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A few of my favorite things

I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit behind on my holiday shopping. I’m not much of a shopper, so this is no big surprise. But when I finally do get down to it, I like to buy things that are high quality and preferably artisan made. I’d much rather visit a specialty shop, comb through the pages of a beautiful catalog, or surf the web, than set foot in a mall or big chain store.

Supporting fellow small businesses is a core principle of our philosophy here at Floret. I love being able to support entrepreneurs, women-owned companies, and the creative community whenever possible. I’ve had the great fortune of connecting with some incredibly talented entrepreneurs over the last few years through workshops, travel and social media.

If you’re still looking for some amazing gift ideas this season, here are a few of my favorite things, from my favorite small businesses.  These entrepreneurs inspire me with their commitment to quality, their heartfelt stories, and the way they run their businesses with such integrity and passion.

I hope you’ll check out these small business rockstars as you dig into your holiday shopping!

old_blue_raw_honey_floretOld Blue Raw Honey: This Oregon-based company offers uncommon small-batch varietal honey that hands-down is the very best honey I’ve ever had. Why I love them: This husband-wife-led company also educate their customers about pollinators, apiary ecology and the importance of the primary plants and flowers that supply the nectar. Each bottle is hand labeled with information specific to that particular batch, including the  harvest date, apiary location, and primary nectar sources.

block_shop_floretBlock Shop textiles: Two sisters founded this small business that designs beautiful hand blocked textiles that are made by a thriving cooperative in India. I have a whole collection of their scarves and wear them year round.  Why I love them: No two textiles are alike. Plus, the company is committed to the fine art of hand blocking.  As a social enterprise, the company dedicates a percentage of profits towards community health programs in Bagru India.

cookie_mix_floretNot Without Salt cookie mixes:  Ashley Rodriguez, the author of my favorite food blog, Not Without Salt, and the chef at our floral design workshops, recently came out with her own line of cookie mixes that is insanely delicious.  Her not-so-secret secret ingredient: three types of sugar. And salt, of course. Why I love them: These are seriously the BEST cookies I’ve ever had! What makes them even more delicious: a portion of each purchase supports First Aid Arts.

powersheet_floret_2Cultivate What Matters Power Sheets:   Created by Lara Casey, the founder of Southern Weddings, these little goal setting sheets always help me organize my life and prioritize what matters to me most as a mom, wife, and business owner. Why I love them: These handy little sheets are great no matter if you are a stay at home mom or a busy executive. They are awesome at helping to clear the clutter and set actionable goals to lead a more purposeful, joyful life.

farmhouse_ardeliaFarmhouse Pottery barrel jugs:  The husband-wife team behind this Vermont-based pottery company create beautiful heirloom quality pieces that I absolutely adore. Their yellow ware pitcher is one of my favorite vessels to fill with fresh cut flowers. Why I love them: Their “About Us” statement says it all: “At Farmhouse Pottery, we are old-world potters with simple tools and strong beliefs in process and authenticity. We believe the farmers, craftsmen, and makers are the core of our communities, and that farm-to-table isn’t a foodie trend, but rather the rediscovery of a more sustainable lifestyle and value system.”

Ardelia Farm & Co. baked goods:  This Vermont farm-based business blends the talents of its two enterprising owners: a farmer-florist and a baker. Why I love them: Bailey and Thomas utilize many of their own farm-fresh eggs from free-range chickens, plus dairy and other ingredients from regional farms or fairly-traded sources and ship their goodies anywhere in the United States. Every tasty treat they make is beautiful and deeeeeee-lish. I’m guilty of eating almost an entire goody box by myself! Plus the story of how they started their farm and their tribute to their business’ namesake is pretty dang inspiring.

(Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. The products and companies featured here are simply ones that the team and I personally love and love to support.)

The post A few of my favorite things appeared first on Floret Flowers.

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About Ashraf Akkilah

Ashraf Akkilah
Architecture and design is my passion. I'm an architect who is interested in building design and decor trends. I'm also interested in sculpture design and landscaping. I'm "outdoor" architect who love to be involved in the project site and supervise finishing and final touches works. I had contributed to many construction and decor projects.

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When Alex and I moved into our first apartment, we were decorating novices. While we tried our best, we came up short in many ways, the most obvious being that we were so anxious to have our new home "finished," that we rushed out and bought what we needed. This resulted in a cookie-cutter straight-out-of-a-catalog look that did little to reflect our personalities, hobbies, or style. 

As the years have passed, I've learned to better appreciate the approach of curating a carefully selected mix of both new and old. Working in vintage finds, souvenirs and art from our travel adventures, and pieces passed down to us from family and friends along with new pieces creates a more layered, inviting, and less cookie cutter look. It's ultimately a formula that I've found results in the successful completion of a space that is comfortable, interesting to look at, and reflective of our personalities and who we are. 

Now that the majority of our focus is on renovating, decorating, and projects in our new home, my approach to its decor is to heavily use these lessons I've learned over the years. While many people's first reaction in a new space is to run out and buy as many news things to fill it as they can, we're taking a much more measured (and budget friendly) approach to our home's decor. We've been extremely fortunate to have many friends and family members gift furniture and accessories that they could no longer use. So last year when our neighbors offered us a pair of vintage garden chairs that didn't quite work in their home (and couldn't be returned), we jumped at the chance to become their new owners.

As you can see, this pair of vintage metal arm chairs have a beautiful patina and I loved the blend of several shades of green and turquoise. However, they were pretty rusty, so I knew I wanted to clean them up while still preserving much of the original paint. The goal was to both seal them to better protect them from outdoor weather while preserving their patina, and also preserving the pants of anyone that might choose to sit on these beauties. 

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