Sunday, October 2, 2011
Whimsical Spotlight: Long Family Farm and Ribbon Refinery
It's October, and preparation for the fall sale is in full swing! Here are two artists to keep an eye out for at the sale.
First, Long Family Farm. Long Family Farm, which celebrated its seventh anniversary on August 31st, 2011, offers handcrafted soaps, lotions and skin care products, all of which are made on the farm near the Sauratown Mountains in Stokes County, North Carolina. The Long Family Farm is truly a family farm. When Whimsical Woman Judith Long started her company seven years ago, her goal was to offer a good product at a reasonable price and to offer great customer service, but she also envisioned both of her daughters helping in some capacity. They now bag all the soaps! Her oldest daughter, Kirstin, is also learning the soapmaking process, and Philip, her husband, will joining "the team" soon.
Long Family Farm offers a variety of natural soaps and skin care products, including seasonal soaps from soap molds. Long Family Farm Lathering Soap is an all-natural cold-processed soap, and Judith and her family use essential oils when possible and fragrance oils when essential oils are too expensive. They have expanded their line from the original Long Family Farm soap to include an all-natural shampoo and an all-natural face soap. They have also added "Judith's" soap, which was designed for very dry skin, to the line up. Anna Brown, from Greensboro, now supplies the farm with fresh goat milk on a regular basis, and the family recently added Nature Flex Cello bags, which are made from wood cellulose fibers sourced with sustainable forestry principles, to their packing options. Long Family Farm products are available in 5 retail locations locally and 3 retail locations outside the Winston-Salem area, as well as on the website www.longfamilyfarmsoaps.com.
Judith and her family have enjoyed the past seven years of creating different soaps to celebrate the different seasons of our lives. "At Long Family Farm, Judith says, "we believe that bath time should be fun for everyone all year long."
Judith underscored that belief with her recent donation of soaps to Whimsical Woman Ann Potter and her daughter Molly Mae for American women service members--please click here to read more about the donation project, and bring your own donations to the fall sale!
Another Whimsical Woman to watch for at the fall sale is Stuart Acrey of Ribbon Refinery. Stuart created "Ribbon Refinery" when her daughter, Ellie, was about 18 months old. She had always been somewhat crafty and was very ready for a new hobby after Ellie was finally out of the baby phase. She was starting to put bows in Ellie's hair and decided that making the bows herself sounded like a fun hobby. Before long, her husband and friends convinced her to start a hairbow business, and the rest is history!
Stuart creates "ribbon sculptures" by manipulating ribbons into three dimensional shapes and attach them to hair clips. She loves to create new designs, and has made animals, food, flowers, and even ballet slippers!
Her holiday designs are very popular, especially the Thanksgiving turkey, which is featured at the top of this post. Also, since her daughter Ellie had at least one of every design Stuart ever created, she needed a way to organize all of the little goodies! She began making hairbow holders, hand-painted wooden plaques with LOTS of dangling ribbon on which to store all kinds of hair accessories. The personalized initial holders are extremely popular, and many other designs are available.
Stuart's website, www.ribbonrefinery.com, features most of my work. She also has a facebook fanpage (www.facebook.com/ribbonrefinerybows) and a store on Etsy (www.etsy.com/ribbonrefinery).
Whimsical Fans, while gathering their donations for American Service Women, are all looking forward to seeing these and many more Whimsical items at the fall sale!