Tag Archives: maker

Meet the Makers: Minor Terry

Minor Terry started crocheting at the age of five in a friend’s basement. From that time, she could make a square or scarf for anyone who needed it. When YouTube become more prevalent, she was able to watch videos on repeat to figure out how people were holding their hands, and her projects became more intricate, personal, and detailed. Today, she crochets just about everything from fuzzy stuffed animals and stroller blankets to coffee cozies and ear warmers. Her hobby has turned into a small businesses, Crooked Mountain Crafts, and has given her the opportunity to reach more clients with her work. She crochets wherever she goes, and often has more than one project in a bag by her side.

“I can crochet and walk, and I’ve definitely been that person to pull it out at the bar during trivia night,” she laughs. “Anytime we are hanging out with friends, they know I’m going to have a crocheting project.”

  Like many knitters and crocheters, Minor has several projects “on the needles” at any given moment. Although this may seem like a large commitment, the reaction a person has when they receive something she has created makes the entire process worthwhile.

“I sent my sister a blanket, and I asked if she could film one of her friends opening it since I wouldn’t be there to see it. One of my favorite memories is her joy as she unfolded it,” she explains.

In addition to projects of her own choosing, Minor does a lot of custom creations. She’s crocheted blankets with specific colors, patterns, and even sports logos. Recently, a Mets blanket proved to be her most detailed design yet.

“It’s a single stitch, so every single stitch had to be counted and done. I think that was my most challenging piece, but that isn’t to say it wasn’t fun. Once you get into the rhythm of it, it goes pretty quickly,” she says.

Her clients are not limited to purchasing crocheted pieces. Minor’s boyfriend is an arborist, and he has designed copper trees that are available on her Etsy shop and at her craft shows. People use them for Christmas trees, jewelry trees, money trees, and talk pieces. With so many choices available, Crooked Mountain Crafts is a great place to find fun, personalized gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

Minor spends her evenings stitching and making everything she sells, so you know your purchase is made with love and not mass produced. If you still need a gift for someone on your list (or yourself!), be sure to check out her work. You can find Crooked Mountain Crafts at the Kazim Shrine Holiday Arts, Crafts & Vendor Show on December 9 from 10am-2pm, or at www.etsy.com/shop/CrookedMtnCraft.

 

Featured image by Ronnie Lee Bailey

Riot Rooster Makers!

The 2017 Riot Rooster: Fire Rooster event kicks off TODAY, Friday, November 17 from 5-10pm. Friday evening will be our Bella Girls Night Out, and visitors can enjoy a photo booth, purchase food and beverages, and tour the vendors before the Saturday market!

The Saturday market is the same day as the Grandin Children’s Parade. Beth Deel, organizer of Riot Rooster, encourages families to attend the parade and then visit Riot Rooster together.

“A lot of people call this the beginning of the holiday season. It is a good weekend for gathering, right before Thanksgiving,” Beth explains. “Bring the whole family!”

This will be Riot Rooster’s ninth year, and its fifth year at 16 West Marketplace. This month, we are featuring nine makers from the show to give a sneak peek of what you can expect. Check them out, and visit www.facebook.com/RIOTrooster for more details as the event approaches.

Meridith Entingh, of Meridith Weaves, will participate in Riot Rooster for the second time this year. If you visited Meridith in 2016, you may remember her assortment of unique and beautiful handwoven projects. Although she will have a few of those available again this year, she will also offer hand dyed items such as towels as scarves. “I love color,” she says. “It’s the thing that attracts people the most. Working with color is a lot more fun for me than working with a pattern. My goal is to have people interested in weaving and textiles, but with a little more variety.” www.meridithweaves.com

Icky Eye Ink, owned by Yashmin Barton, will be marking its third year at Riot Rooster this fall. Yashmin taught herself to knit over ten years ago, shortly after losing most of the vision in her left eye and part of the vision in her right eye. She makes scarves, hats, and blankets all year in preparation for the holiday season. Although she sticks to the same three projects, Yashmin allows herself to get creative with color selection. The result are bright, unique and fun pieces to guide her customers through what can be a dreary winter season. Her best seller every year is a piece she’s lovingly dubbed, “The Frankenstein.” Follow Yashmin on Instagram at #ickyeyeink and email her at ickyeyeink@gmail.com to come up with a new creation together!

Stina Anderson, of ARTeries by Stina, is a passionate environmentalist and advocate for recycling and clean living. She has found that upcycling is the best way to reuse and reinvent textile materials into new and beautiful clothing. This will be ARTeries Mobile Boutique’s second year at Riot Rooster. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, they love visiting Roanoke in their fashion truck, because it gives them the opportunity to see friends they’ve met from seven years at FloydFest. Customers can look forward to their holiday line of jewel toned velvet skirts, fingerless gloves, and hoodie scarves (which make great gifts!)! www.arteriesbystina.com

Heady Closet began when Jordan Holland decided to invest in silver wire and precious stones. She started self-taught wire wrapping in 2013, and her creativity helped her branch out from there. Currently, she makes adorable children’s clothing that can be stretched and unrolled to wear  continuously from sizes 6M to 3T. She participated in Riot Rooster this past spring, but this will be her first fall experience. Jordan plans to have fun natural art pieces, baby and kids’ dresses, and shoe styles for babies and children. She loves seeing how happy her creations make those who visit her table—so make sure to stop by! www.facebook.com/headycloset

Piper Lane, of Magpiper Metalworks, has been passionate about jewelry, stones, and metals since she was a child. Every piece she makes is done with complete love for the craft. This will be her third year participating in Riot Rooster. At her table, customers will find custom, handcrafted jingle bells in two sizes. Silver, brass, and copper will be available. Piper will also be taking orders for personalized bells and jewelry. This year’s display will have more rose cut sapphire rings and pendants of several colors including pinks, blues, and some earthy shades. Also, don’t miss her hand stamped mandala pendants and affordable etched and stamped copper cuffs! www.magpipermetalworks.com

The Paisley Poppy began in October 2015 after several years of encouragement and support for owner, Krista Nance. Krista loves to create new projects for herself and others, and custom orders are some of her favorite projects because she loves matching fabric to her customers. Among her best sellers at Riot Rooster are her “Unpaper Towels.” These cloth towels offer a convenient, stylish, and eco-friendly alternative to paper towels. Additionally, customers can purchase her accordion clutch wallets, pocket pillows, wet bags, and snack bags. Some new things she’s offering this year include aprons, memory games and I-spy bags for kids, Bed Caddies, and some limited series Roanoke zipper bags. www.thepaisleypoppystore.etsy.com

Lyndsey Dickerson, of Unbound, grew up in an artistic family, and she began to explore the art of jewelry making about five years ago. As a self-taught silversmith, she is passionate about bringing her creative vision to life through nature-inspired metal and gemstone pieces. This will be her third year at Riot Rooster, and customers old and new will fall in love with her unique mountain collection of rings, necklaces, and earrings. Unbound body care products will make their Riot Rooster debut this year, including natural body butters and scrubs, deodorants, roll-on perfume oils, therapeutic essential oil blends, beard wax, and much more! www.etsy.com/shop/UnboundElements

Frances West was inspired to begin making kinetic mobiles after a year-long stay in Denmark. A combination of the long Scandinavian winters and seeing the mobiles everywhere she turned led Frances to give them a try. Although she has been part of Riot Rooster for several years, this will be the year that her new business, Fulcrom Mobiles, makes its debut there. She will consider doing custom projects for customers, so consider visiting her to find out more about how a mobile can fit into your life! You can also contact Frances via email at fulcrommobiles@gmail.com  to receive more information about her mobiles and place your order.

Lynn Donihe, of Willow Pine Studio, began working with mosaics because of a need to focus on something intently and an obsession with tiny little handmade Moroccan tile that packs so much intense color and texture into one itty-bitty surface. Belt buckles are her perfect canvas—small enough for the intricate designs she wanted and a fun and unexpected place for a little bit of art. This will be her fifth year at Riot Rooster, and she will bring new designs for buckles and pendants in addition to old favorites. Additionally, she will have a collection of small, stacked sculptures and wall pieces that include many of those same designs. www.etsy.com/shop/WillowPineStudio

 

 

 

Meet the Maker: La Bonne Crepe

La Bonne Crepe began in 2012. Owned by Maya Ittah initially, it quickly became a hit throughout the area for the one-of-a-kind crepes inspired by Maya’s upbringing in France. Maya’s mother, Chantal, and her grandmother made crepes throughout her childhood. After moving to the United States (first to New York, then Virginia), Maya began La Bonne Crepe with the desire to share the dish she loved so much with new friends and acquaintances. In 2014, Chantal took over the business so Maya could concentrate on her studies. Today, you can find Chantal serving fresh crepes at the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays every week. She also sets up at Sweet Donkey Coffee on occasion, and participates in local festivals like Go Fest.

“I want people to experience the difference that wholesome, organic ingredients offer. [Our crepes] have a lot more nutrients. This meal is going to give them energy and strength. That is my goal,” explains Chantal.

“People really like the crepes, and they enjoy watching me making them,” she adds. “They like the healthy version.”

The rich family history and connections behind this business are far from over. Chantal and Maya have plans for a brick and mortar location to offer both delicious crepes and guidance for those trying to eat healthy.

Soon, Maya will earn her Master’s degree. She will open a cafe in southwest Roanoke in September, using her knowledge of nutrition to help customers with specific conditions find food that works for them. Once the cafe opens, Chantal will join her there, still serving her healthy crepes.

Crepes, by the way, that offer something for everyone. Chantal is a traveler, and her adventures inspire creativity. She often adds cultural influences to the crepe fillings, making the experience educational and unique.

“I loved to travel when I was younger. I was fortunate to do that and learn about other cultures. My passion is to discover all the cultures and immerse myself into their traditions and languages. I enjoy what I do so much because people come to my booth from all over the world. We talk a lot, and that’s why I feel like I want to add something different to the crepes. People do [them] differently all over the world,” she says.

Stay up to date on where to find La Bonne Crepe, and the new cafe (coming soon!) by following them on Facebook.

Meet the Maker: Thistle Hill Botanicals

Rhonda Withington has pursued natural products since her late teens. She’s passionate about taking care of health-related issues naturally, and has spent most of her life researching her options. Today, that research is something that she shares with the community in addition to handmade products that have changed the lives of her customers. Before she moved to Virginia, she spent time working off room and board on an organic farm in Connecticut, learning as she worked.
“In a way,” she recalls, “the experience pushed me to be independent. I decided to start making a couple of products.”
Her first two, a healing salve and a dental cleaning powder, went over so well that she could barely keep up with the demand. Today, as Thistle Hill Botanicals, she makes and sells these two popular creations in addition to several natural products including Drawing Paste for Bug Bites and Poison Ivy, Foot Soak, Beard and Mustache Oil, Body Scrubs and Butters, Goat’s Milk Soap Bars, Natural Deodorant, and even Dry Shampoo!
Rhonda sells primarily wholesale now, placing her creations in stores around Southwest Virginia and other nearby states. Although she misses the direct interaction of farmer’s markets, what she makes often lasts so long that setting up at one every week is simply not ideal for her business. Fortunately, she’s found that the interaction with the community has not disappeared. Customers still call and request things from her, and she is very active in Floyd, where she lives and works. “The direct customer contact was, and is still, invaluable to me,” she explains. “When customers call to place an order personally, I’m thrilled to talk to them.”
Between the sustainability and quality of her products, and her dedication and appreciation for her customers, Rhonda is making an excellent impression on the community. Floyd has a reputation for being one of the most open and accepting places for diverse groups of people pursuing their dreams, so it is no surprise that they have welcomed her with open arms.
“There isn’t a lot of judgement here, and there are so many people in town that like to help one another. That’s the way the world is supposed to be,” she says.
The Floyd C4 Business Development Series and Competition is proof of that statement. They offer prizes, funded by grants, to local businesses. In 2015, Rhonda won first prize in the com- petition. This gave her a cash prize to boost her business and a discount for a spot in Floyd’s Innovation Center.
“It was a help in expanding the business and making it what it is today,” she says. “Up until then, I was making products in my little yurt. I didn’t have a lot of space. Being able to move it into the Innovation Center, and having money to buy containers in bigger sizes, larger quantities, and redesign labels gave me the push over the edge to get there.”
If you’d like to meet Rhonda and try out samples from Thistle Hill Botanicals, she will be set up at the Roanoke Natural Food Co-Op on Saturday, May 13 from 11am to 2pm. You can also find stores that sell her products via a store locator on her website, or order directly at www.thistlehillbotanicals.com.

Meet The Pie Lady

In late 2015, Cindy Bailey became an empty nester. Her daughter was a student at Virginia Tech, and her son would soon be leaving for West Virginia. As the reality of these changes began to set in, Cindy looked around her family’s home and thought it might be time to make a few changes of her own.

“I was a stay-at-home mom and worked part-time across the street at Ikenberry Autumn Adventure. My friend, who works at Ikenberry, told me that The Pie Lady was selling her business. She encouraged me to buy it,” Cindy recalls.

Cindy and her husband met with the original owner of The Pie Lady, Lisa. They decided that a business out of their home was ideal and convenient. In the fall of 2015, they began transforming their family room, initially a garage with a beautiful fireplace, into The Pie Lady kitchen. Perhaps it is the lingering family atmosphere, or the fact that Cindy and her husband live in the house adjacent to the kitchen, but it is reminiscent of a simpler time when families gathered around stovetops to share recipes and secrets. The large, open space is welcoming from the moment you walk through the door.

Although Cindy enjoys the cooking aspect of The Pie Lady, her passion is in the marketing of the product. Selling the pies gives her an opportunity to connect with her customers. As Cindy explains, people don’t feel guilty about spending money on food. Not only is it something they will use and enjoy, it often encourages their family to gather around a table together—free from the distractions of daily life.

Of course, The Pie Lady’s pies are different than the ones you will find boxed up in the freezer section of your grocery store. While they are convenient to prepare, they are also homemade. Cindy’s friend, Debbie, is her kitchen manager. Together, they work hard to produce quality products made from scratch.

“They are not the American Chicken Pot Pie,” Cindy explains. “They are a meat pie, like the French variety. It is more meat-based than gravy-based. The chicken is shredded. It is kind of like a quiche.”

There are nine varieties of dinner pies including Just Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, Chicken Fajita, Chicken and Vegetables, and Chicken Cordon Bleu. Customers can also purchase a Chocolate Pecan dessert pie.

You can find Cindy at events throughout the area, and her pies may soon be in some of your favorite local stores.

“Ikenberry’s wants to carry them, and so does Heritage Family Market. We have locations in Lexington and Radford that want to carry them too. We just have to be able to keep up with the supply,” she says.

That said, they are open to wholesale and fundraising opportunities. If you are interested in purchasing a pie for your family, or simply want to learn more about The Pie Lady, check out their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thepieladychickenpies.

 

 

Woven for Mutts Helps Local Dogs

Ariel Lev has always loved dogs. She and her husband were able to rescue two, but they found that they were not in a place to have more than that at the same time. Still, like many animal lovers, she knew she wanted to do more.

Photo Jan 04, 12 33 53 PM“Donating money was one thing, but I couldn’t always do as much as I wanted to,” Ariel explains. “Volunteering and fostering are dangerous for me because I know that would mean a third dog for us, and we are unable to do that right now. Walking away from those dogs in need would be heartbreaking.”

With all of these things resting in the back of her mind, Ariel sat down last summer to watch a friend weave. Her friend let her try it out, and shortly thereafter, Ariel bought her first loom.

Ariel began posting pictures of her creations on social media and received an onslaught of support from her friends. The interest generated a new set of questions.

Photo Jan 04, 12 32 36 PM“I have a full-time job, and I didn’t want to commit myself to making a profit or selling my weavings to friends,” she says. “What would I charge them? What would I do with the money? At that point, I realized that I could sell them, but donate the money to senior dogs in shelters. Donating the money keeps the acting fun and fulfilling for me.”

As many of us already know, a lot of shelter dogs are seniors. People decide they can’t keep them, they move, or sometimes, unfortunately, owners die and the pets don’t have anywhere to go. Puppies are quickly adopted out of shelters because they are an easy sell. Potential adoptive families often avoid the dogs who already have someone else’s habits or illnesses. They forget that the dogs who are not always the most appealing also need and deserve a loving, safe, and warm environment.

“Senior dogs have lived their entire lives with a human and, all of a sudden, find themselves in a concrete cell wondering what happened,” Ariel adds. “As our dogs have gotten older, I’ve fallen more in love with their greying faces. When I see other little grey faces in shelters, it breaks my heart.”

Photo Jan 04, 12 31 46 PMLast month, Ariel hit her first thousand dollar mark and donated the money to Angels of Assisi. She has committed to donating every one thousand dollars she makes from her creations to a different shelter, and the next beneficiary will be Franklin County Humane Society Planned Pethood. Currently, she chooses shelters out of her interest in them. However, if the business continues to grow, she will be accepting nominations.

Ariel will also begin teaching weaving to the public this month in a series of classes at the Taubman Museum of Art on February 5, 12, and 19. Visit www.taubmanmuseum.org for more information on the class, and check out Ariel’s Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/woven4mutts.

Meet Essential Bliss!

Ten years ago, Cheryl Murphy started to look for ways to live a more environmentally friendly life. Like many of us, she started by investigating her cleaning products. The harsh chemicals that often make up these concoctions can be terrible for adults, children, and pets. She turned to essential oils to address her cleaning and household needs. Next, she bought an essential oils kit and began researching their benefits on the internet.

fullsizerender-3Of course, you can’t believe everything you read on Pinterest and Facebook,” she says. “I wanted to learn more, so I decided to seek a certification in aromatherapy.”

Cheryl began an online course from a school in Sedona. The course was rigorous, but that didn’t stop Cheryl or her friend, Tammy Ewen, who agreed to take the classes with her. Cheryl completed that training, and continues to take classes to this day at another school in Sedona.  The classes she takes now, however, she flies out to attend in person. Both Cheryl and Tammy are certified aromatherapists.

“There is a growing interest in this field. People want to take control of their health. They don’t always want to take a pill. They want more natural alternatives, and they want to have control,” she explains.

Cheryl and Tammy share their knowledge through their business, Essential Bliss. They offer consultations and workshops to help people learn how to use essential oils safely and effectively. Not only can Cheryl teach a client how to use their own oils, she can also mix oils to create a product that will specifically target trouble areas.

img_4497For those who want to take their aromatherapy on-the-go, Cheryl has developed aromatherapy bracelets. This concept is the result of merging aromatherapy and her jewelry-making business, Follow Your Bliss, to create a unique and beautiful product for her clients. With the addition of a lava bead to any one of her mindfully handcrafted bracelets, the jewelry becomes a diffuser.

Of course, clients who seek jewelry featuring symbolic charms and semi-precious gemstones without aromatherapy can purchase them through Cheryl as well.

Like her essential oil blends, her jewelry can be customized to target specific needs of the client. To help determine what will work best for an individual, Cheryl offers workshops on healing gemstones. Participants can attend these workshops and design their own bracelets as she talks about the metaphysical properties of gemstones. A bracelet created at one of these events can contain many different gemstones. It is not always about aesthetics, but instead about healing.

If you’re interested in learning more about gemstones, consider attending one of Cheryl’s upcoming workshops. She will be at Center of Gravity Yoga and Pilates on November 5 and Uttara Yoga Studio on November 20. To place an order or request a bracelet customized to fit your needs, go to www.fybbracelets.com.

For information on aromatherapy, clients can schedule consultations at Laurel Hill Salon. You can also attend our Aromatherapy Lunch and Learn on Thursday, November 17. Visit www.facebook.com/bellamagazine for more information.

Chateau Morrisette’s Delicious New Cider!

Chateau Morrisette, Virginia winery and restaurant, unveiled its newest drinks this past Labor Day Weekend. Nestled beautifully within the town of Floyd, Chateau Morrisette now serves a line of three hard ciders: Barrel-Aged, Cherry Ginger and Chai Spiced.

“While we are winemakers, we are also farmers,” explains Keith Toler, Director of Marketing at Chateau Morrisette. “We maintain a good relationship with other local farmers for both our winemaking endeavors and our restaurant.”

Chateau Morrisette Winery and Restaurant is known for its wines, dog-friendly grounds and event hosting, but after careful consideration and talk of expansion, the concept of a hard cider arose quickly.

unspecified-1“From a marketing standpoint, we recognized a trend for wines with a lower alcohol content,” Toler says. “Our ciders are made from apple wine at the base, and through the development process, we were able to bring that alcohol content down to 6.9 percent, providing customers with a low-alcohol alternative to our other fruit wines. Handcrafted ciders work really well for people who do not like the bitterness of beer, but do not want the higher alcohol content of wine.”

Also playing a large role in the cider development at Chateau Morrisette is Brian Smyth, winemaker and cider connoisseur. Smyth oversees the decisions and tasks such as fermentation, picking, and fruit harvest times–all key elements in the development of Chateau Morrisette’s ciders.

“We’ve been trying to develop the ciders here for about a year, so we’ve spent a long time on the ciders just to get them together,” says Smyth. “This run is mostly a trial run, so the volume is relatively small. We’ve made about 300 gallons of each of the three flavors.”

The three new ciders are currently offered exclusively at Chateau Morrisette. Tastings can be scheduled throughout the week in the winery’s tasting room. Tickets are $5 a person, and tastings are held at the bottom of the hour.

“We want to hear customer feedback and gauge future demand,” Toler said. “If well-received, then we will use our distribution network to bring the ciders to retail outlets throughout Virginia—and possibly beyond.”

For more information about Chateau Morrisette, wine tastings, cider tastings, directions, or events, visit www.thedogs.com.

 

Written by Emily McCaul