STRANGE ADDICTIONS

I am a child of the 90’s. I wore ridiculous clothes, and obsessed over Lisa Frank notebooks and stickers. Now as an adult, I still obsess about cute notebooks and journals. I have an insane amount of journals that I doodle in, write goals, life plans, and sketch in. I am always in search of new sketchbooks and notebooks and I feel like I can never have enough!

This past weekend while wandering around Providence I found a bunch of cute journals and am surprised I didn’t buy them all.

journal addiction_ 1

journal addiction_ 2

journal addiction_ 3

journal addiction_ 4

journal addiction_ 5

travel_ wander_

 

I wonder? Do you have any ridiculous collections like my journal addiction?

xo,
Olivia

THE FLORIDA I LOVE

I feel like Florida gets a reputation for being generic, full of shopping plazas, and most recognizably, Disney. Although, yes all of these things are true, there is a part of Florida that most people don’t get to see.

The parts of Florida I love are charming, old, and full of plants and animals. I love how big the blue skies feel, how vast the ocean horizon is, and how abundantly green some areas are. Although, much of the tourism industry in Florida is not green, lush, and historic those areas really give you a feel of Florida’s true core.

the florida i love_ winter moon

the florida i love_ winter moon _1

the florida i love_ winter moon _4

the florida i love_ winter moon _2

I may be biased but I grew up in Florida so a big part of my heart remains there.

xo,

Olivia

“BE PERSISTENT & COME ALIVE” *THE ANCHAL PROJECT* an interview

I’ve often wondered how we are going to solve many of the world’s issues. I’ve realized that much of the change we need in the world will not happen with one organization but through education and people’s willingness to challenge the norm. Today I bring you an interview with a nonprofit organization founded in Rhode Island by a group of women. It’s fearless women like the ones behind the Anchal Project that are revolutionizing their communities, cities, and the world.

I had the pleasure of meeting Colleen, the co-founder of The Anchal Project at the Candita Clayton Gallery while they were in town for their Summer Roadshow. I was blown away that someone my age is doing such amazing things helping women worldwide through the creation of art in the fashion and textiles world.

I love meeting people like her because it gives me such hope for our generation and our future. I am honored to share The Anchal Project’s story with you. I encourage you to support the women behind the Anchal project and their passion for changing the world we live in.

Without further adieu, Colleen Clines of The Anchal Project….

***

who are the masterminds behind the Anchal Project?

“The Anchal Project was founded by myself & three other graduate students studying at in the Masters’ Program at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).”

 photo e6d2fd49-da5c-47e6-b0ab-56b8e0b747ab.jpg

tell us about the Anchal Project?

“Anchal Project is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides women in India’s commercial sex trade with alternative careers in textiles.  Anchal is a revenue-driven social venture that merges the fields of design, business, education, retail, and human rights that addresses issues in gender inequality and offers real economic alternatives.  Anchal works with established non-profits, Anoothi/Vatsalya in Ajmer and Rajasthan and New Light in Kolkata, West Bengal, to recruit Anchal artisans and provide local project managers to oversee the operation.  In return, Anchal provides seed money, design guidance, and access to U.S. markets.”

 photo 04e52d71-e02b-4382-92ef-2c85d35cba04.jpg

why did you decide to start the Anchal Project??

“As part of a Landscape Architecture seminar I took while at RISD, Art + Design for the Developing World,  I had the opportunity to traveled to Kolkata as part of this seminar course where I, along with my classmate Devon Miller,  met with a local NGO dedicated to helping commercial sex workers through HIV education and providing educational opportunities to their children. Once Devon & I returned to the U.S., we resolved ourselves that we needed to do something.  We worked to develop a self-sustaining program that would provide these commercial sex workers with alternative sources of income and rediscover their self-worth, confidence, and creativity.”

 photo b8bb88db-6e68-42ab-8ce6-c936dc04ab02.jpg

tell us about the story behind the name the Anchal Project??

“Anchal is a Hindi word that has two means.  The first, the literal translation, is the edge of the sari used to provide comfort and protection to loved ones.  The second, it means shelter.”

 photo 72971f45-cb42-4285-9d13-59e9dca78b56.jpg

What would you say is your big vision for the Anchal Project??

Anchal’s current vision:
“Anchal celebrates the creative, nurturing essence represented in the anchal and harnesses it for women’s social and financial empowerment. Through design, craft, community-building and education, we help provide new economic realities for commercial sex workers in India. Our goal is to create the infrastructure for creative, income-generating initiatives to run sustainably with local leadership. We believe that by providing a fair living wage and educational workshops to these women in need, opportunities can be pursued that build confidence, increase self worth and inspire entire communities.”

Long-term vision:
“I’d like Anchal to become the Anthropologie of socially conscious goods. I think aesthetically, and in terms of scale, it makes sense. But I’d also like to be able to fold in different ways for women to earn a living other than sewing. I think that’s where our dye project can start, by providing options for women who may not love to sew. This approach would also provide different channels for textile sales.”

 photo dd0e6315-383b-4e39-abd8-81360c758143.jpg

when did your passion for helping women and love for art start?

“Ever since I can remember I enjoyed making things. My parents encouraged us to create our own toys and games. It helped we weren’t allowed to watch much television. In addition, giving back to others has always been part of my vernacular since childhood. However, the two things did not connect until graduate school at RISD. It was during the Design for Development seminar that I realized I could combine my passions for design and women’s rights. I truly believe that every profession can be used for positive change.”

 photo e5919079-2d58-44ce-9e21-de5ddcd1249a.jpg

who in the social activism world inspires you?

“Urmi Basu (New Light), Emily Piloton (Project H), John Cary (Public Interest Design), & Michael Murphy (Mass Design)”

where are you from and where do you live now?

“I am originally from Louisville, KY.  While I studied in Providence for at time, myself & the Anchal Project are currently located in my hometown of Louisville.”

why did you chose to come to PVD and Rhode Island to have pop up shows?

“Providence is like a second home to me – it’s where Anchal all started; attending school at RISD, traveling to India, and creating Anchal. It seems only appropriate that Anchal Project pays tribute to its origins.”

 photo 4c063dd3-5319-4380-b63b-0e49419df917.jpg

Us gals here at winter moon live our lives by inspiration, tell us, what inspires you?

“I find inspiration in so many things. I’m never quite sure when I will have a moment of inspiration. Honestly it can come from anything.  Sometimes it’s an ad in a magazine. I also look to other designers and their blogs, but often just being outside and in the serenity of nature really helps.”

 photo 247ea5b4-39b4-4e2a-95bf-e18e455dca9e.jpg

what is the best piece of advice anyone has given you?

“Be persistent and keep making despite the failures. The failures lead to the true successes.”

when do you feel the most creative?

“I feel most creative when I can push pause on the daily chaos and push play. Music and travel enables my creative energy. Also surrounding myself with the creativity of others, which is something, I truly miss about RISD. When my thoughts feel stagnant, I typically hop on a call with my amazingly creative friends and listen to what they are excited about.”

when do you feel your best?

“Ultimately, I am fed by nature. I love the feeling of accomplishment and the wonder you experience after a long hike or even laying under a tree.”

 photo 4e2d306d-e4d5-4338-8c84-12538cbe27d4.jpg

You travel a lot with the Anchal Project, what is the best place you’ve ever traveled to?

“This is a hard question; I could never just choose one! I adore traveling and learning from other cultures. The great thing about traveling for Anchal in India is that I can spend extended time with the “locals.” Our NGO partner in Jaipur, lead by Jaimala & Hitesh Gupta, has become my second family. The moments I treasure most are sharing meals, laughter and stories about how our cultures are different but, intrinsically the same. There is something magical about sharing a home cooked meal in a comforting environment that allows you to truly connect to the place you are visiting.”

“Beyond that, Ajanta & Ellora Caves outside of Aurangabad blew me away. The monuments and temples date back to the 2nd century BC and were hand carved out of mountainsides. The caves include paintings and sculptures of figures from Buddist, Hindu and Jain religions. It was definitely the most beautiful and impressive place I have ever seen. You can feel the sacred energy beaming through the monumental rock sculptures. Highly recommended!”

If you could drop everything and do ONE thing, what would you do and why?

“I would get on an airplane with no plans or intentions. Traveling alone is incredibly scary, but extremely empowering.”

How can our readers purchase your lovely items?!!

“We have a web store at www.anchalproject.org & coming by our Pop-Up Shows!”

 photo d82365ec-3d49-438d-b909-22e520605d16.jpg

what kinds of social media can we follow you on and how can our readers contact you?

“We are on all types of social media! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & feel free to contact us at anchalproject@gmail.com too.”

 photo 358034f8-f491-4ef3-b6f9-048b851653e2.jpg
favorite quote

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  

***

It’s such a rare and beautiful thing to see when someone combines art, passion, and ability to help others. We are proud that The Anchal Project calls Rhode Island home!

-Olivia

//interview & photography by: Olivia //

 

Snapshots from my weekend in Portland

This past weekend for my mom’s birthday we took a trip up to Portland, Maine! I have wanted to go for awhile now after hearing great things and after going it totally made sense why people loved going there so much. I just wanted to share some pictures with you and if you had any questions about the trip (dining, drive, people etc.) just comment below and I can answer them!

IMG_1668.JPG

IMG_1666.JPG

IMG_1665.JPG

IMG_1667.JPG

IMG_1670.JPG

IMG_1669.JPG

IMG_1672.JPG

IMG_1673.JPG

IMG_1671.JPG

IMG_1675.JPG

IMG_1676.JPG

IMG_1674.JPG

IMG_1678.JPG

IMG_1680.JPG

IMG_1679.JPG

IMG_1677.JPG

IMG_1681.JPG

Kelly A. Louise