Walker County has numerous artisans who regularly take part in the Battlefield Farmers Market held at the Agricultural Building on U.S. 27, which can be found at battlefieldfmkt.org/Our_Vendors.php.
Several other crafters are a part of the growing Chattanooga Market held at the First Tennessee Pavilion and the festive Holiday Market at the Chattanooga Convention Center Dec. 21-23.
One such artisan is Debbie Borges of Rock Spring. Her personal life-long battle with a skin condition led her to develop her own skin-care products.
“I have had psoriasis and very severe allergies all of my life,” Borges said. “I have tried all kinds of commercial and prescription items that never worked and only made thing worse. I spent a lot of money on all that stuff. One day, I just got really frustrated with all of that and I went to my kitchen and decided that it was time for me to try something natural.”
With years of experience in natural ingredients she began experimenting 15 years ago, resulting in a (cornmeal based) maze facial scrub and a basic soap.
“When I finally came up with something that really worked, all the friends and neighbors wanted to try it,” Borges said.
Her homemade bath and body business of nearly five years has since blossomed into a skin-care line she titled “Simply Can’t Resist.”
She uses only natural products in her formulation, including actual fruits, flowers, oatmeal and even chocolate in her various products.
“I’ve gotten so much good feedback over the years, it has been incredible,” Borges said.
She has developed all of the recipes for the lotions, toners, bar soaps and fragrances that she sells.
It took three years to finalize the recipe for her shampoo and conditioner, which she believes is better than any other commercially produced product in that category.
Her product line is available at simplycantresist.com and items are made fresh as opposed to retail remedies that sit on store shelves for months and even years.
Another locally made product that is served fresh daily comes from the kitchens of Bountiful Blessing Bakery.
The baking skills of Laura Miller grew from a home-based business into their family-run Amish bakery during November 2008, located at 15 Victory Way in LaFayette.
While bakery orders of breads and desserts for the Thanksgiving meal are their busiest time of year, holiday gatherings and family preparations for Christmas translate to an equally busy December.
“We have to burn a lot of midnight oil this time of year,” said O.J. Miller, Laura’s husband.
Nearly a dozen flavors of “glass candy” were recently added to their offerings geared toward the proverbial sweet tooth.
They have also added fudge, during the winter season, to their line of pies and cakes, Red Velvet cake being one of their best-sellers.
Fruit jams and jellies are a popular gift item that customers are grabbing with their bread orders, according to Miller.
A more natural and less dense version of the classic fruitcake is also offered, devoid of any liquor.
Last\-minute orders can be arranged quickly and will need to be picked up by noon on Dec. 22., the last day the bakery will be open for 2012.
A young entrepreneur in Flintstone is following a similar path, baking desserts for the various holidays and life celebrations.
Chasity Rhodes opened Southern Sweetie’s Cakes as a home-based business earlier this summer.
She has been baking cakes and treats for friends and family many years while her husband was deployed overseas in the military.
Rhodes’ hot chocolate cupcake and red velvet bunt cake were a big hit with customers at the Ridgeland Folk Art Festival, held on Dec. 15.
She also features custom-made or cakes for birthdays and baby showers. Aside from baking cakes, Rhodes is working toward a degree in business administration and hopes to parlay both of those pursuits into a bakery shop.
More information on her sweet treats is available at southernsweetiescakes.weebly.com or by calling 803-458-8251.