Eleutheromania >> An intense and irresistible desire for freedom.
Recently I spent time with Maura of Red Camper. And that desire for the open road and freedom that she emits got me giddy. Red Camper celebrates “the roadtrip experience through greeting cards, journals & a picnic supply in the form of Deliciousness. It’s Summertime Preserved.”
Deliciousness is her homage to those fruit side stands, so often seen on the open road, from the red camper her parents packed her into to set out and explore. She started creating these boozy jams for friends and although it was just for fun, she knew what she was creating was delicious. Once she was finally convinced to enter her jam into the Denver County Fair, she begrudgingly arrived and saw a second place ribbon on her jam. She started crying, not because she actually placed, but because she wasn’t in first place. When she went to collect her ribbon, they told her they had made a mistake and she was actually the first place prize winner amongst all the jams.
They hung the wrong ribbon, and she had won.
Blue ribbon, first place.
This was in 2012. So she thought, maybe I should extend my Red Camper brand and give this a go. She made 500 jars of jam the first time around and was totally floored at how many actually sold.
Ever since, her boozy jam creations have been selling successfully and she is now in six Whole Foods in the area. An artist through and through, she makes 15 to 20 iterations each time before even bringing a jam to market. You can find the likes of Colorado Whiskey Peach (a best seller), Colorado Bourbon Cherry, Absinthe Orange, IPA Lemon Poppy, Strawberry Limoncello and Tequila Jalapeno. All her products, booze included, are from Colorado.
Soulcrafting brings together master craftspeople in your community, and ties people together to these experiences through learning and creation.
The experiences are categorized and allow you to reserve your experience whether it’s in furniture making, food and drink, pottery or more. They also have Soulcrafting Concierge if it’s a custom experience you’re desiring. I’m all about purchasing experiences, versus things, and because there’s a community element here I’m even more pro-Soulcrafting.
In this particular case, Soulcrafting brought together some of us, to Maura’s home kitchen and office (psst, she was featured in Apartment Therapy, it’s incredible) to create jam together.
Because Maura’s recipes are proprietary, she came up with a new jam that we experimented with to make things interesting and perhaps make history. We cooked in her kitchen together through sanitizing the jars, chopping the fresh apricots (her first memory is camping in an apricot grove with her parents), measuring the ingredients, stirring and canning.
We made an apricot, cinnamon, Colorado Montanya rum, currant jam.
It came out great, and with Maura’s guidance she encouraged us to always keep a log of our jam making to track what we did, to consider consistency. She also said it’s important to taste the jam hot (and jammed) so you know the taste and how it should taste. We loved this one, but felt it was a bit sweet, so for our second batch we lessened the sugar, and went with dried rosemary for a savory feel.
Soulcrafting creates experiences that aren’t stuffy.
It’s about enjoying and feeling natural. It’s also a great opportunity to let a creator, or true expert, speak and connect with you. There’s a large component to learn, but not in a rigid “classroom” environment. We left the evening with two of the jams we made ourselves, and some goodies from Maura like her award-winning jam and her witty and irreverent paper goods cards.
Feeling closer to things that are tangible, that are made domestically in your backyard and with interesting people is rewarding. The connection isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and as Soulcrafting is the conduit for that connection I highly suggest you learn in to that one.
And perhaps you’ll be even closer to that eleutheromania feeling.
Like Charles Eames said: