This weekend we had the pleasure of visiting sweet Thomasville for a few short hours. I do not know that we could have packed more into the 4 hours that we had in town, but when in T-ville on a Saturday morning there’s never a shortage of fun things to do!
We were so excited when planning our weekend trip to find out that we were going to be arriving right in the middle of Flaunt 2014! If you’re not from Thomasville you might not know that it is quite an artsy town. The SoHo of the South, if you will. And the Thomasville Center of the Arts does AMAZING things for the community, one of which is Flaunt. Annually, the Center hosts several public art events throughout the year (Due South in April & PWAF in November are two you can’t miss either). Flaunt takes place in the early fall each year and lasts for an entire MONTH with art installations displayed around town as well as family events, concerts, and fancy dinner fundraisers on the bricks. This year the theme was/is “Pop It Up” and the artists invited an amazing group of local artisans to open up a slew of pop-up shops!
Literally. The. Coolest.
Sadly, we didn’t get to visit every shop, but each pop-up that we entered had its own story, fine products to boast, and interesting folks behind the brands that were there to greet us personally. There’s just something about a personal touch and face-to-face conversation that can really connect you to a business. Here are a few of my new favorite vendors that I plan to visit for all of my Christmas shopping this year:
1. Fuzzy Goat – Okay, this first one isn’t even a pop-up! But they opened the doors right after we left town, and even though I’m not a knitter, I could not resist the warmth of this shop. Fuzzy Goat sells yarn and has the cutest storefront of anywhere I’ve ever seen (seriously, just check out their website for proof). They offer classes, which I’ve heard are superb for people of all skill levels, and their selection is gorgeous. Every colorful, soft, cozy yarn you could ever dream of. Again, not a pop-up, but I couldn’t pass up mentioning such a great new place!
Now for the pop-ups… :)
2. Sturdy Brothers – By far a favorite, these guys have some SERIOUS talent and offer amazing craftsmanship that is hard to come by these days. Spencer and Ben are really brothers, and their story is so cool and genuine. They make leather products the old-fashioned way, and the quality of their products proves that they’re the real deal. Plus, there aren’t many times that you wish you needed a durable wax-coated apron for work… but once you see theirs you most certainly will.
3. B’s Botanicals – I loved talking to Betsy, and her terrariums are to die for. She has created some gorgeous pieces with orchids and ivy and other botanicals that would make any table top lovely. I love that her site refers to her art as “petite gardens” because that’s just what they are!! A little retreat and a touch of something fancy.
4. SoloHope – No, not Hope Solo. This company not only offers a beautiful, sturdy fashion accessories but also jobs and an income for women in Honduras that are the key ingredient of the SoloHope family. Emilee, the lovely founder of this sweet-hearted business, was a joy to chat with and shared her experiences in Honduras with us. You can sense her passion from a mile away, and it made me so happy when she not only named the Honduran women by name but was able to tell their stories, which thankfully she is a huge part of. Jewelry and a good cause… I’m sold. Oh, and did I mention that it’s all made of pine straw and thread. So stinkin’ cool!
5. Raley’s Confectionary – Still can’t get over this one… An old-fashioned candy confectionary that stays true to the art of candy-making while also making it delicious enough to be on the shelves of Whole Foods. Too cool. And Wes was so kind to explain the process of how they make these incredibly intricate little hard candies with perfect flavor and amazing pictures within… Again, I’m still not over how awesome it is. And yes, that is pumpkin spice…
And again, we didn’t even see half of what Flaunt 2014 had to offer us! I wish the hours could have been multiplied so that we could have seen it all. But without a doubt, the community connections felt strong and I was easily reminded that Thomasville, Ga might just be heaven on earth.