THE SMALL THINGS

It’s amazing the amount of stress I place on myself everyday. Do you ever feel that way? It’s exhausting! Sometimes it becomes so overwhelming that I step back only to realize all the incredible beauty around me. Literally stopping to smell the roses.

Life is really too short to be stressed. It’s not worth it. I find myself asking, will this concern me in 20 years? Usually the answer is no. So why worry? Who cares?

My cure for stress lately? Appreciating these amazing flowers from my husband. Getting a massage. Going to the ocean.

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xx,
Olivia

// all photography by Olivia //

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 //

STYLE WEEK NORTHEAST Spring/Summer 2014

Every year Style Week Northeast is hosted at the Providence Biltmore’s 18th floor and I am always excited to see Providence from that birds-eye view. We had the pleasure of attending Style Week Northeast recently courtesy of Martha from Restored by Design. A huge thanks to her for having us! It was Martha’s big show that evening and we got to see her new beautiful designs. I love that her line is eco-friendly and she incorporates jewelry into the clothing. I also got a chance to spend some time with my lady friend, Jay from M I N T! (Hi Jay!)

Jay is super involved in Providence’s fashion + style scene and an incredible resource in our city.

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I love that our little-big-city supports local artists and designers!

Feel free to check out our post about attending Style Week Northeast last season, here.

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….

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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.”  

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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 //

 

HAPPY UN-BIRTHDAY, TO ME

I’m sure you’ve also noticed that Anthropologie is one of those stores that I frequent, not only to purchase clothes but to get inspired.

My good friend Sarah asked me to join her in going to Anthropologie’s Anthroevent for August birthday’s a few days ago. It was the night before an early flight, I had a long list of things to-do but I am so glad I was able to go. It was so lovely to be treated with Strawberry Lemonade, Cupcakes from local bakeries, rock candy, and ocean-themed party favors.

To me, it’s impressive when a company can take the time to treat its customers to something so simple like a birthday party. It’s the little things that make such a difference in my book.

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Thanks for the lovely evening, Sarah!

-Olivia