Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Regular price $24.00
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An intimate, revelatory book exploring the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down.

Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered.

A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May's story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. Illumination emerges from many sources: solstice celebrations and dormice hibernation, C.S. Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing arctic seas.

Ultimately Wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear. A secular mystic, May forms a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.

Learn more about our story & goods

handcrafted and curated right here in Upstate NY

All of our leather goods are handmade by The Local Branch out of our Upstate NY homestead workshop, which is just 7 miles from our brick + mortar shop in the charming Finger Lakes village of Skaneateles NY.

We started our leather working journey as transplants to Northern CA from Upstate NY in our early twenties. It was 2009, and hunting for a creative job seemed near impossible during the recession - so we started our own thing, and called it The Local Branch. With very little resources at first, we dabbled in leather working using scrap pieces of hides and a found-on-the-side-of-the-road sewing machine. The very first piece Blaine created was a leather holster, made for his phone and wallet. From there our leather working journey began.

At the same time we began printing apparel with a focus on nature, travel and American history. We stretched our own screens, painting each design by hand and lovingly printed every piece ourselves - a process which is very true to form today. We source all of our blank apparel items in the USA, which has always been our beacon for our brand.

We eventually decided to take this hobby brand into our full time venture. We renovated an Airstream trailer and turned it into our mobile workshop, touring America full time for over two years. We sold our goods at festivals, craft shows and online, as well as wholesale to many shops throughout the USA, Canada and Japan. After landing some of our goods in a few major retailers, we decided to slow down and keep the ethos and vision for the brand to small, local and handcrafted.

Still today Blaine and Mackenzie steer the ship - keeping everything small + handcrafted.

Handcrafted Leather Goods

Shop our assortment of leather goods, made by us in our Upstate NY workshop

Screenprinted Apparel

Each design is handpainted and printed by us on USA made apparel