Posts Tagged ‘Wild Ozark’

Although the U.S. may be negatively known for Black Friday, a day-after-Thanksgiving day of consumer excess, we also have Small Business Saturday,  sandwiched between Black Friday (in-store excess) and Cyber Monday (internet excess.) (There’s more than a little irony about the URL of the SBS website being prefaced by “American Express”, but…)  In England, Small Business Saturday is Dec. 2.  I’m not sure about elsewhere.

At any rate, on that day we’re encouraged to shop locally or at small businesses via the internet.  I love this idea.  Since I’m not very handy at making things, other than food, I have to fall back on shopping.  I can’t disclose gifts, as my family might be reading my blog (at least I hope so).  But so far, I’ve managed to avoid Amazon, Google, and the other big name giants.  I’ve gotten gifts at art shows, local shops, and from talented individuals.  I’ve also bought some things from bigger places such as Costco, but they don’t threaten to rule the world the way Amazon/Google/Apple do, at least in my eyes.

Of course, where you get things can depend on what you need to buy, but I’d encourage you to buy at least some things from small businesses or individuals this year.  When looking for a gift for someone who has everything, a donation to a charity is a wonderful choice.  And if we struggle with trying to come up with a gift list for those who want to get us something, we are indeed blessed, a priceless gift.

Here are some of my blogger friends or other small businesses (in no particular order) who have something to offer for holiday giving.  If I missed you, please forgive me and add your information and link in the comment section.  I hesitated to do this so that I wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings by missing them, but I decided to go ahead, with apologies at the ready.

Wild Ozark

Located in Kingston, Arkansas, Madison and her husband, Rob, sell wild American ginseng (if you can pick it up; see website), shagbark hickory syrup, books, handmade notecards, and more as well as Rob’s gorgeous handmade wooden keepsake boxes.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

An accomplished artist and author, Rochelle has written a three-book series that takes her heroine from the pogroms of Eastern Europe to the difficulties faced by Jewish immigrants in 1908 Kansas City.  She also does portraits by commission.

Beth Carter

Beth left the corporate world to write books.  She’s written women’s fiction, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and children’s picture books.

Our French Lifestyle

If you’re in Europe, or France specifically, Susan offers a variety of vintage finds or you might like to contact her about escaping to their luxury cottage for a getaway.

Jan Morrill

Jan is an author and speaker.  Her novel, The Red Kimono, takes place in 1941 and is about the Japanese internment.  She also has several other books, including on of haiku in which I have one haiku.  (Couldn’t resist adding that!)  In addition to writing, she’s available for workshops about writing.

Claire Fuller

Claire’s first book, Our Endless Numbered Days, won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize.  She’s published a second and has a third coming out in 2019.  You can find links for buying her books on her website and, although can buy them from Amazon, in the spirit of Small Business Saturday, I’d encourage you to order through your local independent bookstore.

Isadora and Al De La Vega

A former New York policeman, Al makes whimsical copper and brass items, many with a distinctly nautical/ocean theme.  Besides blogging, Isadora makes beautiful jewelry.  Stop by both sites for a look.

Hannah of Bittersweet

Hannah is an amazing vegan cook and food photographer.  She has a new cookbook, Real Food, Really Fast: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Ready in 10 Minutes or Less, coming out in January and you can preorder it by clicking on the link to her blog.

SereneTeaz

Full disclosure: I worked here for two year and don’t now only because the business is completely online now.  That makes me able to assure you that the commitment to quality and service can’t be bettered.  With close to 140 teas or tisanes (herbal or floral mixes that don’t contain actual tea) and the ability to ship to anywhere in the contiguous US, you can’t go wrong buying from SereneTeaz.

Le Chocolat du Bouchard

If you can’t make it to Paris and you’re anywhere near Naperville, Illinois, stop into Le Chocolat for French ambience, macarons (not macaroons), pastries and chocolate truffles of all sorts, drinks (wine, coffee drinks, or chocolate drinks), or lunch or dinner.  I currently work there, so maybe you’ll even meet me.  🙂

 

 

OK, as I said, if I missed you, I apologize and please leave your link in the comments, along with a short description of your product/book/art/whatever.  Thanks!

Any links that are just to blog posts or blogs and not relevant to Small Business Saturday will be deleted.

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Coffee drinkers love to talk about where their coffee beans come from and they love to grind their own beans.  But how many have ever roasted their own beans…outside…in the hills of Arkansaseven in the winter?  Yeah, I thought not. I happen to know one who does.

Madison Woods, one of several nom de plumes, lives with her husband in very rural Arkansas, working hard at living a sustainable lifestyle 30 minutes from paved roads.  I first met her through Friday Fictioneers, a group she founded.  The premise behind FF, which I participated in for a number of years, is to write a 100-word story based on a photo.  (The group continues today under the auspices of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, a three-times published author.)  Madison still writes, her specialty being rural (vs. urban) fantasy.  She has one book published and available on Amazon, with a second in the works.

Madison loves nature.  One of her more esoteric pursuits is American ginseng.  She says:

American Ginseng and the habitat that supports this endangered plant is one of my avid interests. Most of my non-fiction is devoted to this topic and I encourage anyone with the right kind of land to help protect and re-establish habitat. This is my goal for our property even though we still intend to harvest and sell our roots eventually. With proper planning, planting and ethical harvesting, it will thrive for generations to come.

Wild Ozark is the only licensed American ginseng nursery in Arkansas.

But about that coffee.   When I wanted a unique gift for one of my s-i-l’s who’s a  coffee drinker, my mind immediately went to Madison.  She and her husband love coffee so much that they source, then roast their own.  I contacted her in January, only to be told that it was too cold outside to roast, but that she thought in a few days it would warm up enough to do so.  That’s not something you see every day!

We use Peru Aprocassi Fair Trade and Organic beans. This is the variety of bean we love the most. I roast outside in full view of the mountains and the valley. The Wild Ozark hills are infused in every cup!

Ordered and delivered long before the birthday date, I waited to see what my s-i-l thought.  When she finally opened and tried the coffee, she raved about it.  The proof is that she just re-ordered.  Hopefully it’s nice enough outdoors to roast!  🙂

Interested?  The coffee is $15/roasted pound, whole bean only.  Email Madison at madison@wildozark.com for availability, postage, and payment methods.  If you’d like to read more about Madison and her interests (or to sign up to follow her blog), go to the Wild Ozark website. Even if you aren’t interested in coffee, you’ll find it full of interesting information about ginseng and other things and you can shop in the Nature Boutique or order one of her fantasy books. There’s so much there I can’t even tell you about all of it, so take time for a visit.  It’s easier to get to than Madison’s place in Arkansas. 🙂