Meet Your Makers: This Year’s General Store is Bigger, Better than Ever - Old Salt Co-op

Meet Your Makers: This Year’s General Store is Bigger, Better than Ever

A key driver of the Old Salt Festival is to bring Western artisans together to share their craft with our community. We’ve expanded this year, and it’s going to be big. 

The American West is filled with people who root themselves in the landscape, and one of the outcomes of those roots are the traditions of art, handmade goods, and recrafting the resources we’re given into stuff that works, inspires, and is made with intention. 

Erica Mannix and Kate Mannix spearhead this effort each year, and both are deeply tied into, yes, the Mannix Family Ranch. But in addition to being ranchers, they’re part-time makers themselves. Erica runs Western Rising Leather Co., and Kate creates botanically dyed silk scarves for her company Rusty Sagebrush. There’s a sensibility to their work. Kate uses both wild and gardened plants in her dye processes, interweaving minerals along the way. And Erica leans into the landscape deeply through leatherwork.

“I offer hand-crafted leather goods from thoughtfully sourced leather, hides, and natural fibers,” she said. “Each piece is designed at the crossroads of practicality, durability, and artistry. I draw inspiration from a life working on the land, and a deep love of ranching and the Western way of life.”

In addition to all this work, the two women organize an even wider group of artisans for the festival. Let’s meet some of them. 

A Wide Swath of Craftspeople for 2024

Currently, 28 makers are signed on to join us at the 2nd Annual Old Salt Festival. We’re excited to have folks sharing handmade jewelry, apparel, leatherwork, food, hats, skincare, fine art, beadwork, and more. 

We also have a number of returning makers, including RevivALL Clothing, Range Revolution, Christy Sing, and others. 

“The connections, conversations, and friendships I formed last year [at Old Salt Festival] were what kept me wanting to come back for more,” Laura Lee Laroux of RevivALL Clothing shared. 

Laura Lee works with a team of talented folks who are at the nexus of the slow fashion movement, infusing folky, prairie-centered vibes into their works made of repurposed fabric. “I view my relationship to the land as a steward and visitor, always wanting to restore balance and leave it in its most natural state.”

A new maker to this year’s festival is Morgan Buckert of Morgan Buckert Custom Boots. As the 7th generation of a Texas ranching family, Morgan has always found a connection with the flora and fauna of the Coastal Bend of South Texas and the mountains and rivers of Idaho.  Morgan spent her life exploring the nooks and crannies of these places she calls home, and recreates wildflowers and scenes from her clients' special places in her custom cowboy boots. 

“Having the opportunity to share my work and talk about our special places with like-minded people is why I wanted to come to Old Salt this year,” Morgan told us.  

“I have worked in recreation and conservation for almost two decades, as well as practicing as a traditional artist for over ten years, and Old Salt has brought all of my interests together for one special weekend.”

We are truly excited to welcome our makers in just a few weeks! Read on for a few more quotes, and an alphabetized list of everyone joining us in the General Store this year. 

More from Our Makers on Their Relationship to the Land

“As an avid hunter, conservationist, and outdoorswoman I find that I'd rather be outside than anywhere else. I had an innate need to find a solution to throwing away the feathers and hides from my hunts and hence Spruced Plume was born. All of the materials used in Spruced Plume products are sustainably sourced from hunted and locally butchered animals, creating an almost zero-waste business.” — Haley Fitzgerald, Spruced Plume

“We’re from the land, and someday everything will go back to the land and (hopefully) support life. My goal is to make things that are durable and long-lasting, goods that can be used and loved for many years, but can also eventually decompose and support life; go back to the land. The land is intrinsic to our health and happiness, being connected to it is the only way to live a good life.” — Alicia Renner, Howl Goods

“As a gardener and keeper of small livestock and pets, we strive to stay connected through growing some of our own food and improving the land through holistic management.” Christy Sing, Sing Hat Company

“The West is in my bones, from the moment I was born. Wide skies and firm handshakes are the good stuff. We are tied to the land, and it should be a joyous duty to care for it and be proud of the places we call home.”—Lois Keister, The High Lonesome (food-safe functional fused glass)

"I am the working landscape, I am a part of the 1 percent of people who grow food for the world. In every thought, plan, and action taken on our family ranch and our leased federal and state grazing land, we put this question first - how does it serve the soil, the cattle, the wildlife, the landscape, and the water? Through a lens of careful stewardship we try to apply programs and processes that create long-range outcomes that all increase the health and well-being of all aforementioned things, soil health being an imperative part of that equation. In practicing regenerative agriculture and good stockmanship, you learn that slow is fast, better practices create sustained health and increased profits in the long run. 

As as artist, I am deeply inspired by the natural world. I use nature's masterpieces in most of my work, naturally formed precious and semiprecious stones that contain a lifetime of stories, having been formed underground in the pressure of the earth. My work is often some depiction of what I've got in my library of stored images in my head from my time spent trailing cattle in the timber or setting a dam for flood water in the field at sunset. " — Mary Cerise, Hanging Moon Silver

“I create work about the landscape, our place in it. We are so small but so destructive. I choose to only use reclaimed wood because I believe that it doesn’t belong in a landfill. The beautiful material brings new life back into the landscapes we love and hold so dear.” — Amanda Krolczyk, Plaid Beaver Co. 

Our Makers, Alphabetically

Behring Made

Chris Chapman

Eduardo Garcia & Montana Mex

Elk River Clay

Hanging Moon Silver

High Plains Sheepskin

Howl Goods

Independent Ironware

Kelsey Morris

Kracklin Kamut

Morgan Buckert

Mountain Mama Beadwork 

Mountain Meadow Wool

Needle and Axe

Piehawk Outpost

Plaid Beaver Co.

Range Revolution (5k sponsor)

RevivALL Clothing

Riverbed Gems

Rusty Sagebrush

Sing Hat Company

Skin Fancy

Smith and Rogue

Spruced Plume

Sturdy Girl

The High Lonesome 

Very Good Wood

Western Rising Leather Co.