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Posts Tagged ‘Santa Rosa California’

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I had the good fortune to come across Made Local Marketplace on a morning stroll in Santa Rosa. I was drawn in by a mannequin bedecked in hula hoops (who hasn’t had THAT experience once or twice? I’m hearing the voice of Stefon in my head…”There were plushies, mwarfs…) No, it wasn’t “New York’s Hottest Club.” but it was an eclectic collection of local handmade gifts, jewelry, books, clothing, food and beauty items.

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I’ve found over the years that the more wine country becomes a brand, the harder it is to find the places that made it a brand in the first place.

IMG_2566That’s what I loved about Made Local Marketplace. Every lovingly crafted item is made by an honest-to-God local artisan, their shop display has a photo and bio attached and none of it is mass produced junk.

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I was lucky enough to chat with one of the jewelry makers, Laura Lee Brazier, who was doing a co-op cashier shift over a smooth cup of Bella Rosa Coffee (the locally roasted brew.) She moved here from Michigan recently and immediately found a community in the artists at Made Local that wouldn’t have been possible if she’d stayed exclusively on Etsy.IMG_2548

Interestingly enough, of all the beautiful jewelry on display, the one pair of earrings that kept drawing me back (and eventually ended up on my head) were a pair of hers, a random occurrence since she didn’t have her bio card on display.

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Made Local is attempting something bold. Not only building an entire retail business out of small creators, but in a location a bit off the main square and without any mass market boutique filler. The back of the store is a gallery space that features exhibits by, you guessed it, local artists.

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Is it so wrong that in my wildest dreams I’m half as cool as bird girl?

With so many unique micro-shops in one  it was tough to choose favorites, but in addition to the earrings, and the coffee, I am now completely addicted to Three Sisters Apothecary soaps.IMG_2546

Not only do they have a great look, hand cut and striated like colored marble, but many of the scents are an instant olfactory  trip back to God’s Country when I’m far away.  The Gravenstein Apple Clove is August harvest season in Sebastapol and the Eucalyptus Peppermint is like that first whiff of a Dutton-Goldfield McDougall Vineyard pinot, all cool north coast breezes and elegance.

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The Perk’s Pollinators Citrus Cooks Balm is not only yummy smelling but ingenious as well. The beeswax keeps your hands moisturized through food preparation and the attendant continuous washing. (My uncle is a beekeeper and I have found that beeswax is the only moisturizing ingredient with real staying power. Keep it up bees! Don’t disappear on us!) The citrus aroma helps tackle kitchen odors on your hands, but isn’t so strong that it adds off flavors or scents to your food. They also do one for gardeners, different scent, same idea.

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For the Anna Karenina or Huggy Bear fan in your life, either way, fab-u-lous!

Made Local Marketplace is a real gem, the kind of place you can get lost for far longer than you expected (so plug that meter!)

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It’s an always changing cornucopia, and a beautiful example of the true Sonoma spirit of creativity and community. I hope you’ll give it a visit when you’re in Santa Rosa.

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Made Local Marketplace
531 5th Street
Santa Rosa, Ca 
(on 5th between Mendocino and the mall)
707-583-7667
M-F 9am-6pm, Sat. 11-5
madelocalmarketplace.com
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