CLUCK! *AN INTERVIEW WITH DRAKE, FOUNDER, OWNER, & HEAD FARMER*

It’s not everyday that you get to do a photo shoot with chickens. ha!

Interviewing Drake the Founder, Owner, and Head Farmer at cluck! was such a pleasure. Have you ever met someone that instantly makes you feel like your ideas matter and that you can make a difference? That is Drake. She is passionate about people, the environment, climate change, and animals. Her love of the planet is palpable and admirable. Not only that but she has transformed her values and ideals into a beautiful store.

Maybe it’s because my grandmother has a goat farm in Venezuela (more on that in another post) but walking into her store feels like home. If you’re in Providence, or Rhode Island, I encourage you to visit cluck! You can say hi to the chickens, or Drake, and experience the joy of an urban farming shop.

Alrighty, ladies and gents, I introduce to you…. Drake

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tell us about cluck!

cluck! is New England’s only urban farm supply store-meaning we sell things people need to grow, raise and preserve food-plus we offer classes, workshops, author events and kids’ programs. We see ourselves as a store, but more importantly, as a gathering place and a community resource around self-reliance.

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what made you decide to start cluck!?

I felt it was time for a change from what I was doing and initially I was planning to look for another job-ideally less pressure but a better wage and a retirement plan- and then I really ran into some super age and gender bias. When I heard multiple version of: “maybe take some things off your resume, delta one of your degrees,” and my favorite, “try not to appear so competent when you interview” from a headhunter, I knew I was done. You spend your whole life being told you should work harder, be better and then suddenly you are supposed to be less? Would this be said to a man? I was complaining to my dad about this and he said, “I’ve always seen you in the business world.” I asked why (my professional experience was almost solely non-profit). And he said, “Because you know how to take nothing and make it into something-always have-and the business world needs that.” My dad hoped I would get a nice corporate job-but I heard something different. I went home that night, poured myself a glass of wine and thought about what that meant to me. Not too long after, the idea for cluck! was born (and then the real work started).

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what would you say is your big vision for cluck!?

People finding joy in taking control of their food. And people finding community around that.

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tell us about how you came up with the name cluck!?

I love it! It was the first name I thought of. A lot of people tried to talk me out of it. I am so glad I stuck to it. It makes people smile (which is why I kept it).

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when did your passion for farming start?

I think my interest in the kind of knowledge and satisfaction that comes with growing and raising food has been around for a while, but mostly as an observer and a student. Meanwhile, I took a very different path based on my educational training and all the things that happen in life that take you on a certain path. I have a few friends who would say I have a long dating history of ‘almost-becoming-a-farmer’ (and there is some truth in that!) but somehow it never happened. Then one day I was in a different place, first personally and now, professionally.

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how would you describe your fashion style?

Nonexistent! Fashion used to matter to me a lot (I could tell you just who was producing what and I used to put a lot of time into trying to mimic looks I liked by shopping vintage)-but I find that I have a lot of other things that are much more important to me now. These days, my style is a choice between Bogs (boots) or clogs. If I could find an affordable man-tailored white shirt, I’d buy 6 or them and wear them everyday with a great pair of jeans. I have a lot of respect for a uniform.

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what inspires you?

People who ask what they can do to make the world better – and act on that.

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if you had to choose one person in your whole life that has inspired you, who would that be and why?

I could not answer that-the list is too long (and getting longer)-and some days, I am inspired by strangers whose names I will never know.

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

In pursuing my own dream, I have kind of done that already… but if I could do one thing today, this minute, I would get on a plane and travel with my guys- I really want my stepson to see a lot of the world- it was the greatest gift to me as a child and I know it shaped me greatly to be in the countries of others’.

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where are you from and where do you live now?

So, I am from a lot of places. I was raised a bit gypsy-like. I was born in the United States, but left at the age of six. My family lived in Jamaica, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. We spent a lot of time in Denmark (where my mom was born), I was tutored and homeschooled in the former Yugoslavia and went to schools in Germany, England and the U.S. Today, I live in Cranston, R.I. on an old farm.

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what made you decide to stay in providence and open cluck here?

Honestly, Providence (and RI) would not be my first choice for my business- it simply isn’t a good decision for someone who wants to grow and prosper with her business. But my stepson keeps my small family here for now so I have had to really embrace the business limitations of the state. Fortunately, I love the community here and because of that, I am interested in-even compelled to-help make our state a better place in any way I might have the skills for.

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describe Providence in a few words.

Adolescent, quirky, hopeful.

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your business revolves around nature, so I wonder what is your favorite season, why?

Autumn-always. I love the light that comes with that season, the feeling of the first really crisp day when you need to wear a slightly scratchy sweater. There is a very calming clarity to that.

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when do you feel the most creative?

When I am learning something new-a skill, a fact, anything-because it makes me ask more questions and that is what fuels me creatively, pushes me, allows me to see a path towards something.

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

My dog Bella- she comes with me everywhere.

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when do you feel your best?

When my hands are in the dirt (but that started when I was an archaeologist).

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

Venice in the winter-hands down. No cars, weight of the past, perfect balanced light, a slow, appropriate pace and gorgeous language.

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Favorite quote.

Tutt’ e possibile” (all is possible)

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any words of advice you give to our readers wanting to start a business?

Pick something you love, do your research and be super prepared to find out it is a bad idea: you can’t be sentimental about something that has to support you. (I can’t abide sentimentality-it kills opportunity).

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you’ve recently won the best of ri!

It feels great-because it is a win for everyone who believed in us and supported our hard-won opening.

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

cluck! is on Facebook and (quite poorly) on Twitter.

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// interview + photography by Olivia //

LORE COLLECTION *AN INTERVIEW WITH JAYNA ARONOVITCH FOUNDER & OWNER*

Today, I am happy to bring you business owner, curator, photographer, and all around talented human, Jayna Aronovitch! Jayna is the proud owner of LORE, located on the East Side of Providence.

I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with her and was really taken aback by her attention to detail and care that she places into the store. Jayna truly believes in the artists she supports, and is passionate about bringing quality to her customers.

If you’re in Providence I’d recommend checking LORE out! Be sure to let her know Winter Moon sent you.

Without further adieu, Jayna Aronovitch!

tell us about Lore !

Lore is a new, curated space in Providence that is home to the works of emerging artists and designers. We provide a unique experience through a fusion of gallery and boutique.

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how did you come up with the name Lore?

“Lore” comes from “folklore”. Telling the stories of our artists and their process is an important part of our mission.

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what made you decide to start Lore?

I found myself surrounded by talented artists and makers who weren’t showing their work anywhere in Providence. The personal connection I have with a lot of these people is what inspired my decision.

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what is it like owning a brick and mortar?

It’s amazing. I’ve always wanted my own space to curate. I also really enjoy the personal connections I get to make with my customers; I love seeing people’s reactions to the space I work so hard to present to them.

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I want to expose people to new and exciting artists by showcasing art and handcrafted product side by side.

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when did your passion for art and handmade objects begin?

My dad collects art of all kinds; from the more traditional to the strange and peculiar. Being exposed to his interest in art objects has been very influential and seeing him embrace and support artists from all walks of life inspired me to want to share the artists I know with the world, and try to make it as accessible as possible.

how would you describe your fashion style?

I like simple classic modern boxy garments that I can accessorize with handmade jewelry made by my friends. I’m also the proud owner of an extensive and diverse vest collection, and am known for looking great buttoning up my shirts all the way to the top button.

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tell us, what inspires you?

I love when someone finds something unexpected that they love at Lore. It’s so inspiring to get an excited positive response from what I’m doing sharing artists work with people. It makes me want to go out and find more.

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

Probably sleep. I really love sleep. But in my waking life having my own store and gallery is pretty great.

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where do you live now?

Providence has been my home for a long time now. I live on the west side now, but I’ve lived all over town.

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what made you decide to live in Providence and open Lore here?

I came to Providence to study at RISD. I fell in love with it right away, and decided to stay and work here after I graduated. There’s a great creative community in Providence and lots of things going on, but there wasn’t a curated gallery/boutique like Lore.

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describe Providence in a few words.

A friend of ours has this shirt that describe Providence as “a great place to fail”. I like that: Providence is a great place to take on a creative venture. It’s inexpensive to live here, there’s a lot of space to make work, and a lot of artists to collaborate with.

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what is your favorite season, why?

I love summer the best. I like the heat, the long days, warm nights, and adventuring throughout coastal Rhode Island!

I love that Lore is always changing and features new artists on a regular basis. How do you find new artists, art, and objects for your beautiful collection?

It started mostly as a word of mouth thing: friends of friends, etc., but it’s expanded from that. Now, I find new artists through social media and by people reaching out to me with their work. I find that people want to be a part of the collection, because I’m selective about how it’s curated; they know their work will be surrounded by other good work.

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when do you feel the most creative?

When I’m making photographs in the darkroom. There’s something magical about analogue photographic processes.

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

My purple lipstick. I don’t wear it every day, but I always have it. It’s a little accent that makes me feel great.

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when do you feel your best?

When I’m wearing a vest and eating cheeseburgers.

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

My mom and I went on a river boat on the Amazon in Peru a few years ago. It was so beautiful and really inspiring to see all the animals in the jungle and meet all the local craftsman.

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any words of advice you give to our readers wanting to start a business, or store?

Stay true to your vision!

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

I’m most active on Instagram, because I’m a photographer and it’s a visual format. You can also find us on Facebook. I post regularly about our artists, new products, and upcoming events and shows. We also have a email mailing list, that’s used mostly for show announcements. instagram: studio_lore . facebook: Lore Collection . contact us here: http://www.lorecollection.com/contact/

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LORE


Be sure to stop by LORE this upcoming Friday for their first art show!

WHEN: Friday, April
TIME: 6:00-8:00 pm
Where: 144 Brook St.

RSVP here:

hereposter


 

 

HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT… HE LOVES ME.

I have always loved flowers. The colors, fragrance, and feelings flowers give off has always resonated with me. I remember as a little girl sitting at a park plucking petals off flowers and saying, “he loves me, he loves me not….”.

My husband knows that I love flowers more than any other gift and he recently surprised me with one of the most beautiful wild flower arrangements I have ever seen. It’s a late-summer-early-fall arrangement made by a local florist here in Providence. Floristry is truly an art.

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…..He loves me.

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You can check out the florist that made this stunning arrangement here: Flowers by Semia.

xo,

Olivia

// photography by Olivia //

My Musical Weekend

I had such a rough day on Friday. I won’t bore you with details but I’m sure you’ve had days like this, where even though you plan certain things, the day does not turn out at all like you had intended. I was pretty bummed for half the day but midday while driving through Broadway I saw that one of my favorite bands ever, Death Vessel was playing that evening. I can’t even tell you how much that changed my day! I totally forgot about what was bothering me and was so stoked to see them.

They played at a local venue here in PVD at the Columbus Theater. It’s an absolutely stunning venue and a fantastic place to see live music. It’s so intimate and all the people that work there are passionate about supporting local musicians.

We got to see a new band, Vio Mire which I totally loved and Death Vessel, of course, played an amazing show.

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It’s amazing how much music impacts the way I feel. I really can’t imagine a life without music.

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If you haven’t checked out my interview with Death Vessel, you totally should. Joel is a super inspiring musician!

xo,

Olivia

// 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 //