One of my favorite activities of the past year was getting to research and discover unique local makers all across America. Now that you’re all caught up, why not take another trip and see some different small businesses worth checking out? Starting with our friends in the South, we’re celebrating the best handmade, eco-friendly and small batch goods the country has to offer.
Alabama: John Emerald Distilling Company
First (legal) craft whiskey makers in Alabama in more than 100 years. When Prohibition left Alabama without a legal, local distillery to call their own—one local producer was happy to answer the call! John Emerald Distilling Company is a small-batch, craft distillery with a solid range of spirits. Each product is named as a thoughtful homage to the Sharp family’s history. Kudos to the company’s solid efforts on sourcing their ingredients locally when possible. From the rich history to the local talent that’s crafting each batch, you can unwind with a pure glass of Alabama flavor.
Arkansas: Stone County Ironworks
Ironworkers who hand-forge each piece with ancient tools. “There is almost nothing that we can’t make. And what we make lasts forever.” The confidence of the artisans at Stone County Ironworks is founded in fact: since 1979, this workshop in the Ozarks has produced truly one-of-a-kind home goods that are made to stand out. Blacksmiths, coppersmiths, wood workers and detail-oriented artisans all work together to create beautiful iron pieces that are always 100% Arkansas.
Delaware: Dogfish Head Brewery
Delaware’s first craft brewery, running since 1995. What started as the smallest commercial brewery in the US has become synonymous with getting an authentic taste of Delaware. Dogfish Head Brewery prides itself on being consistent with quality: from scratch-made spirits to a tasty-sounding line of beer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Dedicated fans can pop by for a brewery tour, grab a bite to eat at their restaurants and food truck station) or even spend the night at the beer-centric inn. Drink up, Delaware.
Florida: Bradley’s Country Store
A traditional country store that’s shared the best of the area since the 1920’s. If you’re looking to make a quick and relaxing escape out of Tallahassee city living, we know just the place. Known for their homemade smoked sausage dogs and inviting front porch, Bradley’s Country Store has been a reliable local standby since 1927. Aside from the sausage (which ships for those not in the Sunshine State), Bradley’s also stocks a ton of other locally-made products, as well as producing their own milled cornmeal and cheese. It’s always nice to celebrate a spot that’s been living locally for a long time.
Georgia: Georgia Crafted
A monthly subscription service that brings the best of Georgia to your door. Of course, you can’t explore every local nook and cranny across the US but lucky for you, subscription services can bring the world to your door. That was the thought behind Georgia Crafted, an easy way to try out and support local Georgia makers across the state. You can discover curated new favorites and unknown brands at your own schedule, which is potentially the easiest (and most fun) way to shop locally.
Kentucky: Foxhollow Farm
An innovative Biodynamic farm that raises 100% grass-fed beef. Running a farm is one thing, but carefully crafting a sustainable mini eco-system that produces happy cows (and tasty food) is a solid effort. The masterminds at Foxhollow Farm do just that: their team of farmers and scientists alike work together to create a successful and sustainable farm community. And as if that wasn’t enough, Foxhollow Farm has a “Community Raised Program” where they work with local farmers to teach sustainable farming methods, as well as a thriving events calendar to let everyone enjoy the space. The best local businesses do their part to improve the entire community!
Louisiana: Doorman Designs
Beautiful handmade furniture using salvaged material in New Orleans. A Southern Louisiana native, Alex Geriner of Doorman Designs decided to stick to his roots and honor his home in the best way possible: Alex uses reclaimed material (with an emphasis on buildings damaged by Hurricane Katrina) to craft furniture that is uniquely New Orleans. The material can have hundreds of years of history and Alex honors that when crafting his beautiful home goods. From your bedroom to living room table, you can own a slice of Louisiana life—all while supporting a talented artist!
Maryland: Rosebud Perfume Company
Continuously producing a multi-use beauty salve since the 1890’s. My mom might have a wide range of makeup products, but there’s one thing I know she’ll always have on hand: Rosebud Perfume Company‘s signature Rosebud salve. Still located in their original Maryland headquarters, the company has remained a local favorite for a reason. The salve can be used as a lip balm, blush and hand salve, as well as healing minor burns and taming frizzy hair. It’s not hard to see why something so functional (yet simple) as remained a local favorite for over 120 years.
Mississippi: Satterfield Pottery
Artisan pottery lovingly handcrafted in Mississippi. When the force behind an artisan company has both a M.F.A and strong local roots, you know you’re in for something authentic! Michael Satterfield of Satterfield Pottery handcrafts a diverse selection of beautiful items, from classic dinnerware to colorful accent pieces paying tribute to Ole Miss. Even with the impressive selection offered, every piece has the mark of a craftsman that you can’t replicate with mass-produced goods.
North Carolina: Sea Love Sea Salt Co.
Solar-evaporated, locally-made North Carolina sea salt. There are a bunch of different ways to make salt, but only one requires zero energy usage: the sun! Sea Love Sea Salt Co. is the byproduct of a lot of experimentation and love of the North Carolina coast; husband and wife duo Amanda and Dave Jacobs patiently allow the sun to evaporate the sea water into perfectly flaky salt, then elevate it with tasty flavors like citrus and cracked peppercorn. A true taste of beach living.
Oklahoma: Micah Hamilton
A talented textile artist and metalsmith, located in Oklahoma City. From delicate woven necklaces to bold, reworked fossil jewelry, Micah Hamilton has a pretty impressive range of talents under her belt. Secondhand and repurposed materials are prioritized, and everything is made carefully (and ethically) by hand. Plus, with so many handcrafted clothing and textile items going for pretty steep prices, it’s refreshing to see a maker who keeps the quality super high and the cost affordable.
South Carolina: Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse
Artisan cheese handmade from local milk. Using only locally-sourced product (with milk from one organic family farm), Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse crafts the entire cheesemaking process by hand. Despite following old-school techniques, the flavors are modern and inventive: products like their Wild Boar Black Truffle, pimento cream cheese and a bold Dutch Chocolate will probably change your perception of what cheese can be.
Tennessee: Little Seed Farm
Sustainable skincare crafted on an eco-friendly Tennessee farm. The 100% solar-powered Little Seed Farm produces soap and skincare made with natural and organic ingredients, and packaged only using recyclable material. All you need to do is look at the happy goat faces that grace each box to know it’s a sustainable little oasis. As someone who has tried these soaps (shoutout to my main goats, Calima and Bridget!) I can attest that they’re just as great as you’re expecting.
Texas: Side Project Skateboards
Handcrafted vintage-style skateboards made using reclaimed wood. After being inspired by stories of the “DIY spirit” of 1960’s skate culture, Jake Eshleman began Side Project Skateboards. These aren’t your run of the mill, throwaway decks: each board is handmade using diverse reclaimed wood, laminated specifically to highlight the unique material that’s used. So if you’re a dedicated skater, show some Houston pride and support Side Project Skateboards!
Virginia: Marigold and Mars
Detailed hand embroidery with a modern twist. Just like with vintage furniture in modern design, I love to see any practice that brings something from the past into the present. Cristin Morgan of Marigold and Mars is the artist that crafts cheerful original designs into expertly embroidered art. Glasses cases, pendant necklaces, pins and traditional hoop art are all available to be embroidered. Keep an eye on this business because Cristin will occasionally take custom orders! Here’s to keeping the stitching skills alive.
West Virginia: Mountaineer Brand
100% natural beard and body care for men, handmade in West Virginia. After having a hard time finding quality beard care products (at a reasonable price), Eric Young teamed up with his sister Meredith to create Mountaineer Brand: natural beard essentials but at a price anyone can afford. Every aspect of the production is high quality; the ingredient lists are short and recognizable, and the packaging even has an old-school aesthetic. From oils and balms to wide-toothed wooden combs, this local small business lets you live the mountain main lifestyle without breaking the bank.
Have any other favorite companies making their goods in the South? Let us know in the comments! And we’re taking suggestions for our next installment in the Northeast!