For every issue of Utah Valley Magazine, we recognize five Utah Valley grown products. Grab your wallet — these creative businesses are something you’re going to want.
1. Mark A Name For Yourself
Isaac Childs traveled the world after high school and recorded his experiences in a journal along the way. But after returning to Utah, his pages began to fall apart. He took a book binding class at BYU and began making his own journals, which he used for a project in his UVU business class. He created a website for his merchandise — and after just a few months, online orders started rolling in (including from Disney) and Rustico became a page-turning, story-writing success. The Orem company sells handmade leather goods and is rolling out new paper-and-leather products for the holidays including the Large Leather Composition Notebook. The piece is a stylish and minimal notebook, folder and pen holder in one. “We hope to inspire others to leave their mark not only on the pages of our journals, but to people in their lives as well,” Isaac says. Learn more at rustico.com.
2. Having a Ball
Orem native Lindsey Hobbs first got the idea for her business while planning her daughter’s first birthday party. She knew she wanted to use felt balls but couldn’t decide on a color. “From the moment I touched a felt ball I fell in love,” Lindsey says. Now, she runs a felt ball shop from home to help with expenses while taking care of her daughters. Lindsey’s felt balls are two centimeters and come in a rainbow of colors. Felt lovers alike use the balls as home and party decor to add charm and color. Learn more at ballsiefelt.etsy.com.
3. True Colors
Founder of “The House That Lars Built” blog and design website, Provo’s Brittany Watson Jepsen inspires others to incorporate creativity into their lives. Although she typically generates tutorials and how-to projects, Brittany wanted a product for fingers that wanted to feel inventive without having to actually make something. (#pinterestfails, anyone?) Brittany created the Flowers Coloring Book followed by the Cactus Coloring Book. The pages feature patterns of flowers and cacti where both kids and adults color inside the lines. “I hope everyone who tries out our coloring books finds beauty in the creative process as well as in the subject matter of our natural world,” Brittany says. Learn more at thehousethatlarsbuilt.com.
4. Now I Know My Nativity
As a kid, Esther Sumner’s deep love for the local library sparked her dream of becoming a children’s author. After moving to Lindon and spending years working with kids, she felt inspired to go after her goals and write a book based on one of her favorite scripture stories. Esther created “My Nativity ABCs” to make the classic story easier to commit to memory and to provide that same joy she felt from reading stories as a child. “I want this retelling of events from The Bible to help families focus on the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it each year,” she says. Learn more at cedarfort.com.
5. You’re A Gem
Provo’s Laura Zundel has been making jewelry as long as she can remember. Growing up the youngest of five girls and now raising two of her own, she channels her creative femininity into her business Gems by Laura. She designs baby and women’s jewelry that is both simple and memorable. “I personally love jewelry that is minimal in design and doesn’t speak too loudly but instead is just noticeable enough to add that finishing touch to any outfit,” she says. Evolving from plastic glitter beads and then teething necklaces, Laura now offers quality premium crystal necklaces and bracelets for both young and old. Learn more at gemsbylaura.com.