Wednesday, August 24, 2011

know your farmer, know your soap

Do you know Jay and Valorie Lee, the force behind JV Farms? If you don't, you should. Good folks with great food. They set up at the Hot Springs Farmers Market every Saturday and they sell only what they grow or raise. They have organic vegetables, pastured chickens, fresh eggs, whole hog sausage and berries. Delicious, scrumptious berries. We've been discussing different ways to use local ingredients in the soap and partner in our local community and this is a perfect partnership, JV Farms blackberry soap. All the goodness of Larkmartin Soap combined with local, farm fresh fruit.
They dropped off a tub of blackberries last month to use and mouth salivated at the sight of those plump beauties. I resisted eating them and put them in the pot of soap! What has turned out is a delight! Sweet, yet not sticky sweet, blackberry scent with real blackberries! It lathers just like all the soaps you know and love. This is a unique opportunity to try the perfect partnership! JV Farms will have the soap at this Saturday's market and we have a few exclusive bars in the shop.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Support area nonprofits this weekend!

It’s gonna be a busy weekend… and lots of fun, with opportunities to support two awesome area nonprofits that help make Hot Springs the unique and creative town that it is.

This Friday, Maxine’s Live is hosting a fundraiser for the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the music starting at 7 p.m. The line up includes Chuck Dodson, Gus & Call, Bizarro Buddha, Walking Lawsuits, The Global Test, and cinePLOSION with DJ Mike Shaeffer.

The fun continues on Sunday at Artchurch Studios with more live music, and some great food! Artchurch Studios - in conjunction with JV Farms, Free Greens Inc, the Spa City Co-op and the Historic Downtown Farmers Market - is hosting the Spa City Locavores’ Community Bar-B-Que & Concert Summer Fundraiser. The event will be held from 2-8 p.m. at the Artchurch with the Bar-B-Que from 2-5 p.m. and the Concert from 5-8 p.m.

The "Bar-b-que" will feature pork, chicken and beef from local, sustainable organic farmers. It will be followed by live music with the Artchurch Studios' July House Concert Series featuring several touring acts performing. Tickets are $5 for the barbecue and $8 for the concert, or $10 for both.

There will also be an auction with a variety of items up for grabs, including some goodies from Larkmartin & Co! So get out this weekend and support area nonprofits while enjoy live music and great company. And don’t forget to support your local soap shop - Larkmartin & Co.! We’re open 10-5 Monday through Friday at 340 Ouachita Ave.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy July!

Hooray! Summer is full swing and we've got some great summer soap scents. Sweet Blackberry, Honeysuckle and Lemon Poppy. Stop in today!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Crafty town

There is something special about Hot Springs... maybe some thing's in the water that makes everyone so crafty but we sure have a lot of talented people in this town - many of whom feature their wares here at Larkmartin & Co.

I work in shop once a week, typically, and every time I come in, there is something new and I'm always amazed at the creativity that flourishes in our small arts community. I'm also impressed by the support the community shows its artists and small businesses. Larkmartin & Co. support local artists and, in turn, the community supports the shop. It's a feel-good cycle - one that I hope continues in our town.

Since working here, I've gotten to indulge my own crafty side - Briana usually has some fun project for me to do, whether it's making candles, lip balm or sugar scrubs. Today, I'm making Silly Bandz soap for the kiddos. See you soon. Leslie

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Father's Day Printable

Hey there! I hope you are well! I'm so excited about a little father's day idea! (Adam, stop reading this...) Here is a free download for you to print out and embellish for your special father! The idea is to have your children's handprints become the "leaves" of the tree. Leaves of green, yellow and aqua would complement it nicely. It is sized for a 12x16 and you could upload and print them out for $2.96 at Sam's Club or from your home computer. Frames are 50% at Hobby Lobby this week, as well. I hope you can use it and make your very own special gift for your special fathers in your life! Have a great weekend! Briana

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Get crafty with Lucy!

Love Lucy Bright Designs? Interested in making your own jewelry? Then you will want to check out the classes Lucy is now teaching at Michaels Arts & Crafts, 1438 Hidgon Ferry Rd.

Lucy is a local jewelry and a featured artist at Larkmartin & Co., where her sterling silver earrings and bottle cap magnets are available for purchase. (Be sure to stop by and check out her recently made patriotic magnets - just in time for the 4th of July!)

Techniques covered in her classes include bead stringing, wire wrapping, knotting and crimping. During the two-hour hands-on classes, students make something to take home. Classes are $25 each and are held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday and from 4-6 p.m. every other Saturday. Stop by Michaels to register or call 501-318-9732 for more information.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Father's Day Gift Ideas...Part One

Happy June! Summer has finally appeared and that means Father's Day is right around the corner. I'm so excited to share with you our new shaving mugs and shaving soap! I finally made our famous shaving soap in round molds and paired them with locally made shaving mugs by Joey Ruhsam. Add a shaving brush and you've got an instant awesome gift! I only have 5 available, so if you want one, you'll need to act fast!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Local author to present interpretive program downtown

Last week, I wrote about local author and Arkansas historian Janis Percefull Kent, who's books, "Three Strangers Come to Call" and "Cedar Glades Express," are set in Hot Springs in the late 1800s.

Thanks to a program co-hosted by Garland County Historical Society and the Hot Springs Parks and Recreation Department, we now have an opportunity to see the author present herself as a character from the same time period. Janis will be giving an interpretive speech program at Kenneth Adair Memorial Park in downtown Hot Springs from 12:30-2:30 p.m. each Friday and Saturday through September 2; and from 12:30-3:30 p.m. on July 4 and September 4- 5.

During the event, Janis will discuss the historical development of Hot Springs and Americans' belief in the medical benefit of the area's thermal waters, according to a press release. For more information call 501-767-4779. Her books are available for purchase at Larkmartin & Co.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Janis Kent Percefull

Local author Janis Kent Percefull brings Hot Springs history to life with her works of historical fiction, available now at Larkmartin & Co.

"Three Strangers Come to Call" and "Cedar Glades Express" both take place in Hot Springs in the late 1800s. In the first book, two eleven-year old cousins encounter three strangers, each with a gift for their grandfather, one of which is not wanted. In "Cedar Glades Express," a follow-up to "Three Strangers," we meet the cousins once again. Following a harsh winter, fires, and a smallpox epidemic, the girls travel to the nearby village of Cedar Glades with a plan to help their family. The book is based on actual historic facts from Hot Springs.

An Arkansas historian and author, Janis received a B.A. in history from Ouachita Baptist University and an M.A. in public history from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Whether you are a longtime resident of Hot Springs or just passing through, these books will make a great addition to your collection. Stop by and pick up a copy of each for yourself or friends and family back home!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

If you haven't been by the shop lately, you don't know about all the great new items we have in stock...

We have several new postage-stamp pendants by Heather Montgomery; and Dana Fleming of Recycled Revival recently brought in a collection of her paper posies. (April showers really do bring May flowers!) These cute floral pins are made from recycled paper and make great and inexpensive gifts. No watering necessary!

We also now carry a variety of jams and jellies from Stutzman's Pantry of Belleville, Ark. (The strawberry/jalapeno jam will add a nice kick to breakfast.)

And, we started making liquid soap here at Larkmartin! We have several fragrances available - lemon verbena, lavender and peppermint - as well as fragrance-free. Buy one our 4-ounce bottles, or bring in your own bottle and fill-up at our pump station! Soap is $1/ounce.

Hope to see you soon! Leslie

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother's Day is Sunday!

What do you get for the woman who is always giving? A chance to indulge herself, with bath and beauty products from Larkmartin & Co.!

Choose from a variety of sugar scrubs and body polishes, yummy-scented soaps and lotions, and botanical bath teas. Or pick up one of our ready-made gift basket. Baskets feature an assortment of our most popular products and are available for budgets both big and small.

While you are here, you will find a variety of other great gift ideas for mom, with jewelry from several of our local artists, plus paintings and ceramics, reusable grocery and produce bags, and a number of other items that are as unique as she is! Show your mom you care this Mother's Day, May 8!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2-6, 2011. I don't know about you, but the teachers in our life definitely need a thank you! Consider a gift from Larkmartin & Co. Gift certificates, local products or an already made up gift basket! Let your teachers know how special they are to you with a gift from Larkmartin & Co.

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Jewelry in!

Oh Goodness! We just got some really fabulous jewelry in from the local jewelry artist, AEB Design. These are delighfully springy in reclaimed sterling and fine silver, pressed glass (in luscious colors) and fresh water pearls. Besides the fact they are made locally, they range in price from $15-$35! Elegantly simple, they would complement any outfit.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paper Making workshop with Lisa Danger

For our wedding, my husband, Gabe, and I made our own invitations, paper and all. The paper, which was made using recycled materials, was dotted with little flecks of dried flowers from a bouquet he had given me for Valentine's Day a few months prior.

One of my best friends' dad, who attended the big day, had worked at a paper mill for about 40 years but had never seen "handmade" paper and was so impressed with craftiness.

On Saturday, April 16 at 3:30 p.m., Lisa Danger (one of the featured artists at Larkmartin & Co.) is teaching the Art of Paper Making and Up-Cycling at the Artchurch Studio, 301 Whittington Ave. A free, one-hour workshop, it is open to all ages and will teach the basics of the paper making.

In addition to the workshop, Lisa will be offering a paper making class on Saturday afternoons from 3-4:30 p.m. The class, which begins May 7, is $75 for Artchurch members per month or $90 for non-members and includes all basic materials.

Class size is limited so sign up early!

For more information and to register call the Artchurch Studios at 501.463.9890

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's your birthday!

You say it's your birthday? Well, fancy that! We love birthdays at Larkmartin & Co. Present your driver's license on your birthday and receive 20% off! Here are the birthday guidelines : ( I dislike rules...) - Ages 16 and up with a valid driver's license -It must be on your birthday. If we are closed on your special day, one day, before or after. - Items can not be held and it can't be combined with any other offers, discounts, magic beans or special sales.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Easter gift ideas

Gift-giving is easy this Easter at Larkmartin & Co. with prepackaged gift baskets for the honey bunny in your life. (They also make great gifts for teachers, co-workers and friends!) Baskets include assorted soaps, or a variety of bath & beauty products of the same scent. Or let Briana whip up a specialized basket with the products of your choice! In addition to our regular 4.5-oz bars of soap, we have egg-shaped soaps, and "cupcakes soaps" topped with Easter-inspired erasers - great for kids! Be sure to also check out the French Peat Pot Easter Baskets by Wren Ludwig. They are super cute and, at just $5, super affordable! Wren also has a variety of spring-inspired, handcrafted paper angels - great for hanging on your Easter tree or for sprucing up your home or office. Of course, we also have a number of items great for gift-giving year round, with locally-made artwork and jewelry, one-of-a-kind aprons, re-usable shopping bags and more. So hop on in and have a Happy Easter! Leslie

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Some friends were recently making fun of me for all the different trash cans at my house: one for cans, one for bottles, one for plastic, one for kitchen scraps.

"Oh, and bottle caps go over here," I told them.

That's when the "hoarder" jokes began. But, I'm not the only one who feels recycling is important. In fact, several of the items for sale at Larkmartin are made from recycled materials.

Those bottle caps I was saving, for example, weren't for me, but for my friend, Lucy Bright, who makes really cute bottle cap magnets that she sells in the store for $3 each. Heather Montgomery's postage stamp pendants, which start at $16, are made from vintage poker chips, Scrabble tiles and dominoes. Then there is the upcycle extraordinaire, Lisa Danger James, who turns everyday trash into treasure with journals made from scrap paper; wallets and cardholders from milk and juice cartons; and floppy-disk desk organizers.

So even if recycling isn't your bag, you can do your part by buying some upcycled art at Larkmartin!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Valley of the Vapors

Over 30 bands from across the coutnry and around the world are about to descend on Hot Springs for your listening enjoyment with the Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival.

The week-long event kicks off Saturday, March 19 at Star Gallery with the opening reception and unveiling of the VOV 2011 poster by Print Factory. It is followed with an all-day band blitz on Sunday, featuring 11 bands, including Big Smith, Theodore, Laura Stevenson & The Cans, A Place to Bury Strangers and Hot Springs' own Blue Screen Skyline.

Daily performances representing a variety of genres will continue through Saturday, March 26 at Low Key Arts, with Listening Room Performances Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 at the Art Church.

What Bill Solleder and Shea Childs started in 2005 as a small, "do-it-yourself" rock show has grown over the past several years, garnering support from the community and respect from the independent music scene along the way. Shows are all ages and $5 or less. For a complete schedule of events visit The VOV is a program of Low Key Arts, a nonprofit arts organization.

See you there! Leslie

Friday, March 11, 2011

"Runs Like A Girl" by local author/artist Jayne

Local artist/author Jayne has written a delightful book about working hard and achieving goals. It just happens to be about a horse! The illustrations are fun and whimsical. The message is one every one needs to hear, boys or girls! My son enjoyed it because he recognized it as part of the horse races and that is unique to our area! If you love the races and need a sweet gift, check out "Runs like a Girl".


Thursday, March 10, 2011

A non-traditional portfolio at the shop

As you may already know, Shannon LaDuke is a photography rockstar! She has put up an adorable portfolio at the shop, you can read her blog here and all about the portfolio!
She came to our house last Sunday to take some pictures of our family in our house. You see, after nine years of living in our cottage, we are moving. Adam and I purchased this house as real "handy man" special and we have literally touched every part of that house. We made it into our home and as excited as I am to be starting a new chapter in our lives, I'll miss that house. She has captured some of my favorite places, especially the living room with the windows on three sides that lets in light like magic. I'm so happy that Shannon has a portfolio at the shop, I'm hoping she will be able to share her ability in capturing families and those special moments.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chico Bags have arrived!

I was given a personalized Chico Bag from one of the film makers of "Bag it" last October and my oldest son practically ripped it from my arms and claimed ownership before I knew it! He is becoming aware of the environment and that the choices we make can impact the world around us. He has proudly taken it to school for his "reduce, recycle, reuse" lesson in kindergarten and will tote it around, brimming with action figures and whatever else he picks up along the way. (Which can be alot). My son has given me first hand experience that Chico Bags can stand up to the demands of a six year old! We have been bringing reusable bags to the grocery for awhile now and as bans on plastic bags become increasingly popular, it makes sense to carry these in the shop. We are carrying the 'Vita" Bags, they have shoulder length handles and can hold forty pounds! Also, water bottle slings are 99% recycled and has pockets for your phone, keys, lip balm or chopsticks! Lastly, we have the Produce Stand Collection- a group of three reusable produce bags to eliminate the single use plastic bags for your fruit and vegetables! These would make a perfect companion to your farmer's market outing!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Soy Candles

I've always wanted to make candles, ever since my bestfriend got me a craft book full of different projects. I finally got the opportunity, last week at Larkmartin & Co., where I've been working once a week.

I made some yummy smelling soy candles, which not only last longer, but burn much cleaner than paraffin candles, with no petrol-carbon soot and little smoke - making them better for the environment and better for you! Soy candles are also made from a renewable resource, unlike paraffin candles which are made from petroleum. The soy wax we use is made from soybeans grown right here in the United States!

So put a little light in your life with Larkmartin & Co.'s new handpoured, pure soy candles. They come in a variety of fragrances, like vanilla almond, white tea and ginger, and mango papaya.


Friday, March 4, 2011

And the winner is......

Who won the $50 giveaway in the shop? chose the lucky number....... 16
which is Heba! Congratulations Heba! I know you'll put it to good use!

The Giveaway closes at 3:00!

I'll be posting the winner at 3:00 today! Did you leave a comment yet?

New Display Cabinets

I've been dying to show off my display cabinets! These beauties pull double duty; more display space and a sun blocker! The sun comes in with a vengeance and can blind an unsuspecting customer! William "Bill" Hart with Hart Woodworks took my ideas and created these two lovelies. They are in the color "Cream" from Farrell-Calhoun. The bottom part provides much needed storage and the top allows plenty of display space. The back is beadboard, one of my favorite materials. He was a pleasure to work with and I can't wait to be able to work with him in the future. He would love to make custom furniture pieces, as well. You can reach him at Tell him Briana sent you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

graphic fun!

Do you know Shannon Laduke? You should. Not only is she super funny and always has a smile on her face, she is a fantastic photographer. She loves to photograph children and families, especially and her love shines through each beautiful child she captures on camera. I had the opportunity to create a new logo for her flourishing photography business. You can also see the blog banner here. She also has a great display of her work at the shop if you'd like to some of her work in person. If you are looking for a family photographer in the Hot Springs area, consider Shannon, you'll be happy!

{Disclaimer: I do not consider myself a graphic designer, but an enthusiastic student. I learned Photoshop while working at the architecture firm.}

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Handcrafted vs. Commercial Soaps

What you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your body and you can feel good about sudsing up with soaps from Larkmartin & Co.

Commercial soaps are often made with synthetic detergents which can irritate the skin and leave it feeling dry, but our soaps are handcrafted from an all-natural vegetable base, with the glycerin still intact.

Glycerin is a natural moisturizer and a byproduct of the soap-making process. Commercial soap manufacturers often remove the glycerin and sell it to other industries, where it is used in skin-care products, pharmaceuticals and even foods.

And unlike commercial soaps, handcrafted soaps, like ours, are made in small batches to ensure quality in each bar. Best of all they make great, inexpensive gifts that not only smell good but are good for you! Stop by and pick up a bar or two for yourself or someone else.

Happy bathing!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Featured Artist- Corina Fedorowicz

I first met Corina at the Garland County Single Parent Scholarship Fund sale last December at National Park Community College. I was instantly drawn to her Raku fired pottery and her obvious love for her work. She has been practicing pottery for about six years, what started out as a "paint your own pot" has turned into a true love. She loves crafts and is torn in every direction, so as the saying goes "Jack-of-all-trades and Master of None." Her raku potttery is just one of her many personalities and since moving to Hot Springs a few years ago, she has been able to expand and learn more, thanks to this artistic community.
She has a wonderful selection of Raku trays that are perfect for display or trinkets available in the shop.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Giveaway! Giveaway!

Hello there! Happy Friday! There is so much stuff in the shop, if it's been awhile, take a minute to pop in and check out the new raku plates, photography, pin-up magnets and I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of Chico bags , water bottle slings and the Produce Stand Starter kit. Good stuff.
So, da-da-dum! Let's get back to the giveaway! A $50.00 gift certificate to any Larkmartin item in the shop or website! That includes soap, lotion, luxury bath products, and That Butt Stuff.
Here's the skinny- leave a comment on the BLOG, once a day. Sharing among others is always a good thing. Friday, March 4th, I'll let the random number generator choose a lucky recipient!
Good Luck and have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1081 Larkmartin

I'm often asked the origin of "Larkmartin." It's assumed it's my last name or a family name. Nope. I named the store after the street I lived on in Madison, Ga. in 1999.

The cute little picture is of our house that we lived in. I pulled it up on google maps, which has to be the coolest thing ever! 10 years ago, it was painted white and had those huge awnings over the windows. Adam actually built that picket fence. I've always been a sucker for a white picket fence! Anyhow, this house was tiny! It probably was about 600 square feet, but we loved it! Even if it was haunted. Well, I don't have proof that it was haunted, but there was that unsettling feeling that we would get. Like we weren't exactly alone.

So, anyhow, everyday I would drive the thirty miles to University of Georgia. I studied interior design on the North Campus. Adam was working at a golf course at Lake Oconee, Cuscowilla.

1081 Larkmartin held so many promising dreams; it was fun and exciting. A new adventure.

Much like Larkmartin & Co. today. Fun, exciting and everyday is an adventure!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Circle of Friends Splash of Red

Circle of Friends help coordinate outreach and fundraising efforts to benefit Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Splash of Red is the Garland County chapter's yearly cocktail dinner and charity auction. It is being held April 2, 20011 on top of the Exchange Street Parking Plaza from 7-11 p.m. Tickets are $85.00 ($40 is tax deductible). All proceeds benefit ACH.
Arkansas Children's Hospital is a private, nonprofit institution and is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas. Please consider attending this wonderful event!

Tickets are available at Larkmartin & Co. 340 Ouachita Avenue.

Featured Artist- Leslie Fisher

Larkmartin & Co. is happy to welcome aboard Leslie Fisher, a Hot Springs transplant who has been helping out at the shop since just before Christmas. In addition to ringing up customers and boxing soap, she is also one of our featured artists.

Leslie is a freelance writer and photographer with a love for travel. In the fall of 2009, she and her husband launched a travel web site,, and spent nine months seeking out and writing about the country's most unique and exciting places.

They have since returned home and Larkmartin is proud to showcase some of the images Leslie captured along the way. Beautiful landscapes and seascapes from California to Florida, the images are high-quality and archival giclee prints that you can enjoy for years to come.

Monday, February 21, 2011

20% off Soaps and Lotions today!

Happy Presidents Day! In honor of the day, we are offering 20% off soaps and lotions today!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

We are having a sale!

There is a sale happening here at Larkmartin & Co.! The fall hats, tie-dyed onesies and hoodies and our herbal lotion are all 50% off! We have a large selection of onesies in some larger sizes, going up to 24 months and organic hats and bibs! These would make great baby presents! Hoodies and t's are in youth sizes! Fun colors! Get them while they last!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day at Larkmartin

I am a sucker for Valentine's Day, there, it's out there. I love there is a day to celebrate each other and go ga-ga and all the mooshy love stuff! I've always considered Valentine's Day a "made up holiday", but one of my customers brought in a Valentine's Day card dated from 1914. It was beautiful, with gold gilted letters, pink fur of some sort and an ancient scrawled note wishing the recipient a happy valentine's day. It had me thinking about the history of Valentine's Day and that it really isn't a holiday that has appeared with in the last few decades. Here are some adorable vintage bottlecap magnets for your valentine. They are made here in Hot Springs and they are $3.00! We have a great selection of valentine gifts, so come in and let someone know you love them!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New "Old" Display Table

February 2, 2011- the shop on this wonderfully sunny, yet, freezing day! I picked up a coffee table yesterday at a local thrift store. $18.00. It is solid wood and despite some water rings on the top, it was in good shape and clean. It didn't take me long to snatch it up and shove it in my car! I painted it "Cream" from Farrell-Calhoun that I had left over from the front door and then put it on top of an existing table. I love the way it brings some height and a bit of whimsy to the store!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welcome to Larkmartin & Co.

I'm Briana and I'm the proprietor, creative director, executor of all things wonderful at Larkmartin & Co. Nestled in the historic area of Hot Springs, Arkansas, is the hamlet of Larkmartin & Co. I make the soaps, lotions and luxury body products at the shop and we feature local artists from the surrounding areas. I'll be sharing with you projects, inspiration and bits of whimsy as they come along! Enjoy your visit at Larkmartin & Co. and make it a magical day!