Category Archives: TRAVEL + THE JOURNEY

TRAVEL: THE ROSENBAUM HOUSE

TRAVEL: THE ROSENBAUM HOUSE

“Organic buildings are the strength and lightness of the spiders’ spinning, buildings qualified by light, bred by native character to environment, married to the ground.” — Frank Lloyd Wright

When visiting the Shoals area, or anywhere in Alabama for that matter, you should take time to visit the Rosenbaum House in Florence, Alabama. Nestled among otherwise ordinary Southern homes, this gem of craftsmanship and architecture is a perfect example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian style of design and is the only home he built in Alabama. Constructed nearly 60 years ago, the house was inhabited by the Rosenbaums (the home’s sole occupants) until 1999, when the family donated the property to the city of Florence. The home has been completely restored to look exactly as it did when the Rosenbaums lived there. Walking through it, you can feel the life and love that seeps from it still.

In 1938, Stanley Rosenbaum, a young Harvard College graduate who lived in Florence and worked in his family’s movie theater business, married New York fashion model Mildred Bookholtz and brought her home to Alabama. As a wedding gift, Stanley’s parents gave the newlyweds two acres of land and a small sum of money with which to build a home. The couple optimistically turned to world famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, known for his innovative design approach and affordability. The Rosenbaums asked Wright to build them a home with three bedrooms, two baths, a large kitchen, a study, a living room large enough to accommodate Mildred’s piano, and all for the sum of $7,500. To their surprise, Wright agreed.

TRAVEL: THE ROSENBAUM HOUSE

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NEW YEAR | NEW WEBSITE

NEW YEAR | NEW WEBSITE

Since its inception in 2006, Alabama Chanin has evolved into a multi-fold lifestyle company with guiding principles of thoughtful design, responsible production, good business, and quality that lasts. What began with our handmade collection now includes multiple lines like our Basics, Essentials, and the A. Chanin machine-made line. Alabama Chanin also houses new and ever-expanding divisions within our company: The School of Making, The Factory Store, and also, the Café.

NEW YEAR | NEW WEBSITE

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TRAVEL: TROWBRIDGE’S

TRAVEL: TROWBRIDGE'S

I’d wager that every native, and recent guest, to The Shoals would urge future visitors to set aside time for lunch at Trowbridge’s Ice Cream Parlor and Sandwich Shop. The universally beloved local eatery is a backdrop for so many of our memories, and it has managed to serve up simple, delicious food for decades, while keeping its unpretentious charm. The green awning and the window advertising “Sandwiches, Ice Cream, Sundaes” are as iconic to residents as any official logo or state seal.

The little shop was opened in 1918 by Paul Trowbridge and is still run by his grandson. The story (as it was told to me) says that in 1917, Mr. Trowbridge was traveling to North Carolina for a dairy convention and stopped in Florence on the way. He loved the lush area and the town enough to move his family from Texas to Florence and opened Trowbridge’s shortly thereafter.

TRAVEL: TROWBRIDGE'S

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TRAVEL: THE SHOALS

TRAVEL: THE SHOALS

As our new travel series expands, we realized that we have never laid the groundwork by adequately defining and describing the community that we call “The Shoals.” Since Alabama Chanin’s inception, love of community has been the cornerstone of our inspiration, design philosophies, and production practices. Shared stories of our region’s history, our neighbors, and our food, have inspired our work and brought visitors from afar. Reflecting on how much we talk about our home—The Shoals—I thought we should (finally) explain exactly what that term means.

“The Shoals” is a reference to the low-lying shoals of the Tennessee River in Northwest Alabama, at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, along which the cities of Florence (where The Factory is located), Sheffield, Muscle Shoals, and Tuscumbia are situated. The name “The Shoals” is also a shorter way of saying the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Area—also known as the “Quad Cities”—which spans two counties and is home to somewhere in the neighborhood of 70,000 people. Before each city was named, the region was called the “Muscle Shoals District”; it was supposedly named such by Native Americans who found that navigating the strong current of the Tennessee River in this area almost impossible—and paddling upstream required a great deal of “muscle.”

It is believed that prehistoric Native American tribes crossed into North America during the Ice Age and followed herds of buffalo into the Northern Alabama region. This area was settled by what became the Woodland Indians (1000 BC – 900 AD) who built several ceremonial and burial mounds in the area. The largest in the area—tucked away between the local farmers co-op and the scrap metal yard—holds artifacts dating back over 10,000 years. I’ve been told that this holy site is believed by many to be part of a chain of important spiritual points in North America and has been visited by holy people of many different tribes across North and South America. Our friend Tom Hendrix’ wall is a living testament to the spiritual nature of our ancient Indian community.

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NEWSLETTER #24

Newsletter #24

In Newsletter #24, we announce anticipated, upcoming events for 2015. Our Makeshift/Friends of the Cafe Dinner series and Two-Hour Business Workshop  at The Factory on March 5th and 6th will feature Ari Weinzweig, co-founder and CEO of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The dinner celebrates slow, sustainable, and inventive food, joined with Alabama Chanin’s ongoing conversations on craft, design, food, making, and community. During the business workshop, Ari will share his business experience and the approach to business that led to Zingerman’s success, including their unique business model, as well as the challenges all business owners and organizations inevitably face.

And this summer, we will host our second annual Classic Sewing Weekend at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, beginning June 25th. Work with Natalie and the Alabama Chanin team to create a custom garment or project of your choice. The weekend includes instruction, materials, and delicious Blackberry Farm cuisine.

The Factory Store and Café are now open every Saturday. Stop by for brunch from 11:00am – 2:00pm, and visit our flagship store from 10:00am – 4:00pm.

We invite you to join our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter and keep up with new products, workshops, events at The Factory, and stories featured on our Journal.

Update your mailing subscription to include the newsletter here.

xoNatalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin

SATURDAY BRUNCH + THE WEEK IN REVIEW

SATURDAY BRUNCH + THE WEEK IN REVIEW

Join us tomorrow, January 3rd, for 2015′s first Saturday Brunch at The Factory Café. This week features a special New Year’s edition of The Factory Benedict made with pimento cheese cornbread, collards, bacon, poached eggs, Tabasco hollandaise sauce, and topped with fried black-eyed peas. As always, we will have a selection of seasonal choices that highlight products from local and regional farms and purveyors.

View our Saturday menu here or check below.

Saturday Store Hours: 10am – 4pm
Café Hours: 11am – 2pm

The Factory Store + Café
462 Lane Drive
Florence, Alabama, 35630

Call us: +1.256.760.1090 or email office (at) alabamachanin.com

THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Last week we held our annual Inventory Sale at The Factory, where savings grew daily and many of our most popular offerings reached discounts of 70%. These discounts will continue in-store through tomorrow, Saturday, January 3rd at The Factory. If you missed out on the online Inventory Sale, don’t fret—we will continue to offer special discounts, events, and promotions throughout the year. Follow our Journal for updates on upcoming sales and specials.

And (if you are out that way) don’t forget to visit our pop-up shop at Billy Reid in Austin, Texas, for continued savings:
Alabama Chanin Pop-up Shop @ Billy Reid Austin, 1122 W 6th Street, Austin, Texas 78703

On Monday we looked back at some of our highlights of 2014. All of these accomplishments could not have been possible without our entire Alabama Chanin team – and you. We are grateful, one-and-all.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then our Instagram will tell you more about the past year than we can write. Look back at our 2014 here: The Year in Instagram.

And, although New Year’s Eve fell in the middle of the week, we’d like to think that we’ve accomplished enough in 2014 to continue celebrating right through the weekend (thanks to Jesse Goldstein–our newest contributor to the Journal).

Thank you to everyone who made this journey with us.
Happy 2015.

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THE YEAR IN INSTAGRAM

THE YEAR IN INSTAGRAM

2014 has been another year of making, learning, and growing. Thank you for the love and support you show us each and every day.

Have a wonderfully happy New Year.

THE YEAR IN INSTAGRAM

P.S. Follow our journey on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest to see what new and exciting things 2015 holds for us.

2014: THE YEAR IN REVIEW

The Year in Review

With 2014 coming to a close and a brand new year upon us, it is time to reflect on all we’ve accomplished—slow in design, but rapid in growth—during the past year. But first and foremost, we want to thank each and every single one of our supporters, friends, collaborators, partners, and everyone who has made 2014 the success that it has been. Without you, none of this would be possible.

Organic Cotton

No feat was as challenging—or as rewarding—as our organic Alabama cotton adventure. From a seedling of an idea to the harvest of pillowcases full of beautiful, white cotton, the success of this project is one of our proudest achievements. Not only were we able to physically see the fruits of our labor, we were also able to see the rewards of sticking to our ideals: sustainability, community, education, open-source sharing, and transparency in method.

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HOLIDAY STORE HOURS

HOLIDAY  STORE HOURS AT THE FACTORY

This week we will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, to celebrate the joys of the holiday season with our families.

We will re-open, with regular shop hours (shown above) on Friday, on December 26th, featuring our annual Inventory Sale both in-store and online.

Make post-holiday plans to visit us at The Factory:
462 Lane Drive,
Florence, Alabama 35630

Call us +1.256.760.1090 or email office (at) alabamachanin.com

 

LAST-MINUTE GIFTS: CLICK, IT’S DONE.

LAST MINUTE GIFTS

It may be cliché to say, “I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas.” But, truthfully, I can’t. Once again, the holiday is upon me before I’ve had enough time to even drop a card in the mail. While I am sure you are all completely prepared, here are some options for last-minute gifts—just in case. While we practice slow design, we do have the ability to ship some items quickly. Each of these gift options have been made either here at The Factory, locally, or regionally. They are ready to be packed with care and shipped right to your door.

A. CHANIN NATALIE'S BLACK JACKET Continue reading