FALLON, Nev. (KOLO) -- This Made in Nevada report is about a local mother and grandmother named Barbara LaValley who decided to do things her way.
She didn't like working in a big box store, so she focused on her passions and dreamed up her own business built on the legacy her family left her.
"My grandmother raised me for a good portion of the time my mom worked. Grandma was home and she did a lot of cooking," says Vintage Ops owner LaValley.
Her grandmother, Martha Christine Walter, wasn't able to attend art school in Paris. Instead, she stayed home to help her mother, Caroline Erickson. She was a caterer in San Francisco.
The only things they used in the catering business for towels were flower sack dish towels. They were cut from sacks used to transport flour at that time.
The towels were used in the 1800s and were made from tightly-woven 100-percent cotton. The bags were often cut up and used as towels back then, but today have largely been forgotten.
"A lot of people don't even realize how important flour sack towels are. They're so used to buying towels here and there and they get home and say, 'Oh these don't work'. You know they don't absorb any water; a flour sack dish towel does," said LaValley.
"Dry silver. Dry crystal and you don't have any water spots and if you live where we live we have hard water and so it's very important to get them dry quickly," said LaValley.
Barbara's towels are also influenced by her grandmother's love of art. To this day it inspires Barbara and her husband to look for art in old books.
"The junkiest little junk store you can find because they don't know the value," said Barbara's husband and business partner, Bill LaValley.
"Good quality dealers don't keep garbage books. We don't care about the binding. We care about the content in the book. So the more deplorable the conditions of the book the better," Bill says.
One by one the art in these books ends up on the same kind of flour cloth towels Barbara's great-grandmother once used. Everything is exactly as it would have been nearly 100 years ago, the product and the art printed onto it.
The variations are endless. Barbara takes special requests and will print custom pictures on towels as long as the art is not copyrighted.
It's an old-fashioned reliable solution to an everyday need, all put together not far from where you live.
If you'd like to learn more about the towels Barbara makes or to learn how, you can buy the towels click on the attached link.