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WHOtv Channel 13 News: Small Business Saturday

With Black Friday finished and Cyber Monday still to come, shoppers got to celebrate small business Saturday in Des Moines’ East Village. “Oh my gosh it’s awesome, it is like, so cool. There’s so many good stores down here, as you can tell I’m like drowning in packages, and my arms are weighed down but yeah, it’s awesome. There’s tons of good stuff” said Minnesota native Emily Hoff. Hoff was in town for a concert, but despite being away from home, she managed to get most of her Christmas shopping done. “I just think it’s fun because you can walk outside and get stuff you can’t find that you don’t see anywhere else; lots of unique and personalized items. It’s...

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Under A Tin Roof: Returning to our Roots

Summer is officially at a close as of tomorrow. Isn't that crazy?! What better way to welcome the autumnal equinox than a fun family gathering? We had so much fun putting together a gathering around the campfire that our Aunt Jane and Uncle John (I know - so cute!) showed up unannounced. Ha! They must have felt the pull of our skillet apple pie. That is something that our little family missed quite a bit when we moved to the busy Houston area. No one ever just stopped by your house! If you haven't seen the stand-up bit by Sebastion Maniscalco on company ringing your doorbell you must watch! We never really met any of our neighbors while living there,...

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Artisan Spotlight w/ Bird & Bear

Recently Bird & Bear (Danny) had a chat with the gentlemen of Fontenelle Supply Co. to get a better feel for their passion, drive, and direction with their company. Tell us a little about yourself? Fontenelle Supply Co. is made up of four long-time friends who share the same passion for forgotten American trade skills and manufacturing. We operate out of a small workshop in Des Moines, IA and specialize in vintage tool restoration and the traditional manufacturing of leather goods. The inner workings of Fontenelle is a collaborative effort made possible by the support of the FSC wives. What started out as a small hobby has become a lifestyle not only for the founding members, but for their families as...

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American Link

In today’s mechanized world, so many of the things we buy seem to have come from some giant photo copier. Walking the aisles of many stores today, do you think about the origin of the things we shop for? Do you ever wonder how many machines have touched the products you purchase?   Fontenelle Supply Co. is rapidly changing that question to “How many hands have touched this piece I’m about to buy?”   For the answer, we turn to Andrew Willoughby, one of Fontenelle Supply Co.’s four founders, and the owner of one pair of experienced, artistic hands. While Fontenelle Supply Co.’s product line includes a range of highly sought-after restored axes and tools, Willoughby’s hands work on the...

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Des Moines Register: Axes to Grind

  The headquarters of Fontenelle Supply Co. is a garage in Des Moines' Beaverdale neighborhood, the walls of which call to mind both rustic woodsmen and punk rockers. The company's owners are somewhere in between. Old axes, cleaned of rust and with new hickory handles, hang one after another above an electric guitar and an old skateboard. A well-stocked workbench lines the back wall, while a folding card table stands in the garage's center. Adam Tweedy, 25, sat there on a recent Thursday morning, sipping coffee along with Erich Bockman, 29. Both men, like the other of Fontenelle's co-owners, are young men into old things. Their business scours estate sales and antique shops for old axes, the kind made in 1930...

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