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The Blog

The daily, and somewhat random, musings of the FOLK editorial team. From the journeys, to the vlogs, to the behind-the-scenes-into-the-office moments of the team that brings FOLK to life. 

My Favorite Things | January 2017

Ben Ashby

Another month and another year are here. This week will also bring a new president and a new direction for America. I cannot say I am happy about this...actually lets be honest. I am devastated...but in this new era in American history I truly believe we must focus on community, family, and the little things in life. For this month's list of favorite things I would like to focus on products that bring me and my friends joy and happiness. If there is anything this world needs in 2017...it is happiness. 

1) This pullover by Ball and Buck is magic. I have an obsession for anything that is made of waxed canvas....and this may be the tipping point for me needing therapy. I have worn it daily for two months. 2) I miss California, and the clouds and rain and cold of Kentucky really get to me in the winter months. This candle collection by Ethics Supply Co reminds me of everything I love about nature, the warmth, and the summer months....plus the burn time is forever. 3) Okay, so this watch is a luxury....not only is it by Filson and Shinola it is Smokey Bear themed. If you are a nature lover that really wants to treat them self....go for this limited edition watch. 4) I would like to think I am cool...some may argue that I am...but I will argue that I am...but this book gives me hope for at least being able to dress cool. 5) Sooooo I have owned this shirt for two years. It has been worn and washed weekly for two years. This shirt literally still looks brand new. 6) Good pottery is hard to find. This world is filled with way too many potters with really really bad aesthetics. Thro is not one of those....every piece is delicious. 7) Sometimes...when the world is rough and dark...and the politics are depressing the hell out of you...you just need to sit and keep your hands busy and create something really cool. 25 Beautiful Things is here to help. Grab one of her paint sets and paint books. You'll fill the winter with fresh designs and bright colors. 8) LSTN makes the best headphones I've found. Mine have wood insets and come either wireless or wired. 9) So I don't own this sweater...but I love Buck Mason...and I love this sweater...so we all need one. 

Click on the images to hop over to their sites for more info and how to buy. 

Bumbling Around

Christophe Chaisson

AN ESSAY BY CHRISTOPHE CHAISSON

Honeybees are perhaps the most beneficial and enchanting insects that grace the planet with their sweetness. One of the most beautiful, thought provoking characteristics of these tiny, efficient workers is their sense of purpose and belonging. The Hive is a vital aspect of not only their survival but a key component to the very essence of their being. 

In this regard, I am filled with envy matched with pity for the bees. As a twenty year old, who has lived a life not aligning to the manual society gave me, a sense of belonging is an earnest desire of my heart. Sense is actually too weak of a word to use to describe the deep ache inside of me that cries out to belong. I want to live in a state of belonging with a hive of my people toiling day and night towards a united goal. Not a specific goal, but one of love, hope, and acceptance. Unlike the bees, who seamlessly harmonize and know their specific purpose, me and so many others have had to wrestle and search for our purpose, place and identity. 

Yet, that wrestle is where my pity for the bees resides. Never in their lives do they have to question what they are doing or who they are. There is no choice, simply instinct. In the midst of the struggle is where I have discovered unimaginable beauty and community through the questions and pain. Not once was I the only lone vagabond embarked on a journey of discovery, I met others along the way. Not one story or person was identical, still compassion, connection, and empathy abounded binding us together. My identity is unique solely to me; my purpose is not clear-cut ingrained on the forefront of my mind, instead Life has presented me with an option to chose what gives me purpose. I can chose money, status, sports, followers, materialism, anything either positive or negative as the fuel that runs my life. What I have found fills me with purpose is The Hive that I went out and discovered. They also discovered me and chose me. Community that chooses to know me, embrace me, and challenge me are the ones who I call my Hive. At the end of day we are all just bumbling around together trying to make the world a sweeter, more fragrant place. 

A Warmer, Wilder December

Ben Ashby

As the cold air invaded Alabama, and as the college students fled our small Alabama town, Ethan and I found ourselves longing for a warmer, wilder December. Our destination was unquestionable – the cactus-dotted Mojave Desert bristling with Joshua trees. We filled my car to bursting and headed west, chasing the setting sun. 

After a few nights on the road and a couple more wrong turns, we arrived at a star-lit cabin in the desert. Surrounded by red mountains and vast plateaus, we made a home in the San Bernardino Valley, basking in all it had to offer. 

One could spend forever climbing the rocks and exploring the infinite shacks speckling the desert, but Ethan and I found solace in our bungalow. The first morning left us breathless. The waking sun doused the cabin floor with light. It spread like the rising tide until the whole room was painted yellow. Rubbing our eyes, we wandered out the door and felt the fire for ourselves. We couldn’t say a word. I think we were both scared of losing the moment or forgetting how incredible – how almost frightening – it felt to shrink beneath that endless sky.

PHOTOGRAPHY: ETHAN GULLEY | ESSAY: CLAIRE WALTER

 
 
 
 

Creating narratives through photography and design, Ethan Gulley is a natural storyteller. Claire Walter, a writer and fellow creative from The South intertwines her words with Ethan's visuals to tell a joint narrative. 

ethangulley.com

Neverest Outfitters in Alaska

Ben Ashby

For most of human history, people didn’t buy things to just throw them out after a year or two. People bought goods as investments and did what they could to maintain what they possessed. Moreover, artisans stood behind their work. When the wear and tear of everyday use took its toll, goods returned to their makers for artisans to mend seams and replace broken hardware before they sent each item back to its owner. People marked the value of their goods in how long they lasted and how well they worked throughout their lifetime. They took steps to ensure what they owned lasted as long as possible.

Photographer Tyler Wesley took some bags by our friends Neverest Outfitters up to Alaska for an adventure. Today Tyler is sharing the images with us. 

Letting Go | An Essay by Brandon Roberts

Ben Ashby

LETTING GO...
Brandon Roberts


Journal Entry Vol.2 #21
Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 12:41pm
University of Montana Soccer Field, Missoula, MT

When I really start over and hand everything over to God or whatever it is, it is so scary and my immediate reaction is to control the situation. I know, always, what the right answer is, because I’ve tapped into my inner compass. It’s boils down to wanting to save my ass and face at the same time. I can’t. I have to pick one. No matter what it is, it’s scary. The big things always are and even the small stuff.


It’s about being honest with myself and stepping outside of my comfort zone. I like to keep with things that are comfortable and easy. Eventually, after holding on for dear life, I let go, and I find the courage to take one small step, then the rest follow. When that happens it feels good, and I get motivated to really let go. All of this happens when I listen to my gut. It’s always the right voice. Always. These steps always lead to pure bliss, moments of serenity and complete happiness and excitement for the future. 


After all is said and done, this cycle repeats over and over again. That is life. 
 

Midnight in Paris

Ben Ashby

After our time in the South of France at Le Logis we spent a few hours in Paris. This was my first trip to Paris...and sadly we arrived after many of the tourist-must-stops had closed. Armed with our Sony A6300 Mirrorless camera we headed into the night for a bit of the Eiffel Tour and the area surrounding it. 

The South of France @ Grey Goose's Le Logis

Ben Ashby

The week was not supposed to include a quick trip to the South of France and a night in Paris. The week was supposed to be spent in the office here in Kentucky...but when my friend Luke asked if I'd join him in the South of France I couldn't say no. 

I spent six years taking french....can I speak french after all those years? No! ...but I can read it, and I absolutely love the history, the culture, and the bread. This was my first trip to France and it was beyond exciting to see my textbooks come to life. 

For the adventure we had been invited by Grey Goose to spend a few days at their chateau outside Cognac. In the region all of their vodka is made. I don't know much about vodka...but I can tell you with scenery like that...the stuff is bound to be good. 

The following are a few of my images from the trip. 

New York City: A Day at FiftyNYC

Ben Ashby

One of our favorite places to visit each summer is New York City. The city comes to life as the days grow long and the pavement becomes fire under your feet. Ever since our first trip to New York City we have had a soft spot in our heart for Midtown. On our most recent trip we stayed at FiftyNYC, a delightfully modern space right in the heart of it all. The following are a series of images Heath shot in the hotel and in the blocks surrounding. 

If you're looking for a quiet retreat with lush bedding, modern-meets-art-deco-inspired bathtubs, and spacious balconies we recommend the FiftyNYC