lucia stockists

loving fiercely

Erin Beattie & Laura Prudhomme  are   Loving Fiercely .

Erin Beattie & Laura Prudhomme are Loving Fiercely.

September 6, 2016 - Daily Notes, From the Editor

There are women in this world who possess an unmistakable and ferociously soft way. With it, they go about the essential work of nurturing humanity. It is no small task. Women like this are not usually found in the limelight, as they have important work to do. They are the magicians who know the power of a light heart and understand the reverberant effect of slowing down to care for one human body at a time.

I think of my job as ‘How many ways can I hug someone?”
— Erin Beattie

"I think of my job as 'How many ways can I hug someone?'" says Erin Beattie ("Beattie"), LMP, CHP, and Structural Integration Therapist. She is co-creator and one-half of the small but immensely felt yoga and bodywork collaboration in Seattle, Loving Fiercely.

The other half of this wondrous duo is Laura Prudhomme. Soft, slow, and ardently creative, Laura's yoga is steeped in a heart-centered tradition. Together, these women blend movement with metaphor, breath, laughter, and bodywork. 

I first discovered Laura and Beattie by stumbling into their "Align and Refine" class. Imagine the most delicious yoga session where as you move to the low, liquid voice of an experienced teacher, another beatific bodyworker is weaving her way through the room. When she gets to you, she makes deft adjustments that feel like whole-body hugs, integrating your entire somatic structure and coaxing a deep exhale that you would not have been able to experience on your own. That's Loving Fiercely.

What these women create together is perhaps the most curative, reparative, and stress-melting yoga I have ever known.

"When Beattie and I met six years ago, she was studying structural integration, learning how lines of fascia affect movement, and I was studying Anusara yoga which was all about alignment and has this language of loops and spirals," says Laura. "We realized we were talking about the same thing, just different modalities."

In 2015, Beattie and Laura opened a studio together. Supported by a loyal community of students and friends, the pair held a crowd-funding effort and raised the money necessary to build out the space for Studio 1423. Tucked behind a craftsman house in a garden in Madrona, their door opened to students on Valentine's Day. 

"I think my twenty-something self walking into this place would have been in awe," observes Beattie. "Like, whoa. Women own this." 

Everything seemed to fall into place for Studio 1423 to come to life, they tell me. As if the universe were saying yes.

"We could not have done this all by ourselves. We were able to feel confident taking steps into the unknown because we were bolstered by a community of people willing to share their resources to support us," says Laura. "It feels important to us to honor this."

"I don't really believe in protector-gods," Beattie notes, "But I do think about god as something that's there when you blow a wish dandelion. All those feathery spores are floating around us and we can just reach and grab them and be like 'Yes, thank you! Yes, thank you! Yes, thank you!."

Laura offers another metaphor, as Beattie reaches into the air, pretending to pluck drifting wishes with irreverent gratitude. "It was like we were stepping into the water and the bridge appeared under our feet," she suggests. They look at each other and start cracking up.

Loving Fiercely is a force for good, a twosome of mirth, and a testament to the power of women collaborating to share our talents and bring light. 

We at Lucia are honored to be carried on their shelves. Go visit, but be sure to sign up online first. Classes fill fast.

xo
laura

Postscript. Nothing gold can stay. The day after I wrote this short piece, Laura and Beattie announced they will be closing Studio 1423 in December 2016, and focusing on retreats and special workshops. If you are in Seattle, consider fitting in a class before this magical place changes into life's ever-curious mystery of what will come next...


Laura Lowery is the founder, editor and publisher of Lucia. She does her best to lead a creative life. Whether triumphant or stumbling, Laura shares daily notes (that are often weekly) here on luciajournal, including stories, behind-the-scenes happenings, little doses of inspiration, and large quantities of curiosity and heart. She is pleased to meet you.

grapheme letterpress

Mandolin Brassaw, owner of Grapheme, with Pantone tea and her letterpress.

Mandolin Brassaw, owner of Grapheme, with Pantone tea and her letterpress.

July 1, 2016 - Daily Notes, From the Editor

She makes a soft impression, the sort that is subtle yet embedded richly with possibility and curiosity.

Handing me orange mint tea in a Pantone mug, she asks where I grew up. We're seated on the sofa in the big front window of Grapheme, a letterpress and creative shop in Seattle, and I am about to realize that Mandolin Brassaw and I played soccer on rivaling teams twenty years ago.

It's funny the way people make impressions. Now that I know she grew up in Silverton, Oregon, less than fifteen miles from my family's farm north of Salem, she does look familiar. I can recall a ghost of her in a jersey on a playing field in my memory. We reminisce about growing up rural in the Willamette Valley, and I ask about the path that brought her here, to own her own shop in the heart of Seattle's rapidly changing Central District.

"I was an English major at Willamette," she said. "I thought I'd become a professor. Later, I discovered I don't really love teaching prescribed things."

She was in graduate school at the University of Oregon when she bought the press from Stu Rasmussen, the mayor of Silverton and, incidentally, the first openly transgender mayor in the United States. 

"Stu and his partner were looking to get rid of it and said 'Make us an offer.'" Mandolin was a broke college student and the press was probably worth in the neighborhood of a few thousand dollars, she tells me. But she wanted it. She mustered all her reserves and courage and humbly offered them the $300 she could scrounge up, expecting to hear thank-you-but-that-will-not-do. 

"Stu said, 'I appreciate the offer, but I think it's too much. How about $200?,'" she recalls with a little smile that holds a fond memory and still beams from the inside with gratitude. 

I admit to Mandolin I did not know what a letterpress looked like until today, and ask if she'll show me how it works. The pressure from a large, heavy, smooth metal cylinder makes a permanent imprint on thick paper as it rolls over it. I think quietly to myself that certain people become impressed upon our hearts this way, too. Whatever lies beneath is what winds up making the mark.

Mandolin's father built the shelves for Grapheme's walls to complement the hanging divider she created out of old wooden printer letter boxes she purchased from a rummage sale at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. 

On the shelves are many of her own designs, beautiful cards and artwork pressed with intention and inspiring curiosity, like star maps, solstice trajectories, and renderings of the way the moon moves and reflects change.

"We've sold nearly all our copies of Lucia," she tells me. "Everyone who sits down here picks it up and they have trouble putting it down." I beam when I hear this, of course.

Mandolin lives above her sweet shop on Union Street, with her husband and one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. On certain days, she teaches. Not prescribed lesson plans of collegiate level English literature, but the enormously more ambiguous lesson of how to use a letterpress to take what's inside you and make a permanent impression with it.

Visit her online at: grapheme-seattle.com. Take a class. Buy a card. Or an entire constellation. Be inspired. Tell her Lucia sent you.

xo
laura


Laura Lowery is the founder, editor and publisher of Lucia. She does her best to lead a creative life. Whether triumphant or stumbling, Laura shares daily notes (that are often weekly) here on luciajournal, including stories, behind-the-scenes happenings, little doses of inspiration, and large quantities of curiosity and heart. She is pleased to meet you.

slow clothing and a silversmith

March 12, 2016 - Daily Notes

On Saturday mornings I ease my right foot from the gas pedal of life and gently begin to apply the brakes. I try to slow down. This morning, I am thinking about the beauty and power of slowness and how it applies to growing Lucia.

Lucia Issue Two : Perfection was released this month and the mysterious woman on our cover is Shelli Markee. She is a silversmith and a deep breath of busy gratitude, clean imperfection, and the slow making of worn magic. A few days ago I received this email from her:

"I'm sitting in this beautiful new clothing shop on Beacon Hill. The owner is an amazing woman. She is taking on my collection for her store. I showed her your journal and she would love to sell it here. Her name is Mia Fioravanti."

The next day, I found myself sitting in a vintage armchair in the spacious, light-filled, on-street studio storefront of Fioravanti. They make slow clothing and just opened a few weeks ago. 

Across from me was Mia, the founder and designer, whose silver-blue eyes told me the story of a lifetime of experience, creativity, and vision, without words. Her daughter, Wysdom, sat across from us, the youthful face of a twenty-something design apprentice enmeshed with the presence of an old soul. A stack of Lucia was in my lap and we were discussing the excitement of starting something new and the power of starting something slow.

Mia's father owned a 100-year-old multi-generational woolen mill before it closed in 1968. She grew up watching her mother get dressed in clothing made from fabric her father had produced. Mia and Wysdom's sewing machines, worktables, and reams of fabric take up the back right quarter of their combination studio boutique. Seeing their gorgeous (and affordable!) clothing hanging in the front of the store and, with a soft sweep of my eye, gazing at the seat and machine where it was all made...filled me with inspiration.

Fioravanti feels like an absolute right place for Lucia to be found. I am proud and honored to have them join our growing little family of stockists.

In a warm display near the back of the store are Shelli's exquisite pieces. Her jewelry evokes a sense of what is essential and unseen. Slight flaws in the hand-forged copper, silver and brass conjure vitality the way freckles bring an Irish face to life. 

When we met last summer, Shelli told me both of her grandfathers were blacksmiths but she didn't start this work until she was forty. Now, a decade later, she is creating incredible work and still going slow. She said:

"I want to focus on that eighty-year-old woman. I want to look back on my life and feel happy with the way I've lived instead of thinking, 'I wish I had.'"

I like this slow feeling. The right people seem to be discovering Lucia this way. She is finding her tribe, her home, her circle, her place in the world as she grows. We all are, aren't we?

Go slow, breathe deep, connect sincerely, and they will find you, too.

xo
laura

p.s. Go visit Mia and Wysdom in person or online at miafioravanti.com.

p.p.s. Go visit Shelli Markee in person or online at shellimarkee.com