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Some Like It Hot. Those People Don’t Live in Alabama.

When I first started writing Shop Small, I discovered new local products and new independent stores all the time. Fast forward a few years to now, and I mostly visit the same few local stores and restaurants in my everyday footprint. This was true before I left on The Localist […]

Business Books, Podcasts, and a Bold Future

Ever since I read Moneyball and found myself in the grip of my first of many genius drama-meets-business Michael Lewis stories, I’ve been a bit obsessed with business books. And articles about business. And podcasts about business.   Sure, now I own a business. But before I wrote a business […]

Can You Have a Crush on a Bookstore? I’m Gonna Say Yes.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Georgia for a book signing and chat. It was the next-to-last stop on my Localist book tour, and it’s only now that the tour is over that I’m writing about it (which is really a shame, because I missed […]

Books in Beantown: Taking The Localist to Boston

When I think of literary Boston, I picture historical figures like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow roaming the streets with walking sticks and bowler hats, admiring the buildings and the parks and thinking deep thoughts. I’m pretty sure that image isn’t accurate anyway (I’m 99% sure […]

It Takes a Village to Have a Birthday Party

Last week’s Localist Bham Birthday Bash was a huge success, and I have a lot of people to thank — I mean a LOT of people. Martha Stewart might disagree, but I think the best parties are the ones where pretty much everyone who comes is part of making it […]

It’s Our Birthday, and We Want to Give You Presents!

My train tour starts this Friday, and I won’t be back to Birmingham until … Sunday. It’s not because the trip is that short (the trip from New Orleans to New York on Amtrak is many things, but short isn’t one of them). It’s because geography (and Amtrak, I guess) […]

Valentine’s Day in Birmingham: A Guide for Procratinators

I have a love-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. I think it’s fun to have a day to eat candy, give little cards to friends, and not worry about red and pink clashing. But the heavy pressure on making Valentine’s Day THE indicator of your romantic relationship seems a little bit […]

30 Days of Local Praise Success!

This morning, I’m eating breakfast at Trattoria Centrale — and I’m not going to Instagram it. That feels kinda weird, because for the month of January, I’ve been making sharing about the businesses I visit a priority. I started Thirty Days of Local Praise on January 1, and since then […]

Huntsville’s Lowe Mill Has Artists, Innovators … and Me!

When I think of warehouses, I normally think of cookie-cutter, homogenized products that ship out to big box stores — but at Huntsville’s Lowe Mill, the warehouse has been reclaimed and repurposed by painters, architects, craftspeople and other artists. The result is a group of people who work side-by-side to […]

A Few of My Favorite (Local) Things

It’s Thanksgiving week, and that means the holiday season is really kicking into gear. A lot of people hate that, but I love it — I’m kind of a sucker for holiday traditions, twinkly lights and anything peppermint. But even I know some holiday traditions aren’t so great — like […]