am always trying to dress up, I absolutely love man scarves. Farm Tactics makes this beauty, with a deep blue on one side and manly stripes on the other. John (and I) highly recommend... ($45) 

When I think of Christmas day, I think of music playing all day long. Two albums John really loves this season are Affairs of Plain Living by Brother Hawk, based in Atlanta. This is great guitar driven Southern rock. The other is bluegrass tunes from the album, In the Mud by Split Lip Rayfield of Wichita, Kansas. Enjoy! 

Hope this list inspired you a bit for the Holiday season. See all of John's fabulous USA MADE finds here (which, in the Southern way, all have a good story behind them). A BIG thank you to John and happy shopping....

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach. Additional soap pics by Beekman 1802