Written by Marla Hardee Milling
It’s our favorite time of year again, when we seek out cottage industry entrepreneurs in Western North Carolina who are putting their hearts and souls into producing edible and non-edible products that delight and inspire the buyers.
These businesses, which we call “cottage industries,” take shape in the basements, barns, certified kitchens, garages, and, yes, even cottages of our region. This year, we introduce you to six unique area businesses that produce a range of products—fermented foods, fire cider, hot jam, herbal teas, skin creams and lotions, and concert blankets. Two of the businesses—Cara Mae Potters’ Skin Butter and Tarpestry—took the “million-dollar” business suggestions that friends offered and ran with them. Other business owners we are profiling created their products out of necessity as ways to sustain and provide for their households. The one common factor, though, is that they all admit that it’s been a trial and error learning process. Yet they are steadily reaching new levels of growth, and that should be a source of inspiration for their fellow entrepreneurs.
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