The original economic stimulus plan, shopping local with 918 makers promises the best gift of all — the opportunity to make a difference in our communities and the lives of our neighbors.
Artistic endeavors are alive and well in the United States. Research from the Association for Creative Industries reports the total size of the creative industry was $43.9 billion in 2016-17. What does this mean for holiday shoppers? It means that unique, handmade items are easier to find as more people turn their passions into full-time businesses. And with each purchase made, there are relationships forged, talents shared, and items treasured. From hand-forged favorites to sweet treats, the following Green Country makers represent a diverse and growing entrepreneurial force in our communities and economy.
Cypress Scents | Inola
Cypress Scents was born when Stephenie Simmonds made her first batch of old-fashioned lye soap in 2011. It was a dream come true for the Louisiana native who later settled on a farm in Oklahoma. Today, the fruits of Simmonds’ labor take the form of artisan soaps and body care products — many which feature milk from her beloved dairy goats. Cypress Scents offers a full line of handcrafted items — shower steamers, bath bombs, goat milk soap, facial bars, bubble cakes, sugar scrubs and loofah soaps.
- Black Raspberry Vanilla ($6): Enjoy fresh, vine-ripened raspberries and blackberry notes mixed with Italian bergamot, California Bartlett pear and softened with notes of plum wine, vanilla orchid and a silky, cashmere musk; sweet, silky, mouth‑watering.
- Oceanea ($6): Discover irresistible freshness with spicy lavender and amber with added notes of lemon, sage, rose and jasmine accompanied by moss, cedar wood and sandalwood; cool citrus meets spicy, green and clean.
- Facial Bar ($7): Delight in this luxurious bar which features Himalayan sea salt with activated charcoal — a beautiful complexion combo.
Deep Branch Winery | Cookson
Deep in the heart of Cookson, Okla., lies Deep Branch Winery — a one-time retirement hobby turned award-winning wine venture. The company began selling to the public in 2014 and has been collecting awards and adoring fans for its Blind Luck brand of wines ever since. Known for both their fun flavors and full-bodied varieties, the Allenbaugh family offers a diverse palette of selections — reserve wines Kings Ransom and 24k Blush; fun wines Wild Blue, Southern Charm, Royal Red, Black Knight, Buried Treasure and Perfect Pair; and seasonal options Good Knight Kiss, Palms in Paradise and their newest — Holiday Magic. Perfectly balanced with sweetness, yet exquisitely tart and refreshing, Holiday Magic offers a rich flavor of cranberries — a perfect pairing for the bustle of the festive season.
Dillon Rose | Tulsa
Creators Rachel Rose and Seth Dillon Dazey launched Dillon Rose in 2015, combining old-world metalsmith techniques with the spontaneity, flow and contrast of the natural world — think National Geographic meets heirloom jewelry. Rachel spends most of her time on construction, collaborating with Seth on the design and finish of the piece — the result is wanderlust perfection. Custom services are available from unique bridal/engagement rings to Earth-loving fashion options.
- Silver Range Earrings ($70) and Necklace ($160): Embrace your inner outdoors with these beautiful sterling silver mountain range earrings with elegant silver earwire and/or sterling silver choker necklace with a mountain range accented by a small turquoise stone.
- Silver Mountain Ring ($400): Bring the mountains to you with this hand-carved and cast-in-studio sterling silver ring featuring 14k gold sun or flush-set diamond.
- Silver Mountain Cuff ($525): Choose the mountain range of your choice — Tetons, San Juans, Wichita, etc for this custom sterling silver cuff which includes a 14k gold sun.
Indigo Rose Design Co. | Tulsa
A busy working mom of two toddlers, Jackie White was looking for a creative outlet for her hands when she stumbled across string art in 2015. Indigo Rose Design Co. blossomed into a full-time dream over the next few years, allowing White to quit her day job as a therapist in 2018. The rustic, creative signs are a family affair as White’s husband, Peter, cuts and stains the wood for each custom piece. From weddings and anniversaries to housewarmings and holidays, IRDC’s designs allow clients to celebrate occasions in a unique and personal way.
- Joy ($55): Add a touch of rustic charm to your home this holiday with this 12-inch by 12-inch handcrafted solid wood piece. String art holly leaves combine with hand-painted calligraphy to make this the perfectly unique holiday decoration.
- Okie Pride ($40): Showcase your Oklahoma pride and place your heart in whichever location you choose with one of these custom designs; multiple string and stain colors are available.
- Cactus ($30): Go Boho with this 8-inch by 12-inch handmade string art cactus; the perfect wanderlust accent to your home decor.
Lone Tree Forge | Mounds
After a successful career as a certified public accountant, Joe Smith stepped out on faith and into the 1900s craft of blacksmithing. Though mostly self-taught, Smith continues to hone his techniques through research and mini apprenticeships with master blacksmiths. Lone Tree Forge items are fashioned with raw steel using modern and traditional blacksmithing techniques and tools — forge, anvil and hammers. Smith combines repurposed wood and other materials with metal to make useable artistic items — fireplace screens, coffee tables, campsite tools, desks, advent wreaths, candelabras and more.
- Advent Wreath ($70): Celebrate in style with Lone Tree Forge’s newest centerpiece design, which adds a rustic copper wrapping to this classic piece; simply change out the color of the candles for each holiday or season.
- Cattail Accent Table ($125): Bring a touch of outdoors inside with this unique cattail accent table with riveted whisker joints for shelves.
- Fireplace Screen ($750 & under): Make your mark with a handcrafted screen designed to fit your fireplace and your personal style; LTF can also customize fireplace tools to match.
Raker Knives | Park Hill
Ray Kirk was a vo-tech welding instructor long before he was a fan favorite on the History Channel’s Forged in Fire series. He is one of four Oklahomans — and the only Cherokee Nation citizen — to carry the mastersmith designation from the American Bladesmith Society. Kirk takes pride in perfecting his proven performance blades of 52100 high-carbon steel — from his popular series of everyday knives to custom pieces.
- Trail of Tears ($225): Honor those who traveled the Trail of Tears; crafted from 52100 steel from Dahlongea, Ga. (the departure point for one of three Cherokee groups upon the trail), this 7-inch tear-dropped shaped knife includes three falling tears from its point, a Bois D Arc handle cut from a tree located at the end of the infamous journey, and an inlaid Cherokee Nation seal. Comes with a certificate of authenticity and a leather pouch.
- NDN Integral with Sambar Stag Handle ($410): Keep it sharp with this handy, everyday use model. This knife features a 6.5-inch blade forged from the same 52100 steel that has won in multiple ABS competitions for Kirk. Comes with custom leather sheath.
- Oklahoma Fallen Outdoors NDN ($750): Enjoy this always faithful model built with this special Oklahoma veterans organization in mind. Features a 7.5-inch 52100 hand-forged blade, Marine Corp ribbon band, handle guard made from Humvee armor plate, and Sambar stag handle. Comes with custom leather sheath.
Rose Rock Coffee | Tahlequah
What self-respecting Okie couldn’t appreciate a coffee named after Oklahoma’s state rock — one that has “survived the test of time and stands as a symbol of survival, hard work and perseverance?” For those not easily impressed, roastmaster/owner Matt Brassfield offers several small craft coffee blends to help convince: Scissortail, Gaucho, Black Velvet, Blond Nightingale, Chocolate Gravy, Red Fern, Boomer Sooner, Spring Creek, Espro Yo, Go Pokes, and a fall 2018 seasonal blend which brings a unique mix of Kenya, Ethiopia Guji and Costa Rica beans together for a 100 percent Arabica encounter. The Rose Rock family of coffee experiences can be purchased online or in locations across Oklahoma, including Reasor’s stores in Sand Springs, Bixby, Tulsa, Jenks, Broken Arrow and Claremore. Be sure to check out RRC’s limited edition series of coffees celebrating artwork from 14 members of the Women Artists of the West.
Sugar Mountain Baking Co. | Welling
Molly Nofire started Sugar Mountain Baking Co. not long after taking a cookie decorating class in October 2017. A friend had seen her sugary-sweet creative efforts and requested a batch for a jewelry event. Nofire worked in the commercial aviation industry in Florida before moving to her husband’s hometown in Welling, Okla. SMBC creates custom sugar cookies in regular and gluten-free varieties, featuring almond extract and Nofire’s unique brand of cookie art for any occasion.
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