Five Loves Handmade – Where functional meets stylish

If you’re a fan of functional + stylish, then get ready for Five Loves Handmade to become your new favorite small business. Stacy began crafting her rope bags and baskets four years ago after the birth of her fifth child (hence, “Five Loves”), and she quickly discovered that she wasn’t the only one who valued the combo of practicality and style.

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Stacy’s big, roomy tote bags are perfect for holding ALL the goodies. Ideal for tucking away books, journals, tablets, etc. for a day at the coffee shop. PC: Five Loves Handmade

Stacy hand-dyes the colored ropes she uses, gravitating toward earthy color pallets that reflect the natural resources she uses in her products (cotton rope, leather, wood, etc.). The concepts behind the bags are simple, tasteful, and timeless—a product that can be used for any occasion or décor, and will remain stylish for years to come. And Stacy’s products are made to last—she uses durable materials, blending in that function element alongside the beauty.

green bowl

The darling AYLA bowls are Stacy’s most popular — they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. They make the perfect “catch-all” for keys, wallets, spare change… PC: Five Loves Handmade

Stacy’s favorite part about running a small business? The freedom and flexibility to work at her own pace. With (now six!) children in hand, Stacy loves that she has the freedom to either slow down and focus on family, or ramp up production for an extra income boost, which Stacy describes as “really empowering for me!”

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Sturdy yet elegant, Five Loves Handmade baskets make beautiful home accents. PC: Five Loves Handmade

You’ll find a variety of products at Five Loves Handmade, from rope baskets and bags to leather clutches and macrame artwork. Stacy intentionally designs each piece to complement the materials, which is apparent in the gorgeous textures and tasteful simplicity of each piece. Her baskets make the perfect, versatile home accent piece, and her totes and clutches are great to accessorize any outfit. If you gravitate toward her stylish HOPE bag, then you can feel extra good about your purchase: Stacy annually selects a ministry focusing on rescuing sex traffic victims to receive all proceeds from her HOPE bag sales.

hope bag

The oh-so-chic HOPE bag. It’s easy to see why this bag is popular. PC: Five Loves Handmade

Stacy is always designing new styles and experimenting with colors and details. Be sure to follow her on Instagram for sales announcements and shop updates, and also follow her on Facebook and shop on her website!

Chasing Rabbits Tea – A refreshing change from coffee

People who know me quickly find out that I am a tea fanatic. While I enjoy coffee, I’ve often been disappointed by the few options and poor quality of teas offered in cafes and coffee shops. You can imagine my joy, then, when I discovered Chasing Rabbits Tea in downtown Greenville, only a couple short blocks from my workplace.

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Order a refreshing tea in-store, or take a bag of loose leaf tea home with you! PC: Chasing Rabbits Tea

Chasing Rabbits Tea is owned by Tracie and Allie Combs, a mother-daughter team who both have a passion for tea. When Allie discovered that regularly drinking green rooibos tea healed her skin issues, she and her mother both dove into research about other teas and their health benefits. They soon discovered that tea offers a wide range of benefits, and they developed a passion for sharing this knowledge with others.

Allie and Mom

Allie and Tracie have a great relationship and love working together, which is immediately obvious as soon as you meet them. PC: Chasing Rabbits Tea

When you walk into Chasing Rabbits Tea, you’ll immediately be captivated by the whimsical decor, influenced heavily by classic literature and popular fandoms (think: Harry Potter, Doctor Who, etc.). The name “Chasing Rabbits Tea” came from a brainstorm session that combined a nod to the local Swamp Rabbit Trail as well as Alice in Wonderland, which inspired the fun, topsy-turvy store theme. Besides tea, you can purchase all manner of teacups, tea pots, posters, note cards, and more at Chasing Rabbits Tea. You might find anything from a print of the Cheshire Cat to a Darth Vader figurine tucked between the shelves of tea paraphernalia!

bubble tea

Whether you like a lightly-sweetened tea latte or a decadent blended bubble tea like the one pictured above, Allie and Tracie have you covered. PC: Chasing Rabbits Tea

When ordering a drink at Chasing Rabbits Tea, you might be a little dazzled by the seemingly endless options available. From traditional hot tea, to tea lattes and fraps, smoothies and tea sodas, protein shakes and bubble tea, there are limitless combinations to choose from. Personally, I adore the Lady Gray latte, and I’m also partial to an iced Bon-Bon Bonita tea (Chasing Rabbit’s rooibos blend with strawberry, peach, and citrus) with strawberry boba. Can’t bring yourself to choose? Just ask Allie or Tracie behind the counter—they have a knack for recommending just what you’d like.

trivia night

Trivia Nights are a big hit at Chasing Rabbits Tea. This is just one of many events that Allie and Tracie put on, much to the joy of the community. PC: Chasing Rabbits Tea

Allie and Tracie are both genuinely knowledgeable about tea and are incredibly friendly. I find it refreshing to discover a place that focuses purely on tea: offering high-quality blends for purchase, creating delicious drinks, and providing insightful knowledge about tea’s benefits. To quote Tracie: “My hope is that CR Tea Co. will become a source for information, open discussion, and empower others to make choices to live better and smarter while they drink something delicious!”

pumpkin tea

You’ll find your favorite blends like chai or jasmine-green tea at Chasing Rabbits Tea, as well as many innovative blends, many of which rotate seasonally. PC: Chasing Rabbits Tea

Definitely follow Chasing Rabbits Tea on Instagram for stunning (and sometimes wild-looking!) pictures of tea concoctions, and also follow them on Facebook to see all their fun upcoming events. Next time you’re in downtown Greenville near East McBee Avenue, pop into their store—you won’t be disappointed!

iVIVA Salt – Himalayan salt & more

It makes me really excited when I come across a business that is a little out of the ordinary. iVIVA is one of those businesses, as owner Katie White sells something you may not come across at every maker’s market: Himalayan salt and essential oils.

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A pound of iVIVA edible pink Himalayan salt is just $5, an AMAZING bargain, especially considering the product’s exceptional quality.

If you tune in to the health and foodie world at all, you’ve probably heard quite a bit about Himalayan pink salt, and for good reason. It’s more than just a trendy seasoning— it’s an incredibly rich source of minerals. For a quick comparison: sea salt (yes, the oh-so glorified garnish of gourmet caramels) has 10 minerals, whereas Himalayan pink salt has 84 minerals. Yes, you read that right! There are a ton of other health benefits behind Himalayan pink salt that make it superior, but Katie really explains it best herself in her blog. Read up on the numerous benefits here.

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I love the warm, cozy glow of Himalayan salt lamps. Katie offers lamps in various sizes.

Katie offers more than just edible pink salt. She transforms whole blocks of Himalayan salt into some incredible products, like salt lamps, salt massage balls, bath salts, and soaps.  I’m a particular fan of her salt lamps and bath salts, which I can personally vouch for. Salt lamps have many mysterious benefits, from purifying the air (a plus for folks with asthma/allergies) to improving anxiety. Do your own research— this is an article I’ve found that summarizes different benefits and theories— but regardless of whether you buy into the health benefits, salt lamps make a beautiful, calming home accent.

Calming Oils

You’ll find single essential oils as well as unique iVIVA oil blends on Katie’s website.

Beyond salt, you can also purchase high-quality essentials oils from iVIVA. Katie studies aromatherapy and is in the process of receiving her aromatherapy certificate, so you can feel good about incorporating iVIVA essential oils into your home and family. Again, Katie does a great job informing her customer base on the quality behind all her products, so read more on her blog.

iviva citrus blend eos

Katie incorporates essential oils AND Himalayan pink salt into her homemade soaps.

Katie has a real passion for holistic health, and one of the primary reasons she began iVIVA is because she felt astounded at how expensive high-quality Himalayan pink salt and essential oils were. After finding a fair trade-compliant salt mine, becoming a certified aromatherapist and SC Certified (all of Katie’s products are made right here in Greenville county!), Katie now has a wide variety of incredible, natural products that won’t break the bank. Be sure to check out her website and follow her on Instagram and Facebook!

Karisma by Kara – Eye-catching accents

When you pick a piece of jewelry, you make a statement about your personal style. With Karisma by Kara jewelry, you’ll not only find a selection of beautiful jewelry, but you might just find a piece that says something about your personality, too.

mountain necklace

The design is gorgeous on this miniature mountain necklace, but check out the oxidization—such a beautiful touch that adds depth and detail. PC: Karisma by Kara

Kara began making jewelry shortly after marrying and moving to Greenville, South Carolina. Inspired by a group of artistic friends who had opened shops to sell their products, Kara decided to open an Etsy shop to share her handmade jewelry.  The success of her uniquely designed and intentionally crafted jewelry eventually created an opportunity for Kara to open her own physical shop—a long-time dream come true.

bear studs

You can’t help but smile at these little bear studs. Was your first though “Mama Bear?” Yeah,  mine too. PC: Karisma by Kara

After having a baby last year, Kara’s moved her studio back home, though she’s still working as hard as ever on designing and making jewelry, oftentimes filling custom orders. A few years down the road, Kara would love to open a shop again and even offer classes to the community.

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Kara’s creative process is definitely hands-on. Her craftsmanship ensures quality and a unique touch. PC: Karisma by Kara

Kara’s background in art makes itself known in the clean, elegant designs of her jewelry. Kara makes each piece by hand, which often involves complex metalwork. One thing you’ll notice about Kara’s jewelry is that each piece is loaded with personality—whether you’re admiring a rustic mountain range or smiling at a bunny pendant.

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Kara says she likes working with wire best—and I can see why! This adorable corgi necklace and dozens of other designs are available in Kara’s shop. PC: Karisma by Kara

You’ll find that Kara has no shortage of ideas when it comes to designing jewelry, and it’s a pure joy to explore her website and Etsy shop. Bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings—she makes it all!

sleek earrings

I love the intricacy of Kara’s jewelry, but she also creates very chic, streamlined pieces like these strikingly elegant dangle earrings. PC: Karisma by Kara

Bar Soap – A worthy conversion

Over the past six months or so, I’ve discovered a product preference: bar soap over liquid soap. Specifically (of course) handmade bar soap over store-bought liquid soap. Seems like a simple switch, but let me share with you some reasons why I’ve switched almost entirely to bar soap.

Liquid soap is drying

Something all soaps advertise: moisturizing properties. But, especially in the cold months when I’m washing my hands more frequently and having issues with dry skin, I noticed that my hands were especially papery after washing my hands. By contrast, every handmade bar soap I’ve used has been noticeably moisturizing (note: some commercial bar soaps I’ve used in the past had the same drying issues as liquid soap. Not all bar soaps are made equal!)

Bar soap encourages good hand-washing

Confession time: recently I realized that, when I use liquid soap, I’m actually not washing my hands well at all. When using liquid soap, I realized that most of the time I got a dollop of soap on my fingertips, which immediately slid off once I put my hands under running water. With bar soap, you actually have to handle and rub the bar in order to stimulate the lather, which in itself creates a good hand-washing technique. Sounds trivial, but you’ll be amazed at how much more thoroughly you wash your hands when using bar soap.

Bar soap lasts longer

Most bar soaps from Etsy shops and local makers cost a few dollars each, and they last for MONTHS. With liquid soap, it’s easy to pump out a big ole squirt that’s way more than you need. Bar soaps last longer and are a better value in the long run, not to mention better for your skin.

So, now that I’ve shared the big three reasons why I’ve converted to bar soap, let me introduce you to some soap makers I’ve been using (and loving).

Muddy Mint

Muddy Mint

Pictured here is chamomile and lavender soap, with Simi’s signature gorgeous decorative finish. PC: Muddy Mint

Though based all the way out in Colorado, Muddy Mint was the first soap/body care shop I tried way back in the summer of 2017. Simi, the soap-making hands behind Muddy Mint, makes some incredible body care products (still dreaming about her cocoa butter cashmere body butter), and besides her soap being lovely to use, I also think she has some of the most beautiful soap on the market. Follow her on Instagram, if only to marvel at her gorgeous creations.

Gifted Hands Artisan Soap

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Black tea and patchouli soap: clean, elegant scent to match the design. PC: Gifted Hands Artisan Soap

I met Javela, the owner of Gifted Hands Artisan Soap, at a farmer’s market last year and purchased some of her soap to try. I was so pleased with the product, and also enjoyed perusing the variety of scents she had on display. Gifted Hands Artisan Soap features some luxuriously feminine scents, like honeysuckle & almond milk, but also stocks a wide variety of man-friendly scents (think lemongrass & rosemary; peppermint; cedar wood, orange, and clove).

ILY Soaps

ILY soap

This bar is currently residing in our bathroom, where my husband and I both use it regularly. We’ve been using this bar for about a month now, and see how bulky it still is! Bar soap goes a long way.

My most recent discovery is ILY Soaps based out of Easley. Besides soaps, ILY Soaps also has a wide variety of bath and body products, from bath bombs to facial care. The bar pictured above is a garden mint soap that I’ve really enjoyed. It has a rich mint smell and a really robust lather, which I love.

Good Juju Herbal

Good Juju soap

I received Judith’s Rose Clay and Geranium soap for Christmas, and it smells divine. PC: Good JuJu Herbal

If you’ve followed my blog, then you’ve seen my review of Good JuJu Herbal and how much I applaud her all-natural approach to body care. I’ve used several of Judith’s products and have particularly enjoyed her soap. Judith infuses her soap with gentle, all-natural scents, and her soaps have a uniquely soft and gentle texture. Ideal for sensitive skin types!

Hochstetler’s Country Store – Seneca’s Hidden Gem

Though it may not look like much on the surface, Hochstetler’s Country Store in Seneca, SC is a neighborhood gem and a long-time favorite among my family.  The Hochstetlers set up shop in 2006, and in their country store you’ll find all the old-fashioned charm and friendly service you’d expect.

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Hochstetler’s has an intimate setup, with the store leading directly into the deli. I love traditional places like this!

Being only about a five minute drive from my childhood home, I’m well acquainted with Hochstetler’s.  They’re your one-stop shop for bulk and local foods, in addition to their bakery and deli.  The variety of goods nestled in that tiny store is impressive; you can find anything from baking ingredients and supplies, spices, candies, tea and coffee, snacks, and much more.

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They carry a HUGE variety of snacks and candies, anything from gingersnaps, peanut butter cups, yogurt-covered pretzels, sour gummy worms, spicy snack mix…you name it!

The prices at Hochstetler’s alone are reason enough to drop by.  My father, a self-proclaimed foodie, buys all his spices there: not only are they cheaper, but he swears by their freshness, too.  Before I got married, I stocked up on all sorts of spices and seasonings from Hochstetler’s; their all-natural lemon-pepper seasoning is my husband’s favorite.

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Hochstetler’s stocks all kinds of spices and herbs, whether common or more exotic.

For you Christmastime bakers, please do yourself a favor and get your ingredients from Hochstetler’s.  You’ll find an excellent variety of nuts and dried fruits (which add up to $$$ at most grocery stores) at a fraction of their normal price.  Furthermore, you can find specialty flours (gluten free, anyone?), gourmet sugars and salts, different cooking oils, and more to fit virtually any recipe.  Take a peek at their refrigerators, too; Hochstetler’s stocks local meats and cheeses, as well as raw milk.

bread

Hochstetler’s has “bake days” three days a week, churning out delicious breads, pies, and sweets.

After you’ve collected your basket of amazing snacks and ingredients, be sure to get a sandwich and bowl of soup from Hochstetler’s deli.  Everything is freshly prepared, with meats cut right before your eyes.  Did I mention you can also purchase deli meats and cheeses there?  They’re absolutely delicious, and (you guessed it) way cheaper than at the grocery store.

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What a great hometown treasure. Hochstetler’s is a relaxing, fun place to shop and eat.

This no-fuss, no-frills store is a true delight to visit, and I’d be there weekly if I still lived in Seneca.  As it is, I drop by and stock up on spices, dried fruit, popcorn (Benjamin loves their “mushroom” popcorn–you know, the kind of huge popcorn kernels that they use for caramel corn!), and more whenever I visit my parents.  Take my advice and drop by Hochstetler’s, pick up a fresh-baked pie or loaf of bread for dinner, and make it your regular destination for all foods fresh and local.

Joe’s Place – Literary and Community Hub

As a long-time bookworm and former English major, bookstores have a special place in my heart.  As I’ve been scouting out exemplary bookstores in the upstate SC area, Joe’s Place Bookstore has marked itself as a must-visit, must-support, must-love location.

sunny window

There were lots of cozy rooms at Joe’s Place, but this sunny room with the window seats completely won me over.

Let’s not sugar-coat it: bookstores often struggle to stay in business.  In my hometown, two used bookstores I visited frequently both abruptly shut down due to patrons doing more browsing than actual buying.  However, I’ve noticed several small bookstores beginning to revamp their business by pairing book selling with using their space for social and educational opportunities.  Joe’s Place is a great example of this store/community center hybrid, and they’re hitting it out of the park.

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Benjamin bought a stir-fry cook book from Joe’s Place, and we enjoyed picking recipes while sipping cappuccinos on the porch.

You’ll find Joe’s Place’s new location in a beautifully transformed home on Williams Street.  I was absolutely smitten with this place not just because of the incredible variety of books, but because the owners at Joe’s Place have maintained a true homelike feeling in their new space.  In every room, there are comfy chairs and sofas or spacious tables where you can spread out your bookstore finds.

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All the snacks, coffee, and yummy teas you could want after you’ve selected a good book.

Downstairs, you’ll find a little cafe with pastries and local chocolate treats, plus excellent coffee drinks using locally-roasted Due South coffee beans.  Directly across from the coffee station is Joe’s Place’s beautiful wine bar, with rows of gleaming bottles and plenty of vintage charm.  Whether you have a glass of wine or a steaming cup of java, the outside covered porch is a serene place to sip, chat, and enjoy flipping through a book.

wine bar

Joe’s Place’s wine bar; just look at that beautiful architecture, plus those poofy armchairs–perfect for leisurely sipping.

Joe’s Place also hosts a variety of weekly events, anything from topical crash-courses, introductory classes on wine, book club meetings, and trivia nights.  They’ve formulated an excellent business model that blends merchandise, food and beverage, and resources for the community.  Their comfortable environment and spacious rooms offer the ideal place for coffee dates and study spots, and they’re filled to the brim with excellent books–a true delight to discover.  Follow them on Instagram, and definitely go visit…and when you do, browse AND buy!

City Scape Winery – Local Wine with Innovative Twists

Benjamin and I have only recently been introduced to wine, but we’ve come to enjoy an occasional glass after work.  At the same time, we were painfully aware that we knew almost nothing about wine and had only tried (very) inexpensive brands from the local grocery store.  We’ve mentioned several times that we ought to actually attend a class or wine tasting, and when I discovered that Greenville county has a winery in Pelzer, I knew right away that we’d be making a visit.

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The staff at City Scape are all friendly, informed, and passionate about the wines they sell.

City Scape Winery was originally owned by Wayne and Anita Tamm, but they sold the winery to a young couple, Josh and Deb Jones, in 2015. Josh and Deb had first experimented with wine making as a mere curiosity, but over the years they began to really hone their craft, even making 125 bottles of wine for their own wedding.  Since the Tamms had been acquainted with the Jones over the years and had followed their rise in expertise, they had little reservations in passing the baton.

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The outdoor area is so lovely that it’s become a popular venue for intimate weddings.

Since then, Josh and Deb have traveled to wine-making heavyweights like Italy, Spain, and Portugal, as well as US wine hubs like the Napa Valley.  At City Scape Winery, you’ll find an intimate establishment that feels more like a home than a stuffy winery.  The shop is cozy yet stylish, with a beautiful patio outside overlooking the vineyard.  The atmosphere is laid-back and inviting, with City Scape’s favorite pet, Pinot the Pig, and a group of friendly goats available for visits.

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Just beyond the vineyard is a pen with these friendly guys–who have been known to sneak into the vineyard to snack on tasty grapes.

City Scape specializes in incorporating local fruits into their wines, and you’ll find seasonal wines such as the Blackberry Merlot or the Strawberry Sauvignon Blanc (so delicious that Benjamin and I brought a bottle home).  You’ll find other unique blends like the Carolina Nights, featuring local Carolina muscadines, or the Müller-Thurgau, a mild German wine with a nectar-like taste.

City Scape is more than a producer of wines–they are a community hub.  The place was brimming with people during our visit, some popping in for a quick purchase, some lingering for a tasting, while others wandered the grounds with a glass of their favorite wine.  City Scape hosts regular events to promote community; coming up soon, they have a “Girls Night Out” event (Oct. 19) as well as a Farm-to-Table dinner (Oct. 6).  Josh and Deb also offer one-on-one wine making classes for those who, like them at the beginning of their wine career, have an interest in making wine at home.

city scape

We were able to try a wide variety of wines, including a scrumptious port-style wine.

You can find City Scape wines at The Fresh Market (S. Pleasantburg and Woodruff locations) as well as many Greenville restaurants.  Whether you’re local or not, you can always purchase their wines online, as well, though I would recommend stopping by the winery itself for a tasting (starting at only $6.95, which gives you about 9 wines to sample–a great deal!).

Small Businesses in the Big Day

Ever since receiving our wedding photos a couple months ago, I find myself looking through the album every so often, reliving what had been a preciously happy day.  Then it occurred to me that we had incorporated the products and services of several small businesses in the wedding, and we were so pleased with each and every one of them.  So whether you’re planning a wedding or party yourself, or just like discovering what’s local, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to some top-notch small businesses in the area that we used for our wedding.

Ginia Worrell Photography

I would be remiss if I didn’t start off singing the praises of our photographer, Ginia Worrell.  Ginia is such a warm person, and she did a great job capturing not just the physical details but the happiness of everyone that day.  She did an excellent job putting everyone at ease, and knew just how to both provide direction while also letting us be ourselves.  She was both speedy and thorough–the ideal combination in a photographer!  We have been so pleased with her photos and how she captured all the little details and sweet moments of our day.

View More: http://giniaworrellphotography.pass.us/lawyerwedding

I love this detail shot, and Ginia really helped us to feel natural and relaxed while she worked.

The Bleckley Inn (Anderson, SC)

This was our venue for both our wedding and our reception.  With portions of the original inn over 100 years old, the Bleckley had beautiful charm and character that won us over immediately.  The staff were all very accommodating and helpful, and their wedding package was wonderful, including rentals, 4 suites, and multiple spaces throughout the inn.  We were nothing but pleased and delighted with our choice of venue!

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We used the walled-in courtyard for our ceremony.  The area is beautifully landscaped (and check out those amazing old doors!)

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The carriage house served our reception needs perfectly.  It was spacious, bright, and had plenty of that old-age charm with the exposed brick, wood beams, and original stucco.

Sullivan’s Metropolitan Grill (caterer)

Planted literally across the road from the Bleckley Inn, Sullivan’s Metropolitan Grill has a reputation in Anderson as THE restaurant in town.  Because of this, I was initially intimidated by taking them on as our caterer, but we found out early on that Sullivan’s was amazing to work with and worked easily within our budget.  The food was outstanding, and people still come up to me and talk about it, particularly their bacon-wrapped quail and the exquisite desserts.  You can’t do better than Sullivan’s if you’re looking for a top-notch caterer in the Upstate!

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Sullivan’s knocked our socks off with their food. Shown here is their blackberry-lemon cheesecake–and it’s every bit as good as it looks!

Solid Gold (jewelers)

I bought Benjamin’s wedding band here, and he also used Solid Gold to resize my rings (both my band and diamond first belonged to my grandmother).  We were really pleased with the prices they offered and their service was quick and very satisfactory.

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Even though my diamond and band are over 60 years old, Solid Gold was able to offer us a men’s band that matched my set beautifully.

Emerald Road (live band)

I love Celtic music, so we brought in Emerald Road, a local Celtic band, to play for our wedding and reception.  They brought new life to the music we selected, and made the reception lively and fun.  Each of the musicians have a lot of talent and play so well together.

View More: http://giniaworrellphotography.pass.us/lawyerwedding

We had a cellist, violinist, and guitarist at our wedding, but different members of Emerald Road play multiple instruments.

Bridesmaids Gifts

For my bridesmaids, I ordered them each a cuff from A Gilded Line with a line from their favorite hymn stamped onto it.  I chose this because, more than being a drift from the current trends in bridesmaids gifts, it was personalized and meaningful.  Alongside the cuffs I also gave them a bunch of pampering goodies, among them a bath bomb from Tiny House, Big Farm.  I got texts from the girls a week or two later saying how fun and luxurious the bombs were–always a nice component to a girly gift.

a gilded line

Check out the blog post I wrote on A Gilded Line here.

Floral Bouquets

I’ve had several people ask me who did our bouquets–well, I did!  I follow SO many talented florists on Instagram and would have loved to use any number of them…but as a bride you have to choose how you portion your budget.  We ordered blooms (primarily roses) from Ingles and picked the majority of the greenery from blueberry bushes and ivy in our backyard.

So, while this isn’t a small business promotion, I hope it’s a tip that can help another thrifty bride.  However, if fresh flowers are one of the most important things to you for your wedding, there are lots of highly talented florists in the area (message me for references!)

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I really enjoyed assembling our bouquets (floral arranging is one of the few crafty things I can actually do).

There are a TON of amazing venues, caterers, shops and products in the area that you can incorporate into a wedding to make it special, but these were the ones that we chose, and we were so pleased.  Everyone worked graciously with our budget and provided excellent service and quality.  Our wedding could have been bare-bones and I still would have been on cloud 9, but all the details and special touches made it absolutely beautiful.  I hope you’ll take advantage of the talent in this area and use them, too!

View More: http://giniaworrellphotography.pass.us/lawyerwedding

A happy, happy day!

Sunny Mullarkey – Monumental Details in Stunning Prints

It takes real talent to fuse together opposite elements in a piece of artwork, but Sunny Mullarkey manages to do just that in her linocut prints.  In Sunny’s art you’ll find mountain ranges and raging rivers, all traced into the delicate pattern of a moth’s wing.  Combining the monumental with the intricate is Sunny Mullarkey’s specialty, and I’m so excited to share her work with you!

moth

Through her creative outlook Sunny manages to capture both the universal and the minuscule in her prints.

Art has followed Sunny all her life, from attending the Governor’s School for Arts to studying Fine Arts in college.  Through both her education and her own experience, Sunny has explored different mediums and multiple art styles, but nowadays you’ll find her chiseling out prints on linoleum to create her breathtaking pieces.

“I love how [printmaking] is such a physical art form.  The tools make their own kind of mark that makes the print different from a painting or drawing. Being able to see the chisels and texture of the work is something that you can’t recreate in anything else. ” -Sunny Mullarkey

When Sunny moved her artwork out of the privacy of her home and into a studio space in 2013, she knew it was a big step forward that would signify turning a hobby into a career.  As it turns out, the studio space became a huge motivator for Sunny, and she enjoys sharing the space with other creatives who support and inspire her.

Nat Geo 1

The Station, a studio space used by Sunny and a few fellow creatives, was featured in National Geographic…how cool is that??

The signature look behind Sunny’s prints is the theme of nature: combining the grandeur of a landscape with the fine details of an insect’s wing or a feather.  Sunny’s love for nature and hiking infuses her work and urges the viewer to become a more keen observer, too.

Sunny balances her career as an artist alongside her life as a mother and wife, and speaks passionately about the significance of support from your spouse and community.  Like many of the makers I interview, Sunny emphasizes the importance of finding fellow makers to receive feedback, encouragement, and inspiration.

Warbler1

It’s so hard to sufficiently describe Sunny’s work–it’s both earthy and modern, elegant and playful, imaginative and controlled.

There is so much charisma in Sunny’s work, both in the details and even in the beautiful textures of the paper she prints on.  Sunny gave me no shortage of striking phrases to quote while discussing the artist’s perspective:

“I want to fill the world with beautiful things.  As artists, that’s our duty.  There’s nothing in this world that wasn’t touched by design. Writers, photographers…we’re all here to use our creative gift to make our world more beautiful.  That’s a wonderful gift to have to give to the world.” -Sunny Mullarkey

feathers

Another example of Sunny’s method of combining landscapes with the creatures that inhabit them–mesmerizing.

Sunny’s passion for both nature and art is captivating and speaks to the mission of all artists, both new and experienced.  I hope you’ll take time to explore her Etsy shop and website, and be sure to follow her on Instagram to keep in touch with her amazing work.