February is technically a short month, but it was so fast and furious that I had to make conscious efforts to be mindful AND productive. March looks to be just as busy, but in the best way—full of things I want to do and people I want to see.
It is National Women’s History month, so we hope you will take time to revisit some of our favorite stories of Real Women and to share your own.
Here is what March looks like for me (deep breath):
March 2 – Dr. Seuss’ birthday, now known as Read Across America day. I’m currently working on several books, among them: The Optimistic Child by Martin E. P. Seligman, Encyclopedia of Needlework by Thérèse de Dillmont (in research for a possible new book on the tools of handwork), and revisiting Mary Renault’s The Last of the Wine.
Last year, we launched our Friends of the Café Dinner and Factory Chef Series, which was quickly established as part of our Makeshift initiative. As with most things here at Alabama Chanin, the idea evolved over time from an interesting idea into something bigger. In 2015, we are continuing to host Friends of the Café dinners, combined with a corresponding workshop series—a branch of The School of Making. The series will combine our celebration of slow, sustainable, and inventive food with our ongoing conversations on craft, design, food, making, and community.
The initial idea for this series was simple—each month, The Factory Café would feature seasonal dishes inspired by regional chefs (or restaurants) that shared our values of celebrating place, artisanal craftsmanship, and good food.
Early civilizations like the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans are known to have used this soft metal in jewelry and tableware.
It is a rich shade of gray that has remarkable depth and presence.
A commonly used material in the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts periods.
Molten and cast
Polished or tarnished
A lustrous silvery-grey with purple and umber highlights
And visit our Collection for a range of styles in our color Pewter.
”From a scientific point of view, it can be said he [Thoreau] documented for the first time how ecological succession works … The mechanism was animals and weather. Squirrels carry acorns so oak trees replace pine when the pines are cut down. And pine seeds blow over to replace the oak.” – Richard T. Forman
I started writing this piece about two weeks ago. I was talking about succession over trend with a colleague and she asked me to put down my thoughts about how that worked. And so I started…and as I was writing, the question of trend began to appear in the press and this story seems on one hand less important and on the other hand more important. I’ll let you be the judge. In any case, thank you for coming here. Thank you for reading:
There is a small stop at milepost 330.2 on the Natchez Trace Parkway called Rock Spring Nature Trail. I’ve been going to this spot on the Natchez Trace since I was a little girl. Perk, my maternal grandfather, used to take me (and all of the cousins) there en route to Colbert Ferry park on the “other side” of the Tennessee River from our home. From there, we would launch his small fishing boat and run the trotline of baited hooks for catfish (more on this boat and Perk’s trotline coming soon).
Rock Spring is a natural aquifer that merges with Colbert Creek where this nature trail now stands. The creek is a small, meandering stream of rare beauty (see the photo above)—named after George Colbert—who ran the Ferry that crossed the Tennessee River along the Trace before the days of a bridge.
“I’m convinced of this, good done anywhere is good done everywhere…” – Maya Angelou
Here is what we have going on around The Factory this week, Monday, February 2 – Friday, February 6:
Join us on Thursday, March 5th for dinner, featuring special ingredients and recipes from Zingerman’s with special guest Ari Weinzweig, Co-Founding Partner and CEO of Zingerman’s Community of Busineses. Cocktails begin at 6:30pm and will be followed by dinner at 7:30pm. Reserve your tickets here.
Reserve your tickets now for our Two-Hour Business Workshop with guest Ari Weinzweig. Ari will be sharing the approach to business that has led to Zingerman’s success. Tickets include training materials, presentations from Ari, roundtable discussions, and lunch from The Factory Café.
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.
Join us tomorrow, February 21, for Saturday Brunch at The Factory Café. This week’s Brunch features our favorite Farm Breakfast with your choice of either bacon or a Big Bad Breakfast sausage patty or our French Toast made from fresh ciabatta bread.
As always, we will have selection of seasonal choices that highlight products from local and regional farms and purveyors.
View our Saturday Brunch menu here or check below.
Saturday Store Hours: 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Café Hours: 11:00am – 2:00pm.
The Factory Store + Café
462 Lane Drive
Florence, Alabama 35630
Call us: +1.256.760.1090 or email office (at) alabamachanin.com
This take on our Long Fitted Skirt—one of my longtime favorite go-to pieces—is available for a limited time in our DIY Sewing Kit Collection through The School of Making. I own many versions of this skirt in a range of colors and wear them throughout the year, from one season to the next. The Long Fitted Skirt is fitted at the waist and flares to the hem, which has a slight train in the back.
This version is worked in our Anna’s Garden design using negative reverse appliqué with our medium-weight 100% organic cotton jersey—choose your fabric and thread color. This and all of our DIY kits can be personalized to your specific design choices and worked in any technique from our books or Swatch of the Month to embellish. Create your own version using the custom DIY kit.
View all DIY Sewing Kits and purchase your own Anna’s Garden Long Skirt kit here.
“It is scientifically impossible to leave here unsatisfied.”
-Staggs’s Customer Taylor Smith
Less than five short miles from The Factory is a diner so well known in the Shoals community, locals simply call is “Staggs”—no elaboration is necessary. It is a place where social and economic barriers are ignored or discarded; everyone eats at Staggs, from mayor to millworker.
Staggs Grocery is located in East Florence, Alabama, an area that was once proud home to a booming textile district. The same family has run the market for generations. Taylor Wylie established the business as a meat market over a century ago, but the building was destroyed by fire. It was taken over by Wylie’s son in law, Lester D. Staggs, Sr., and his brother Webb Staggs and revamped into a meat market and grocery catering to families and workers in the textile district. Lynn Staggs, who currently owns and operates Staggs with his wife Pat, took over management after the passing of his father, L.D. Staggs, Sr.