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Let’s sit a spell and swap some stories under a big tent.
First off, a big thanks to everyone who came out and brightened our booth at the 30th annual Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival this past weekend in Whitesburg, Kentucky. We did a little bartering and talked ourselves hoarse but it was worth it to make so many new acquaintances. We hadn’t set up at a festival in nearly a year, and this reminded us how much we love getting out and about. If anyone has any recommendations for festivals that might like to see a Defend Appalachia table in or around Appalachia, let us know. We’re especially looking for festivals July through October this year.
Thanks to everyone, too, who made our new designs a big hit – so big a hit we sold out of some shirts the same day! Well, we just restocked the store, so all sizes of the new Wild Edibles & Medicinals and Defend Appalachia seal shirts (in heather graphite and navy) are back in stock. We also added the classic white on black rifle t-shirt, now in XXL. If you can’t catch us in person, check out the shop online!
Care if we pick your brain?
If you did see us at Seedtime, you might have noticed that some folks at our table were completing surveys. As you probably already know, Defend Appalachia isn’t just t-shirts and stickers; it’s a celebration of our culture, a vehicle to express Appalachian pride, and a way to open dialogue about what we envision for a rich, bright future for Appalachia. We know that we speak to a specific audience – folks like us who feel a great connection and appreciation for the Region, and we want to do something worthwhile with that – a book, an article – we’ll see where it lands. So don’t be surprised if you receive a survey with your online or in-person purchase. We’re randomly including them (as well as a self addressed stamped envelope) to get your insight into what Appalachia and being Appalachian mean to you. This year is a pilot so we’ll surely be tweaking some things as we go, but we’re excited to be tapping into this amazing and unique wealth of perspective we have to help paint the portrait of our Appalachian experience.
Finally – and this may not amount to a hill of beans for you, but it’s about all we’ve been working on lately – we’re moving! To the “Paris of Appalachia” Pittsburgh, PA! I don’t think a lot of us rural Appalachian folks even give Pittsburgh, or any other urban Appalachian area, much thought as Appalachian entities (and I’d say the same holds true for most Pittsburghers’ self-identity too), but I would contend that anyone from a small coalfield town in Central Appalachia who needs a more citified experience would feel right at home in Pittsburgh, nestled in and confined by the mountains, built by hard working blue collar men and women, southwestern PA experiencing a familiar boom and bust economic cycle to a lot of places in the mountains. We’ve only visited a few times but we’re excited to ramble around this rust belt city whose metro area includes Appalachian counties in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. We can’t wait to meet up with other folks from around the mountains and those whose families migrated to Pittsburgh generations ago. And we’re also looking forward to learning a little more about what urban Appalachianism really means.
We’ll be settling into the new place for the next couple weeks but hope to post new blogs more regularly starting soon. Until then!