NECTAR & GREEN – The Skinny on Almond Milk

 

Organic. Pure. Raw. Local. All the buzz words for health nuts and foodies alike and Laurel McConnel has got them all covered. What’s not to love about an organic local product? On Saturday, we were lucky enough to have these makers in our store to hold a pop up Almond Milk Bar. Nectar & Green’s freshly made small-batch almond milk has a uniquely pure and simple taste that can win over any skeptic of milk substitutes. The taste spoke for itself, after sampling for just a few hours, Nectar & Green was sold out.

Our customers who dropped in had nothing but praise: One loyal customer came out to grab the limited edition bottles Laurel was featuring at our pop-up: “I never bought almond milk until I met Laurel and now I love it. I came to see her out here today to get the smaller bottles!” Two shoppers who had never heard of the brand before got an introduction to local, raw almond milk: “I’ve never liked almond milk before but this is definitely something I would keep buying.”

One of our favorite customers, 6 year old Ellis, chimed in to give us a younger perspective: “It wasn’t as sweet as I thought it was going to be! It was one of the best milks I have ever had.” He said he “likes it the same amount as ice cream.” There you go Moms; Kid Approved!

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13490705_1815204718710736_1412034133695897077_oDaughter of a small business owner in Connecticut, Laurel had always been a food nut with an entrepreneurial spirit.  Initially her goal was bringing natural, healthy farm fresh food to urban neighborhoods through education and working with children in the Boston area. With the boom of the health food craze, Laurel couldn’t help but seize this opportunity to bring a locally sourced health product to Boston area.

Not only does Laurel’s almond milk business produce a healthy, delicious product, she gives business to other local vendors as well. Locally sourced ingredients make her product fresh, raw, and beneficial to your health. Nectar and Green gets its sea salt from Atlantic Saltworks, their honey from Tomten Beeworks in Ipswich, and their lavender from Cape Cod.

Almond milk is not only a way to avoid dairy, it has some serious benefits that can change your life. Here’s 5 ways you can use almond milk to feel better, look better, and eat better.

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  • Healthier Looking Skin:
Almond milk contains high amounts of vitamin E, a key natural nutrient that helps maintain healthy skin. In addition to making your skin look healthier it has some serious health benefits as well:  antioxidants that help repair previously existing damage including environmental pollutants and ultraviolet radiation. You can also use almond milk as a natural skin cleanser by adding rose water.
  •  Natural Anti-Inflammatory:
Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the risks for chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease. But not ALL almond milk has this property– it is important to avoid
Almond milk with added processed sugars as they can cause the opposite effect. This is why Nectar and Green is such an important and healthy option to consider (and its delicious).
  • Anti Cancer:
Cancers such as prostate cancer cells can be increased with the consumption of milk with added hormones and Almond Milk is an excellent hormone free alternative. Almond milk helps decrease the growth of LNCaP cells by 30% more than by drinking cow’s milk.

 

 This is Why We Do What We Do: 
 Laurel’s entrepreneurial dedication to educating people about raw, organic, and locally sourced almond milk is a mission we can get behind. We love highlighting businesses that use ingredients with integrity, from the soil they come from to the local people who dedicate their lives to making a quality product.

A Day Spent with Porcelain and Stone

Kimberly Huestis of Porcelain and Stone is one of our favorite makers to work with—we’ve been carrying her jewelry for over 4 years now! She stopped in the store this past Saturday for a pop-up, to show off some of her jewelry and teach us more about her amazing craft.

Check out our q&a with her here.

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Missed our Porcelain and Stone pop-up? We’ve got you covered! Below are a selection of pieces we currently have in shop and online.

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Maker Spotlight: Kimberly Huestis – Porcelain and Stone

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Kimberly has been a maker at OG for 4 years now. She’s one of our favorite people to work with because her products directly reflect where she is in life. We sat her down (again!) to tap into that authentic creativity that seems to come so naturally to her.

Who: Kimberly Huestis

What: Ceramic jewelry

Where: Boston, MA

When: Since August of 2012

What got you started in your trade?—why jewelry?

I got started making my own jewelry probably right around high school. I couldn’t find jewelry that I would wear that looked different and that I wouldn’t react to since nickel allergies weren’t as apparent back then… I always wanted something unique, or funky… something that no one else would be able to just buy easily. […] I wanted something that was unseen before. So, I obviously had to make it! Even after I graduated college, I still enjoyed seeking out the not-so-often seen fashions. […]

Your website says that you are dedicated to the “coastal lifestyle.”

What does the “coastal lifestyle” mean to you and how does it tie in with the products that you make?

Ah yes! The coastal lifestyle… I love the sense of feeling connected to both land and water. The smell of crisp and salty adventure in the ocean or even a lakefront, ideally with mountains at your back (swoon)! I grew up in Vermont and our dad would frequently take my sisters and I down to the lake shore just to skip rocks on a lazy Sunday afternoon. […]

The Vermont coastal lake scene has always been my upbringing, framed by mountains. But, I have always been frightened and fascinated by the ocean and the beautiful and strong things that hide underneath its dark canvas of thick water. 

I take inspiration from the coastal lifestyle and use that to influence my product designs. In many cases it may be a simple design nod in the general direction with nautical ideas or a hint at the ocean waves, etc. Rarely, I might make a very literal design, as with the uni necklace, created a few years back. It’s a classic design that holds fascination for so many of us and is a beautiful nature-made design. So much of nature and the urban environment can hold inspiration, and I believe that’s why makers and artists are so frequently influenced by the things we love and surround ourselves with. […]

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You focus on the porcelain jewelry market—what drew you to porcelain

as opposed to other materials for making your products?

Ceramic clay was this beautiful medium that I had always worked with (even before I began rock carving). I have loved the strength of porcelain as it is the strongest of all the ceramic bodies. […] The material choice for porcelain was easy, since I would never have an allergy reaction to clay, it was the perfect choice to create sculptural jewelry. I came from making hemp woven necklaces long-long ago and at some point, you just want to grow-up and have something lovely and special. That to me is porcelain because of it’s heirloom quality. It is a beautiful recipe of the earth and combines well with gold for classic, family heritage beauty to easily pass down to the next generation. It has been the original hard jewelry for man-kind starting with bones and rock; and when crushed and combined… you begin to create a ceramic body with varying minerals and clays.

What is one of your favorite pieces that you’ve made and why?

One of my favorite pieces that I have made is the Nautical Yoke Necklace because it was one of the very first designs I made that constantly got Porcelain and Stone recognized in the beginning. It was my show-piece that I intended to present as an education item to show off porcelains great strengths. Not many folks were yet aware that porcelain could be a jewelry item that could be worn outside of a museum gallery setting. I would wear it around town and more than a handful of times be yelled at by waitstaff, bartenders, or folks walking out of a local sandwich shop who just wanted to know what I was wearing. The porcelain jewelry market was basically non-existent in 2012 so that’s when I made it my goal to get it on the map. I wanted to change the perception and expectations that people had about ceramics being only good for beads and basic stringing (always beautiful, can’t knock it). But for me, it was about honoring the greatness of porcelain and how highly it has always been regarded for centuries as a collectible. It is part of my heritage. I wanted to bring a higher integrity to help redefine porcelain as the white gold of the mainstream jewelry world. What better way than to pair it with real 22k gold?

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What advice would you give to someone starting out in the

female-owned small business industry?

Enjoy the ride because it’s unpredictable… Keep your mind on goals you want to reach for your business, and map out milestones that might help you get there. Follow it, and you’ll land where you need to be….. Always be moving forward. When you get down, step sideways and do something creatively different from your specialty. Get outside of yourself and look at the world around you. Don’t stress too much, or if you must, celebrate in it and then move on to living and being a functioning part of awesome. Sketch out ideas and remember that just because you can make something doesn’t mean it’s a good design or worthy of your time. Making good decisions is a choice, and well… highly subjective. 😉

 Interview by: Hillary Bautch

Valentine’s Day Gratitude from OG

A sincere thanks to all of our wonderful customers for making Valentine’s Day another beautiful
and successful holiday at Olives & Grace!  We’re so glad to be a part of your celebration.

xoxo
Team OG

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Interview with Karen Covey of The Coastal Table

This week we caught up with author and friend of the store Karen Covey to ask about her cookbook, magazine, and what inspires her. The Coastal Table is a quarterly publication on coastal living, with a New England focus but a global vision.  Any print lover knows the satisfaction of holding a freshly-printed issue, and The Coastal Table does not disappoint. Not only is the content inspiring, but it’s an elegant object you’ll be glad to have grace your coffee table. Pick it up on one of these chilly fall days, and find a cozy corner to tuck into…

 

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Featured Maker : Knit Kits from WOOL AND THE GANG

IMG_7985Wool and the Gang was founded by designers Aurelie Popper and Jade Harwood to steer the tide away from fast fashion.  They wanted something more sustainable, personal, human.  With the help of other forward-thinking women they started WATG – “pioneering fashion production that’s made in a sustainable way, bringing back knitting as a viable means of production for generations to come”.

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We’re loving Wool and the Gang‘s Knit Kits that make it super simple and easy to knit your own cozy goods, even for beginners.  Each kit has everything you need to complete a knitting project – needles, yarn, and pattern.  Come by the shop and check our beginner kits for fingerless Montana Mittens or the Yummy Scarf.  As we hunker down for colder days take up a new project – knit your own scarf or mittens this fall to keep you warm through the winter!

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