Brooklynn Roszak of Four T Acres

Electric yellow corncobs and the burnt orange woolen coats of Highland cattle pierce the blankets of blinding white snow in Burlington, Wisconsin. At a distance, with a sturdy fence between, this Scottish breed can give an impression of ferocity. Their wavy locks frozen into icicles, dangle like a spiked breastplate. Steam billows audibly from their nostrils. Their horns reach up tot he sky in a power stance that could quite literally knock you off your feet.

However, the closer you get to one of these long-haired beauties, the more you realize how flawed first impressions can be. Yes, these mighty beasts are huge—weighing up to 1,800 pounds—but they are surprisingly docile and good tempered. If they see you coming, they’ll slowly head your direction, hoping for a good brushing session. Highland cattle are well suited to cold temperatures, luckily enough for the four legged inhabitants of Four T Acres who often find themselves in winter flurries. And those terrifying horns are tools to dig for plants to eat beneath snow’s surface.

In a stark contrast to the large mammals slowly plodding across the pastures, you’ll find sixteen year old, Brooklynn Roszak, briskly making her way along the snowy slopes of her grandparents’ farm. She feels a bit less at home in the low temperatures than her shaggy companions, but that won’t keep her indoors for long.

The property has been in Brooklyn’s family for generations. But there was a time when it fell dormant. That is until 2003, when Rich and Jean Gruenert introduced 3 registered purebred Scottish Highland cows and 6 calves to the land. The entire family felt immediately connected to the gentle giants, eventually increasing their numbers into a herd. Those once intimidating nostrils, breathed new life into Four T Acres.

Brooklyn, like the rest of her family, has a deep affection for Highland cows. She is part of the Junior Association, supported by the NCHCA (North Central Highland Cattle Association). Each year, she participates in 2 to 3 cattle shows and has won many awards along the way. As a junior in high school, Brooklyn participates in a lot of activities. Some of her favorites are trap shooting on her school’s team and hunting with her dad. She even holds down a job on top of it all.

Life on the farm has brought Brooklnn closer to her family, instilled a great appreciation for detail and thoroughness, broadened her sense of community, and allowed her to meet new people as she travels to cattle competitions in new places.

Four T Farms / Crafted in CarharttFour T Farms / Crafted in Carhartt

Jean Gruenert, pictured above, is Brooklynn’s grandmother. The farm was originally her grandfather’s, passed down to her father, and it now belongs to her. Jean loves when folks visit the farm. There’s a lot to learn about Scottish Highland cattle, and she’s anxious to share. The Gruenerts host school field trips, allowing young people an opportunity to learn about farming first hand while getting closer to their food source.

Four T Acres has participated in several studies, gathering information on various beefs. Time and time again, the results have proven that the meat from Highland cattle is superior to Angus on scales of tenderness and flavor.

Four T Farms / Crafted in Carhartt

“The Highland breeds are the coolest breed of cattle you will ever meet and by far the most interesting. When it comes to iconic domestic animals, the Highland cow is instantly recognizable across the globe. With their fluffy coats and long horns, they are an important part of Scotland’s culture. These cows are perfect in many ways. They adapt to harsh conditions, they’re the oldest registered beef breed of cattle in the world, and they have an outstanding beef quality so their meat tastes delicious and is also very healthy.” -Brooklynn Roszak

Four T Farms / Crafted in Carhartt

“I love being able to grab one of the combs and walk into the pasture and go spend some time with the animals. Having them walk up to me and letting me comb them is so fun and it makes me feel good knowing I have their trust and they are comfortable with me.” -Brooklynn Roszak

Four T Farms / Crafted in Carhartt“I’ll admit, it was scary to enter the show ring for the first time with everyone watching, but with my family by my side to guide me through everything, it was easy-peasy. Each show I have won awards, whether it’s ribbons, trophies, or plaques to hang on my wall. With being a part of the Junior Association and showing in general, I have met so many new people from all over the country and made many new friends!” -Brooklynn Roszak

Advice from Brooklynn about working with Highland Cattle:

Highland cattle are known for their calm nature and easy going disposition. That being said, there are some techniques and rules that people will learn as they go through years with their own herds of cattle. Some great tips include:

  • Spend time with your cattle. Highlands are social animals. They know their herd mates and how to interact with them. Become a part of that herd. If possible, walk out among them several times a week, even if only for a few minutes. Let them get to know who you are. The more familiar they are with you, the easier it will be when you need to move or handle them.
  • This time spent with them is also a good time to check for problems such as injuries or illness. The more familiar you are with them, the easier it is to recognize when something isn’t normal.
  • Move slowly around the cattle. Fast movement indicates to the herd that something is wrong. Even the calmest animal will run the other way if you go running down to the fence or run up to the herd. Take your time when approaching them and let them know that you are there with both verbal and visual cues.

4 T Farms / Crafted in Carhartt

“Throughout the years of being involved with the farm, it has brought me closer to my dad and his side of the family. And that I am extremely grateful for. Along with new experiences, I have learned many life lessons along the way.

  • I have learned to value the commitment. Farming and working with cattle has taught me that in every task, may it be big or small, once it has been started you should be giving it your best and not let it be left undone.
  • Another thing I have learned is that great things take time. At first, I was the new kid from the city and I wasn’t 1st place ribbon status yet. I learned from these experiences and figured out how to accept little disappointments in my life and be patient.
  • And lastly but most importantly, family and teamwork is very important on the farm. No matter what struggles come along, we all have each others backs and help each other out in any way we can. I am very grateful for the opportunities my family has given me by showing me what the farm life is like.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my dad and grandparents by my side teaching me the rights and wrongs of life and all the good things farming can teach children.” -Brooklyn Roszak

Learn more about Four T Acres here.

Rachael Messner of Messner Bee Farm

Messner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in Carhartt

After Rachael and Erik got married in 2010, they began their search for a deeper connection to their food sources. Their first foray into urban farming was their 900 square foot garden. It’s there the couple began raising chickens and making their own soap.

“Bees were a natural next step, but they were much harder than we thought. We loved collaborating on beekeeping and coming up with solutions to make our hives more successful.

After the first few years, we started to have some small victories in the bee yard. I ended up with quite a bit of extra beeswax, and decided I wanted to make some lip balm and try to sell it. I found myself obsessing over the details and making a product I was really proud of. At that time, I was also making ceramics, soap, and spinning wool.

With no clear outlet for all these products, I organized a small craft show to sell these things, and the support from the community was overwhelming. The community also let me know they wanted more things from the hive! Within a year all the other hobbies were put on the back-burner and it was all bees all the time!” –Rachael Messner

Messner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in Carhartt

“Educating others about honeybees is one of my favorite things about my job! What I hope people understand is that bees are extremely hard-working, endlessly fascinating, critical to our way of life on this planet, and are in serious trouble. Also, I hope they know that all of our products from the hive are made with love from us and the bees!” –Rachael Messner

Messner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in CarharttMessner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in Carhartt

Life Lessons Rachael Has Learned From Bees:

  • Work hard, and think about how the work you do will impact future generations. The bees that store honey for winter are long gone by the time the generations are born that will be consuming those resources.
  • If you work HARD as a team with a common goal you can have a huge impact.

Another valuable practice Rachael has picked up from beekeeping is how crucial it is to learn from your failures. As with most small business ventures, beekeeping is a world of trial and error. During the first few years, small victories and defeats are the educational bricks you use to build your trade. The Messners took a few years to finally yield a successful harvest, and once they did their victories began to compound.
Messner Bee Farm Kansas City, MO / Crafted in Carhartt“I started out with a combination of books, bugging mentors to death, and of course the infamous Youtube. It took too long for me to realize that the ideas and advice that people give on the internet often does not align with real-life experience…especially because so much of beekeeping successfully has to do with understanding your local climate and seasons. What a beekeeper does in Florida to be successful does not necessarily translate to Missouri. We get our best info from beekeepers at our local beekeeping association. We are grateful for such an open community!

We learn new things about beekeeping constantly, and we love that there is no end to information to take in. We also learn a lot from our customers! They bring new questions and ideas to us every week and challenge us to always be improving and growing.” –Rachael Messner

Messner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in CarharttRachael and Erik are raising their children on the bee farm in hopes that their eyes will be opened to the possibilities the world has to offer if you put in a little elbow grease.

“I hope they will see that the ability to independently learn and work hard (grit!) will get them where they want to go. Each step in our business has seemed daunting: keeping bees successfully, making and selling products, opening a retail store, educating large crowds about bees. Now that I’ve done these things I look forward to seeing what we can do next with our business! I hope that this drive to work for what you believe in and see a dream to its end is passed down to our kiddos.” –Rachael Messner

Messner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in CarharttMessner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in CarharttMessner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in CarharttMessner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in CarharttMessner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in Carhartt

Rachael’s Advice for Running a Small Business:

  • Work for other small businesses first. Most of it is not glorious work. It is moping the floors, crunching numbers, and getting stung. Before running the Bee Farm, I worked for 6 small businesses and I got to see behind the scenes. I’m grateful for the experience so I had the right expectations.
  • The transition that made us happiest was moving the business out of our actual house. It’s so nice to have a place to retreat to for rest. If it’s not possible to move your business out of the home, try to put it in its own space. It’s exhausting to feel like you’re always at home and always at work.

Messner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in CarharttMessner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in CarharttMessner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in Carhartt

Tenets of The Messner Bee Farm:

  • Dreams don’t work unless you do.
  • Honor the bees and their work.
  • Work for the long-term benefit of life on this planet.

Messner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in CarharttMessner Bee Farm in Kansas City / Crafted in Carhartt

All of our products use beeswax and/or honey as an ingredient. We make things that are natural, useful, and enjoyable to use. Because beeswax products have been made for 1000’s of years, they are easy to keep natural. Natural product are both something that I value and keeps our customers coming back. Before a product hits the shelf I spend up to a year researching and trying ingredients before it’s ready to sell.” –Rachael Messner

“Honeybees pollinate over one-third of all the fruits and vegetables we eat. Of course they also make honey! The best way people can help bees is by minimizing their use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, and supporting other organizations that do the same. Buy local honey, support your local beekeeper.” –Rachael Messner

You can buy some of Rachel’s products online or visit their bee farm for yourself.

Hive Five For All The Dads!

Helena and Matthew Sylvester have been partners long before they were ever married. As Helena’s interest in growing food developed, Matthew encouraged her–from growing plants on their patio in Oakland to leasing a farm of their own in Sunol, California.

“It was my goal, but it was a group effort. Matt was there supporting me every step of the way…While the years have aged me, the giddiness and drive are still there – as is Farmer Matt’s unwavering support (he’s now full time on the farm, going on his 5th year) – it’s amazing what you can do when you believe in yourself, but it hella helps when you have others who believe in you too.” -Helena of Happy Acre Farm

Helena and Matthew are now partners in marriage, on the farm, and in raising their son, August. Mornings at Happy Acre start early and evenings stretch out as long as possible. We all know that farmers are some of the hardest working people, particularly when you have to teach yourself everything from scratch. The daily routine is met with flexibility and a support system of their own making.

“I’d never met someone who wakes up in a good mood every day, before you. Sometimes it drives me crazy (I need coffee first, sometimes two cups) but really, I admire it. You carry that positivity with you through everything you do. We’re definitely not taking the easy road through life, our route is filled with bumps, challenges, and sometimes a change of directions – but damn than obnoxiously positive attitude of yours keeps us on track, and it’s helped bring us here.”  -Helena to Matthew of Happy Acre Farm

fathersDAYcic15This is Matthew’s second Father’s Day. Both Helena and August are so grateful to have his love and encouragement.

“As hard and stressful as some days (or weeks or seasons even) of farming can be, I am hella lucky. Lucky to be able to do what I want for a living, instead of what I need to do to get by. And lucky I get to spend so much time with my main dudes.” -Helena of Happy Acre Farm

Happy Acre Farm Family / Crafted in CarharttHappy Acre Farm Family / Crafted in CarharttHappy Acre Farm Family / Crafted in CarharttFather's Day at Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in Carhartt

Don’t forget to tell all the father figures in your life how grateful you are for them.

Helena from Happy Acre Farm

Sunny Sunol, California sits wedged between two historic railroad lines, a beacon of small town America along the rails and a remembrance of times past. Located along Niles Canyon, there are sweeping views at every turn—and there are a lot of turns. Winding roads slither their way up the foothills, then spit you out to the surrounding farms.

The population hovers just under 1,000 people. Aside from the 913 humans who call Sunol home, the tiny town boasted a rare honorary mayor, Bosco Ramos, a black Labrador and Rottweiler mix who beat out two candidates in the 1981 election. He served until his death in 1994. Now a new four legged boss rules the roost—Roux, at Happy Acre Farm. She was a rescue pup, abandoned on a doorstep in a cardboard box and adopted by Helena and Matthew Sylvester. At her new home—she’s plays the role of honorary farm dog mayor. (Read more about Roux here.)

Helena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in Carhartt

Helena and Matthew are both first generation farmers, originally from Oakland, CA. As they’ve taught themselves the ins and outs of ag life, they’ve learned to divide and conquer. Helena is the greenhouse master, planning out everything—from planting schedules to sharing the family’s activities on social media so their customers can embrace where their food comes from. Matthew spends a lot of his time in the fields, taking on farm projects from irrigation to soil nutrition and harvesting.

Last year, these two first generation farmers brought a second generation farmer into the world. August Wolf is already curious about his surroundings and has proven himself to be the best taste tester around.

Helena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in CarharttHelena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in CarharttHelena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in CarharttEvery Friday, Helena celebrates Farm Fashion Fridays on instagram. It’s a playful way to say something powerful that farmers know across the world:

“The farm doesn’t care what size my clothes are, what I look like in a bathing suit or that my husband brushes his hair more often than I do. It doesn’t judge me when I wear the same thing 5 days in a row or tell me I’m look sick when I’m not wearing make up. #Farmfashionfriday can be a lot of things. For me it’s about showing what farmers actually look like, and being silly because I am who I am.” -Helena of Happy Acre Farm

Helena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in CarharttHelena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in Carhartt

“My hopes for August’s childhood are for him to be outside as much as possible…I want him to be comfortable outside, and to be able to use his imagination and play. I want him to know the different birds and frogs and other animals we get on the farm. I want him to be able to get his energy out, make smart decisions, and trust himself, but also be able to ask us for help when he needs it.” -Helena of Happy Acre Farm

Helena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in Carhartt“It’s a lot of hard and dirty work, early mornings, late nights, and learning curves. We don’t get off the farm much during the season, unless you count doing farmers markets, and our date nights are usually spent in the fields with leftovers and a cold beer. But it’s worth every moment, to do something we’re both truly passionate about, and we’re excited to watch our family grow and raise our children to follow their own path, wherever it may lead.” -Helena of Happy Acre Farm

“If you want to be something, be it. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to grow something, grow it.” -Helena of Happy Acre Farm

Helena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in CarharttHelena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in CarharttHelena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in Carhartt

“When I first started farming, I only knew two other female farmers: my boss and her friend. Through the years that has changed dramatically to the point where I now meet more women farmers than men. I’m not sure if there are more women farming or if now we’re just able to see each other, or both. Either way, it’s magic.” -Helena of Happy Acre Farm

“If you’re inspired to start farming and are looking for tips on where to go from there, here are some things that hit home for me.

  • GROW SOMETHING. Whether you have a back yard raised beds, pots on your lanai or an allotment, grow something. Get crusty, get muddy, get hooked.
  • MAKE MISTAKES. They are inevitable, just learn from them.
  • FACE CHALLENGES. Your first move isn’t your final step – don’t get discouraged when you realize this is a lot harder than you maybe thought it was going to be.
  • LEARN. There are plenty of books + online courses from farmers like @jeanmartinfortier and @neversinkfarm
  • GET DIRTY. Help with a school garden, volunteer on a farm (and if they say no it’s probably not because of you, there are strict farm volunteer laws in CA), there are even internship opportunities at amazing farms like @full_belly_farm , or programs like @ucscfarm or the stone barn.
  • BUILD COMMUNITY. Meet other farmers or people interested in supporting local farms. Community is huge. Instagram has been amazing for broadening our farm community – and answering our farm questions.
  • DO SOMETHING. Start somewhere. Fan that flame + don’t let it go out.” –Helena of Happy Acre Farm

Helena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in CarharttHelena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in Carhartt

“Farming with a babe has definitely been a learning curve; with less sleep, a lot of prioritizing what NEEDS to get done vs what would be nice to get done, and learning to say yes and accept the offers of friends and family to help out. But seeing this butter bean suckin’ on a tomato, grabbin’ at kale leaves and trying his first roasted hakuri turnip makes the craziness worthwhile.” -Helena of Happy Acre Farm

Helena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in CarharttHelena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in CarharttHelena from Happy Acre Farm / Crafted in CarharttStay up to date with Helena, Matthew, August, and Roux on instagram.


Mother-Daughter Ironworkers, Carolina and Kat in Seattle

Carolina Taylor has been an Ironworker for the past 22 years.

That statement is loaded with accomplishment. In the 1990s, becoming an Ironworker as a woman was no easy feat. How did Carolina pave that road for herself?


It started with a road trip, an 18 hour quest up the West Coast from Los Angeles to Seattle. Carolina packed all of her belongings into her ’65 Galaxy with her daughter, Kat, as her copilot. She searched for a job that would provide for her and Kat—but all the “female” jobs like clerk typist, medical translator, or assistant tax accountant paid very little and offered no benefits.

A friend of Carolina’s who worked on highway construction suggested she check out a new program at Renton Technical College that offered good wages and benefits. She signed up immediately. After seeing The Space Needle as an example of what Ironworkers could do, Carolina realized her calling. She wanted to be one of “The Cowboys of the Sky.”

The beginning of Carolina’s career had its obstacles. Her car gave out, and she had to wake up early every morning to ride the bus to work, often rising several hours before her work day began so she could drop her daughter off at day care.

“On the job training began when I first stepped on the job site. It was mental and physical. All my senses were on high alert to make sure what tasks I did were done well and showed that I wanted to be there and that I belonged there.

As an apprentice, I was the only women in the gang… My arrival on the job site meant behavior change. (ie: taking down calendars with naked women, using different language, stepping out of comfort zones, etc…)

Did I work my fair share? Was I worth the trouble?

I remember the sticker on a hard hat that said, ‘I won’t work with someone who squats to piss!’

I walked tall and fearless, focused on learning to work safe and efficient to make it another day and provide for my daughter. I gave no one permission to break me or make me feel like I did not belong there.” -Carolina Taylor

With such a hardworking mom as her example, Kat grew up to be self-sufficient. Obstacles weren’t so daunting—she had living proof of what was possible watching her mom overcome her own hardships.

It wasn’t until after Kat attended her first orientation that she told her mother that she too wanted to be an Ironworker. Carolina felt a rush of colliding emotions when she heard the news.

“I know what it’s like out there. So many feelings…proud, excited for her. I know she is capable of working in the field in a safe manner, however as her mother, I had to prepare myself in the event she got hurt. Being in the same union eased the fact that even though I was not working in the field with her, my brothers in the field that did work with her would let me know how she was doing and would keep an eye on her.” -Carolina Taylor

Mother Daughter Ironworkers, Carolina and Kat / Crafted in CarharttMother Daughter Ironworkers, Carolina and Kat / Crafted in CarharttMother Daughter Ironworkers, Carolina and Kat / Crafted in CarharttMother Daughter Ironworkers, Carolina and Kat / Crafted in CarharttThe Taylor women have come full circle in their work and personal lives. Carolina, who began her career after seeing how the Space Needle was built, worked on the recent remodeling of the structure. Kat became a Jorneyman Ironworker in 2018 and is now herself a loving mother and a first time homeowner.

Mother Daughter Ironworkers, Carolina and Kat / Crafted in CarharttMother Daughter Ironworkers, Carolina and Kat / Crafted in CarharttMother-Daughter Ironworkers / Crafted in Carhartt

Ironworker Carolina Taylor’s Advice for Aspiring Tradespeople:

  • take good care of yourself
  • spend quality time with your family
  • continue making goals to achieve the next positions as a union member (ie: business agent, organizer, union president, apprenticeship instructor, coordinator)
  • be a dream-chaser, goal-reacher, and butt-kicker

Carolina has taken her own advice, advancing her career as she kept her goals in mind. In 2013, she was asked to be an apprenticeship instructor, teaching fundamental trade skills to pre-apprentices and 1st year apprentices. In 2015, she was named Tradeswoman of the Year by Washington Women In Trades. Right now, she teaches a welding class for TERO (Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance) for Yakama Nation in Toppenish.

On top of it all, Carolina still works in the field, building the city she lives in, tapping into her inner strength and original intention for being on the job site in the first place. It is still a thrill to see the transformation generated by her own two hands, working together with the crew she now sees as part of the family.

Mother Daughter Ironworkers, Carolina and Kat / Crafted in Carhartt
Building beautiful cities like Seattle would be impossible without Ironworkers like Carolina and Kat.

If Carloina’s sacrifices and strength remind you of your mom, share this story with her and thank her for everything she’s done.

Life on a House Boat in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is famous for the canals that line over 60 miles of the port city’s streets, and those canals are famous for the houseboats that in turn line them. In an effort to raise their daughter nearer to nature, Mijs and her husband, Casper, decided to move into a houseboat. From the water, you are that much closer to the elements and animals alike. Life on a House Boat in Amsterdam / Crafted in CarharttLiving on a House Boat in Amsterdam / Crafted in CarharttHowever, buying a houseboat in Amsterdam is no easy task. There are only so many allotted spaces where people are allowed to set up camp. One must be lucky enough to find a current home for sale and buy their spot on the quay.

The ship this family of three has called home for the last 9 years was once a cargo boat for sand. It still functions as a seafaring vessel, but its engine has been removed. Once every 5 to 6 years, their boat is tugged to the wharf where it is inspected. There the boat is cleaned, removing all dirt and clams that have attached themselves to the bottom, and then re-painted.

“In Amsterdam it’s normal to have people living upstairs, downstairs, on both sides of you, but with our ship, we are like an island. We have one neighbor next to us, but we don’t hear each other, so that’s really nice (especially for them, because my husband loves to play the drums). When people sleep over, they say it’s the best sleep ever. We think it’s because there is no concrete underneath us, but water and mud.” -Mijs van de Griek

Life on a House Boat in Amsterdam / Crafted in CarharttLife on a House Boat in Amsterdam / Crafted in Carhartt

Life on a House Boat in Amsterdam / Crafted in Carhartt

Mijs is a small business owner, with 2 side jobs. She works hard, but also finds time to enjoy free time with her daughter, Runa (age 9). The family often swims in the canal during the summer and skates on the canal when it freezes over in the winter. Together, they’ve raised a duck who also calls their houseboat home. Runa helps her parents with chores, and enjoys the tasks of those who are lucky enough to reside on the canals. Life on a House Boat in Amsterdam / Crafted in Carhartt

“We think Amsterdam cannot be without houseboats. It’s part of the scenery. Most of the people who live on a boat are handy people, who are kind and would love to help each other. We are a bit more independent than people who live in a ‘normal’ house, because we need to do more things.

My grandfather taught me how to build things with wood. My father taught me how electricity works and what you can do with that. And I’m a bit handy myself, so I don’t really ask people to come and make stuff at our ship, I just do it myself. I built us a cupboard. I wanted to have more light in our ship, so I’ve taken the jigsaw one day and sat on our roof and sawed two large windows in our roof. We also wanted a fireplace, so we made that ourselves as well. I’m used to fix things myself and don’t ask for help, and I kinda like that.” -Mijs van de GriekLife on a House Boat in Amsterdam / Crafted in CarharttMijs has spent much of her life on boats. Before living on one, she was a boating instructor. Like many locals, Mijs has a smaller boat the family uses on weekends to cruise the canals. This summer, they’ll set off for a two week boating adventure.

The Women Chance Land and Livestock

Chance Land and Livestock was founded in 2000 by Robin and Chris Niederhauser in Clements, California. For the last 14 years, the couple and their 2 children, Brooke and Seth, have lived on and worked the land. Ranching is a family way of life, after all.

“We always had our kids with us. They came along as often as they could when we worked cattle or doing the daily chores. We are blessed that they have always enjoyed it. They learned early on the responsibility it takes to have cattle and horses. A lot of school vacations and holidays are spent caring for the cattle. Flexibility is very important when it comes to taking care of livestock.” -Robin Niederhauser

Brooke recently graduated from Cal Poly and is now a first year veterinary student at Colorado State to become a large animal veterinarian. Due to her upbringing, Brooke has been able to spend countless hours dedicated to her passions: the ranching industry, caring for animals, western heritage, and health. Becoming a vet is a perfect combinations of those interests.

“Growing up on a ranch definitely gave me a unique perspective on life, and taught me hard work and commitment. It also taught me to appreciate the beauty in everything, as it was a great place to live and grow up.” -Brooke Niederhauser (pictured below)

Niederhauser Ranch / Crafted in CarharttNiederhauser Ranch / Crafted in CarharttBoth Robin and Brooke have been riding horses for as long as they can remember. Robin learned from her father, and she and Chris passed the same knowledge down to their children. Brooke now competes regularly in rodeos, and has been since age five.

“I barrel race, breakaway rope, and team rope and competed in both high school and college rodeo. I was a part of the Cal Poly Rodeo Team and helped put together Poly Royal Rodeo. This past year, I also won the West Hills College Rodeo in barrel racing, and got to ride an amazing horse. I love the team and the memories I made there, and the sense of team work that always persisted. I train my own horses, and love when all the pieces come together for a successful run.” -Brooke Niederhauser

“I wish people knew that ranching is not just a job but a way of life for all of us. We love the land and we love our livestock. We do the best we can to care for it all.” -Robin Niederhauser (pictured below)

Niederhauser Ranch / Crafted in CarharttNiederhauser Ranch / Crafted in Carhartt

Niederhauser Ranch / Crafted in CarharttNiederhauser Ranch / Crafted in CarharttNiederhauser Ranch / Crafted in Carhartt

In the spirit of the holiday season, when we’re all feeling a little extra thankful, it’s fitting to look to our parents and mentors remind them what they mean to us.

“I am extremely thankful for my mom. She taught me about hard work and the importance of family. Most importantly, she taught me how to always be there when someone needs me. She is such a hard worker, as she takes care of the majority of the office work regarding the ranch, and still finds time to exercise horses and keep everyone fed and happy. Even if she’s been working all day and is exhausted, she still makes sure that she finishes everything she expected to do that day when she woke up. I hope that I’m as good at balancing out my life as she is someday, and that I can always be counted on as well. She is a constant source of support, and I’m grateful that I can call her at any time for advice or encouragement.” -Brooke Niederhauser

Niederhauser Ranch / Crafted in CarharttNiederhauser Ranch / Crafted in CarharttNiederhauser Ranch / Crafted in Carhartt

Who taught you the value of a good work ethic? Perhaps this is the perfect time to say thank you.

Nico Voyatzis of Dory Fishing Fleet

Dory Fishing Fleet, operating since 1891, was founded before the city of Newport Beach. The location can’t be beat—beachfront, in the sand, at the base of the Newport Pier, once known as the McFadden Wharf. Over 100 years ago, the market was designed to cut out the middleman, selling the daily catch directly to the public. That business model remains untouched to this day. The Market is open Wednesday through Sunday until noon. They offer a vast array of the freshest possible seafood. The stone crab and spot prawn are among their most popular items.

Nico Voyatzis has worked in the fishing industry for 25 years. She’s run the gamete of occupations, from fishing to cleaning tanks and cutting lobster to selling fish at the market. She, along with her husband and his family, work tirelessly to maintain the historical business.

“Families get crazy when working together, a fishing family more so. You have to be on call 24/7. You compromise and take a deep breath knowing that they will be there no matter what, especially when your employee doesn’t show up for work. It has been an interesting 25 years of events. Many fisherman have left the fleet, but thank God there are still a few that are willing to replace the hard work and long hours of their fathers or retired fishermen.” -Nico

Dory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in CarharttDory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in Carhartt

“The Dory Fleet is quite a unique piece of history. It was here before the city of Newport, since 1891. I’m lucky enough to have been here a while to hear some of the retired fishermen’s stories, working outdoor by the beach, seeing all the regular costumers and locals for as long as I can remember and the great support from the community.” -Nico

Dory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in Carhartt

“My husband’s father was looking for a job, coming to America with only $600. Back in 1981, it wasn’t very much at all. He went fishing on the pier and happened to notice a few fishermen down at the fleet. He went and asked them for a job, lucky enough a guy hired him. He was bating lines in the beginning, then started to go fishing with him. After a few years, he saved enough to buy a boat and fishing gear for himself. Marco and his brothers started along side their dad at a very young age. By the time Marco was 16 he was able to go fishing on his own.” -Nico

Dory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in CarharttDory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in CarharttDory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in CarharttDory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in CarharttDory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in CarharttDory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in Carhartt

“My favorite part of the job is being outdoors.” -Nico

Dory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in CarharttDory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in CarharttDory Fishing Fleet / Crafted in Carhartt


Bobbie Rowe of Kubich Lumber Company

Meet Bobbie Rowe. She’s been a nurse for two years, but she’s always played a big role at her family’s lumber mill. Her main gig is driving the water truck, and when it gets busy, it’s all hands on deck. Then you can find her throwing strips or controlling the multi-head resaw she built with her dad as a child.

The mill has been in operation for over 70 years. It sits deep in the woods of Grass Valley, a small Californian town that was the epicenter of the Gold Rush in the 1800s. With a population of just under 13,000, the city is closely knit together by a strong sense of community and tradition.

That small town nostalgia comes alive when you step foot on Kubich Lumber Company property. Many of their techniques are similar to the ones used in the 1800s. Gorgeous old equipment alongside newer technology makes for a one of a kind service.

KUBICH LUMBER YARD / Crafted in CarharttKUBICH LUMBER YARD / Crafted in Carhartt

“It’s hard work, but in a way it’s simple. Way down here, surrounded by acres of forest and so far from the rest of civilization I can just focus on my job without all the chaos.” -Bobbie Rowe

KUBICH LUMBER YARD / Crafted in CarharttKUBICH LUMBER YARD / Crafted in Carhartt

“Nowhere else feels like home. I really enjoy that Grass Valley is surrounded by natural beauty, but my favorite thing about this town is the rare sense of community. No matter how much the town grows, downtown is still the center hub of activity. We still have so many town traditions. I love walking into the supermarket or the movie theater and running into people who truly know me and greet me with genuine smiles. I hope it never changes.” -Bobbie Rowe

KUBICH LUMBER YARD / Crafted in Carhartt

“I’m a true believer that if you want something bad enough and are willing to work for it, you will get it. I would encourage anyone interested to get into the lumber business. It’s so underrated these days, but it’s an industry that needs to be kept alive and it’s up to our generation to get our hands dirty to see that happen.” -Bobbie Rowe

KUBICH LUMBER YARD / Crafted in Carhartt

“People are especially shocked to find out I’m a nurse when I jump out of the water truck. I remember dad laughing really hard one day after I drove the truck when I first became a nurse. He told me a couple customers had just commented on how cool it was that he hired a woman truck driver and he replied ‘That’s actually my daughter, and can you believe she is giving up truck driving to be a nurse at Stanford? She must be crazy.’ The truth is I really would be crazy to completely walk away from the mill.” -Bobbie Rowe

KUBICH LUMBER YARD / Crafted in Carhartt

“As kids, my cousins, brother and I lived to go to work with our dads. It was the best place to play and be kids. We didn’t even realize that all the while they were teaching us lessons about being hard working, decent people. We didn’t care about the video games and MP3 players other kids had…We had the trees and the creek and the sawdust pile, so what more did we need?” -Bobbie Rowe

KUBICH LUMBER YARD / Crafted in Carhartt
an imprint left by Bobbie in her childhood

Five Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse

Today, we make our way back to Fort Jones, California to spend time with the crew at Five Marys Farms. Crafted in Carhartt visited a year ago, and we thought we’d check back in to see how they’re doing. Turns out, the team’s been busy!

Last New Year’s Eve, Five Marys Burgerhouse opened its doors just 5 minutes from the family farm. The menu is filled with all sorts of comfort food and local meats raised by the Heffernans.

Five Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in Carhartt

The Heffernan family raises the beef, pork, and lamb served in the restaurant just a few miles down the road at Five Marys Farms. 

Five Marys Farms and Five Marys Burger House / Crafted in Carhartt
Meet Amanda Turner. She’s an outdoor adventurer and nature lover. Amanda works at 5 Marys Burgerhouse. Her favorite item on the menu is the Rancher Burger.

“Honestly what I love most about Five Marys is working for such an amazing family! I love being around the Heffernan’s can do attitudes, and watching and interacting with their incredibly talented and helpful girls. They truly embody the definition of a family business. I love that the girls are so involved whether it be feeding the animals, writing thank you notes for the shipments, or brightening the nights of guests at the restaurant taking orders.” -Amanda Turner

Meanwhile, back on the farm…

Five Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in Carhartt

Five Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in Carhartt

Mary Heffernan, mother to 4 daughters also named Mary, is constantly hard at work. If she’s not feeding the livestock, she’s at their new restaurant, 5 Marys Burgerhouse, or keeping her instagram followers up to date with the daily happenings of life with her family on the ranch.

Five Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in CarharttFive Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in CarharttFive Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in CarharttFive Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in Carhartt

Mary recently released an ebook “They Can Do It. What I Learned About Raising Kids by Moving to the Country.” In it, she highlights the ways her extraordinary daughters have grown and developed in their new lifestyle. The book is filled with insights, much like the Heffernan family motto, “Be Kind. Don’t Whine. Be Tough.”

Find out how you can get a copy for yourself here.

Five Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in Carhartt
“I’m no expert at raising kids, but when our life changed pretty drastically by moving to the ranch almost four years ago, I started noticing changes in our girls and in our parenting. By necessity things work different on a ranch and kids have to be more independent and resourceful and more is expected of them.” -Mary Heffernan

Five Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in CarharttFive Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in CarharttFive Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in Carhartt

There’s nothing quite like a quiet night with the family on the highest peak of the ranch–filling bellies with s’mores and the night air with mischievous giggles from the most adventurous of girls.

Five Marys Farms & Five Marys Burgerhouse / Crafted in Carhartt