farmers market · Handmade

3 French Hens Country Market 8-14-21

3 Pines Mercantile is a husband and wife run company out of Plainfield, IL featuring woodcarved decor. What attracted me to them was the sheer beauty of their excellent craftsmanship; I mean it, their stuff is beautiful!

Handmade cedarwood trivet. Photo from their Etsy shop.

I ended up purchasing one of the trivets seen in the photo above with the idea of using it as a charcuteire board, chosing the natural cedar wood design. Tangie of 3 Pines told me that if I wanted to put food on it, it was best to clean it afterwards with mineral oil, to preserve the integrity of the wood.

Handicraft Soul is another husband and wife run company, where they split their time between their home in both Wisconsin and South Africa. What attracted me to Handicraft was their message: using upcycled or repurposed materials to make items such as purses, scarves, cooler & tote bags and knitted toys, and being a Fair Trade company.
When I spoke to one of the owners, Ashley Anderson, about the cooler bags (which I purchased to help keep any produce I get from markets fresh before I can get them home), here’s what she had to say:

Shwe is a social enterprise group based in Johannesburg, South Africa that makes high quality cooler bags and handbags from recycled materials. They work together with NGOs, community-based groups, and women-owned micro businesses to uplift through job creation and reduce landfill waste at the same time. Right now they employ 10 women who make the bags, and the women are paid 2-3 times the minimum wage in South Africa. All 10 of the women employed by Shwe rely on that source of income to support their whole family.

The outer fabric used on the bags is a traditional South African shwe shwe fabric (a cotton fabric usually used to make clothing like dresses), while the foundation and lining of the bags is made from recycled waste materials including the PVC from old billboards, tents, and even car seat covers. The job opportunities provided through creating these stunning goods results in meaningful change for the local communities!

Photo of one of their Shwe cooler bags. Courtesy of their website

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