As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Made Local Magazine, I feel nothing but gratitude for getting to steer this editorial ship for the last three years. Sleuthing out cool people contributing to our local economy? Not a bad way to earn money and deepen my connection to this dynamic community.
I also feel compelled to pay homage to the two editors who came before me—both of whom, incidentally, played significant roles in my own writing journey. The magazine’s debut editor was the inimitable Gretchen Giles, formerly at the helm of the alt-weekly The North Bay Bohemian, where I began my journey as a freelancer in this county. Next up was the fabulous Leilani Clark, who brought me into the magazine’s family as a writer. The piece I did on the Mike Hudson Distributing company reminded me that there is much richness to be found even in the seemingly mundane.
A decade ago, I was new to mothering and teaching college English and freelancing, the anchors that now keep my life boat afloat. I often bemoan being a relatively slow writer, forever reconfiguring my sentences and paragraphs. As I put together this anniversary issue, haunted by the burden of time, I was inspired by people who embrace a slower creative process and resist the siren call of frenetic productivity.
Research for this gift guide issue involved a leisurely morning hanging out with jewelry-maker Georgia Fitt in her sunny studio, where she takes hand-drawn designs and turns them into wearable works of art. I also had the pleasure of sitting in on a meeting of the Redwood Guild of Fiber Arts as spinners and weavers displayed the fine handicrafts that resulted from hours of patient, methodical work. Ursa Born explores the fantastical vision of Joshua and Mathilde of BigMouthUnique, who’ve invented a style that plays by no discernible rules and is utterly their own. And in the Locavore column, you’ll find all you need to make Sheila Shupe’s luxurious and giftable whipped shea butter, a pleasant way to spend a fall afternoon.
Whether it’s browsing market stalls or stirring stovetop pots or making holiday cards, may you lend your creativity some breathing room and give yourself permission to slow down as the year draws to a close. May you enjoy all the merriment of the season with little of the stress, and may patience and peace be readily available. Thanks, as always, for reading.
Jess D. Taylor editor