The main mission of this blog is to highlight women who do amazing things. That means I come across some of the most awe inspiring people I’ve ever met on a daily basis. At the end of every year, it’s such a treat to look at back at the highlights.
1. Building Hugger, Amy Nicole Swift, is a Crafted in Carhartt darling. She and her crew are working to restore old Detroit, one original window at a time. Preserving the integrity of a building with a nod to the architect’s true intentions is her greatest concern. Amy might be tiny, but she’s tough and doesn’t let anything hold her back.
2. Amanda Sugden of the Montana Outdoor Science School makes it her main mission to help kids fall in love with nature and the science behind it all. As a scientist herself, she is able to guide young minds along Montana trails as she shows them the ins and outs of the earth’s mysteries.
3. Alison Wong of Butter Projects in Royal Oaks, Michigan is not only an artist, but the brains behind a gallery space. She’s an immensely talented illustrator and painter. She even taught us all how to stretch our own canvases.
4. Sara Morris, co-owner of Mello Velo Bike Shop in Syracuse, played a huge role in building this business from the ground up. It’s not just any bike shop, it’s also a cafe. An undertaking such as this has so many facets that it takes a business and mechanical mastermind to keep it all under control (and it doesn’t hurt if you’re a pro in the kitchen as well).
5. Detroit Drag Racer, Molly Straight, knows her way around a garage and the race track. It takes nerves of steel for this kind of competition. Ever thought of throwing your hat in the ring? Here are some tips from Molly.
6. Real life cowgirl, Rachel Smith, is a hero in my book. Not only does she skillfully compete in rodeos, but she also runs a home in Colorado and dominates life on the ranch. She’s fearless and a undeniable part of Americana.
7. Jewelry Designer and all around artist, Tiff Massey, is killing it on the creative scene in Detroit. We got a tour of her studio and took a peak into the artist residency program she has created for talented youth. Take a dive into pieces here.
8. Clare Fox of Mutual Adoration in Detroit, uses symbolism and salvaged materials in her wood shop. Take a look as she works on the Union Table, ideal for a wedding present, composed of two parts that make a whole.
9. Laura Laster, Director of Flight Operations at LeTourneau University, helps young people find their path to becoming a pilot. She’s been flying for 14 years and enjoying the unbeatable view along the way.
10. Dana Eklund and Katie Jacobson work in the equestrian division at Eagle Mount, teaching people with disabilities about horsemanship. Learning these skills and creating a bond with an animal is an opportunity for tremendous growth and happiness.
11. Potter Andrea Denniston has traveled the world to learn about her craft. After spending a good chunk of time in China, she’s brought back many new skills to Syracuse where she creates gorgeous and delicately detailed pieces. Travel and study has opened her world to to following her passions and developing as an artist.
12. Michigan florist, Holly Rutt, started making soaps as a hobby. Combining her love for nature and interest in healing plant extractions and essential oils, she and her husband created a line of body care products. That’s when her side gig became her full time job. All of the items she sells at The Little Flower Soap Co. are 100% American made and crafted with love.
13. My good friends, Jenny and Rachel Boswell, taught us how to plant a tree. She how you can grow your own forest here.
14. Janie Mills and the folks at Near Westside Initiative and Northside Urban Partnership united forces to create Salt Works. This amazing social enterprise pulls in members of the community and teaches them the tricks of the woodworking trade. Recycling materials that would typically be on course to becoming landfill, the carpenters at Salt Works create artisan furniture.
15. Pinky Jones, farm manager at The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, sees urban farming and gardening as the opportunity to educate and involve the community. Food insecurity is a problem she takes to heart. She teaches new skills to help others form a connection with nature, helping the people of Detroit have a new way to access a healthy lifestyle.
16. Holly LaGrow, Scenic Charge Artist at Syracuse Stage, brings a play’s set to life through her art work. She interprets the surface finishes of a model and translates it into a full scale set for the stage. It’s a huge job in these often larger than life arenas. Take a closer look here.
17. Catie Newell was trained as an architect and now constructs stunning glass formations that interplay with space, form, light, and color. Take a closer look at these unique reflective glass sculptures here.
18. OUR Detroit, an entirely woman run vodka distillery, found its home in an abandoned liquor store. What was once an eye sore in the neighborhood, untrusting with barred windows and forgotten for many years, has been transformed to a transparent business with arms wide open to the community. It’s the new local hangout where you’re a friend as soon as you step through the door.
19. Wake Robin Farm in Central New York has been in the Schrader family for 40 years. They have grown from 4 cows to about 40. That might sound small to you, but as the Schraders say, “All farmers put their boots on the same way, are affected by the weather, and work hard to make a living. We believe that there are more similarities than differences among farms, regardless of size.” Take a look at Meg’s daily routine here.
20. Ryn Adkins is a co-founder of pop-up restaurant, Roux, where food and design have been blended into a whole new type of dining experience. In this photo she’s working on the dinnerware, combining pottery and welding.
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2012 / 2013 / 2014
The search for women who do amazing things continue. If you have any special crafts you’d like to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.