POLISHED Magazine Spring/Summer 2023

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Living With Color is the theme of this Spring/Summer issue. My vision was to shed light on the health crisis as a whole and revive our love for fruit. Fruit gives us energy, improves our sleep, and makes us happier human beings. Our health and well being is important and what we consume into our bodies affects how we behave, our mood, and our productiveness. The editorial photoshoot, which was photographed in a pool, brings out the bright, vibrant colors that spring and healthy eating represent. The models are shown in long slip dresses and fruit themed accessories. The predicted trend for 2023 is “Ballet Core”. You can find tones of pink and elegant looks in the trend shoot. Tutus and tabi shoes are a popular fashion that are here to stay.

This is my third issue as Creative Director, seeing the persistence and progression of my team makes me feel honored to direct each semester. As always, thank you to the POLISHED team, our advisors, and the Lasell community for supporting our publication and the future growth of our magazine.

Publisher Founder

Creative Director

Co-Managing Editors

Lead Editor

Art Director

Associate Art Director

Art Editor Editors Lead Stylist Stylists

Lasell University

Richard Bath

Sydney Pesaturo

Kiersten Brown

Liah Brown

Oliver Pruett-Reed

Dylan Wilson

Amelia Capron

Julia Figueiral

Angela DeFelice

Maggie Powers

Spencer Villinski

Nicole Catania

Caleigh Bain

Kayla Campbell

Lucia Gagliano

Jacqueline Minasian

As the winter frost turns into warm summer nights, we strive for the wellness of our bodies and minds. Decorated in elaborate colors, and new ideas, this issue features a look into health and wellness creating a space that supports “Learning to be Stil”. Read all about Leo Narducci’s story in “Leo Narducci: A Timeless Tale”, and how he has adapted to fashion as it continually evolves. In “Finding a FIT”, you can read about their collaboration with the community.

We would like to take the chance to congratulate the POLISHED team on another amazing issue! Thank you to the readers who continue to support our team in continuing to create content. A special thank you to one of the CoManaging Editors, Kiersten Brown, we are excited to see where life takes her post graduation. Exercise your body, mind, and soul to build your own oasis!

Editorial Photographers Models

James Smith

Maddie Young

Amelia Capron

Dylan Wilson

Jayra Bray

Alison O’Leary

Marissa Turcotte

Media Directors

Jacqueline Minasian

Kim Nguyen

Nicole Reusch

Social Media Team

Anna Cardinale

Hannah Chawla

Emma Fandel

Julia Figueiral

Hillary Gherardi

A healthy lifestyle is essential to enjoy the moments that matter to us. With summer right around the corner, everybody wants to feel their best and the graphic design of this issue reflects the healthy living we should all strive for. Articles like “Organic Oasis” and the Calendar are key pieces that display our overall theme of healthy living through dietary and physical choices. Through our color selections, imagery, and writing; our team was able to produce a stunning publication to be proud of.

With this being my eighth and final issue with POLISHED, I want to express how honored I am to work with such talented and creative people. Everybody I have guided through the publication process has put so much care into their work, so thank you to my team and I can’t wait to see where your own journeys lead you.

Blog Director Assistant Blog Director

Blog Writers Faculty Advisors

Erin Houlihan

Sophia Mazzone

Brooke McFarland

Trinity Pickering

Jonah Rubin-Salzberger

Margaret Sheridan

Alexandra Stevas

Sydney Veilleux

Faith Costa

Samantha Vega-Torres

Payton Herbert

Emily Ohlson

Trinity Pickering

Sydney Veilleux

Lynn Blake

Gregory Cass

Stephen Fischer

MANAGING EDITORS ART DIRECTOR 1844 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA 02466 | lasell.edu Polished Magazine | @bostonpolished @bostonpolished polishedfashion.com | polishedblogger.wordpress.com 2




Designer: Ciarra Chasse

Writer: Liah Brown


Designer: Amelia Capron

Writer: Cameron Villnave


Designer: Kate Lodge & Lauren Martin

Writer: Kassandra Fisher


Designer: Bryant Lopez

Writer: Spencer Villinski


Designer: Chloe Kinteris & Jamie Kinteris

Writer: Kiersten Brown



Retailers: Global Thrift Store, Vintage Backroad, Salvage Angel, Emily’s Closet, Fits The Vibe, NROR ART, Amelia Capron Location: Lasell Village

Photography: Amelia Capron & Dylan Wilson


Designer: Erin Tilley

Writer: Anya Misage


Designer: Amelia Capron

Writer: Caleigh Bain

Models: Sandra Fakih, Sheri Javier, Denali Norris, & Ella Rivera


Designer: Jaylin Brown

Writer: Adrianna Marchi


Designer: Caelan Watson

Writer: Oliver Pruett-Reed


Designer: Dylan Wilson

Writer: Kiersten Brown

Jayra Bray, Alison O’Leary, & Marissa Turcotte

Retailers: Fits The Vibe, Global Thrift Store, Salvage Angel, Emily’s Closet, & Vintage Backroad

Photography by Dylan Wilson


The mission of POLISHED Magazine is to promote and highlight the diverse and vibrant culture and fashion scene of Boston and the surrounding area.

POLISHED Magazine is produced by the Lasell University School of Fashion with graphic design support from the Graphic Design League at Lasell University. Visit us at graphicdesignleague.com

POLISHED Magazine is printed by Wing Press - beau@wingpress.com

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a timeless tale

Narducci was born into the crazy world of fashion, which constantly changes as trends respond to environmental factors. Narducci was one of the top five designers in America during the 1960’s and 1970’s. To this day he has managed to maintain his influence. He is most recognized for high-fashion collections at affordable prices.

Narducci was raised in Brockton, Massachusetts, at a time when his parents were heavily involved in the garment industry, specifically with the operation of their clothing factory. Growing up surrounded by fashion, he had the opportunity to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, where he would later graduate with a degree in design and production. As soon as he received his diploma he jumped at the opportunity to begin what would become a lifelong career.

“I graduated at noon, and by five o’clock, I had moved to New York,” said Narducci.

Working in New York during the 1960’s, Narducci played a crucial part in design by creating progressive fashion as industry standards were shifting. He built his brand by working with mentors who helped develop his ideas into high end garments. He was especially focused on the business and marketing aspects of the industry. This line of thinking sparked his imagination of what fashion could be for a mass audience.

Constructing his brand with women in mind, Narducci’s creativity was able to expand to new dimensions as he began to attract the attention of fashion editors and fellow designers. Elegant and rebellious fashion influenced each of his designs. Narducci created a style of flared pants that, when walking, mimicked the movement of a draped garment. Many women throughout the time period were not allowed to wear pants in public, as it was still seen as an unacceptable dress code, but this unique silhouette allowed women to cleverly rebel against societal, gender, and fashion norms.

Designing fashions for Kaye Stevens was an important part of Narducci’s career, developing many looks that would hit the stage. Stevens was a popular nightclub singer and actress, who would often wear Narducci’s pieces to perform. Narducci asked Stevens if she would donate her pieces as a token of her appreciattion and loyalty to his brand. Stevens agreed and now many garments she wore on stage are in Lasell University’s own Lasell Fashion Collection, where students can study the construction of some of his most well-known pieces.

Photography Courtesy of Ken Duncan

Having a fashion brand representing women in a more modern and sophisticated way was important for Narducci. Many of his designs were before the times, creating pieces that allowed women to push established gender boundaries within their fashion styles. His vision of each collection set him apart from many of the other designers in America who were focused on expensive and luxurious fashions.

In Narducci’s eyes, fashion should consist of affordable, timeless pieces with a twist that can be worn during the day and evening. Affordable fashion for the average woman dressed in a standout garment is something that he continues to strive for within his brand, as he ventures into jewelry design. Narducci feels fashion should be affordable if it continues to be marketed to an increasingly diverse demographic. Within two decades, Narducci was able to influence design through this mission. His dedication to his craft is what continues to inspire him to develop new ideas. Even in his 90’s, Narducci is still in love with the process of creating and is as hands-on as he can be.

Narducci’s focus on simplicity of design also includes depth hidden among construction were details that made the wearer stand out. As Narducci developed his tailoring and draping skills through the years of designing, he was able to add lavish details that exhibit brilliance in technical design. Many of Narducci’s looks were created in a time when fashion was being flipped upside down, needing to evolve women’s wear to be comfortable in the workplace, as well as when entertaining. While much of his craft was self-taught, he always looked to his mentors as he sought out new information.

Mentorship is something Narducci holds in high regard, as learning from a new younger audience is what will keep fashion alive. The upcoming generation is the new age of fashion, for they are always seeking ways to improve and evolve. Narducci enjoys working with groups of young individuals, using his personal experiences as a foundation for his teachings. Unlike some of his big-box competitors, he has achieved a higher level of industry knowledge through these personal connections.

Narducci explained how working under someone else is beneficial to learning the foundations of design. Before creating one’s own brand, individuals should use any opportunities available to learn the most they can about the day-to-day operation of a business. Creating a collection is like putting together a dance for a ballet, there are certain steps that have to be taken to create feeling and emotions within the work. Narducci’s pieces are about telling a story to clients through wearable creations, elements that stand out and make an impact.

“You start with a wow, have your bread and butter, and then conclude with your wow-wow-wow, and you’ve got a winner,” said Narducci.

Creating a story within each and every fashion piece is what will keep the audience engaged and eager to know what will happen next. Putting the audience on the edge of their seat is what makes a collection memorable. Details in fashion that are bold and elegant appeal to a larger audience. This is something that Narducci believes in, creating fashion that conveys his famous “wow-wow-wow” effect while still attending to the wearer’s needs.

Courtesy of David Pames

Narducci currently takes inspiration from 1990’s fashion, each aspect combined gives it a clean look. It was a time of change, going from vibrant colors to more muted colors. Blazers were important again, as was personal style. It gave society the opportunity to look to the runway for aesthetic choices. It allowed the mind a chance to question how fashion was created and how it developed over time. The 1990’s fostered a new conversation about fashion as it can provide access to the in’s and out’s of design. Questioning was one of the best educational tools that the fashion industry experienced during this time.

Designing fashion is also similar to developing music. It can be common sense to the creator and their vision for what they would like to create. Narducci admires other designers and looks to see what their collections portray. He has been able to meet patternmakers who work for some of his favorite designers, as seeing what they create has inspired him to keep pushing what he is creating and find new ideas and places for his creative expression. Fashion is in the eye of the beholder. What you think of is what you should create, and it should not be copied from anyone else. Originality is what sets us all apart and makes our designs different. It is appropriate to be inspired and influenced by each other’s designs, but keep true to our originality.

“You don’t know where life takes you, but it’s all up to you. Other designers can influence you, the key is to always do your thing, not copy,” said Narducci.

Narducci is proof that decades in the fashion industry does not mean staying the same. He has continued to evolve, while remaining at the forefront. At the impressive age of ninety-one years old, he continues to collaborate with fashion friends, and has never stopped the flow of creativity. With every stitch and button, Leo Narducci speaks the language of style, and has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

Lasell University professors nurture the value of the creative process at the heart of the fashion industry. For young designers, setting goals can be one of the greatest things to assist in developing our careers.

As young designers push the industry forward, Narducci continues to design. With highlights in new collections of clothing and jewelry, he leaves the legacy of himself for all those who want to learn. Through his generous donation, Lasell University will continue to be gifted by Narducci’s designs. This will allow students to research and study his designs for generations to come. Students have been given the opportunity to be hands-on with history and engage in a legacy that will continue to live on.

Fashion is now considered an art form, and one of our greatest creations. Where and how is all up to the imagination. Final advice from Leo Narducci - Saying yes to scary opportunities that push creativity outside of the comfort zone is what will lead to success in the industry.  narduccidesign.com

Liah Brown Illustrations & Photography Courtesy of Bobbi
Gtreene & Holly Gaboriault

Boston Calling Music Festival

performances with the Foo Fighters, the Lumineers, and Paramore being the three headlining acts for each day of the three-day weekend. The event will also showcase more than 20 acts that have local ties to New England. Some of the best food from Boston can be enjoyed as well as various thrilling activities like art installations and life-size games. There is so much to see and do at Boston Calling, you will not be left disappointed!

26-28 4 11 1-29
Cameron Villnave Beacon Hill Art Walk Freedom Trail Tour Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival
Tanglewood on Parade Boston Dragon Boat Festival
Summer Dine Out Boston

ADA does just as the title states: they show up for the moment with designs that are versatile, timeless, and sustainable. KADA is a lifestyle clothing brand for women launched in April of 2021 by Kassia Davis. She created this brand after feeling she had reached a standstill after about ten years in the athletic industry. She felt like there were no female leaders in her desired industry to look up to. Now, Davis has the opportunity to become that role model for many others. Combining the challenges of the 2020 pandemic and her passion, Davis pushed herself to create this brand that could positively impact,“People, our Planet, and our Industry,” said Davis.

Davis is inspired by both her family and by Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx and a self-made billionaire. She balances both family and career. This brings out Davis’s drive to make pieces that are wearable for anything and everything. Davis’s parents are the chairman and the vice-chairman of New Balance (NB), which gave her the ability to familiarize herself with the world of fashion at a young age. In school, she took classes that were centered around fashion whenever they were available to her. After going to college, Davis began working in the NB apparel department while applying to graduate school. She loved the work she was doing, so she stayed and ended up as an assistant product manager for apparel. She moved up in the ranks and continued to work and build a background that helped her become an entrepreneur in the fashion industry.

KADA is built around four Ethos: Defiance, Evolution, Female First, and Sustainability. Defiance in terms of not only challenging the production and sourcing to create the clothing, but also in the details added into the garments. “Edgy” components allow the garments to stand out and to also make every woman feel both confident and comfortable. Evolution is a big takeaway, as they focus on embracing a chance to learn and grown. KADA creates long term pieces that can evolve with you.

Female First means that all the clothing made is for the women of today with offerings of versatility. With the idea of Females First in mind, the team is composed of all women who share the common goal of empowering other women. Finally, Sustainability. The team is constantly challenging themselves to do better as fashion has one of the largest impacts on the environment. As far as their continued commitment to sustainability, their website has a whole section featuring topics as follows: sustainable silhouettes, forward-thinking fabrics, responsible sourcing and manufacturing, commitment to conservation, and materially better.


One way they focus on sustainability is with their work through a 3rd party agency that helps to offset any water or carbon use that was done during the manufacturing process. KADA also buys back different deadstock fabrics, such as cupro recycled fabric that uses less water when producing a garment. They then give a second life by incorporating them into their collections to maintain a sense of freshness and newness. Creating dresses, pants, crewnecks, tanks and more, these fabrics for the new age of fashion within their brand bring in a new audience to wear their apparel.

“My goal for KADA is to create a collection of elevated staples across all silhouettes for her [the customers’] closet,” said Davis.

This brand holds so many personal touches for Davis with the name being a coinage using the first two letters of her first and last name. She has a family of her own, so she can relate to the busy go-getter women she aspires to attract to her brand. Davis acknowledges that women want to look sophisticated, while remaining comfortable in the clothing they wear. Silhouettes are the foundation of one’s wardrobe, so it was vital for them to be fit-tested for inclusivity and made using a method that produces less waste. Aiming to draw in women of all ages, shapes, and sizes, KADA’s versatile pieces can be transformed throughout the day.

Instead of referring to garments as ‘the basics,’ KADA calls their core pieces ‘not so basics’ because they have an elevated twist of unexpected design details that are added. The result is the creation of a one-stop shop where women can find reliable pieces to either lounge at home or wear out to dinner. While KADA is currently an

online retail space, they are beginning to establish wholesale and distribution strategies to get their products on the marketplace. They have future plans of establishing small boutiques across the New England area, eventually expanding into large box retailers. Strategies being used to increase traction for KADA include: social media, sponsored ads, email, affiliate, PR placements, media interviews, pop ups, and events. Davis strives to focus on the present, moving forward with expanding the brand.

Stepping into the future while also maintaining a sense of timelessness is something that Davis has portrayed beautifully with her brand. Her outlook on life, to sustain presence and drive, shows predominantly through the clothing and is inspirational as the world around us is in constant rotation. Not only is KADA a clothing line, but it plays into our lifestyles as a society, both changing over time. Just stay present and focus on the goal!

@wearkada; wearkada.com

Kassandra Fisher Photography Courtesy of KADA

Founded in 2002, Cradles to Crayons is a nonprofit organization that has the best interests of babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and grade schoolers at heart. Their mission statement goes as follows: “Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age twelve, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play. We supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting with communities.” Items are new, or like-new, and typically include clothing, shoes, books, and toys.

Cradles to Crayons recognizes the impact of clothing insecurity, as shown in their own definition of this significant problem:

“[Clothing insecurity is] the lack of access to affordable, adequate, appropriate clothing. Families facing clothing insecurity may have some clothing and shoes, however, they may not fit properly, be in wearable condition, or be seasonally appropriate for the weather. Additionally, clothing insecure families may not know where their clothing resources will come from or what kinds of financial tradeoffs, they will need to make to fulfill them.”

Children affected by childhood poverty, or lacking affordable, adequate, and appropriate clothing, are severely disadvantaged compared to their peers. The link between clothing and one’s assurance and self-image is powerful. The lack of proper clothing can cause children to miss life events, such as social gatherings, not to mention school Research has shown not having proper clothing is one of the top ten reasons children miss school. Interestingly, the United States has safety net programs for basic needs such as food, water, and shelter, but not the availability or distribution of childrenswear. Ultimately, that is the gray area in which Cradles to Crayons operates.

One can trace Cradle’s to Crayons’ roots back to the greater Boston area, Newtonville Massachusetts, to be exact. Since then, there has been a considerable amount of growth with locations popping up throughout the eastern United States. Philadelphia opened a Cradles to Crayons location to call their own in 2006, Chicagoland in 2016, and in 2020, New York City through an initiative known as Giving Factory Direct.

Giving Factory Direct boils down to Cradles to Crayons aspiring to go

beyond their current service areas. Clothing goes straight from families looking to make a difference to families experiencing clothing insecurity. Children receive a “KidPack,” which is a package of high-quality, seasonally appropriate, essential clothing. It is asked of those donating that the clothing is washed, and without rips, stains, or inappropriate messaging. These bundles are packaged and shipped by participating donors, and then delivered by one of Cradles to Crayons’ service partners.

Lasell University has a fair share of connections to Cradles to Crayons— Professor Marguerite Dowd and Professor Deborah E. Baldizar, respectively.

Professor Dowd, in addition to being a lecturer of mathematics at Lasell University, is the Senior Director of Operations at Cradles to Crayons. Dowd describes the position as getting products in the door, through

recyclerecycling, purchasing, or donation. She describes the job as questioning how they will get the product, transport it and process it through their factory, and how will they work alongside social workers and partners who are able to directly deliver contributions to families.

“I look after everything from ‘how do we get product in the door,’ whether it is through recycled clothing, where people donate it from their own homes, whether it is product that we have to purchase, or whether it is in kind, where corporations can donate to us. So, everything from, ‘how do we get people wanting to give us product,’ ‘how do we transport it to our giving factory,’ ‘how do we process it through our giving factory,’ and ‘how do we get it into the hands of the social workers or our partners who are then going to give it onto the families.’”

“I bring my first-year students to Cradles to Crayons because it is an amazing organization that has a wonderful way of empowering volunteers to see how they can make a positive difference in others’ lives. My students volunteer for two hours sorting clothes, making outfit packs, or packing bags with items that young people might need.”

Subsequent to volunteering at Cradles to Crayons this past fall, as a part of Professor Baldizar’s trip, Savannah Teixeira ’26 had new insights.

“So, something that I took from this trip was that community service can actually be fun, even though it kind of seems boring. If you go in with an open mind, you can have a lot of fun and you are actually making a bigger change than you think you are. [In the moment,] I could tell how passionate everyone who worked at Cradles to Crayons was about their organization and how highly they would talk about what they do, they also felt very proud of what they did, they also felt like they made a change, and that they were continuing to make a change.”

There are a number of ways to take action alongside Cradles to Crayons: (1) donate goods, (2) volunteer, (3) offer financial support (online, you will find that a gift of just $33.00 enables Cradles to Crayons to positively impact the life of one child), and (4) utilize Giving Factory Direct for a greater reach across the United States. Some other ways to get involved are to become a service partner, as well as to step into a leadership role through the councils, memberships, and sponsorship opportunities offered by Cradles to Crayons. You can also join the conversation around childhood poverty on social media. If another way to get involved comes to mind … go for it! Whatever the case, you will be aligning yourself with Cradles to Crayons and its exceptional humanitarian mission.


Spencer Villinski 11
Photography By
Emmett Anderson & Julia Figueiral

When most Bostonians think of the North End, their minds wander to the smell of fresh pastries and Italian cuisine. Nestled between the rows of Italian flags is the Pink Carrot. Established in 2022 by owner Jo-Ann Bertolino, this bright concept of healthy eats and treats offers customers the opportunity for quick and nutritious meals for all times of the day. Additionally, they offer rich and flavorful smoothie combinations of fruit and vegetables, that help to boost productivity, energy, and overall dietary health.

Bertolino originally moved to the North End from South Florida about nine years ago. Due to the active nature of her previous environment, she was accustomed to having healthy options right at her fingertips. Once she and her son had settled into their new home, she found herself searching for a place she could sit down for a truly healthy salad. She was also wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the city, volunteering at an animal shelter while her son was at school, but every night her mind was still on the gap in avaliable local healthy cuisine offerings.

In between balancing motherhood and her love for helping Boston’s furry friends, she would walk the block. During these outings, she would always pass by a quaint, vacant space on Salem Street. She used to joke that if she were to ever bring her healthy storefront to life, this would have to be the spot. For years, that same storefront sat vacant, and after the city shut down for the pandemic, Bertolino decided to make the jump into the health food market.

“I felt like it will either make it, or it won’t, but if I don’t try I will never know. I felt that if I was missing this niche [healthy cuisine] that others must be too,” said Bertolino.

She wanted to build her vision around being unique. Bertolino began playing around with branding and menu ideas, using her own personal recipes to foster delicious, well-prepared, and convenient healthy meals. Whether it’s adding to the popular “Mama Bird” salad or upgrading the nutritious “Breakfast Bowl,” Bertolino is often hiding away on the lower

level of the shop, experimenting with different flavor profiles, and how to really push the balance of a dish using grains, vegetables, and proteins. She’s never one to shy away from the unknown.

A lot of her creations use the eighty-twenty rule: eighty percent healthy and twenty percent indulgence. According to Bertolino, the food isn’t meant to be complicated, it’s supposed to highlight how simplicity is the key to balance. With her own health put into perspective many years prior based on her dietary habits, she wanted to take the hassle out of eating healthy and provide her neighbors with the ability to choose what goes into their bodies. Bertolino wanted to be a contributing factor to building on the importance of accessible dietary management and personal fulfillment.

“I wish I had grown up in this health craze, because when I grew up it didn’t matter what you ate as long as you appeared thin. Back then I wouldn’t have touched a cookie, but now I’ll have a cookie if I want it,” said Bertolino.

Not only did she want to emphasize the importance of our physical intake, but she wanted the overall atmosphere to allude to the importance of mental intake. She wanted to create a place where people could spend the day working, relaxing, and building connections with the diverse demographics of the neighborhood. She wanted to bring the vibrant South Florida aesthetic to the otherwise traditional brickheavy storefronts surrounding Pink Carrot. Although Bertolino was not a colorful person when it came to her wardrobe, she wanted to bring her love of pink into every corner of the business. From painting the whole storefront bubblegum pink for a pop of curb appeal, to bringing in stunning rose-printed wallpaper, to the bright bar top that matched the outside, Bertolino would have everyone seeing pink. She used light shades of green to tie in the natural elements of the vision. It wasn’t just about creating an environment for others; it was about creating a place where she herself could build connections with her community and her setting an example of work-life management.


“If you don’t enjoy going to work in the morning, you need to find something else to do. I put a lot of thought into this place to make sure I was happy doing just that,” said Bertolino.

She spent eight months on branding, to make sure she could really focus on expanding. The time has come for Pink Carrot to set those plans in motion. Bertolino has been planning to open a few new locations, as well as hosting events and partnering with community organizations to assist in sponsored events. One of the organizations Bertolino is hoping to partner with is a local rescue organization focused on supporting displaced and homeless dogs. Holding adoption events at Pink Carrot, as well as bringing awareness to the beautiful dogs up for adoption, is Bertolino’s dream.

No matter the season, the Pink Carrot continues to plant its roots as it branches out into the diverse surrounding community. Bertolino and her staff showcase the power of using food to feed the mind, body, and soul. Although more storefronts are sure to sprout in the coming year, be sure to stop by the original, pink, organic oasis. @pinkcarrotboston; pinkcarrotboston.com

Kiersten Brown Photography
By Emmett Anderson Alison Dress: Vintage Backroad Earrings: NROR ART Alison (Left) Dress: Vintage Backroad Hat: Vintage Backroad Heels: Global Thrift Store Marissa (Middle) Dress: Vintage Backroad Earrings: NROR ART Jayra (Right) Dress: Global Thrift Store Button-Down: Vintage Backroad Headscarf: Vintage Backroad Earrings: NROR ART Heels: Global Thrift Store

Alison (Top)

Bathing Suit: Fits The Vibe

Dress: Global Thrift Store

Marissa (Bottom)

Bathing Suit: Global Thrift Store

Dress: Vintage Backroad


Dress: Global Thrift Store

Button-Down: Vintage Backroad

Headscarf: Vintage Backroad

Earrings: NROR ART

Heels: Global Thrift Store

Jayra (Left)

Dress: Salvage Angel - Emily’s Closet

Hat: Global Thrift Store

Marissa (Middle)

Bathing Suit: Global Thrift Store

Dress: Vintage Backroad

Alison (Right)

Bathing Suit: Fits The Vibe

Dress: Global Thrift Store

Dress: Vintage Backroad

Kimono: Global Thrift Store

Heels: Amelia Capron


Dress: Vintage Backroad

Earrings: NROR ART

Marissa (Right)

Dress: Vintage Backroad

Earrings: NROR ART

Alison (Left)


In the year 2020, Ianna True found herself in a state of uncertainty about where she wanted to go next with her life and career. With a longtime interest in fashion and styling, she started taking an fascination in thrifting and upcycling. True noticed that secondhand clothing shops seemed to treat the presentation of their stores and products as a relatively low priority. True, who was earning a degree in accounting, began to think about how thoughtful design and decor might benefit a thrift shop. She had the idea that giving the space a cute, trendy style would create a more inviting atmosphere for customers. Intimidated by entering the fashion industry, True had no expectation that such a business would ever become a reality.

That would change later that year when True encountered a commercial space in Windham, New Hampshire while looking for an apartment. At the young age of twenty-two, she signed the lease in September 2020, and opened the thrift store Fits The Vibe on October 10th of the same year.

“It was obviously a big risk, but I’ll always be grateful that I decided to do it ... it ended up being one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made,” said True.

By the following September, Fits The Vibe had outgrown the original space in Windham. That same month, the business moved to a more spacious location: a former school building in Salem, New Hampshire.

Today, Fits The Vibe stands out as a brick-and-mortar store amidst the increasing popularity of e-commerce. There is a certain in-store experience that online shopping is simply unable to replicate. True aimed to make Fits The Vibe not just a place to buy secondhand clothing, but also an interesting shopping experience with an original atmosphere, and it definitely shows. True has taken the potential of the physical storefront in directions that other businesses would not even think to go. In addition to everything it has to offer, the physical design of the store is worth exploring for its own sake.

The engaging design of the store highlights the excitement and genuine dedication she has for both her business and the creative potential of thrifting. Besides the retail space for secondhand fashion and collaborations, Fits The Vibe features lots of fun and unique photo opportunities. They have everything from curated collections of neon signs and posters throughout the store to a charming corner with leaf-covered walls and decorative mushroom sculptures. There is even the bright and dreamy cloud room, which has become a staple attraction of the business.


“People will spend hours in here taking pictures,” said True.

Fits The Vibe is a thrift store dedicated to True’s belief in the importance of sustainable fashion. With the fast fashion industry’s exponential growth in recent years, the way clothing is increasingly treated as disposable has become a cause for concern. Both the manufacturing and disposal of clothing can be deleterious to the environment, so proponents of sustainability encourage consumers to engage in the reuse and recycling of clothes. Thrifting allows people to make use of unwanted clothing, extending its lifespan instead of leaving it to be treated as waste.

“People aren’t really aware how much clothing does impact the planet, so I feel like being able to offer secondhand clothing to people gives them the opportunity to choose sustainability over shopping new,” said True.

True also had the idea to feature small businesses and artists as in-store vendors. With approximately thirty current vendors, True has proven this to be a successful strategy. She estimates that, over the two years the store has been open for business, there have been about one-hundred collaborations with different creators. Having successful small business experiences at Fits The Vibe has motivated collaborating vendors to see more potential in their businesses.

Collaborations started with upcycled clothing such as repurposed sweatshirts and flannels, but soon grew to include all sorts of creations. The store provides a space where a diverse group of artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses can highlight their products. One vendor, for example, started selling products at Fits The Vibe at the age of twelve. True is enthusiastic about providing an environment where creative people can get started selling their works.

“I love being able to give people the opportunity to start their businesses... I think it’s really cool how many more people are able to start small businesses nowadays,” said True.

Fits The Vibe is an independently-owned store in an area that is somewhat lacking in entrepreneurial presence, especially in terms of apparel shops. True had never seen a business that sold upcycled clothing or accessories in-store, but it fit her interests and, well, the “vibe” of the shop.

Early support for Fits The Vibe came primarily from True’s family and friends. Though it was officially a self-run business at first, she knew that she couldn’t have done it without her team. Her first few employees were some of her best friends, and she has since hired a total of five staff members, including a photographer, to help with the store’s in-person and online presence.

The brand found many of its customers and some vendors through the internet. Upcycling gained a lot of its popularity online as an accessible and affordable way to obtain creative and unique clothing. Since True’s business came to mainstream attention via social media, where it remains prominent, online spaces have made connecting like-minded creators and small businesses easier than ever. As both a new thrift store that makes for a fun experience to visit and a hub for independentlyowned businesses, Fits The Vibe quickly established itself as a perfect fit for the Greater Boston fashion and upcycling scene.

In order to continue providing a wide variety for an expanding clientele, the store itself needs to grow too. The current layout of Fits The Vibe is organized by garment type: there are separate spaces for short-sleeve shirts, sweaters, and so on. To make it easier for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for, True hopes to have the space to also sort by women’s, men’s, and unisex clothing. For a small business, Fits The Vibe has seen a massive amount of growth. Further expansion and successes for the store will benefit not only the business, but the vendors it collaborates with and the community it is part of as well.


Photography Courtesy of Becca LeBlanc 23
Anya Misage

A Pointed Trend

Ballet core is on trend, from bodysuits, to tights, to leg warmers. Despite it being spring and summer, layering winter accessories such as leg warmers is in. Bodysuits have had a revival, which could be partially contributed to the rise of Kim Kardashian’s brand Skims. Tight fitting first layers are an attractive element of this trend, taking the guesswork out of getting dressed. Ballet flats, Mary Janes, and Miu Miu tabi shoes are forecasted to be worn widely with ankle socks (bonus points if they’re frilly).

Delicate and dainty looks will crop up. To be on-trend a mini skirt, ballet flats, and a pair of white or pink tights with leg warmers are essential. Slicked back buns and bows are small ways to incorporate this trend into your own tried and true outfits.

Caleigh Bain Clothing Courtesy of: Global Thrift Store, Venom Girl Shop, Vintage Backroad, Salvage Angel, Sydpes, Make Me Feel Better, & Amelia Capron

WhenDianne Austin was diagnosed with cancer resulting in the loss of her hair, she was shocked to discover that hospitals and medical wig salons did not sell wigs that looked like her tightly coiled and textured hair. Out of her frustration and desire to solve this problem for other women, Coils to Locs was born.

Austin and her sister and co-founder, Pamela Shaddock, started the business in November of 2019 and have made a tremendous impact for women of color seeking wigs that closely resemble their curly and textured hair.

Coils to Locs is a high quality synthetic wig resource for women of color or any woman who has textured hair and is experiencing forms of medical hair loss. They are filling a gap in the world of healthcare for cancer patients of color who have a lack of access to coiled or curly wigs.

The business model is two fold- they sell directly as distributors to hospitals and medical hair loss salons, as well as a separate style of wigs that is sold direct-to-consumer through their e-commerce site and online store platforms.

“The impact that we have made and have the potential to make in this medical hair loss space is the most rewarding part about owning this business. We are creating a pathway and opening doors for women to have access to styles that resonate with them culturally, and that has been really gratifying,” said Austin.

The business was founded based on Austin’s own experience as a cancer patient. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 she learned that she would be receiving a “...chemotherapy cocktail...” that would result in hair loss.

She discovered that there was a niche industry that provided wigs for medical hair loss and her doctor wrote her a prescription to get one. She went to local cancer centers and discovered that they did not sell wigs that resembled her hair.

Assuming this was only an issue in the Boston area, she researched and reached out to multiple hospitals in major cities across the country, learning that none of them provided this alternative wig style.

With a strong desire to make a change, the “...sisterpreneuers...” as they like to call themselves, started Coils to Locs. As one could imagine, building a company from the ground up in a new market was not an easy task. Shaddock mentioned that financing and funding the company was one of their biggest challenges when first starting out.

Figuring out the manufacturing piece was another big challenge. It took a few years before they launched to find the right distributor and manufacturers who could curate the designs they were looking for with the right texture and feel to them that also looked natural. The company sells high quality synthetic wigs that mimic human hair, so it was important to them to find the manufacturers that could do this the best.

Austin and Shaddock spent the four years leading up to the launch of their company learning about what it takes to launch a successful business and going through the foundational work.

Upon the launch of their business, word of mouth was the key way the sisters spread awareness about Coils to Locs. They had close connections to healthcare workers who supported patients in their target market.

They spent a lot of time in the community sitting in on panels and attending workshops. The two women also did their own marketing through social media and got public relations support early on, which helped to get the word out.

“Our tagline is ‘more than just a wig.’ We want to educate the consumer on hair loss and educate our vendors on what it means to have natural hair and how to care for it,” said Shaddock.

The vendors they work with are used to working with straight haired wigs, but were determined to properly handle the curly wigs and help the customer feel comfortable in them.

Beyond just providing the wigs, Austin and Shaddock prioritize teaching their vendors and customers how to take care of the wigs so they will look and feel their best in them.

“We want our customers to see a reflection of themselves in our wigs. When you’re going through medical hair loss in a society that places a lot of value on the way you look, it’s important for many women to look as much like themselves as possible,” said Austin. Their top priority is to make sure that in the medical hair loss spaces where there is a current lack in coily and textured wigs, women with that hair type can be comfortable and find what they need.

Having experienced firsthand the difficulty of searching the country for a wig that most closely resembled her own hair, these women are determined to make sure that women of color no longer have to feel that way.

“We want to be the go-to business in this space and have Coils to Locs be top of mind when someone is looking for wigs for hair loss... We want to be able to change the narrative around providing access to women, promote diversity and inclusion in medical spaces, and enable the people working in these spaces to recognize that wigs are not necessarily a one size fits all industry,” said Shaddock.

The sisters aren’t stopping here. They have numerous plans in the works to expand their company’s services within the next few years. They plan to add augmented reality to their website so that women can try on wigs virtually instead of just in person.

They are also planning to add wigs for men and children who are challenged with hair loss as well. With these new ideas in mind along with their already flourishing success, it is safe to say that Coils to Locs is only going to keep dominating this industry and changing lives one wig at a time.

Adrianna Marchi
Photography Courtesy of Coils to Locs

to be

Originally a clothing boutique specializing in Scandinavian fashion, Stil Clothing, was transformed into the meditation oasis, Stil Studio, in 2009. Owner Betty Riaz decided the fashion industry was no longer what she wanted to pursue, instead she began to practice yoga and meditation. Creating an instant connection, she knew she wanted to share this experience and teach others. For Riaz, ‘Stil,’ the Norwegian word for style, took many metaphorical forms, from the style of yoga practiced to the play on the spelling of ‘still.’ Over time, she decided that keeping the spelling of ‘Stil’ would be best for the organization of the brand.

Stil Studio offers many practices of the Tibetan Yogic Tradition. These practices include: yoga, vinyasa, dharma discussions, meditation challenges with Riaz, Tibetan yogic breathing, spa yoga, flow yoga, and fluid yoga. They also offer physical therapy and massages to provide healing for the body. Stil Studio currently has two locations, an indoor and an outdoor location, both in Dedham, Massachusetts.

“When I started practicing yoga, it felt like coming home. The meditation taught me to look inwards and take accountability for my own thoughts and actions,” said Riaz.

Riaz’s goal is to provide a space where people feel that they can release any stress or thoughts that may be weighing them down. Finding a sense of inner peace is an important aspect in the practice. As she expressed, it helped her regain control in a difficult time. This is what initially inspired her to open the studio.

Though yoga and meditation are known for allowing individuals to begin a journey that focuses on the inner self, a mentor or instructor can be beneficial to those just starting out. Co-owner Kevan Gale was introduced to meditation during his college career. He had been on a month-long outdoor retreat for a leadership conference and fell in love with yoga and meditation after one of his instructors introduced him to the practice.

“He [Gale] began his studies at that time and further explored Tibetan Meditation Practices under the guidance of Khenpo Lama Migmar Tseten of Sakya Institute,” said Riaz.

In the business of everyday life, it’s typical for one to forget to put time aside to focus on self-care. Even setting aside a mere five minutes for the practice of meditating can recenter the mind and calm the body as you devote all energy to the act of breathing for that period of time. As you listen to your breathing, you are checking in with each part of your body. This gives you an opportunity to let go of any tension or stiffness that may have gone unnoticed in the normal day-to-day life.

When learning about yoga, it is important to note there is no ‘one type’ or ‘one way’ of coonducting your practice. Commonly overlooked and seen as breathing exercises alone, this surface-level understanding has caused yoga and meditation to be grossly underestimated. Elements of the practice are found in many religions, each having differentiating aspects or beliefs interwoven to create different experiences. However, one does not need to have the same beliefs or be part of said cultures


in order to try the different varieties of yoga and meditation. One of the biggest virtues of the practice is respect. It is important to recognize and appreciate the connections others may have created between themselves and their experiences with yoga. Keeping respect as the focal point, anyone is welcome to join in.

“Retreating is a beautiful way for a practitioner to step outside of their normal environment to find inner harmony and space,” said Riaz.

Stil Studio offers what they call ‘destination retreats.’ These destinations can range in price and distance. The retreat locations are as close as neighboring towns and as far as France and the United Kingdom. Those partaking in the retreat travel together both to and from the destination. These spirtitual trips provide the students with an experience unlike any other and include an opportunity for the instructor to explore their abilities as a teacher. Practicing yoga and the act of centering oneself is a journey into self-reflection. With the added exposure to new cultures and surroundings, Riaz believes that the retreats deepen the appreciation of the practice even further.

“[One of our goals is] To stay focused on the path of virtue and mindfulness and to continue offering teachings in yoga, philosophy, [and] meditation…for as long as we live,” said Riaz.

Like many others, this lifestyle requires passion and dedication to its practice. However, unlike some, yoga and meditation are inexpensive and don’t take up hours of one’s time during the week. This practice can vary in length, for even a short meditative exercise can be quite beneficial. No membership is needed, once a person has a well-developed knowledge of their chosen practice, an instructor becomes optional.

Yoga and meditation can come into people’s lives for different reasons, whether it be a healing practice or regaining a connection within.

Riaz and Gale, as individuals, have set the goal to take what they have learned and pay it forward. Possibly being the ones to open the door to someone’s love for yoga, these co-owners want to teach people how to apply it to everyday life. Come check out the studio and see what they can teach you about being Stil.

Though Riaz and Gale teach practices centered around the Tibetan Yogic Tradition, there are still several opportunities for growth within their journey. These co-owners have set many goals to expand their horizons and their various kinds of training within the practice. The future of Stil Studio is still in the works, but these instructors want to branch out and span across several locations.

Oliver Pruett-Reed

Recreational painting studios have been around for years, sponsoring various activities from paint and sip to seasonally themed projects. Canvas Studio is a creative community art space that hosts specialized painting activities integrating culture, special education, and sensory exploration through art. In 2022, Daphne Walker decided to change the game. She opened the doors to a new type of paint experience, Canvas Studio | The Design Lab.

Before her journey into the creative art and activities business, Walker was employed as a community-based social and health worker. Equipped with a number of degrees ranging from early childhood education to psychology, most of her knowledge of the job came from her experiences in the field. As she worked with the families and other members of her community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she took note of the opportunities to use creativity and innovation to help explore the importance of physical and mental wellness.

After the world reopened to its new normal, she quit her job and began her journey into the unknown. While many had no knowledge of her decision, she made progress in silence. Sharing her ever-changing vision with only a select few family members and friends, she quietly renovated and created the space on Fairmount Ave. While she had no knowledge of business and/or running a creative space, Walker never faltered in her plan letting the community and families she had served guide her in her desire to fill the need for innovation.

“Making the decision to quit my job to open a studio was not something I hesitated to do. I told myself that I was going to do my own thing, having no idea of what it was going to be, but I did know that I wanted to be able to continue the work that I was doing with families in a way that felt more satisfying to me,” said Walker.

After months of cosmetic renovations and planning, Walker welcomed the community into the space with open arms. She wanted the space to be an open forum for culture, acceptance, and socialization. It was time to bring back a place for people to meet like-minded individuals who were ready to re-enter their social community. Walker emphasized the importance of this, as she felt that the past few years caused a disconnect

with the power of face-to-face interaction, as this challenges mental health and wellness. This healing, as Walker described it, was necessary for the community. She wanted to provide her customers with an experience that highlighted the importance of unity through differences. For example, the studio’s “Mood Monster” activity emphasizes the importance of recognizing our emotions but also learning about the different roles that the five senses can play in an individual’s life. Walker wanted to give families, like the ones she previously assisted, an intimate setting to develop their understanding of the resources and activities surrounding them. They are not necessarily tailored for them, but tailored for everyone.

“I really enjoy everything that we do, but I am really happy and proud that Canvas Studio was really able to break into the healing, wellness, and cultural acceptance space…for families who you know may need some support with understanding a child’s development, or who may need some support with navigating their child’s sensory needs… it’s been able to provide a centralized accessible place for people to come and find those who are similar to them, and also may have some differences” said Walker.

While the traditional paint space normally holds a larger monetary fee to cover the necessary materials, Walker wanted to keep the emphasis on being together, and she did not want the price of the activities to influence the ability to cater to everyone. A few months in, Walker decided to partner with Cards to Culture, a collaborative brand with multiple state-run organizations. It allows low-income and working families to use their assistance cards and programs to gain access to rich art and cultural experiences throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Walker wanted to make sure that her studio was a part of this program, as she herself experienced the wonderful opportunities provided. She utilized the program, visiting the Children’s Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts along with her daughter. It gave her a sense of relief, with the knowledge that her daughter would not have to miss out on experiences due to a tight budget. Walker wanted her business to create these same experiences for others and partnered closely with the Massachusetts Cultural Council through the process to become a Cards to Culture business.

On and off the canvas, Daphne Walker has painted a beautiful portrait of what it means to be united. She brings the focus of the community together making smooth and clean transitions from isolation to socialization one brush stroke at a time. She teaches us the power of acrylics, and how to transform the medium into advocacy.

@canvasstudioboston; canvasstudiobos.com

Photography Courtesy of Canvas Studio Boston & Beverly Banks
Kiersten Brown

Jayra (Left)

Dress: Global Thrift Store

Button-Down: Vintage Backroad

Headscarf: Vintage Backroad

Earrings: NROR ART

Marissa (Middle)

Dress: Vintage Backroad

Alison (Right)

Dress: Vintage Backroad

Earrings: NROR ART

Hat: Vintage Backroad

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