When we bought our home in Arizona I had plans to furnish it as much as possible with local merchandise. I wanted to find artisans who still perfected their craft with care. We expected that would cost a little more money, but it seemed worth it at the time … it still does.
One of the first things we needed was bedroom furniture. We made the decision to leave our East Coast furnishings back east and try to capture a bit of the west in our new home. We found a place in the valley and, with fear of unaffordability, visited Gabe at Furniture Ranch. We were thrilled to find what we wanted and that it wasn’t really any more expensive than the stuff we’d owned back east from a major nationwide retailer. Gabe even created a specialized piece to store our massage table.
The other goal was to avoid anything made in China. In the nearly four years since we moved in, we’ve discovered that’s nearly impossible … but not entirely. The first challenge was dishes. I was shocked to learn that there is only one manufacturer that still crafts dishes in the US – the maker of Fiestaware.
Over the past couple of years my collection has grown. In fact, just this weekend I added a set of smaller plates in an effort to help me control my own meal portion size.
We picked up a few “made in Italy” pieces on our summer vacation. They go nicely with the colorful Fiesta dishes.
I love the colors and the concept of “fiesta.” We’ve captured those bright colors in our courtyard with lots of “made in Mexico” pottery and a couple of chairs crafted by an artist in Glendale. Visitors are welcomed with a bright, cheery scene as they come through the gate.
As we head into fall and market season resumes here in the desert, I am excited to discover new treasures to add color and flair to our home. There’s almost always something surprising at a booth or two as I wander the craft shows and markets.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Support artisans and small businesses wherever you go.
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