Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mac's Smack

Well, I'm back from a couple weeks of vacation, and ready to start blogging again! My creative juices are replenished, and I'm ready to roll through this summer.

Sometimes, I don't find new lines for the store...they find me. In fact, it can be rather serendipitous when a new lines crosses my path. In this case, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding, and the genius (like really guys...he's a genius. You can find him here.) makeup artist, Rusty, happened to mention his friend, who makes natural lip balm out of her kitchen in Hanover. As soon as he started describing McKenzie and her line, I knew we'd be the perfect fit.  Here's the story of Mac's Smack (taken from her website):

Becoming a mother in 2006, McKenzie Payne found herself reading every label, growing food for her family, eating locally grown and considering every product she purchased. She had a vision to independently produce a unique line of products using locally sourced materials that would bring comfort and ease to all who used them.

McKenzie started studying and researching the most safe and effective ingredients closest to their natural state from Mother Nature. There were late nights at the stove mixing and pouring. There were many trips around town gathering up materials and ingredients needed to create something better than the mass-produced products on the shelves of the super market chains. The UPS trucks arrival was a very joyful occasion (still is). While working with local printers, beekeepers and natural food stores, McKenzie set up shop at local Farmer’s Markets and community events.

McKenzie is dedicated to creating minimalist formulas without the use of chemicals or suspected carcinogens. To this day there are a lot of late nights in the kitchen experimenting with ingredients, testing formulas and banging out products. While combining her passions for healthy living and helping others, with her slight fascination for lip and body care products, McKenzie designed Mac’s Smack.

As soon as I heard from McKenzie, I placed an order. I have no doubt that you are all going to love her line as much as I do. Right now, we are carrying all of her lip balms and her "Ultimate Fix", which I'm already obsessed with. I promise, you are going to get hooked.

More new on the blog tomorrow morning. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Here's to Dad

We all love our Dads, but let's face it...sometimes they are impossible to shop for. Well, don't fret, here at the roost we have so awesome, unique gifts that will be perfect for all the hard-to-buy-for Dads.

Here are some of our best suggestions:

1- Boneyard Phoenix Hat by Yesterday Reclaimed | $25
2- Chalkboard & Gear Tap Handle by Yesterday Reclaimed | $45
3- TOP Flip Flops by Havaianas | $18
4- Cardboard Trophy Buck by Cardboard Safari | $56
5- Shaving Kit by Napa Soap Company | $44
6- "These are the good old days." T-shirt by Nomadic State of Mind | $25

Make sure you don't procrastinate on this one, because Father's Day is this Sunday (just in case you didn't know that already). Here's to all the great Dads out there. You may be hard to buy for, but man do we love ya.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Nomadic State of Mind

I mentioned yesterday that we will now be carrying shoes from Nomadic State of Mind, and I couldn't be more thrilled about it. Chris, who started the company, stopped by our store a couple of months ago while he was home visiting family (like I mentioned, he grew up in Culpeper). He started telling me a little bit about his company, and I immediately knew we'd be a perfect fit. 

Here's the Nomadic State of Mind story (from their website):

Many a few years ago a group of planet wanderers temporarily(!!) put up their rafts, snowboards, surfboards, cameras and decided to make some permanence. Not necessarily a home of permanence, but a permanent presence. A social work degree backing the idea, a company of sorts began to formulate. A company at the grass roots level. A company of the common folk, not backed by corporate thugs, just your ordinary folks. The money raised to begin this journey of business was done by Chris who spent many summers camped out along the colorado river working as a raft guide and stashing every pay check . The winters were spent snowboarding, strolling through central america, or writing the greatest story Never told. The company began out of a 69 vw office. that van was home, office, and factory. things got crowded, so moved to different locals and bought a bigger van. todays' world is the "nomadic state of mind", whether it be walking, driving, surfing the web or interplanetary wandering. "nomadic" stems from the latin word "wanderer". keep it real- is our pledge to you. We feel in today's wealth addicted society it is possible to provide consumers with a company whom attempts to function as a business in which all people involved with our company perform an active role and win. our "office", and shipping is based presently out of North Carolina. Although we still spend alot of our time on the road- someone is always around to take your order, death threat, or question. Find our Nomadic family at live events, on the phone, or packing sandals: Chris, Lewis, Big Dave, jeff, Shea, kelly, and some others sometimes...

Currently a lot of our rope sandals are being made in a small out of work coffee farm in Nicaragua (the ones without the soles). In early 2002 Chris taught a small community how to make sandals in hope to produce a job for the community and create a flow of income, and have a lot of fun! Without a lot of fun-who wants a business? All of our artists are paid well, and our hopes are to grow the sandal business offering employment for more of the community. Although the cities are beginning to bustle in often forgot about Nicaragua, many jobs are difficult for people out in the country. Our sandal making process is time consuming, and after extensive training our sandal artists hand craft each sandal to perfection! We have been working with the ame group of people for nearly 8 years, and Nomadic State of Mind has been making sandals for over a decade. We began using VIBRAM soles for the bottoms of our sandals that we put soles on, we chose Vibram due to they years that Vibram has been soling shoes around the world. Our sandals with soles are made here domestically using vintage sandal making equipment. We cut the vibram soles, glue on using low v.o.c glue, this process is time consuming but we like using the abandoned machinery from companies who moved to the east..

In regards to waste and environmental impact. Sandal production produces some waste, in which we recycle a lot of it into our rugs, hand bags, and water bottle carriers, which also produces work/income in the off season.

The JC Sandal

The San Juan Sandal

Pretty cool, right?

Right now, we're going to be carrying two styles. The JC (the original) for both men & women, and the San Juan for women. They should be hitting our shelves in the next couple weeks, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for an announcement.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Growl on, my friends.

Today's post is showcasing what may be one of my favorite forms of reusing: the growler. 

No need for me to reinvent the wheel, especially when the folks over at Daily Loaf hit that proverbial nail on the head in their article titled Sustainable Beer 101: A Guide to Growlers:

A newest growler available at the Culpeper Cheese Company.

Most decent beers are packaged in brown glass, which is a notorious expensive bitch to recycle. Growlers take the brown glass ethical quandary out of brew consumption. They are sustainable, reusable, totally eco-friendly; think of it as the canvas bag of beer drinking.

The chalkboard tap available at Green Roost.
Right on, guys. I couldn't agree more.

Are you wondering where you can pick up your Growler for your Memorial Day Weekend festivities? Well, I have some great news! You can now buy and refill your own growler at the Culpeper Cheese Company (who conveniently happens to be located next door to our store...holla!). That's right, all you Culpeperites have a local hookup for all your growling needs. You don't even have to leave the 22701 zip code. Not sure about you, but I'm pumped.

While you're there, make sure to check out the tap collection. See the sweet chalkboard one with the sprocket on top? That little number is brought to you by our BFFs over at Yesterday Reclaimed (I know what you're thinking..."what will Roque think of next?")! And it gets can pick one of your own right here at Green Roost! If you have a Dad like mine (Hi, Dad!), who loves good beer and is impossible to buy for, this is the perfect gift (pssst...Father's day is June 16th).

If I were you, I'd be getting in my car right now and coming to Downtown Culpeper to get my first growler filled before the masses catch on. Oh, and if you see me in line, waiting to fill up mine, remember who sent you...because they sell beer by the glass, too (hint).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oh the places we'll go...Part 2.

Downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
On to Day 2 of the Yesterday Reclaimed road trip adventure (if you happened to miss yesterday's post, you can read all about Day 1 here).

After spending the night in Downtown Cleveland, we woke up and realized we had run into another little snag in our trip. While our sidewalk parking job seemed to be a genius plan, when we attempted to leave Saturday morning, the road the was closed due to a local 5k race. Like usual, we rolled with the punches. We asked a local about a good breakfast spot, and he sent us to Addy's (actually, he sent us to "Abby's", but with a little iPhone research, we managed to figure out where we were going). It was a perfect little city diner, which filled us up with the ideal "greasy spoon" breakfast and diner coffee. Can't ask for much more. 

We killed enough time walking around the city for the race to end and the road to reopen and headed out for Seville, Ohio. Seville is home to the Funky Junk Boutique, which is owned and operated by the very awesome Shell Venus. Just like Joe at GM, Shell found YR via the internet. She reached out to us a couple weeks ago about becoming a YR retailer, and as they say in the movies, it was the start of a beautiful friendship. 

Shell and I have been working with each other for the past couple weeks, deciding which pieces would work best for her store. I think I can speak for the entire YR team when I say we are always up for a road trip to meet our new retail partners. It just happened to be super convenient that Shell's store was somewhat on the way home from Detroit. So, we put a rush on her order, and made sure it was loaded on our truck with all the GM goodies. 

As soon as we pulled into Seville, I was in love. It's an adorable, small town with a Main Street full of antique stores (aka Mecca). I could have picked Funky Junk out from a mile away, because Shell had great signage and an awesome display window. Since we had been chatting for a couple weeks, I knew we had similar taste, so there was no doubt that I'd adore her boutique.

Funky Junk Boutique - Downtown Seville, Ohio.
Turns out, Shell was just as excited as we were about our delivery. Once we found a place to park our truck (notice a theme?) we started unloading, and before we could get the first piece off the truck, Shell was there to greet us. I think she and I are kindred spirits, in that she's the type of shop-owner who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty...and I love that! She jumped right in, grabbed a piece of furniture and helped us unload. Go, Shell! 

My sweet blue dresser.
Shell & Roque.
The closer I got to her store, the more I loved it. The window was merchandised beautifully, in the unique way that compares to the display-gods at Anthropologie. As I walked inside, it only got better. She had colorful pieces of vintage furniture (which she refinishes herself), mixed with jewelry, home decor accessories and architectural salvage finds. I immediately knew I wouldn't be walking out empty-handed. As Shell gave me the tour, she also showed me her stockroom, where a great piece of furniture was awaiting me. I loved everything about it, especially the blue pop of color. 

Before she could tell me about this fabulous dresser, the words "Oh, I'm buying that" came out of my mouth. And if you know me, you know that's exactly what I did. You can now find this gorgeous piece of furniture right here at Green Roost. 

Shell was quick to throw up some sweet shots of the YR furniture on her facebook page, so make sure to click over and check them out (plus, read all about this rockin' little store).
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

After Roque and I both made some purchases, we checked out a couple more of the stores that Seville has to offer, and then packed up our trailer and hit the road. As we headed home, we made one more pit stop in Pittsburgh, PA. We are both self-proclaimed foodies, and I've been waiting a long time to try a Primanti Brothers "almost famous" sandwich. This iconic creation consists of corned beef (or a meat of your choice) on homemade Italian bread, coleslaw, provolone cheese, tomato and a handful of french fries (their website has a great summary of their history; totally worth checking out).

I always worry when I'm trying a "renowned" food, because most of the time it doesn't live up to the hype. This was not the case with the Primanti sandwich. It was awesome. Enough said.

At this point, we were sitting fat and happy and ready to drive the last 4 hours home. We pulled back into Culpeper around 7:30 Saturday night, and we were thrilled to be off the road; in only 36 hours, we covered 5 states and 1,200 miles. Needless to say, we were exhausted. However, I'd do it again in a heartbeat; we met some great people, ate some rockin' food and saw a good chunk of this beautiful country. Pretty ideal road trip, if you ask me. 

Don't forget to keep reading the blog, because Monday, June 3rd I'll be posting the final details of our GM-leg of the road trip!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oh the places we'll go...Part 1.

I'm sure you are all wondering why I was spontaneously road tripping to Detroit last week. Well, it goes a little something like this...

Our "big rig" leaving Culpeper early Friday morning.
Last week, Roque from Yesterday Reclaimed mentioned that he was road-tripping to Detroit to deliver two of his ├╝ber-popular Blue Collar Benches to GM Headquarters.  Joe (from the GM marketing department) had discovered the benches via the internet and wanted a piece of the action. Naturally, a vintage GMC tailgate bench belongs back at the mothership with the guys at GM.

I'm always up for last minute travel and it sounded like a great excuse to hit up a city I've never seen, so I decided to pull myself from the store and tag along. Plus, I had been working with a store in Seville, OH on becoming a Yesterday Reclaimed retailer (our first out-of-state!), and this presented the perfect opportunity to deliver her furniture order (more on that in Part 2 tomorrow).

Kathy & I at a Toledo, OH Truck Stop.
So, with little thought and even less planning (on my part) we packed up a truck and trailer with all the YR merchandise and headed out Friday morning at 6am. We had to make our delivery by 4:30 that afternoon, so it was a very Smokey & the Bandit type mission. The trip to Detroit was no quick hop; it took us through five states: West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, and our stops had to be quick and few and far between.

Our first stop was at a truck stop in Toledo, Ohio. If I learned anything, it was that Ohio has the best truck stops I've ever seen. This particular one had a Starbucks, Panera and free wi-fi...jackpot. While grabbing a quick lunch at Panera, we even ran into Kathy Thaxter,  a Green Roost customer! It's a small world after all....

After lunch, we realized that we were going to be cutting it close with our timing, so we wasted no time and got back on the road. With one more gas stop and a ton of miles behind us we arrived in Detroit, where we met Joe and his team, who were anxiously our arrival.  Sidenote: what I failed to mention earlier was that along with the two benches, we were also delivering a piece that Roque custom built for GM. I won't be able to reveal the details on that piece until June 1st (even though I'm dying to share!) but it gives you something else to look forward to.

The original Blue Collar Bench at the GM Warehouse in Detroit, Michigan.

I'll have to admit that parting with the GMC Blue Collar Bench was bittersweet, because it was the first bench Roque built. I don't have kids yet, but I equate it to the feeling of sending your first kid off to college (too much?). But I'll tell you one thing, if I was going to send the bench to college, GM Headquarters should be considered in the "ivy league". The picture above is the last shot I got of the bench in it's new home, which coincidentally is my favorite picture of the entire trip.

Sightseeing in Detroit.
After successfully delivering our load, the guys at GM took us to a local craft brew pub for dinner (Black Lotus Brewery...great beer, great burgers). Being GM, they made sure we were riding in style; we were taken to dinner in a yet-to-be-released 2014 GMC Sierra. This truck had every optioned imaginable and was gorgeous. It was pretty sweet knowing we've take a ride in a car that not only isn't even for sale yet, but hasn't even been seen by the press.

Post-dinner, we took our truck and trailer on a quick driving tour of Detroit. We wanted to see the GM towers, and take advantage of being in a city that is full of history. Even graffiti and broken windows couldn't hide some of the amazing architecture this city has to offer.  We learned that right now Detroit is a staggering two-thirds empty (population-wise), but even with that statistic, the people of Detroit have something that many other cities lack and that's pride. There is a sense of pride in this city that is palpable, and that's something to remember. While I'll admit that Detroit was never on my "must see" list of places, I'm certainly glad I've now had the opportunity to see such an iconic city. 

After finishing our driving tour, we packed up and headed to Cleveland, where we had decided to crash for the night. You can imagine how thrilled the hotel valet was when we rolled up and asked him to park our truck and trailer. Not knowing what to do, he pulled the truck up onto the sidewalk and that's where it slept for the night. Good call, Mr. Valet.

The valet's choice of city parking for our huge truck & trailer.
And with that, I'll stop for the day. Stay tuned, I'll be covering all the adventures of Day 2 tomorrow...

(update: you can check out Day 2 here)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Summer Travel Must-haves

Every once in a while, I have do a quick change in the store and grab some article of clothing off the racks to switch up my outfit (I admit, sometimes it's out of necessity, and sometimes it's because I just feel like I need a new outfit. oh, to be a girl...).

Well, last week while I was wrapping up some last minute items before leaving the country for a week's long vacation, I decided I need a new outfit for the plane ride. "Need" being the operative word.  

I grabbed our new Winnie Tunic by Yala (above), and I'm so glad that I did. It had quickly become my new favorite shirt. It's stylish and so comfortable (loose hanging, so it covers anything). I went with the solid black, and threw it on with a pair of white skinny jeans and sandals. I was airplane ready. I brought along a Sophie Wrap (below) from the store, which is a travel must-have. It keeps you warm on a cold airplane, but isn't suffocating. If you get too warm, it folds down small enough that you can throw it in your purse. Plus, it's light enough for travel to warm climates. If you don't own a Sophie Wrap, I'd suggest getting down here and pick one up now.

Don't forget, Yala bamboo clothes are super travel-friendly. Any wrinkles from packing quickly fall out once the clothes are hung (on a hanger or your body), and their solid pieces allow for pairing with multiple outfits...which really helps out if you're only packing a carry-on (we all are these days, because it's about the only free thing left during air travel).

So, if you're doing a little summer travel, make sure to swing by our Roost, and stock up on some of your travel must-haves!