The Who and the What
Hi, I’m Grace Spath. I live with my husband and 3 kids on an agave nursery in Southern California. If the spines outside don’t get you, the needles inside will! That’s how Needles and Spines originated. It’s a combination of all that is me. It’s also a play on words for my love of all that is nature-from the desert spines to the forest pine needles.
I create and I make because my soul yearns to do so. I need it almost as much as I need air to breathe. I have been sewing since middle school- about 20 years. In 9th grade a girl in class remarked I would grow up to be a fashion designer and I gave her the stink eye as I was then quite an indie punk kid. In 10th grade I started selling crocheted hats at a local coffee shop, and though the products may have changed, I never stopped creating, making, and selling. I attended Memphis College of Art on scholarship and then studied fashion at Palomar College. About 6 years ago I dived into natural dyes and fell in love with spontaneity of color it gave. in 2018 we moved to our 7+ acre homestead in North County San Diego, where all my loves of creating and natural living combined.
When I look at a ball of native dyed wool, I see everything I love in this life wrapped up together. I see my husband who pushed me to find the beauty in native CA flora. I see my children growing up to love nature, identifying plants and asking their purpose at just the tender age of 3. I see sheep thriving in open farms, rather than being pinned up and mistreated. I see my love of textiles and fibers that I have been working with since middle school. I see a product not mass produced, but rather made with love and passion in every step- a product made solely because I truly and thoroughly enjoy it.
I only use Young Living essential oils. This is the only company in complete control of their farms, distillery, and products.
Have you been interested in these essential oil things? Been wondering what the big deal is about Young Living? I was too! I dabbled in essential oils for years before finding my friends at Good Vibe Oily Tribe. Its a rad community of girls working towards natural living by way of essential oils and other Young Living Products. Theres always someone in the tribe who will be there for you to answer all your questions, help you out, or to just hang out. It’s fun filled, no pressure, and beautiful in every way. Some of these ladies have become my best friends, and it never would have happened without the tribe! Click here when you ready to get started with your own kit.
My Foot Print
Before making a product, I do not ask myself. “Could I make this?” Instead, I ask, “Should I make this?” While designing I often think of a line from a Kimya Dawson song, “Is the price of every living thing what your product is worth?” Sure, that may sound a little extreme, but in the grand scope of things it is not. There are all different types of approaches when it comes to sustainability. My biggest worry and focus when creating is how much waste will ultimately end up in landfills because of this or how much will our earth suffer because of this? There are greater things in this world then running my own creative business, like the World itself. So what am I doing about it?
My items are all handmade right here in America. This gives me more control over inventory. I do not have to mass produce items and then worry about the ones that don’t sell and end up, you guessed it, in the landfills. Since items are handmade I can get great yield out of material and end up with few scraps/leftovers.
Farmed + Foraged
Foraged and farmed goods are from right in my own ‘backyard’. This leaves out the mystery of if it was sustainably grown/harvested. Foraged items are only harvested when their is plenty. Farmed items are non gmo and are never treated with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
Items are mailed in either eco-enclose biodegradable/recyclable mailers or recycled boxes. Cards and hang tags are printed on recycled paper in non toxic inks and attached with scrap fabric or organic naturally dyed yarn. Retail items are packaged in biodegradable paper splattered with homemade natural dyes and organic yarn.