Jordan Amaker is kind of a go-to girl. Need advice on how to shop more locally-conscious? Call Jordan. Want to join the fight to make Charleston bike-friendly? Shoot her an email. Want to get in touch with Charleston’s first-ever Poet Laureate? Well, she’s got a hook-up there too (husband Marcus Amaker). And as Director of Marketing and Communications at Lowcountry Local First, she’s likely who you’ll get in touch with if you ever need the outstanding resources that LLF provides.
Lowcountry Local First is accepting applications (through the end of the day!) for their “Creative-in-Residence” program, where two winners will receive 6 months of desk space at Local Works and matched mentorship! The application is super easy and can be done in 30 minutes or less, and if accepted, you’ll have the added bonus of working alongside Jordan. Application here : http://bit.ly/2g3Exq0
We sat down with Jordan for our Friday Fiver.
1. Having worked for Lowcountry Local First for more than a year now, have you discovered any surprising items we can buy locally?
I’m surprised almost daily. On the food side, I’m most surprised that loofa (yes, what you use to exfoliate with in the shower) and sugar cane grow here. On the product side, I love learning about the rock star manufacturers we have in our backyard – from candles and handmade leather wallets made along Meeting St (Rewined Candles and J.Stark) to high-end light fixtures made on the Navy Yard (Urban Electric Co) – these products and so many more garner global attention but support our local economy.
2. You’re earning a reputation as a huge advocate for bicyclists in Charleston. Why is it so important for Charleston to create safe bike lanes and protect biker’s rights?
Where do I begin, and how much space will this get on the website? … Creating safe, equitable access on our streets means a healthier environment, fewer deaths and injuries due to collisions, less congestion, improved livability (aka easier to lure in those millennials every tech company is chasing), and it means all of our local businesses have an easier time attracting and retaining employees. Best of all, biking and walking is simply fun and good for the spirit. Charleston is getting left in the dust in this area due to stubborn leadership at the local and state levels and it poses a real concern for the coming years and the growth we face as a community.
3. What’s the best part about Local Works communal work space?
One word: community. The top reason our coworkers choose Local Works, and stay with Local Works, is the sense of community and connectivity it brings. People are able to get out of their homes, out of the noisy coffee shops – and into an inspiring place with fellow entrepreneurs and business owners who, like them, are itching to share stories, gather advice and work together.
4. Although Lowcountry Local First is not an arts organization, we know that you’re a lover of the arts in Charleston. Do you have a favorite local artist?
We love supporting out local arts community. I’ve been able to meet and learn about so many talented creatives here through Local Works and our Buy Local campaigns. We just had our Buy Local Block Party and I fell in love with Alison Brynn Ross’ designs. We also rotate local artists’ work on our walls in Local Works, and we currently have Julia Deckman’s paintings of local business storefronts on display, which are colorful and inviting. I’ve personally been a fan of seeing our music scene mature and expand to include new hip-hop artists, jazz musicians and poets – so many wonderful ways to spend your time, dollars and energy across the Lowcountry!
5. Thanksgiving is coming up! Do you have any suggestions for where we can buy fresh produce and what will you be in charge of cooking?
Fall CSAs with our local farmers are in full swing – and many of our local markets continue through December if not year-round. Get out and get to know who has what in their fields right now! We have a map online that you can search by product, farm or market – lowcountrylocalfirst.org/map and use the key to the left. I am no chef, but look forward to my mom’s sweet potato casserole the most. (She puts marsh-mellows on top before roasting.)