Warmer weather has arrived in Cherokee County! Residents are eager to get outside and enjoy local events, and The Bloom Exchange Co.—an initiative launched by Cherokee County creatives Kailee Feirer Bracken and Nicole Liveoak—is poised to deliver. With events, a website, and a podcast, its mission is to see small businesses bloom, including women-owned and mother-owned businesses.

Kailee is the creator of Broken Ankles, a handmade jewelry retailer, and a former member of collaborative coworking space Made Mercantile in Woodstock. Nicole is the creative mind behind Woven Oak Design, which offers handmade macrame goods. Nicole and Kailee were inspired to develop The Bloom Exchange Co. to help small business owners and provide a safe space for questions.

The Local Bloom Market | The Bloom Exchange Co. | Kailee Feirer Bracken | Nicole Liveoak | Artwork by Summer Connell

Artwork by Summer Connell (@summerconnell.art)

Nicole explains, “I’m supported by many people in my community—my friends, family, and loved ones. My mom, Jamie Basler, watches my six-year-old, who doesn’t quite have the patience yet for [market events]. Not everyone has that support, though. That’s what inspired Kailee and me to open our business together and start a podcast.” The podcasts offer business advice for small-business owners plus tips and tricks for managing markets, especially in the Georgia heat.

From Pandemic Creativity to Clay Artistry

Known for her bestselling clay and brass earrings, Kailee first decided to open her small business during the pandemic as her creativity flourished. Despite her initial excitement, Kailee soon grew discouraged when her earrings kept breaking. She recalls, “I was trying to research everything independently and realized I was using the wrong clay.” Experiences like this one are part of the reason Kailee and Nicole are driven to support and encourage new small businesses.

The Local Bloom Market | The Bloom Exchange Co. | Kailee Feirer Bracken | Broken Ankles | Photo Credit: Naomi Hopkins/The Sonder Studio

Kailee Feirer Bracken, Broken Ankles (Photo Credit: Naomi Hopkins/The Sonder Studio)

“So many people inspire me,” Kailee says, “but those who buy my earrings encourage me and keep me going. Small business owners need encouragement. I lean on my small-business friends, who understand the hustle and what it takes to own a business.”

Success Woven Through Encouragement

Proud mom Nicole launched her small business, Woven Oak Design, in 2019. The name combines her last name, Liveoak, and her custom-made macrame designs.

The Local Bloom Market | The Bloom Exchange Co. | Nicole Liveoak | Woven Oak Designs | Photo Credit: Naomi Hopkins/The Sonder Studio for Enjoy Cherokee Magazine

Nicole Liveoak, Woven Oak Designs (Photo Credit: Naomi Hopkins/The Sonder Studio)

Nicole was encouraged to start a business after her best friend, Tariana Sparrow, fell in love with her products. “I was scrolling through Facebook Marketplace and saw a listing for a plant hanger,” Nicole says. “I was inspired. I bought macrame cord and learned the basic knotting techniques from watching YouTube videos. I posted a picture of a wall hanging I was working on and Tariana wanted to buy it before it was even finished.

Locally Owned Goodness

From pop-up events to festivals, Kailee and Nicole are no strangers to the vendor experiences of small business owners. Each has sold their creations at local market events, including Maker’s Mash, Plant Daddies Plant Vendor Market, Christkindl festivals, Mayberry Acres Market, Art on the Green, Bizarre Bash, and others across metro Atlanta.

Drawing on their combined experiences, the duo now organizes and hosts market events as another way to support fellow local makers, beginning with pop-up events at Alma Coffee in Canton, Gate City Brewing in nearby Roswell, and Atlanta Hard Cider & Distillery in Marietta. These events are a perfect way to soak up some fun in the sun and support local talent this spring and summer and into the cooler weather of fall.

Ashley Elayne, marketing manager of Alma Coffee, is enthusiastic about the pop-up market series. “This pop-up market is perfect for springtime. Guests can shop a ton of adorable products outside while sipping one of our new spring drinks available in the café. When you support Alma Coffee, you support our initiative of improving lives in Honduras, where our coffee farmers live,” Ashley remarks.

Kailee and Nicole are delighted to work with a coffee shop that is actively making a difference.

“When The Bloom Exchange Co. said that it was doing pop-ups at Alma Coffee, my husband, Lee, and I applied immediately,” says Lizzie Decker, cofounder of Jackabee Candle Company of Marietta. The couple’s hand-poured candle line includes a Parisian-themed spring collection perfect for lovers of warm floral notes.

Small Business, Big Impact

The Local Bloom Market featuring talented artisans and small business owners on Saturday, May 25, is the biggest venture of The Bloom Exchange Co. to date. Cofounders Kailee and Nicole are excited about this large-scale event that will host more than thirty-five vendors, including candlemakers, creators of handmade products, vintage clothing retailers, bakers, and more. Nicole’s popular disco-ball hangers will also be featured at The Local Bloom Market. “I like anything funky and fun,” Nicole says with a laugh, “and I love shiny things. I must’ve been a crow in my past life,” she jokes.

The Local Bloom Market | The Bloom Exchange Co. | Kailee Feirer Bracken | Nicole Liveoak | Photo Credit: Naomi Hopkins/The Sonder Studio for Enjoy Cherokee Magazine

Kailee and Nicole share advice based on their combined experiences as small business owners and creatives through The Bloom Exchange Co.’s social media presence and through The Bloom Exchange Co. Podcast, available on Spotify. (Photo Credit: Naomi Hopkins/The Sonder Studio)

Cherokee County native Sarah Mazzarella, the maker behind Sarahdipity Crochet, is another business owner drawn to The Bloom Exchange Co. market events and the support Kailee and Nicole provide. “As a business owner, I am hoping to grow in my local community in terms of visibility online and at market events,” Sarah says. Her company features handmade crochet products.

Emily Grimes, owner of Southern Sage Jewelry, is also delighted to be featured at The Bloom Exchange Co.’s market events. “I was inspired to open my business after facing a lot of tragedy in my life,” Emily reports. “After the loss of my grandfather, I decided to preserve his funeral flowers. It [then] gave me purpose to see how comforted my customers were after receiving memorial items created from the memory of their loved ones. Soon after, I started preserving bridal bouquets and even making breastmilk jewelry,” Emily says. Her business embraces the idea that art can come from both tragedy and the celebration of life.

Discover these makers and more at The Local Bloom Market on Saturday, May 25, at the Woodstock Arts Event Green and at upcoming pop-up events throughout the market season.

Save the Date

The Local Bloom Market | May 25, Woodstock Arts Event Green

Alma Coffee Pop-Up Markets | May 11, June 15

Gate City Brewing Pop-Up Markets | May 5, June 2, September 1, October 6, November 3

Atlanta Hard Cider & Distillery Pop-Up Markets | May 18, June 15, July 20, August 17,September 21, October 19

The Local Bloom Market Featured Vendors

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