mini episode : the history & end of have company with marlee grace

welcome to a tiny episode where it's just me + a lil fifteen minute life update where i share the ending of this project, Have Company, that I started in 2012 

photo by mae stier

photo by mae stier

Letting go of this project feels a bit surreal. It has been my entire life for the past five years, and I have been able to start and maintain other projects WITHIN the scope of Have Company.

But for me the name of this project became solidified in it's physical space in Grand Rapids, and it's been harder than I thought it would be to continue it as only a podcast.  The podcast was really FOR the resident artists in that space and sharing their work within Grand Rapids.

I also have had such a hard time separating MARLEE from HAVE COMPANY and it felt like a clear transition to end this project and let Marlee finish and start some of her own projects that are completely separate.

To list gratitude might take forever but thank you to Pam, who guides me spiritually & as a human and business owner. Thank you. To Dori Midnight who has supported me the past few months, Rachel Dawson Knapp & Asia Wong who move the fluid in my spine around and open up pathways to personal freedom. 

To Ariel & Nickey who without them Have Company would have floundered 1000 times. To Sara Bakker for endless patience and shipping. To Michael Rodriguez who built out the entire space, curated the gallery, and told me no when I asked too much. To Eliza, for being the first resident, for hosting ME in her space that BIRTHED this entire project, and for helping me with this podcast. 

Thank you to Mary Rothlisberger for helping me redesign and spruce up the residency and suggest I even have a podcast in the first place. 

To my parents and my partners and my brother and my chosen family : thank you for every favor and errand run and late night and telling me it would be ok.

To every resident artist : holy shit. No words, you changed me forever. 

To anyone who ever came in the space or bought something online : I am glad to have a part of my work in this world with you, and you are with me.

I'm sure I forgot specific people, it's been five years of feeling endless love and support and I am grateful and alive because of you. I love you.

EPISODE FIFTY-SIX: in conversation with ALEJANDRA LEON of The Lioness Oracle

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Alejandra León Wolfe Rocha lives and sustains in Oakland, California, and is the creator of the Lioness Oracle Tarot deck. Alejandra tells her story of how she found tarot at age 17, at the suggestion of her father, and really connected with it as a clarifying force in her life. She gave free readings for years and now offers them as a service. She attended art school and always found collage to be a meditative creative practice, cutting and pasting from found magazines. It was after her father died when making collages reached a therapeutic point for her, and the aesthetic of her deck started coming through.

Marlee and Alejandra discuss the psychic power that happens with readings from her own deck, ways to set the mood for a space to work in, and the business side of a spiritual business- working in a matriarchal way instead of a patriarchal way. With deep ties to the creative community and women-owned businesses, Alejandra recently had a show of prints of the Lioness Oracle Tarot collages at Resurrect Oakland, a hand-made and vintage shop where she offers monthly readings.

Words of Wisdom:

“If you just have that desire, and you have the love for it- I think with anything, when you decide to offer it as a service and have exchange for it, what’s important is that you love what you’re doing, and you’re putting love into it. I think problems occur when someone’s doing it for the wrong reasons. If you love Tarot and you believe in it’s healing properties and you love doing it, then you just love what you do, and you offer it to heal someone.”

“I have the right to have my survival needs met. I have the right to be healthy, and thrive. And so loving myself that way helps me enjoy the support and abundance that I do receive.

“Thats where materialism comes from- because it doesn't matter how many possessions you have or how much money you have- if you’re empty, you’re never gonna be full. So I think being grateful for things is really important.”

Coming up:

Alejandra just finished the artwork for another deck, and is currently working on formatting it for release. She plans to continue with her art practice without capitalist pressure to achieve; stay healthy and balanced and do what comes next.

Alejandra has felt called to study- she has been learning more about astrology and planning to offer birth-chart readings in the near future...

Exciting things!

Learning from masters who are women! Alejandra strives to support the creative young women in the Tarot and Astrology community, she loves seeing them self-publish and thrive. At the same time she honors the elders and master writers of the Tarot, like Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack.

HUGE THANK  YOU TO THIS WEEK'S SPONSORS : HAUSWITCH HOME & HEALING & MODERN WOMEN 

EPISODE FIFTY-FIVE: in conversation with Lise Silva

Lise (sounds like Lizzie) Silva is a fiber artist and fiber artwear designer and creator. Her knotted work is benevolently opposed to macrame, in that her necklaces are based on one knot rather than a series of knots. Influenced by Chinese, Korean, and sailor knots, a single ornate knot makes the entire design, and through her career she has designed her own sacred knots for these wearable artworks and wallhangings. Lise talks about how she started in illustration and photography- short careers that seemed like dead ends, but are actually accumulated skill sets that still serve her today. Lise also offers guided visualization sessions, and she talks about getting people out of the idea that visualizations are about control and getting exactly what they ask for. She sees the practice as a way to help people align more with the path that they are on. Lise explains her techniques of guiding meditations for individuals and groups; she uses various oracle decks including the Vessel Oracle Deck by Mary Elizabeth Evans. Marlee and Lise talk out the ties (pun intended) between the world of meditation and knot-making. In her book Sacred Knot making, Lise explains how the knots are symbolic; the process can be a meditation; and the resulting necklaces are ceremonial and powerful. Lise also muses on teaching as an artist, and how she teaches basic knots but feels protective about sharing her own designs. She asserts that copying is a great tool for learning as a student, but is not for selling as your own.

Words of wisdom:

“If you just keep working, and meeting people, and staying true to what’s interesting you in the moment, and what feeling honest to you- things will pan out… I honestly feel like, something’s gonna stick if you are making work that feels good to you and you’re also supporting other people’s events, and meeting people… If you want people to support you and go to your show, you have to be out there in the community.”

“Visualization is, you’re taking responsibility for your mind space. That’s huge. So if we want something, but we are allowing all of this stuff that’s counter productive -and actually destructive- to that thing that we want, how could we possibly get that thing that we want, right? And so, when you take responsibility for the thoughts that come into your mind, it can change everything… You are supporting and acknowledging your intentions and desires, and that will put you into a completely different mindspace to do the things you need to do to attain them.”

“If it looks like it came from someone’s workshop, then it’s not really your work… It’s not ready to be your artwork.”

Coming up:

Lise is making new work for her show at Red Poppy Art House, opening on April 31st.

She will be on a pop-up tour with Mary from Spirit Speak at the beginning of May, and heading up to Ojai to teach a class at Cattywampus Crafts on May 6th.

Her more long-term project is taking shape: creating a website spotlighting female fiber artists from the 50s and 60s that really created the genre, and featuring women who are continuing that tradition in contemporary art today.

Follow along with Lise on Instagram @lisesilva

HUGE thank you to our sponsors How to Hair Girl & Fringe Supply Co

How to Hair Girl is a community for anyone looking for hair musings, styling, craft & culture facilitated by Roxie Jane Hunt.  Visit the online shop for small batch remedies, tools, & handmade art for the crown chakra & dive into a shampoo free lifestyle with the help of the Free Your Hair Brush.  Learn to braid, read interviews with your favorite with your favorite witches, make your own hair rituals, and get your monthly Hairoscope.  Follow along on Instagram at @howtohairgirl

Fringe Supply Co. is an online resource for knitters, run by the amazing Karen Templer, Fringe Supply is the sister shop component to Karen's inspiring & thoughtful blog - Fringe Association.  This simple & beautifully curated online shop is home to well made tools & accessories as well as Fringe Originals like the Porter Bin project bag & the greatest invention ever for the knitter on the go, The Field Bag. Follow along on Instagram @fringesupplyco

You can read about the first time on my made a sweater on Karen's blog HERE

EPISODE FIFTY FOUR : in conversation with Sarah Schulweis

Our Guest : Sarah Schulweis is one of the most hard hitting no bullshit women I’ve ever met. Her approach to consulting with her business Anchor & Orbit is gentle yet firm, organized yet flexible. I met Sarah when she attended my How to Not Always be working class at Gravel & Gold last year and almost immediately made a joke that she should just teach class. Between her clients and her new online workshop, she has a way of reaching into people’s lives and businesses to set up new systems that ACTUALLY help them grow. You can find sarah on Instagram at @anchorandorbit and online at anchorandorbit.com                 - marlee

photo by  Rachelle Derouin

photo by  Rachelle Derouin

Sarah Schulweis is a consultant for creatively-inclined businesses under the name Anchor & Orbit. She helps these business owners maintain creativity through the process of business growth. For the most part, she is both a project manager and a therapist to her clients. Her own path to self-employment began when she took Business 101 while training to be a professional dancer. Business concepts really clicked for her and she attended the San Francisco State University entrepreneurship program, then worked as a publisher, then followed her gut and few right turns to end up where she is today. Marlee and Sarah talk through the fears of being a sellout, choosing between making money off of artwork or having another job and making artwork outside of work. This episode goes on longer than others, because they have a BIG important conversation about strategies for working for yourself- from bucketing time, to structuring your week, the guilt that comes with success, forgiving yourself when you get off track, and drawing boundaries.

 

Words of wisdom:

“I don’t want to stay in one place at one time, I want to affect a lot of people. And I want be able to grow my own business, and not just jump off of someone else’s ideas. So I am growing my business while growing other people’s businesses.”

“Who are the people who are going to want to buy your stance- as a business owner and as a maker?”

“There is beauty in owning your own business, because you can make enough money to get by, you can then make enough money to put aside money, or you can make enough money to really create a future for yourself… And then the other beauty of business is that you have control over the situation- you are not stuck in your office, answering to a boss.”

“If you can understand everything you need, truly… Be real with yourself about what you need. I think there is a lot of creative freedom that happens when you get really clear about your vision and your finances.”

 

Things Sarah thinks you should check out:

Business self-help books like Zingerman's Guide to Good Leading Part 3: A Lapsed Anarchist's Approach to Managing Ourselves and You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Organizing without being distracted by using digital applications like workflowy & to doist, also google calendar and spreadsheets!

The Netflix series Abstract

A slew of awesome podcasts:

The Creative Agency (that granted Sarah an interview last year)

My Favorite Murder (for fun!)

After the Jump with Grace Bonney

Startup with Alex Blumberg- particularly the episode about realizing that he needed to grow up and run an “adult” business.

Cheryl Strayed and her podcast Dear Sugar Radio

And for more great small business advice- Meighan O’Toole and her creative online strategies.

 

Podcast Sponsors : 

Sub Rosa Coffee is one of the sunniest & sweetest spots to get coffee in Oakland, California. Located at 419 40th street, Sub Rosa is opening a second location next to the MacArthur Annex on the corner of 40th and MLK this spring. Women-owned since 2009, their minimal approach to serving coffee really makes the drinks and pastries shine. They serve Four Barrel coffee, roasted right in San Francisco, and a great time to swing in is during whole bean happy hour every Tuesday & Wednesday, for 20% off beans. Follow along with them on Instagram @subrosacoffee to hear about community events, tarot readers, and more.

Fancy Tiger Crafts might just be the dreamiest shop in all the land. Located in Denver, Colorado, this shop has truly revolutionized the craft community both online and in person. Owners Jaime & Amber host an open craft night every Tuesday, and live by the idea that making things by hand makes people feel better; and if more people made things the world would be a better place. If you can't stop by in person, visit their website and extensive online shop filled with fabrics, yarn, notions, patterns and more at fancytigercrafts.com You can follow them on Instagram at  @fancytigercrafts. You can also listen to Jaime on EPISODE THIRTY of this very podcast.

EPISODE FIFTY-THREE: in conversation with Mira Blackman

Mira Blackman is a clothing designer and maker, she cuts and sews her own line of sacred textiles in Oakland, California, using handwoven fabric from Uganda. Mira has a background in healing arts and teaching yoga, and moved to Oakland from her hometown of Marin, California. She grew up sewing, then a few years ago she made the decision to study apparel design and merchandising at College of Alameda to learn more about pattern design, drafting, and construction, and go into business for herself. Mira tells the story of how she first discovered the indigo dyed 100% cotton fabric that she works with on her trip to Senegal. She and Marlee discuss the details of starting and running a business as one person with many tasks, and talk about how to find your people after moving to a new place. Mira’s approach was to go dancing enough times until she found a scene that felt like her home, and going to a church that vibed with her beliefs that serendipitously intersected with the community she found House dancing.

The blog post by Stacy Feyer Solo I mentioned about the benefits of a church community is here 

Words of wisdom:

“It’s fulfilling [the fabric]’s purpose, to make it into something… The fabric is all hand-woven and hand-dyed, so I wanted to make stuff that I felt like really respected the fabric and showcased the fabric… I felt like it already had so much life in it, it’s just about making it something that can be worn and something you can move in.”

“The people who were speaking there were speaking my truth and my heart… and it was just a really sweet community that connected me with so many people.”

Current Projects:

Mira is just following the path and seeing what the next step is. It has been a process, from deciding to move her studio out of her home, to meeting new stockists through instagram and selling at markets, to balancing spiritual and romantic life while being her own boss. Life and projects unfold as they come.

Things to be excited about:

Podcasts! Mira listens to podcasts while she is working in the studio, namely storytelling platforms like Risk and The Moth, but she has also recently rediscovered KPFA station programming. KPFA hosts awesome shows, and Mira’s favorites are Your Own Health and Fitness, and The Visionary Activist- an astrologer’s point of view on activism.

Continuing to learn! Mira loves the benefits of taking a class. She is excited to take an upcoming Boro textiles workshop with Jody Alexander of Wishi Washi Studio.