Episode 32: 'Up Front' Interviews Local Artists and Artisans
Oct 22, 2019 02:22PM
By Jason Huddle
Episode 32: Local Artists and Artisans
Welcome my friends to a very artistic edition of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine, sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, CERTEC Automotive, Code Ninjas, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, Merle Norman Cosmetics and Edie's Salon, and Your CBD store of Concord. I'm your host Jason Huddle.
Thank you so much for joining us again for Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. This week we're talking to some local artisans of different mediums for you to get acquainted with because we found that there are some people that are doing some things in Cabarrus County that are very unique and quite frankly, these are just some interesting people. Uh, we're going to go out to meet Jerry and Tanya Sumerel from Honeysuckle Hill Bee Farm. It's a bee farm located right here in Concord and they are making exquisite honey that is going interstate now. They're selling into Georgia. We'll also go visit the one and only Kathleen Reeder. Many of you know her. She is the Bead Lady, located in downtown Concord. Very famous jewelry there. And finally, Dr. Wanda Jenkins, who was an OB GYN doctor for several decades here in Concord. And now she has become a painter in her retirement and now she has an upcoming show at Clearwater Art Center that will be debuting next month. So we're excited to go out to her house and talk to her as well. We have a lot of great things for you today and I hope you will stick around and enjoy it. But before we get to that, we have this week's shameless plug time.
If you haven't noticed already, the nomination process for the Cabarrus Magazine Reader's Awards has already begun. In fact, today, October 18th is the last day to nominate your favorite businesses in several different categories. This Monday, October 21st we will begin the voting process based on the nominations that have been turned in. So these are all the businesses that have been nominated and that will go on for a couple of weeks and then we will name the top three in each category and have a final voting round and determine the winners. The winners, by the way, will be announced at the Celebrate Cabarrus event coming up on December 12th and that event is put on by the the Cabarrus Convention and Visitors Bureau. And we of course are always happy to be a part of that and be included with that. So make sure, if you haven't gotten your nominations in, today's the last day and then next week, start voting and get your people to vote. Share it. Do whatever you can to get those votes up for your favorites so they can win the Cabarrus Magazine Readers Awards. And that is this week's shameless plug.
Stick around for this very artistic edition of Cabarrus Magazine. We're going to head out to honeysuckle in just a moment, right after these messages from our sponsors.
Welcome to this local artistans edition of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. I'm sitting here at Honeysuckle Hill bee farm with Jerry and Tanya Sumerel. They are local beekeepers that started making their own honey not too long ago, just a few years back. And are multi-state now. They're selling their honey in stores down to Georgia. And of course locally here at uh, the farmer's markets. And first of all, Jerry and Tanya, thanks for being on the program today.
So Jerry, why don't you first tell us about how you got into beekeeping and what that process is like to make honey?
Well, a friend of mine invited me to a bee meeting and I decided to go to the, to meet, to the meeting with him. And uh, he ended up not keeping bees and I did. I fell in love with them and I ended up buying two hives. And it took me about three years to get my first honey crop. We've been doing it now for eight years, and that's just grown.
How many hives do you have now?
Jerry S.: (05:49)
I did have 200, but now I'm down, I think somewhere between 150 and 175 hives.
Okay. So what does process like, how difficult is it to process that honey and package it and sell it? I mean, how, how does that work?
Jerry S.: (06:04)
Well, it's a lot of work. Uh, you, you know, the biggest thing is trying to keep your bees alive. And, uh, the national average loss as 40%, I've lost, uh, I don't know, 30, 40 hives so far this year. Uh, mostly because of neglect, because I've, we've grown so much that it's hard for two people to keep up with it. Um, but we, the honey, the honey flow and this area usually starts sometime in April and goes until the end of June. And that's when you're putting supers on. You're put in boxes on for the bees to make honey and they, and at the end of June, 1st of July, uh, we start pulling our boxes off. This past year we put 124 boxes on for honey production. And of course they don't feel all of them up, but you start pulling it off. Uh, if a box is completely full of honey, each box will hold about 40 pounds of honey. Uh, so it could be any, anywhere from zero to 40 pounds per box. And then we pulled about 3000 pounds so far this year. Uh, I'm in the process now of extracting honey today, uh, finishing that up.
So do the bees mind that you're taking this honey? Do they, do they kinda throw a fit when you start pulling those boxes?
Jerry S.: (07:24)
They had rather keep it, but we usually, we try to leave at least 20 to 30 pounds of honey per hive. And so they, they will have enough to eat during the winter. And then of course, if they, if they run out of anything, uh, usually it's, uh, probably the end of December. The 1st of January and if they run out of food, then you'd have to supplement. You have to feed them. And usually we feed them a fondant, which is like a cake icing. And uh, we feed them that.
Okay. Now when you say you lose a hive, what does that mean exactly?
Jerry S.: (08:00)
Uh, well it could be a number of things. Uh, the queen will die and when you go into a hive, you start, you know, you go in and check your bees and you will notice that the numbers are dropping and you look for brood, uh, baby bees in there. And if you don't see any brood, if you don't see eggs, then you know you've lost your queen. And if you don't do something quickly, uh, that high, we'll just, they will die.
Wow. Okay. So you get the, the honey processed and it's ready to sell. Tanya, take us through that process. You guys basically started just selling it the Piedmont Farmers Market, right? Uh, so take us through that process a little bit.
Tanya S.: (08:39)
Um, well after Jerry does the harvesting and puts them in the buckets for storage, then we bottle, we put a glass bottle and the squeeze plastic bottles. Then, um, we label everything has to be properly labeled according to state regulations, then take it to the farmer's market. So it's - doing four markets a week. It's a lot of loading and unloading.
Yeah, I can imagine.
Tanya S.: (09:07)
That's pretty much what we're doing. And so now you're starting to get into wholesale where some places are selling your, your honey where you can get it in the bottles. There's all kinds of different sizes.
Take us through a little bit. You guys have, it's not just straight honey. You guys have different flavored honey. Uh, you have creamed honey. Tell us a little bit about some of the varieties of hunting that you guys have.
Tanya S.: (09:30)
We have our honey, what we call a local honey - Concord local honey. But then we also took hives, which Jerry could tell you how we took hives, some of our hives this year up to Stone Mountain North Carolina. And so we gathered sour wood honey when the sour wood tree was blooming. And brought that back. So, we have the local honey, we have the sour wood honey, and then we've had customers ask about different other types. So one of the, a really favorite one that people like is the avocado honey.
Okay. I love avocados. Love guacamole. I never heard about that combination before, but okay.
Tanya S.: (10:15)
The honey comes from the blossom of the avocado, so it doesn't taste like avocado.
Tanya S.: (10:22)
It's a dark honey. It has a very delicate molasses flavor. Then we make our own creamed honey and one of the ones is the Ceylon creamed honey. We also have Blackberry, raspberry, orange, peach, lemon and our two newest flavors is chocolate. Who doesn't like chocolate?
Chocolate and honey. That's a beautiful combination.
Tanya S.: (10:46)
Very good coffee honey. Wow. Okay.
Tanya S.: (10:50)
So we have up to like 15 varieties that we carry.
I also understand that you not only have creamed honeys, but you have a honey bar. That sounds awesome. Can you tell me about that?
Tanya S.: (11:02)
It's a spin off of, um, what do you do with that? You go to a winery and have a tasting bar. So we do a honey bar where you can come and taste up to 15 varieties of honey.
Tanya S.: (11:14)
The, the sour wood, the Tupelo, the avocado, the raspberry, all kinds of, and this is all natural. This is not man's coloring or flavoring. This is all purely natural. The honey is taken from one type of flower and from that locale. That makes the color, the taste is all and it's all raw, unfiltered honey.
So you guys sell a lot of your honey now wholesale to some local stores. Where are some places that people can find your honey locally if they can't make it to the Piedmont Farmer's market on Saturday?
Tanya S.: (11:51)
They can come by here. Just call us at the farm.
And what's your address here?
Tanya S.: (11:56)
2041 Highway 49 North. But call first. We don't have set hours, but right in downtown Concord Union Street market is a great place. They carry more of our products there. Also, Trotman barbecue and Green Life, Bradford's Organic Store and Cannon Pharmacy, our newest client.
Real quick before I let you go, tell me a little bit about the benefits of local honey from a health perspective. There's been a lot of media about that, uh, lately. So tell us a little bit about why we should be consuming local honey.
Tanya S.: (12:32)
Honey has a lot of anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory of a lot of health benefits, but then beyond just the health benefits of honey, you also have the combination of cinnamon. We do a Ceylon cinnamon and honey mix, which is our top seller that, through local doctors here, we have found that it is lowering cholesterol and it is lowering blood sugar level. For it is being used for diabetic patients for the past almost three years and it's coming from the doctor themselves saying these levels are improving blood sugar levels are leveling out, they're dropping and then all it is, is one teaspoon before bedtime.
Okay, so you guys are going to bankrupt me for sure. Uh, but that, that is completely awesome. Thank you for sharing that. Real quick, where can people find out more about Honeysuckle Hill online?
Tanya S.: (13:31)
At honeysucklehill.com, but also weknowbees.com.
All right and Jerry and Tanya Sumerel from Honeysuckle Hill Bee Farm, thank you so much for spending some time with us today and uh, introducing us to the bees.
Jerry S.: (13:40)
Thank you for having us. We're going to toss it to our sponsors and we'll be back in just a moment.
Welcome back to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. I am in beautiful downtown Concord with the lovely Kathleen Reeder. She is the famous Bead Lady, here at the corner of union and Cabarrus Avenue. And first of all, Kathleen, thanks for spending a few minutes with us today.
Thanks Jason. Thanks for hanging out with me.
Wonderful rainy day here in Cabarrus County.
It is a little bit dreary today, but that's okay. We desperately need the rain so we'll take it. So Kathleen, um, you've been around almost as long as the magazine has, uh, as far as the, The Bead Lady store, um, tell us a little bit about what it is you do and why you guys are so unique.
Well, Jason, thanks for coming today and hanging out a little bit today. Um, for all of you who don't know me, my name is Kathleen Reeder and, um, my husband and myself, Justin Reeder own The Bead Lady, which is in downtown Concord. And we are a full-service bead shop, custom designed jewelry studio manufacturing house. So what that means is you can come in and purchase our beads and make it here. You can purchase our beads and make it at home or we can design it for you. And we also do manufacturing for wholesale companies and corporate events and stuff like that. So you can come in and make something that we customize whatever it is that you want.
So what made you decide this is what I want to do with life?
I don't know if I decided to do that. You know, my background is in culinary. I was a chef by trade for 17 years, um, and went the route of Speedway Club, um, and worked in the Speedway club, managing the boutiques. And there wasn't a bead store in Cabarrus County and I wanted to do it and be the first. So here I am almost 17 and 18 years later, going through 18th year, November 9th.
So when it comes to customized jewelry, what are the trends now? What are people looking for?
Um, I think trends, you have your, your basic, um, jewelry wardrobe, which is classic pieces. And then you have some, some bigger pieces. It really depends on what the customer wants and what they want with that particular design. So you walk in off the street and bring either a picture of your item that you want or address and then we'll just pull out some items that we think that will match with that. Do some samples and customize it the way you want according to size, length, design, everything that's based on what you want.
Take us through the process a little bit. If I'm a customer in your store, do you physically make the beads or, or -
No, I mean -
Yeah, take me through that a little bit.
Well I have two different things. We also have the memory flower jewelry so that when we take the flowers from weddings and funerals and we designed jewelry for it nationwide. So you have that division of us and then we have the bead store division. So if you're walking in off the street, you can come in and look at the strands of beads on the wall and those will be cut and designed for you based on the design that you want, whether a necklace, a bracelet, pair of earings, or whatever it is that you want with those particular beads. Okay, let's, let's back up to the memory flowers thing because I've heard of this, but I didn't realize that anybody did this locally. So take me through about that. How does that work?
How do you take a flower and make a, that is, um, that's about a 14-step process that we had copyrighted. Um -
So in other words, you can tell me what you'd have to kill.
Well, I - I wouldn't kill you, Jason. Nobody, would kill you. We all love you here in Cabarrus County,
We have three different divisions of that. So we have a bereavement side, which a lot of the local, um, funeral homes direct them to us. We have the wedding side, which we can take wedding bouquets, fresh or dried. Um, and then we have the pet Memorial side so we can take pet hair or pet ashes or create jewelry for you. We do that really worldwide. We have orders who come in through it, through the mail and then we have people come in through the street.
What kind of jewelry are we talking about? Are we just talking about necklaces, bracelets, whatever?
We do, we have a whole line.
So like, the whole gambit.
Oh yeah. We have, we have a website which is a memoryflowerbeads.com. Okay. But we have key chains and money clips and bracelets and necklaces and earrings, all of that. The, the cool thing about that particular business is, they're hand rolled and prayed over and I do everything from start to finish. We can use fresh flowers or dried flowers. We've been doing it for all 14 years now.
I think that's really cool that you pray over him too. Just a nice little touch.
It is. It is. And they all come out unique and one of a kind.
And beads are the only thing you do. You kind of have your hand in several things including Union Street Market, right?
We do. Yes. So myself, Amanda Berry and my husband Justin Reeder, opened up Union Street Market last July. For all of you who don't know, the Hotel Concord was renovated, which has 38 units up there. And with us being down here so long, we kind of knew what was needed and what was wanted and did the market study and the research for over a year and opened that last year and just expanded the gift part of that to mercantile.
So what kind of gifts can you get at Union Street Market and then mercantile?
So you have, we have a local um, candle line in there. We have paper products, we have jewelry, we have local regional specialty foods and gifts. We have a line of flowers and plants that my husband grows. More greenhouse, little succulants and plants and hand-painted ornaments and ponchos and cards. Just a little bit of everything. We just came from Honeysuckle Hill Bee Farm. They were explaining that they're also available -
- at the market.
They've been with us since the beginning. Actually. We opened up last July and they were probably one of our first vendors. They're creamed honey is incredible.
I have had their creamed honey. It's -
It's a good product.
It is outstanding for sure. So real quick before I let you go, Kathleen, um, tell us again where people can find you online and in downtown Concord.
Our physical store is 1 Union Street North, on the corner of Union Street and Cabarrus. It's the beautiful gray building on the corner across from the hotel. Um, our sister store is Union Street Market and Mercantile, which is 10 Union Street North, inside the base of that hotel, directly across the street from us. We have an Instagram page shop, the bead lady. We have shopthebeadlady.com I believe. And then memoryflowerbeads.com.
The Kathleen. Reeder.
Well, I love this community. You know, I've been here a long time and I love it and I love giving back and just love everything about it. So thank you so much for spending time with us today.
The Bead Lady, go check her out. We're going to hear from some sponsors and we'll be back in just a few minutes,
Welcome once again to this local artisans edition of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. I'm here at the home of Dr. Wanda Jenkins. She was an OB GYN doctor for the better part of over two decades here in Concord. In fact, some of you listening might have even, I don't want to say been birthed by, I guess been birthed by, is that correct?
I have a lot of graduates of the of the OB part. Yes.
So you might've been birthed by Dr. Jenkins. She was - She was more than likely in the room. So Dr. Jenkins, first of all, thanks for being on the program and I wanted to talk to you today because since you retired from being an OB GYN, you have become a painter. You have a show coming up very shortly at Clearwater Studios. So first of all, tell us a little bit about being a doctor and then making that conversion to artist. Well, very briefly,
I actually started knowing in sixth grade that I was going into research. So I first got a PhD in research and immunology, which is a very active field. It was the university of Cincinnati. At the end of the PhD I realized how it's not as ivory tower as you would expect. So that's when I switched to the MD program and I have had no regrets because I love my women so much that I took care of. I had like 16,000 charts and the chart room by the time I retired. And most of those were people that I took care of here and in year out, um, it was very interesting to take care of a woman through all aspects of her life from birth all the way through the aging process. But I loved my patients. And so because of undiagnosed hypothyroidism, which I thought had been checked, um, my health was very much at risk for quite a few years. It took me a long time to get a reasonable amount of strength back so I couldn't start paying you right away. I did paint a few paintings while I was in practice, but I didn't have much time between surgeries, the office and hand delivering babies.
So you always knew you were going to be a painter at some point. Right?
My father's grandmother was an all artist and she actually went to college in art for two years and that is a long time ago. It was very rare for a woman to go to college at all. She was quite good. Did pretty much landscapes, occasionally a portrait. But I've always known that when the time came that yes, I would paint. And so occasionally I would, I would paint just very occasionally, like two paintings over the time of being in practice. But I've always known I would do that in retirement. Yes.
Tell us about your style of painting.
Well, it's almost totally landscapes. I am sorry, but I have absolutely no interest in painting portraits or animals. I just like painting landscapes. So that's pretty much my style. It changes though within the landscapes I've become very colorful, more and more colorful. I love color. And so the show that's coming up at Clearwater Art Center is going to be a very colorful show there. I hope it's just sort of blows people away with the color.
So it's called Adventures in Color, right?
That's correct. It is about color, but it's also about texture and style. And because my style has evolved and I'm an impasse pasto painter, which means I paint very thickly. So basically I had to stop painting in June because these paintings, oil paintings, which is why I predominantly paint, take six months more to drive. So I had to give them at least six months to drive.
Are these landscapes - Are they just something that you see in your mind? Are these places you've visited?
It's an amalgamation of all things. Sometimes people that I meet have taken pictures of the seashore, the two paintings that are real favorites of mine - the seashore that I showed you came from, a friend of mine took a picture of the seashore. I went into a little bit of, of a loose, a loose interpretation of that, but a very colorful interpretation. It just evolved into that. And I did it in two styles of color because I liked the picture so much. I sometimes find things, my favorite art magazine definitely is Southwest Art Magazine and you wouldn't think from the name of it that it would be, but it is the best arts magazine cause I subscribe to all of them pretty much. And um, it's the one that consistently does the best. And, and I'm representing good landscapes and good ours. So sometimes it's from seeing things in just general magazines. Sometimes it's from people's pictures or my pictures in France. The one time, we don't travel very much, but we did go to France and I took about hundreds of pictures while I was at France. My husband was very, very patient on our trip to France because I love poppies and the poppies were in full bloom. So I painted photographs and then every once in awhile I'll just sit down in front of the canvas and know exactly what I want to paint. That just comes out of nowhere. Those are generally my best pictures because when you do that, you're painting so fast that you lose yourself consciousness of the painting process and self-consciousness. It's the thing that all painters fight. When I was in high school, I did take a pain in class and the teacher constantly told me that I was just too tight, just too tight, just loosen up, just loosen up and so you know when I do loosen up, I get some really good panties that way. But those are paintings that don't happen every day, but I get inspiration from other people's paintings, but I don't do the exact painting of theirs. I don't copy them exactly. It's just sometimes I just liked the use of color that they have. I also have property in Montana and have pictures out there. So I have some Western pictures and some of those are my favorites. I must admit I have some, a series of actually four desert pictures, three of them or a series that I painted and they came out very well. It's just various things that add to what I paint.
So you were telling me earlier that one of your favorite paintings actually happened by accident. Tell us real quickly about that.
Well, I was painting with a, basically a red underground and then I painted a dark color on the sky, but I was trying for a sky that was similar to something that I saw in a picture from a magazine. And so it came completely wrong on the sky. So I grabbed the cloth and rubbed the painting off the top paint off. But the underpainting had dried enough before I put the top painting on that. When I rubbed the top painting off, the red came back out and it was exactly by accident what I was aiming for in the first place. So I had to fight the urge to do anything else to the sky because as soon as you see an accident like that happen, you have to just stop. And that's exactly what I did. I did work on the lower part of the painting, but the upper part of the painting is the result of wiping the paint off and the color came through just exactly what I wanted in the first place.
Real quick, because painting isn't enough. You also make your own jewelry. Tell us real quick about that before I have to let you go.
I absolutely am in love with dichroic glass and dichroic glass glass fuses at 2200 degrees. It was created by NASA to coat the um, space shuttle as to protect it from re-entry, from heat of reentry. It's metal over glass. So when you fuse it, it's at 2200 degrees. So it is not the thing where you want to make mistakes. I have made one mistake, which is now basically healed up or has left a scar. But I love the unexpectedness of the jewelry because the way it looks before you fuse it is totally different. You never know how it's going to come out. So you fuse it and then it's a surprise. But I've tried to get very small earrings. A lot of people like light earrings, but the smaller I go, the more difficult the jewelry actually is. But that dichroic is just brilliant. And when I get the right combination, women that I meet almost can't resist it. I can't resist it. But I do have it on hypoallergenic bindings and metal and the ear and necklaces because I'm totally allergic to nickel. So women do not have to worry about wearing this. They will not react to any of the jewelry that I make.
And where can people find your jewelry?
The jewelry will be at the show. And um, Sarah Gay, who's the manager of Clearwater Art Center, is going to take care of, of the purchases. We're going to allow the jewelry to go ahead and be purchased as people want. The jewelry because they're gonna want it for birthdays or Christmases, but the paintings in general, unless people are going out of state, the paintings in general will hang until the end of the show, which really won't be until the first part of January.
So Doctor Wanda Jenkins, your show Adventures in Color is coming up to Clearwater Arts Center on November 2nd.
November 2nd is the open house from four to 6:00 PM. I will be making the food for that. So it will be very good food cause I'm a very good cook.
Dr Wanda Jenkins, we're looking forward to seeing your show. Make sure you go to Clearwater Art Center and check that out between November 2nd and, uh, I think it closes time in January, as you mentioned. Dr. Jenkins, thanks so much for spending some time with us today.
Oh certainly. I've enjoyed it. Thank you.
so fun fact Dr. Jenkins was telling me that it was Cabarrus Magazine that actually resulted in her even knowing about Clearwater Art Center. She explained that like this. Last year we did a story on a couple of artists and featured Clearwater Studios, as it was called at the time, in the magazine. Well she happened to be at a doctor's office or somewhere in Mount pleasant I think and she picked up the magazine and read about Clearwater and she was looking for an art outlet in Concord and she found that in the magazine. So she ended up contacting the arts center and got connected with him there and now she has a show coming up in a couple of weeks premiering at Clearwater Art Center and it's all because of Cabarrus Magazine. So sort of a bonus, shameless plug if you will. But it is astounding to me how small of a circle we run in sometimes and I appreciated her telling us that story. I do want to thank Dr. Jenkins, as well as Jerry and Tonya Sumerel, and Kathleen Reeder for being on our show today. Next week we're going to be talking about what else? Halloween! Halloween is only a couple of weeks away and next week will be our last podcast of the month. So we are going to talk about Halloween and some special ways that you can go out and celebrate the season this year. Make sure you tune in for that. And of course, I want to thank our sponsors, Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, CERTEC Automotive, Code Ninjas, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, Merle Norman Cosmetics and Edie's Salon, and Your CBD store of Concord.. Always remember to support those that support us. I've been your host, Jason huddle. Until next week. Go broaden your mind or something.