I have always tried to be earth friendly, I rode a bicycle all over Ft. Lauderdale before I had children. I love taking public transportation and I was carrying reusable bags to the grocery long before it became a thing. I also worked at a cooperative grocery store for a time. Buying and shopping local, when realistic, just feels right.
So, how does Wren & Purl rate when it comes to local products? The three areas we focus on are Yarn, Books and Wellness, and finding locals in each category was far easier than you would think. Some of them actually walked in our door and introduced themselves!
In yarn we have two local options, the first of which is Alpaca Fiber Arts by Marilee based right here in Mount Vernon. We carry their locally produced Alpaca yarn - it is really lovely - undyed, milled in Iowa with a touch of Bamboo and silk. The specific alpaca or llama is pictured on the label! Their handmade needle felted dryer balls are so pretty and their cat toys are jingly and fun (and popular with the local cat crowd).
Our second choice is Brown Sheep, located in Nebraska so regional. Their yarns are completely grown and milled in Nebraska. Lovely workhorse yarns, we carry their sportweight Nature Spun which is wonderful for stranded colorwork and their Lanaloft worsted which felts like magic.
As for books, we very happily have 2 local authors, children's book author Michelle Edwards and cozy mystery novelist Nicole Dieker. Michelle honored us with a reading of Me and The Boss about a young boy and his older sister; a story about mending and love. We created kits as a companion to foster crafting among our youngest customers.
Nicole Dieker’s mysteries are set in the eastern Iowa corridor. The main character, Larkin Day, is bright and interesting and snarky and fun. The first 2 books in the series are in print and back in the shop very very soon (We sold out during Nicole's reading in the shop!)
In our WellNest, we offer 2 makers both here in Mount Vernon. We carry Locust Grove Farms shampoo & Conditioning bars which are so wonderful. They come in sustainable packaging, smell incredible and best of all they work.
Rhubarb Botanicals ingredients are all grown and crafted on their local family farm. Their healing teas and salves are so comforting. If you order from her online and choose pick up, she will drop them off at our shop for you to grab when you are in town. That’s pretty cool.
Shop online, we are happy to ship!
Come visit, have a cup of tea, wander and immerse yourself in the lovely fibers and notions. Oh, and stop downstairs for the ultimate local treasure of A Perfect Blend shortbread.
Bring a friend because things are usually better when they are around. Hope to see you soon. G