Good Chemistry at Sweet Grass Farm

Featured Shop – Sweet Grass FarmOne of the fastest-growing businesses in natural skin care and home care products lives in New Hampshire, but it is somewhat of a secret. Sweet Grass Farm produces an extensive array of natural, useful and affordable products for home under several labels, including Farmhouse, FarmBaby (too adorable) and Chappy’s lip balm. While it may not be a company looking for the spotlight, creator and owner Debbie Ludington of Greenland, who once held a corporate job, may agree she just might hold the secret to what’s “wicked popular” in homes across America.What did you start with and how did you know you were on to something? I just made soap as a hobby and anyone who makes soap knows that, when you make a batch, it produces a lot and you end up with a lot. I was working in corporate sales and marketing at the time and eventually people at work started buying the soap. I call it a hobby run amuck.What was the tipping point? When we landed a contract with Trader Joe’s. Their first order was for two tons of bar soap, which I produced all out of my basement. When the 18-wheeler pulled up to back in to my driveway to pick up three pallets of soap bars, that was the turning point.Who would you like to have one of your products and what would you like them to have? That is a hard question. We are pretty simple – all who work here are mostly related and we all come from generations of hard-working people in New Hampshire, so I’m not that into the glitz and glamour. But I suppose I would have liked to have seen Julia Child use our dish soap (Farmhouse Lavender liquid). She would have loved it.Sweet Grass Farm products are available online and in retail shops throughout the country – why not just open your own store? I really want to protect the hard-working wholesale accounts that have helped to establish this brand. Most of the retail shops are owned by wonderful women who pay their bills and are fun to work with.Times They Are a-Changing
Recycling is the new “chic.” Just visit Consign of the Times Clothing Boutique, 949 Turnpike Rd., New Ipswich, and you’ll find plenty of fashion and sage advice. “The tricks are knowing proportion and creating the illusion,” says owner Kathie Saari. “We teach you how to elongate.” Slightly used and washed jeans can make all the difference when it comes to finding the perfect fit. Blouses and tops are grouped by color. Boutique labels include J. Jill, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Chico’s, Coach, Abercrombie & Fitch and more. Consigners are encouraged and well-paid. A portion of all sales goes to support an orphanage in South Africa and anything in the store for too long goes to local, (603) 878-4500Refresh and Redecorate
White Home Collections, 9 Greenville Rd., Wilton (corner of Rtes. 101 & 31 South), is a decorator’s Disneyland. This three-story old home is bursting with home deor, furniture, clothing and accessories to meet the tastes (and budgets) of most proper New Englanders. Look for distressed hutches, comfy upholstered bedroom chairs and other goodies to add flare to any home dressed in shabby chic, French country, vintage or modern deor. The prices will make your wallet sing. “You can come here and get decorating ideas and not pay a thing,” says owner Debby Diffley. “The store is always changing.” Store kitties Charlie and Morgan are brother and sister but it’s Charlie who wears the, (603) 653-7363The Pipes the Pipes are Calling
No passport needed. Ireland on the Square, 6 Market Square, Portsmouth, is as authentic as it gets this side of the pond. Brown bread, rashers, chocolate and 20 flavors of Irish tea complement this clothing store brimming with more Irish sweaters than “American Idol” wannabes. Pure quality can be found in the vast selection of hats, tweeds, capes, caps and, of course, sweaters. Paul Mackey, whose right arm is Jennifer Dumas, will charm you with his plucky Irish accent and repertoire of Irish folk lore. Be sure to ask about the origins of the fisherman’s sweater – you’ll want to toast with a pint or two.For more information email or call (603) 319-1670It’s Getting Hot in Here
Woodman’s Forge and Fireplace, 587 Pine River Pond Rd., East Wakefield, is a true find. Wood stoves abound, new and old. Family owned, Woodman?s is an institution with a reputation for being able to find parts for stoves of any age. (Check it out – they have a stove museum.) Indulge in some classic hearth cookware, good for romantic nights or power outages. Great selection of stove kettles, trivets and steamers along with some sturdy, hard-to-find bake ware. Jim Tully and his wife love customers who show up on Saturdays when they show off the merits of a pellet smoker. “We put chicken or brisket on at nine in the morning,” says Tully. “Whoever’s here gets a little bit and we get a little bit.”, (603) 522-3028

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