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Letter from the

CONTRIBUTORS

Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking. I know. Our editorial, “Citrus in Bloom,” features a dream-like garden romance that embodies a fresh and radiant vibe. To us, spring is the burst of color and freshness in between the winter cold and summer heat, so we decided to embrace spring through bold colors, wild prints, and a variety of textures.

PUBLISHER

We were privileged to use Tower Hill Botanic Garden as the ideal backdrop for our editorial photoshoot. Their stunning conservatories feature lush greenery and vibrant citrus trees, offering us endless opportunities to bring our vision to life. With generous donations from I Am Kreyol, Joe Malaika, Revolve, and Madison Ave, we were able to create colorful and lively looks for our incredible models.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

In my first issue as creative director, I set a goal for our team to create a fun, organized, and collaborative atmosphere for everyone involved. This atmosphere allowed us to succeed in challenges such as shooting twelve different looks in a strict two-hour window. We strived to make this issue as cohesive and visually interesting as possible. I’m proud of the entire POLISHED team and excited to be taking on the ultimate challenge as creative director.

Lasell College

FOUNDER Richard Bath

Cassandra Moisan

MANAGING EDITORS Julie Young Kelsey Fagan

ART DIRECTOR Ashley Burke

ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR Emma Helstrom

ART EDITOR

Letter from the

Margaret Brochu

EDITORS

EDITORS

This issue of POLISHED Magazine is inspired by fresh, energetic settings and inherent connections to nature. Supporting the overarching theme set forth by the creative direction, we embrace organic enterprises and natural beauty. Pieces like “Seed to Stem to Stay,” an article highlighting a botanical-inspired lifestyle boutique, represent our core vision.

STYLISTS

The articles align with broader social shifts toward total wellness and sustainable initiatives. This modality is emphasized through pieces like “Conscious Complexions,” a feature on a newly established all-natural skincare brand, and “Finding Inner Balance,” a discussion about self-preservation with lifestyle blogger Kerri Axelrod. Together, we have aimed to curate a body of writing that is unified and that engages in a larger conversation. This semester, as we say goodbye to Julie Young and welcome Kelsey Fagan as managing editor, we look back on the success we have had as a team. We broke barriers and redefined the landscape of POLISHED Magazine’s written content. This issue acts as the culmination of our rewarding partnership and an expression of our collaborative energy.

Aine Hawthorne Rachel Stankus

Aurialís Alvarez Eunice Bruno Emma Pereira Mattias Voltmer

EDITORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM Margaret Brochu Michael Bueno

EDITORIAL MAKEUP Madison Paloski Lasell College Makeup Club (LCMC): Alexis Quiles Taylor Powell

MEDIA DIRECTORS Kaitlin McCarthy Erika Patnaude

SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM Alexis Barboza Nina Brady Daniel Burns Alyssa Butkiewicz Alexis Cabral Samantha Chmiel Natalie Delautre Abigail Detrick Brianna Doody Kristina Dragicevic Sofia Gallo Emily Garcia Madison Griffin Josh Langford Kathleen Mansfield Nicolette Martin Kellie Matthews Maggie McGovern Vanessa Medina Briana Muller Jennica Patino Mazmanian Ashli Roberts Meghan Selvaggi Rachel Shufflebarger Carly Smith Kendra Sperry Megan Venuto Kelsey Willett

BLOG TEAM

Avery Stankus - Director Rachel Stankus - Director Paris Adams Alexa Barbuzzi Skyla Buonopane Kaitlin McCarthy Erika Patnaude

FACULTY ADVISORS Lynn Blake Stephen Fischer Becky Kennedy

MODELS POLISHED Magazine is produced by the Lasell College Fashion Department with graphic design support from the Graphic Design League at Lasell College Visit us at graphicdesignleague.com POLISHED Magazine is printed by Wing Press beau@wingpress.com

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Terrence Moore Jr - Model Club Inc. Tianna St.Louis - Model Club Inc. Olivia Xu - Maggie Inc.

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


Table of CONTENTS CALENDAR

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June/July/August 2018

Writer: Avery Stankus Graphic Designer: Ashley Burke

FASHION

6 Trend Report

Writer: Kelsey Fagan Graphic Designer: Emma Helstrom

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Ash & Rose

Interviewer: Pavel Zlatin Writer: Kelsey Fagan Graphic Designers: Daisy Bocanegra and Ashley Burke

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The Brightest Boutique on Newbury Writer: Avery Stankus Graphic Designers: Sara Nahoun and Ashley Burke

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Candace Wu Couture

Writer: Jami Pelosi Graphic Designer: Taylor Smith

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Citrus in Bloom

Retailers: Revolve Boutiques, I am Kreyol, Joe Malaika, Madison Ave. Makeup: Madison Paloski and Lasell College Makeup Club (LCMC) Photographers: Margaret Brochu and Michael Bueno Location: Tower Hill Botanic Garden

LIFESTYLE

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Radiant Roots

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Inspired Interiors

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Seed to Stem to Stay

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Finding Inner Balance

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Conscious Complexions

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The Proof Is in the Pudding

Interviewer: Skylar Diamond Writer: Kelsey Fagan Graphic Designer: Emma Helstrom Writer: Pavel Zlatin Graphic Designer: Emma Witbeck

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Writer: Hannah Amorello Graphic Designer: Hunter Spencer

Writer: Jessica Lindell Graphic Designer: Madison Paloski Writer: Leanne Signoriello Graphic Designer: Abigail Detrick

Writer: Sarah Gelineau Graphic Designer: Margaret Brochu

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St. Francis House: A Shared Mission Writer: Sarah Gelineau Graphic Designer: Nicole Solano

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Healing Crystals

Writer: Alexa Barbuzzi Graphic Designer: Emma Helstrom

ON THE COVER Terrence Moore Jr. Jacket: Joe Malaika Top: Our own Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and Lasell College Makeup Club Photography: Margaret Brochu

1844 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA 02466 | lasell.edu polishedfashion.com | polishedblogger.wordpress.com Polished Magazine | @bostonpolished @bostonpolished | bostonpolished

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JUNE... JULY.......

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Secret Garden of Cambridge Tour Ideal for a summer stroll, the self-guided Secret Garden Tour of Cambridge is the perfect aromatic summer activity. Twenty-four ambrosial gardens create a botanical oasis for goers to explore.

Scooper Bowl Ice Cream Fest 

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During the hot summer weather, endless ice cream is quite the dream. Located at Boston’s City Hall Plaza, this three-day fundraiser includes live music and approximately ten tons of ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. Attendees devour all the ice cream they please, then vote on their favorite.

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Solstice Party Come celebrate the summer solstice at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum through different gallery activities, music, and moonlit garden viewings. With ticket prices ranging from $5 to $15, the solstice party is a festive way to spend the longest day of the year.

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Roxbury International Film Festival Taking place at the Museum of Fine Arts, this 10-day film festival showcases work produced by international filmmakers, both emerging and established. Including full-length features, documentaries, experimental films, workshops, and panel discussions, the festival celebrates people of all cultural backgrounds.

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Boston Pizza Festival Located at City Hall Plaza, the event includes all-you-can-eat pizza, live entertainment, games, and more for $35. With 25 vendors attending, this event will leave attendees full, yet hungry to come back the next year.

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With a mission to support and feature ingenious creators, small businesses, independent designers, and the finest handmade goods, SoWa Art & Design hosts a vivacious community event that has flourished into a world-renowned lifestyle destination.

SoWa Open Market


... AUGUST...2018 Boston GreenFest Boston shows its support for going green this summer, as Boston GreenFest celebrates its eleventh anniversary. This three-day event featuring eco arts, fashion, and food will promote climate change awareness and a community commitment to sustainability.

Lord Huron Concert @ House of Blues Since its 2012 debut, the American indie folk band, Lord Huron has dismantled industry barriers through its raw lyrics and intricate sound; this band has undoubtedly paved its path to success.

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Provincetown Carnival

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Caitlin Keogh: Blank Melody New York-based artist Caitlin Keogh explores her artistic identity and gender questioning through her work at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Using techniques such as matte colors and hand-drawn illustrations, she exhibits an astounding series of women in art.

Coolidge Corner Yoga @ Minot Rose Garden Instructed by Tatyana Souza, greet the summer day with an hour-long yoga session in the sun. Focusing on strength and movement, Souza believes yoga is the personal and global catalyst of change. Held at the Minot Rose Garden, the Vinyasa-style yoga class is the perfect way to relieve stress.

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Illustrations Courtesy of Emma Helstrom

A weeklong festival of the LGBTQ community, Provincetown Carnival is sure to attract many with its Mardi Gras theme. Gathering at art fairs, a costume ball, dance parties, social events, and special performances, people from all over the United States attend Provincetown’s biggest celebration for boundless entertainment.

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TR ENDREPORT SPRING/SUMMER 2018

his season’s trend report reaches for the stars with out-of-the-box interpretations of contemporary style. Deviating from the use of conventional textiles, Planet Plastic incorporates glossy, transparent accessories and design features, referencing a space-age aesthetic and offering commentary on modern industry. Urban utility, which embraces oversized proportions and utilitarian design, reimagines the context of street style with an air of youthful rebellion. Motifs of comfort and ease are brought to life through Luxe Lounge as silky-soft fabrics communicate relaxed indulgence.

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FASHION

Trends Stylists: Cassandra Moisan, Kelsey Fagan, Mattias Voltmer, and AurialĂ­s Alvarez Clothes: Revolve Boutiques Photography: Madison Paloski Models: Sammy Grandahl, Karli Manship, Austin Averna, and Dara Chhit


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ea and Mary Savoca, cofounders of Ash & Rose, started their mother-daughter retail operation three years ago in Boston’s historic South End. The boutique, a reflection of their lifestyle and fanciful aesthetic, is a collaborative effort. The two worked for years to develop their business partnership and to define their unique brand.

“We don’t just give money to people; we support them through purchasing their product so they can support themselves. I think this is a very important distinction that I believe in strongly. I think it is way more important to buy directly from people, so they can feel proud of what they are doing,” said Nea Savoca.

“When I first started, Mary was in high school. I started selling used clothes on eBay. I would recommend it to anybody as a way to learn. It is very good for discipline,” said Nea Savoca.

While the two have taken steps to back other ethical endeavors, they have worked tirelessly to infuse this mentality into the core of their brand. Despite their continued growth and adaptation as a company, they have remained steadfast in their supportive buying practices.

Armed with completely different skill sets, which they merged to create a truly efficient business venture, the two make a well-rounded team. Nea Savoca designs clothing for the Ash & Rose Collection, the store’s own label, and Mary is a buyer, constantly searching for new designers and brands to fill up the store. When selecting and designing clothing for Ash & Rose, they understand the importance of considering their clients’ needs and preferences. “In Boston, people may be creative, but they don’t want to be too extreme, and we know how much money they want to spend. We think in terms of a woman who is romantic, fun, busy, and active. We don’t really do edgy; we are doing something different: energetic, healthy, happy, and creative. Our woman is looking for the clothing that is going to be interesting, comfortable, and sustainable,” Nea Navoca said. The inventory housed at Ash & Rose is carefully curated with a diverse audience in mind. Some items are elegant and classic, some are more contemporary, and others are bohemian and free spirited. Geometric patterns, floral prints, and pastel hues culminate in a product assortment that communicates modern romanticism. “I’d say slightly boho but not completely boho; there is a fine line. It’s wearable, beautiful, pretty, romantic, and it has to move well. Everything always has to be refreshing. It’s just terribly important to ask yourself: Is this going to be relevant in five years?” said Nea Savoca. While design is paramount, Mary and Nea Savoca have ranked sustainability and ethical production at the top of their priority list. In order to pursue this core principle, they make sure to work with other companies that share the same values. “We always do research on companies we wish to work with. We are only looking for people who pay ethical wages,” Nea Savoca said. Mary and Nea Savoca are both extremely passionate about the environment. In their business, they support environmentally friendly companies, and they collaborate only with like-minded enterprises.

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“We keep reorganizing and changing our business. This round, we wanted to go one hundred percent ethical, and we are getting more and more sustainable,” Nea Savoca said. Right now, the store is undergoing a rebranding process. This is intended to affect every aspect of the company, from its digital presence to the brick-and-mortar setting. The pair is striving to fine-tune the aesthetic and align with contemporary trends. Diverging from distressed and charming, Ash & Rose is moving toward more minimalistic vibes. “We absolutely love our space, but when we first came here, we had to adapt to this industrial setting. We wanted to use what’s here, but that also influenced the way we present ourselves online. With the rebranding, we are just refreshing. We are doing cleaner lines, more modern, more light, more plants rather than flowers. We are getting away from this shabby chic, as it’s getting dated,” said Nea Savoca. When it comes to building their team during this period of transition, the owners are looking for college-level interns. Offering paid internships in communications, photography, videography, and retail merchandising; they are eager to develop a well-rounded group. “We find the interns very useful. Ash & Rose is a great place to work and learn. They work hard, and we give them a lot of opportunities,” Nea Savoca said. Ash & Rose is a special place where approaches like environmental consciousness, ethical practices, and expressive fashion are blended, complementing each other and creating something unique. The style may change, yet Ash & Rose upholds core values and sustainable initiatives. As a family-run operation, the boutique represents a lasting relationship, shared passion, and the power of collective drive. @ashandrose; www.ashandrose.com

Interviewed by Pavel Zlatin Written by Kelsey Fagan


Photos Courtesy of Rose Bennett

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The Brightest Boutique on Newbury rom high-end boutiques to quaint specialty stores, Newbury Street is Boston’s quintessential retail destination. LIT Boutique, a brick-and-mortar and online retailer, is one of many unique stores that inhabit the coveted strip. With an extensive collection of trendy women’s fashions at cost-effective prices, the shop prides itself on creating an environment that mirrors that of the luxury shopping experience. LIT stylists utilize their knowledge of store inventory and trends to aid individual customers in finding clothes that meet their specific needs and styles.

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Because Barney’s wasn’t in her budget and she was growing tired of H&M, LIT Boutique owner Lisa Shah started her own business. The idea took three months to sprout from conception to actuality as she quickly came up with a name, secured a space, and opened her doors. The growth the business has experienced since its development 13 years ago is something that Shah is incredibly proud of.    “Growing something from a little seed to a giant beanstalk has been my favorite part of owning this business,” said Shah.    For Shah, it’s been more about the process of watching the business flourish than any other aspect. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, she knew owning a business would be in her future. Her recommendation for anyone wanting to start their own operation is to jump right in.       “My interest in starting this business came from my family. I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. Working behind a desk was never an option for me. Starting a business, you just do it. Stop talking about it; it all has to start somewhere,” Shah said.     The store is currently offering a wide assortment of products, from on-trend wrap tops, to graphic swimwear, to flowy beach pants. Given the array of carefully curated options, it’s clear that each buying decision is a direct reflection of the brand’s signature aesthetic and its quirky customer. “I would describe the aesthetic of my business as a tragically hip attention hog on a budget,” said Shah.  With over a decade of experience under its belt, LIT Boutique maintains its position as relevant, youthful, and trendy. Shah decides what to sell in her shop by absorbing everything in her day-to-day life.    “Fashion trends are in everything, from a new car color to the next trendy vegetable. Fashion draws inspiration from life, so you have to pay

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attention to everything. We follow the trends on media just like everyone else, but we really listen to the feedback of our customers. In the end, women all want the same thing: to look good,” Shah said.     As for decisions about which brands make the cut, it’s all about the product itself. Some boutiques may work with specific brands based off established relationships, prioritizing brand loyalty over value. For LIT Boutique, this is not the case.    “Brand loyalty is not as important to me as the actual product they produce. Brands are just like people; they are not always right,” said Shah.       LIT Boutique stands for more than just fashion: it represents female empowerment. LIT’s customer is not only Shah’s main priority, but also her primary source of inspiration. She finds one of the most rewarding aspects of her business to be the role it plays in elevating a woman’s confidence.   “It’s the ‘why’s?’ from our customers: Why are they in our store? Women that are looking to make themselves be the best they can be are the customers we aim for. When a woman feels good about her outfit, she can take on the world. The boutique is for the modern woman who plays ten different roles in a single day,” Shah said.  


“Growing something from a little seed to a giant beanstalk has been my favorite part of owning this business.”

The future of LIT Boutique is only getting brighter. With successful locations on Newbury Street and Hanover Street in Boston, and in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Shah plans to further expand her operation. She hopes to enter the New York City market and to grow within the realm of e-commerce. She is excited by the challenge of navigating the ever-changing relationship between the digital experience and the physical store space.   “I am fascinated by the future of retail. The ultimate success is figuring out how to replicate what we do during an in-store styling session with customers, to the same experience when they are online shopping at 2:00 AM. We believe the future of retail will be a combination of both online and brick-and-mortar. Clothing will always be emotional; people will always want to feel it,” said Shah.    Shah’s ambition to grow and develop LIT Boutique is the driving force behind this company’s success. Fueled by an allegiance both to her customer and to her overarching mission, she is determined to carry LIT Boutique into the next phase of retail. @litboutique; www.litboutique.com

Avery Stankus

Photos Courtesy of Kelsey Jones

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CANDICE wu COUTURE

ocated on Harrison Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts, is the Candice Wu Couture Studio. The upscale space, named after owner and head designer Candice Wu, showcases her original work. Wedding gowns adorned with intricate beading and lace line the windows, offering a glimpse into the beauty of her collection.

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Wu’s love of style and garment design developed during her childhood in Hong Kong. Her rich cultural background provided her with a wealth of inspiration and a unique reference point when it comes to evaluating fashion. “The fashion in Hong Kong is like New York, very urban-chic and very on trend. I don’t see this in Boston; people in Boston are more conservative,” said Wu.  At the age of 17, Wu relocated to the United States to attend the School of Fashion Design. Her goal was to pursue an education and eventual career in the fast-paced fashion industry. While Boston offers a very different environment than Hong Kong, Wu appreciates the cultural diversity. “Boston is a historical city with many mixed crowds, bringing different people and cultures together,” Wu said.  Today, Wu specializes in custom-designed wedding gowns. Her artfully executed work has garnered her awards such as the Boston Fashion Award in 2012 and 2013, and the Best of Weddings Award in 2017, through favored wedding blog, The Knot. Her work has been featured in well-recognized fashion magazines such as Vogue and Marie Claire. Wu’s designs have also been featured on premiere runways during fashion weeks throughout the country, from Los Angeles to New York.   While Wu is also skilled in designing ready-to-wear, she prefers crafting bridal dresses and elegant formal wear for special occasions. Her gowns are anything but simple.   Photos courtesy of Candice Wu Couture

“It’s about wow factor, elegance, and drama,” said Wu. Designers and artists have different creative processes, and Wu has gradually established her own. First, she searches for inspiration. Once she has developed a vision, she creates a mood board consisting of images, materials, colors, and words that help translate her concepts into reality. Next, Wu creates sketches of her ideas and develops patterns.

As a designer who works one on one with future brides, she then approaches her clients with samples in order to gain feedback before finalizing her designs. This process is lengthy, yet necessary for making something the client can feel confident in. “Normally, once finalized, the design takes at least three to four months to be made; the beading part needs at least a month. It is all depending on the design and how much hand work is needed to determine the process time,” Wu said.  Wu’s aesthetic involves voluminous tulle and a full, princess-like silhouette. Beaded trains flow off the back of her gowns and appear to be dripping with crystals. The gowns accentuate the female figure and are embellished with gold and silver accents, gems, and lace. While white wedding gowns are traditional, Wu expresses an affinity for blush-colored fabrics. She utilizes an array of materials to bring her sketches to life; however, crystals are her favorite feature. “Your eyes never resist the bling,” said Wu.  Not only are brides awarded personalized treatment, but they are also invited to bring their bridal party along for the experience. The team is welcoming, helpful, and accommodating. Wu takes the time to listen closely to what each client wants and creates well-suited garments that surpass expectation.  Although studio consultations and fittings are scheduled in advance by appointment, there is an ever-present sense of hustle and bustle that keeps Wu and her team on their toes. Despite the fast-paced, energetic atmosphere, the team is dedicated to providing clients with a meaningful and intimate experience. Wu’s unwavering commitment to carrying out her clients’ visions is a testament to her love of her business. She is passionate about her craft and her brand. “If you have passion for what you do, you won’t easily give up; you will keep getting motivation to achieve your goal,” Wu said.   From Candice Wu, one can learn the value of perseverance and internal drive. As a creative spirit with a knack for business, she has solidified her rank in the local fashion industry through hard work. Her beautiful designs act as visual representations of her passion and communicate an air of fanciful elegance. @candicewucouture; @candacewudesign; www.candicewucouture.com

Jami Pelosi 13


CITRUS in

Bloom

Terrence (Left) Jacket: Dior via Revolve Boutiques Necklace: Madison Ave Pants: I Am Kreyol Tianna (Right) Jacket: Joe Malaika Dress: I Am Kreyol Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and LCMC Photography: Michael Bueno

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Olivia Earrings: Our own Dress: Joe Malaika Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and LCMC Photography: Margaret Brochu

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Olivia Earrings: Our own Necklace: Madison Ave Dress: Madison Ave Pants: Our own Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and LCMC Photography: Margaret Brochu

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Terrence Jacket: Joe Malaika Top: Our own Pants: Our own Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and LCMC Photography: Michael Bueno

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Tianna Dress: I Am Kreyol Bag: Madison Ave Shoes: Model’s own Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and LCMC Photography: Michael Bueno

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Terrence Jacket: Revolve Boutiques Top: Revolve Boutiques Pants: Madison Ave Shoes: Model’s own Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and LCMC Photography: Michael Bueno

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Olivia (Left) Top: Madison Ave Shorts: Eunice Yvane Shoes: Madison Ave Tianna (Middle) Necklace: Madison Ave Second Necklace: Our own Jacket: Joe Malaika Top: Madison Ave Terrence (Right) Jacket: Revolve Boutiques Top: Revolve Boutiques Pants: Madison Ave Shoes: Model’s own Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and LCMC Photography: Margaret Brochu

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Terrence (Left) Jacket: Joe Malaika Top: Our own Pants: Revolve Boutiques Shoes: Model’s own Olivia (Right) Necklace: Madison Ave Jacket: Joe Malaika Dress: Madison Ave Shoes: Model’s own Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and LCMC Photography: Margaret Brochu

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Tianna Dress: I Am Kreyol Skirt: I Am Kreyol Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and LCMC Photography: Margaret Brochu

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RADIANT

Roots

Photo Courtesy of Birch & Willow


ased in Newton, Massachusetts, Birch & Willow specializes in customized artisanal lighting fashioned from organic elements. With its fierce passion for environmental preservation, the studio utilizes raw materials to craft fixtures that entice the imagination and inspire an appreciation for the natural world. Each design features a unique construction that experiments with the contrast between luminance and shadow, while referencing the fluidity and spontaneity of natural invention.

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For owner and designer Katherine Ahern, lighting is an intrinsic aspect of mood and environment. With the ability to sway temperament and evoke feeling, it is an element worthy of admiration.

saplings and willow branches. Birch and willow are beautiful words, too. Birch & Willow was a perfect fit,” said Ahern. The artists offer an array of products for clients to choose from. They design pendants that primarily hang from the ceiling, sconces that are mounted onto a wall, and dividers that help define spaces within open interiors. Each piece is custom made through a collaborative process where clients work with Ahern to brainstorm shape, size, color, and other design features.

“AT THE BEGINNING,

“Lighting is emotionally powerful. Beautiful lighting relaxes and comforts. It warms us in the winter, defines romantic settings, and helps us feel at home. People are often at a loss to describe lighting that conjures up good feelings. We can all describe bad lighting and how uncomfortable it makes us feel,” said Ahern. Ahern, an inherently creative individual, started her business in 1997. The bold endeavor allowed her to apply her entrepreneurial savvy and her artistic intuitiveness toward something she was passionate about.

THE MAIN MATERIALS WERE BIRCH SAPLINGS AND WILLOW BRANCHES... BIRCH & WILLOW WAS A PERFECT FIT.”

“I started nearly 20 years ago. I’ve always loved lighting: natural light, filtered light, and really well done artificial lighting. Birch & Willow started to amalgamate my art background, business experience, and love of light,” said Ahern. Because nature is her main source of inspiration, Ahern does everything she can to infuse her work with details that highlight its majesty. Her unique mission of creating inspiring pieces crafted with respect for the environment comes across at each step of her business operation, from design to material sourcing. “I collect the vines in the woods primarily in the Boston area. The variety of twigs and branches are mostly gathered from trimming in the backyard. We also use basket-making reed and some bamboo. Both of these natural materials are purchased through basket- making suppliers,” Ahern said. Photo Courtesy of Birch & Willow

This dedication to hands-on local sourcing is something that Ahern has been perfecting for years. While today materials like wisteria, bittersweet, and grapevines are most commonly used at Birch & Willow, the resources harvested 20 years ago inspired the studio’s whimsical name. “Birch & Willow lighting fixtures are made primarily with natural materials. At the beginning, the main materials were birch

“Our work can be customized to meet the design specifications of every project. We will make a single tiny fixture for a residential powder room, and we create the whole look of a commercial project,” Ahern said. The Birch & Willow portfolio is incredibly impressive, as the studio has completed a diverse collection of exciting projects. Its work spans industries and is featured in a variety of spaces from homes, to spas, to restaurants. “We’ve made fixtures for a college campus wellness center, hotels, and beauty salons. Our clients include Google, Hilton and Marriott Hotels, and Epic Systems Corporation. Recently, we made gorgeous fixtures for Walt Disney’s The World of Avatar, at Disney World,” said Ahern.

While Ahern deals with a widespread clientele, each project is awarded the same attention to detail. She works to execute each client’s vision while keeping true to the Birch & Willow aesthetic. The hardest part for Ahern is finding a balance between utility and design. “The design process is organic. As much as possible, I take the lead from the materials. The materials I work with have great possibilities and limitations. The most challenging part of the design and creating processes is making functional objects with the qualities of natural art. The pieces need to be seen as exquisite objects first and lighting fixtures second. The pieces need to look simple and elegant despite or because of the roughness of the materials and difficulty of creating them,” Ahern said. Birch & Willow is shifting the idea of modern design by redefining the relationship between manufactured goods and natural beauty. Above all, Ahern prioritizes her love of the environment and takes every necessary step to represent it in the most respectful way. As the founder and creative architect behind Birch & Willow, she is both the brains and the beauty of the brand. @birchandwillowlighting; www.birchandwillow.com

Interview by Skylar Diamond Written by Kelsey Fagan

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Twelve

Chairs CHairs INSPIRED INTERIORS

n 2010, Miggy Mason and Roisin Giese opened the doors of Twelve Chairs, an interior design and home décor studio in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston. The two women, united by their shared passion for design, collaborated to bring their creative aspirations to life. Today, Twelve Chairs, which has since relocated to Boston’s South End, is everything the design duo had hoped for.

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Mason and Giese earned their bachelor’s degrees in interior design from Cornell University in New York. After graduation, Mason worked in residential interiors and operations in Seattle, New York, and Paris, while Giese worked for Elkus Manfredi Architects, a design firm in Boston. “We stayed in touch after our graduation and in 2009, at Roisin’s wedding, we decided to finally do our own thing. We’ve always been passionate about interior design and couldn’t imagine ourselves doing anything else,” said Mason.

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Mason and Giese are cofounders and creative directors of the company; however, there are two other members on the Twelve Chairs team. Aryn Conway, design assistant, received her master’s degree from The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Before joining Twelve Chairs in 2016, she worked for a number of international museums and galleries. Courtney Webster, who joined the company in 2014 as project manager, graduated from Bay State College in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. She is also known for her design and lifestyle blog, Jeune Amour. In 2013, Mason and Giese closed the home décor section of their store and decided to focus solely on the studio aspect of the business. The Twelve Chairs owners do not plan to bring the furniture back, preferring to be exclusively a client-based business. “Our clients are our inspiration. We start by understanding our clients’ wishes and then we put it all together. I think that’s why we have such a broad range of aesthetics,” Mason said.


LIFESTYLE

The Twelve Chairs portfolio includes a number of diverse projects, from a Fort Point loft with exposed brick to a traditional South End brownstone and a trendy penthouse. Working one on one with clients helps Mason and Giese develop long-lasting relationships with their clientele. This personal approach inspires clients to come back time and time again, bringing even more exciting projects. “First, we have to understand what our client wants. From there, we can understand the general aesthetic, get the floorplans done, and work on the fabrics. We take our inspiration from many sources, including magazines and even Pinterest,” said Mason. This practice makes Twelve Chairs unique and versatile. Their willingness to embrace varied styles aids the designers in transforming spaces to align with their clients’ specific aesthetic. Regardless, the two remain loyal to their own artistic preferences. “Approachable, functional, nothing too precious. We want our places to look as authentic as possible. Often, we start our work with the existing objects, like an artwork or a piece of furniture. It can be our jumping-off point,” Mason said. The Twelve Chairs team often uses the work of local artists in its interiors. For example, Mason and Giese worked with Pauline Curtiss, a Boston-based designer and the founder of Patina, a company that focuses on interior painting, custom-designed patterns, and interior finishing. The Twelve Chairs team is currently working on 16 different projects in New England. For the most part, the studio tends to take projects in Boston and in the Greater Boston area. However, the team members have not confined themselves to this specific region. “Even though we usually work on projects in New England, over the years, we’ve also worked with clients in Virginia, Chicago, and New York,” said Mason.

The Twelve Chairs team personalizes every project, treating it with love, care, and respect. For the team, every project is an opportunity to explore and develop. “Every project we take, we are always learning something new. Every project is exciting in its own way because every time there is a new challenge,” Mason said. Twelve Chairs offers three design services to its clients. The first one is an at-home consultation. At the consultation, team members provide clients with design direction, explain possible challenges, and suggest styling, furniture layouts, and color schemes. A more advanced option is a personalized design package. Within a month, the team creates a customized design plan for the client’s space. Finally, the most advanced option is a signature design service. This route is the most individualized, as the team spearheads every step of design and renovation while working to actualize the client’s vision. As for the future of Twelve Chairs, the team is confident in its current position; they are in no rush to interfere with its established success. “We plan to stay small and local. We enjoy being lead designers and getting to know our clients personally. We love what we are and what we are doing,” said Mason. Such a passion for interior design and client focus is what makes Twelve Chairs noteworthy. The combination of raw, creative instinct and genuine solidarity has propelled Mason and Giese to the upper echelon of the local interior design community. @twelvechairsboston; www.twelvechairsboston.com

Pavel Zlatin

Photos Coutesy of Samara Vise & Joyelle West

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n Worcester, Massachusetts, a little off the beaten path, lies the quaint Seed to Stem. The beautifully curated boutique carries a variety of plants, terrariums, jewelry, crystals, and other natural products. Virginia Orlando and Candace Atchue are the masterminds behind the operation. Their longtime friendship laid the roots for the business: a commingling of natural wonder and modern retail.

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“We met about 15 years ago, and that was the start of the friendship… My mother’s flower shop had an attached greenhouse; I had grown up with plants. Candace worked in the greenhouse, so we had been friends before that,” said Orlando. It is apparent that a strong connection exists between these women; their thought processes, opinions, and even gestures are in sync. A love of the outside world and a friendship bound in nature propels them in their shared business endeavors. It is refreshing to see two women not only flourish in business together, but also maintain a friendship throughout so many years. Orlando and Atchue attribute the success of their business to the common ground they found in their love of creating. The pair took to the road to sell handcrafted merchandise and found immediate success. Together they traveled to craft shows and antique shows, and they made every attempt to gain market visibility. “After receiving the good response from the craft shows that we were doing, we started to think about what we could do differently,” Atchue said. What started as a nomadic gig found its way into the brick-and-mortar selling environment when they planted themselves in a small antique store in Sterling, Massachusetts. “It kind of just happened. We were, like, ‘Oh! We have all this stuff that we’ve been collecting and making for years out of her mom’s kitchen; let’s just make a little home here,’” said Atchue. The antique store put things into perspective for both Orlando and Atchue, and they decided that it was time to venture out on their own. A storefront had gone up for sale on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, and the two women picked up their crafts and made their move. “We saw a For Sale sign in this little brick building and thought, ‘That looks cute; we could probably never afford it’, but you know, we somehow talked him into renting it to us,” Orlando said. Today, Seed to Stem offers a variety of natural products, including loose plants, terrariums, crystals, handmade jewelry, natural bath products, and earthly inspired furnishings. While the store has grown into a lifestyle boutique, the women have never lost sight of their initial inspiration. “We’ve always just wanted to have fun with it. The skulls, the terrariums, they’ve always been our thing, you know? And we still have them here now,” said Atchue. Seed to Stem sets itself apart from any other flower shop, botanical garden store, or boutique through its beautifully merchandised interior. From the oriental rugs on the ground to the ladders on the ceiling, it is apparent that the entire space is a reflection of the owners’ shared passion. Photos Courtesy of Daisy Bocanegra

Seed to Stem has products displayed in nearly every square inch of the store, each product exhibition stemming into the next. What appears to be methodically orchestrated visual merchandising is a product of organic spontaneity.

“We do everything on a whim, and there’s never a set-in-stone plan. It’s just however we want it,” Atchue said. While the store has so many intriguing components, one powerful motif is the juxtaposition between life and death. This concept is one that both business owners pride themselves on. “There’s beauty in death, so when you take a horse skull and have plants growing out of it, then it really pays homage to how life and death occur. A skull can represent life just as much as it can represent death,” said Orlando. The duo is dedicated to establishing an environment that embodies the essence of nature. The store acts as an escape from the digital world and truly transports customers into a botanical garden oasis. “People are so technology focused, and just so busy and disconnected. We want to find a way to bring the outside to the inside,” Atchue said. Seed to Stem, as the only boutique of its kind in central Massachusetts, has a hold on the market. Orlando credits the success of the business to the everlasting spirit of their nature-inspired merchandise and to their years of industry experience. “There’s nothing like this around here, and we’ve been doing this for years. I think all of this is timeless because nature itself is timeless, and good style is timeless. I think we’ve been doing it long enough to see how it ebbs and flows… we just hit the mark,” said Orlando. The store attracts people of all ages, genders, and interests. It doesn’t matter who the shopper is; all customers find themselves immersed in the overall ambience. “Our regular shoppers range from ages 5 to 95. Kids come here and are so entranced by everything… and of course when each kid leaves they get a little crystal,” Orlando said. The people who come in and out of the store daily keep it alive, and they motivate Atchue and Orlando toward future expansion. “We’ve got lots of big plans! We definitely want to expand and carry more merchandise: things for your kitchen, things you can wear. There are other directions that we want to go and bring this aesthetic other places as well,” said Orlando. It is clear that Seed to Stem is thriving and is mapping out the future of the unique brand. The owners’ passion to create has carried them from working in a greenhouse, to working long hours at antique shows and craft fairs, to being co-owners of a beautifully curated lifestyle boutique. With Orlando and Atchue at the helm of this creative endeavor, Seed to Stem is sure to blossom. @seedtostem; www.seedtostemhome.com

Hannah Amorello 29


FINDING INNER BALANCE with Kerri Axelrod

aintaining a healthy lifestyle is important, and despite many obstacles, people must stay focused on being the best version of themselves. Kerri Axelrod, a Boston-based wellness coach, is all about focusing on the best parts of life. Starting her career in Washington, D.C., in the arena of national politics, Axelrod knew this wasn’t what she wanted to do. She did not want to spend the rest of her life unhappy and out of tune with her mind and body. She decided to abandon the stressful and fast-paced environment and make the move to Boston. Axelrod gave up an incredible job she thought she loved and has not looked back. Now, Axelrod focuses on shaping her wellness brand and making sure every day is filled with positivity.

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“Always listen to your intuition. Take a deep breath, and take it one step at a time.” Axelrod is a certified integrative nutrition health coach, blogger, and yoga instructor. She specializes in helping women live a healthy and well-balanced life. Axelrod trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has been featured in publications such as Reader’s Digest, Prevention Magazine, and Eat This, Not That! Her knowledge about health and nutrition has garnered her the respect of the local community and has set her apart from other wellness coaches. “I focus on letting go of the concept of wellness that was very prevalent in the media, and really honing in on what works for my clients,” Axelrod said. When changing directions, life can seem challenging. What differentiates the successful from the unsuccessful is one’s willingness to make each

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day better than the last. Motivation is not always readily accessible, and some days can be a true test. Axelrod recommends embracing daily stressors and implementing plans to increase efficiency. “What helps me stay on top of my daily chores is figuring out what my most important priorities are that I need to accomplish for that day. I know the day will get busy, and I will not be able to accomplish everything that I need to,” said Axelrod. Axelrod is focused on making sure her life and her clients’ lives are centered on balance. Finding the perfect balance between overwhelmed and accomplished is important. Life can be demanding, so utilizing helpful tricks can streamline the future. Adding those strategies to what Axelrod refers to as a “tool box” can offer aid in tough situations. “You have to figure out what is in your tool box: what helps you feel less stress and helps you overcome things that get thrown at you,” Axelrod said. Some people do not realize they have full control over their lives. Axelrod helps her clients overcome struggles and apply a more optimistic perspective. “For every positive that we have in our lives, there is always the opposite, and that’s what makes something complete,” said Axelrod. In addition to maintaining a bright outlook, Axelrod recommends developing a support system and a keen sense of self-awareness. “You have to find someone who supports you and resonates with what you believe in. Always listen to your intuition. Take a deep breath, and take it one step at a time,“ Axelrod said. Living a well-balanced life is more than just finding mental stability; it is about knowing one’s physical limits. Axelrod finds relief through yoga and listens to her body when she is working. She praises the notion of fine-tuning her clients’ fitness routines by filling them with training methods specific to each individual’s body. She works to solidify a regimen that fits cohesively with an existing lifestyle.


Axelrod has made a lot of progress throughout her life and knows she is still learning about herself each day. Her insight is valuable, as she has dedicated years to achieving both a mental and a physical equilibrium. While she can be considered a mentor, Axelrod recommends everyone should establish inspiring relationships. “Find a mentor in each part of your life that you want to improve in,” said Axelrod. In her process, Axelrod takes a look at her clients’ lives and figures out what works by evaluating their lifestyles, integrating helpful tricks,

and establishing long-term fitness plans. Axelrod offers different plans through her website, such as initial meet-and-greets, online coaching, and in-person sessions. Above all, Axelrod places the utmost importance on finding harmony and balance between one’s mental and one’s physical state. She encourages people to create a routine tailored toward their strengths and capabilities, while always striving for improvement. @kerriaxelrod; www.kerriaxelrod.com

Jessica Lindell

Photos Courtesy of Kerri Axelrod


CONSCIOUS

COMPLEXIONS J

acqueline Guelli, esthetician, makeup artist, and entrepreneur, is the face behind Boston’s newest nontoxic, plant-based skincare line – JAX SKINCARE. Coming from a family involved in cosmetology, the Massachusetts native discovered her interest in the industry at a young age.

In addition to running her own business and building her clientele, Guelli works out of her family’s salon in Bedford, Massachusetts, The Orange Chair. In this setting, she is able to do skin consults and work one on one with her clients, using products from her line.

“My mom is an esthetician and my sister is a cosmetologist, so I grew up in that world of being around skincare. I was definitely submerged in that world from an early age,” said Guelli.

Although the up-and-coming business may stand out because of the health benefits, Guelli’s aesthetic and personality translate into the heart of her brand. The visual appeal of her line is communicated through the actual product as well as through the company’s Instagram account.

After attending the Elizabeth Grady School of Esthetics and Massage Therapy in Medford, Massachusetts, Guelli taught makeup and aesthetics at a local high school. She entered the skincare industry and got her start at a company that educated her on the positive benefits of clean beauty. “I worked for a company in Boston that did all natural and nontoxic skincare. I learned about a bunch of ingredients and other things that I kind of took with me and held onto. Then I thought, ‘I could make this better, with my name on it, and more tailored to my theory,’” Guelli said. Over the years, Guelli has used her background and knowledge as an esthetician to improve current skin products she sees on shelves today. According to Guelli, products such as deodorant, toothpaste, body lotion, and makeup have damaging effects on the body. She believes in maintaining the skin’s natural balance rather than combating it with toxins. “My theory is that the oil you have on your skin is the oil that is supposed to be there, so you don’t want to take that off. By avoiding using a cleanser, it is a much healthier way to deal with your skin because it’s adapting your body to what it’s supposed to be doing,” said Guelli. The new JAX SKINCARE line, which consists of oils and toners to suit all types of skin, features precise, nontoxic, and all-natural ingredients in every bottle. With the products ranging from $18 to $58, Guelli believes that users are certainly getting what they pay for. “With nontoxic products, things do tend to be more expensive for a couple of reasons. One, the ingredients are sustainably sourced from a small farm in Illinois, so it does cost a little more to know exactly what is going into your product. Two, you’re not getting any fillers. In most of the products found at other drugstores, you’re getting a lot of filler ingredients that take up space in the products so they can sell more of it,” Guelli said.

“My apartment, my clothing, they’re all minimalist, clean, basic… I stay very simple and that’s what works for me. I’m super particular about everything. I don’t have any colors in my home or my wardrobe, and that reflects in the line,” said Guelli. Guelli has put serious thought into every aspect of the line, including the simplicity of the packaging. “I wanted to make it so people would be interested about what’s inside the bottle. It’s all black and white; it’s very clean, very simple, and the bottles are glass so they’re very high end,” Guelli said. The skincare line is meant to reach all demographics because of the versatility of the products. The Anti-Aging Face Oil, for example, is applied to mature skin and can be used on younger skin to help prevent aging. Guelli’s go-to product, however, is the Balance Face Oil, because it caters to all skin types. Guelli encourages skeptics to step away from the common misconceptions they have about their current skincare routine, and to educate themselves on the products they are using. “People work out, drink green juice, and do all of this stuff, but we often forget our products that are going directly into our body. It’s really important that we stop and think about the products that we are putting on or into our body every day,” said Guelli. JAX SKINCARE is the epitome of minimalistic luxury. As a young entrepreneur, Guelli is learning to navigate the ins and outs of developing her brand. With the health of her customer in mind, and a true appreciation for organic beauty, Guelli is ready, willing, and able to make waves in the skincare industry. @jaxskincare; www.jaxskin.com

Leanne Signoriello 32


Photos Courtesy of Jacqueline Guelli; Illustrations by Abby Detrick

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PUDDING the proof is in the


usic is a shared passion and a common denominator that bridges the divide between race, age, and any personal differences. It is a form of self-expression, a form of communication, and a thought-provoking reflection on society as a whole. As a city bursting with culture, Boston houses several music festivals, and natives cannot get enough. From the Cambridge Dance Party to Boston Calling, the music scene in Boston is alive, thriving, and growing each year. With many different events in so many locations, how is one to know when and where they are all happening? Boston’s hottest music blog, Allston Pudding, has got it covered.

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Winner of three Best Music Blog awards from Boston Music Awards, Allston Pudding is a platform for all things music. The blog reports on an array of industry-related content from up-and-coming artists, to EPs, to live shows in the area. While Boston based, the writers at Allston Pudding have the freedom to cover musicians all over the world. Though Allston Pudding has been around for few years, it has quickly soared to the top charts of Boston music blogs. With 10,000 likes on Facebook and an impressive fan following, the blog represents the vitality of the local musical community.

indie rock and punk blog, and we’ve really expanded to a more widespread audience. We’ve done R&B, hip hop, and even dabbled in metal,” Varriale said. Allston Pudding has mastered the art of spreading passion for music across Boston by capitalizing on the college scene in the city. “We have a radio show on WTBU, the Boston University radio station. It’s been passed along throughout the years to different people, so the cast is always changing. Perry and Dan, two of our creators, had it when they were at BU, and different students run it every year,” said Varriale. For Allston Pudding, it does not stop at blog writing. The blog also streams music through the website via Spotify. For those who are not fans of strictly blog-based content, Allston Pudding has a few tricks up its sleeve. “We bounced around the idea of a podcast for a while, but back when the blog first started, they weren’t really a thing. We decided a blog would be the best way to put out content. However, now that podcasts are more of a regular thing, we want to incorporate that. There’s something very exciting about a podcast. We have a few episodes already filmed; it’s just a matter of making enough to have it be cohesive now,” Varriale said.

Blog creators and Boston University alums Dan Schiffer, Perry Eaton, Ellie Molitor, and Jarrett Carr got their start in November Once released, the podcast is set to feature all the same great of 2010. Today, Editor-in-Chief Christine Varriale is the blog’s content in the context of a video setting. In order to plan and acting supervisor. This position gives her unique insight into the organize material in advance, team members meet monthly roots beneath the blog. in various coffee shops across the Allston and Brighton area to discuss new articles and brainstorm new ideas. Thankfully, the “They were all friends during their tenure at BU. They created the blog in order to get into shows they wanted to see for free. city of Boston is booming with inspiration. They started it up and made their way by doing reviews and press for the bands themselves. It got a lot bigger from there, and they saw this was something they could actually make happen,” said Varriale. As would be the case for any music publication, Allston Pudding has a slew of people on staff helping to churn out fresh material. With nine different writers, the team possesses no shortage of talent. In addition, there is a video production crew responsible for conducting live interviews and taping live performances, a news coordinator, a photography crew, and even an art director. This well-rounded, multifaceted team works to ensure that the highest quality of content is released to readers.

Photos Courtesy of Tiffany Law

Before the blog became the musical melting pot it is today, it mainly covered indie rock and punk music. Since its inception, Allston Pudding has strived to broaden its musical coverage. “A lot of what we write about is a reflection of what our writers are interested in. We’ve done a lot of work over the years to expand upon what we cover, but it definitely started as a more

“It’s definitely a city of lots of change. There are bands that have stuck around for a long time and also bands that have only been active for a bit and then move to a different city. The cool thing with that is that there’s always new music to check out, new artists, and new bands to keep things really interesting,” said Varriale. Allston Pudding is not just about music; it is about fostering connections that can be made through music and providing a platform for musical artists. It surpasses the idea of a blog and takes on the form of a supportive community. “Our mission is to support and champion our beloved local artists that don’t get as much press, and support artists who are the champions in their cities,” Varriale said. As the ultimate online destination for Boston-based music, this creative space is a popular outlet for many music lovers. Step into the local music scene and discover cutting-edge music, bands, and artists with Allston Pudding. @allstonpudding; www.allstonpudding.com

Sarah Gelineau 35


St. Francis House: A shared mission


he city of Boston is a source of beautiful imagery, from the gentle waves of the harbor to the impressive cityscape. Unfortunately, there is also a darker side to this picture. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2017 census, there were 17,565 homeless individuals in Massachusetts during January 2017. A large portion of the population, comprised of families with young children under the age of 10, unaccompanied youths, and veterans.

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Within walking distance from the Boylston T stop on the Green Line is an organization ready and willing to help. St. Francis House, a beautifully historic building occupying prime real estate on the outskirts of Boston’s financial district, is a structure that one would hardly associate with this crippling epidemic. St. Francis House was established as a shelter space in 1984 by the charitable people at St. Anthony’s Shrine. The mission of St. Francis House is to provide refuge and resources to people faced with homelessness. St. Francis House is no ordinary shelter. Touting everything from a resource room for job interview preparation, to an image consultation and personal shopping sector, it provides a plethora of services to help those in need assimilate into society. In addition, there is a segmented women’s-only area in which women who visit St. Francis can utilize facilities in an environment where they will feel comfortable and capable. St. Francis House also owns fifty-six units of fully equipped, single-occupancy in-house apartments, with a shared living space. These spaces are permanent housing options, and tenants can take up residency for as long as they like. The dining options at St. Francis are unequaled, as the kitchen offers different dishes every day and a variety of choices. Serving as many as 500 guests per day, St. Francis has revolutionized what it means to be a shelter.

Photos Courtesy of Nicole Solano

St. Francis has its nose to the grindstone when it comes to helping patrons enter the work force. To start, the shelter offers a vocational program for those who have been previously incarcerated or are otherwise at risk. During this 14-week program, patrons reflect upon their existing skills and their personal backgrounds, a process that will aid them in finding a job in which they will excel. Individuals are also given the tools they need to contend with and manage life’s daily tasks. The vocational program is designed to be an inclusive experience, focusing on self-determination and realization of full potential. Volunteer Services Coordinator Ashley Medlar oversees such programs at the shelter. “We help people think about general life skills they might need, wherever they end up. So, things like budgeting, stress management, that sort of thing,” said Medlar.

St. Francis House not only prepares its community in areas like résumé building and career counseling, but it also helps its patrons dress for the occasion. Studio Shine can be found on the second floor of the St. Francis building. This space houses everything one needs to confidently enter a job interview in style. Members of the shelter’s job-hunting program are afforded the opportunity to receive a professional ensemble made up of donated clothing. Studio Shine is a complimentary service that works one on one with clients to properly equip them with professional attire for interviews. While career clothing is important, an even greater need exists for everyday clothing. Fresh Threads, the more casual version of Studio Shine, houses an entire department store’s worth of clothing to choose from. About 50 guests attend Fresh Threads each day for their own personal consultation on what kind of clothing they would like to receive. “Our volunteers here will ask them what they’re looking for, their likes and dislikes. We’ll go back into our clothing room, pick out their options, and let them choose for themselves what they want,” Medlar said. Each guest is eligible to receive up to 10 pieces of clothing per day, including a shirt, pants, jacket, socks, shoes, and an accessory. This helps provide members with a sense of normalcy and a much-needed confidence boost. St. Francis House is a powerhouse of a shelter, but it does not run all on its own. Last year, about 2,400 volunteers helped to make St. Francis the place it is today. As a volunteer, one can do a number of jobs, from serving in the dining area or helping in the kitchen, to assisting as an image consultant or stylist for the guests. It takes a village for a shelter to be able to handle the number of people St. Francis helps. “It’s important to recognize that everyone can be part of the mission of St. Francis House, even without setting foot in the building. We need volunteers; we need donations; we need people to take our mission to heart and be able to see our guests as people who need help getting on the right path. When you’re in Boston and see one of our guests, being empathetic towards them goes a long way. Everyone can help our guests in some way,” said Medlar. St. Francis House is located at 39 Boylston Street in Boston and is accepting new volunteers and donations daily. All are encouraged to lend a hand to those less fortunate and help this selfless organization service the community. @sfhboston; www.stfrancishouse.org

Sarah Gelineau

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Healing

Crystals

he hurried pace of today’s world leaves many yearning for daily stress relief. With constant pressure from outside sources, it is difficult to find internal peace. Crystals, contrary to mainstream belief, are very much alive and can help with this modern-day plight. As powerful energy conductors used in watches, radios, and medical devices, crystals also amplify energy, improve hearing, and increase intuition. Many are unaware of the extraordinary healing properties crystals provide and fail to recognize their true potential.

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The human body is essentially composed of varying energy forces. Thoughts and emotions are connected to physical bodies and have energetic densities of their own. When these patterns of energy work in a balanced way, one experiences health. Conversely, when these forces are unbalanced, one experiences discomfort or illness. Crystals have the unique ability to recharge and stabilize the body, which promotes balanced functioning. Sabrina Michaud, a lover and avid user of crystals, finds positive benefits from integrating such gemstones into her daily life. “Crystals have impacted my life by boosting my energy and allowing me to have a more positive outlook. They have helped me relax and relieve stress and anxiety,” said Michaud. All crystals vibrate at their own frequency, much like the energy centers in the body. Certain crystals work best with certain energy centers; for example, an amethyst crystal may be useful in soothing a headache. The vibrations of a crystal and those of the human body interact when

they come in contact with one another. A person dealing with back pain may benefit from working with hematite or lapis lazuli. Many people wonder whether holding or wearing crystals can be effective. Michaud believes that their mere presence is enough to alter her temperament. “Holding crystals, wearing them, or even having them in my bag changes my mood throughout the day. When I do not have one on my person, I feel a bit distant,” Michaud said. Working with a crystal’s energy helps the body correct its energetic imbalance and find its natural rhythm. At its most basic level, crystal healing involves placing stones of different vibrational frequencies on the body in order to effect healing or change. It may also require laying out different energy grids or specific patterns of crystals around the body. Combining stones in patterns can enhance their individual properties. Countless crystals exist, each suited to a distinct need. “I believe there is potential for healing crystals to benefit the lives of others and their health, those who are willing to put faith into the crystals. One must have a positive mindset going forward,” said Michaud. For those who are open to experimenting with crystals, the potential for benefit is boundless. As nature’s healer, these precious gems provide a window into a more peaceful mindset. Crystals, a safer and more natural alternative to modern medication, help sustain the mind, body, and soul.

Alexa Barbuzzi

Layout by Daisy Bocanegra


Layout by Daisy Bocanegra


Olivia Top: I Am Kreyol Dress: Madison Ave Hair and Makeup: Madison Paloski and LCMC Photography: Margaret Brochu

Profile for Stephen Fischer

Spring 2018 POLISHED  

POLISHED Magazine is produced by students at Lasell College in Newton, MA. It covers the fashion and cultural scene of Boston.

Spring 2018 POLISHED  

POLISHED Magazine is produced by students at Lasell College in Newton, MA. It covers the fashion and cultural scene of Boston.

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