Bozwell + Lily | Memphis Maker + Pop-Up Shop

My friend Ben launched his brand Bozwell + Lily in early 2017. He is a passionate guy, driven by creative community and grit. I’m glad to have people like him here, with vision for Memphis to embrace the makers and creators. He’s created such a beautiful collection of items for the brand. I’m loving the pieces he keeps adding; it’s so evident Ben puts so much thought into each item.

He spent time this month designing, opening, and running the Brick and Mortar pop-up shop in Downtown, Memphis. Read more about it from Ben’s perspective: http://www.bozwellandlily.com/new-blog/2017/10/15/friends-and-family-email

Wishing I could have spent more time sipping Lowfi’s freakin’ incredible coffee, and chillin’ with Ben and Memphis’s best people. Check out a few shots I got of Bozwell + Lily’s great setup.

 

Proud of you, Ben. Keep killin’ it. Memphis is soaking it up!

SHOP MEMPHIS | SHOP SMALL BUSINESS

NOTE: All of these products are sold by local or small businesses; Almost all of them are local Memphis businesses, and if not, they are small business online. I will include all of the links below! (cause I know you are gonna want them!!)

When I shop for friends, I really love to get them something unique. Sometimes, though, I find myself in that sudden crunch-time mode before Christmas or a birthday, and in those times the easiest route is going online to Amazon or dropping by Target. These are all chain places that have awesome designers and fantastic little gifts, but lack the person behind the product. To me it’s incredibly special and personal to get something from another maker. I know that their hands have touched it and there’s a unique reason behind each piece. It’s usually higher quality when each piece has been individually checked by its maker, and that it’s been created, priced, and sold by a person, not cooperation.

As a small business owner, I believe that a good, personalized service is worth the extra money that you spend. Being able to tuck in a business card and explain why you wanted to give someone this specific item and who they supported by getting this gift–is so special and cool. Each item below is something I either am currently, or would use. I personally messaged/collected the pieces below. They did not pay to be featured. GUYS! I just love the faces and hands behind their brands. I’m honored to live in a city growing in makers. My goal this Christmas is to gift smaller, more precious gifts to my friends and family. To support the story tellers and artists.

The main goal of this blog post is to give people are starting point. So here it is, a simple, straight-forward guide to local gift-giving. So I hope this inspires you support local and small. <3  All in time for small business Saturday!

 

 

COFFEE: REVERB COFFEE

http://myreverbcoffee.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/reverbcoffee/?hl=en

RED MUG: CHOOSE 901 (pop up shop)

Save The Date: Choose901 Holiday Pop Up Shop 2017

https://www.instagram.com/choose901/?hl=en

WALL ART: KATHERINE GEORGE ART

https://www.etsy.com/shop/KatherineGeorgeArt

IG: https://www.instagram.com/katherinegeorgeart/?hl=en

COFFEE: REVERB COFFEE

http://myreverbcoffee.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/reverbcoffee/?hl=en

MEMPHIS ORDAMENT AND MUG: SIGNET SEALED

https://www.signetsealed.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/signetsealed/?hl=en

COFFEE: REVERB COFFEE

http://myreverbcoffee.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/reverbcoffee/?hl=en

HAND MADE MUGS: BRUKIE STUIDO

https://www.etsy.com/shop/brukiestudio

IG: https://www.instagram.com/brukiestudio/?hl=en

 

CANDLE (Fraiser Fir) + MONEY CLIP: ASPEN BAY

IG: https://www.instagram.com/aspenbay/?hl=en

BANDANA (Cactus print): BOZWELL + LILY

http://www.bozwellandlily.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/bozwellandlily/?hl=en

LOOSE LEAF TEA: MAGGIE PHARM

http://www.maggiespharm.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/maggiespharm/?hl=en

 

MEMPHIS ORDAMENT AND MUG: SIGNET SEALED

https://www.signetsealed.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/signetsealed/?hl=en

 

CUPS: BREIANA DESIGNS

https://www.instagram.com/breiana_design/?hl=en

WREATH HANGING: RED HEAD THREADS

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Redheadandherthreads?ref=search_shop_redirect

IG https://www.instagram.com/redhead_threads/?hl=en

COFFEE: REVERB COFFEE

http://myreverbcoffee.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/reverbcoffee/?hl=en

HAND MADE MUGS: BRUKIE STUIDO

https://www.etsy.com/shop/brukiestudio

IG: https://www.instagram.com/brukiestudio/?hl=en

BANDANA (Cactus print): BOZWELL + LILY

http://www.bozwellandlily.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/bozwellandlily/?hl=en

MEMPHIS CARDS + CANDLES (mistletoe + white tea and ginger): FALLING INTO PLACE

https://www.fallingintoplace.net/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/fallingintoplaceshop/?hl=en

WREATH HANGING: RED HEAD THREADS

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Redheadandherthreads?ref=search_shop_redirect

IG https://www.instagram.com/redhead_threads/?hl=en

 

EVERYONE PHOTO FEATURED:

WALL ART: KATHERINE GEORGE ART

https://www.etsy.com/shop/KatherineGeorgeArt

IG: https://www.instagram.com/katherinegeorgeart/?hl=en

COFFEE: REVERB COFFEE

http://myreverbcoffee.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/reverbcoffee/?hl=en

HAND MADE MUGS: BRUKIE STUIDO

https://www.etsy.com/shop/brukiestudio

IG: https://www.instagram.com/brukiestudio/?hl=en

CUPS: BREIANA DESIGNS

https://www.instagram.com/breiana_design/?hl=en

BANDANA (Cactus print): BOZWELL + LILY

http://www.bozwellandlily.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/bozwellandlily/?hl=en

MEMPHIS CARDS + CANDLES (mistletoe + white tea and ginger): FALLING INTO PLACE

https://www.fallingintoplace.net/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/fallingintoplaceshop/?hl=en

WREATH HANGING: RED HEAD THREADS

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Redheadandherthreads?ref=search_shop_redirect

IG https://www.instagram.com/redhead_threads/?hl=en

LOOSE LEAF TEA: MAGGIE PHARM

http://www.maggiespharm.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/maggiespharm/?hl=en

CANDLE (Fraiser Fir) + MONEY CLIP: ASPEN BAY

IG: https://www.instagram.com/aspenbay/?hl=en

MEMPHIS ORDAMENT AND MUG: SIGNET SEALED

https://www.signetsealed.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/signetsealed/?hl=en

RED MUG: CHOOSE 901 (pop up shop)

Save The Date: Choose901 Holiday Pop Up Shop 2017

https://www.instagram.com/choose901/?hl=en

Guest Writer | Marissa Kizer | Productivity for a Meaningful Life

INTRODUCING THE LOVELY MARISSA KIZER. SHE IS THE SWEETEST LADY TO HAVE IN YOUR LIFE. I’M HONORED TO KNOW HER AND RECEIVE HER KINDNESS AS MUCH AS I DO. SHE’S ALL ABOUT ORGANIZATION AND CREATIVITY.

So we chatted a bit about what she would like to share, and I gave her the reigns to my blog for this post! <3 We met up to take photos, and I just love yellow on her! Everything from here on is written by Marissa! ENJOY!

One of the most helpful resources in shaping my understanding of work is learning about the Montessori approach to education.  For children in a Montessori environment, work isn’t a necessary evil; it’s their life’s purpose. Their work is the foundation for living in community and developing as emotionally healthy, socially responsible, peaceful human beings. The work can range from tying their shoes and working with the Pythagorean theorem to reconciling with a friend and waiting patiently for their turn on the swing, and it is all viewed as purposeful and communal.

Their work also requires a high level of preparation—both external and internal. One key principle of Montessori education is the “prepared environment.” Montessori teachers prepare the classroom so that everything is in order and the children have access to what they need. Montessori guides must also prepare themselves internally so they may guide the child into a peaceful frame of mind conducive for working. As adults, we also need physical and emotional preparation in order to work well and use our work to benefit our communities.

Emotional Preparation

Hope

Setting goals and pursuing them are foundational to living a productive life. But if you’re mired in depression, grief, and trauma, just getting to the point of being able to set goals and not think they’re completely pointless can be a long process.  Setting goals and visions are incredibly vulnerable tasks that require digging deep into what you truly want and who you truly are—and that inevitably means coming to terms with not having everything you want and not being exactly who you want to be. 

In Rising Strong, Brene Brown writes, “In my work, I’ve found that moving out of powerlessness, and even despair, requires hope. Hope is not an emotion: it’s a cognitive process—a thought process made up of what researcher C.R. Snyder called the trilogy of ‘goals, pathways, and agency.’ Hope happens when we can set goals, have the tenacity and perseverance to pursue those goals, and believe in our own abilities to act.”

 

Meaning

In Man’s Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl describes a therapy method he developed and used during his time in a concentration camp to keep people from succumbing to the despair and tortures they were experiencing. He believed in the ability of people to be resilient provided they have a sense of meaning and a belief that they have something to live for. He required each person to think of something they wanted to stay alive for—whether the possibility of reuniting with a loved one or, as for Frankl himself, the possibility of writing a book about their experiences and using them to help others. 

The principles of his method–called logotherapy– are essentially making sure each day includes:

  • something to do,
  • someone to love,
  • and some form of beauty to behold.

Work, community, and art. He viewed work as an essential component for a meaningful life. As creatives, a central part of our work is creating beauty for all of us to behold, as well as appreciating what others make. That’s part of the “someone to love” aspect of it—being in community and abiding by the principle of “community over competition.” When we are diligent about guarding our serenity and seeking out work, community, and creativity, I’m convinced that we really can experience a sense of meaning that can spur us on to even more amazing work.

Physical Preparation

Productivity also requires a lot of physical preparation, and this is the part that I think differs widely for each person. I’m constantly tweaking my calendars, planners, and notebooks to make them work best for me, but here are a few of my favorite ways to keep up with work, school, personal projects, and activities I have throughout the week.

Handwritten planners. I have a planner for personal life where I keep up with each week’s events, deadlines, and to-dos. I also have a work planner that mainly consists of social media plans and work events. Being able to write everything out makes me feel organized, but I typically transfer everything to digital calendars to keep up with deadlines.

Notebooks. I have a different notebook for pretty much every section of my life. Each class, each job, and each project has a separate notebook. It takes up more room but makes it so much easier to keep track of each area of my life. I brainstorm and take notes in my notebooks, but my favorite part is making lists.

Lists. I tend to make a master list every month or so with all the to-dos I can think of, organized by category like School, Home Repair, Blog, Work, Doctor Appointments, etc. Then generally on Mondays I make a weekly master list with goals, deadlines, and anything I want to get done that week. That usually consists of about 30 items. Then, each day when I sit down to get work done, I make a daily list of the most important 5-10 items to finish that particular day.

The Done List. One of my favorite new productivity hacks is the Done List. Every day I simply write “Done” underneath my to-do lists and write down tasks I do during my work period. It makes me feel productive and serves as a catch-all for little tasks like finally replying to a text as well as bigger tasks like choosing fonts or color schemes for a design project. It makes me feel more productive while also giving me flexibility and an opportunity to celebrate each task I complete.

Digital planning. I find digital planning most useful for keeping up with deadlines because I can set alarm reminders and back up my physical calendars and lists.

 

Creative | In the Studio of Georgia Mud

A few weeks ago, Georgia invited me into her studio to capture some behind-the-scenes of her working. The room she works in has actually worn many hats. It was her nursery, then a playroom, her brother’s, and now her studio. Georgia’s brother was the initial thrower of the fam. But after playing around on the wheel, Georgia “completely fell in love with it.”

She is a ceramics major at Arkansas State now. The reality of an arts major is often that you don’t even touch your passion till you’ve covered gen-eds, and the basics of art. I love that she has a wheel and kiln at home, so it’s not years before she molds clay. She has been able to build her own business, called Georgia Mud. She actually got to reinvest last year’s profits in a bigger and stronger kiln.

Spending time watching Georgia on the wheel reminds me of the sheer bliss I feel behind the camera. The relaxed focus she had, while her hands were working and her mind wandering. She talked a lot about this room being a safe place she goes to when she is upset, stressed, or processing.

 

She started by cutting off clay from a large block. Then began pounding it. The process takes muscle as she beat out air bubbles and imperfections. In the Bible, Isaiah talks about God being a potter, us being clay. (Isaiah 64:8) And I’ve always compared it to the wheel and shaping part, but beating out the imperfections is something that resonates with me in my life. Before He can even start shaping us, there are sin habits and comforts that we must die to, and give up. Before that, he can’t even start.

 

What has the Lord taught you through this process of pottery?

“Every part of pottery points back to the gospel.”

“Reclaimed clay, everything that comes off my hands, this nastiness, it all goes in this bucket, and it smells bad. Yep. God knows we smell bad. So I take that clay, dry it out, and it goes through a purification process. Takes a lot of pressure, physical pressure. Then it turns into clay with some imperfections. And then more pressure. There are areas of imperfections all of us have, and it takes us going through so much pressure to pull those out.

Then after throwing and shaping, the drying process is days long. Parts literally die, crumble off; sometimes it cracks, and you have to start all over again. If it gets through that, it then goes into an actual fire…”

 

What’s your favorite part of pottery?

“My favorite part about pottery is how intimate it is. It’s all over you. Under my fingernails, arms, all over my hands. We are all over God. We stink, yet He has his hands all over us, making us beautiful, shaping us.

A lot of things in life are the cycle. Everything on the wheel is repetitive. All of pottery is this huge transformation. Just like life in Christ; it makes scripture real”

 

What’s one of the biggest misconceptions about pottery?

“That it all happens on the wheel. That’s just a step of it all, really. I love that part enough to do everything else.” Hearing about the sheer process one mug goes through is shocking. Days of drying, hours on hours of baking, so much dedication and energy.

 

My favorite part about Georgia’s studio is that everything is in reach of her chair. And her chair? It’s a dentist’s chair! It’s just so cool to see her space. There is something so special about your first place. How everything is where you need it, it’s messy, it’s quirky, make-shift, but it’s yours.

She made a makeshift table top to beat a large piece of clay. “If there are any air bubbles, it will explode. It’s only happened to me once when I was throwing something really big. It’s more likely to happen when it’s thick.”

There is, in fact, a method to beating. And that method creates spiral pattern in the clay. It’s beautiful!

 

 

I learned that the clay naturally wants to spin away from the wheel. So the faster you push the pedal, the harder it gets to keep it in. I just can’t help but pull analogies, too! We spend so much of our lives fighting the Potter, fighting His will. Trying to fling ourselves off the wheel. He’s patient, He’s gracious, as He hones us in, reminds us of His plan, continues to care and form- protecting us from the reality of being out of His will.  The faster our lives become, the harder it is to spend close and intimate time with the Lord.

 

While on the wheel, molding a large piece, she explained, “It finds its shape for you. Did you see how it was wobbling around, and now that I made it tall and pulled it up, it’s happy spinning?”I freakin love that! I loved watching it happen. It was shaking, fighting her, and then it was dancing, happy. It is harder to throw large pieces. I could tell the skill and attention it took Georgia, going quiet at times to focus.

 

Being in such a hand-crafted art, it’s hard to price yourself. Each piece takes hours of  dedication, care, and energy. When so much is factory made, sold cheaper in bulk, the unique pieces by local artists are seen as “expensive” and “overpriced”. Educating your customers is priority, helping them understand the process and value to your products. Don’t lose heart, don’t undersell yourself!

I was reading Share Your Work by Austin Kleon before hunkering down and writing this post. The chapter was called “It’s About the Process, Not the Product,” talking all about sharing pieces of your process. As humans we are interested in what other humans are doing, not just the end product. I value Georgia’s work even more, being able to step in and hear her heart and passion behind it, how much it freaking takes to get one piece made. I hope you do, too!

Georgia and I have a similar story. One of the biggest questions I wrestled with before pursuing photography full time was, “Is this what God really wants for me, or is it the easiest route?” Sometimes it feels wrong that it comes so easy, because so often his desires are so against our human nature that it takes force to be in His will. I learned that He gives passions for a reason though. Georgia was voicing my exact thoughts, “Does God want for me what I want? Honestly, it was all falling together so fast. Like, is this too easy? You know, like a lot of people don’t know what they want to do at our age, they aren’t able to be doing it already.” The Lord has blessed both of us with supportive families and available resources and natural passion to pursue a craft. I’m so thankful!

I’m so honored to have had the time in Georgia’s studio, to get to know her even more. I love hearing how she has grown in her art and walk with the Lord. She has a way of expressing herself on the wheel; I could tell she has a formed style and preference of throwing. I could feel the peace that was in that lamplit space. I left feeling energized, calm, and inspired. After our time, she called me about a question, and we ended up chatting for another half hour about growing in our business while protecting our creative processes.

ALL this to say: Support your local potter, friends! Please follow the links below to shop, hear, and learn more about Georgia Mud!

WEBSITE: www.georgiamudpottery.com

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/georgiamud/

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/georgiamudpottery/

You can find her work sold at Old Town Hall & Cafe and Baumers Foot Wear in Memphis, TN.

Meet Georgia! SEPTEMBER 30th.: Go see Georgia’s work, live demonstrations, and other Memphis artists! Event at More Than Words in Germantown, Tn.

Left is one of her favorite pieces, right is the bucket of unclaimed clay. 

REVERB COFFEE | JEREMY + ZACK | LOCAL MEMPHIS ROASTERS

In 2013, Jeremy Harris saw a lack of high-end,  single-origin coffee beans in Memphis, TN. Often coffee shops’ beans are blends of different origins. For example: Kenyan and Ethiopian blended and roasted together.

     

And SO, Reverb was founded! Founded on single-origin beans. Whether it be the same region, or down to the same farmer for batches of beans. Tanzania, Ethiopia, Columbia, and El Salvador are some of the countries they buy from, keeping the beans separate.

Zack Jennings joined the Reverb team in 2017, learning from Jeremy himself. Zack is one of my best friends and invited me to Reverb to meet Jeremy, learn about Reverb, and watch the roasting process. “Reverb has a strict dedication to single origin coffee that are sourced at a certain level of quality. We switch raw coffee providers depending on the quality we get from them. We don’t stay just because it’s easier.”

Zack discovered Reverb through Avenue Coffee, a local Memphis coffee shop located near U of M. He began learning the art of brewing and serving, even entering in the Latte Art Throwdowns around town. He has been a faithful barista ever since.

Z approached Jeremy, asking if he could be of use to Reverb. Zack started working on the coffee truck (used for catering and festivals), as well as packaging the beans in their signature black fold bags. Quickly upon arrival, Zack asked to learn how to roast. Within his first few days, Z was making small batches at home.

“I wasn’t expecting how much of a craft it is, how many different coffees there are, how many different approaches there are to roasting. It isn’t an exact science. You shouldn’t be afraid to play with the variables.”

Those different variables include: heat, developing time, speed of roasting, finishing temp, roast level. How dark, how light. Because Reverb has such a strict policy on how it tastes, that means a true commitment to the quality, the coffee, not just the process. It means continually checking themselves and their product. Not only is the quality important, but allowing the quality to be an attainable raw product. They believe in attainability over huge profit, working on a 2x profit, instead of the 4x that many roasters do. “It is a small roastery. Maybe the smallest in Memphis, but our per bag cost is what makes us count big time.” Reverb roasts once a week, and then delivers to all their clients. They provide beans for Avenue Coffee, The Rev, Downline Ministries, and Mempops to name a few.

I asked Zack how he describes Jeremy, the founder: “Jeremy’s like, well there’s not really a word. He’s kind of like a coffee guru. He knows what he is doing. I have a lot of respect and trust in his ability. Outside of him being a good coffee roaster, he’s not afraid to use what he knows. He does not except slack quality, and that’s really nice to work with.”

Some of the hardest aspects of maintaining Reverb that Jeremy holds to are researching single origin farms, keeping up on the cutting edge of coffee, staying critical of his own work, dedication, and an obvious consistency in effort.

Zack told a story Jeremy told him. At one point, he thought his coffee beans were starting to lack in taste. He panicked and regrouped. In fact, he started roasting beans in a completely different way. It sucked, and he went back to what was truly working. “But that fact that he was willing to change what he was comfortable with and liked doing, just to maintain the level of quality, says what Reverb is all about.”

Zack’s vision for Reverb is to keep roasting quality coffee, to experiment in exotic roasts, maintain the clients, grow in consumers, and continue making profit.

I enjoyed my time in the roasting room with these two. Lots of laughing and chatting. We sipped on coffee and told stories pretty much the whole time. I am so thankful to know Jeremy and Zack. After spending a few hours with them, I am just so stoked for Reverb and all it has become and is growing to be.  SO, to my local buddies! LOVE on Reverb, support your local roasters!

Website: Myreverbcoffee.com

Instagram: Instagram.com/reverbcoffee/