Lotta Mae’s Supply Co. is a modern homestead shop for our urban and rural neighbors, with friendly and knowledgeable staff and quality products for your farm, garden, and home. Lotta Mae’s is the brain-child and heart spring of Kate Van Cantfort. Named after her great-great aunt Lotta and her great grandmother Mae, Kate has picked up a family thread of being a purveyor of goods as her 4x great grandfather owned and operated a mercantile and grocery in Portsmouth, OH in the late 1800’s.
Kate is a Georgia native and claims Milledgeville, Ga as her hometown. Raised mostly on a 13 acre hobby farm in rural Baldwin County, she has always had dirt under nails and chores on her to-do list. A non-profit professional by training and experience, she has been a for hire organic gardener and green living consultant for over 15 years. She dreamt of a brick and mortar place that would sell high quality work tools and offer the sort of garden and homestead experience many associate with the hardware stores of the past.
Living throughout the Rocky Mountain west, a stint in Vermont, and a 10 year journey in Kansas, Kate finally returned to her home and roots in Georgia. After some life changes, Kate found herself a single homeschooling momma and decided, “YES, this is the time to open a store!” So she did in July of 2017. It has been full steam ahead ever since. Expansion for the shop is already happening in December 2017 and Kate is already cooking up plans for the future of Lotta Mae’s.
Community. Connection. Impact. Integrity.
These are the core values for Lotta Mae’s Supply Co.
First and foremost we value our place and role in community - our store community, our online community, our local town community, our business community, our global community, our community of women, of farmers, of homesteaders and more. We are connected to each other through a brilliant, complex, delicate, and durable network of relationships and interactions. We strive to nurture and encourage community in the decisions we make from who we hire, where we buy, how we treat our customers and neighbors, how we are care for our goods and our waste - the list goes on and on. Evidence of this value in our work can be seen in the charitable efforts we support, the donations of profits, the collaborations we take part in, and how we highlight and share the successes of the people and businesses around us.
We value connection at Lotta Mae’s in the time we take to listen to our customers and vendors. We work to connect to the issues in the world around us and how we respond to and are impacted and impact others. We connect with our vendors and suppiers - whether they are part of the local maker community or the fair trade coops we buy from in Sengal, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. We take time to take care of our connection to each other. We also take care to notice our connection to place - the changes of season, the ebb and flow of our gardens and farms. Evidence of this value in our work can be seen in our seasonal offerings of local produce, the timeliness of classes, and the way we highlight the connection to our vendors.
We are stewards of our impact at Lotta Mae’s. Part of our decision to locate the shop where we did was in part to the impact we could have in the immediate neighborhood. The urban greening efforts with our reclaimed garden beds and landscaping is part of helping others see the value we see in our neighborhood. We have a relationship with the women and children's’ shelter in the neighborhood that predates the opening of the shop. Our environmental impact is also of high importance for us. We use rain barrels, recycle, compost (even host the local community composting site), all of our office and shop materials are of the highest recycle content possible, we use BPA-free urea coated receipt paper, and use carbon offsetting as often as possible for our shipments. We are keenly aware of our impact as a shop.
Integrity is a guiding value for all we do at Lotta Mae’s Supply Co. How we conduct ourselves in our business interactions, our communications with customers and vendors, our relationships with neighbors, our transparency in the wares and services we offer - all are guided by our commitment to integrity.