The garden has always been a respite for me. As a child, I would follow around my grandmother as she tended to her garden on Lake Weiss. She taught me to care for the Lord’s creation with a tenderness, utmost care and diligence that still rang true for her at age 94. The garden was a place that we could come, get our hands in the dirt, and rest in the stillness of that place.
Years later I would return yet again to the garden to find sanctuary. I had sold my first business, Great Harvest Bread Company, and life had taken an unexpected turn. After my husband’s death, I needed a place to retreat and to process. My garden was just that. As fall turned to winter and the coldness ushered in, I brought my love for living plants inside. I studied the medicinal values of their oils and launched Blue Bottle Botanicals, a natural skincare line, in 2015.
I believe that plants nourish our souls. They require us to slow down, focus on the hope of tomorrow, and tend to something larger than ourselves. I hope you find this to be true in Bluem.
Introducing Carol Rutledge
Rome has always been where I have chosen to live out my life. I was born here, married here, and raised my three children here. The building in which Bluem is located was my father’s old Rome Tile and Marble shop. This community has given so much to me, and I wish for Bluem to be a place that too nourishes the community.
As my passion for plants grew, I delved more into researching them. I obtained my Master Gardener’s Certificate and enjoy actively participating with the Master Gardener’s of Rome. I am the current President of Seven Hills Garden Club and in 2019, I was selected out of approximately 7,000 applicants across the nation to help decorate The White House for Christmas which was a tremendous honor. I have taken several online courses in herbalism using that knowledge to create my skin care line, Blue Bottle Botanicals. When not at the shop, you can find me in my home garden, in the kitchen whipping up southern comfort food or visiting my children and grandchildren.
Old Blue and Rosie the Shop Dog
Bluem gets its name and spelling from my late husband’s 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser. All who knew him called his truck “Old Blue.” After his death, I finished his work of restoring “Old Blue.” I will use it now for delivery and offsite plant design.
Rosie the shop dog is a Vizsla, which is a Hungarian Pointer. She is the youngest of five that I have either rescued or purchased over the last 25 years. Rosie loves everyone and everyone loves Rosie. Often she can be seen riding shotgun with me in “Old Blue.” Rosie will be accompanying me to the store a few days a week.