Stand With Presence

This past weekend I took a walk along the Brandywine River to see the fall foliage. I was inspired by the new garden sculpture installation at Somerville Manning Gallery – especially Stand With Presence by Vicki Vinton.

The reaction to the sculpture was immediate and powerful.  Vinton’s inspiration for Stand With Presence was simple: a friend of hers was experiencing writer’s block and, in her true artist form, Vicki drew a red figure and sent it to her friend with a note – dig deep.

Stand With Presence by Vicki Vinton - Social Stylate

“Current events are just old events dressed up in today’s fashion. The process of creating whether it be painting or sculpting must hold in it some sort of history. Simply the passing of time or a nod to events that have gone before.” says Vinton.

This is a pivotal time for women.  Women of all ages are rising up, speaking out, and making themselves heard as never before. Stand With Presence is a symbol of courage, and beauty –a reminder to keep your beliefs in yourself strong. A reminder that we have the answers if we take time to be present.

Over the past few years, we have seen the power of storytelling play out in one of the largest stages for women. Storytelling is rooted in our culture and has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to share who you are with the world while also providing the power to find our inner strength.

Stand With Presence invites women of all ages to share their stories and bring their strongest selves to their biggest challenges. Raising two boys on my own for the past ten years and starting a business has been my greatest gift, and has given me strength and courage. Your story can transform your life, change the lives of others, your story can change the world.

SStand With Presence by Vicki Vinton - Cindy Pettinaro and Carroll Ivy - Social Stylate

Carroll Ivy and her friend, Cindy Pettinaro Wilkinson, pose with the Stand With Presence statue.

Follow along: #StandWithPresence @standwithpresence @smg_gallery

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For over thirty-five years the Somerville Manning Gallery has introduced current art trends into an area already steeped in a rich art tradition, mounting exhibitions that relate to this cultural heritage both past and present. Recognized as experts on N.C. Wyeth and his family, Somerville Manning Gallery has created multiple exhibitions on N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth. Also represented are the Wyeth women, daughters of N.C. Wyeth, Henriette Wyeth Hurd, Carolyn Wyeth, and Ann Wyeth McCoy.

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Coffee Talk with Ann Ahl founder of NFUSE

What personally motivated you to start the company? 

My sister, Emily and I started nfuse as a way to make a daily chore (putting on deodorant/ applying body lotion) pleasurable, safe and actually good for you.  Most people don’t realize the lack of regulation around the ingredients that are in deodorants, creams, and lotions that we put on our skin every day. As daughters of a breast cancer survivor and mothers to teens, we were adamant that every ingredient is absolutely safe and effective. 

Coffee Talk with Ann Ahl founder of NFUSE

What obstacles did you overcome to give you a totally unique perspective on what the market needs? 

Breaking into an industry dominated by huge multi-national corporations is daunting to say the least, so that was a challenge.  I think we’ve had success because of our unique perspective and understanding of the benefits of magnesium and how it’s best absorbed.  We received a patent last winter on our magnesium technology used in nfuse. There are no other deodorants (natural or otherwise) that are formulated to deliver magnesium and nfuse is truly innovative.  My sister and I are fortunate because my husband’s family has been involved in magnesium and the environment for many years so it’s very likely that any conversation around the dining table includes a discussion around magnesium.

What inspires you and fuels your creativity? 

Being in nature inspires me and fuels my creativity.  Nine times out of ten if I take a long walk or run, I find that I can work out a nagging problem or come up with a new approach.  Also, Emily, my sister and nfuse co-founder, inspires and drives me. She’s whip smart, determined and the ultimate innovator. We love working together and are passionate about changing the way people approach their daily routines.

That said, Emily and I, sisters and founders of nfuse, have never had an interest in being just another natural deodorant or body lotion company.  We have been single-minded in our efforts to upend daily routines by replacing iffy ingredients with nourishing magnesium and delivering this essential nutrient through the skin. The idea that your daily routine can not only be “not bad for you” but actually healing and healthy is what gets us out of bed (with the help of nfuse) every morning and we will continue to innovate to deliver on this promise.

The book you own that is the most dog eared.

That’s tough. There are a few but probably Mission In a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business.  A friend gave it to me right before we launched nfuse, it’s the story of the start-up years of Honest Tea.  Also, I just finished Educated by Tara Westover which I loved. I’m a big fan of podcasts too since I drive a lot – listening to How I Built This with Guy Raz.

What advice do you have for the next generation of entrepreneurs? 

It’s a marathon and not a sprint. Your business will take over your life and balance is very tough to find. However, if you are willing to show up and put the work in it’s the most gratifying endeavor you’ll ever have.

Words to live by. 

Keep going.

You can do it.

Pick the right partners. 

Look for nfuse at Janssens, houppette, Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters and more. Recently featured on Martha Stewart, Town & Country, and The View. I am in love with the lotion — a must!

Coffee Talk with Ann Ahl founder of NFUSE

 

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Local Love: GoGo Books

Local Love: GoGo Books, Kid's book truck in Wilmington, Delaware - Social Stylate

There are food trucks and fashion trucks, but did you hear about our local storybook truck?

GoGo Books is a Delaware-based mobile story book shop that offers a curated selection of children’s literature ranging from classic storybooks to teen novels amid thoughtfully crafted children’s-wares. Their goal is to create a novel experience focused on the joys of story-telling with a touch of whimsy and charm. Below we chat with Kate Keeper, the owner and founder of GoGo Books.

1. Why do you love what you do?
So many reasons! Books, illustrations, and stories have always encouraged me to live my life in the most magical and fantastical way possible. I love what I do because I am constantly reminded of that magic every day by being surrounded by those things. I also love “setting things up” and aesthetics so operating a store where everything needs to be arranged and merchandised constantly is just supremely satisfying. I also enjoy having complete control over my time, work ethic, and (for the most part) outcomes/income generation, it holds me accountable and fulfills me in ways that being an employee never did. I love all of the various opportunities to get creative and innovative. The discounted books are a definite plus. But most of all the people/socializing and getting out in the community and meeting kids and caregivers from all over with varying interests is just so life-giving and joyful!

2. What is the most rewarding about being the founder of GoGo Books?
I’m still so new so I don’t feel like I have reaped any typically “rewarding” things yet! My ego definitely enjoys the “ohhhs” + “ahhs” when people find out that this is my business + that I created and operate it at 27 (debt free!!) but really the most rewarding thing is the ability to work for myself entirely and know that my successes are all mine (and the failures too)!

3. Describe your favorite memory from GoGo Books.
Again, still very new so everything feels very present day and in the moment + nothing really feels like a memory yet. I think so far though I have had a few times when I’m driving to an event and just start crying/laughing (somewhat maniacally) about how this is all happening. I love that feeling of just disbelief that this is my job.

4. How did people react to you leaving nursing to start the GoGo Book truck?
Very mixed. I think most people thought it was absolutely absurd. Nursing was my third degree; I went back to school for it after graduating with a double major (English + Bio), so I sort of felt like people thought I was abusing the privilege of having the opportunity to get higher education (twice). Luckily I have learned that other people’s reactions are ultimately about them and not me, so I didn’t really concern myself with them. My husband and mom were really supportive and my workplace (The Birth Center) was as well.

5. Do you get invited to come to schools to sell books? Where are your usual stops?
I launched at the end of the school year so I pretty much missed that boat. I did do an event with Ursuline Academy and it was a smashing success and the kids/caregivers/teachers were all amazing to work with. I hope to do more schools in the fall. I don’t have any usual stops yet. This year is all about trial and error so I can figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’m already learning where I do best and where I flop so taking all of that into account and evaluating it is helping me to plan future events. I really want to get into collaborations with local businesses like coffee shops/lunch spots/etc. to pair up for weekday stops. I’m really into planning programming like storytimes/crafts/process art/sing-a-longs but need space for those. I bring a lot of people out, so it’s really a matter of finding a mutually interested business who wants to pair up.

Local Love: GoGo Books, Kid's book truck in Wilmington, Delaware - Social Stylate

6. What ignites your creativity?
I actually really struggle with this. I have a horrible complex where I have to be “in the mood” to do things that I’m trying to better understand and ultimately overcome. Usually getting outside and just experiencing life fires me up. The further I distance myself from the internet/my phone the more creative I feel as well.

7. How do you decide what books to bring into the truck?
Painstakingly! I pored over catalogs from publishers/read reviews/and did a lot of judging by the cover. There are thousands of books published every week in addition to the “backlists” of thousands of previously published titles. It took me about 6 months to fully curate my initial stock. Since then I have been keeping ongoing order lists for newly published titles that I update weekly which keeps it relatively simple for reorders. The best compliments I get are the ones regarding the curation and uniqueness of my stock!

8. What was the first book you remember being read to you and by who?
I don’t really remember the first book that was read to me. But my first memory of a story was this story my dad would tell about Winnie the Witch who (in the story) lived in the woods across the street. She would invite all of the kids over on Halloween and make us pumpkin juice in her cauldron and make all of our candy fly and swirl around. I was obsessed and would make him tell it every day. My first bookish memory though was that my mom and I would read the Jolly Postman by Janet and Allen Ahlberg.

9. What was your all-time favorite book as a child?
Wowwww. So hard to answer. Probably Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

10. What do you want to see happen in the future for GoGo Books?
My main goal, for now, is to collaborate with local businesses to get some regular hours like I mentioned above. Ideally, I would get out of the weekend event circuit and start operating more like a regular retail store with set hours, just one that is in a different location every day. I have had a lot of requests for franchising so eventually could look into that. I’d love to take a booktruck road trip one day and see how it does in other cities/states!

11. What do you enjoy doing in your free time:
Reading of course! Getting outside, taking walks, doing random crafts and never cleaning up after them

12. Favorite genre to read:
Picture books, historical fiction.

For more on GoGo Books visit: Website | Instagram | Facebook

Click here to read about more of our favorite local loves!

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15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

It’s all about getting that Instagrammable shot (we get it, we’re a social media company!) but where do you go to get it? Here are 15 Instagrammable spots in Wilmington and Philadelphia guaranteed to get major love and add flair to your feed.

Brew Haha! in Wilmington, Delaware - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

1. Brew HaHa!: Wilmington
Attention all foodies and coffee lovers! With numerous locations in Northern Delaware, Brew HaHa! offers a calming and one-of-a-kind coffee house atmosphere. With a wide selection of eats and drinks, you are bound to find a gram-worthy food post. An added bonus is any coffee drink includes beans source from Brandywine Coffee Roasters. Botanical wallpapers, framed art walls, bookcases, and outdoor garden scapes are some of the many backdrops to choose for a photo.
Photo by: @rievictoriaaoki

Philly Art Museum - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

2. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a world-renowned collection of pieces. They have a collection of historically rich works that are sure to inspire creativity. Not to mention the countless photo opportunities like the Rocky steps. the Rocky statue and countless other spots around this museum.
Photo by: @shelbysparkling

Nemours Estate - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

3. Nemours Estate: Wilmington
Nemours Estate is a 300-acre county estate with formal gardens and a classical French built mansion. They also house a collection of vintage automobiles which are used on the estate.
Photo by: @bittersweetcolours

Philly observation deck - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

4. One Liberty Observation Deck: Philadelphia
Get the bird’s-eye view of the city of brotherly love with this next spot. This observation deck gives a 360 view of the city from the 57th floor of the One Liberty place building.
Photo by: @lea_grcic

wilmington riverfront - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

5. Riverfront Wilmington: Wilmington
This spot is home to many recreational, cultural, retail and culinary attractions. The Wilmington Riverfront has plenty to offer the eye with its small-scale skyline.
Photo by: @amyeatworld

Electric Light Mural - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

6. Electric Light Mural: Philadelphia
Best enjoyed at night, the Electric Light mural is a public art installation in South Philly. What makes this spot unique is how the mural is contoured with LED lights. If you are not able to visit this location at night, it is just as beautiful during the day.
Photo by: @guenstorm

Shofuso Japanese House + Garden 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphiaa

7. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden: Philadelphia
Built in 1953 using traditional techniques, Shofuso is a 17th century-style Japanese house and garden. This historic spot features beautiful waterfalls, gardens, tea garden, tea house and much more.
Photo by: @kachanova_a

De La Couer - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

8. De La Coeur Cafe: Wilmington
This popular breakfast and brunch spot offers fresh pâtisseries and delicious food options. With a lavishly decorated interior and exterior, you will have no problem taking your next Instagram photo.
Photo by: @lagolt

Brandywine Park - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphiaa

9. Brandywine Park: Wilmington
Home to the Josephine Fountain, Brandywine Park is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of the Brandywine River. This park includes features such as formal gardens, monuments, bridges, grills, hiking trails, public restrooms, playground, picnic area, and pavilions.
Photo by: @kanchisumansharma

Magic Gardens - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

10. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens: Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a non-profit, folk art environment and gallery space on South Street in Philly. The Magic Gardens, created by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, spans three city lots and includes indoor galleries and a large outdoor labyrinth. Each spot in this encapsulating landscape is different and will give you the most unique backdrops to choose from.
Photo by: @monicalynndesign

The Bakeshop on 20th 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

11. The Bakeshop on 20th: Philadelphia
A small batch bakery offering tastes from your childhood using family recipes. Not to mention options such as coffee, sandwiches, and soups. Take a picture enjoying your tasty treat.
Photo by: @paristempslibre

Cafe Lutecia - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

12. Cafe Lutecia: Philadelphia
This French cafe offers a full menu of delicious beverages and food. In the warmer months snag a seat outdoors for the perfect natural lighting.
Photo by: @lhimsical

Friday Saturday Sunday - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

13. Friday Saturday Sunday: Philadelphia
Eat, drink & visit! Located on 261 South 21st Street in Philadelphia has a bar on the ground floor and New American dining upstairs.
Photo by: @tednghiem

- 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

14. The Queen: Wilmington
Not only does The Queen offer top-notch performances from various artists and performers; but its facade offers a unique spot for a picture. Make sure to look ahead for tickets to a performance if you have time.
Photo by: @firststateballet

Bellevue State Park - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

15. Bellevue State Park: Wilmington
Not only does this state park have a catch-and-release fishing pond it is also equipped with a 1-1/8th-mile fitness track, equestrian facility, and hiking trails. There are plenty of places to catch a quick selfie or photo!
Photo by: @alyssa.kelley

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