Rala Blog

It's all about where you're from. May 23 2017

Today's Maker Monday is the amazing Native Maps. We have been in LOVE with these sleekly designed and carefully researched maps for a quite while now. They're all screen printed which gives them that handmade touch we love!


Native maps is a husband and wife team, David and Rebecca Harman, that live and make right here in Knoxville, TN. From day one, they've had a different mission than most, their maps are heavily research-based and dedicated to accurate representation of neighborhoods in each city map.



"These maps are a jumping off point, a way for you to get lost in your own town, to dig in and reconnect." Native Maps, you just make us fall in love with our scruffy little city all over again.


Spring time is in full swing and so is Dogwood Arts! April 04 2017

We love sharing our cool new Old City neighbors! Today's business spotlight is Dogwood Arts. Their mission is to promote and celebrate regional art, culture, and natural beauty.



Executive Director, Tom Cervone, along with his amazing team do the extensive planning for Dogwood events in their office space located across the street from us. Have you ever wondered how the festival started?

It all began in 1955 as a response to a New York newspaper reporter who came into town, checked out the area, and then returned to New York and wrote "Knoxville is the ugliest city I ever saw in America." Lesson of the story? No one hates on KTown



We're loving our new location in the Old City even more this week, because we get to be front and center for the Rhythm and Blooms Festival!

This year's line up looks SO good! Buy your tickets and mark your calendars for April 7-9.



April First Friday April 02 2017


Alaina Smith, founder of Cold Gold, has been a lifelong maker. Whether filling her journals with designs as a child or in her printmaking work at the University of Tennessee, she has always been fascinated by materials and process. In 2013 she founded her handmade business, Cold Gold, producing leather goods and jewelry and has enjoyed participating in Knoxville's maker community.



She helped establish a maker community action team called Make Knox, partnered with Etsy to hold Knoxville's first Maker Summit, serves on the Mayor's Maker Council, and is currently teaching a class at the KEC about how to start an Etsy store.



Cold Gold gets a makeover for its Spring 2017 collection. New clutches feature embossed geometric patterns that have been hand stamped into every piece as well as hand painted ombre washes in copper and peach. 


These clutches have also been redesigned to include a distinct bottom, making them roomier and able to stand freely. Also, discover limited edition peach geometric studs made especially for the season.

Stop by Rala on Friday, April 6th from 9-10 and peep some of these new goodies!

Good golly, hot tamales! April 02 2017

Today's Business Spotlight is a food joint that we're frequent visitors of Good Golly Tamale. You've probably seen this cute lil cart around town toting delicious tamales, but did you know that they also have a store front in the Old City? Make sure to stop by!



They debuted at the Market Square Farmers Market in 2013. Two years later, owner Matt Miller opened a store front at 112 S Central Ave in the Old City. Thanks for being our neighbor, Matt!



If you haven't had their tamales, you are missing out! They believe in serving "traditional comfort food that is not only fast and delicious, but also nutritious!" We can get down with that mission statement.

Robin Easter- helping Knoxville put its best foot forward. March 15 2017

Today's business spotlight is the fabulous and oh-so-talented Robin Easter Designs. Robin has conducted business in Knoxville for over 25 years and is still going strong! We are in love with their recent National Park Service airport installation at McGhee Tyson.


Robin holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the University of Tennessee. Her website says it best, "Great design tells a story, evokes an emotion, captures a spirit, inspires actions, and elevates the power of words and images." Her compelling graphics include branding for The Tomato Head. 


Did you know that Robin Easter Design did the branding for The Daniel, our beautiful new home, as well as the Historic Old City Knoxville website (link in bio) So gorgeous! We are so happy to be neighbors with you, Robin! 

Check out our new neighbors! March 15 2017

We're taking a break from Maker Monday for a while so we can introduce you to our cool new neighbors in the Old City! Today we're excited to feature Old City Java! We're definitely going to be frequent visitors to this iconic coffee joint.



Meg and Shaun are the talented duo behind the superb coffee and baked goods at Old City Java and Wild Love Bake House. They have been visionaries for the Old City since they acquired Java in 2007!



Coffee shops are quintessential community gathering places and Java has been an important hub for the Old City. Thanks for keeping Knoxville caffeinated!




Emily McDowell, she's a grown ass lady. March 15 2017

Y'all, it's a girl power kind of maker Monday! Introducing one of our absolute fave card makers and human beings, Emily McDowell.


Emily is just the coolest person ever. She officially launched her wholesale collection of greeting cards and art prints in May of 2013. She likes to, "make things that tell the truth." We agree! 



And sometimes you just need a reminder that you're a total boss babe!





Like A Boss- Maggie Russel shows us how its done. March 15 2017

 Today's featured artist is the oh-so-talented Maggie Russell. Stay tuned to learn about Maggie and all of her gorgeous/sassy art.



Maggie Russell is an artist that lives and paints in Memphis, Tennessee. She received her MFA from The Memphis College of Art and her BA from Hendrix College. Her words say it better than we could ever try; "I want my work to validate the quirks and flaws that we all share as if to say 'Me too.'" Amen, Maggie!



Maggie has quickly become a customer favorite here at Rala. Her cards and prints always seem to perfectly describe how we're feeling! 

Introducing Amanda Humphreys Pottery February 02 2017

 Local gal Amanda is a thrift store-country music-honky tonk-glam enthusiast who turns all of that vintage inspiration into one of a kind ceramic pieces.

Her textures are reminicent of peeling paint on old buildings, maps, vintage fabrics and antique glass.

She uses a variety of tools, stencils, and glazes to create these funky designs.

We are very excited to feature Amanda as our February First Friday artist. She's got all sorts of fabulous new designs for us, and we think y'all are going to love them!

Don't miss this event! It will be our last First Friday at 323 Union before moving to the Old City.
Show starts at 6pm.


Oh, yeah! Don't forget. 

February is our LAST month on Union Ave.

We will close on Monday February 27th to start moving and reopen in the Old City on March 3rd for First Friday.

Our new address will be 112 W. Jackson Ave
(Just next door to The Old City Wine Bar)


Sneak peek at our fabulous new space...


Humming Bird Factory has stolen our hearts! December 04 2016

Presenting: Hummingbird Factory! We love us some handmade goods here at Rala and these small canvas pouches don't disappoint! Sewn and screen-printed right here in Tennessee.



This is Ashley Moore (the creator of Hummingbird Factory) along with one of her tiniest helpers. The name for her shop is inspired by the way that hummingbirds get a job done, "they're charming, industrious, and clever little fellas," says Moore and she tries to bring these same qualities to the table as she runs her small business!



This decorative tea towel is the perfect gift to share a little encouragement with all the cat-lovers on your list! Made with love in Nashville, TN.