Gathering for us has always been about not just bringing people around the table but about bringing people's talents to the table as well. So when we started down the route of designing what would our products look like, how would they be produced, we came back to the why behind gathering. We decided it made the most sense to work with makers who are passionate and talented in our area. The Great Lakes inspire so many and they perform their craft between busy schedules and other life tasks because they love it that much. We wanted to give them a way to find a place to show their craft by combining our vision with their skills.
Our greatest hope is that these makers find a place in our store and meet other people that allow them to make their dream a more sustainable way of living. We believe that to live well your dreams need to be at the forefront and we select our makers knowing their passions and heart to do just that. They are choosing a life that isn't a clear path and we resonate with that.
Each of these makers are currently in our store. We cannot wait to see this list grow over the years and to bring even more amazing goods to you through creative collaboration inspired by the culture of the Great Lakes.
Laura Lou Ceramics
I’m Laura Brown and I live in Leelanau County. Like most things in life, my path to pottery wasn’t direct. Growing up, I was always creating art with different types of mediums. It wasn’t until college when I found my love of ceramics. Once I graduated, I put this dream on hold due a lack of resources and workspace required to pursue pottery. Thanks to a local shared studio space, I’ve recently reignited this dream. My vision is simple – guided by intuition from the land around me, my work seeks to fill the homes, tables and countertops with clean, functional and practical design. I work with locally produced clays that are found in the very same soil that clings to my boots as I wander the hillsides of Northern Michigan where I find inspiration. The purpose of my hand built and wheel thrown pottery is to provide the framework for your meals, mornings, quiet times or home décor—to encourage the rhythm of this land that guides my work. This is my art. Your nightstands, cabinets and kitchen tables are my gallery.
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My name is Noah. I am 15 years old and I love to make stuff. I love to make pieces that make life easier and more enjoyable - the feeling after taking a discarded log and turning it into amazing products. Throughout my life, I have been building solutions rather than buying solutions. The desire to learn and progress as a better woodworker has turned this hobby into a business.
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The Fresh Exchange - Megan Gilger
I have always been in pursuit of creative things. All my life. Everything I do is about creating and owning a store meant I wanted my own hands on products whenever possible. Whether it be my own art from block printing or torn paper pieces, all of it is inspired by the land around me here in Leelanau County. From dyeing with foraged plants on the 10 acres we live on to wandering the shoreline and being taken by the layers of color, all of it inspires the work and design I bring to every product I either make or I design with our makers. I believe in the active participation in creative work and the trial and error. Finding beauty in the smallest and biggest things that shift amongst the seasons.
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