Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Makers ~ Macayla Lavender ~ Westerly

Artist’s name: Macayla Lavender
Shop name: Lyme Fighters
Twitter: @macaylalavender
Instagram: @macaylalavender

1. Tell us about your work
I created a clothing company called Lyme Fighters and the main goal is to raise awareness for Lyme Disease. Lyme Fighters is a way to show those with the disease that they are not alone! It can also be a great way to inform those who do not know about it!

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
Yes! I came up with the name Lyme Fighters one day while I was bedridden from my Lyme Disease. Originally, the name was just to inspire myself to keep fighting this horrible disease. Soon, the name turned into a project and eventually it became what it is today!

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I began sketching clothing ideas and sayings for clothing while bedridden and once I was able to, I began working on them! From there, I found the right people to help me with this project and it’s been a great ride so far! I absolutely love designing and I love the whole process.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
For me inspiration comes from the strangest of places, it comes in waves. The beach is a great place to bring a notebook, sit down, and create!

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
I love creating them all, it’s such a fun process to create these designs and then to see them in real life. My favorite would have to be the best seller I Bite Back shirt!

6. What’s your best seller?
My best selling item is the Women’s I Bite Back Long-Sleeve Shirt! It is super comfy and I love the saying that goes with it!

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I have been in Rhode Island since I was around 3 years old! So I have lived here for about 14/15 years.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I love being so close to the beach! There’s a quote that I love that I would like to share,
“healing comes in waves
and maybe today
the wave hits the rocks
and that’s ok,
that’s ok, darling
you are still healing
you are still healing.”
-Ijeoma Umebinyuo, be gentle with yourself

I find the beach to be a healing place and this quote is just perfect for me!

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
I like to take out-of-towners to a small business called Maize ’n Manna, which has some delicious food!

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Write down your ideas and thoughts for your project, even if you think they are bad ones still write them down! You never know when you may need them.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Events ~ Point Street Reading Series ~ September 20

CONTACT: Robin Kall
Reading with Robin
Phone: 1.401.952.0660

New Monthly Series Connects Book Lovers with Authors

Popular radio host and book enthusiast Robin Kall hosts the Point Street Reading Series on Tuesday, September 20th at Point Street Dueling Pianos at Davol Square in Providence. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the event running from 7:30 – 9 p.m.

This free series is open to the public and will meet every third Tuesday of the month. The September 20th event features distinguished authors: Leigh Stein, Anne Korkeakivi, Louise Miller, Paul Tremblay and Michelle Hoover. Authors will read for 15 minutes from their latest works. Short breaks follow each author with time for conversation and refreshments. Brown University Bookstore will have books available for purchase and autographing.

“The series is a great opportunity to connect book lovers with some of their favorite authors,” said Ms. Kall who hosts the weekly Reading with Robin podcast available on iTunes and also runs Rhode Island’s first on-line book club. “Rhode Island has such an enthusiastic and engaged reading community. The Point Street Series will allow us to gather every month and share our love of the written word. We have a great lineup coming each month!”

For more information visit or Point Street Reading Series on Facebook. No reservation necessary and free parking is available at 3 Davol Square in Providence. Groups of 4 or more may request a table at

Friday, August 19, 2016

Interview with Tom and Emma of Riffraff

When I heard about the upcoming bookstore/bar opening in Providence, I was excited and intrigued. A bookstore/bar? How cool is that?

I had a chance to sit down with owners Tom Roberge and Emma Ramadan, and they told me just how cool it will be.

The location at 215 Dean Street is currently being rehabbed in an old jewelry manufactury, and will house two retail spaces. One will be Riffraff. The plan is to maintain the original industrial feel of the building, including a carriage turnaround in the floor, and some of the original equipment, that will decorate the space.

"It's similar to what they've done at Spotty Dog in Hudson, outside New York City, and Molasses Books in Brooklyn," Emma told me. They want to bring that experience to Providence.

If you're thinking of channeling your inner World's Most Interesting Man, sitting in a leather armchair by the fireside, drinking beer or scotch while you read, think again.

Instead, you'll walk into a carefully curated bookstore, with tables of new releases, and shelves (built by Tom) of literature, poetry, philosophy, art, current events, science fiction, and crime. There will also be a selection of translated works. Emma, who translates literature from French, and Tom, who worked at Albertine, a French bookstore located in the French Embassy in New York, are both enthusiasts of translated works. "Those are the things we like to read," Tom explained. "It's a limited space, so we'll focus on that."

There won't be tables and chairs in the bookstore. Those are for the bar which will take up the back part of the space. "Bookshop cafes aren't very social," Emma said. "Everyone's on their computer or phone. A bar is friendlier. It's where people go to talk to each other and hang out."

They envision a full neighborhood bar, with local beer on tap, wine, and spirits. They'll work with a local bartender to make a signature cocktail, and some basic seasonal cocktails. But the drinks won't be chi-chi, $13 dollar drinks.

"We want it to be a place where everyone can go. The drinks are affordable, and people can come in and hang out," Emma said. Community is an essential part of their business model, including a community lending program to help raise startup costs.

There won't be a tv in the bar, and the music will be low. The whole idea is for Riffraff to be a place to hang out and talk about books, or anything else that strikes your fancy. The bar will have space for book clubs and other public events. "Eventually we may have authors come in, but not to do readings," Tom said. "To do conversations."

Because it all comes back to community.