Tags archives: story

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your club?

I started ksqQWERTY very recently.  I am a writer and wanted a way to experience the combined fun of writing with my enthusiasm for the typewriter.  I thought it would be perfect to bring the two together in occasional and random pop-ups in and around Kennett Square. I hope to find other enthusiasts with typewriters to do some type-ins around town…maybe at the Kennett Library where I work or at one of the great coffee shops in town or at one of the many great events and venues Kennett is so prone to having!

How long have you been use a typewriter? and Why?

I had been carrying around a beautiful little portable typewriter that I found over 25 years ago at a thrift store in Philadelphia. I would type on it very occasionally but didn’t know how to maintain it or get ribbons for it and it eventually just sat on a shelf for many years.  Then no long ago, one very serendipitous and providential day, I met someone who was also an avid typewriter enthusiast and that sparked the motivation to actualize QWERTY.  I’ve been typing since.

How many typewriters do you have?  What’s their personality? 

I now have 9 typewriters and, as my son recently pointed out, they are each my favorite! My Olivetti Lettera 32 was my first typewriter – the one I found in the thrift store for $10. The next was a Adler Contessa also found at a thrift store. I have several older typewriter dating from the 40s and late 30s. They are gorgeous black shiny machines with little quirks that make them more easy to look at than type with. My most recent additions (kindly gifted to me by a total stranger who saw me at the Kennett Farmers Market) are a Smith Corona, a sturdy handsome thing that I will most likely use for most of my writing and also a lovely, lightweight turquoise portable Smith Corona from probably the 70s – perfect for taking out for a pop up event!

 

Can you talk a little about your project? 

Typing for the love of typing is fun (as opposed to having to type an over-due term paper full of type-o’s or typing office memoranda for an impatient boss under a looming deadline, also full of type-o’s). I love the snap the keys and seeing the type bars swing up and smack the paper and make the letters that march along forming words. Its like a little letter press! I love the bright “ding”! at the end of the line and “raaap” of the return carrier to start a new line. It makes writing a very physical, active, tactile, whole experience. Also typing is evidence of errors… they happen, you move on. Sometimes the errors have beauty and meaning, which I like. Sometimes they are annoying and uncomfortable, which is a good exercise in humility and living with imperfection.

 I feel connected to the making of the thing when I type. It pushes the process of writing beyond the conceptual/cerebral domain of working on a computer (it also doesn’t have the inherent distractions, such as Google, weather checks, email updates, etc… ) Writing on a typewriter is more emphatic and committed than writing with a pen or pencil. Though I write in all the above forms, and each lends to a slightly different product, I am currently infatuated with writing on and thinking about the typewriter.  Plus they are all just so beautiful!

 

 

Meet Virginia, the winemaker at Galer estate Vineyard and Winery.

 

How did you get started in wine?

Almost 10 years ago, I started my first research project as an undergraduate student at Penn State University. As a freshman in college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I did know that I loved and appreciated food, so I started in Food Science in the College of Agriculture. My research project involved working with a model wine solution (which I knew nothing about–all under the guidance of my professor), and at this point, I started reading more about wine. There was so much science involved, but I also loved the culture, history, art, and complexity involved in the making of wine. I participated in my first harvest in the Lake Erie region in the fall of 2011, and I’ve been working with wine ever since!

 

What do you look for when you make wine?

Winemakers have to make hundreds of decisions everyday when working with wine. My goal–to make an outstanding wine–is to understand every variable in the grape growing and winemaking process. Any change or decision can affect the final product. I have to think about the quality of the fruit and the growing season, the factors involved during fermentation, how the wine is handled during filtering and movements, and what wines would be best blended together. These factors will contribute to my specific style of winemaking. I’m a little bit of a minimalist when it comes to winemaking so I try to intervene only when necessary. However, I’m still very much a New World winemaker, since I don’t mind making vital manipulations that will ultimately make a better product. Since I’m also a professional winemaker, I also have to be realistic and make a nice quality product that our guests at the winery will enjoy! 

 

What has surprised you about being a winemaker? 

When I began my adventure in winemaking, I realized two things. 
Winemaking is a very male dominated industry. There are only a handful of women winemakers in Pennsylvania. Although this number has been steadily increasing since I entered the wine industry. 
As an extreme novice entering the industry, I had no idea the vastness of the subject. There are so many varieties of grapes, styles of winemaking, and wine growing regions. And after 10 years of working with wine, I still have a lot to learn. There is always developing scientific research and market trends, that as a New World Winemaker I need to stay on top of. 
What is your favorite wine that you’ve made and what makes it your favorite?
My absolute favorite wine that I make is rosé. To make a rosé, I use robust, mature red grapes, but treat them as if they were white grapes throughout the process. It is always interesting to obtain floral, fruity, delicate flavors in the final wine. I always love the color as well. I was able to make a saignée method rosé for my wedding a few years ago. This was very special to me and my husband that we could give our family and friends something that was made by my own hands and hard work.

If you could drink wine anywhere, in any region or country, where would it be and why?

I can’t choose one place…Champagne in France; Shiraz in South Australia; Riesling in Germany; Cabernet Sauvignon in St. Helena, CA; Carmenere in Chile; and Viognier in VA…the list goes on..  I would love to visit every wine region in the world and explore their winemaking styles and varietals! There is always so much more to taste and so much more to learn when working with wine!

          How did you get into music?

 My father is an avid music lover, and as a young child we would listen to records of his favorite        classical pieces. I think that is when I first got the music bug.  I then began learning the piano, and my piano teacher during my high school years thought I might be interested in conducting. That was when I began to explore conducting opportunities, My first time on the podium was with an amateur orchestra, and I remember it being much harder than I thought it would be. How hard could it be to wave your arms, I thought!  Nevertheless,  the thrill of conducting an orchestra was undeniable, and I have been  fortunate enough to have  those opportunities ever since.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of being a conductor?
The joy of conducting is bringing a great work of art to life.  The great irony is that on the one hand you make no sound at all, but on the other hand you are responsible for all that happens on the stage. One of the great challenges is to establish a musical chemistry with the orchestra such that collectively you produce a performance of the highest emotional and communicative power.  This begins with a great amount of  private score study, an ability to rehearse effectively often with only a few rehearsals, and then giving the orchestra the impetus and inspiration the music needs in performance. 
What is one piece that you’ve always wanted to conduct?  -And have you had that chance yet?
There are so many pieces that are thrilling to conduct, some I have gotten the chance to and others that I haven’t. One of my career highlights was conducting  Mahler’s 2nd Symphony. It is work that in Mahler’s words ‘encompasses the whole world’. It expresses the full range of emotions that we as human beings experience. The music also requires a very large orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists.   The power and the tenderness in the work are compelling.  It takes one on a emotional journey that stays with you long after the performance.  
 
 What are you listening to in your car (ipod, etc) right now?
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When I am in the car on my own, I  most often listen to sports radio. When my fiance is with me, we will sometimes listen to 80’s stations. I don’t usually listen to classical music unless it is pieces I am working on. Every now and then, however, I will go on a stretch of  listening to classical pieces that I do not know to broaden my knowledge of the repertoire.
What do you think about Kennett Square? 
From the minute I came to Kennett Square for my audition, I was taken by the beauty and quaintness of the region.  That was almost 4 years ago. My family and I enjoy walking on State St, browsing the shops and enjoying a coffee or a bite to eat at the Market. In fact, we recently moved into the borough and are thrilled. It is an honor to be the Music Director of the Kennett Symphony and to work with these very talented professional musicians. If you haven’t enjoyed a concert of the Kennett Symphony, I invite you to come and enjoy one of our many concerts. 
 

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! 

 

Meet Maike– a professional dog trainer. She came from Germany and has lived in PA for twenty years.

 

I heard you came from Germany. Can you talk a little bit about that? 

Yes. I grew up on the outskirts of Heide in Schleswig-Holstein, about an hour North of Hamburg. My childhood in Germany was amazing. My grandmother had dachshunds when I was a child, which led me to longhaired dachshunds as my breed of choice today (they remind me so much of home and childhood). Dachshunds may not be for everybody, since they are very independent and can be a challenge to train, but I enjoy their personality and adventurous spirit. My dog Lucy had her first litter of puppies in the spring of 2016 and I kept a girl (Ruby Sue) as a companion for her. I am rarely seen without my dogs.

What did you do before you become a dog trainer? 

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. I have worked with ESL learners in adult language programs as well as elementary schools. I found the perfect balance to my scholarly pursuits in working with large and small animals around Chester County Pennsylvania. To balance my studies I have managed Eventing stable and quiet country farm boarding operations. Through my equestrian connections, I then became a dog walker and pet sitter (in my experience every horse person generally has at least one dog). Overall, I find the work with animals endlessly rewarding and it is ultimately best suited to my quiet nature.

Why do you want to be dog trainer? 

My interactions with dogs challenge me in ways that keep me continuously exploring and growing as a person. I enjoy helping people and want to see dogs and their humans learn to communicate as a team. Personally, I am most interested in the canine behavior aspect of dog training. Since understanding dogs has always come naturally to me, I feel like I have knowledge to impart that can bring people closer to living in true harmony with their canine companions. I am currently enrolled in the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior to further my education.

 

What was your first dog training experience? 

My grandmother’s dachshunds always found me as a child, but my parents did not allow my to have my first dog until I was 18. Jeannie was a Golden Retriever/Collie/Chow Chow mix and my first true dog training challenge. She came to me at 8 weeks and was my shadow in all my adventures outside of school. She was fiercely loyal to my family, but reactive to strangers. My parents ultimately kept her when I moved to the US, but I have since worked with many dogs that mirrored her “take no prisoners” attitude.

Can you give people 3 tips about dog training? 

The best advice I can give people is to:

 

–       Take the time to understand what your dog is trying to tell you.

–       Use positive reinforcement when training your dog.

–       Have patience in your training and always treat your best friend with kindness.

Maike Singelmann can be reached at  Email: maikesingelmann@yahoo.com  Phone: 267-902-9433

Meet talented Hattie, from a ballerina to a sculptor. Now she is a self taught hand crafted jewelry designer in Kennett Square.

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What did you do before you start jewelry design?

When I was 4 years old I began intensive training in ballet. I was pigeon-toed and the doctor advised my mother that ballet would help straighten my legs. I quickly ended up taking 10 classes a week and when I was 14, I was accepted into The School of American Ballet at Juilliard in New York City. After that, I was a principal ballerina with the Brandywine Ballet Company for 9 years and, later, danced with Opus 1 Contemporary of Philadelphia as well as guest performed with many theatres and other dance companies. I began teaching ballet in 2001 and only recently have had to cut back to one day a week as it’s all my growing jewelry schedule will allow. In my early twenties, I also modeled as a ballerina for a sculpture class and found myself eager to learn how to sculpt. I took a class and began sculpting, later exhibiting my bronze dancers locally in galleries and art exhibits.

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What lead you to beginning to work with jewelry?

In 2006, I stopped dancing professionally and began my family. I enjoyed sculpture but it was expensive to have bronzed. But, without dance or sculpture, I found I still needed an artistic outlet. I picked up an instructional book on beading and wirewrapping at a local craft store and that night I think I made 30 pairs of earrings. I was hooked.

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Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from everything around me. I love to garden and often am inspired by nature and its beauty and movement. I am currently fascinated with ancient Egyptian artifacts and patinas. I typically don’t sketch out or plan my designs. I have a general idea or inspiration, start grabbing materials and get to work.

 

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Who do you envision wearing your work? Do you think about this when you work on designs?

I strive to make jewelry that people want to wear. I try to make a variety that appeals to all ages and styles. I believe it is important to learn as many techniques as you can but that doesn’t mean you need to pull out all the stops in every single creation. I often find that the pieces people find the most appealing are the simplest.

 

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The most meaningful piece of jewelry you own is?

My favorite piece is my ‘Wrapped in Lavender Cuff’. It was the most technically challenging piece I have ever made and, because of that, the most rewarding. It was a lengthy process but when I finished it, I remember feeling proud of myself.

 

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Do you have a favorite jewelry designer that you admire?

I admire so many artists but I guess you could say my idol is jewelry artist, Jeanine Payer. She has recently closed her studio doors but I was fortunate to have been given a couple of her pieces and absolutely fell in love with the simplicity and feminine quality of her work. It remains an inspiration to me.

 

Check Hattie’s work here: Hattie Weselyk Jewelry