I've been really crazy busy, I worked for fifteen hours one day last week, and probably at least eight every other day. At some point during planning for festivals I became completely obsessed. I have been thinking about Rhetorical Factory all day, even in my dreams I'm working things out.
(making my banner late-night Friday)
I have this overwhelming feeling of elation! I have more time to get more things done, because I have hired our first employee.
Meet Kylie! She is a really talented lady, so I feel honored and inspired having her around. She does really intricate hand sewing, unicycles, tans hides, and is learning to spin fire! She completely redid this dress she is wearing, just this morning it was the ugliest thing I had laying around and now I think it's one of the cutest!
Working on this Merch that Matters project is also compelling. Katie is in here right now printing the bags for handmade bike bells before I sew them up. Make sure to check out Ben Sollee when he comes to town on June 23rd, I bet he is coming to a town near you if you don't live in Asheville. I got a chance to meet him last week and see him perform at the LAB and the Dry Goods Shop merch party. He is a really talented and entertaining performer with a great staff, Check. Him. Out!!!
All Go West festival was so much fun! There were two stages with live music all day, beer from highland and pisgah brewery, and local crafters! A lot of people showed up, it was a really sunny day.
We combined our efforts with Critter and his feathered earrings.
Thanks to everyone who bought something at our booth! You are supporting something great.
With the extra work, success at the festival, and a great new employee, I have allowed myself to start dreaming again. I have this vision for Rhetorical Factory, its a tool for artists and the community. We will educate about methods of production and supply a solution, use materials instead of letting them go to waste, work creatively which is great for our souls, and artists who work here will learn how to run a business without having to take the risks involved in learning the hard way.
So it seems my dreams are coming true! Please stay tuned, many more great things are on the way. As many new ideas as possible answers to a rhetorical question.
Spring is springing and I have been busy!!
My camera is getting cleaned and fixed after the last six years of heavy labor, so unfortunately I cannot grace you with pictures at this time.... there are some finished belts and some new headbands you'll just have to check out in person at Head to Toe in Black Mountain!
Coming up this week there will be some hot new items at Elementality, so look out for that! We will also be getting started on a project for cello player, Ben Sollee. They are making an effort to make all of his merchandise available at shows more sustainable and artful. As part of this "merch that matters" project, the Factory has been hired to make rosin bags out of recycled material! Hand crafted rosin will also be made, as well as some other great stuff like bike bells. It's been real inspiring to work with these people who are changing the music industry. They often do full tours on bike, and unite with biking initiatives local to the towns where they play. At the end of this week they have organized a community event at the Dry Goods Shop in West Asheville to create more art for their tour coming up in May.
I'll surely be there!
As you can tell, life in Asheville is good. I feel complete and at home here, and you know the main reason?
I can have INTEGRITY!
There are sustainable options here. Sustainable for me means 1) earth-friendly: ingredients and byproducts are not toxic 2)socially friendly: elements that comprise a product or service are obtained from people who are fairly treated and compensated 3)community-oriented: I prefer to put money back into the system I earned it from
A perfect illustration of this is to describe my morning grocery shopping: Amazing Savings is where I started out. For those of you who don't know, this place rules. They resell groceries that are rejected from larger stores but still in perfectly good condition, and they sell it cheap. This is where I buy organic produce because it's reasonably priced and as local as possible. Today I got some kale from Gladheart Farms (this farm is in town, I have volunteered there!) I know that Amazing Savings buys Gladheart's slightly homely looking fruits and veggies that the bigger stores pass up. This store is my first and favorite stop because 1)it's locally owned: the owner lives here, the profit is spent here! 2)they make their customers happy with cheap prices 3)they have great relationships with local farms and bakeries.
Earth Fare comes next to fill in whatever I can't find elsewhere. This store is good because they have a lot of organic and earth friendly options, sometimes local, but it's on the expensive side. I used to go to Greenlife because it was locally owned and I didn't mind spending an arm and a leg since I knew the profits were going back into my town. Now Greenlife has been bought by Whole Foods, the prices have dropped a little but that extra profit that comes from the organic aura does not go straight into my town, it goes to that corporate funnel and wherever the CEOs live and spend their money. Same with Earth Fare. One thing that I loved about the former Greenlife was that everything in the store was organic, I didn't have to scrutinize every label. I believe that corporate grocery stores who purport a "Green" image should set a standard, and only support the green industry. But Whole Foods and Earth Fare sell products that contain toxic ingredients. They do the whole "natural" packaging thing where they use the word to describe one ingredient and let you assume it describes all the ingredients in the product. Natural flavors are still created in a lab. You shouldn't have to watch your back in a health food store.
Many, many towns in the United States of America do not have an Amazing Savings. This means that most people cannot afford to buy food with that supports their community directly. Even if there is a local co-op or health food store, it's likely to be quite expensive. The reason these small stores need to charge more is because fewer people shop there, so stop by even if you can't be a full-time patron. It is certainly worth a few extra dollars to buy their organic produce. This food has a lot more value than genetically modified vegetables from the other side of the world sold at a giant chain store. So, support the smaller store first, and the more responsible one second. Amazing Savings vs. Earth Fare, Whole Foods vs. Wal-Mart.
Sustainable options are really the key to a better future. Every person has the desire to live with integrity! The really sad thing is that some people give up on it because it's too difficult and expensive. It's my belief that this throwing in the towel does something deeply hazardous to a person's psyche, soul, self-image, etc.
But! More people are choosing the right option whenever possible, which is opening the door to entrepreneurs (like me) who want to provide these options. Asheville attracts such entrepreneurs, so I have options all across the board for responsible living, that's why I feel at home.
printing typewriter tanks! find them now at Elementality!
I helped some friends with their costumes for the IDIOTAROD which took place today. (absolutely hilarious, all sorts of crazy kids dress up and run around with shopping carts) check it out: painters suits with flaming capes!
It's been a sunny blustery day in Black Mountain
The four hours I had to kill died quickly and painlessly. I stopped in at Head to Toe where I've got some of my scrappy cuffs and arm warmers for sale. We schemed up a few exciting project ideas for this spring and summer. I don't want to spill the beans before their boiled, but think hair wear and waist accessories....
I've been meaning to go to Acoustic Corner to pick up some rosin for my viola. I've taken an interest in old-time music lately, I'd love to be able to jam traditional style and maybe even hop up on the stage at Jack of the Wood on a wednesday or thursday evening (if I can learn enough tunes to merit free beer, I'll consider it a worthy investment). So I stopped in to check out what they had in the way of song books, I expect to pick up a fiddle-for-viola songbook in the next couple weeks. Hopefully I'll have some new wears for Head to Toe by then and I can kill multiple birds with one stone.
Yep it's been a fine day, I really started to feel cozy in this town at the sight of my buddy Michael unicycling outside the dripolator.
early morning from my studio window
Oh Asheville, how I love thee
St. Patrick's day consisted of some pretty wonderful things.
I played at the park on amboy road with my 2 and 4 year old friends, Serg and Val (kids of the beautiful Jesse Kitt whom I work with for Jesse Kitt Photography) It must have been at least 70 degrees, we pretended to be cavemen hiding from bears, and then played spies with five other kids. I'm sure you understand how packed that playground was. What a blast!
Then it was off to Highland Brewery, I packed beer there last week which was fun and rewarding. Yesterday they had live music and Irish dancing. I didn't catch the name of the band that played but they were great, I was especially intrigued with the saw player. Felt great to stand in the sun with beer and good buddies. Around eight thirty we crashed west asheville's mexican restaurant el paraiso, then Universal Joint. I heard good things about Jack of the Wood and Westville Pub's feature as well as a new brewery on haywood called Altamont.
What did you get into?
The fun continues this weekend with Bike of The Irish
(my lucky charm and I will be there for sure!)
and a Fashion show at The Circle Sunday @3:00
Featuring Rhetorical Factory and tons of other great recycled fashion designers
Be there or be square. And let me know what you've been enjoying about your home town lately!
come see me in my studio #218 in Riverview Station Directions
give me a call or email to see if I'm in 208 659 0036 eyeseeeye at hotmail.com
So I finally started a facebook page. why did it take me so long?
1) real friends feel connected without real life connection: It bothered me for awhile that I could know what was going on in a friend's life without them knowing... and visa versa.
2) i felt like my profile didn't reflect the real me: I never put time into updating my pictures and events, so every time I logged on it reminded me of something on my to-do list I had left unchecked
3) it made me less social: holing up in my factory is easy and enjoyable, every now and then when I craved social interaction I would log on to facebook and I think it tricked me out of calling up someone to hang out.
4) ego: i struggle with ego in myself and in others, and facebook is 101% about ego.
Why am I back?
1) ego: it's hard for me to embrace my need for attention and success. I feel it should come from the outside, without my calling it in. But the fact is this: attention and success are byproducts of a life that is true. I shouldn't need to go against the norm or deny myself the right to my self just to set a precedent or have "integrity". A true leader can follow the crowd and so the first step to me overcoming any qualms I have with owning my shit is to own my shit and start somewhere.
2) people: there are plenty of people who I want in my life but can't stay in touch with as much as i desire, facebook makes it easier.
At what price?
Fear of Selling Out...... Artist's die when they don't sell out. I don't want to work for someone else using my creative energy, but I do want to work for myself. My Self does still need food and a roof and good times now and then, so she has to sell out a little.
Not updating every day.... when in the "Zone" I can't comprehend the internet or outside possibilities, so I'm not going to feel obligated to update with every little detail of my life. Facebook is a tool, I am not a tool for facebook.
Selectivity.... I didn't go back to my old profile because there was just too much to wade through. Only people who can make my life better will know me through facebook.
There's a rant for ya!
the Circle Fashion Show MARCH 20th Haywood road in West Asheville
Big Love Fest DOWNTOWN Asheville May 1st
Checkin' out some good perspectives on community, I discovered a collection of essays by Wendell Berry, it introduced some new ideas to me, and clarified others.
Goods and services are being mass-produced in one place, and transported to where they are needed, leading to a global economy. This separates the people and places producing from those consuming, replacing a natural cycle with an artificial one, money being the representation for the energy exchanged. There are some negative side effects that come from this process. When those who produce do not consume that which they produce, there is a loss of interest in the integrity of goods and services created. When those who consume are not associated with the production, there is a loss of appreciation for the integrity of those items produced. Not a loss of expectation for a certain value, but an ignorance of what really went into that product: the land, families, and community which made it possible for such an item to exist. Neither the consumer nor the producer is at fault in this equation. Both produce something and receive money with which to consume what they need to survive.
Is this what life is about? Existing? No. Life is about appreciating existence.
There is more, including some solutions. But right now I have a potluck to prepare for.