Tag it:
Delicious
Furl it!
Spurl
NewsVine
Reddit
Digg

"It all started at Brown," says baker Ellen Bartlett '78. "Really. I worked at Food Services for three years. I totally loved being in a commercial kitchen." A studio art concentrator in college, Bartlett now uses both her artistic and culinary skills: her company, Cakes to Remember, is Boston's go-to bakery for upscale wedding cakes. This year she added a new venture, Better Batches, selling cookies you can custom-design online.

41.gifts.thb.jpg
When we sent out a call for alumni to send us their creations for our second-annual BAM gift guide, we were inundated with responses. We received steaks from Uruguay and harmonicas from Germany, jewelry to promote breast cancer awareness, and an orange rocking chair that took up an entire cubicle in our office.

Each object told a story of a Brown graduate living out an artistic dream. While Ellen Bartlett knew from the get-go that she wanted to cook, Archie MacIntyre '78 took a while to find his medium. He'd done an independent concentration in urban studies and architectural history at Brown and studied furniture making at RISD. After graduation he spent twenty years in commercial real estate. Now he sells Adirondack-style furniture that he custom lacquers with high-gloss marine paint in fun colors—kiwi, periwinkle, honeysuckle.

After his release from the draft in 1973, Rupert Oysler '70 decided to travel around the southeast to study the blues. He learned to customize harmonicas for blues musicians wanting to expand their instruments' range, and his reputation spread worldwide. So when West German investors decided to rescue the failing East German harmonica company Seydel, they asked Oysler to run its U.S. operations. This year Seydel released the world's first harmonica made with stainless steel reeds that can handle the stresses blues musicians put on them. James Cotton used one last summer when he recorded at Washington D.C.'s Blues Alley.

In New York City, Lauren Merkin '96 applied the entrepreneurial savvy she gleaned while earning her MBA to her sewing skills. She started making tote bags, and when sales took off she expanded into handbags. This fall, Merkin makes her TV debut on USA Network's The Starter Wife. In the season's final episode, actress Debra Messing carries a chic amethyst crocodile clutch of Merkin's design; it's called "Molly," after Messer's character on the show, Molly Kagan. You can check it out at www.laurenmerkin.com . Or just wait for the show's season finale. The bag's a star.

Much is made these days of buying locally, of supporting our communities with our purchasing power. Perhaps it's worth expanding the definition of local to encompass the Brown community. What these artisans share, after all, is the place where they spun their dreams and honed the skills to make them real.

Other great items featured below that are worth finding out more about can be seen at: www.betterbatchbakers.com , www.archiesisland.com , and www.seydelusa.com .

 


Click thumbnails for larger image with buying information.


Return to topGiftGuide.pg43.jpgReturn to top
Return to topGiftGuide.pg43.jpgReturn to top
Return to topGiftGuide.pg43.jpgReturn to top
Return to topGiftGuide.pg43.jpgReturn to top
Return to topGiftGuide.pg43.jpgReturn to top
Return to topGiftGuide.pg43.jpgReturn to top
Return to topGiftGuide.pg43.jpgReturn to top
Return to topGiftGuide.pg43.jpgReturn to top
Return to topGiftGuide.pg43.jpgReturn to top




Comments (6)
11/14/08
 
How great to see all the young entrepreneurs from Brown. Just checked charliesplayhouse.com and ordered a giant time line for my grandchildren. This is a great science toy.
 
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
06/24/09
 
I have a Brown Bear paperweight I w ould like to make available. What is the procedure?
 
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
06/24/09
 
I have a Brown Bear paperweight I w ould like to make available. What is the procedure?
 
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
06/27/09
 
I have created something I would love to offer through the next BAM gift guide, if it fits in well among the other items being sold. Physical Therapy To Go! is a series of videos with complete home physical therapy programs for painful backs, necks, or shoulders. It is ideal for the weekend warrior or overworked professional with the stiff achy back, sports injuries, or just starting to feel his or her age. Physical Therapy To Go! is the only full medically approved physical therapy program available on video for home use. No equipment is needed other than a therapy band which is included. While not as glamorous as some of your other merchandise, who wouldn't want to feel (and look) like a million dollars for the holidays and beyond?! You can visit pttogo.com to investigate further. If interested, contact me. Thanks!
 
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
11/21/10
 
Set your life time more simple get the mortgage loans and everything you need.
 
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
11/22/10
 
Every one understands that modern life is high priced, but we require money for different issues and not every man earns big sums money. Therefore to get fast loan and collateral loan should be a proper way out.
 
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Name and Class Year:
Email:
Comment:

Code:* Code