Tag Archive for: community

What to Expect at Porch Fest 2022: Music, Local Artisans & More!

Now that we’re finally settling back into “backyard barbecue and outside adventure” season, we here at Bryony are thrilled to welcome Porch Fest back for a third year! Porch Fest was started back in 2020 as an outdoor experience to draw our local community together after so many had been isolated by the pandemic, and if you’ve never experienced Porch Fest before, be sure to stop by and check it out, because there’s something for everyone, whether you like food, shopping, or music.

What is Porch Fest?

Photo Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

Porch Fest is a once-a-month event that goes through the summer into early fall, featuring live music, food and beverage trucks, and small business showcases. It’s held right on our “front porch” outside of Bryony & Birch at 48 Main Street in downtown Amesbury, MA.

Mark Your Calendar

Our 2022 Porch Fest dates are as follows:

  • Friday, June 17th, 4-8pm
  • Friday, July 15th, 4-8pm
  • Friday, August 19th, 4-8pm
  • Friday, September 16th, 4-8pm
  • Friday, Oct. 21st, 4-8pm

Porch Fest is always on a Friday, so you can plan to finish up those work projects and kick off your weekend a little early with your local community.

There’s Something for Everyone at Porch Fest

Here’s a brief sampler of some of our fantastic vendor friends that will be available for you to experience at Porch Fest:

Shari’s Sweet Shoppe

Picture Courtesy of Shari’s Sweet Shoppe

Shari Davey runs this 100% vegan bake shop, and all her goods are animal free products with gluten free options. Delicious and organic? Count us in.

Tree Owl Healing

Picture Courtesy of Tree Owl Healing

“Nature itself is the best physician.”, says Jennifer, the founder of Tree Owl, and we couldn’t agree more. Jennifer’s handmade, small batch tinctures, teas, and elixirs are made following the earth’s natural cycles, personally foraged by Jennifer herself.

Tayla David Macrame

Photo Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

Tayla David has inspirations for your mind as well as your body, offering a variety of macrame items as well as weekly yoga classes. Whether you want to practice physical wellness or create something uniquely you, Tayla is ready to connect with you.

Fits the Vibe

Picture courtesy of Fits the Vibe

Vintage is the buzzword at Fits the Vibe! Upcycling is the way to go to practice a more sustainable lifestyle, and whether your fashion flavors run to velour tracksuits or custom patchwork joggers, the crew at Fits the Vibe has a look that’s just right for you.

Board and Brush

Picture courtesy of Board & Brush

Embrace your inner DIY with a night out at Board and Brush! A step beyond your average paint n’ sip, Julie and Curt Selby and the instructors at Board and Brush provide the tools, the supplies, and the instruction to help you create a custom wooden sign to enhance your home or office space.

Polished by P

Picture Courtesy of Polished by P

Whether you’re in need of a mani or a pedi, the vegan, non toxic, and cruelty free nail lacquers at Polished by P are what we recommend. Great looking nails and cruelty free? Yes, please.

Join Porch Fest as a Vendor

What better way to get your brand out to the community than to have the opportunity to be right in the center of it all? If you’re a small business owner, we would love for you to be a part of this year’s event! Porch Fest draws hundreds of people every year, and we want to give you the opportunity to partner with us and get your business in front of the people in your community who are looking for it. If you’re interested in being a vendor at Porch Fest 2022, or if you have any questions about being a vendor, please reach out to Katie at bookings@bryonyandbirchstudio.com to request your desired date.

We had such a great time at Porch Fest last year, and this year is already shaping up to be just as much fun. We hope you’ll come by and experience the Amesbury community at one of our Porch Fest dates this summer. We’ll be looking out for you!

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Spring Round-Up: Our Favorite Local Businesses in Exeter

Now that the weather is warming up, we thought we’d invite you to take a virtual stroll with us along the Squamscott River near our Bryony Body location in Exeter and let us introduce you to some of our favorite neighbors and their boutiques and shops that we’ve discovered since opening here back in the fall. Whether it’s trendy threads or tasty treats, we’re sure you’ll love supporting these small businesses in Exeter, NH as much as we do!

Forest + Ash Design Company


Photo via Forest + Ash

The founders of the design company, Forest + Ash, are Hannah and Robin, two ladies with a passion for “creating beautiful spaces with a fresh and modern approach.” We couldn’t agree more. The ladies offer design services for all your spaces, be it renovation, construction, or interior, and their shop is a treasure trove of jewelry, gifts, accessories, art, and home and kitchen decor.

forestandashdesign.com
24 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833
603-758-3175
hello@forestandashdesign.com

 

Laney & Lu

Photo via Laney & Lue

A lot of our staff have found their way to this delightfully modern cafe. Located right next to Forest + Ash, how could we stay away? Offering a wide variety of locally sourced and organic beverages, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, and bowls, all of which can be enjoyed on their adorable outside patio. But what really won us over is how Laney & Lu’s have partnered with the local community to serve over 3500 meals to local hospitals, police and fire departments. Hearts!

laneyandlu.com
26 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833
603-580-4952
hello@laneyandlu.com

 

Water Street Bookstore

Photo by Water Street Bookstore

We love a good stocked bookstore to go with a hot beverage from Laney & Lu’s. Whether your fancy is fiction, humor, medical musical, philosophy, poetry, science or self help, Water Street has it all, and if they don’t have it on hand, they can help you find it. The largest independent bookstore on the NH seacoast, Water Street also partners with the annual Exeter Lit-Fest and hosts local authors for talks and book signings.

waterstreetbooks.com
125 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833
603-778-9731
info@waterstreetbooks.com

 

Soleil’s Salt Cave

Photo by Soleil’s Salt Cave

When winter has clogged our noses and dried out our skin, we head for Soleil’s Salt Cave. Soleil’s features salt caves stocked with thousands of pounds of Himalayan salt that is millions of years old. Halotherapy, or the practice of breathing in air that’s been infused with salt particles, has been used as treatment for bronchitis, asthma, allergies, pneumonia, and even Covid-19! Halotherapy improves your breathing and increases the amount of oxygen in your blood. The salt can also be beneficial for your skin, helping with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Their zero-gravity chairs are perfect during a private session in one of their salt caves.

saltcavenh.com
130 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833
(603) 418-7508
info@soleilsaltcave.com

 

Lunachics

Photo by Lunachics

Right next door to Soleil’s, you’ll find a welcoming huddle of fashionista superheroes at Lunachics! The stylists at Lunachics are here to help you find your best new look with a wide selection of merchandise from ”local, ethical, and female founded brands”. We love every one of the staff, they greet every customer with a smile and thoroughly enjoy partnering with you to put together the perfect outfit to suit your unique sense of style.

lunachics.com
131 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833
603-777-9956
shop@lunachics.com

 

Cymbidium Floral

Photo by Jessica Theos Photography

Walking into Cymbidium Floral you are immediately surrounded by the color and fresh scents of spring, no matter what time of the year you visit, which is why it’s always a breath of fresh air to us. The owner, Jessica Christofersen, makes a weekly pilgrimage to the New England Flower Exchange to ensure that you, the consumer, gets the absolute best of flora every time you visit. Cymbidium also offers floral design services for intimate gatherings and bridal parties.

cymbidiumfloral.com
141 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833
603-772-1300
info@cymbidiumfloral.com

 

D Squared Java

Photo by D Squared Java

One of the reasons we’ve added D Squared Java to our list of faves is not only do they have some truly stellar coffee and tea beverages (be sure to check out the spring-themed lavender latte!), but they are committed heavily to environmental sustainability. Their coffee is sourced from local vendors, as are their pastries and baked goods, and they have a loyalty program which lets you utilize your own coffee cup or travel mug, and after ten visits, you get a free cup of coffee! We’re in.

dsquaredjava.com
155 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833
603-583-5646
dan@dsquaredjava.com

 

The Willow

Photo by HM Collins Photography

A resident of Exeter for over 20 years, the Willow has quickly become our go-to for home decor essentials. Much of their merchandise is curated from local artisans, and whether you’re looking for some extra added flair for your walls, your gardens, your tabletops, or even yourself, the Willow has something for you.

thewillowexeter.com
183 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833
603-773-9666
shop@thewillowexeter.com

 

Stillwells Riverwalk Ice Cream

Photo by Stillwells Riverwalk Ice Cream

We like to save the best for last, and we couldn’t think of a better way to finish off our virtual stroll than at our favorite ice cream shop, Stillwells. Stillwells features over fifty flavors of ice cream, as well as a variety of sherberts, frozen yogurt, Italian ice, soft serve, and even gelato! They take custom orders for ice cream pies and cakes, and it’s a good thing they sell their ice cream sliders in six packs, because you won’t be able to stop at just one.

stillwellsicecream.com/locations/exeter
190 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833
603-777-5077

 

Yoga at Bryony Body in Exeter, NH

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Thanks for letting us show you around downtown Exeter. We hope the next time you’re in the neighborhood you’ll stop by Bryony Body to say hello. We offer a variety of classes including yoga, strength training, and reiki and crystal healing. A list of our full offerings can be found here. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Have the Winter Blues? 5 Ways We’re Investing in Wellness This Winter

Winter is hard. Our skin is dry and itchy, we’re vitamin D deficient and even going for a little mental health walk can seem daunting. Thanks a lot, February windchill.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the headspace that winter is never ending and our self-care isn’t as important. Thoughts can play over again in our minds, “Well if I gain these extra five pounds, no one will really notice because of all the layers I’m wearing.” “If I don’t get this pedicure it doesn’t matter because I’m in socks and boots for the next two more months.” But listen, you deserve to feel great even if the weather doesn’t. Here are some surefire ways to get back into the rhythm of your life so that the winter blues don’t keep you down.

Invest in loungewear

Sitting at home in the same old sweats can really affect our self-esteem. One of our favorite ways to spice things up is by investing in cozy loungewear sets or a new waffle knit sweater from a woman-run small business like VETTA or Darity (if you’re nursing or pumping.) Not only do they make you feel cute and comfortable, but you’re making your dollar count by supporting a small sustainable business. Get comfy!

Use a humidifier

Purchasing one of these handy little guys for the bedroom has been saving our sinuses this winter, and our plants too! You can find these for a decent price at a local big box store. As a moisturizer enthusiast, my lotions and body oils still just don’t cut it this time of year. Save your skin and your sinuses this season and find a humidifier ASAP.

Try heat light therapy

There are so many benefits to trying relaxation, muscle tension relief or detoxification in the winter months. One way us New Englanders love to relax in the dark winter months is with heat light therapy. Not only does it have positive effects on our mood, but it also provides many benefits for blood flow and cardiovascular health. You won’t have to look far for local heat light therapy, but if you have trouble finding somewhere, ask your dermatologist for a recommendation.

Relax in a healing bath

You deserve a mystical escape from your everyday routine once and a while. Treat yourself to some holistic soap and organic wellness products from our local favorite, Rooted Body Co. and set up a healing bath with crystals, candles, bath salts, a glass of wine and some soothing music. Anything that will make you feel like you’re at a spa, right from the comfort of your own home. If you don’t have a bath, hang a Eucalyptus sprig from your shower head. Calming scents, especially while bathing, nourish our minds and bodies.

Nourish with soups & stews

Are you on a rabbit hole of soup TikToks lately? No? Just us? Soup tok is all the rage right now. Invest in a Crockpot or slow cook a soup on your stove midday while you finish your work into the evening. The scent of a warm stew brewing throughout the home is no match for winter dread. And if you prefer sweet over savory, treat yourself to a relaxing CBD baked good from our local favorite, Fairy Good Organics. We’ll take their triple chocolate brownies any night of the week!

Hopefully these tips and tricks inspire you to embrace this winter with a fresh attitude. The cold months are hard, but they make the spring and summer feel that much better. Get in touch with your body and don’t forget to indulge – you’ve got this.

Galentine’s Day: 5 Ways to Spoil Your Girlfriends This Month

You’re probably already aware of an immense pressure around the second week of February each year: Valentine’s Day. A stigma surrounds this holiday saying that we have to be in love, have the perfect relationship and shower our lovers with gifts. But why should extravagant love only be shared in romantic relationships, why can’t we spoil our platonic relationships as well? These are just as valuable relationships full of love. Continue reading for ideas on how to spoil your girlfriends this Valentine’s Day, they deserve it!

Food

There’s no better way to a person’s heart than through their stomach. Some say this only works for men, but we beg to differ. Whether it’s knowing your bestie’s favorite meal and cooking for her or taking her out to a hot new restaurant in town, share the gift of food this Galentine’s Day. Get dressed up, light some candles and have fun with it. Candle lit dinners are not strictly for romance, set the vibe right and indulge, it will bring you closer together and create the space for deeper conversations. See where The Bryony girls are keeping warm and well-fed on the North Shore this winter.

Crystals

Find a crystal that protects your friend based on her birth month or treat her to a reiki and crystal healing session at Bryony & Birch Different stones have different properties for protection and abundance that resonate with each zodiac sign in different ways. This way you can always be there in spirit, even when you physically aren’t. Not to mention… crystals and gems are beautiful decor to have in your home, so it’s a win-win.

Pamper Them

What better way to relax than knowing someone is gifting you the opportunity? There can never be enough self-care and a gift card for a manicure and pedicure appointment is a great place to start. If you have the budget to splurge a little more, a spa day including a massage or facial will really show your appreciation for their well-being. In our most recent holiday gift guide we cover all of our favorite ways to pamper our friends with gifts from local North Shore small businesses.

Cocktail Night

What’s more exciting than a cocktail night with the girls? Everyone comes prepared for the evening with a signature cocktail. You each take turns prepping your drink and presenting the cocktails with a grand entrance. Get creative with the themes of the drinks that are unique to your friendships. This is fun too because you can spread them out through the evening and everyone gets to be the star for an hour or so. February cabin fever setting in? Get out of the house to enjoy food and drinks at these Bryony & Birch favorites on the North Shore.

Flowers & Plants

Gardens and flowers raise the vibration of anyone’s home. If your girlfriend is already a green thumb, give her a new flower to plant and bring her joy. Getting in touch with our feminine energy is also getting in touch with our ability to nourish. If your friend is a little more glamorous or doesn’t enjoy gardening, a beautiful bouquet can also do the trick.

Ultimately you know your friends better than anyone else, so whatever feels sentimental to you and your crew will be special. There are so many ways to cherish love other than romance, so take a moment to celebrate all of the relationships in your life this Valentine’s Day.

 

Winter on the North Shore: Where The Bryony Girls Are Keeping Warm (and Well-Fed!)

While May through October has us quite literally dancing in Amesbury’s streets, there’s something to be said about winter on the North Shore.

As boats get docked, pools get covered and the tried and trusted ankle-length coats come out, we know it’s officially the season of warm food, soul-soothing drinks and the types of crackling fireplaces that make you instinctively break out the board games or pour a glass of wine to have a life talk with a bestie.

With that being said, we can’t hibernate forever. As lovers of all things local, we’re sharing our go-to restaurants and bars that offer exactly what you need all year round!

Scroll down to learn more.

The Best Places To Eat & Drink in Amesbury, MA

Fortune Bar

The only thing friendlier than Friend Street in Amesbury is the crew at Fortune Bar. Open seven days a week serving up beer, bar food and shots, it’s our go-to for both a post-work drink or big night on the weekend. After all, is it even possible to have a Bud Light without a shot of Fireball?

Fortune Bar
12 Friend Street
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 388-0291
Fortune Bar Website

Barking Dog Bar & Grill

Did someone say ‘Hangover Helper Burger’? The Barking Dog did! While they have a menu that can and will cure any ailment, Barking Dog Bar & Grill is a super family-friendly restaurant in the heart of Amesbury, MA. With everything from cocktails to craft beer to fine whiskey, there’s a drop for everyone.

Barking Dog Bar & Grill
21 Friend St
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 388-9537
Barking Dog Bar & Grill Website

Phat Cats Bistro

When you have a ‘dollar oyster night’ you pretty much have our hearts. And that, our friends, is how we fell in love with Phat Cats Bistro. We also extra love eating and drinking there because they’re passionate about supporting local businesses and use farm-fresh ingredients from many of the local producers in the Amesbury area.

Phat Cats Bistro
65A Market St
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 388-2777
Phat Cats Bistro Website

Market Square Bakehouse

Open seven days a week, Market Square Bakehouse is our go-to for coffee dates, breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack. Featuring a menu with loads of gluten-free and vegetarian options, they also offer specialty brews like cold brew, kombucha and local beer and cider!

Market Square Bakehouse
5 Market Square
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 792-5237
Market Square Bakehouse Website

Crave

Couple Crave’s cocktail menu with their selection of New England Craft Beer and Italian wines and your mouth is guaranteed a party. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Saturdays, Crave is both kid and adult-friendly and has total winners on the menu such as buffalo Brussel sprouts, fish tacos, crab cake sandwiches and loads of vegetarian and GF options.

We also love that while you dine, you can take in the gorgeous artwork by Paula Estey.

Crave
32 Elm Street
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 834-6075
Crave Website

Brewery Silvaticus

As lovers of craft beer, we often have to remind our hearts to be still when we walk into Silvaticus. Owned by the Head Brewer, Jay Bullen, you’ll find brews such as Classic Bavarian Hefeweizens, hoppy lagers and, of course, their award-winning sour ale.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, they have a fantastic taproom for tastings and an epic beer garden overlooking the Powow River. You can stick around for delicious food and a refreshing pint or fill up a growler (or two) to-go!

Brewery Silvaticus
9 Water Street
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 504-BEER
Silvaticus Website

Holiday Wine Bar

Despite the name, you get way more than wine at Holiday Wine Bar in Amesbury. On top of its epic vibe and huge selection of wines from around the world, you can pop in for a whiskey, cocktails, beer and amaro. Intimate, eclectic and a must do for date night or girls night, it’s one of the North Shore’s best bars by far. And yes! There’s food!

Holiday Wine Bar
15 Friend Street
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 792-5498
Holiday Wine Bar Website

Cider Hill Farm

A must-visit all year round, Cider Hill Farm is a place you’ll want to kick back and relax in so be sure to book your day there in advance! With numerous activities on offer and super kid-friendly, you’ll get to pick tulips, grab lunch, go for a farm stroll, pick fruit, or grab a drink at their hard cider bar.

Contact Cider Hill Farm
45 Fern Avenue
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 388-5525
Cider Hill Farm Website

Flatbread Co.

When it comes to pizza you can feel extra good about, the minds behind Flatbread Co. are the masters. Through their use of organic ingredients, clean & chemical-free meat and gluten-free/vegan options, they create some of the freshest, tastiest and photo-worthy food in Amesbury. Available for dine-in or takeaway, you need to eat Flatbread Co. AT LEAST once while in Amesbury!

Contact Flatbread Co.
5 Market Square
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 834-9800
Flatbread Co. Website

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A Holiday Note from Bryony & Birch Founder: Katie Cavic

As our second pandemic holiday season rolls around, I want to take a moment to say just how grateful I am for the gift that is the Amesbury, MA community.

Never in my life could I have imagined Bryony & Birch becoming what it is today: an ever-evolving collective of locals who love creating, collaborating and coming together to help each other thrive.

I knew launching a business in the midst of a pandemic would be difficult, but I didn’t realize that the numerous challenges would bring so many silver linings. (A pleasant surprise to say the least!)

Having limitations made us think outside the box, adapt the way we communicate (with our clients and with ourselves) and prioritize our values. Sometimes this meant conducting virtual yoga classes. Other times (for us hairdressers and photographers) it was finding ways to reinvent ourselves so we could still offer our craft even if weddings weren’t able to go ahead. Many times, it was finding a meditation practice that helped us stay centered and grounded.

Perhaps the thing I’m most proud of is how we managed to expand our reach. From creating Porch Fest to establishing Bryony Body in Exter, NH, the Bryony & Birch team has achieved things I thought were deep into the pipeline. (I thought these were five-year plans!) This is a true testament to Amesbury’s incredible residents and visitors.

Over the last two years, our little North Shore town banded together in the most heart-warming and soul-soothing way and I feel so honored to be part of it. It didn’t matter if it was local small businesses coming out to Porch Fest to do a pop-up stall or the generosity of those who championed our brand and mentored us – we felt like we were and ARE in a family.

I also want to thank the Bryony & Birch team near and far. We have yoga instructors, hairdressers, web designers, photographers, videographers, brand content consultants, wedding planners, reiki and crystal healing practitioners and even woodworkers making the Bryony & Birch dream a reality.

I often wonder when holidays will feel ‘normal’ again. With each Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas that I get to physically be near the people I love, I also wonder if I’ll maintain the same level of awareness and gratitude that I’ve come to have living in a world with COVID-19. Never in my life have I valued the simple gift of being in someone’s presence and vice versa.

If you’re able to be with the ones you love this season, embrace them in your arms.
If you’re unable to be with the ones you love this season, embrace them in your heart

Wishing you the happiest holiday season and the most magnificent welcome of 2022.

Bryony & Birch Founder

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10 Holiday Gift Ideas from Local North Shore Makers

Even though they come around every year, the holidays always manage to sneak up on us.

Determined not to find ourselves at Target at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve, we’re spending the first half of December hitting up our go-to local makers for holiday gifts!

As a collective of small business owners ourselves, we know firsthand just how much it means when someone shops local. In Amesbury, we are incredibly lucky to have wildly talented jewelers, artists, thrifters, designers and boutique owners. (To name a few.)

It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping for your partner, parents or puppy, we’ve found gift ideas for everyone!

Scroll down to learn more.

10 Holiday Gift Ideas from Local North Shore Makers

1.) Macrame Gifts

When it comes to unique macrame gifts, you’re going to want to know about Tayla David Macrame. All made locally in Amesbury, Tayla’s collection features earrings, pot holders, coasters, rugs, keychains and even yoga mat carriers.

Honestly, this woman is TALENTED. Shop now via the Tayla David Macrame Etsy Shop

2.) Jewelry Gifts

‘Simple, elegant, just the right amount of unusual.’ We’re here to say that Amy Vander Els nailed her tagline because that is exactly what her collection of handmade jewelry is.

While she won our hearts with her jewelry, we are also all kinds of obsessed with her typewriter prints. Shop now via the Amy Vader Els Website

3.) Vintage Clothing Gifts

The Greely Girls are three generations of fashion lovers and 100% the women you want to go to for vintage clothing and accessories in the North Shore. With head to toe outfits for under $40 (as well as the types of finds you’ll want to display behind glass), they have looks for every vibe.

Shop now via: Poshmark

4.) Vintage Jewelry Gifts

Vintage jewelry and accessories Indie Dawn just got even cooler thanks to the fierce and fabulous photographer, Dawn Kingston. A true citizen of the world, Dawn can often be found popping up shop around Amesbury!

Keep an eye on the Bryony & Birch IG feed for the next Indie Dawn stall!

5.) Tie-Dye Gifts

Tie-Dye is always a good idea and CARAVAN by HUM+BEE is the proof in the pudding. From hoodies to dresses to pants, they have pieces for all of your whimsical, edgy, laidback and/or #iwokeuplikethis friends.

On top of tie-dye goodness, they also have fabulous accessories, a selection of vintage clothing and home decor. Shop CARAVAN by HUM+BEE via the HUM+BEE website.

6.) Sustainable Gifts

We all have that friend or family member that can’t go anywhere without their coffee! Ripplfect is the gift you’re looking for! While it’s a sustainable alternative to single-use coffee cups, users also get discounts on coffee at participating cafes!

Shop Ripplfect via theripplfect.com

7.) Surfboard Shower Gifts

Are you trying to think of an out-of-the-box gift idea for a beach lover? Our friend, Connor, from Mulholland Surfboard Showers has the answer! Perfect for a beach house or someone who just wants to feel closer to the sea with their outdoor shower, his converted surfboards are just the right amount of quirky and cool.

Shop now via mulhollanddesigns.com

8.) Pet Gifts

‘Pawsibly’ the most ‘pawfect’ place to show for your pup or cat, Paws Amesbury has all the best local goodies you could wish for. They have food, supplements, treats, toys, clothing and more!

Shop now via Paws Pet Boutique

9.) Tea & Tincture Gifts

Self-care gifts are always a good idea, which is why 917 Heart is on our list! From herbal smudge sticks to teas and tinctures, all of their products come beautifully packaged and will make any receiver feel extra loved.

Shop now via 917 Heart Etsy Shop

10.) Amesbury Hamper Gifts

If you want to give a special someone a taste of Amesbury, you need to head to The Hedgehog General Store. Featuring everything from food to t-shirts, you can create the ultimate local holiday gift hamper in seconds!

Shop now via The Hedgehog General Store Website

Looking for a Made in the USA handbag to gift this holiday season?

If the answer is yes and it’s for you, we’re not judging at all. We were ALSO looking for a made in the USA handbag for ourselves, which is why we want to share our love for Vaalbara! With everything from clutches to backpacks, there’s a good chance you’re going to leave with more than one thing.

On top of all being handmade in the USA, a portion of every sale goes to the non-profit SurfRider Foundation, dedicated to keeping our beaches and oceans clean.

Shop now via: Vaalbara

Love What You Saw? Pop into Bryony & Birch to browse our boutique of local makers!

Located at 48 Main Street in Amesbury, MA, Bryony & Birch happens to stock quite a bit of the above! Feel free to get in touch via our contact page to learn more.

You can also browse and shop via our Instagram page.

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Gratitude + Mental Health: Why They Go Together Like Turkey & Gravy

Have you ever sat around a table on Thanksgiving and been asked to share one thing you’re grateful for?For some, this is an easy request. “My job!” “My dog!” “My health!”

For others, this can literally be the reason they nearly faked a headache an hour before they were supposed to arrive. While it could simply be a fear of speaking in front of others, sometimes it’s that we’re subconsciously afraid to say what we’re grateful for. In a way, it’s like we’ll jinx it.

While we can’t do a whole lot for your stage fright, we can make quite a good case for expressing your gratitude (all year round.)

In this post, we’re chatting about the benefits of expressing gratitude as well as the gratitude practices we love.

Scroll down to learn more!

Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

#grateful is a thing for a reason. Just ask Robert Emmons Ph.D., the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude.

His decades of research shows that actively expressing your gratitude:

  • Improves your outlook on life and makes you more optimistic
  • Increases your confidence and self-efficacy
  • Improves your relationship with a romantic partner, friend or family member
  • Helps you make new friends and connections
  • Promotes better physical health (stronger immune system, less pain, lower blood pressure)
  • Promotes better mental health (Can help ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression)
  • Decreases feelings such as envy, resentment and aggression
  • Increases empathy, generosity and compassion
  • Fosters resilience

As we continue to live in the chaos that is the 2020s, it’s never been more important to take care of our mental health. Keep reading to find out the gratitude practices we love.

Gratitude Practices We Love

Now that we know how powerful gratitude is when it comes to our mental and physical health, let’s talk about all of the ways you can cultivate it!

1.) Create a Gratitude Wall or Board

Seeing what you’re grateful for every day is a powerful thing. Try creating a collage on your wall or make a board (similar to a vision board) that allows you to stick photos, words or drawings of the things you’re grateful for.

2.) Keep a Gratitude Journal

One of the most fascinating studies Dr Emmons did was on journaling gratitude.

“In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.” (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

3.) Meditate

Meditation is a great way to consciously show love for the things you’re grateful for. While you can simply sit and do this silently, there are some fantastic guided meditation tracks on gratitude on apps like Calm and Insight Timer.

4.) Get a Gratitude Buddy

Sometimes you need an accountability partner! Try finding a friend or family member that you either call, text or email every day and mutually share 3-5 things you’re grateful for.

5.) Say it Out Loud

One of the best ways to consistently express gratitude is to make it part of your morning and/or evening routine. The minute your head hits the pillow or your feet hit the floor, express your gratitude audibly! You could also do this when you get in the car or get home from work!

6.) Write a Letter

If you’re particularly grateful for someone – tell them! Writing a letter of gratitude won’t just make your day – it will make the recipient’s too! Even if you don’t send it, the act of expressing your gratitude will still work wonders.

7.) Call a Friend

Nothing brings us more joy than someone calling to say they are grateful that we’re in their life. Honestly, it’s soul-soothing to feel that love. Try calling a friend (or family member) and letting them know that you’re so grateful that they’re in your life.

8.) Look in a Mirror

Self-love isn’t selfish. Take a moment to look at yourself and thank YOU for showing up everyday. Thank your smile, your eyes, your ears, your hands… thank everything about you.

9.) Make It (Another) Love Language

If you’re in a romantic relationship, let your partner know that you’re grateful for them and why. This can be emotional or physical aspects. It will deepen your bond and connection as well as your appreciation and respect for each other.

10.) Prayer

Perhaps the OG of gratitude expression, prayer is a beautiful way to consciously give thanks for the people, food, opportunities and experiences in your life.

Meet Bryony Body Yoga + Meditation Instructor: Veronica Woodlief

In 2017, Veronica was diagnosed with Panic Attack Disorder and PTSD. Searching for a way to soothe the anxiety, she committed to a 40-day Kundalini meditation practice and her life has never been the same. Veronica knew instantly that she wanted to become a teacher and share the benefits of this practice with others, which is why she chose to complete the Kundalini Research Institute’s 200 hour YTT.

Veronica’s goal is to empower students with practices that promote a sense of inner peace, balance in body, mind & spirit, and a strong sense of self. She strives to bring a grounded approach to esoteric spiritual concepts and yogic philosophy so they’re relatable and easy-to-understand. Off the mat, Veronica loves cooking vegan food, reading, and spending time on the beach with her husband and two dogs.

Click here to book a Bryony Body class with Veronica!

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Bryony & Birch: Amesbury’s Porch Fest 2021 Recap

As a collective that offers hair, yoga, photography, branding and a variety of other wellness services, the simplest way to describe what we do at Bryony & Birch is: We empower the community.

While we want to be your go-to for a fresh cut for summer, a branding package for your new business and your daily yoga practice, we mostly want to be the hub where you connect with other like-minded people to showcase what you do best (and vice versa!)

In mid-2020, we started thinking about how we could bring even more people together (especially since COVID-19 makes gathering indoors slightly tricky!) and pretty quickly, we were rapid-fire brainstorming on what’s now become known as Porch Fest.

Hosted once a month in August, September and October, 48 Main Street in downtown Amesbury, MA is the place to be! Featuring live music, food trucks, drink trucks, small business pop-ups as well as a live art auction and raffle, it’s a day to celebrate all things LOCAL. It’s also a day to raise money for local organizations and future artists’ initiatives.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to showcase, network, collaborate or simply make a new friend, we’ve also had a ‘more the merrier’ M.O. at Bryony & Birch, which has been evident at our first three Porch Fests!

Scroll down to see the highlights from our summer/fall 2021 turnout!

A Look at Bryony & Birch’s 2021 Porch Fest Season

Captured by the incredible Kate Donovan Photography.

Music, Makers & Bakers – Meet (some of) the Vendors + Performers from Porch Fest

Marina Evans – Musician

A Rockport native and brave composer, performer and traveler, Marina Evans combines strong sultry vocals with traditional folk Americana and Indie Pop to create a sound that is all her own!

Michael Bernier – Musician, Master of Ceremonies, + Founder of Enjoy Your Life Brand

To know Michael is to love him. Full of peace, love, and positivity, Michael lent his voice and insanely good vibes as MC!

Stephanie Martin – Cannabis Caterer & CBD Baker, Fairy Good Organics

Stephanie’s smile is sunshine and her cooking is amazing, which is totally why her stall had a never ending line!

Cassandra Mae – Jeweler, Not So Flatware

What started with a love of spoon rings has evolved into one of the North Shore’s most original jewelry brands thanks to Cassandra Mae!

Kali Stoddard-Imari – Musician

Until we met Kali, we didn’t even know how badly we needed someone to blend Folk Pop and Rhythm & Rock vibe with hints of Roots Rock, Blues, Reggae Fusion, and Soul! The best.

Joanna Teters – Musician, Sundub Music

When you listen to Joanna sing, you almost enter a trance-like state! Could not be more grateful to have her and the Sundub crew at Porch Fest!

Bryony & Birch Founder, Katie Cavic

“I’ve been blown away by the turnout at each Porch Fest. We’ve had adults, children, and animals of all ages! (One guy even had a bird on his shoulder.) It fills my heart with so much joy to think about the abundance of foot traffic in Amesbury. Not only has Porch Fest helped support local businesses downtown, but also in surrounding suburbs as well. If you’d like to be involved – get in touch!” – Katie Cavic

Porch Fest + Tough Warrior Princess

The minute we floated the idea of doing a street festival with a few local businesses, the number of offers to donate items and services made our cups overflow.

While we wanted to give small businesses a space to shine, we also wanted to help members of our community who are needing extra support. In October, the money raised at Porch Fest went to the Tough Warrior Princesses (TWP) not-for-profit organization. Based in Amesbury (and serving the North Shore of Boston as well as Southern New Hampshire), they provide support, comfort, love and resources to women affected by cancer.

Want to get involved in Porch Fest 2022 in Amesbury, MA?

Drop us a line via our Contact Page!

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Introducing Bryony Body: The Exeter, NH Yoga Studio You Want To Know About

Bryony & Birch has expanded and we have a lot of feelings.

For starters, we’re feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for the Amesbury community. For our collective to have experienced the growth that it has in the age of a global pandemic is a testament to just how many incredible humans call the North Shore home. You’ve shown up on our mats for yoga, in our chairs for hair, in our studio for photos and on our porch to celebrate and support local makers and shakers. Thank you.

While we feel like we still have so many more exciting things to come in Amesbury, our next step in evolving happens to do with one of our other favorite places in the world – Exeter, NH. As lovers of this quintessential New Hampshire town that’s just a quick 15 minute drive from the flagship Bryony & Birch studio, we’re thrilled to announce that we have taken over Yogasmith Yoga Studio and are introducing our first brick and mortar space solely dedicated to yoga, fitness and wellness.

Scroll down to learn more!

What is Bryony Body?

Bryony Body is where yoga, fitness and wellness intersect. Located at 175 Water Street in Exeter, New Hampshire, our light and airy yoga studio space offers yoga and fitness classes for all levels.

When Bryony & Birch Founder, Katie Cavic, first started conceptualizing Bryony Body, she knew she wanted it to be accessible, restorative, invigorating, and something that helps soothe and strengthen people holistically.

Katie and her fellow Bryony Body yoga and fitness instructors know that the mind, the body and the soul are all interconnected, which is why Bryony Body also offers treatments such as reiki and crystal healing, nutrition coaching and massage therapy. It doesn’t matter if you’re going there to center or sculpt, you’ll leave feeling guided, grounded and grateful.

Meet the Bryony Body Instructors + Therapists

Katie Kavic
Owner & Instructor

 

Jessalyn Hudgins
Studio Manager & Instructor

 

Tayla David
Studio Manager

 

Kiana Morano
Personal Trainer & Instructor

 

Jessica Benedetto
Instructor

 

Jessica Gutstein
Instructor

 

Carolyn Rubin
Instructor

 

Gail Picillo
Instructor

 

Sharon Gordon
Instructor

 

Jennifer Freeman
Instructor

 

Wilhelmina Bradley
Instructor

 

Allison Dugas
Instructor

 

Ankati Day
Instructor

 

Becky Kollmorgen
Instructor

 

Hannah Reed
Instructor

 

Veronica Woodlief
Instructor

 

Stacey Sargent
Instructor

Click here to learn more about Bryony Body’s yoga instructors here.

Where’s the Class Calendar for Bryony Body?

As people who love planning our days, weeks and months well in advance – we’ve got you covered!

Click here to view the Fall/ Winter Bryony Body class calendar.

Your First Bryony Body Class is FREE!

We’d love for you to come say hello and see what we do, which is why we are offering everyone their first class free of charge! Get in touch via yoga@bryonyandbirchstudio.com to book your free spot!

How do I Book Classes at Bryony Body?

The best way to book your Bryony Body class or wellness session is to head to Mindbody. There you’ll find our class calendar as well as payment and membership options for everything from Yoga Sculpt to 101 Personal Training Sessions.

With Bryony Body memberships starting from just $20 a month, we have options to suit those who want to do just in-person classes, just virtual classes or a mixture of both! We also adhere to the ‘try before you buy’ and ‘I’ve changed my mind for a moment’ ways of life, so you’ll find introductory trial memberships too.

3 Tips for Starting a Yoga Practice

We get it. Yoga can be intimidating.

For some people, it’s the quest of trying to reach their toes. For others, it’s the confronting thoughts they fear they’ll hear if they stop to be still throughout their day.

Here are our tips for starting a yoga practice.

#1 START SMALL
You don’t need to dive into a 90 minute power yoga session on Day 1. You don’t need to hold a pose for as long as your instructor said. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it’s your practice, your journey and your choice.

#2 EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS
Like pretty much everything in life, one size does not fit all when it comes to yoga. Just because you didn’t resonate with breathwork, doesn’t mean a more physical flow won’t accomplish your same wellness goals. Try out different classes and instructors.

#3 CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
Gratitude exercises are a great way to stay positive when it comes to finances, your career and even your relationships. Don’t forget to count your yoga blessings too! For example: give thanks that you simply showed up, even if you didn’t want to.

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