Explore the art of living in Alabama with exclusive SoulGrown stories

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With the holidays heading toward us faster than you can say “season’s greetings,” there are sure to be more than a couple shopping trips in your future. And while it can be difficult to find the perfect gift for everyone on your nice list, you can narrow down the options by choosing to buy local. Alabama has a host of talented makers, artists, and artisans who create everything from handmade earrings to gourmet food products. Here’s our 2022 Alabama-made gift guide. 

SoulGrown’s Alabama-made gift guide has something for everyone on your list

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November 26, 2022

We’ve all been there—your pup has the zoomies, you’re looking forward to a night or afternoon out, and you have nowhere to take them. Good Dog, a new dog park and bar with locations in Auburn and Birmingham, has the answer to all three problems. The new concept combines everything dog owners love about bringing their pups to a brewery—the cold brews, ample outdoor seating, and open space—and makes it even better by gearing the space specifically toward dogs. This way, instead of being tied up to a picnic table, your dog can frolic off leash and play with other pooches in an environment that’s safe, welcoming, and fun for everyone.  

New dog park and bar concept brings pup-friendly entertainment to Alabama

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November 9, 2022

Alabama fall is rolling in and with bearable temperatures I can finally enjoy a PSL on the front porch while watching the leaves in our neighborhood turn from green to bright red. We’ve just moved into a new house which comes with a lot of expenses, so as much as I wanted to go all out on my front porch pumpkin display, this is a year of keeping things simple! I am no expert but after owning a few homes and spending the holidays keeping up with decorating trends, I’ve found a few foundational basics that seem to work well for everyone and take minimal effort.

5 ways to decorate your home for Fall on a Target budget

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October 18, 2022

  Traditions, they inspire connections between families, friends, and even strangers. The wonder of meals shared, crafts created, service given, and community started by the generations before us is not […]

Holiday stove-top potpourri that has been passed down three generations

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October 13, 2022

When Casey-Jean Miller was just 21 years old, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Desperate to find relief for her symptoms and make her way back to feeling healthy, she focused on her diet. She began making all her food from scratch and getting in touch with where the food she was eating was grown. She learned how to make bone broth, developed a recipe for a “nomato” sauce with beets and carrots instead of tomato, and experimented with grain- and dairy-free baking.

Jean’s Apothecare brings holistic health products to Alabama

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October 5, 2022

Flowers and plants bloom during all seasons at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, but its during the fall when the 67-acre urban garden truly comes alive. Each autumn, the garden draws visitors from across the South and beyond for the annual Antiques at the Gardens event. The premier antique show includes four days of design-focused discussion, demonstrations and panels by celebrated interior designers, floral designers, architects, landscape architects, and furniture designers. 

Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosts 16th annual Antiques at the Gardens

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September 26, 2022

When it comes to American icons, there are few more notable than Gibson. Founded in 1902 by Orville Gibson, the guitar company began the process of moving its operations from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Nashville in the 1970s and has been rocking and rolling there ever since. Over the years, nearly every big name in music has been seen playing a Gibson. From Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young to B.B. King, Bob Marley, and John Lennon, the brand transcends time and genre. It’s a true classic that’s universal enough to appeal to an audience as diverse as the great melting pot that is the United States of America. 

Billy Reid collaborates with Gibson guitars to create a new collection

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September 24, 2022

If Lake Guntersville is one of the most desirable places to live in Alabama, then Spring Creek is one of the most sought after neighborhoods to live in Guntersville. And now, Spring Creek Cove Community, a new development from Ainsworth Homes, is part of the coveted, family-oriented neighborhood.

Building a life on Lake Guntersville with Ainsworth Homes

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September 14, 2022

Revitalization of historic Montgomery is well underway through the addition of fine-dining restaurants, nationally recognized museum and memorials, modern housing developments, and so much more. As the capital city, Montgomery is truly the heart of “the soul of the south.” Here are three reasons why people are making the move to Montgomery and why you should consider making Montgomery home too.

Make Montgomery Home: 3 unexpected reasons people are moving to Montgomery

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September 12, 2022

In east Alabama, just miles from the Georgia border, is the tiny town of Ranburne. The community of fewer than 500 isn’t known by many outside of Cleburne County, but in March of 2020 local couple Taylor and Cole Gibbs gave Alabamians a reason to take notice. They opened the Barn of Blooms. a plant nursery and community gathering space selling everything from seeds to shade trees—all grown by local farmers. 

Ranburne family turns dairy farm into plant nursery, café, and community space

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August 31, 2022

In 2018, full-time physician assistant Caitlin Hastings was feeling a little burnt out from work. As a creative outlet, she began helping friends and mutual acquaintances incorporate houseplants into their homes. Soon, that blossomed into weekend pop-ups where she sold pre-potted plants with care instructions for novice plant parents. And when the side hustle’s growth outpaced her operation, Hastings took a leap of faith and opened Botanica, a modern houseplant shop specializing in tropical, desert, and rare plants in downtown Birmingham. Since opening in August of 2019, Botanica hasn’t stopped growing. In 2020, they opened a second location in Huntsville, and have no plans to slow down any time soon. We sat down with Hastings to learn more about her love for plants, her plans for Botanica, and the ridiculously cool spaces she creates in her stores.

7 questions with Caitlin Hastings of Botanica Plant Shop

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August 27, 2022

It all started with a 1930s Shirley Temple doll for Mary Charles Robbins. Living in a home with no radio, before television, dolls provided her main entertainment. Today, the Mary Charles Doll House is one of 10 repair shops world-wide that are approved by the Madame Alexander Doll Company. People seek out the tiny historic house in Homewood—formerly the location of Carriage House on Oxmoor Road—from all over the country. Part retail, part museum, the Mary Charles Doll House is crammed with antique and vintage dolls, teddy bears, doll clothes, doll houses and doll house furnishings. Very few things are new, except for the exquisite miniatures for tea sets and doll houses designed and painted by artists specializing in working small. 

Discover a world-renowned rare doll shop in Homewood

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August 5, 2022

Hidden between the frosty-white beaches of the Gulf and the anchorage of the USS Alabama, there is Fairhope. A nested gem of a time since passed, Fairhope serves as a haven of leisure that calls to annual vacationers again and again. So, what is it about this majestic small city that beckons so loudly? April McCraney, a real estate agent in the area, knows first the power of ‘Fairhope Fever,’ and why it’s increasingly vital to ensure the town’s longevity. 

A realtor’s perspective on what’s causing the “Fairhope Fever”

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July 9, 2022

If you grew up in the ‘80s or ‘90s, you may be familiar with Perler beads. The humble craft is made by arranging tiny beads on a peg board, then fusing them together with a hot iron to create colorful designs and shapes. While the concept is simple, the possibilities are endless, and that’s exactly what Birmingham native Aaliyah Taylor saw when she began making jewelry out of the children’s craft in 2012. 

How a Birmingham maker turned a childhood craft into a jewelry line

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July 1, 2022

With summer nearly upon us, outdoor spaces are getting plenty of use. From dinner parties and backyard barbecues to quiet nights sipping a glass of wine while watching the fireflies, an outdoor living space is an important extension of a home. Garden designer Troy Rhone has been creating beautiful residential gardens and outdoor spaces for the past 25 years. Based in Birmingham, he’s designed gardens in 13 states, plus two countries, and recently opened a garden accessories retail store in Mountain Brook Village. We sat down with the celebrated designer to learn more about his work, what inspires him, and a couple tricks of his trade. 

6 Questions with Garden Designer Troy Rhone

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June 18, 2022

They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but a Birmingham-based nonprofit is proving that they can also be much more than that. Animal-assisted therapy provider Hand in Paw has been serving Central Alabama since 1996 when former Greater Humane Society of Birmingham Executive Director Beth Franklin founded the organization. 

This Alabama nonprofit is leading the way in animal therapy

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June 16, 2022

Dads are notoriously hard to buy gifts for. With Father’s Day right around the corner, many of you may be panicking over the best way to show the dads and father figures in your life just how much you love and appreciate them. Does a department-store tie suffice? What about a pack of golf balls? If you’re feeling the pressure, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with our list of Alabama-made gifts that will wow dad and support our local maker community. 

13 Alabama-made gifts to give dad this Father’s Day

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June 14, 2022

To design is to evolve. This is the creed of Willow Homes designer, Allison Hallman. The Birmingham homebuilding and design company boasts eight years of Alabama Remodeling Excellence Awards selection and serves as a holistic service provider in the realm of crafting, construction, and curating a home. But, it can be a heavy emotional undertaking to tear away the space you know for the idea of something unseen. If you’re in the market to reshape your domain, here are some valuable tips on how to evolve with ease and style. 

Willow Homes offers tips for home makeovers

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June 11, 2022

Over the last few years, Huntsville, Alabama, has blossomed into one of the most desirable cities in the country. The perfect combination of affordable living, quality of life, education, entertainment, and community draws thousands of new families to the Huntsville area every year. The  locals’ affinity for their hometown was confirmed when Huntsville was named the best place to live in the United States by the U.S. News and World Report. Here are 10 things that make Huntsville great.

10 reasons why Huntsville is the best place to live

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May 31, 2022

More than two-dozen restaurants in greater Birmingham will donate up to 35 percent of their proceeds on Thursday, April 28, as part of the ongoing Dining Out for Life fundraiser. Part of a national effort to raise money for local service groups helping people with HIV, Birmingham’s Dining Out for Life supports AIDS Alabama, which helps provide housing and other assistance, offers education and outreach programs, and engages in policy advocacy.

Dine out for a good cause on April 28

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April 26, 2022

Spring is the time to shake off the last dredges of winter. For many that means dusting off the cold-weather cobwebs and creating a clean slate. This spring, give your indoor spaces a refresh by decluttering and organizing your home. If undertaking such an overhaul seems daunting, consider hiring a professional take on the task. With the popularity of Netflix shows like “Get Organized with The Home Edit” and “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” professional home organizing businesses have boomed.  Alabama has its fair share of professional organizers who can help you take control of even the most overstuffed closets and unruly pantries. Here are a few to choose from:

These Alabama home organizing companies can help with spring cleaning

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April 12, 2022