Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

CONTENT

Eclectic Eccentricity Jewelry || Meet the Maker

Ben Ashby

ECLECTIC ECCENTRICITY JEWELRY

MEET THE MAKER | eclecticeccentricity.co.uk

 

IMG_8252.JPG

 

 

EE Jewelry or its formal name Eclectic Eccentricity is one of our favorite jewelry makers! Known for their nature themed styles and wonderfully fun photography we knew we had to learn more about this brand and the makers behind it!

 

How did you get started creating handmade jewelry? Honestly, I was stuck in a job I didn't enjoy and was really seeking a creative refugee that my head could escape to.  I had some gemstones and pieces in a box and just started - it really was that straight forward. When I ran out of gemstones, I ordered more; when they arrived, I was so excited that I got up at 2am to make them into necklaces because my brain was too buzzy with excitement. The buzzy brain never really went away, 13 years later I still have it.

 

IMG_8253.JPG

 

 

Were you always interested in jewelry? I was always interested in design and how things fit together, ratios and symmetry - and playing with asymmetry. I come from a maths and science background, it's what I studied at university, so I think that analytical approach has influenced the designs! 

 

Did you know you would start your own brand, if not what spurred it? I wouldn't say I always knew I'd start my own brand, but I did always know, on a very gut level, that I'd do something different from the 9-5. At the time, I was aspiring to be an astronaut or work as an astrophysicist at NASA, but I'm still waiting for NASA to call. When I first began making jewelry, I quickly started developing ideas as to where I could take the business; I was working as a manager of a shop at the time so I started selling through the store and gradually over the next few months, the brand started gaining traction. I had a huge opportunity when a few months later I was featured by the website Daily Candy - overnight, sales went through the roof. It took a lot of work though, I gave up my job and my life to make the brand work. 18 hour days became my normal and there was never a moment where I didn't obsess over the smallest detail of things.

 

How do you get ideas for new products & photo shoots? Initially all the designs were my own as the business was largely run solo, but the team has now grown so we tend to work collaboratively on ideas. EE has very much become a brand which all of the team is a part of - everyone brings something different to the table so it's really pieces of all of us. From hiking to astronomy to our furry friends at home and travelling to far flung places, the pieces we create represent all the things that make our hearts beat. Our tag line is 'for the inquisitive of heart and inquiring of mind' and it's a motto we stick closely to when working on new concepts. Each piece tells a story.

 

 

IMG_8251.JPG

 

 

What are your inspirations? How do your hobbies influence what you make? Is it cliched to say anything and everything? It's difficult to pin point precise inspirations, I think ideas come naturally and you don't necessarily know where from. I think we all try to fill our time with the things we love - being out in the wilds, walking the dogs, going out for long runs. These are the moments where your brain ticks it all over, the best ideas come when you're most yourself and filling up that happiness tank with fresh air gives the mind freedom to wander a bit. We're incredibly lucky and our studio has a huge balcony with incredible views over the city; we have tables and comfy seats so at lunch you can pop out, do some yoga or just enjoy your lunch in the sunshine. Without fail, we all feel revived and connected for the afternoon and that's the best inspiration there is.

 

 

IMG_8257.JPG

 

 

 

What has been your biggest lesson?  This is easy - hiring the right people. A brand is only as good as the people behind it - you can have the best brand identity in the world but if you've got the wrong team it's impossible. If your team can't connect, how could your customer? Over the years there has been a lot of trial and error and going from a place where the company was a one woman band to suddenly having to share that load with others has been a tricky one. It's never something I'll perfect, but I try to trust my gut when taking on new people. Really, it's about knowing your tribe and putting together a group of people who are reading from the same page. You work with the same few people every day for 5 days a week, you have to get on and you have to know how the others work. We're an incredibly close team (seriously, sometimes we're all like those 'cute' couples who finish each others sentences) but that level of understanding has come from knowing each other so well and all working towards the same goal. I never thought I'd have a group of people work for me who cared and were as emotionally invested in my brand as I am. I've had to make some tough choices and there's the lesson - don't do harm, be kind, but make sure you hire the right people (no pressure).

 

IMG_8254.JPG

 

 

What's your favorite thing about sharing EE Jewelry with others?  Seeing it all over the world! EE has so many international customers, from people who buy direct from our website to those who buy via our little army of stockists, seeing how far we can make the EE net reach is exciting. It's like a community and that makes my face beam rainbows. On the other end of the spectrum, seeing our pieces being worn in our own neck of the woods is so, so, so amazing, I can't even begin to tell you. I was walking home from the office recently and walked past a girl wearing our 'You Cannot Be Cirrus' necklace; it was all I could do to not say something. It's not an exaggeration or a sales line to say that every piece is made with so much love and care. Our relationship with our customers is paramount and the wonderful feedback we get makes us so happy.

 

 

What's been your best advice you've been given? Many years ago when the business was first starting to expand, it was stressful and I struggled. I was finding it hard to know how to structure my days efficiently and suddenly I had a major high street retailer in the UK calling me in for a meeting. It was scary, I felt stuck and I had zero experience.  A friend called Jason said "say yes, you'll make it work later". So I did and it worked. Tina Fey said something similar a few years after that with "say yes, and you'll figure it out afterwards". Guessing she and Jason must have had a chat at some point. It's by far the best piece of advice I've been given - because 100%, you'll always figure it out.

 

 

IMG_8255.JPG

 

What's been your biggest challenge? The downside of saying yes means sometimes you are left in a pickle.

The scaling up of the business is a challenge. Knowing those tipping points, when it's time to start investing more both in terms of money and time, is vital. I guess it comes down to your gut again - most of my business decisions are gut based with a small basis of paperwork and numbers! Working with big international companies is challenging, they bring with them their own demands which can affect how you choose to run your business, not to mention how huge orders can play with your cash flow when a 6 week wait for payment is the expected. It's all good though, running a business is the harshest learning curve but it makes you learn hard and fast!

— SHOP: eclecticeccentricity.co.uk

IMG_8256.JPG

Coffee Culture || Brandon Lopez

Ben Ashby

BRANDON LOPEZ

COFFEE CULTURE

 

Brandon Lopez, a Denver based photographer and graphic designer shares with us his love of coffee, coffee shops, and coffee culture. 

IMG_8167.JPG

 

 

Favorite coffee shop: This is a really hard question — I have favorites for the community, for the coffee, and for the space itself. 

My favorite for community is Two Rivers (@tworiverscoffee) in Denver. Eric, the owner, has been a good friend of mine for the last six years and anyone that knows him knows that he would do next to anything for the people around him. I was at his wedding this weekend and it was no surprise to see so many familiar faces from the shop there.

 

Switchbox Coffee (@switchboxcoffee) in Fort Lauderdale is up there in my favorites for great coffee. The day before they opened, I walked in to share my excitement for them opening the next day. Come to find out they just recently moved back from Denver to open this shop. Long story short — just as quickly as we became good friends — they became a staple in the craft coffee world in South Florida.

Lastly, for the space itself, Its a tie. I’ve always loved ALL DAY (@alldaymia) in Miami. Its tall, open ceilings and clean interior look like they took this place straight out of San Fransisco. The neon menu along with the gorgeous bar are understandably, a focal point. The other would be Black Eye Coffee (@blackeyecoffee) in Denver. By day a coffee and brunch spot, by night a bar call edWhite Lies. From black and gold Art Deco style wallpaper to the white penny tile, this spot is undoubtedly ‘grammable to say the least.

 

 

IMG_8168.JPG

 

 

Camera you shoot with: Typically, at least in the past, the only camera I’ve had on me is my iPhone. Recently I’ve been shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II

Favorite drink to get at coffee shop: This really depends on the mood, somedays it’s a cortado, others it’s some method of pour over, and if ever in doubt, cold brew is always a solid choice.

 

 

IMG_8169.JPG

 

 

Why do you love coffee culture: Above all, I love the way that coffee brings people together, whether in work, in community, or ritual. Some of my closest friends I’ve met in the coffee community. Its seems to be a common thread that people who love coffee also share a passion for connecting. One of my good buddies, Joe (@coffeenkegs) and I connected through Instagram. He runs an account showcasing the some of the best coffee, shops, and beer — I hit him up one day and asked to hang and I’ll be attending his wedding later this year, haha. Which goes to show, the coffee community is stoked on celebrating craft, authenticity, and connection. 

 

 

IMG_8170.JPG

 

 

Give us a photo tip: Find the light — for me coffee always looks best in natural light. And I am by no means wildly knowledgeable in the subject but the trick Ive found is finding where light is coming from and how I can use it. Whether it’s a person sitting in a window or sitting in a spot where the light is filtering in, its hard to mess up a shot with good lighting. 

 

 

IMG_8173.JPG

 

 

 

What city has the best coffee: Out of the cities I’ve lived in or visited London definitely has the best coffee — but everyone knows that. As far as overall experience, hands down Denver has one of the best communities of incredible roasters and shop goers.

 

 

 

IMG_8174.JPG

 

 

What makes a good coffee shop: To me a good shop isn’t always the one on the forefront of trends or the most aesthetic, its about the people the put up with me coming in everyday and asking questions about their lives outside the shop. The people that share that same passion as the shop goers for community and authenticity. Its about the people behind the counter and the people I’m with. Yeah of course, I love neon menus and marble counters, but if there’s nothing substantial behind them then all you have are some hipsters serving you bean water.

 

 

IMG_8175.JPG
IMG_8176.JPG
IMG_8177.JPG
IMG_8178.JPG
IMG_8179.JPG
IMG_8180.JPG

True Country

Ben Ashby

 

ESSAY BY: BLAKE PACK

When people dream of living in the country, I imagine they don't give much thought to the flies, pollen, grain chaff, and heat; the smell, wind, or dust. Growing up, the five-hundred head of livestock we owned consumed several tons of grain, hay, and corn each day; Let's just say not all of our dust was made of dirt. I don't know how the West was won, but I can imagine it probably conquered a few indomitable wills along the way.

 

I worked with these cattle in these conditions and I couldn't fathom thatthis land, this plain, was someone's romanticized dream of country life. I hated the work most. You couldn't escape the filthy combination of dust and grime, of animal and earth. When Grandpa said to be at the barn by seven, he didn't mean 0700, you were expected be there at 6:45 A.M. The cows wouldn't milk themselves at four in the morning, nor would the grain irrigate itself. The calves had to be fed, and the horses caught, all before nine if we were going to get to horse breaking.

 

I will admit the chore of breaking mostly fell to my Grandpa and father, but my brother and I had the privilege of holding the ropes as the colts kicked up the aforementioned dust. After several days of this repetition, the time came for my brother and me to run the horses like we were being chased by hellfire. It will never fail to amaze me how a colt in full sprint can reach back and bite his rider's shin without ever breaking stride.

I won't say it didn't have its rewards. We had our fair share of trips to the Palisades and Grand Tetons. Even if the trips required a wake-up call at five in the morning to catch horses, pack saddles, and load trailers. Six butts crammed into an extended cab '88 Chevy Dually for a two-hour drive, it wasn't ideal but it was all about the destination.

After several hours of riding, in these watercolor landscapes usually right about the time the pain from the saddle fell numb we'd return to the truck and, in reverse order, undo all the work of saddling the horses, repack, cram our butts back into the truck, and return home. Only this time, we'd stop by the first gas station we met where Dad would buy us whatever treat we wanted. At the end of our drive we'd drop the cousins and uncles off at their homes, leaving the work of unpacking to my brother, father, and me. Only when we had unpacked the horse trailer could we waddle home with our saddle-sore thighs and crawl into bed; Just to repeat it all the next day.

When people dream of living in the country, I don't imagine them giving much thought to the work and sweat that goes with a true country life, but that's just what I'll never forget.

Easy Whipped Cream

Ben Ashby

 

Cool Whip is overrated and not that good....fresh whipped cream is so easy to make..and so much better. Our recipe keeps it super simple.

WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl pour the whipping cream and the vanilla. As you beat the mixture add the powdered sugar to help provide stiffness and a bit of extra flavor. Whip until it is as thick and creamy as you'd like. I prefer stiff peaks. Be sure to not over whip or you'll end up with butter.

 

Easy Banana Pudding

Ben Ashby

This one is an absolute favorite and classic. Super easy to maker and so darn cute in these sweet canning jars. 

Easy Banana Pudding

  • 2 5 ounce packages of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 cups of very cold milk
  • 4 ripe bananas 
  • 1 box vanilla waffers
  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 powdered sugar

Mix pudding mix and milk as instructed on box. Set aside. Slice bananas. Beat heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until whipped cream is desired thickness. 

Starting with waffers, cut or break as necessary to fit into jar, create layers. Alternate between the waffers, the pudding, the sliced bananas, and the whipped cream until jars are full. Finish with a a spot of whipped cream and a banana slice tucked into the top. Garnish with fresh mint if desired. 

 

Use lids of jars for the perfect beach or picnic treat. Keep cold until serving.  

On The Bright Side | Brandon Lopez

Ben Ashby

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

MEET BRANDON LOPEZ 

 

His aesthetic is bright, crisp, and super clean. His photos brighten your day with their incredibly pleasing and refreshing simplicity. I had to learn more about how Denver based photographer Brandon Lopez developed his skills and his style.

Website - BrandonLopez.co | Instagram - @brandon.brightside |VSCO - vsco.co/brandonslopez

 

 

When did you start photography: My interest in photography was piqued three years ago when I lived in South Florida and was surrounded by so many great photographers, fashion designers, and street artists.

 

What caused you to get into photography: The pulse of creativity in South Florida inspired me to start thinking through each shot more technically - composition, light, texture, etc.

 

 

What was your first camera: The first camera I shot on was a Canon 5D Mark III that I borrowed from a friend in Colorado Springs. I barely knew - and maybe true still - what I was doing. 

 

What is your current camera: Currently shooting with a Canon AL 1. I’m trying to learn film, mostly by trial and error. It’s frustrating and exciting to shoot and develop a roll and see what turns out - it’s a patience thing.

 

What is your dream camera: Haven’t quite thought this through very much honestly, at least as far as an everyday camera. I’m still trying to find what feels most comfortable in my hand while shooting. If I had to name one, probably a Leica M3, but like most of us, I’ll keep dreaming.

 

 

Who inspires you: Fashion photographers like Samantha from @sammykeller in Denver and Jana from @ojandcigs in Miami are killin it right now. I love they’re style, the colors, the poses, the compositions, really their whole aesthetic is perfect. Street photographers like Joe from @ioestreet capture the human story in ways I only wish I could. Lastly, Toby from @tobyseeingthings is doing some pretty awesome work in minimalism - his series called ‘minimal body’ is one of my biggest sources of inspiration currently.

 

What inspires you: People inspire me. The people in my life, the people that pass me by every day. Everyone has a story to tell, whether that be through creative expression, vocation, or just conversation with strangers. 

 

 

What is your favorite subject to shoot, least favorite: Favorite would be people either candidly (street photo style) or somewhat staged. Currently I have this idea running through my head about social anxiety and feeling alone in a place that was once home. Looking in on people in what would feel like familiar settings we’ve all been in or known but in awkward or slightly uncomfortable poses - which sometimes (at least recently) is representative of how I feel in social situations. Lol. 

 

What do you feel is your greatest strength and what is your greatest weakness: I’ve been told my greatest strength is capturing people - so I’m running with that. Greatest weakness is probably the technical side of things, like operating a camera. Honestly this is a new form of expression for me. 

 

 

 

You have a very bright style, why? I like to keep my photos bright, colorful, and lively mostly to remind myself that this is what life is like. Honestly, I’ve been depressed for most of my life, growing up in a relatively religious home and keeping to myself about sexuality, along with a slew of other shit, has lead to some pretty dark days. And I’m not looking here looking for pity or ‘oh poor Brandon’ comments, but to show people who experience depression that there is a whole other side to their story that will come if they’re willing to fight for it - the bright side. 😉

 

 

What's a bit of life advice you'd give: Ha! You’re asking the wrong person for life advice. When I figure it out I’ll be sure to share. But to echo my answer for the last question, which actually sounds p corny when I read it back, but honestly life is a battle and if you’re willing to fight for what you love you will find that there is a whole community of people, with stories just as intricate and messy as yours, that will love and build you up. 

 

A Mountain Girl

Ben Ashby

A MOUNTAIN GIRL

PHOTOGRAPHY + ESSAY BY: LUKE GOTTLIEB

 

I grew up in a small town in the mountains of Colorado called Carbondale. It sits about 30 miles downriver from the iconic ski town of Aspen. You can imagine the sort of beauty and culture that area harnesses. Carbondale holds everything that is dear to me; rivers, mountains, wildlife, ranches and about everything you can imagine a small mountain town would. Most of my time growing up was spent running around in the woods and on ranches, which a few of my friends lived on. As any mountain child could recall, these sort of upbringings can certainly shape you. Certainly, they have shaped me and as I continue the journey of photography, which often brings me to cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego and beyond, it’s the mountains that ground me to the core. 

 

 

Over the last few months however, I was experiencing shoots that didn’t quite inspire me. So much of my work and projects take place in Los Angeles, where the pool of talented models, hair and makeup artists is endless. The industry is there in a big way, so over the last couple of years I have made it a point to be there often. As great as that is, it’s easy to get creatively exhausted and that is one of the biggest challenges for me in having an art form as my job. When you complete a project that truly speaks to you, that your truly proud of, you can feel that in a true and intense way. But getting to that point can be a hard and challenging road. Lately, I’ve been feeling the numbness of that weary road, and knew I needed to take a step back from the grind to focus on on finding new inspiration.

 

 

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a lovely gal by the name of Sarah Courtney. She’s a mountain girl through and through and her parents own this beautiful ranch in Buena Vista, CO. “Buena Vista”, which is Spanish for “Beautiful View,” is very much just that. The ranch sits at the foot of towering 14,000 foot peaks, and on this particular day, the infamous and unpredictable summer weather of Colorado was in full swing. Sweeping storm clouds had socked in the town for the day, but the ranch, nestled in the eye of these summer storms was some of the most stunning and dramatic light I have seen in a while. I hadn’t had a shoot that felt so close to home in such a long time. 

 

 

Sarah’s ranch is as amazing as any ranch could be; chickens, horses, random relics of the old days and a beautiful stately old barn that seems to watch over the ranch. Sarah herself is a proficient horseback rider and her connection with the horses is something that would inspire anyone. I wanted to capture this environment many people only know from films and show Sarah existing, naturally, authentically.

 

 

A sort of rejuvenation took place for me. The light was amazing, the styling was perfect, and for Sarah, it was her most authentic self being on the ranch around her horses. We walked around, shooting in multiple outfits and capturing anything that inspired us. Most of the time, I’m a portrait photographer in fairly controlled scenarios, being able to photograph this wild environment while capturing such a profound moment of connection between a woman and this beast was one of the most genuine, beautiful and grounding things for me. I had instant flashbacks to my childhood and my love for Colorado. 

 

 

I think things happen in life intentionally. For me, this shoot felt right. It felt like home and helped to refuel my soul in a way that continuing to grind out work could not. Certainly, from a photographer’s perspective… that of my own, i’m more inspired and driven after this experience. Often, we go around trying to figure things out as human beings instead of just allowing life to unfold. As I sit here eating some fresh eggs from Sarah’s ranch and listening to Bob Dylan, I look at this shoot as a testament to the notion that ‘home’ isn’t as far away as you think and who you truly are is always there. You just have to allow it to show up. 

 

Ashley Sullivan | In Her Own Words

Ben Ashby

ASHLEY SULLIVAN

IN HER OWN WORDS

 


I grew up in Maryland, a sort of grounded daydreamer. I have always been creative, so I decided that I would study interior design. In school I learned a lot about the foundations of design, processes, and shaping space. I have always drawn inspiration from the seasons, natural light, textures—and their contrast. I love linens and silks, birch bark, flower petals, worn cobblestones...anything I can find pattern and texture in inspires me.

londy-hohenstein0913_01.jpg

 

I started a blog five years ago as a creative outlet for my design and began experimenting more with photography. I spent time developing my technical and composition skills and finding my own style. Today I specialize in food, still life, and travel photography.

 

I've always been filled with a global curiosity, and I feel most alive when traveling and exploring the world. I'm fascinated by foreign cultures and traditions and how people live. The details and textures that can be found while traveling are amazingly intricate, if you take the time to notice. I use these details like puzzle pieces in my design, each one an important element in the final product.

 

My husband, our bulldog Kane, and I recently relocated to Minneapolis. We're thrilled about the adventure, and although the winters are a lot to bear, there is a vibrancy to the culture here. I've made some great friends in the creative community, and am energized by the maker spirit. I started a series on my blog about Minnesota makers with trades like glassblowing, leather-working, woodworking, and painting. There are many fantastic goods that are made right here in our community, and I love sharing their stories.

 

In addition to having a deep passion for travel, I have a great yearning for the calm life at home. Slow mornings with coffee and a good book or sunny afternoons with an open bottle of wine. I love throwing on Frank Sinatra and creating a meal with my husband...these are the moments that make up our lives, and I think being intentional about how we spend our moments is truly important.

 

— www.ashley-sullivan.com

Wales on Film

Ben Ashby

 

WALES ON FILM

A PHOTO ESSAY BY CHRIS BUXTON

 


 

Wales is the mountainous western cousin of England, a Celtic link to the past with over 1,180 km or 730 mi for us using the imperial system of coastline, and 50 islands decorating it. Boasting three national parks and the Heritage Coast, Wales is an untapped land of adventure. Chris Buxton, a lifestyle photographer based in Wales in the United Kingdom, uses 35mm film for most of his practice. He relies on film to achieve a feeling that digital cameras can't capture naturally.

 

 

 

Living in Wales, he'd never really travelled around the Welsh landscape and finally decided to explore it with his second set of eyes, his camera. "I was very shocked by how beautiful this country truly is," says Chris, "it has shown me that everyone needs to explore their own homes to see where they're truly from." Chris tries to capture the natural and inner beauty of the landscape of his homeland and put it on the maps of like-minded soul-searchers and explorers hoping to find a new destination and a new adventure.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Woolrich | American Made

Christophe Chaisson

STORY: HEATH STILTNER | PHOTOGRAPHY: BEN ASHBY | BOOTS: WOOLRICH

CAMERA: FUJI X100F

Just after the American revolution, but before the Civil War, the Great Depression, two world wars, and the Cold war, rural north-central Pennsylvania was little more than a largely spread out collection of family farms that collectively formed small communities. The United States was a small nation of only 24 states, only slightly developed, and surround by wilderness completely. It was in one of these small communities that one of America’s oldest heritage companies planted its roots. When John Rich II boarded a ship in Liverpool early in the nineteenth century, it’s doubtful he could’ve ever imagined that his voyage to the land of opportunity and entrepreneurship would allow him to build such a lasting legacy but today the family tradition and the mill still stand, a testament to the 183 year-old and oldest-running woolen mill in the U.S.

In 1830, When John Rich II moved from a small community near Philadelphia to the north-central community of Little Plum Run, Pennsylvania, the area was little more than the typical landscape of family farms and lumbering communities. The son of a wool carder – the process by which wool fibers are straightened – Rich had migrated to the U.S. years earlier with a great depth of knowledge about the wool industry. It was using this knowledge that he first began his career in operating woolen mills in Mill Hall before moving to Little Plum Run to join his business partner Daniel McCormick where they would begin the legacy that is Woolrich. Little Plum Run acted as the perfect beginning for the young upstart, so much so in fact that by the fourth year they had outgrown the small community. With a growing production demand, the limited access to water power for their growing factory operation forced Rich and McCormick to relocate the mill to a nearby community called Chatham Run in 1834.

The Pine Creek Township began development first with the establishment of a sawmill that would build three log homes for the Rich family and their mill employees, along with a three-story brick woolen mill factory measuring thirty-five feet by fifty-five feet. In 1843 Rich bought McCormick’s interest in the company, becoming the sole proprietor and going on to turn the township into Woolrich, PA, the home to eight generations of the Rich family who still own and operate the company today. From that point, the community around Woolrich sprang to life, with several generations of Rich’s starting community housing, the Woolrich Community United Methodist church in 1868, and the iconic mile-long drive into town lined with 50-foot pines planted by members of that church after the unfortunate passing of M. B. Rich in 1930. The Woolrich community is one that seems untouched by modern industry, still made up of the families who have worked the mills for generations, along with Rich and Brayton families.

The Rich family has always controlled the company in one way or another and the current president, Nick Brayton, and vice president Joshua Rich, are no exceptions as they represent the seventh and eighth generations of the Rich family. Nick’s father Roswell Brayton, Jr. was a sixth generation Rich whose parents, Roswell Brayton, Sr. and Catherine Rich, moved from Rhode Island back to Woolrich, PA. in 1953. Robert F. Rich, great-grandson to founder John Rich, had asked that his daughter Catherine move to Woolrich with two-year-old Brayton, Jr. so that Brayton, Sr. could help run the woolen mill and modernize the factory. Brayton, Jr. grew up in the community of Woolrich and recalled in his opening letter to Woolrich: 175 Years of Excellence that his childhood was filled with memories of sneaking into the woolen mill with his cousin John William Rich and jumping from one 500-pound bale of wool to another while sneaking by the factory watchman.

Brayton, Jr. passed unexpectedly in 2007, leaving the Woolrich legacy in the hands of his son and the 7th generation of the Rich family, Nick Brayton. In 2010, Nick and his cousin and 8th generation Rich, Joshua Rich, started to take up ownership of the Woolrich, Inc. company together. “Throughout my college career I never planned to be the President of Woolrich,” Nick admits. “I grew up in the factory like my father, but I remember how late he had to work and how frustrated it made him sometimes. I had boiled it down to just that thought, and like most kids in my situation I guess I thought that wasn’t what I wanted.” However, when Nick was asked to take up the position, he knew it was the right decision for him and for Woolrich. 

Since taking up control of Woolrich, Nick and his cousin Josh have started the transition into bringing some of Woolrich’s most popular items back to domestic manufacturers. “We’ve always woven our own wool here at the mill,” Josh says, “but in the late 80s and early 90s we had to start manufacturing some of our most popular items abroad to keep up with market demands. Now, we’re working to bring back some of those most classic items back, like the Woolrich Buffalo Plaid Shirt Jac.” Josh and Nick enlisted the help of their popular Italian branch and Executive Vice President Patrick Nebiolo to help bring back to light that iconic American heritage past the company is known for.

The last couple of years have seen tremendous growth for the company in finding a new younger audience in heritage-minded Generation Y. “We started taking our shirts and blankets to Penn State tailgating events and realized we had a whole new audience that was aware of our company history and standards, they’re now some of our best clients,” says Leah Dole, Woolrich’s marketing and advertising director. Leah has started collecting swatches of the company’s past through archiving customer’s antique and vintage Hunting Shirt Jacs. 

“We want to keep the stories of everyone’s history with Woolrich alive. Those stories are so much a part of our community here,” Nick explains, “we have families that have worked here for generations. That’s the great thing about our products too, not only can a grandson have the same style Shirt Jac that his grandfather wore hunting, but he can inherit it.” The Woolrich family and company are still very much alive in Woolrich, PA. With its iconic pine-tree-lined mile-drive into town and 1830s mill, the town stands as a gleaming example of American industry and its lasting quality.

A Focus on the Human Element | Jeyson Paez

Christophe Chaisson

When it comes to portrait photographers Texan Jeyson Paez is in a land of his own. To learn more about Jeyson and his work I asked Christophe to sit down with the man behind the portraits.

 

Christophe: When did you first become interested in photography?

Jeyson: I was really young, I can't remember the exact age. But I always knew that I wanted to express myself in a creative and interesting way. I was always captured by the beauty of images and the stories they could tell. That translated into my interest in being behind the camera as a photographer, so I could be the one behind the stories. 

C: Were you self-taught or did you learn in school/from a mentor?

J:I took a class at a community college covering the basics of photography. I was taught how to properly use a camera, but the imagination is inherent in me. I was ready to learn things on my own, and I knew that I needed more hands-on practice. 

C: How did you develop your style?

J: I'm not sure if I've locked down a style yet. My work is about the people, and they inspire me in a different way every time. 

C: What themes do you explore through your work?

J: There are two themes in all of my work: the personal and the professional. My personal is more visceral and candid; I like to put a focus on the human element. It's a little more free, and the story comes naturally. It's definitely more intimate and honest. Professional is more polished and stylized--I know the photo is for a specific purpose, and there's more structure to it. 

C: How do you find and choose your subjects or locations?

J: I find most of the models I work with on Instagram, and sometimes they find me. When choosing, I veer towards someone who (I think) can give me more of a personal connection to the photos I'm taking. I like to make my personal work feel as real as possible. For locations, I do this the old-fashioned way. I drive and bookmark the unusual or unique spots around my city! 

C: What inspires your work?

J:The people and their stories. That's where the appeal of an image comes from, and that's why I picked up a camera in the first place.

C: How do you compose an image? Do you go into the shoot with a specific shot in mind, or does the inspiration strike when you place your model in the setting?

J: It always depends on the subject. I think not knowing how things will go in a shoot is the most exciting part because it creates this unique experience for me and the models I work with. We are walking into the unknown, and that's how I can capture emotion and vulnerability. With my current project, ROOMS, I sometimes don't even know what the actual room is going to look like until I'm with the model the day of the shoot.

C: What has been your biggest lesson learned through creating your art?

J: Whatever you create or do, always make sure you're doing it for yourself. I sometimes push the limit and it may not be the popular choice, but I know what images matter the most to me. I'll always focus on that. 

C: What do you hope your art says to people?

J: That life is a beautiful mess.

C: Why did you choose your craft(photography)

J: I've always gravitated towards photography since I was very young, and it felt like the only option for me to express myself creatively. 

C: How hard was it to become profitable at it?

J: I'll let you know once I find out! 

C: Any suggestions to newcomers to the field?

J: Find what gives you the fire, and go for it. It's not going to be an easy journey but if you truly want it, the result will be fulfilling. 

IMG_1149-2 copy.jpg

C: If you couldn’t be doing your craft, what would you do instead?

J: While I can't imagine what life would be like without photography, I know I'd be working with people in some way. Anything I think about has to do with helping people, with inspiring them to be their best self.

C: Any favorite moments of your career so far?

J: My glitter project, Glitter That Portrait, took me places I never could have imagined. It was something so personal to me, and the reception was widely positive. I ended up being featured on Instagram, OUT Magazine and Cosmopolitan. It gave me a platform to expand my photography business. 

C: What would you do differently if you could start from scratch?

J: Honestly, nothing. I am where I am because of what I have gone through, and I can't imagine a different outcome than where I am right now. 

C: Is there a defining moment in your career so far?

J: My current project ROOMS. I've always wanted to explore the internal battle between good and evil, and it was something deeply personal for me. I was afraid to take things too far or make someone uncomfortable, but I took a chance. When the reception was positive, it was the best feeling. I put something so personal and gritty out there, and found that it made so many people feel something.

C: Is there anything you really enjoy in your craft vs another line of work?

J: The connection I can foster with people. The behind-the-scenes conversations make people feel relaxed and comfortable, and I don't think I would find opportunities to get to know people like this with any other job.

C: Biggest pet peeve about the industry?

J: The unrealistic idea of what pretty and perfect looks like. We are all different in how we look, how we act and what we want. That keeps the stories behind the photos unique instead of blending in with each other.

C: Is flannel really always appropriate?

J: It REALLY isn't.

A Southwest Love Affair

Ben Ashby

 

 

Today's photo gallery comes to us from Jordan Ison from Salt Lake City. You may know him better as @jordan_is on Instagram. 

I asked Jordan to share a bit about himself: 

I'm Jordan. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Born and raised. I have a love affair with the Southwest Desert. Spent most my life exploring different areas, and learning the history before taking up the camera to photograph it. I love the National Parks, but I love being off the beaten path more. 

I shoot medium format film, iPhone, and digital, in that order. I mostly shoot landscapes and portraiture with some lifestyle photography mixed in. 

Other things; I read a lot. I travel a lot. I eat a lot. I drink a lot of coffee. I lift heavy things. 

These photos are from Lake Powell and Lower Antelope Canyon.

 


PHOTOGRAPHY: JORDAN ISON

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Fog Lay Low

Ben Ashby

 

THE FOG LAY LOW

A JOURNEY THROUGH ISLAND

 


 

Iceland is a beautiful country of long roads and waterfalls. The fog lay low on the mountains during our visit, making it feel exactly how I hoped it would feel. The atmosphere was contagious.  I'll never forget the awe that I felt surrounding each landscape.

PHOTOGRAPHY ESSAY BY: NATHAN O'MALLY

SHOT USING AN IPHONE


 

 

Iceland is a beautiful country of long roads and waterfalls. The fog lay low on the mountains during our visit , making it feel exactly how I hoped it would feel. The atmosphere was contagious.  I'll never forget the awe that I felt surrounding each landscape.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

PHOTOGRAPHY ESSAY BY: NATHAN O'MALLY

Meet the Maker | Aviate

Ben Ashby

By now you've probably seen at least one or two people wearing those airport code hats. Have you ever wondered where or why they're made? I was curious...so I went straight to the maker to find out why they've become so darn popular. 

Aviate, a lifestyle brand based out of Birmingham, Alabama crafting signature travel products around the three letter airport codes. For millions of travelers, these airport codes evoke memories of journeys past, adventures ahead and the comfort of returning home.

Aviate was founded in 2015 on the idea of encouraging explorers to Play Hard & Travel Often. It has since established itself as a must-have travel accessory with its signature three letter airport code hats turning lazy hair days into hometown-pride staples. The first Aviate hats were produced in Founder Ben Lancaster’s home city of Birmingham, AL with the BHM airport code. Only 100 samples were made and they sold out in under two days. The company has since expanded into 500 retail locations across the country and offering more than 100 codes for cities ranging from Key West, Florida to Honolulu, Hawaii.

At Aviate, The Motto “Play Hard. Travel Often.” Is more than just a catchy tagline – it’s a way of life. And true to the brand’s unofficial motto, to work even harder, Aviate doesn’t plan to rest its laurels solely on the success of their hats – no matter how many thousands more they may sell. Aviate is the place where community takes off! They pride themselves on being a giveback brand, working with organizations such as Make –A- Wish Alabama, The Exceptional Foundation, and His Hands Mission.  In 2017 alone, Aviate has donated over 15,000 hats across the United States and around the world. 

To continue the discussion we asked the team behind Aviate a few questions about business

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF SHARING AVIATE WITH OTHERS: Though the concept is simple, the idea of the brand is deeper. Aviate is a good way to identify with your community. Everyone takes pride in where they’re from, or where they’ve been, or where they want to travel to, and the airport code identifier is what we use to help build community.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST LESSON THE COMPANY HAS LEARNED: Much of Aviate’s success in the past two years is due to our commitment to doing whatever was necessary to get the brand off the ground. However, the greatest lesson was to be sure to align ourselves with positive relationships that had our best interests. 

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Maintaining our success and delivering more products beyond our signature hats. And true to the brand’s unofficial motto to play hard, travel often, and work even harder, Aviate doesn’t plan to rest its laurels on the success of their line of hats- no matter how many thousands more we may sell.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR AVIATE: The brand hopes to extend beyond its current collections in the southwest, northeast, northwest, and midwest. “That just puts the good pressure back on us to reinvent the wheel, reinvent our hat, and always be changing and evolving into ultimate travel brand.” Aviate plans to expand product (luggage & weekender bags) for all travel needs.

USE CODE "FOLK17" FOR 15% OFF YOUR ORDER AT:

— SHOPAVIATE.COM

— @AVIATEBRAND

PHOTOGRAPHY SHOT WITH FUJI X100F

Coffee Culture || Kyle Boen

Ben Ashby

I find myself more drawn into Kyle Boen's world by the day! He takes us into scenic and golden world south of the Mason Dixon Line. Photography that captures the current transformation of Nashville and the surrounding area has me excited to follow along. Today I asked him to be part of our Coffee Culture Monday series....

Introduce yourself: My name is Kyle Boen AKA StayFoxx. I live in Nashville, TN.

What is your favorite coffee shop: My favorite coffee shop is Frothy Monkey. There are several locations here in TN and one of the best coffee shops I've been to. 

What is your favorite coffee drink: My favorite coffee drink is a soy vanilla latte. I honestly like the taste of soy milk more than regular milk which is why I get it with soy.

What camera do you use: For my photos I mostly use my iPhone 6s. A DSLR is used on some photos but majority is done through phone.

What makes for a good coffee shop: I think what makes a good coffee shop is the ambience. I'm usually drawn to the more rustic vibes of coffee shops so if you have lots of wood and a fireplace I'm sold.

Give us a photo tip: When it comes to taking a good coffee photo...the key, in my opinion, is keep it simple. Sometimes simple is better.

What city has the best coffee: Obviously Nashville has the best coffee not only because I live here but because there are soo many varieties to choose from around the city. Frothy Monkey is still my "Go To" when I'm feeling like a cup of joe.

— @STAYFOXX

Coffee Culture || Tyler Wendling

Ben Ashby

 

I've known Tyler Wendling for years now. I have followed along on his aesthetic journeys in Michigan. From coffee culture, to lifestyle shoots, to having an eye for the little things in life...Tyler is such a treat to follow. Today we sat down with him to learn a bit more about his love of coffee. 

 

INTRODUCE YOURSELF, PLEASE || Hello, 

My name is Tyler Wendling. I'm a graphic designer, photographer, and stylist living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I write, design, and photograph for the blog Wendling & Boyd. You can usually find me in the kitchen making some delicious or out having fika with some friends. 

 

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP || My favorite coffee shops is Harless + Hugh up in Bay City because I love the ambiance, the coffee is amazing, and a lot of my friends are from bay city and own the coffee shop. 

 

 

WHAT CAMERA DO YOU SHOOT WITH || I shoot with a Nikon d5200 with a 35 mm lens.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK || Cortado

 

 

WHY DO YOU LOVE COFFEE CULTURE || I love coffee culture because it brings people together and it's something that is extremely communal. I remember as a kid (at age 4), I'd always drink coffee with my grandparents every morning before our days began. So there's a bit of nostalgia there as well. 

 

 

 

GIVE US A PHOTO TIP || Let your composition breathe. Don't make your picture to cluttered.  

 

WHAT CITY HAS THE BEST COFFEE || Well, I haven't traveled as much as I want to but I'd pick Grand Rapids or Detroit. My blog started at a coffee shop in Detroit. 

 

 

 

WHAT MAKES A GOOD COFFEE SHOP || The ambiance, how warm and welcoming it is, and the coffee. It has to have good quality coffee. 

 

— WENDLINGANDBOYD

 

When It Rains || The Playlist

Ben Ashby

Today has rained and rained. They say its the hurricane coming through. The town is quiet. I sit up on the hill above town watching the showers fall from the sky, bounce off the still lake and sink beneath the surface. The thick forest of oaks and pines in the front yard hang low with hours of watered weight. Candles burn and reflect in the window glass. Wildflowers sit atop a stack of Eurdora Welty's works. This playlist came out of the sounds of rain and the sounds of the thick clouds overhead. My love of Americana runs deep into this playlist. 

A PNW Moment

Ben Ashby

 

Nothing beats the PNW. Sure, you see those 3 letters all over social media, but you really can't grasp the intrigue of this region unless your feet are in the dewy morning grass of Seattle. Waking up to breaking clouds and perfectly roasted coffee will you put you in a zen like state you've never felt before. Prior to a sunset fire on the beach, we worked our way out of the city and into the trees... In a Subaru of course :) Petite coffee shops, old railroads, and running creeks line the windy roads that lead you to a nature like you have never seen. So, grab a ticket, pack a bag, and take your friends to the PNW for the perfect weekend getaway.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ADAM SWARTZ

 
 
 

Our Chicago Food Tour

Ben Ashby


A WEEKEND IN CHICAGO

TWO DAYS - FOUR MEALS - ONE CITY

 

A few weeks ago we headed up to Chicago for the weekend. The goal was to visit a few of our favorite restaurants. We managed to get four stops in over the two and a half days in Chicago. I've been trying to figure out what sort of food Chicago is known for...beyond hot dogs I'm not really sure what their signature foods are....but they have a thriving restaurant scene....

 

BERNIE'S LUNCH & SUPPER

Bernie's was a new one for me. Sure I'd seen its wall designs in many an Instagram photo...but I had yet to visit this trendy spot on N. Orleans Street. For our visit to Bernie's we asked for a sampling of the menu. Typically when we are visiting places for the first time I feel it is best that they select the dishes instead of us. I reckon it is an excuse to avoid the monotony I usually do on trips—way too many burgers. 

We started with two different salads, moved on to a delightful mussels dish that was the highlight of the evening, moved towards a prosciutto and toasty bread number, and ended with the most wonderfully creamy parfait. 

I do have some tips for visiting Bernie's...go as early as possible and get the good seats by the windows. This place is super trendy and super perfect for all those Instagram and Snapchat moments. We were surprised at how quickly the place filled.

We did a selection of small plates and appetizers at Bernie's and all shared. Their menu is broad and this felt like a good way to try it all.

— @Bernies_Chicago — @ChefRyanSand

 

 

FRONTIER

Frontier in Wicker Park is by far my favorite restaurant in all of Chicago. I make an annual trek to the frontier themed spot. Yes...I said frontier themed...as in high class Americana foods. They had me at the bacon flight and the reeled me in with their selection of wild boar, bison, and a variety of bacon options. 

For our brunch at Frontier we started with the beignets, which are one of the chef's signature foods. Designed around his grandmother's recipe and better than any you'll get in New Orleans. 

If you're going purely for the sweets skip the meat and go straight for the house-made pop tarts. They're massive and a part combination of tart, sweet, and flaky goodness. Frontier fills up fast so we always go early for brunch. Grab the big booth in the front for the perfect photo light. 

After the pop tart grab some bacon and and apple butter....an absolutely delightful combination. I have an obsession with french fries. Frontier doesn't disappoint. The sandwiches are all perfect for a hot summer's day. 

— @FrontierChicago — @ChefJup

 

 

G & O

G and O (Grand and Ogden) is actually the final place we visited on our trip. After three insanely large meals we decided we'd have to go small at G and O. G and O is a local diner style place with tons of outdoor seating. It appeared to be filled with groups of friends that were there to hang out on a Sunday morning.  

I had the spiced biscuits and gravy...which had to be the very best biscuits and gravy I've ever had north of the Mason Dixon Line. A perfectly sized portion of perfectly soft biscuits covered in perfectly spiced sausage gravy was the perfect end to a very nice food tour of Chicago. 

If you're looking for something more filling go for the oatmeal. The portion was huge. After four meals that all included bacon...it may be safe to say that Chicago should just be called the Bacon CIty. Each of the four places we visited serves their own version of thick cut bacon. It would be unfair to select which place did it best...instead you're just going to have to visit them all!

— @GrandandOgden

Misc (28 of 84).jpg
 

 

COCHON VOLANT

This was not our first rodeo at Cochon Volant. We knew to come prepared for a big meal. Last year we visited for brunch. This year it was decided we would go for dinner. That was a wise decision. 

I'm going to go ahead and call it now —Cochon Volant has the best steak in Chicago. Yes, yes I did bring 3/4 of the steak back to Kentucky with me and eat it in bed the next day. I have no shame. 

Cochon Volant is just south of the river in downtown Chicago. It is perfectly decorated with surfaces that glitter and glow. The accents are encrusted in brass and the room really is aesthetic perfection....but that isn't we were there. If the interiors are perfection...there isn't a word to describe the food. 

I love steak tartar. It is one of my favorite foods. I think steak in general is a favorite. We started with an appetizer of tartar. I could have made it my entire meal. Cochon Volant is known for their boards. We learned that last time at brunch with their pickle board. This time we went for a cheese board and a pickle board. These seemed like pleasant ways to cleanse the palette between courses. 

For our main courses I went with an dry aged steak, and as I already said it is enough of a reason to visit Chicago. It is served with french fries, but let's be honest...you're going to want to skip those and hold off for desert. Nick had two entrees. He started with a crab leg platter. A petite display of unbelievably fresh crab awaited him...and a shrimp cocktail. 

We closed out our food tour of Chicago with creme brûlée and chocolate mousse. I am not usually a mousse fan...but like everything else at Cochon Volant it is done to perfection.

— @CochonVolant_ — @ChefMattAyala

—@Jschatan — @JonasFalk_ #FlyingPigGram

FOLK (21 of 23).jpg

Sure, I know what you're thinking...but only four restaurants...you have so much left of Chicago to cover. Oh yes, I agree, you are totally right..rest assured we are already planning many return trips. Chicago is one of the easiest of the major US cities to navigate. Chicago is also much more affordable than New York City. 

If you're a bacon lover...time to load up the car and head to Chicago. 

American Field Washington DC — Roundup

Ben Ashby

 

A couple weeks ago I flew to DC for the latest American Field. In a time where the market, fair, barnsale, and show market have peaked American Field continues on. Founded in 2012 American Field has gained a reputation for supporting American made makers. Originally a market exclusively for American made menswear makers the market has since shifted towards a more inclusive appeal. In fall of 2017 American Field will hold markets in Washington DC, Brooklyn, and Boston. Here is a round up of some of my shots from the event.