RISE UP: THE ROOTS COLLABORATIVE
A WOMEN'S COLLECTIVE
Curated around the central theme of eco-consciousness, sustainability and women-based small business, each of the businesses and products in our Roots Collaborative are carefully chosen because they, in some way, bring into focus the question of how things that we use are made and where they're from sourced from, and raise awareness of the importance of conscious consumerism and ethical consumption. The concepts highlight our fragile ecosystems (both natural and social). The physical retail box formed around the idea of collectively working to enhance the relationships and conscientious business models that need our support right now more than ever.
I think all of us have a better and truer understanding of how important the work we do collectively really is, now more than ever. Borderland has always been a model I've admired, ever since Jen Brazill pitched shop in the empty studio space at Redfish that I, coincidentally, now call my own. Jen's drive to promote sustainability as a "this is just the way it should be done and that's that" is a concept that captured me instantly. That's why when the opportunity came to work together to grow last Christmas' little Ruminant Love Box, affectionately known as "The Goat Box," into something larger that could truly be of value, I was hooked. We both grabbed on and rode the wave.
We worked over the winter to bring The Spring 2021 Collaborative Box: Rise Up: The Roots Revival project to fruition, and it was a source of joy and connection. While I can't speak for Jen, it kept me rooted to something hopeful and full of light through what was a very dark and difficult winter season. Forming relationships with the other women involved in this project as we worked to bring everyone together was a truly uplifting experience, and only validated (for me, anyway) how important the messaging behind this project really is.
Composed of products produced exclusively by small, local, female-driven businesses, we chose to launch our Spring Box on Earth Day to help drive home the message that our small choices matter to Mother Earth.
We launched our current installment, the Fall "Drawn In" Box, this past week at Borderland, where the Roots Collaborative was on hand to share in community. What an amazing day!
Our Roots Revival Box included earth-friendly products such as fresh local lavender plants from Wild Blossom Hollow, organic goats’ milk soap from Alpine Made, local honey, beeswax candles from Hahn’s Honeybee Haven, and a collection of seeds and pollinators from Masterson's Garden. Local artists like myself and Jenny Licata included fine art that features subjects or processes that highlight the natural world and our consumption of it. The central focus of the spring box was regrowth and pollinator awareness.
Our Fall Box turns the focus towards individual self-care and as we draw in for fall and start turning our own focus inwards. What ways are the products we choose to invest in for self-care or beauty supportive to the environment, and how can we direct our dollars away from larger mainstream products to smaller models, made by women right here in our communities, gathering flowers, distilling at home while managing child care, thoughtfully engaging in the act of making without petroleum based or chemically based agents? What would that look like?
Individual acts, when taken up collectively, have an impact that go beyond just the benefit to ourselves.
Our Fall box includes Organic Hand Poured candles made by a small batch maker here in Buffalo, who mixes her own scents using essential oils and botanicals. She created a scent just for me using Provence Lavender and local harvested lavender buds. It includes a selection of natural Gua Sha stones and a bottle of hand distilled lymphatic health body oil, made from hand harvested herbs selected for their role in supporting lymph health, made by a woman in Hamburg. A loofa dry brush exfoliator is my own contribution this time, for use with the oil, made from single flock origin domestic wool, and utterly compostable. Alpine Made is back with her Lovely Lady bar, and Let's Goat is again contributing a H.E.R.D. sponsorship to assit in re-outiftting the herd after their devastating fire earlier this month. If you don't know about this, I'd encourage you to check out Jen's feed here. Every box purchase counts as direct support to her and our four legged friends. And our friends at Borderland are contributing a piece of Borderland merch. A full listing of the contributions to the box can be found in the listing on our store.
The box is available as a pre-order now until October 25 for pick-up on November 7 out of our building on Elm Street in East Aurora. Inquiries for special orders for Christmas gifting can be made by sending an email through the website. Each one of the products in this box are a perfect way to gift conscientiously this year, either collectively or singly. Amazon's going to be fine; our small maker and artist communities need our support.
Ten percent of the proceeds from sales of our Roots Boxes this year will be donated to Buffalo Niagara Waterkeepers, to help support the work they do to preserve and protect our local water tables, a critical piece of environmental work right here in WNY.
In addition to the obvious purchase, the larger messaging of this project will continue, involving each participant, with highlights designed to raise conversations and awareness about the real results that their work accomplishes, and how those who are on the consumer side of this relationship can share, and take positive steps to bring that work into their own communities. Those interested in participating can send an inquiry through the contact form.
This is not just a box. It is a movement by a group of very driven and dedicated women.
We have so much work to do, and compassionate, conscious small business models like these are the future. I'm so in love with everything about this project, and the response we've gotten so far from this project has been so validating - seeing that so many care about this work has been revitalizing for us as well. So, Thank you...from the bottom of our wild little hearts, for supporting this, either with a purchase or sharing on platforms that help promote awareness.
Please consider purchasing a box to help support the goals of the project and subscribe to the email list to keep abreast of new developments in the project.
You can also follow along on social media at The Roots Collaborative.
Thank you for being a part of this! Rise Up, and Give Green a Chance.
THE WOMEN BEHIND THE ROOTS
KERRY PLANCK - ALPINE MADE
Kerry Planck's Alpine Made Farm is located on 15 acres of organic pasture tucked away by the Buffalo Creek just outside of East Aurora, where she handcrafts soap and skincare products made from goat’s milk from her herd. The first organic certified goat’s milk farm in NYS, she specializes in products with completely all-natural ingredients. All colorings and scents are derived from flowers, vegetables, herbs, spices and essential oils, many of them grown on the farm. Kerry’s interest in making sure we protect our local pollinators and small organic agriculture movements isn’t just an abstract concept for her - it is essential to her way of life.
Kerry is contributing one bar of her Lovely Lady Bar Soap.
KELLY HANLEY - NO PLANET B
Kelly Hanley is a candle maker who is passionate about using plant based and small batch crafting to create a zero footprint, in keeping with "there is no planet B." She mixes her scents and hand pours all candles using organic soy, organic cotton wicks and reusable tins. She makes a donation to wildlife, environmental or national resource conservation charities with each candle purchased. Preferred organizations are: The Natural Park Foundation, Coral Restoration Foundation, Marathon Turtle Hospital and Empower Camp, a local group that empowers young women to embody their truest selves.
Kelly is contributing 1 4-oz French Lavender candle, with a special scent made just for us with Provence Lavender EO and local lavender buds.
TAMI FULLER - BLUBIRD STUDIO
East Aurora Fiber Artist Tami Fuller teaches fiber arts workshops which focus on modernizing the traditional crafts and showing how they can be connected to broader fine art applications, with the goal of revitalizing the fiber arts through education. Working primarily with sheep wool, she is particularly concerned with raising awareness of slow fashion, conscious consumption and ethical wool production. She is a native of Ellicottville, who grew up on a working fiber farm and still holds a strong connection to the land. She is a passionate supporter of women farmers and female-centered business, and Blubird produces a small line of ecologically conscious home goods whose goals are to reduce single-use plastic consumption and toxic chemicals. She uses a transparent supply chain made from ethically and humanely sourced wool to produce her products and uses her platform to raise awareness of the importance of the small agriculture and conscious consumerism.
Tami is contributing a Felted Exfoliator/Dry Brush alternative, made from single flock origin domestic wool.
JENNIFER BRAZILL - BORDERLAND
The Borderland Music + Arts Festival celebrates the rich history and renaissance of the region with a two-day music and cultural festival set in one of the most scenic and storied grounds in all of New York State, Knox Farm State Park. As Owner, Co-Founder and Sustainability Consultant, Jen has consistently used Borderland's messaging to promote environmentalism and responsible consumption. Borderland has been zero waste with a mission to reach zero footprint since its founding. She is also a member of the WNY Sustainability Council, and promotes eco-activism efforts in both local and national circles.
Borderland will be contributing a piece of "mystery merch," TBA, commemorating Borderland 2021, WNY's first and only zero-waste festival.
SARAH BORODZIK - CHICORY KIN
Sarah Borodzik is an herbal apothecary working with herbalism and small batch botanicals. She believes transient nature of flowers brings something unique with every creation and works with seasonal, local and foraged materials whenever possible. She is informed by a philosophy of never taking more than needed, always foraging ethically, responsibly, and with deep gratitude and remembering to leave with an offering or prayer. The apothecary offers small batch, individual medicinal plant creations, crafted from the deep heart and soul. Her mission, in spite of any physical change or distraction, is to help each other recover the importance of cultivating a personal relationship to the Earth and its medicine which grows all around us.
Jenny Licata is an artist and art teacher specializing in drawing and painting. While drawing is her specialty, she is accomplished in multiple media and is constantly learning and exploring new methods. Her work ranges from acrylic, watercolor, pencil, collage and traditional film photography. In addition to creating art in her home studio, she has been teaching privately and in school environments for nearly 15 years. She is driven by a passion for spreading her love of the arts of all kinds with students of every age, and currently teaches a variety of adult and children’s classes at MUSEjar in East Aurora in addition to private students. She strongly believes that art is an essential outlet for the soul and her focus is creating a calming, fun, and non-judgmental environment for exploration. She is the mother of two young children, and lives and works in East Aurora, where she fulfills her other creative passions, cooking and gardening. As such, Jenny is a passionate supporter of work to preserve our local landscape and the pollinators and wildlife that share it with us.
Jenny is contributing an original signed line drawing feat. Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, an endangered native, on handmade seed paper.
JENNIFER ZEITLER - LET'S GOAT BUFFALO9
Goatscaping, made popular on the West Coast as part of the larger movements surrounding conscious green management in the Pacific Northwest, uses goats to manage green scapes instead of traditional landscaping, with the goal of reducing the use of toxic herbicides and revitalizing land taken over by invasive species, because of the way the goat digestive process effectively sterilizes seeds and reproductive plant matter. Through Let’s Goat Buffalo, Jen Zeitler employs rescued and rehomed dairy goats to provide effective vegetation clearing services, offering them the chance at continuing to live fruitful, healthy lives, while contributing to a better environment for us all. She works closely with the park systems and local businesses, and her goats have reclaimed land at the Olmstead Park System, the Richardson Complex and Montezuma Nature Preserve, in addition to private residences and businesses all over the Buffalo and Rochester Area. In an effort to help stimulate community engagement and defray costs in maintaining the herd during the pandemic lockdown in 2020, she opened the H.E.R.D sponsorship program, which allows local families and businesses to play a role in supporting the progress and connect with the animals that make it possible. Her program and work have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, and she was recently selected as a fellow with NPR's "How I Built This" with Guy Raz.
Let’s Goat Buffalo will be contributing one entry Level Herd sponsorship.
LEE-ELLEN ACHTEN - FLORABUNDUS
Creator of unique flower types, Lee-Ellen Achten has been involved with natural flora in New England & New York since 1989. Her adventures over the years include business in floral design, Companion Garden projects, garden services, memorial site care, educational events featuring therapeutic use of flowers, friendship gardens and seed saving initiatives.
Lee is contributing her specially crafted
Rosy Lemon Sunshine Oatmeal Milk Bath Tea. Infused with calming ingredients to help calm and alleviate stress, the bath tea is lightly fragrant with rose, lemongrass, lemon and bergamot.