I recently sat down and made a list of the actions I value when it comes to consumerism. While reusing and minimalism are incredibly high on the list, and I consider them to be my core values, I would have to say that when it comes to acting these values out - shopping locally makes the top of the list every time.
Yes, just like most people in modern society I do have an Amazon Prime account. I use it often enough to justify having it - but let’s be clear: I use it when I simply can’t find the things I need locally and don’t have a trip planned out of town. You know, like a last minute cake stand in a specific color for a styled shoot.
But Amazon aside - I highly value shopping locally and putting my dollars back into the community. It makes me so happy to know that I am supporting friends and fellow business owners. I love walking into stores and knowing that at least one or two of the cashiers, if not the owners, know me and my family. It is a social experience that I treasure. Heartfelt chit-chat AND groceries. Winning.
The point of all this? I want to start a weekly Friday blog post that will feature a local business that I love. I intend to tell you WHY I love them, who they are, and what I value about their business the most. I will be going to these places and taking some photographs to include in the blog post, and I’ll have a “favorite product”. Hopefully this will inspire my readers to get out and explore our local options more, if they don’t already!
For my first local Friday Feature, I want to tell you all about Cat’s Paw Farm.
Owned by R’chel Plank-Griffin, this cute little shop is right off the 203 (La Grande-Baker Highway) just on the outskirts of Union. You can’t miss the two tall flags flying in the breeze, or the beautiful horse sculpture, or the lush plants hanging on the porch of the shop. Also, if your kids scream GOATS! you are in the right place - R’chel has the sweetest herd of Pygora goats, and they are oh so friendly! And they produce some of the most important ingredients for the handmade soaps, skincare products, and yarn that their owner crafts by hand. As an avid crocheter myself, I can attest that R’chel’s yarns are incredibly soft, durable, and beautifully dyed. I use them to make some of the baby bonnets for my newborn clients. But that’s not the only thing she crafts - from candles to baby products to tea blends and speciality mustards, the variety of items she offers is a little mind blowing. My favorite? Herbal Sitz Bath Blends. Never heard of them? LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS MAGIC! Herbal sitz blends are to be used after delivering a baby - put the pouch into a warm bath and soak your lady bits. It helps the healing process, soothes that area, and makes for a totally relaxing bath experience during the postpartum period.
In addition to handmade goods, R’chel also raises chickens for consumption and sells eggs from her lovely flock of hens, ducks and geese - all of whom live right by the shop. Last year I ordered a couple of meat chickens from her, and they were so delicious and worth every penny.
Want to check out her shop? You can do so Monday-Friday 10-6pm. R’chel also sets up a booth at the local Farmer’s Market in La Grande, so make sure to pay her a visit! You can also find her on Facebook and her lovely website: https://www.catspawfarm.com