The Swartzentruber is a modest family of 10 people that make our rugs for us on their rural farm in southern Iowa. They are old order Amish, which means they have no electricity, telephone, or any modern conveniences. They use kerosene lanterns, manage their crops with horse drawn farm implements, and grow their own food. Each Amish rug they make is produced on a traditional wooden loom that was passed down from generations past. Mrs. Swartzentruber moved when she was young with her family from Ohio to Lamoni, IA, and Mr. Swartzentruber moved from Michigan with his family at a young age. They met here in Lamoni, Iowa and now are married with 8 children. While Francis mainly makes the hand woven Amish rugs, they involve their whole family in this craft to teach the children a skill they can use for a lifetime.
The Detweiller family is a young Amish family that are just starting their own farm and business creating Amish Jewelry Boxes. Mr. Detweiller is a shy and kind man that wants to have a successful business, so he can spend time on their farm and support his family. They live in a rural Amish community in northern Missouri. Their community has a central phone booth that all families can use as a message center, but there are no other modern conveniences at their home. They are traditional in the form that they have no electricity, indoor plumbing, or electric kitchen appliances. While Mr. Detweiller is working in the shop, Mrs. Detweiller is tending to their home and young children. Mr. Detweiller uses his traditional Amish skills to craft amazing Amish Jewelry Boxes that are unlike anything else you will find. He was taught by his father and grandfather how to make quality products, and enjoys sharing what he makes with others. His shop is extremely organized and somehow mess free. This shows what a detailed personality he possesses.
Grandma and Grandpa Miller- Make Barn Quilt Wall Art
Grandma and Grandma Miller, as they like to be called, are a wonderful Amish couple that live far out in rural northern Missouri. They enjoy joining his passion for barns and old wood with her passion for quilting to create amazing Barn Quilt Wall Art! They are part of the old order Amish, which means they have no access to a phone, electricity, and no modern conveniences. If I have a question, I have to drive one hour to their farm and ask them in person or mail a letter and wait a week for a letter back. They hand cut and hand make all the barn quilts in their shop using a wall of windows as lighting. Their detailed quality of craftsmanship have been passed down from many generations and Grandpa and Grandma Miller are now passing the barn quilt skills to their children and grandchildren.
Grandpa Miller explained to me that it is important to live a life with your family, and enjoy time in your home. He said the barn quilt wall art that they create generates conversation and encourages relationships.
The Troyer girls, as they are called by the locals, are two sisters that were the very first Amish to settle in Lamoni, Iowa. They produce the best Amish Jam that is filled with flavor from the hand-smashed fruit. They are quite proud that they settled here and are so happy to have moved from Michigan to this beautiful place. Since their arrival 23 years ago, they have had many Amish followers, and we now have a large Amish community of talented individuals, but they hold the award for the best jam! The Troyer sisters are old order Amish, which means they have no phones, electricity, or any other modern conveniences. They produce their jam on a traditional wood stove, and hand smash the berries. Their farm is so beautiful with a well maintained garden!
The Byler family is a local family here in Lamoni, IA. When you pull up to their farm, the baskets are hanging from the porch to air out and dry. Mr. Byler is a tall slender man with a smile that will make your day fantastic no matter what is happening. The family is the type to make something and use it for several lifetimes. Mr. Byler said, "You want to make things that are solid because you want something that will last." This dedication to quality transfers from their personal lives into their baskets. Mr. Byler cuts the bases for the baskets, and does the finishing work and staining, while his wonderful wife does the weaving. Their kids and grandkids all help with basket weaving as well, and to sit around and listen to the laughter fill the room while everyone works is so heartwarming! They tell stories, and wonder who will use the basket they are making.
Dick and Deena Maier, along with their daughter and two sons run this family business in Conrad Montana. Deena is convinced that this family workforce is a perfect blend, just like their soaps and other products.
Deena Maier, who was an occupational therapist, saw people struggling with skin problems that medications didn’t seem to help. She did some research and discovered that goat’s milk was considered a great natural therapy and began making goat’s milk soap in her kitchen.
Each of the Maier’s Nubian goats is hand milked two times daily to insure high quality milk for Windrift Hill products. Deena’s husband, Dick, says the high butterfat content helps moisturize the skin better than just about anything else. Goat’s milk helps them to create an amazing line of natural skin care products.
Windrift Hill, named after the windy hill where the Maiers live, makes 45 different types of soaps, 21 scented lotions. They use natural clay oxides, herbs, oils, and of course, pure, farm fresh goat’s milk.