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Entries in Georgia (131)

Wednesday
Nov192014

Fig & Flower

Sara Lamond believes in organic beauty. It's something she cares passionately about- head to toe, inside and out..

To better understand where she is now, it was important for Sara to share her story. As a recovering alcoholic, she spent years of her life caring little of what she did to her body- from smoking cigarettes, to what she ate or drank. She had still managed to graduate law school, pass the bar and begin to chase her dream of money and power. Then, her world flipped upside down- the other way. She fell in love, got sober, left a high end career in law and started to care about other things...

Good food and wellness were now her top priorities. When her cloud begin to lift, she focused back on her career and asked herself, "What can I research ad nauseum and not get sick of?" First it was local, organic foods, then after talking to her friend, Blair Wagoner, discussion turned to organic beauty and skincare. 

Together, they realized Atlanta didn't have a store devoted specifically to natural beauty and decided to delve in, feet first. Once the business was up and running, Blair returned to her work in diabetes prevention and Sara took over as sole owner of the business.  

At her shop, Fig and Flower, Sarah sells her favorite hand picked products that are nourishing for the body's largest organ. You won't find aluminum, silicones, parabins or formeldehyde inside any of her goods.  

Sara relies on her own strict standards to determine which products she'll carry and promote. For her, there are two important aspects to ensure- Cleanliness of Ingredients and Quality of Performance. 

Sara, "Almost no ingredients are regulated when it comes to personal beauty products. There are only 8 in the US. But people are learning that these synthetic ingredients are adding up. The skin care, body wash, lotion that we use every day, year after year, increases our exposure to these harmful ingredients. They are finding these same chemicals showing up in breast cancer, ADHD and other illnesses." The message is clear, we need to care what we put on our skin. 

Inside Fig and Flower, you'll find only high quality products made with health and wellness in mind- from makeup, skincare and cleaning products to quality goods for mom and babe.  

My favorite product line that Sara carries is HollyBeth Organics, as her skincare is the only USDA certified skincare line in Georgia. I've watched HollyBeth concoct all her products by hand in her Atlanta studio and as a repeat, devout user, I'm an enthusiastic fan. 

Other local southern lines include Dia Flora (started by a breast cancer survivor in Atlanta), Sally Bee's of Atlanta (another cancer survivor), One Love from St. Simon's, Georgia and Deep Steep from John's Island, South Carolina.

I love all the makeup too, which is the central focus to the shop. Sara's most popular products include 100% Pure Mascara, RMS un cover-up and the RMS Living Luminizer.

My personal favorite product, which I discovered here this summer, is Lip2Cheek by RMS. It's the perfect makeup toucher-upper. For some reason, whenever I put blush on, it fades so quickly. This gives me an instant healthy blush and I can touch up my lips at the same time. I'm a tad obsessed with this one...

As a former law student, Sara still loves to hit the books, constantly researching and refiinng. Her two bibles are The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen.

As curious shoppers come in and out of her doors each day, her biggest advice is to not be afraid of oils. Sara, "A lot of people have really oily skin or really dry skin. Oils work exceptionally well for both issues. They are pure, active, plant based ingredients and are so good for balancing our skin."

Sara thought some more on what advice she'd give to others, then added, "Be less afraid." I love that. She's the walking emobodiment of that mantra. Do you (and your body) a favor and go visit Fig & Flower in Atlanta or online. 

 

Photos: Sweet Peach; RMS; loudmouth.doobop.com; One Love Organics; Acure     Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Nov052014

Alanah Textiles

I have one drawer in my kitchen reserved for tea towels but alas, it's full and getting hard to close. I blame artists like Kristen Chandler for this common kitchen based ailment. Her beautiful textiles leave me wanting more. Is that so wrong? 

As my love of indigo runs deep, I'm wide eyed over these hand-dyed shibori tea towels that can also double as square placemats. These are perfect paired with white plates...

It's fun to see Kristen play with different dying techniques, like hand marbling these tea towels and pocket squares. I love how Kristen finds most of her natural dyes by walking out her back door to fetch ragweed and pokeberries. She likes to experiment with natural dyes, creating interesting patterns without a heavy hand. 

Kristen lives just outside of Athens, Georgia, where she continues to play in her craft and expand her collection. I just found her and I look forward to following her here on Sweet Peach. I'll just have to grow up, do the right thing and clear out a second kitchen drawer...

 

Photos: Alanah Textiles site     Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Oct162014

Kiki Slaughter

I like any work of art that I can get a little lost in... where I stare, meander and get out of my head for a bit. The work of Atlanta based artist, Kiki Slaughter has succeeded in getting my full attention. I can't help but want to know more...

Kiki is a southern gal, rasied in Charlottesville, Virginia. As shared on her site, "Her paintings are best described as an experiment with the fundamental process of painting. She pours, scrapes, layers and otherwise manipulates paint on the canvas to create works that are rich in both color and texture." 

She creates large abstract oil paintings that feel wholly inspired and layered in meaning. Like many great artists, she's a storyteller at heart. As Kiki shared, "When I begin a painting, I do not always have an idea of the finished product in mind. Instead, I find painting to be an organic process in which the act of painting itself and the phsyicality of materials I use are both muses and methods for my work." 

As one may suspect, Kiki is very inspired by the color and forms of the natural world. She is tuned in to her instincts - able to create a cohesive piece of art that draws us in, not by luck, but by an intuitiveness for form, light and balance. As my friend Kathryn Kolb would say, it works. There's always a reason to why we stop, stare and stay awhile...

Learn more about the work of Kiki Slaughter, here. 

 

 

Wednesday
Oct082014

Jessica Durrant

A love of travel and maps goes hand in hand as it's hard not to love one without the other, right? As a huge fan of both, I was instantly smitten by these watercolor maps by Atlanta illustrator, Jessica Durrant. 

Jessica, whose work has been featured in Target, One Kings Lane, Gilt and more, has a deep passion for her craft. Much of the collection follows her love of fashion and wandering the globe, in search of those moments that instill awe and gratitude. 

 

What I love about these world maps is they are available in sizes ranging from 5" x 7" to 36" x 48". Plus, it's hard not to love anything watercolor these days. Maybe I need to take one of her watercolor classes too... Find all of Jessica's daydream inducing works in her Etsy shop, here. 

 

Monday
Sep222014

Kendrick Anderson

Perfect is boring. When it comes to home decor, I crave the little imperfections in materials and the imagination in assembly...

Atlanta based woodworker, Kendrick Anderson has the same craving. He crafted this handsome Holloway Bed from two walnut trees struck by lightening over 20 years ago. The trees, from a farm that Kendrick's client grew up on, have been sitting in a barn, drying out, ever since. 

I love the inlaid butterfly keys that take center stage in the middle of the headboard. Every inch of this bed, no matter how you look at it, is visually engaging. Every notch, discoloration, nuance and change tells a story of these old trees...

Kendrick crafts all manner of custom pieces for the home, including tables, consoles, desks, shelving and more. He embraces a minimalist approach and any chance to weave a good tale. Contact him here to learn more. 

 

Photos: kendrickanderson.com     Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Sep152014

The Mifland Rucksack

I can't even tell you how many friends I have over the age of 40, many of them executives and CEO's, who still bring beat up backpacks to work every day. Who takes a guy seriously with a backpack? My thoughts on a perfect upgrade begins with a Mifland Rucksack...

Tobi Egberongbe of Atlanta, Georgia knows style. He's designed over a dozen high quality, leather rucksacks that are each assembled by hand with quality waxed thread stitiching, solid brass and hand picked premium leather. 

These are perfect transition pieces from the standard backpack as they are made to weather the elements but also embody a sophisticated ruggedness. They still got an edge, just not that edge which says "I'm still a teenager." It's a bag for men. 

These American made bags will stand the test of time in both quality and style. Tobi offers so many color variations from bright green and yellow, to camouflage, two tone and worn brown leather. See all the current offerings, here

And if you're a man still dragging a backpack to work, what exactly do you think you're doing? Let's just stop all the nonsense, shall we? Time to be a manly man...

 

 Photos: Mifland Leather Goods      Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Sep112014

The Bobo Warehouse Sale

If I encourage you to do one thing this week, let it be a visit to BoBo Intriguing Objects' first ever warehouse sale in Atlanta. Doors open this Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13, from 10am-6pm. 

Mark Sage has been in the business of buying vintage and designing antique reproductions for a couple decades now. And his massive 100k square foot, full-of-this-and-that-warehouse, proves it. He's the guy with the dream job, as he travels each month internationally to seek out the unique and unusual in remote villages of Argentina, Poland, Belgium, France, Sweden, Vietnam, India and more. 

As one of the major suppliers to Restoration Hardware, Mark has over 18 fixers around the world that keep an eye out for original pieces to buy or be inspired from. With a close working relationship with dozens of factories internationally, Mark also has an infrastructure and network unlike any other. Up until this Friday, his doors have never been open to the public, only to dealers and designers. So trust me when I say, this is a real treat. 

You'll find thousands of antiques here as well as antique reproductions designed by Mark. Many are one of a kind prototypes he had made but never sold. As his marketing guru, Aysan Balkhanian says, "You can find just about anything in here." 

Lighting is an important part of the BoBo line and you'll see hundreds of original fixtures dangling from the ceilings. 90% of their lighting is made in Poland and materials are usually raw- like driftwood, wine barrels, metal and unfinished wood.  

I particularly liked the hundreds of vintage Belgian school chairs stacked in the back part of the warehouse...

This was my first BoBo purchase- a few stacks of Vietnamese rice bowls dating back to 1886. They were recovered from a sunken ship - how cool is that? Each one has a different shape and coloring. Some lie flat, others are a bit rolly polly. And at just $3 a piece, such a steal...

You can also choose from dozens of deer horns sourced from the Czech Republic...

Aysan, "Mark is the person who finds items where people say, 'Where did you even get that?' He has an eye." 

It's true. You can find anything in here, even Mel Gibson. There will be significant markdowns with prices ranging from a few bucks to over $10,000. Even if you don't buy a thing, it's so much fun just to peruse Mark's diverse and valuable collections, both new and old, sourced or inspired from all over the globe. His dream job turns into our dream afternoon...Here's the flyer, now go check it out! 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

 

Monday
Sep082014

Heartwood Forge

I admire a handcrafted item, skillfully made, that will stand the test of time. These handsome knives, made by Will Manning of Jefferson, Georgia are designed for daily use, to be cared for and passed along to the next generation. 

Will learned the art of woodworking from his dad and found a passion for metal just after high school. He studied his craft at Florida State and SCAD, later working with blacksmiths who would teach him even more. After meeting his girlfriend, he realized his love for being in the kitchen. Together they drew some sketches for a kitchen knife and thought they may be on to something here...

I highly recommend that you watch his video that shows Will's process of making a knife, which is incredibly informative when you have no idea how it's done. It's quickly evident how much labor, focus, experience and patience is needed. 

Will hand stamps each blade with his initials. After all the creating, heating, hammering, refining, I believe he should.  

Recyling is important to Will. He uses only reclaimed lumber from saw mills in the Southern Appalachian region. The edges and angles are refined according to the needs of each knife (or knife owner). 

I love oyster shucking so I naturally love any oyster knife that makes the process easier. Made of carbon steel, this super tough tool is crafted to open even the most stubborn of oysters. Each knife, no matter your preference, is an investment for your kitchen...See the entirety of Will's shop, Heartwood Forge, and learn how you can order your own custom knife, here.

 

Photos: Heartwood Forge    Content: Sweet Peach

 

Friday
Sep052014

The Sweet Peach Chambray Shirt

I feel flattered, grateful. That's the best way to describe my reaction to a recent phone call I received from Thomas Wages of TWEEDS, who created a new shirt for women with the Sweet Peach blog in mind. 


Thomas decided to use a peach colored fabric he really liked and create another version of his popular The Guy Shirt for women, which he released this summer. This shirt, named The Sweet Peach Chambray, is 100% cotton, made in the USA with a tailored fit and elbow patches. It's a very limited run of shirts available in store only. 

Shanna Kenyon of nearby Crafted Westside (one of my favorite new shops) was gracious enough to model the shirt for us and she quickly fell head over heels for it. It's stylish, cozy and just an all around fabulous shirt, if I do say so myself. 

The Sweet Peach Chambray joins the other Guy Shirts for women which TWEEDS recently launched to much fanfare and adulation (this photo via Southern Living). These gorgeous ginghams- in blue, navy, pink or red are available in store and online. Thank you Thomas, I'm flattered, grateful. I like it when you're inspired...

 

Photos: Sweet Peach; Final photo: Robbie Canponeto for Southern Living     Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Jul182014

Pearson Farm Peaches! 

I've had the Sweet Peach blog for over 3 years now and it seems that I'm a bit overdue to write a post just about peaches. Since I live in Georgia, I recently headed down to the popular Pearson Farm in Fort Valley to learn more about how they've created some of the most popular peaches in the country.  

I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised to find their headquarters so inviting and full of energy. The Pearson Farm facilities are open to the public and you can observe their entire process, beginning with the arrival of peaches freshly picked, to them being washed, sorted and packed.  

Pearson Farms began over 100 years ago when Moses Winlock Pearson and his wife, Cornelia, moved to central Georgia and planted their first peach trees. Their son John eventually began to farm on his own and he planted even more peach trees. Years passed and John's youngest son, Lawton, took over the business and after a marriage to Laurie Lanier, they had three children- two girls and a boy. Now we're slowly getting caught up in the timeline...

In 1973, Al Pearson began operating the business in a partnership effort with his sisters. They continued to create a thriving peach business for 35 years until 2008...

...when Al and his son, Lawton (now 5th generation of Pearson Farms) took over the business together. 

Although I'm a lover of peaches, I had no idea how many kinds there were. At Pearson Farms they produce about 30 different varieties of peaches that are ready for picking between May and August. I was surprised to learn that each peach variety lasts only 10-12 days. July is peak season so they're in full production mode now.

My friends Monica and Chris joined me on the trip down to Fort Valley. As I snapped some photos, Monica, a fellow TV producer, immediately jumped in to take notes. Gotta love that girl...she looks like the perfect southern reporter too, doesn't she? So the first thing Al did was give us a taste test of the ripe peaches on his farm that week (which was early July). These included the White Lady, which is actually my favorite as the white peaches have less acid and more sugar. We also tasted the Elberta, a very popular freestone peach ideal for eating, canning and freezing with a sweet honey taste. 

After the tour of the facility I was hoping Al would take us on a short car ride to see the peach orchards. The most gracious of hosts, Al made the offer himself without us even having to ask. In the sweltering Georgia heat, Al showed us around his family farm while sharing his incredible life stories as a peach farmer. Life on a farm is multi faceted and complex and Al has lived and breathed it his entire life (starting at age six, making 10 cents an hour). There was so much we learned, so much more we wanted to know...but I think we'd have to live our entire lives on a peach farm to begin to grasp its nuances and rhythms. 

And to be a peach farmer, you gotta have tough skin. Weather is a topic of discussion all day, every day as it's the determining factor of each year's crop. Al and the over 200 workers on the farm, do their tireless work but it's up to Mother Nature to decide each year's fate. Will it rain? And if so, how much? What about frost? Hail? Drought? Al wouldn't give away any trade secrets on farming the perfect peach but I did learn he doesn't like rain all that much. If it must rain, he hopes it happens after sun up. Al, "I don't like my peaches to go to bed wet." 

At Pearson Farm, there are 1500 acres that are home to 250,000-300,000 trees. Peach trees can supply fresh peaches for up to 12 years while pecan trees (also on the farm and another important industry for the family) have been growing on the land for over 100 years and are still producing to this day. 

So how do you pick the perfect peach? According to Al, the best way is to smell it. It simply needs to smell like a peach. He advises not to put them in the fridge too long (if at all), as they will soon smell like your fridge. You want a yellow background rather than lime green. Also, look for the blush or red coloring on top of the yellow coloring. The best peach is also one that is just getting soft. On the day of our arrival, these July Prince peaches were ready for picking...

A big, heartfelt thank you to Al Pearson for his time and generosity. After our trip to the orchard, we kicked back on the rocking chairs and had a big helping of Pearson Farm peach cobbler with ice cream. Such a fun trip- and if you wanna do it, act fast as peach season ends mid August. If you can't visit Al and the team in person, or pick up a Pearson peach at a local Farmer's Market, head to their website where you can get 'em shipped to your front door. No matter which method you choose, let's just hope your next peach is a sweet peach. 

 

Photos: Sweet Peach; thebruncher.com; Pearson family     Content: Sweet Peach