The Blog Cabin

Ursa Major's Very Vermont Gift Guide

Zoë Furlong November 14, 2014

We’re pleased to present our first Very Vermont Gift Guide! Finely crafted bow ties, stationary and spirits – we hope there’s something wonderful here for everyone on your list.

1. Orvis (Manchester). Heritage Moleskin Field Coat, $250  


Orvis is about fly fishing, yes, but they’re also America’s oldest mail-order outfitter (1856). How about this Heritage Field Coat in Olive? Perfect for that country gentleman in your life, or the city dweller who aspires to be one.

2. Beau Ties (Middlebury). Ski Lift Bow Tie, $59.


Go on, rock a bow tie this holiday. Beau Ties’ Ski Lift design featuring skiers and, you guessed it, ski lifts, is destined to become a New England classic. Not a big skier? Don’t worry, Beau Ties has many other fun styles to choose from.

3. Vermont Smoke and Cure (Hinesburg). Real Sticks, $29.95.


Tasty, nutritious and all-natural, Real Sticks come in all kinds of zesty flavors. They're great for keeping you awake when you’re motoring north to see Grandma, or for powering you up that snowy mountain when you get there.

4. Red House (Shelburne). Waxed Canvas Storage Bin, $56.

Red House makes beautiful field satchels, work aprons and wallets - we’re especially fond of this multi-purpose storage bin. How you use it is up to you; we’re partial to the way it’s pictured here, filled with freshly-split firewood.

5. Ursa Major (Burlington). Trailside Candle, $40

Our all-natural scented candle contains a fulsome blend of pure essential oils including cedar, spruce, sandalwood, mint and orange. It's the perfect indulgence for your home this winter, and it makes a delightful gift too!

6. Scout's Honor Paper (Burlington). Camp Icon Cards, $16.

Illustrator Annemarie Buckley is creating a stir with her whimsical, modern designs. Her Camp Icon series contains four handsome cards printed on thick paper stock, each more fitting than the next for that heartfelt holiday note.

7. Caledonia Spirits (Hardwick). Barr Hill Honey Gin, $34.99


Barr Hill Gin is racking up awards with spirits aficionados worldwide, and for good reason. It’s made with fresh Juniper berries and raw northern honey for a uniquely delicious taste that’s literally rooted in Vermont. Lip-smacking good!

8. Finn Utility (Richmond). Streamer Wallet, $55.

Mix great design with a love of fly-fishing and you get Finn Utility. We’ve got our eye on the Streamer Wallet, made of bridle leather, waxed twill canvas and 100% sheep shearling. If anything is worthy of holding your hand-tied flies, this is it.

9. Norton's Vermont Toboggans (Barre). Green Mountain Family Toboggan, $200


Who doesn’t love whooshing down a snow-covered hill on a toboggan? Just saying that word makes us smile. This holiday give the gift of speed and smiles with this Green Mountain Family cruiser, the Jeep Woody of sleds.

10. Darn Tough (Northfield) Pinnacle Over-the-Calf Ultralight, $23 


In our minds the perfect pair of winter socks should be toasty warm, snug, comfortable (no seams), durable and odor-busting. Oh, and they can’t be black. This Darn Tough merino delivers on all fronts. And they’re guaranteed for life!

11. Ibex (White River Junction). Ramble Wool Pant, $225.


Wool? Rambling? Sign us up. This pair of trousers, designed to “make winter more free”, has our number. Still need convincing? The Ramble has 4.8 out of 5 stars from 19 happy Ibex customers. We’re sold.

12. Farmhouse Pottery (Woodstock). Milk Bottle Match Striker, $36.


We can’t think of a friend who wouldn’t be delighted to receive one of these…Beautiful, hand-thrown pottery with a practical purpose—strike a match anywhere on the bottom half of this little pot and sparks will fly!


That’s a wrap! Hopefully this Very Vermont Gift Guide has made your holiday shopping a little easier, and a lot more fun. See you on the trails!


Still searching for a new book-keeper

oliver sweatman November 14, 2014
We need a new book-keeper! The position starts immediately at two days a week and could grow into three+ days/week within 6-12 months. Here’s a bit more information on the role:

Areas of Responsibility:
  • Full-service bookkeeping
  • Bank account reconciliations; month-end close
  • AR management – customer invoicing, statements & follow-up
  • AP management – bill approval, preparation of payments
  • Making bank deposits, (e)mailing invoices/statements, etc.
  • Inventory control/costing – cost sheets, POs, stock levels, etc.
  • Regulatory filings - basic compliance with state & federal regulations
  • Work with CPA to prepare annual tax return; communicate with members re: tax matters
  • Financial reports for management

  • Ideally the candidate has the following qualifications:
  • Two-year degree in accounting/finance (ideally)
  • Two+ years of relevant work experience (expertise with manufacturing and cost accounting is desired)
  • Advanced experience with QuickBooks & Excel
  • Detail-oriented with excellent organizational skills
  • Professional written and verbal communicator
  • Pleasant to be around
  • Discreet and trustworthy

NB, our current book-keeper (who’s fantastic, but she’s left VT for Nevada and is now working with us remotely) will be on-hand to train our new book-keeper and help with the transition.

To apply, please send a cover letter, resumé and references to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

Our Annual Hiking Adventure

Zoë Furlong October 29, 2014
Yesterday, we embarked on our second-annual team outing (see the post on our first outing here). This year's adventure? Hiking to the 4,081ft summit of Camel's Hump, the third largest peak in Vermont! What a great excuse to get outside, get our legs moving, and celebrate Fall and the ever-growing Ursa Major team. Rest assured that beer and pizza followed this hike.
The ladies of Ursa Major on the trail.
The slick trail conditions didn't deter us or the other hikers (two and four legged) we met along the way!
Emily, Zoë and Chris stop at a clearing to take in the majestic view and get their bearings. 
Nicole and Marshall reach the blustery summit. 
The whole team at the summit.
Happy Trails!

July in Photos - An Instagram Round-Up

Ollie Burruss August 20, 2014

July's top Instagram photos really sum up summer in Vermont: singletrack rides, peak-bagging hikes, backwoods rambling, and the classic hay in the barn shot. Hard to get much more Vermont than that. 

Hope everyone out there is enjoying summer as much as we are (don't get the wrong idea - we're working hard too!). To see more of that wholesome Vermont life, head over to our Instagram feed: @ursamajorvt.

June Instagram Mash-Up

oliver sweatman July 08, 2014

A round-up of Ursa Major's most popular June Instagram photos, including a Vermont landscape and cows.

Here's our round-up of the most popular posts on our Instagram feed over the past month. Based on our feed, one might think we spend all our time playing around in the great outdoors, but that's not true. We love work, we really do, and we put in good long days in the office because we're passionate about what we're doing here at Ursa Major and we're committed to becoming your favorite super natural skin, hair and, yes, body care solution over time. That said, we'll admit it, there's no way we could grind this hard if the great outdoors wasn't right out the back door. For us, ready access to the mountains, woods, streams, lakes, etc. is fundamental to "the good life" and we wouldn't have it any other way, at least not for any long period of time (we do love the city, albeit in short bursts). On that note, we've been jamming since early this morning and the trails are looking pretty good after a few days of warm, dry weather… #gooddayswork #workhardplayhard #livemajor #woohoo

See what you're missing? A preview of our bi-monthly email newsletter

oliver sweatman July 01, 2014
july 4th mailer pic We sent out our bi-monthly newsletter today and wanted to share the offer here on our blog and social media to give you a sense of what our NL is all about: Hi Friends of Ursa Major, What has stars and stripes and is made in America? Ursa Major! For the rest of this week, celebrate Independence Day with free shipping and a complimentary traveler of your choice ($10 - $12 value) with all orders over $76. Please specify which traveler you would like (shave cream, face wash or face balm) in the “Comments” field when checking out at - no code required. Happy Fourth of July! - The UM Crew in VT There you go! If you want to participate in this offer, please, be our guest. If you would like to receive every special offer we send out, sign up for our newsletter up to the right (we only send a few emails a month and wouldn't think of sharing your email with anyone else).

Our Face Tonic - different strokes for different folks

oliver sweatman June 30, 2014
face tonics for blog post We get a lot of questions from customers about our tonic. What is it? How do I use it? When do I use it? And so on. Totally understandable since this is a new kind of product, in a class of its own! The idea with our tonic was to create a multi-purpose liquid that men (and women) could use anytime to clean, exfoliate, soothe and hydrate, all at once. Based on the feedback we’ve been getting, and the repeat sales, the tonic delivers! It’s a very effective, enjoyable product. Check the testimonials on our site or elsewhere on the web to see what folks are saying. It’s made using a blend of 33 natural ingredients, with generous doses of aloe vera, witch hazel, willow bark, radish root and birch sap and has a subtle but spicy, herbal aroma. It dries down quickly after application and leaves your skin feeling clean, bright, calm, hydrated and supple, without any weird stick residue. Sounds pretty good, right?

OK, now let’s get into how to use the tonic. Because it’s such a versatile product, people use it in different ways. Here’s how we use it at UM HQ:

  • Oliver soaks a cotton round with the tonic and uses it as a “lazy man’s face wash”
  • Marshall splashes it on as an after-shave to soothe his skin, before using our balm
  • Emily sprays it on whenever she needs a refreshing pick-me-up (she keeps her bottle in the fridge at the office)
  • We all use our tonic-infused face wipes when we’re on-the-go to reboot dull, tired or oily skin
To make the most of the tonic and keep everyone happy, we offer it in three different formats:
  • With a flip cap (good if you’re using it as a splash or with a cotton round)
  • With a spray cap (if you prefer a sprayer like Emily)*
  • Individually-wrapped bamboo wipes (ideal when you’re away from home - throw a few in your gym bag, carry-on, back pocket, etc)
We encourage you to play around and see which set-up works best for you. OK, that’s it for now. Hopefully this gives you a better feel for how to get the most out of our tonic. * many of the barbers we work with apply it this way on their clients before/after shaving

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