Jessica Ellis and Siobhan Beal of Growing Power in Chicago

Growing Power is a nonprofit urban agricultural organization that started in 1993. Jessica Ellis and Siobhan Beal work at the Iron Street location. Making healthy food affordable and accessible to all people is of top priority to the Growing Power team. Now with over 12 acres of farm land in the Chicago area, their reach is multiplying. On each of their farms, the crews trains the community to grow, process, market, and distribute food in a more sustainable way. To find out more visit their website.

GROWINGpower1Growing Power Urban Farm / Crafted in CarharttGROWINGpower4Growing Power Urban Farm / Crafted in CarharttGrowing Power Urban Farm / Crafted in CarharttGrowing Power Urban Farm / Crafted in CarharttGROWINGpower12Growing Power Urban Farm / Crafted in Carhartt

If you’d like to see even more images and videos, take a look at the Crafted in Carhartt instagram.

Fear Is Just a Feeling, The Fact Is That You Can

“I wish people knew that unions protect fair wages/benefits/rights for the working class, for people trying to make an honest living.

And, if you’re a woman and like working with your hands, there’s only one thing that can stop you from joining the trades, the fear of thinking that you can’t, fear is just a feeling, the fact is that you CAN.”

Chicago Ironworker, Ana Lopez

Chicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in CarharttChicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in Carhartt

Chicago Ironworker Adriana Lopez

Meet the inspiring Adriana Lopez.

Looking to incorporate welding into her personal artwork, she fell in love with the trade after attending a program at Jane Addams Resource Corporation in Chicago. In no time, she got her Arc Welding Society Certification.

Adriana worked in several different shops and got involved with Chicago Women in Trades.

“They encouraged me to pursue the trades, even though I didn’t think I would make the cut because of my gender and size. They helped me study for the test, ended up scoring 15 on the long list of people who took the Ironworker test.

I’ll have 2 years in in April. I love being a Union Ironworker. It’s a brotherhood; we look out after each on the field and even outside the job. That’s my favorite part of being in a union, and the awesome benefits.

Am I ever scared during the job? No, but I am cautious because I always keep in mind that any mistake could not only impact myself, but also the guys working beside me.

I would suggest to anyone who’s trying to get in the trades to seek guidance through programs like the ones that helped me. It makes a huge difference. To not give up because it can be lengthy sometimes to get in. Believe in yourself because anything is possible with hard work and perseverance.” -Adriana Lopez

Chicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in CarharttChicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in CarharttChicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in CarharttChicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in CarharttChicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in CarharttChicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in CarharttChicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in Carhartt

Amanda Forgash and Natalie Pappas of Flowers for Dreams

Last week, we talked about how the Chicago start-up, Flowers for Dreams, donates one fourth of their profits to local charities. Well, the donated buck doesn’t stop there. Amanda Forgash and Natalie Pappas are florists for this socially minded business. They are spearheading the movement of transparent pricing in the wedding market. You can now give back to your community as you plan your wedding and rest assured that there won’t be hidden fees or markups before the process is complete.

Take a peak at the Flower for Dreams Lookbook for some inspiration.

Tips from Amanda and Natalie about getting into the florist business:

  • Begin working at a floral shop and see if it’s the right fit.
  • Keep in mind you will be starting from the bottom and working your way up. Be prepared to get dirty!
  • All florists started sweeping the floors of a flower shop, prepping vases, and processing flowers. Those are necessary skills needed to appreciate the end product and understand why each flower is important.
  • Proper floral care is unique to every flower.
  • Always explore different ways of doing things and share tips with your fellow designers through your own personal aesthetics.
  • When creating a bouquet for someone in particular, allow their personality and traits to show through with color, texture, and flower type. Capturing the essence of a person through mother nature is rewarding beyond measure.

Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

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Angelica Ruiz of Flowers for Dreams

In today’s fast paced economy, there is a racing hope to become the next great app developer or CEO of a startup company to put you on the path toward riches and quite possibly even fame. Stories of success and brilliant ideas float around in the business world, and rightly so.

However, in this highly competitive space, there have been a few companies deviating from the standard of inwardly focused advancement, seeking to do good for the community and maintain a profits. Personally, those are exactly the kind of organizations I want to put my money behind—and I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

Steven Dyme & Joseph Dickstein started selling flowers at high school graduations as a college project. The goal was simple, to make a little money and to make a difference. Half of their earnings went toward buying backpacks for low income students in the area. After a few years, their efforts snowballed into a full fledged company, Flowers for Dreams.

Now they have a bustling staff, a well thought out service, and continue to give back to others on a daily basis. One fourth of all their profits go to local charities.

A couple weeks ago, I got to hang out with Angelica Ruiz. She manages the flower truck. That’s right! I said flower truck. Much like a food truck, Angelica drives all over Chicago, selling bouquets at markets and various events. (Follow @F4DTruck on twitter for more info.)

Angelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttAngelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

Angelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttAngelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

What better way to brighten the world around you than with a bundle of flowers doing a bundle of good in your own neighborhood?

 

 

 

Carhartt Women’s Outerwear

Carhartt in a snowstorm / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt in a snowstorm / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt in a snowstorm / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt in a snowstorm / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt in a snowstorm / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt in a snowstorm / Crafted in Carhartt
And so the groundhog declares: a long winter it shall be. As dreary as that sounds in February, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay indoors. Get out there and explore. The afternoon after a good snowstorm is the perfect time to enjoy the amazing power of nature.

Take a look at Carhartt Women’s Outerwear. That way you can stay comfy and cozy inside or out.

Carhartt Woodsman

Carhartt New Holland Beer / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt New Holland Beer / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt New Holland Beer / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt New Holland Beer / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt New Holland Beer / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt New Holland Beer / Crafted in Carhartt
Carhartt New Holland Beer / Crafted in Carhartt

Exciting news on the Carhartt front: New Holland Brewing in Michigan created a beer just for us! It’s crafted from locally grown Cascade hops and barrel aged into an American pale ale, with a hint of malty sweetness and toasted oak. The Carhartt team took a road trip all the way from Dearborn, MI to the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado. The photos above are from their pit stop at Subterranean in Chicago for a night of live music, good beer, and beer art. Let’s all raise a frothy glass to the 125 years that Carhartt has gratefully served the hard working men and women across the US; forged by sweat, grit, and sturdy gear.

what I wore: Carhartt Women’s Belton Shirt & Carhartt Women’s Series 1889 Sim-Fit Double Front Denim Dungaree (tune in for tomorrow’s post to see this outfit in action) 

Meegan Czop of Rebuilding Exchage

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt
Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange / Crafted in Carhartt

I think there are a lot of women (myself included) who often feel as though they are without a voice; be it in the workplace, the construction site, on the range, in social media, or during everyday life. It can be infuriatingly overwhelming to stand against the dialogue that already dictates those venues and arenas: the ideas that men are better leaders, women can’t perform as well in tough, blue-collar jobs, or even that women are better suited to clerical tasks rather than being out on the field.

Women, let’s stick together and raise our voices simultaneously to create a new discussion. We are capable. We are strong. We can swing a hammer or wield a crowbar. We can be contractors and painters and cattle ranchers and mechanics and engineers. We can do whatever job we want. We can lead, and we can do it well. WE CAN.

That brings me to Meegan Czop and the folks at Rebuilding Exchange. Many women there fill roles that are typically considered a man’s job. Meegan spends time on the ground scavenging through demolition sites for materials that can be resold through the non-profit to the public for re-use. It’s a tough job and she’s often the only woman to step foot in the work zone.

I tagged along on a trip she made to a Chicago warehouse that was ruined by fire a few months ago. With a jump in her step, she explores areas that would make most people nervous. A job that requires an adventurous spirit requires a special person. Meegan is changing the dialogue of what women are capable of with the elbow grease she puts into every day, the hard work she does to preserve and better the community, and the way she defies stereotypes with confidence and competence.

Meegan is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Force Performance Verdon Polo & Series 1889 Slim-Fit Double Front Denim Dungaree

Floriole Olive Oil Granola Recipe

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe
FLORIOLEgranolaMIX12

With fall just around the corner, it’s raining pumpkin seeds! Sandra Holl, from Floriole Cafe and Bakery in Chicago, shared her recipe for a killer fall granola. It’s so tasty, you’ll hardly believe it’s good for you.

What you need: 
3 cups of rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 cup of pumpkin seeds (a.k.a. pepitas)
¼ cup of flax seed
¾ cup of grade B maple syrup
½ cup of olive oil (if your olive oil has a strong flavor, use ¼ cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of neutral oil like grapeseed or sunflower)
¾ tsp. of fine sea salt
½ tsp. of cinnamon
½ tsp. of ground ginger
½ cup of dried cherries
¼ cup of chopped dates
¾ cup of toasted pecans
(serves 8)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or oiled parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except for cherries, and dates. Mix until homogenous.
3. Spread mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and stir. Bake 20 minutes more and stir again.
5. Let the granola cool for 20 minutes. Scrape into a large bowl.
6. When it’s cooled completely, add cherries, pecans and chopped dates. Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place for up to a month.

Sandra is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt, 1889 Slim Double-Front Denim Dungaree, & Rapid City Utility Work Apron.

 

 

Forget the Desk Job– I Make a Mean Chocolate Croissant

Froliole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

 

It’s fair to say that most people would prefer an early morning routine of rolling out fresh chocolate croissants to a 9 to 5 desk job. But how do you get there? How do pin down your dreams fast enough to make a career out of them?
After realizing she wasn’t cut out for the daily grind of cubicle life, Sandra Holl decided to buckle down and follow her heart by attending culinary school. At that time, she knew she wanted to be her own boss and make the food she wanted to make. Seeing the opportunities at Chicago’s Green City Market, Sandra decided that opening her own booth would be a low-risk way of starting a business. There she and her husband, Mathieu, used it as a venue to test out their rustic, French pastries and built a name for themselves. Eventually, a brick and mortar space was next step. In 2010, Floriole Café and Bakery’s doors opened in Chicago’s quaint Lincoln Park neighborhood.
When I asked Sandra what the most rewarding part of her job was, she replied,

“I love that I have a family business. I work with my husband and can bring my daughter to work with me. She sees how hard I work and is so proud of her mama. She often tells customers, “This is my mom’s bakery.””

There is no greater feeling than to bring creativity and light to the world through the smile a chocolate hazelnut cookie can yield, while inspiring your own daughter and nudging her along to the discovery that she too can do the same with a little elbow grease and determination.

Here are a few tips from Sandra for anyone striving towards a similar path:
1. Find a chef you admire and work with her or him. Absorb as much of their knowledge as you can, then move on and learn more.
2. Perfect the basics before you get creative. No one really wants a wasabi curry cupcake but everyone wants a perfect slice of peach pie.
3. Everything breaks. Learn how to fix things yourself.
4. Know that you will work seven days a week. Even when you are off, you will run errands for the business, answer calls and emails and when the security alarm goes off in the middle of the night, you will go make sure that it was only a false alarm.

Sandra is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt, 1889 Slim Double-Front Denim Dungaree, & Rapid City Utility Work Apron.