• Ava Leone | Contributing Writer

Money, Money, Money. Deep Roots brings businesses to Milledegville

Every October, a variety of businesses, large and small, flock to downtown Milledgeville to participate in the vendor market at the city’s annual Deep Roots Festival. Frank Pendergast, Deep Roots committee director, expects a large turnout from both college students and Milledgeville locals.

Barak Wood, owner of 135 Custom Furniture, will also be at Deep Roots. He creates custom tables that come in personally designed styles and sizes.

Wood started his business in 2014 after resigning from his position as Deputy Sheriff of Putnam County to spend more time with his wife. This is Wood’s first year at Deep Roots, and he plans to come back next year.

“I definitely want to grow my business in the Milledgeville area,” Wood said.

Wood has sold pieces to multiple restaurants in the Milledgeville and Macon area including Amici’s, The Tavern, The Brick, Jackson’s Restaurant and Bar and Accelerated Building Solutions, Inc.

Farm tables are his top selling product and can run from $500 to over $2,000 depending on the size and style of the table.

Takisha Brown, owner of Sassy Scentz, will be selling all-natural soaps, bath bombs and more at Deep Roots.

“I’ve got body scrubs, lotion, body butter, bubble scoops, bubble bars and cupcake bath bombs,” Brown said.

Brown works from her home in Milledgeville but wants to expand her business in the future. She said that Deep Roots is one of her favorite festivals, and she is glad to be participating for a fifth time this year.

Brown built Sassy Scentz from the ground up in 2013. After struggling to find an expensive sugar scrub she used on her honeymoon in Las Vegas, she decided to simply recreate her own version to save money. Her eight-ounce jars of scrub cost $6, a steal compared to the $32 eight-ounce scrub she bought in Las Vegas.

“Running your own business and having no experience, you waste a lot of money,” Brown said. “This is my first year where I’m keeping 87 percent of my profit from each festival in my pocket.”

Sassy Scentz is Brown’s livelihood. She said it took approximately three of the business’ five years to turn a profit.

Liz and Dave Ludewig, owners of Creative Collections & Signs, also work with wood, but instead of building tables, they specialize in carving custom, hand-routed wooden signs.

It all started with the couple placing one of their handmade signs in front of their home. Their neighbors were intrigued, and the Ludewigs decided to create their business.

The couple work as a team to create their signs.

“He has the building and routing skills,” Liz Ludewig said. “I paint and wood-burn and do the artistic creative stuff. We’ve been doing it as a ‘business’ for almost three years now.”

The Ludewigs will feature their personalized wooden cutting boards, coasters, photo albums and memento blocks for birthdays or weddings at the festival.

“We have done a few local craft fairs in the Putnam, Greene and Morgan counties over the past 18 months,” Liz Ludewig said. “Deep Roots attracts people from the same areas, but we were pleasantly surprised at the interest that college students showed in our products last year.”

The couple will be returning to Deep Roots for the second time this fall.

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