SOUTHERN MAKERS

Grassroots Gaming

Rockbridge Guitar Company co-founder and luthier, Brian Calhoun, sits at a 2013 Thanksgiving party suffering an unanticipated gauntlet of boardgames with friends and their preteen children. He slaps bubbles, rolls dice, moves pieces along rote cardboard routes—all the while feigning enthusiasm, biting his tongue. But the frustration is mounting. “This was supposed to be a …

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Forging Ahead

During a kindergarten visit to a living history museum in Staunton, Virginia, Jed Curtis first fell in love – he was entranced by the blacksmith. This passion was destined to grow alongside him. Even now, he dreams of fire and sparks and shapes that emerge from the flames. [dropcap letter=”A”]s a kid,” Curtis says, “you …

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Heirloom

“My Grandmother was the major inspiration for my business,” explains Ashley Schoenith. “I grew up with all things made-from-scratch – it’s all I knew.  I was always cooking and baking with her and my mom.” [dropcap letter=”S”]choenith was looking for a way to spend more time with her Grandmother, who was a wonderful seamstress; they …

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Lauri Jo’s

Never did Lauri Jo Bennett think that the love of canning would lead to a successful business. She spent many hours in the kitchen with her husband’s grandmother, Nita, canning the fruits and vegetables from the farming community where they lived. After his grandmother passed, Lauri Jo and  Mike moved back to her hometown of …

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Guitar Men

Back when their guitar-making business was still in its infancy, when they couldn’t afford to turn down even the most bizarre orders, Mark Dalton and Jeff Huss got a call from two guys who identified themselves as members of the LRORRSCS. “[dropcap letter=”T”]he Loyal Rectified Order of Ridge Runners and Skunk Callers Society,” says Huss, …

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Annie Hanks Ceramics

Katherine Hanks McAlister and Stephanie Anne Martin originally met as neighbors in Chattanooga, TN and spent most of their time together rock climbing and attending weekly pottery classes. It was at those pottery classes where they recognized their love and talent for ceramics could be a forever-hobby or they could work to create something more permanent …

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Sharp Passion

As they so often say, necessity is the mother of invention; and that was certainly true for Jared Thatcher as he tossed aside knife after knife when they’d dulled into uselessness during the course of fabricating a deer back in 2012. Breaking down a doe is a challenge in itself, but when your knife is actually …

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