Forestry Friday

Spring has sprung!  The Southeast seemed to skip winter altogether, but now plants are actually sprouting up, turning green, and blooming.  If you can ignore the pollen, spring is truly a beautiful time of year, made especially exciting by the advent of spring markets, festivals, and other local events.  I jumped into spring market season by attending Modern Forestry’s “Forestry Friday” event this past weekend, and I can’t resist sharing a little of my experience with you all!


Modern Forestry had a “make your own candle” station set up.  My sister mixed up her own concoction and got to make a custom label.  Excellent fun!

After a VERY tedious day in the office on Friday, I was 100% ready when I got home to hop in the car with my sister, Savannah, and head out for a bit of weekend fun.  We had both been hearing about Forestry Friday for several weeks and were excited to meet new makers, sample some tasty food, and enjoy a time of relaxation.

Forestry Friday turned out to be a really enjoyable and laid-back event.  For those who may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by massive craft markets, Forestry Friday offers the perfect balance of variety and intimacy.  There were plenty of vendor tables to explore, but I was also able to pause, browse, and talk to different vendors without being jostled by a massive crowd.

Southern Bliss

Forestry Friday had all sorts of wonderful vendors set up.  Southern Bliss designs did custom wood-burning specialties on the spot!

The thing about seasonal markets, fairs, and events is that they’re truly there to serve the community.  They create an opportunity for makers/vendors to share their goods while also providing entertainment for everyone involved.  And yes, most makers have an online presence and you could easily view and order their wares through the internet; however, you can never beat actually interacting with the people behind the business and getting to view and handle their products in person.

Modern Forestry

Of course, we couldn’t resist digging around Modern Forestry’s sale basket. The Collins always seem to have such a blast working together (with baby Peter in tow!)

Furthermore, these types of events offer something tangible to place on your calendar and look forward to.  In this busy, bustling world, it’s well worth it to commit to a community event, gather up a band of friends, and make a memory.  I look forward to many Forestry Fridays in the future, along with the advent of all sorts of different festivals, markets, and fairs coming in the next few weeks.  Be sure to follow Modern Forestry on social media to keep up with more details about upcoming events!

Modern Forestry – Clean-Burning Candles That Comfort

In creating a blog centered around exceptional small businesses, I would be remiss if I didn’t feature Modern Forestry.  John and Sarah Collins began their candle making business back in 2015 as newlyweds, and what was meant to be a small-batch business for friends and family quickly mushroomed into something much larger.

Initially, making candles was a creative outlet for Sarah, who at the time worked a demanding job and wanted to start something fun for herself.  When Sarah discovered that her regular migraines were a result of synthetic chemicals in the store-bought candles she burned in the evenings, she decided to experiment with making her own natural candles.

Using clean-burning soy and essential oils to scent the candles, Sarah’s migraines quickly disappeared and she and John began sharing their candles as gifts to friends.  From there, they opened an Etsy shop, but nowadays you can not only find their candles online and at local markets, but in over 30 stores across the country!


John and Sarah love connecting with their community, and many of their weekends are spent at farmers’ markets.

Modern Forestry has fully embraced its community here in upstate South Carolina, and the community has embraced Modern Forestry right back.  Thanks to the enthusiastic support of local (and now, national!) customers, Sarah was able to resign from her former position and take on Modern Forestry full time.  John is soon to join full time this spring–perfect timing, as the Collins have just recently welcomed a beautiful son into their lives and love operating Modern Forestry as a family.  The Collins represent the essence of a heartfelt, quality family business, and their dedication to community and each other is a joy to follow.


John and Sarah have a beautiful marriage and love working together, and now little Peter gets to tag along too!

John and Sarah offer a wide array of seasonal scents, though their most enduringly popular scent is Coffeehouse, a fragrance that well deserves its namesake.  As spring approaches, however, you might find yourself gravitating toward Blackberry Sage or Southern Magnolia.  Sarah’s personal favorite scent?  Holiday Hike-In, a piney fragrance that is invigorating and fresh, and one that I’ve marked as a favorite as well.


Modern Forestry offers custom labels for free! I ordered these Pomegranate Cider candles when I asked my friends to be my bridesmaids.  They were a big hit! 

If you love the idea of candles but have experienced headaches or irritated allergies around candles in the past, you might find Modern Forestry candles more friendly. Most commercial makers base their candles in paraffin wax, a by-product of petroleum.  Paraffin fumes combined with carcinogens and phthalates in the synthetic fragrances cause all sorts of allergy problems and headaches, not to mention pollute the air.

All Modern Forestry candles are made with 100% soy wax and are scented with essential oils and natural fragrances, both of which contribute to a clean burn.  So feel good about what you’re burning!

Go ahead–check out Modern Forestry’s Etsy shop or website and have some fun browsing through their one-of-a-kind scents.  Once you’ve lit your candle and settled back with a cup of tea, I think you’ll agree that there’s nothing like a candle to make a home cozy.  I hope you’ll enjoy discovering this outstanding business and support the darling family that keeps it running.