PVD BARISTA *Wetherley Rouleau* An Interview

As you guys already know, coffee is a big part of my life. I love the social aspect of coffee, the taste, the process of making it and, of course, the buzz! Because of my obsession with coffee shops I often wonder what it takes to be a Barista.

I had the pleasure of interviewing PVD local barista & baker Wetherley Rouleau on her experience and training on becoming a barista. It’s not easy and requires much passion and patience!

Without further adieu, Wetherley…

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Age:
 24

you worked at one of my favorite places ever in Providence! tell us about how you got to work at Seven Stars?!


“I was working at another cafe, knew I enjoyed making drinks but wasn’t learning as much as I wanted. I met some of the Seven Stars crew at one of the monthly latte art competitions and finally applied at the right time! I got very lucky!”

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when did you decide you wanted to be a Barista?


“Initially I got a job at a cafe because simply, it looked fun and I needed a job to get me through college. I quickly learned how fascinating the coffee industry is, and that it was bigger and more complex than I had imagined. I also learned that being a barista required a lot more thought, knowledge and skill than I ever knew before. I fell in love before I even knew it.”

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describe what it was like when you worked at Seven Stars?

“For me, a typical day at Seven Stars began at 5:30 am. I was one of the usual openers. I loved the early mornings! The city is so quiet and peaceful and I got to set up the store for all the customers which was a fun and nice way to transition into my work day. So, I made the coffee, teas, set up the milk pitchers and sugars, etc. Another opener would put the bread out, and the manager would set up pastries. It doesn’t sound like a lot of work but it is time consuming and we all ran around quite a bit during open! Then, when the doors finally opened it was all about waiting on people and making delicious drinks.”

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being a Barista takes extensive training, tell us about the training a Barista at Seven Stars needs to go through.



“Before you can even be eligible for the training program you have to be employed for a minimum of 90 days. Then when classes come around, the in house Coffee Director Mark Hundley instructs us at New Harvest’s training lab. We focused on extracting espresso, steaming milk, pouring drinks and use of the machine/cleaning it. We got all the basics and more, and it is hugely insightful. After the classes we still had to go through training on the bar in the stores either with Mark, the store’s Head Barista, or sometimes managers. When we’ve had enough practice, we then had to go through a test where we make every drink. If it is up to standard, we become barista certified and get to make drinks every shift. Really though, training never ends because you learn something new everyday.
”

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why do you think it’s important to have such good training and know how to make a perfect cup of coffee??


“Extensive training is important because espresso is an art that changes every single day. We have to know how to work with it effectively in order to get the best flavor. There are so many factors that affect the taste, and we learn how to get it just right only by working with it. It truly is a craft that only gets better with practice, and it takes a lot of discipline but the outcome is absolutely worth it. Nothing beats a well-crafted coffee drink first thing in the morning.
”

what do you think is the biggest misconception about being a Barista?


“I dislike the whole “snobby barista” stigma. It’s a baristas job to help you understand an espresso drink menu; not to make you feel stupid for not knowing what something is. Even though it’s funny, I also dislike that baristas are typically portrayed as lazy on TV and movies. There are some really passionate and hard working coffee professionals out there!
”

what is your favorite part about being a Barista?


“Simply I just love making drinks. I actually enjoy the pressure of having  long line of drinks and being able to get them out in a timely and tasty manner. It is what I imagine line cooks (somewhat) feel like, and I’m obsessed with the whole culinary world. I really love the feeling of improving my skills every time I work on the bar. ”

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This, I think is totally amazing and I hope we don’t take for granted but you always, always, always, have a smile on your face at 7am, with a line out the door with customers, how do you do it??


“I’m used to it at this point! It is our job to wake up the city, and honestly by the time the regular working crowd comes in, I’ve already been up for a couple hours and had a cup of coffee. Opening the store is a great way to ease into the day. It also doesn’t hurt that our regulars are so kind and good to us!”

this question may be too common or obvious, but we need to know! what is your favorite coffee drink??

“My favorite coffee drink is a whole milk cappuccino. It’s such a perfect balance of espresso and milk; it automatically wakes me up and puts me in a great mood! I also rarely say no to an iced coffee, and a great double espresso is always a nice treat.
”

what would you say is your favorite tool/machine to make coffee? chemex, keurig, drip coffee maker, espresso machine, etc?!


“At home, I’m all about my chemex. I love that thing so much! It makes such a clean and delicious cup of coffee, and it gets people interested in the brewing process!

flavored syrups are all the rage right now. what is your take on them?

“
For me personally, I don’t often use flavor syrups, but I do enjoy the vanilla syrup we make at Seven Stars because we use real vanilla beans, and those are just beautiful in anything. And I understand people love their flavor syrups, so I’m happy to put them in a drink for anyone. Anyone who truly appreciates a delicious coffee won’t need to put anything artificial in it though.
”

there is a whole world around coffee art, tell me about that!


“Latte art is awesome! It takes so much practice and I think people get excited about developing their skills and seeing their friends improve too. In Providence we have occasional “Latte Art Throw-downs” where anyone can come to watch, baristas sign up to compete, and we all take turns pouring art until someone wins. It’s a great way to meet the other local coffee professionals, and everyone is very happy and supportive of each other. It’s more of a big party than a competition- the energy is so positive and it’s always a blast.
”

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how would you describe your fashion style?


“So feminine! You can’t tell when I’m in my work uniform though. I am usually a “less-is-more” kind of girl with one loud accessory. I am all about anything with food print, summer dresses, rompers and polka dots.
”

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


“My best friends inspire me on a personal level- they always have. They love that I work in coffee even though they are all health professionals! Professionally though, the overall coffee community continues to inspire me. We see new shops popping up recently, and knowing that they are being received so well is very inspirational and also comforting. I find a new reason to be inspired in my craft everyday.
”

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


“Travel. There is so much of the country and the world that I want to see, and I’m slowly working on plans to travel. I want to see what people are doing in other cities and really immerse myself in different culture.”

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favorite quote.


“Oh I have so many! One of my currents is”:

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” -Maya Angelou

where are you from and where do you live now?


“I’m originally from a small town in New Hampshire, and I’ve been living in Providence for 5 years now.”

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describe Providence in a few words.


“Tiny, creative and fun. I love this little city.
”

what would you say to someone considering a career change, wanting to dive into the world of coffee?


“Be prepared to work hard! Stay humble always, and accept criticism because it is all going to help you. Learn what you like about coffee and pursue that. There is so much opportunity beyond the surface but only for those who are hungry enough to work hard.
”

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we think you are so lovely! what kinds of social media can we follow you on and how can our readers contact you?


“Thank you so much! You guys are lovely, it’s so great that you introduce the audience to businesses or professions that they may not have known about before! I mainly use instagram! My username is simply @wetherley ”

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***

Wetherley is currently a barista at BOLT Coffee and a baker at Ellie’s Bakery! Be sure to say “hi” to her if you see her around town; she’s the loveliest!

***

xo,

Olivia

// all photography by 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….

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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).”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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!”

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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.”

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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 //

 

WAYLAND SQUARE POWER YOGA *Interview with Owner Sharon Marie*

As I shared in a previous post, I have been getting back into my yoga practice and it’s been awesome rediscovering my love for yoga as well as the studios here in Providence.

Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you an interview with the Owner of Wayland Square Power Yoga, Sharon Marie. One very, very early Sunday morning I arrived at Sharon’s beautiful lofty studio in the heart of Wayland Square. She welcomed me into her studio, as if it were her home, with so much grace. We talked about yoga, Providence, our pets, it made me feel as though we had been friends for a long time. When you meet her, Sharon welcomes you with a big smile looks you right in the eyes and makes you feel present. It was quite beautiful being in her yoga studio getting to know her, the business, and what she’s learned over the years.

I hope that you are able to walk away from today’s interview feeling inspired and ready to take on another challenge in your life whatever that may be.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further adieu…. Sharon Marie.

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where are you from and where do you live now? 

“I was born and raised right here in Rhode Island. I speak the native tongue.”

describe Providence in a few words. 

“Providence is a smart, eclectic, charming, and amazing little-big city. It has EVERYTHING a fit, foodie, spa-shopaholic, nature lover could want.”

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when do you feel the most creative? 

“All the time.”

what is one thing you can’t leave your house without? 

“My books.”

when do you feel your best? 

“After my morning coffee.”

what is the best place you’ve ever traveled to? 

“Maui”

what kind of yoga do you practice? 

“I practice Ashtanga and Hot Power Vinyasa Yoga”

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when did you realize you loved yoga? 

“2008, I introduced myself to Baptiste Power Vinyasa. It was love at first breath.”

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what inspired you to have a yoga studio? 

“My entrepreneurial spirit! I wanted to create a simple space, a sanctuary for yoga practice, for yoga teachers, a space for transformation and healing for myself and the community.”

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why did you decide to open a studio in Providence?

“I almost didn’t! I was prepared to sign another lease elsewhere, but something didn’t feel right about it. My mentor, Joan Dwyer, was the one who pointed me to the East Side. The space we thought that was available was already taken by Alex and Ani! So, my husband and I were walking around, had lunch at L’Artisian, saw that a space was available right across the street, called Ken Dulgarian, and things just happened really fast from there! It felt like a perfect fit.”

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where in Providence are you located?

“We are in the heart of Wayland Square on the East Side at 13 S. Angel St, Providence, RI 02906.”

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what would you say is your big vision for WSPY?

“My vision for WSPY is to grow our teaching staff, which begins this September with our RYT 200 hour training program, expand services to students and clients with my reflexology practice, create life changing opportunities for students and teachers, create some exciting yoga retreats, and be in service to our community always.”

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what would you say is the best business advice you’ve received?

“Delegate. Delegate. Delegate.”

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what have you learned from having a business?

“The failures are the lessons. There isn’t any room for fear. There isn’t any other way to be but kind. Trust your gut, always.”

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besides practicing yoga, what else do you enjoy on your time off?

“I enjoy spending time with my family, my friends, and just as much, I love my solitude. I love to read anything that will expand my mind, to write, and to ride my Harley any chance I get. I love being outdoors.”

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Favorite quote.

Love came first. ~ Michael Eigen, Kabbalah and Psychoanalysis”

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

“Wow, how to answer that? It’s limitless for me. Yoga, my practice, inspires me every day. Spiritual studies inspires me. My husband, Bob, my daughters, Katie and Christy, my rescued fur children (Rudy, the dachshund, Rebel, the shepherd-husky, and Skipper, the cat-lion. They are the truest yogis, living in the day and in the moment). My friends, teachers, mentors inspire me. I love them all dearly. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without them. Teaching yoga, helping others find serenity in their lives inspires me. Positive, successful people inspire me.  If I had to sum it up, Life inspires me!”

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any words of advice would you give to our readers wanting to start a yoga studio or wanting to become a yoga instructor—or even start yoga?!

1. Follow your heart.
2. Practice yoga.
3. Fall in love with the practice.
4. Share the practice with others, become a teacher.
5. Hold space for others, open a studio, maybe.
6. Do your homework.
7. Ask for help.
8. Make mistakes.
9. Practice yoga.
10. Be kind to yourself.

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You can follow Sharon’s journey and Wayland Square Power Yoga on instagram, Facebook, and twitter!

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Thank you Sharon for being so honest and transparent with us about your life and journey of owning a business in Providence. I wish you so much success!

XO,

Olivia

// photography & interview by Olivia //

Jo Donofrio *An Interview* with Owner of AUGUST & RUDY

The past few months we’ve had the pleasure of working with Rhode Island local, Jo, from the vintage boutique August & Rudy. Jo contacted us a few months ago and we were over-the-moon excited to collaborate with such a sweet and talented lady!

More recently, one Sunday morning I had the pleasure of shooting her in downtown Providence. Sundays can be pretty quiet downtown and it felt so perfect to have the city to ourselves. I really loved getting to know her and hearing her perspective on business, fashion, and film. Jo is so hard working, unassuming and inspiring; we love supporting people like her!

Ladies and gentlemen…. Jo Donofrio.

Jo Donofrio_ winter moon

Age: 24

where are you from and where do you live now?

“I am from Connecticut and live in northwestern Rhode Island.”

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describe Providence in a few words.

“Small, quaint, original.”

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when do you feel the most creative?

“I feel the most creative when I converse with others about ideas or listen to others stories. It’s inspiring to listen to the personal journey of individuals and invigorates me to keep creating and leading my passions in life.”

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what is one thing you can’t leave your house without?

“I wish I could say something more interesting but simply…… water.”

when do you feel your best?

“I feel my best when I’m doing things that feed my mind and spirit. Running, being by the ocean, enjoying moments of solitude, and spending a day with friends and family all nurture that.”

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what inspired you to have an online boutique?

“I always enjoyed the process of styling and curating, and shared a deep love for clothing and items from the past. I also felt very encouraged by the creative Etsy community which led me to feel it was very possible for a single individual like myself to start an online shop from the ground up. That D.I.Y sensibility was very exciting to me.”

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what is the meaning behind the name: August & Rudy?

“The name originates from two family members that I wanted to honor and remember. It can be very easy to forget what is no longer in the present moment.  I wanted to be reminded of their spirit and essence in a similar way I am trying to remind my viewers of these beautiful items from the past not to be forgotten.”

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how would you describe your fashion style?

“I would describe my style as relaxed and eclectic. While I have a great vision for fashion outside of my own wardrobe, I generally tend to be pretty laid back with what I wear and enjoy being comfortable. I also like mixing an array of different styles and incorporating vintage and modern pieces together whenever I can.”

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when did you realize you loved fashion?

“I think every kid plays dress up when they’re young, but that fun only grew larger into my teens when I began thrifting on a weekly basis, sticking my nose into fashion mags, sketching looks, and styling whenever I could.  Clothing is a creation in itself, but the precious act of putting pieces together is another sense of creating.”

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what would you say is the best business advice you’ve received?

“I think the importance of marketing has been the best advice received. It is incredibly important to keep putting yourself out there to get your work known to others. Networking is also huge!”

what have you learned from having a business?

“I have learned that it takes time; nothing happens overnight. Being your own boss sounds like a wonderful idea in theory, but it really demands that you are self-disciplined, determined, and follow through.”

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what would you say is your big vision for August & Rudy?

“I have to be sensible in my vision as I have embarked on another passion in my life and one that I hope will take precedence one day.  While I’ve always dreamed of opening a brick-and-mortar shop, where my passion for curating could really come alive, I know I have to be realistic about what I really want for my future. I created my shop so I could be self-dependent and make my work something I loved.  My only hope is to be able to continue expanding the shop and supporting myself through this business while I also pursue my other love; film making.”

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if you could drop everything and do ONE thing– what would you do??

“I would make films and act.”

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besides thrifting and finding such beautiful items, what else do you enjoy on your time off?

“I love going to the movies, being at the beach, hiking, yoga and spending time with loved ones.”

what is the best place you’ve ever traveled to?“I’ve traveled to many places, Spain, France, Canada and all over the U.S. but I find that it’s not these places alone that could answer that question; it’s the experiences I had when I visited them.  While every place has it’s own sort of beauty, I have a very special place in my heart for Newport, Rhode Island that whenever I am there, it feels like home. While it seems so simplistic since it’s local to us, I have never felt so at peace in any other place I’ve been to, thus far.”

 

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who or what inspires you?

“I am constantly inspired by others. My family, friends, boyfriend, teachers, and even strangers that I see creating a life of artistic fulfillment for themselves.  To plug some fangirlism, I am also inspired by the fashion extraordinaire Tavi Gevinson, who has accomplished so much, in so little time. And I wouldn’t be a film enthusiast if I didn’t say I am incredibly influenced by movies and the directors that created them; Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson, Woody Allen, Derek Cianfrance, and more. I don’t think I could create what I do if I wasn’t moved by films, music, art, and the spirit of others.”

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any words of advice would you give to our readers wanting to start an online boutique or wanting to venture to flea markets?

“My advice would be, come up with a business plan first and foremost. Ask yourself, what is your aspiration in starting an online shop. Be very clear about what you want, that will help determine the choices you make along the way. If you are interested in just shopping, research flea markets in your area, get up early, grab some coffee and have fun! The best part about flea market shopping is being open to the experience because you never know what you may find.”

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where can our readers purchase your vintage finds & follow you on social media?!

You can check out my Etsy shop: August & Rudy (here).

And follow me on instagram @AugustandRudy (here)!

 ****

 

Jo is a kind soul with a keen eye for style, has one heck of a business sense, and not to mention she’s gorgeous! Check out her shop and support Providence locals, like her!

XO,

Olivia

// all photography and editing by: Olivia //

 

Providence Painted Signs *Interview with owner: Shawn Gilheeney*

When you look around you can see that the world is communicating with you. Living in the Creative Capital there is an expectation that you should see art everywhere, and the really awesome thing is that you do.

That is what Shawn Gilheeny does for a living with Providence Painted Signs. He creates hand-painted signs for local businesses; he communicates for his clients through his art. He has painted signs all throughout Providence and Rhode Island.

Shawn is an artist, business owner, skateboarder, and Providence local. He also has a fantastic sense of humor– I literally laughed out loud with this interview. Shawn and his colleague Buck invited me to one of their jobs where I got to spend time with them and take some photos of them in action. I hope you are inspired to pursue your dreams after reading about his journey.

 

Name:
Shawn William Gilheeney

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tell us how Providence Painted Signs got started and your business partners.

“Providence Painted Signs got started about two-and-a-half years ago when I needed a career change, so I decided to make my own job. I talked to two close artists friends of mine Greg Pennisten who I had collaborated with lots of sign based art work under the pseudo-name Plastic House, as well as with Buck Hastings who was a fine art painter in the same studio building as Greg and I. Our common thread being we all had done some sign work and could swing a paint brush. I proposed we start a company and combine our commercial art portfolios.”

“I’d strike out and try to get us work so they could quit their jobs and we could paint signs and murals for a living. It took about a year and a half to get established enough then I was able to take on Buck full time, but I’m still waiting to get enough consistent work to make Greg quit his day job.”

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where is Providence Painted Signs located? And why did you decide to have a space there?

“We are at 39 Manton Ave. Bldg 16 in Providence. We moved here because we took on a sign job that was too large for either of our separate small studios to fabricate inside of. We had lined up a spot at Hope Artiste Village and put down a deposit. We were apprehensive about being next to a baby yoga studio with all of our chemical fumes and such. I reached out to Olneyville housing to find a potential spot down the road and their new tenant for this building had just dropped out the same week. I lost the deposit for Hope Artiste and we moved to beautiful historic Olneyville instead.”

tell us about your creative process. 

“Creative process is on a client to client basis. What they are looking for as far as aesthetics, the Alphabet selections derive from the shelf of old sign painting, typography and decorative art books.”

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what is the most fun job you’ve done?

“All of the exterior ones; the great outdoors. Always exciting to be in the wild.”

how would you describe Providence Painted Signs to someone?

“We make signs the old new fashion way. Hand painted the way you like ’em.”

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how do your clients find out about you?

“Probably from a sign.”

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how and when did you become interested in art and painting?

“Graffiti was my real inroad to artistic expression as a youth and skateboarding; that was also the other catalyst.”

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where are you from?

“I grew up in Greene which is in western Coventry, Rhode Island”

we love being a part of the Providence community, what made you decide to live and stay in PVD?

“I moved back here to have my knee operated on. I was living in Seattle but was on a cross country trip skateboarding and I destroyed my ACL before our Europe leg of the tour. To get insurance I had to go to college under my moms insurance plan. Then, I liked college enough to stick around here and see it through. I stayed because of the cheap rent and ability to scrape by and make a living in the arts.”

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how would you describe PVD to someone who has never been here before?

“It’s like England but newer.”

 describe your typical day at Providence Painted Signs.

“It’s like a choose your own adventure book. But a sign based adventure that involves the sign game. Every day is something else that you have to look out for.”

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we love music and musicians, tell us about what music you listen to while you work?

Chances with wolves all the time mostly.”

what is the most rewarding thing about being a business owner?

“I can fire me whenever I want”

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what is your vision for Providence Painted Signs?

“Ah… that changes all the time. Long long term: let’s say it involves watercolors, the beach, my lady, margaritas, lots of dogs and good food cooked over fire.”

what is your favorite quote?
“Nothing exceeds like excess.”

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what is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?

“Tasmania. It’s like Australia with miniature kangaroos.”

describe your personal style to us.
“Its been described to me as: urban mountain man.”

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we love connecting with our readers through social media! how and where can our readers follow Providence Painted Signs?

“Instagram: @providencepaintedsigns // The wonderful world of commercial sign painting right there at your fingertips.”

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advice you would give to our readers wanting to start a business of their own?

Find something you would do all the time anyway then figure out how to get paid for it. Then get ready for the inconsistent monetary existence that ensues.”

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***

Having the opportunity to watch Shawn and Buck work was truly an honor. They are some of the funniest down-to-earth guys with insane talent. It was really beautiful to watch them work together and bounce ideas off each other in real time. The artistic process is really fascinating.

Thank you for sharing your ideas, process, and advice with us, Providence Painted Signs!

-Olivia

:: all photography and editing by Olivia :::