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Spotlight on Neighborhood Living

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 | Permalink

Neighborhood, image courtesy of Scorpions and Centaurs' flickr stream

Do you know who your neighbors are?  When I moved into my first house, I knew the old couple across the street because the woman gardened and her husband always looked a little cantankerous.  And I knew the single mother next door to us because, as our accounts manager David would say, she was an “unfortunate looking woman.”  But I never interacted with anyone on our street because their doors were always closed and none of them hung out on the front porch in groups like we did.

Regardless, as more people flock to the internet for Facebook farming and Skype sessions, maybe we should all make a little more effort to get to know each other.  I’m not saying you have to entertain thirty minute conversations with your neighbor about why his daughter is student of the week at the local middle school.  I’m just saying that maybe it’s time to say hi, or join the local tennis team like our CEO Linda Bryan did.  The warm weather is a perfect excuse to have neighborhood cookouts and softball games and pool parties.  Heck, you could even chat over the successes (and/ or failures) of your lawns and gardens for three minutes, and that would count!

You may end up finding out that your neighbors are caring, funny, or maybe even a little weird (you might like weird).  You may realize they enjoy the same TV shows you do, share your hobbies, or are even capable of babysitting your hyperactive eight year old on a Friday night so you can go somewhere for grownups.

Kyla Fullenwider actually did a great and simple list of ten things you could do to build some community in your, well… community.  And if some of her ideas do not seem apartment complex friendly (like, say, hide and seek), then just start knocking on doors anyway (may be less awkward if you bring baked goods with you).  Click here for the full list.

(For more from Scorpions and Centaurs’ flickr stream, click here.)

From Farm to Table

Monday, May 24th, 2010 | Permalink

Produce Travels Transparency, image courtesy of Good and Always With Honor

Did you know that broccoli travels for about 7 to 10 days before reaching your local grocery store?  That means that half of your broccoli’s life is already gone when you take it home.  If it sits in your refrigerator for a few more days, there’s a good possibility that by the time you want to make stir fry, you may need a new head of broccoli.

And if you live in Iowa, for example, chances are the tomatoes you’re buying in December are not coming from the surrounding area.  What does that mean?  Extra travel time, of course.

Beyond the mere problem of wasting food, buying produce takes on a whole new meaning when you really look at where your produce is grown.  This affects things like supporting local farmers, reducing energy spent in food transportation, and enjoying fresher foods.

What does this mean for you?  It means that maybe you should buy corn from the farm down the road this summer, guaranteeing that you are getting absolute freshness and supporting a local farmer.  My father would drive 45 minutes for corn from “the farm.”  I’m serious, I don’t even know the name of the place… we just call it the farm.  It always trumped store bought corn and thanks to local patrons, the farm continues today.

And it means that you may have to become more choosy about what you’re eating throughout the year in an attempt to eat the best produce available.  So if you live in Georgia you can enjoy lush, local blueberries in the summer, adding them to your favorite cereal, breads, and smoothies.  But know that enjoying them in November means they’ve done some traveling.

The folks at Good partnered with Always With Honor and created a neat infographic showing us “A season-by-season list of when 10 common fruits and vegetables are locally available around the United States.”  Check it out here and find another equally interesting infographic about food travel distances here.

Nashville Fusion 10

Monday, May 10th, 2010 | Permalink

Our trip to support of the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation

In case you didn’t know, we love to hear about our clients’ success stories and the causes they are a part of.  We thrive off the creativity and the adventurous spirits of the people who entrust us with the task of providing their labels.

A few months ago, Linda was chatting with one of our dearest clients, Alain Patterson.  What started as a label order turned into a sparked interest in his pursuit to blend couture fashion with the fight against cancer.  Alain’s latest collection, inspired by a Southern favorite: red velvet cake, was to debut at the Nashville Fusion 10 Festival.  And before we knew it, Linda was signed up as a guest judge for Fusion’s fashion competition for up-and-coming designers.  We were not only so pleased but also tremendously excited for this opportunity, as Linda has always wanted to tailor the business into a vehicle for promoting young artists and designers in product, textile, and fashion industries.  Equally important, having the chance to interact with some of Nashville’s finest to benefit the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation was truly an honor for Linda and the whole company.

Alain Patterson and his models, image courtesy of Rob Lindsay of Metromix Nashville

Linda tells us a little bit about her experience in the wonderful city of Nashville, Fusion 10, and being a part of the fight against cancer:

Nashville is a beautiful area, from the city to the surrounding suburbs of Brentwood and Franklin.  Since this was my first time there, I found Creekwood, the American Impressionist Museum, and the botanical gardens to be especially memorable.  The art was incredible and the gardens were a continual treat to the senses.   And the nightlife was brimming with excitement and a great upbeat feel.

Let me start off by saying that I was truly honored to be able to attend Nashville Fusion 10 and I look forward to watching the festival continue to flourish in the coming years.  It was a well-organized event, with artists offering an array of photography, portraits, metal art, altered art / mixed media, film, and fashion!  The fashion shows—there were four of them—were wonderful expressions of the designers’ hard work and talents, and really captured their creativity.  Alain Patterson—featured designer and our client—showcased a line full of elegant styling and all kinds of lovely accents.  I was amazed that he could come up with all those different designs and even make the models look even more beautiful!   An unexpected but very pleasant surprise was to see another client of ours, Karen Hendrix of Karen Hendrix Couture, attend the event and show her support; I was thrilled we had the opportunity to get better acquainted.  I am thrilled our company is making Alain’s labels, but more importantly, I feel blessed to know a man whose heart seems to be as big as Nashville.

One of Alain Patterson's models, image courtesy of Rob Lindsay of Metromix

Judging for the first time was an exhilarating experience, especially realizing the weight of our input as judges and the criteria by which the contestants were judged.  They had to balance creativity with wearability, make the garments flattering and still interpret their concepts flawlessly, and of course the construction and materials had to be of the highest caliber.  Of course I had my own ideas of whether or not I would wear the garments on display, but I was diligent to judge based on the market demands and not my personal preferences!  I was thrilled to donate custom woven labels to the winning designer and help her move forward in her entrepreneurial endeavor of creating her own clothing line.

CEO Linda Bryan with Fusion 10 coordinator Heather Harris, image courtesy of Thirty Seven West

Last, but definitely of the utmost importance, was the cause that inspired Fusion 10.  For me, to be part of the move towards a cure for cancer was truly the most moving part of the experience.  Cancer has touched everyone in some way, and we should never forget the stories of the victims or the testimonies and encouragement of the survivors.

Big thanks again to Alain Patterson, Heather Harris, and Heather Karls, as well as the entire team of artists, designers, partners, and planners who were able to make Nashville Fusion 10 a success!

Hello! Welcome to the Thirty Seven West Blog

Thursday, May 6th, 2010 | Permalink


Hi there.  Some of you have known us for years as Labels America.  Some of you have just stumbled upon us recently as Personalizedgiftsjustforu.com.  We are pleased to announce that we are now a combination of both products and services, bringing you the best of both personalized gifts and custom woven labels, as a company now known as Thirty Seven West.  Not only are we poised to grow exponentially as a company, but we have revamped our services and systems to match our unparalleled quality of products.

The reason I’m telling you all this is because, as a fun way to show you who we are beyond labels and gifts, we’ve introduced this blog as part of our company identity.  At the end of the day, and even the beginning of the day, we are just ordinary people like you.  We drink coffee, eat breakfast burritos, read the news, like to get involved, and know that the world is big and wide and full of so many things beyond our business.  This blog will be a platform from which we’ll introduce you to some of our beloved clients, talk food, DIY projects, bring you the best of new design, fashion, and art on the web that we find interesting, suggest causes to get involved with, and just talk to you like normal people!

We want to know what you’re thinking, what you’re into, and we want to be a part of that.  We recognize that it’s a creative, collaborative world out there, and we just want to join in on the fun.

Cheers,

The team at Thirty Seven West

(Psst… Keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter for more fun!)

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