RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — When Diana Arfine’s friend relocated from Ridgefield last winter, she sent her off with a custom “subway-style” print featuring popular Ridgefield landmarks. The stylized print was such a hit with everyone who saw it that an idea was born.
That led to a discussion with Leslie Realander, her sister-in-law, about how the two might have a business on their hands. The result is The Rooted Plow , a Ridgefield-centric e-commerce retail site that celebrates the women's adopted hometown pride with apparel, home goods and gift items.
Both women have a background that supports the new site — Realander has long worked as a volunteer creating websites and designing spirit wear for youth and high school sports teams in Ridgefield while Arfine runs a seasonal gift shop in Minnesota during the summer.
And so, The Rooted Plow — its name is a nod to Ridgefield’s farming legacy, its Native American heritage, and the generations of families who have put down roots in this community — became a reality.
The logo they designed is a tribute to Ridgefield’s past and some of its iconic features.
“The two arrows represent Ridgefield’s Native American legacy, the elm tree pays tribute to the many beautiful elms that once stood strong on Main Street and in Ballard Park, and the Cass Gilbert Fountain speaks for itself as the unofficial welcome mat at the crossroads of Route 33 and Route 35/Main Street," said Realander.
So far, their growing collection, which launched April 2, includes ceramic campfire mugs, S’well-style water bottles, apparel for women, men and children, Ridgefield subway-style word prints and pillows, recycled wine bottle soy candles, and more.
“We tried to select items that are different from other pieces you might find in town,” said Arfine. “It’s a very carefully curated selection of goods.”
Early runaway hits are The Pierrepont Campfire Mugs and the Catoonah Stainless Steel Insulated Bottle. In keeping with the Ridge-centric theme, each item in the collection is named after a popular Ridgefield landmark, historical figure or area.
Realander thinks the mug and water bottle are catching on because they are quality gift items at a great price.
“They are perfect year-end teacher or coach gifts, or gifts for the recent RHS graduate," she said. "We both have teenage daughters who already claimed a couple of the mugs for their dorm rooms next year."
The two also just ordered a new line of spring/summer apparel — women’s racerback tanks, men’s pocket tees, and stylish lightweight summer hoodies — that will be arriving soon. All feature The Rooted Plow’s iconic Ridgefield logo.
Limited edition items from local artisans that are consistent with the rustic yet modern aesthetic of the product lines are also in the works.
Look, too, for the women to be showcasing their wares at area festivals and fairs. They plan to take part in the upcoming Ridgefield BBQ the weekend of May 6 and the Mother’s Day Pop Up Shop at the Lounsbury House on May 11.
Visit www.therootedplow.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.