Category archives: interview

Meet Caroline, artist, art writer, event maker.

How do you introduce yourself?
Caroline Roosevelt. 


How did you find yourself in the art world and decide to stay?
My passion has always orbited around art. As I child, I started drawing and was encouraged to do so by my mother (who is an artist!) I excelled at art in high school, entering and placing in competitions, and studied studio art and art history at Connecticut College. After graduating, I moved to Philadelphia and attended Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where I continued to suss out what I’m trying to do with my art. As an adult, I continue to pursue artistic endeavors while also engaging the community. I write an art column for Chadds Ford Live and Chester County Press called Mixed Media, and have been enjoying that since November. I still create my own work, and sell my cards at worKS, as well as participate in community art events. I recently established a Pop Up Arts committee dedicated to uplifting the arts in the Kennett area through Pop Up Events. It seems that, no matter where I go, art follows me and I’m realizing that’s not a coincidence. 

What are you working on right now? How did the project come to you?

Right now I’m working on a few paintings for the Evening of The Arts. I’m looking to expand into some more fauvist styles of painting. I have also just learned how to frame my own work, so I’m practicing that as well. 

We also have a Pop UP Art event in Kennett Square on June 1st so, stay tuned for more info!

 
Why did you decide to move to Kennett square?
I am originally from the area. After living in dense metropolitan areas for 10 years, I was ready to slow down a little bit and recalibrate, and that landed me back in Kennett which has been a really fantastic thing for me. I work for the Kennett Township, and participate in community events in the borough as well. I love this community!
What do you like most about Kennett Square?
I love how Kennett has grown into itself in the past ten years. It’s changed from a sleepy agricultural town, to a lively community full of artists and entrepreneurs with big ideas. There will always be a part of the community that will long for the past, and challenge ingenuity, but overall, I see Kennett as receptive to change while still respecting its roots, and that’s one of the most attractive things about this town. 

 

Meet David, the owner of Unionville Saddle. David is a fashion designer, after living in New York for a decade he is bring his love of custom garment making back to here.

What sparked your interest in fashion?

Growing up I always had an interest in fashion, I remember reading GQ or sketching what my favorite pop stars’ were wearing but I was always more interested in fine arts.  I grew up painting and drawing and didn’t begin to sew until I was a senior in high school. I really got interested in fashion when I went to Parsons School of Design in NYC.  While I was studying I realized that fashion was a way to communicate  concepts while exploring traditional construction techniques and making people feel amazing.

What is your brand philosophy?

My brand philosophy revolves around the concept of Your Body Infinite Options.  Studying and working in the fashion industry for a decade opened my eyes to some major flaws in the current fashion system.  From not providing adequate sizing in stores to crippling runway and production costs I have decided to approach the business in a much different way by creating single pieces specifically to a client’s needs.  I believe that clients are looking for something that is made just for them, in the past women would have clothes made for them by dressmakers, working one on one to create something completely original and with a perfect fit for them.  My goal is to make every client feel at home while working with them to create pieces that will flatter every part of them, last, and look modern for years to come.

How do you describe your fashion and style?

I like when there is a mix of minimal clean lines and rawness, I love when frayed edges contrast the perfect fit.  There always needs to be a balance comfort and elegance, weight and lightness, color and texture.

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

Currently, I am working with the concept of my transition from a city life in NYC to life in Unionville.  I have always used personal experience in life as my inspiration for my collections and this transition has been the most shocking and rewarding process of my life.

Talk us through the process of creating a garment. How long does it normally take to create a dress? what’s the procedure like?

Making a garment can take anywhere up to a year, particularly for bridal gowns.  The process always begins with a conversation, what do you need, when do you need it, what will the function be?  Then I will show a client some fabrics that may work with what they need and we begin to sketch. Once a design is selected I drape the piece, make a pattern, fit a muslin, and order the final fabric.  Once the pattern is corrected I cut the garment in final fabric, sew it, and fit the final piece. Depending on how complicated the garment is it may need more fittings to get the correct the fit.

Check David’s website and instagram for more information.

Meet Shannon, Mother of two beautiful girls, owner of  Penny  lane emporium.

Can you tell us about yourself?
 
I live in Chadds Ford with my two daughters, Lily & Quinn, and my husband, Rob.  I grew up in Chadds Ford and we moved back a few years ago to raise our family here.  I love this area so much.  It holds a lot of personal history and happy memories and I’m so grateful we came back.  I worked in corporate retail for 17 years, most recently at Urban Outfitters Inc, where I spent 14 years working in Merchandising in the Planning & Allocation department.  I recently left my corporate career to venture out on my own and chase a life long dream of opening a retail shop.  My family is my biggest Joy.  I think good girlfriends and good wine are an essential part of life.  I love to travel,
be silly with my kids and believe that life is truly what you make of it.
What made you want to open a children clothing store? 
As I was exploring what I wanted to do with the next chapter of my career, I knew I wanted to open a local shop in the community.  In the end, I put together the elements of what I believe I know best:  Retail + Parents + Kids.  I use my own daughters as inspiration and follow their lead on what they like in their personal lives.  I like the fun, whimsical nature of children’s retail.  I felt that was missing in Kennett Square and I wanted to bring something unique and fresh to the town.
Where did the name Penny Lane Emporium come from?
Penny Lane has a whimsical feel to it.  To me, it feels like a warm and welcoming location, a place I would be curious to visit.  Emporium also feels very fun and magical and helps communicate the variety of items we sell.  Clothing, accessories, gifts, shoes, novelties, ice cream, etc.
What makes your store unique?
Penny Lane Emporium offers a engaging retail experience for parents and kids.  I really wanted to create a space that kids would want to visit.  As a parent, I am very familiar with the challenges of shopping with children.  If I can engage the kids in the retail experience as well, it’s a win win for everyone.  We have a small, but cheerful kid’s area with chalk board and coloring activities, a Little Free Library that serves as a community book exchange for kids, a Mouse Hunt riddle for kids to solve for a prize and of course, Mochi Ice Cream.  I hope kids, as well as, parents will want to come back again and again.
What do you think about Kennett Square?
 
I have always loved Kennett Square and was really excited to become a local business owner in town.  Little did I know how amazing it really is!  The community feel of Kennett is fostered by the amazing merchants, business owners and borough government.  Everyone has been supportive, helpful and welcoming to Penny Lane.  It truly is a unique and wonderful place and I feel very fortunate to be fulfilling my dream in this community.
For more information visit website here:https://pennylaneemp.com
  1. Janet Cook and family said:
    Best of luck Shannon in your new endeavor. We wish you all the best.
    June 7, 2017  1:14 pm
    Reply

One day I was shooting outside of Talula’s table, a lady walking towards me with a big warm smile : ” Hi, you must be Jie? I’m Bri from Fig Kennett.” That’s how I met Brianna, Director & Managing Editor of Fig Kennett Magazine.

 

What did you do before you joined Fig? 

I have a background in Corporate Marketing and spent my early career in the Banking industry doing Online Advertising. When I had my first baby, I wholeheartedly stepped away from full time work and became a stay-at-home mom. It was such a beautiful and fulfilling time for me. I cherish those years and consider them integral to shaping me into the person I am today. It was during those years at home that I decided to switch careers and pursue something creative that would make my heart skip a beat. I fell in love with photography & graphic design and started my own photography business just before joining the Fig team. I love that new seasons of life bring new opportunities. It is my current job with Fig that feels so full circle for me. I can apply all my previous skills and passions into one role. More than that, it feels incredibly rewarding to play a small part in helping the economy of this town that I love. It’s truly a privilege to help showcase all the talented business owners and community members that make Kennett so special. 
 I  love the Fig’s new issue–the hospitality issue, where did your idea come from? Do you have a theme for each issue?
The idea for the Hospitality theme came from my everyday simple interactions with people around town, especially the small business owners themselves. I was inspired by the teamwork and encouragement I saw among the business owners. Everyone helps each other out. Everyone wants the greater good for Kennett Square. And I was also inspired by the simple kindness of people around town. Doors are held open for you. Tables are shared among strangers. Recently someone offered me their parking spot because their meter had been paid up for an extra hour. I felt like this Spring issue of Fig needed to celebrate the homey, small town hospitality that I’ve experienced. 
Yes we do have a theme for each issue and we publish four times a year. Fig’s main pillars are local Dining, Shopping, Arts & Events. So our themes drill down on one of those areas each time in a fun and creative way. 
What makes Fig Magazine different from others on the market?
We are a hyper-local publication whose mission is ultimately to help Kennett Square thrive. We feel strongly that communities can be transformed through powerful design and creative communication. So Fig acts as a lookbook for Kennett Square. Our goal is to lift up the independent small businesses that give Kennett its personality and make it unique. If you live on the Main Line and you read Fig Kennett, we want you to get excited about visiting. Or if you live on Meredith Street in the borough, we want you to be proud that you live, work and entertain here. There are no other publications in this area that have this “love local” mission so prominently in mind with each issue.
What do you like most about Kennett Square?
I’m a small town girl. So I love that I can walk into Philter and see three people I know on any given day. I also love that Longwood Gardens is practically in my back yard. May I never take for granted all the beauty that surrounds me.

What is you typical workday look like? 
A typical day starts by putting my kids on the bus and then heading in to work at my State Street office. I turn on some music (probably Sia, Chris Stapleton or old school Michael Jackson if I’m in the mood to sing) and I’ll work on content creation, advertising proposals, design approvals, and meet with my advertisers. And everyday includes a walk around town to chat with business owners, grab something to eat, and snap a few photos for Fig’s social media channels. I like to end my day by making a list of to-do’s for the next morning because this job requires a lot of thoughtful planning. I feel like every task is an investment in Kennett Square, and that’s what motivates me! 

 

Ellen is an artist who works with designers and their clients to create custom art.

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What is your earliest memory of creating art?

My first memory of creating art was when I was in Kindergarten.  I don’t remember the details, but I made a little cat sculpture out of (and this is going to date me) the little wax bottles that had colored sugar water in them…like little soda bottles…Well, I formed a little cat out of the wax, and I remember my teacher, Miss Kathy, put it on display and made a big deal about it to my mother.
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Why did you choose acrylic as your medium?

When I first started painting, my children were little.  I needed a medium that dried quick, cleaned up easily, and did not smell toxic.  Now that they are older, and I have more time, maybe I will experiment with other media.
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What is your creative process like?

 There are two different versions of my creative process…but, since I paint on wood, they both start with a trip to the Home Depot.  I pick out a nice piece of Birch plywood, have it cut to size, then purchase 1 x 1’s to build out a frame.  There is glueing, nailing and sanding that follows! Then I get to work!
When I paint for the sake of creating…anything can inspire me…a photo, the sky, my pets, even just a color I see that day can trigger the creative process.  I try to have canvases built….but if I don’t….I must make a run to the Home Depot…I build…and then I immerse myself in the painting.  Nothing else gets done, and the world could be falling apart around me…I continue on.  I really never know what I will create…I have a bit of an idea…but am always surprised when I am done.
When I am painting for a client…the process is a bit different.  There is at least one, if not multiple conversations with the client (and their interior decorator if they are using one). I go to their home with some paintings I already have, so they can get a better feel for my style, and to determine size, color likes, dislikes…etc.  I like get to know them (my paintings are like my babies…I want to make sure they are in good homes!).  Once in their home, I get a sense of their style….do they want an abstract, more of a landscape….anything else that inspires them….what colors will work with their decor…etc.  Once we decide on all that…..I make a trip to the Home Depot…and the process begins!!!
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What’s been your greatest artistic success? 

 I consider every time someone says they love my work, to be a great artistic success! 
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Do you ever experience creative blocks?
Yes! I find that if I think too much about how the piece should look…I hit a wall. When I just let me gut guide me, I am always pleasantly surprised!