Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Coffee Talk: Southern Straws

Hi! This interview is part of our Coffee Talk series. You'll see this once a month, and we'll be sharing a conversation with friends of plainjane designs over a (sometimes virtual!) cup of coffee. Enjoy!

For this month's Coffee Talk, we met up with Margaret Amos, creator of Southern Straws. We can't stop eating them here in the shop, and we think you'll want to snag a few for yourself, too, once you read her story. Grab your coffee and join us!

pjd: How did the idea come about for Southern Straws? 
margaret amos: Southern Straws started out as a hobby many years ago. I cooked my first cheese straw at age 20. Looking for a Christmas gift idea for friends, I asked my mother if I could borrow her press and old recipe. Cranking out cheese straws turned into a regular tradition with friends and family; honestly I couldn't show up to an event without my cheese straws. I was working in the corporate world and making cheese straws for fun and a little more seriously around Christmastime.  Fast forward 30 years, and the opportunity presented itself where I was able to leave the corporate world and do something totally different: make my cheese straws for a living. With tremendous support from friends, family and mentors, Southern Straws was born in 2011. 




pjd: Have you always loved to cook or did it start with the cheese straws?
ma: I’m not a gourmet cook by any means, but I’m not afraid to try new things. Cheese straws came easy to me. They are something folks either find fun and easy to make or they are extremely difficult and they never want to try making them again.  Now, ask my 3 sons and they would tell you they wished I would cook something besides cheese straws…maybe meatloaf or spaghetti!  They’ve grown up around cheese straws and are actually quite the experts in the cheese straw factory.

pjd: What has been your favorite part about creating these cheese straws? 
ma: That’s an easy question…it’s the events that folks are having where our cheese straws will be served. Particularly weddings; I feel like we’ve had a small hand in making their day special when we create out-of-town gift boxes or reception trays for weddings.I love that part!  We’re lucky in that our process of changing ribbons and labels to fit the season or event opens up many opportunities for us to customize our packaging for special events for our clients. 


pjd: You recently hired your son to help you with your business. What's his take on the classic Southern staple? (Margaret's son, Neal, answered this one for us!)
ma: Having been around my mom’s cheese straws my entire life, it’s been exciting to see something we grew up knowing as a hobby turn into a business and my career.  I love the fact it’s a start-up; from strategy to marketing plan, from the finances to production, I’ve been able to get involved from the ground up.  For me, it’s not about “making cheese straws” but about all aspects of the business.  It’s fun, challenging, hard work, and different every day, which is something I enjoy.



pjd: Any other flavors or cheese straw products in the works?ma: We started with our Original flavor, which has a pretty good kick of cayenne.  Knock off the kick and we have our Mild flavor.  We then would get requests for an even hotter cheese straw and that led to our Cajun Spicy; it’s hot but with a blend of flavors that gives it a Cajun twist.  Our most recent flavor addition is Jalapeno White Cheddar.  It may sound like it would be our hottest but it actually isn't.  It reminds me of hot pepper jelly over cream cheese on crackers.  They smell incredible when cooking!  Looking ahead, we want to create a cheese straw more for the sweet tooth, maybe lemon or lime.  We’re looking to bring that to market early next year.  You can buy Southern Straws in our shop. Come by today for a box (or four!) 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Inspiration: Nautical Baby Shower

Happy Wednesday! Today, we're sharing a darling baby shower invitation we designed for a client's niece.

Her niece is expecting a baby boy this December and knew she wanted her nursery to be nautical themed. Our client came to us and knew she wanted something nautical without the traditional sailboats.

At the risk of sounding punny, we had a whale of a time designing this one!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Stay Hydrated!

Although the cooler weather has hit Athens (yay!), we can't forget to drink at least 64 ounces of water every day. Aside from the obvious - your body is comprised of about 60 percent water - here are some additional benefits of water:

  • it helps keep your skin soft and nourished
  • helps with hunger cravings; if you feel hungry, you're usually just thirsty
  • assists muscle development and repair, especially when exercising
  • serves as a toxin flusher for your body 
See? You just feel better when you drink water! Luckily, we have some pretty cute tumblers that make drinking water that much cooler. Come grab one in the store and drink up!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Wedding Inspiration

Happy Wednesday!

Today we're sharing a few photos from the wedding of one of our brides, Betty! Betty and Josh went with a classic invitation suite with a unique twist - because their wedding was on a farm, they opted for their invitation to have an oak tree behind the text.

We think it turned out wonderfully, and think you'll like it, too!

2014 Betty and Josh.2 Wedding Day 2-2254



2014 Betty and Josh.2 Wedding Day 2-2259

2014 Betty and Josh.11 Wedding Day 1-0651

*images by Victoriya Evich Krudu by way of Molly McKinley's blog. Check out more photos of their wedding here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Make Time to De-stress!


Midterms are in full force here in Athens, Ga., and we're here with a Tuesday Tip geared toward our college friends. 

Before you pull all of your hair out, depend on ramen for the week and think, "I'm going to go crazy after this week is over!!", light a candle, set aside 10 minutes for yourself to just relax (no phones allowed) and feel immediately better. 

Above, we share our favorite scents that melt our cares away - for a little bit, at least. 

Happy Tuesday; you can do it! 

All of the candles shown above are available in the shop - stop by for a candle calmer! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Say Thank You!

Today's tip is about showing gratefulness to loved ones, whether they hosted you for a holiday weekend or sent you what will be your new favorite pair of earrings.

At plainjane designs, our favorite way to communicate our thankful attitude is through a handwritten note. You may be thinking, "Wait a minute. The kind with real paper, a pen and EVEN a stamp?! Yep. We're talking about those. 

We live in a society who communicates via text messages, emails, Facebook posts and Instagram comments - so why do we need to write a note? Two reasons: 

1. The extra time you take in crafting a note, stamping it and handing it to the postman makes it even more evident just how grateful you are for the receiver's friendship and generosity. 

2. When you sit down to write a letter, your notes are often more personal and less harried, producing a sincere and kind thank you note. 

So, next time your friend takes you out to dinner or even if they're just being extra encouraging lately, return the favor with a thank you note! 




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Inspiration Board: ALL THAT GLITTERS

ALL THAT GLITTERS


We're hoping the gilded frenzy never goes out of style. Below is an invitation we created with this inspiration board in mind:


Happy Wednesday!