On the heels of our post
about this week's Clean Energy Conference
, we're excited to add three new Adirondacks-based Merchants to the NYSOM Marketplace. We have Farmers Market Tote Bags from La Mia Designs (Franklin County), Handmade Clay Ornaments from Rusted Roof Pottery (Franklin County) and Children's Adirondack Chairs and other furniture from Watson Woodworking (Lewis County).
They join our very first Adirondacks Merchant, Adirondack Grilling Pellets, in representing their area, which is rich in natural resources and home to the largest National Park.
Read below to learn about how each of these four Merchants are interpreting time-honored Adirondack traditions through their own paradigms, and are crafting sustainable products that are truly the BEST of their region.
Farmers Market Tote from La Mia Designs.
One thing all New Yorkers have in common is access to a local farmers market. Stephanie DeJoseph, the brains behind the La Mia Designs line of handmade farmers market tote bags, buys her produce from farm-fresh stands in the Adirondacks, where she lives. Her totes aren't site-specific, however: They're as great for gathering flowers at the Ithaca Farmers Market as they are for carrying fruit and honey from the Union Square Greenmarket.
Stephanie has rich memories of interacting with nature's bounty. As a child in Central New York, she loved visiting orchards, picking raspberries and trucking along on hayrides. This love of the good earth manifested itself in her collection of eco-conscious totes.
Like the products of Sweatertoys
, another NYSOM Merchant, La Mia Designs are made using vintage and repurposed fabric. Stephanie's sharp eye for intriguing design was developed during her training as an interior designer, and the colorful textiles that line each tote are a special visual treat for the wearer. Hand-embroidery on the bag's exterior -- available in four different designs -- ensures that no two pieces are exactly the same. It's organic and unique, just like the goods it carries.
Star Trio from Rusted Roof Pottery.
There's something about the Adirondack region that lends itself perfectly to bold visual representation: the triangular points of the lush green pine trees, the deep blue of its many lakes, the sharp angularity of kayaks. At Rusted Roof Pottery, Kim Repscha and Lisa Brzozowski design, handmake, hand-glaze and fire in small batches clay ornaments of these iconic Adirondack symbols.
As woman-owned and run business, we at NYSOM can't hide our joy that Rusted Roof Pottery was founded by two great female artisans. Kim has lived in the Adirondacks for over 30 years, and Lisa has resided in the State for 17 years and attended college here. Their ornaments can transport you to the ADKs even when you're far from the camps of Schroon Lake. Use them at the holidays to decorate your tree or year-round; just like the Adirondacks themselves, they're fun in every season.
Mini Adirondack Chair.
In a world rife with disposable toys, the tradition of heirloom-quality children's gifts may seem like an inaccessible relic of the past. Persevering in the face of this cheap plastic status quo is Edward Knapp, a woodworker. Edward learned the craft from his father, and for a time in the '70s (while Edward was in grad school) they co-ran a custom furniture-making company. Newly degreed, Edward moved on to a career in the field of education, but now, in his retirement, has returned to his first love. The company is named for the Adirondacks town where he lives and crafts his current line of furniture.
Edward handmakes two essential components of childhood: a rocking horse and miniature Adirondack Chair. He also styles items for adults, including a cherry serving tray, offered in the NYSOM Marketplace. He doesn't compromise on quality: the purpose of Watson Woodworking, he says, is to build "furniture for future generations to enjoy." He scours the Adirondacks and Pennsylvania for "uniquely-figured hardwoods" to use in his pieces because "quality is [his] first priority." We happily anticipate observing these mementos improve with age as generation after generation in our family make their mark and build memories from time spent playing with a piece imbued with the care of its maker.
NYC might be known as the "Big Apple," but the Adirondacks are the largest apple-producing region in New York State. Numeous apple orchards line the shores of Lake Champlain and in their midst is a great young company called Adirondack Grilling Pellets. To make these flavor-infusing pellets, co-founders Michael and Colleen creatively put to use a few of the area's most renowned resources: world-famous apples and the (recycled) cherry, maple and apple trees of this lumber-rich region. Blended in small batches, pulp from the apples soaks into the wood, resulting in a grill-ready ingredient that adds a sweetness to savory meat and fish dishes. Each resealable Adirondack Grilling Pellets package supplies up to 6 barbequing sessions. Place the pellets in a pocket of tinfoil, place on top of the heat source in your charcoal, gas or pellet grill, and your Weber will transform into a smoker. At last, grilling is haute cuisine.