Share your love for Mercer University this holiday season and support a Mercerian at the same time. The Den’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide features 10 gifts created or sold by Mercerians. Whether you’re buying presents for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or just because, it is sure to have something your friends and family will love.
At and Peppermint, the Fat Cat children’s book
Help a child learn to read when you give the children’s book At and Peppermint, the Fat Cat, authored by Therese Mullings, a Mercer student pursuing her Master of Business Administration. Written for children ages 4-7, the book focuses on helping beginning readers identify sight words by using “at” words in a series of rhymes. At and Peppermint, the Fat Cat is offered as an ebook on Kindle, and the paperback book is available on the Amazon, Walmart, Barnes & Noble and Target websites. The book is also available internationally in Australia, England and Jamaica.
bundt·ish pound cake
Sweeten someone’s day with the gift of a bundt·ish pound cake. Mercer alumnus Johnny Washington and his wife, Stacey Washington, are the founders of the Atlanta-based artisan pound cakery that delivers freshly baked, never frozen desserts right to your door. Pound cakes are available in a variety of sizes and flavors, including classic, vanilla, lemon-blueberry, peanut butter cookie crisp, chocolate cookie crunch and more. Washington’s favorite is the church lady classic, an old-fashioned style pound cake that pays homage to the unknown church lady who always brought pound cake to dinner. Order online at bundtish.com.
Children’s books with a lesson
Help kids understand life lessons by giving The Banana Farm and My Dog Can’t Jump, two award-winning children’s books written by Dr. David Lane, professor of counseling in the College of Professional Advancement. The Banana Farm is about trust and loving sacrifice. In the book, a young boy living during the Depression contemplates the best way to use a dime he finds on the ground. Meanwhile, My Dog Can’t Jump teaches unconditional love and acceptance through the story of a boy who adopts a shelter dog. The books are available at online booksellers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.
Clara 1 Clove sneakers
Give the gift of style and comfort when you buy the Clara 1 tennis shoe, sold by Clove. Clara Jones, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, designed the Clara 1 in collaboration with Clove, a shoe brand for health care professionals. The blush-colored shoe incorporates elements of Jones’ personal style and Korean heritage, including the mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, which represents resilience. Even though the sneakers are designed for health care workers, anyone who works all day on their feet would benefit from the shoe’s comfort. Buy online at goclove.com.
Fall Line craft beer
Pick up a pack of beer from Fall Line Brewing Co. for the craft beer aficionado on your list. Mercer alumna Kaitlynn Kressin opened Fall Line with her husband, Nate Kressin, in 2020, and its brewery and taproom are now a Macon mainstay. Offerings include three year-round beers — Cloudbreaker IPA, Daily Rind tangerine wheat and Fall Line lager — as well as a limited release sour series and seasonal brews. Fall Line beers are distributed across Georgia, and you can find them in cans and on draft at your local bars, restaurants and package stores. In addition, Fall Line swag is available online at falllinebrewingco.com.
Handmade art by Prachi Henna Art
Support a Mercer student’s small business by buying a gift from Prachi Henna Art. Senior Prachi Patel sells handmade art, including jewelry wraps, hand-painted flowerpots, nose cuffs, candles and more through her business. She also offers services including graphic design and illustration, custom product line design, packaging design and execution, and henna art. Patel’s work isn’t available to buy online, but those in and around Macon can find her booth at the Wednesday and Thursday markets, 3:30-6 p.m., in Tattnall Square Park. She also does henna at The Pretty Fixx on Napier Avenue.
Photos by Cynthia Robertson
Brighten up a room with the gift of a photo taken by Cynthia Robertson, a computer science lecturer at Mercer. Robertson was among 15 artists chosen in 2021 to have their work displayed in the Office of the Governor in the Georgia Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion. Her chosen photos depict Toccoa Falls, Cumberland Island, Providence Canyon and Jekyll Island. Robertson’s eye is drawn to nature, and she has a special interest in flowers. Her website features subjects including animals, trees, water and plant life and offers the opportunity to purchase prints and canvas wraps. Buy online at cynthiahunterphotography.com.
Russell Moccasin leather shoes
Splurge on high-quality leather footwear for that extra special someone in your life. Mercer alumnus Luke Kolbie is co-owner and CEO of Russell Moccasin, a 124-year-old company known for handcrafted shoes and boots that stand the test of time. Russell Moccasin served as a model for Kolbie’s first business, Kingfisher Leatherworks, which sells products including belts, wallets, weekend bags, cartridge bags and bottle totes. And Russell Moccasin shoes are a favorite of Kolbie’s own family — four generations have worn boots made by the company. Custom orders are currently on hold, but in-stock items are available to purchase on the Russell Moccasin website.
Records from Vertigo Vinyl
Make a record enthusiast’s day by giving them their favorite album on vinyl. Vertigo Vinyl, owned by Mercer freshman Noah Silver, offers an inventory of over 5,000 records from the oldies to today. While the store’s typical audience trends younger — its best-selling records include Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” and Harry Styles’ self-titled album — Vertigo Vinyl also has a vast collection of vintage vinyl records. New albums (and turntables, if you need one) may be purchased online at vertigovinyl.com, while used records are sold exclusively in the store, located in Mercer Village in Macon.
The Whisper of the River
Share this Mercer classic with a friend or family member who didn’t attend the University to give them a glimpse of what could have been. Read in class by generations of students, The Whisper of the River is based on author Dr. Ferrol Sams’ experiences at Mercer from 1938-42. After graduation, he went on to serve in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, earn a Doctor of Medicine at Emory University and become a practicing physician. The Whisper of the River may be purchased from a variety of online booksellers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.
This story features just a sampling of businesses run and products created by Mercerians. Many of the businesses and products shown here have been featured in The Den’s Mercer Made series in which we write about notable people, businesses, products and inventions connected to Mercer. If you have a business you’d like us to consider, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Mercer Made” in the subject line.