Show Pony Magazine – Issue 2

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Inspiration for the creative entrepreneur

THROUGH THE EYES OF KEITH CARTER Keith and Patricia Carter have created a life full of adventure, art and truly extraordinary images.

Biodynamic Winemaking in Sonoma, CALIFORNIA


Issue 2 - July 2012




from the editor My grandfather’s family was so impoverished he spent much of his childhood shoeless. As a young man, he sought a way to support his family, and thus, volunteered for two tours of duty in World War Two. The America he returned to allowed him to rise out of poverty, gain meaningful employment, educate his family, retire with a pension, love his grandchildren, and pass away with dignity. The life my grandfather was able to attain reflects the set of ideals which are the foundation of the American Dream. These are the values that I hope to see rebuilt in my lifetime. In recent years, many people have seen their dreams begin to fade. However, the ingenuity and diligence of the American entrepreneur continues to light our path back to prosperity. This issue of Show Pony celebrates the


perseverance of the independent business owner: they are small in scale, but great in determination. Each one of the establishments featured in the magazine has overcome many challenges to create opportunity, employment, and a sense of optimism. The influence of the large institutions we once considered the gatekeepers of our success is being replaced by the power of shopping local. Spending money in your neighborhood with businesses who share your value system is the new engine of economic recovery, and the first step in revitalizing the American dream. The following pages are filled with stories of hope and accomplishment. Abandoned buildings have been turned into pie shops, dilapidated cottages have been transformed into an idyllic retreat, and a family tradition of craftsmanship continues to thrive through generations. We hope the entrepreneurs we feature will renew your own aspirations, and inspire you to support small businesses in your neighborhood.

Rebecca Hill Editor-in-Chief/Director of Photography Photo by Ala Cortez

Above all, we encourage you to keep pursuing your creative dreams. Because true joy isn’t about just making a living; it’s about making a life.

“Grandpa B” Crete, Illinois 1918

Letters to the editor are welcome. please share your notes, feedback, and suggestions by CONTACTING


As American As... Together with Michael Ciapciak, husband and wife Dave and Megan Miller realized a dream and opened a pie and coffee shop in a once abandoned property in Chicago.


features 6

ISSUE 2 * JULY 2012

The Return of Mom & Pop A couple brings cycling, coffee, and good cheer to Chicago.


From Farm to Table Located in picturesque Healdsburg, California, Quivira Winery specializes in small-lot wine making.


His & Hers Chicago boutique and lifestyle brand Sir & Madame represents the “Classic with a Twist� style of its owners.


Luck, Perseverance & Sweat Koehler Kraft has been a cornerstone of the San Diego boating community since opening in 1938..


From the Eyes of Keith Carter Keith and Patricia Carter have created a life full of adventure, art and truly extraordinary images.


Financing your Small Business Learn about the financing methods and sources available to small business owners.


Endless Summer Rescued on the cusp of fading away, Camp Wandawega has been given a new lease on life.


American Beauty Celebrate the long lazy days of summer with a casual, classic, and 100% American Made wardrobe.


Giving Back Long time friends and sought after interior designers give us a tour of their design project for Hartman House.


Hand in Hand From handwritten letters to a thriving business, Urbanic owners share their story of business, life and love.


Foodie Top 5 NYC lifestyle photographer and enthusiastic foodie Alice Gao shares her favorite Manhattan eateries.








contributors A special thanks to all those who made this issue possible Tony Bamber Graphic Artist

Rebecca Hill Editor-in-Chief/ Director of Photography

David Cenko Director of Art

Jeff Edsell Web Developer

If you are interested in becoming a contributor we encourage you to contact us at submit@ Kylie Sig Producer

Scott Beach Legal and Public Policy Editor

Steve Krason Graphic Artist/Retoucher Brooke E. O’Neill Writer Ben Weldon Photographer Bob Coscarelli Photographer Alice Gao Photographer Keith Carter Photographer

show pony behind the scenes Show Pony Magazine accepts submissions of original stories, unpublished photography and featured article suggestions. If you are interested in becoming a contributor we encourage you to contact us at Camp Wandawega Photo Shoot June 27, 2012 Model Jessica Orr and Photographer Rebecca Hill See the photo shoot on page 76

Please support Show Pony Magazine on

Show Pony Magazine is a self-funded, independently published, online magazine. We support the creative community by paying our contributors fair market editorial rates for photography, writing, and their hard-earned time. Every dollar donated will go towards the production costs of Issue #3 and #4 of our magazine. Please help support our project so that we may continue creating original content, inspiring features, and education for creative entrepreneurs.

What is Kickstarter? Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. At this very second, thousands of people are checking out projects on Kickstarter. They’re rallying around their friends’ ideas, backing projects from people they’ve long admired, and discovering things that make them laugh and smile. Every project is independently crafted, put to all-or-nothing funding and supported by friends, fans, and social communities. Every project creator sets their project’s funding goal and deadline. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all contributions will be accepted. If the project falls short of its goal, all backer contributions will be voided.

Funding ends on August 14, 2012. Please contribute today! Thank you. Click on this page to support our Kickstarter campaign.


mom & pop the return of

Couple brings cycling, coffee, AND good cheer to CHICAGO.


’ll be honest. The first time I visited Heritage Bicycles General Store, I was in a lousy mood. It was one of those chilly June days when you’re forced to wear a jacket and mutter to yourself about the meaninglessness of it all. Everything seemed gray. Gray sky. Gray sidewalk. Gray world.

Then I walked in the door. And, like Dorothy leaving Kansas, color washed over me. Shiny, handcrafted bicycles in red, blue, and yellow hues graced the front window as light bounced off pristine hardwood floors. The welcome aroma of fresh-brewed coffee wafted through the air. Laughter rang out, punctuated by the tiny staccato of a spoon gently tapping sugar into a mug.

Story by Brooke E. O’Neill, Photography by Rebecca Hill

Owners, Michael, Melissa and Bennett Salvatore




What, I wondered, is this magical place? “Depends who you ask,” says Michael Salvatore, who runs Heritage Bicycles with his wife, Melissa. “Ask a mechanic, it’s a bike shop. Ask a barista, it’s a café.” Launched this past January, the renaissance biz makes its own line of classically designed bicycles, offers onsite repairs, sells vintage-style bike accessories and clothing, and serves up delicious Stumptown coffee and fresh soups and sandwiches delivered daily from Southport Grocery. The socially conscious shop also trains at-risk youth to be bicycle mechanics. Not surprisingly, the Lakeview outpost has quickly become a destination spot for Chicago cyclists and caffeine aficionados alike. Billed as “a unique blend of bikes and coffee in a communal style café,” the concept grew out of Salvatore’s work with Bowery Lane Bicycles, a New York-based online bike manufacturer. “I got this idea of a place people could come and really feel comfortable without being overwhelmed by thousands of bikes on the wall,” says Michael, who headed Bowery’s marketing before relocating to his native Chicago in 2011. He envisioned a friendly, clean space where you could get a tune-up and “be part of the family.” On this particular Friday morning, that family includes two moms chatting and a handful of freelance artists tapping away on laptops at a communal table made of lush reclaimed wood. “We designed out the space thinking, ‘Who’s going to be sitting at that table?’ recalls Melissa. “Is it going to be hipsters? Serious biker guys in full uniform? Moms with babies?” So far, she says, it’s all of the above. “We have a regular from almost every age group and category.” Heritage is also home base for the Salvatores, who live above the store with their one-year-old son, Bennett. “In one year, we had a baby, moved cities, and opened a business,” says Melissa, a professional photographer who ran a studio in New York. “People were like, ‘Wow. If you guys aren’t divorced by the end of the year…’” Luckily, the two self-described workaholics are also

entrepreneurial soulmates. Living right above the store, Michael gets to be the face of the business and an ever-present dad, while Melissa can pop in to do smaller projects and handle behind-the-scenes work after Bennett goes to bed. “We were never 9-5 people,” she says. “We both go 100%, no matter if we’re working for someone else or for ourselves. So why not have our own brand so we can develop it?”

tricky to pull off. “It’s hard to make frames in the states,” admits Michael, whose bikes start at $695. “We’re going against the model of ‘Make it faster. Make it easier. Make it overseas.’”

As a business, Heritage Bicycles is one of those concepts that makes intuitive sense—who doesn’t want an affordable, elegantly crafted set of wheels designed by a friendly neighborhood artisan?—but seems

It also means trusting your instincts. Michael still remembers driving past the building that would eventually become Heritage and noticing a “For Sale” sign. Intrigued, he pulled over to check it out. “As soon as I peeked in the


In one year, we had a baby, moved cities, and opened a business.

So, what’s his secret? “To compete, you have to sell yourself personally and really put yourself behind the brand,” he says. For him, that means really getting to know customers and being willing to work—a lot.


Head Bike Mechanic, Arlan DeRussy

window,” he recalls, “I saw it. It was perfect.” Only, it wasn’t. For weeks, people had advised him to set up shop in Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park, Bucktown, or maybe Ukrainian Village. The stretch of Lincoln Avenue he’d just fallen for wasn’t even on the radar. Aside from a handful of decent restaurants, many businesses along the strip had come and gone. At the time, few seemed to know what the area was—or could be.


be determined, so it gave me an advantage to create my own brand.” Other pluses: a major bike lane running along Lincoln, an alleyway perfect for test rides, and an adjacent lot for outdoor seating, movie nights, and inviting food trucks to hawk their wares. Besides, he thought, “No one is going to know what we are anyway. Why not put it in a strange location?”



Michael wasn’t deterred. “You know what you’re getting in someplace like Wicker Park,” he explains. “This stretch was yet to

Today, Heritage Bicycles General Store is part of a strip that Time Out Chicago recently declared to be “undergoing a resurgence of cool.” Coincidence? With the Salvatores in town, we think not.


The Salvatores’ Secret Branding Blend “Oh no. You don’t want advice from me,” laughs Michael Salvatore, owner of Chicago’s Heritage Bicycles General Store. Really? Less than a year old, Heritage is already an indispensable neighborhood hangout and has captured the eye of The New York Times and other national outlets for its stylish mix of cycling, coffee, and community. We suggest you ignore Michael’s disclaimer and read on to get the Salvatores’ tips on building a brand.

Go public Put yourself out there. Consider yourself a public figure. Expose people to who you are. That’s how you build a brand and loyalty.

Be present If you’re going the brick and mortar route, make sure you’re available enough to be present in the store. People think with opening your own business, you’ll have your own free schedule, and we definitely do to a point, but a big thing is to be here 100% of the time…and not just be the boss behind the scenes.

Tend to social media It’s free. Do it. It’s a great way to reach customers and let them be part of your story. There’s no disadvantage to it. Get your persona out there and stay on top of it. Engage the online customer like they’re right here in your shop. Talk to them everyday. Continued on Page 16









Continued from Page 13 Care for the space You’re creating the space that you enjoy being in. If you don’t have a good feeling in it, other people probably don’t either. You need to put care into your space and not just think about what’s the cheapest route to get it up the quickest. That’s where things can go wrong.

Take a leap of faith Our thought is that it’s never the right time to make a big change. You have to decide to do it, no matter what. You can’t really be afraid of failure. Don’t think about it too much—or you’ll never pursue your vision. Just shut it off. Work hard. Put everything you have into it. And don’t be afraid to go broke.

Heritage Bicycles General Store 2959 North Lincoln Avenue Chicago, IL 60657



Founded in 1981 by Holly and Henry Wendt, Quivira WINERY was purchased by current owners Pete and Terri Kight in the spring of 2006. After only their second meeting, Pete and Henry shook hands on the purchase of the winery and a new era at Quivira began. Photography and Interview by Rebecca Hill




ocated in picturesque Healdsburg California, Quivira Winery specializes in small-lot wine making. In the words of Peter Kight, Quivira owner, “The quality of our wines is an honest reflection of our commitment to this land, biodynamic agriculture and our dedication to artisan wine making.” Guided by the earth’s natural, cyclical rhythms, biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified and balanced ecosystem. Generating health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself is the cornerstone of this spiritual and ecological approach to agriculture. Honoring biodynamic practices not only enhances the quality of wine produced from the vineyards, but also reinforces Quivira’s continuing dedication to establishing a greater level of sustainability in all areas of production. Offering more than a wholistic agricultural system, biodynamic farming is also a compelling movement that encourages a thoughtful existence and mindful approach to consumption. Maintaining a conscientious stewardship of the land is a vital element of Quivira’s philosophy. The estate actively engages in a number of conservation projects, including the installation of a solar electric system that has supplied 100% of their energy needs since 2005.

“ When we purchased this winery, we saw the potential not only to produce world-class wines, but to create a truly unique and vibrant vineyard farm. We want Quivira to embody, as completely as possible, the sustainable and Biodynamic farming principles we espouse.” – Peter Kight, Owner, Quivira Winery


An interview with Andrew Fegelman, Director of Marketing – Wine Creek LLC How does biodynamic farming enhance the quality and flavor of the food and wine produced at Quivira? Farming biodynamically really means farming with minimal intervention and farming cleanly. Because of this non-interventist approach, we believe everything that comes from the property very much reflects the flavors of the land. The French have a term for this concept, terroir. Farming biodynamically, for instance, means the fruit from the vineyards is a more accurate reflection of the vineyards.

“ we feel that we must protect all that is responsible for supplying the means for us to build our business. By protecting the land and minimizing our impact, we feel we are ultimately helping to make this a better community.”





Is biodynamic farming in any way limiting to the growing capabilities of the farm? We operate under a stricter set of rules than most growers. Growers (and wineries) that are not biodynamic have more tools in their box to combat a variety of issues, whether its pests of the winged variety or mildew (caused by wet, cool weather at certain times of the year). The Demeter rules require us to be a little more creative in our practices. Keeping the land healthy from the start also means it’s less susceptible to disease.

Quivira has put into place many systems to lower the impact your production has on the environment. Do you feel that it is possible for agriculturally based businesses to adopt environmentally friendly practices while maintaining profitability?

Quivira Winemaker, Hugh Chappelle

We certainly do believe businesses can adopt environmentally friendly practices and still be profitable. There are scores of agriculturally based businesses around the country that have also proved this to be true. It just means taking a more wholistic approach to building your business. How does Quivira’s respect for the environment contribute to the well-being of your local community? As an agricultural business, we feel that we must protect all that is responsible for supplying the means for us to build our business. By protecting the land and minimizing our impact, we feel we are ultimately helping to make this a better community. In what ways do you protect the integrity and quality of life for the animals on the farm? The animals on the farm are an integral part of farming biodynamically and so consequently we treat them in a sense, as our partners. Livestock manure, for instance, is important for maintaining the fertility of the soil. We go to great lengths to ensure that they are treated well and have plenty of room to roam. Some visitors to Quivira are struck by the amount of space we provide our chickens, for example, referring to their abode as the “chicken condo.”




What role do the animals play in contributing to the self-sustaining cycle created by Quivira? When Quivira was first founded in 1981, little did anyone expect that animals would ultimately play a role on the property. While Quivira is first and foremost a winery, we have determined that to truly create the self-sustaining system that defines biodynamics involves livestock as part of that system. The animals are valued partners from a number of perspectives including being a source of manure for the vineyards. We also graze the animals, keeping vegetation in check on the estate.

What has been the most challenging aspect of creating a business that values environmentally friendly practices? We are required by Demeter rules to follow very strict practices. That puts additional constraints on Winemaker Hugh Chappelle, requiring him to be a little more creative. For example, to produce certain flavors and qualities in the wines, he practices what is called phased picking, harvesting the grapes at various stages during the fall to get a range of flavors.

What has been the greatest reward? Ultimately, the greatest reward is our ability to produce excellent wines recognized by wine lovers across the country while still following environmentally sensitive practices.

What legacy do you hope Quivira will leave for future generations? We are hoping that we can show future generations that it is indeed possible to operate a business in an environmentally sensitive way.

Quivira Vineyards & Winery 4900 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, California 95448 707-431-8333 | 800-292-8339

QUIVIRA HAS FARM TO TABLE DINNERS 4 TIMES A YEAR Sample Menu from May 19, 2012 Dinner Food & Wine Pairings Created by Zin Restaurant and Wine Bar

Appetizer Quivira Deviled Eggs Spinach & Artichoke Crostini Paired with a 2011 Fig Tree Sauvignon Blanc First Course Grilled Quivira Grape Leaves, Local Goat Cheese & Parsley Pesto Paired with a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc - Gewurztraminer Second Course Fava Bean Ravioli Fennel Butter Sauce & Shaved Pepano Cheese Paired with a 2009 Grenache Entrée Zin Rotisserie Pig, Porchetta with Italian Salsa Verde Arugula with Quivira Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Shaved Parmesan Cheese White Beans & Rosemary Paired with a 2009 Syrah, 2009 Quest, Zinfandel Dessert Strawberry Rhubarb Tart Buttermilk Ice Cream Paired with a 2009 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

HIS & HERS Chicago boutique and lifestyle brand Sir & Madame represents the “Classic with a Twist” style of owners Brian and Autumn Merritt. Inspired by all things vintage, the couple share their secrets for style and success.


Sir & Madame owners, Brian and Autumn Merritt



Please introduce us to the members of your team and describe what strengths each one of you brings to Sir & Madame. Brian, The Sir, is the reserved level-headed business man. Autumn, The Madame, is the outgoing networker who implements structure and creates our retail experience. Najee, The Manager, is the quiet, creative, Renaissance man. Zakiya, The Sales Associate, is the kind hearted, full bodied personality that has a way of making our clientele feel at home.

Describe your personal style and how it influences the brands you carry in the boutique.

Your original business venture was focused on shoes. What was the catalyst for your boutique to include clothing?

Our style is classic with a twist and its definitely translated in our offerings. None of us are trendy, so you won’t find “here today gone tomorrow” pieces in our store. The idea is for every item purchased to be a staple piece to which you can add your own flair.

We actually carried shoes and clothing at our first boutique, Solemates. The good sell through of apparel prompted us to reconsider our approach to the industry. We decided that rebranding with a private label, Sir & Madame, would give us the longevity we sought.

Owner, Autumn Merritt


How would you describe the style of your private label brand? The same as our personal style, classic with a twist. Whether it’s clothing or accessories, our products are simple. However our pieces remain conversation worthy due to the choice of fabrics and quality construction. Can you please share the process of designing and manufacturing your private label garments? We have perfected our processes over time. We aren’t designers by trade, but we know what we like. Once we hone in on a theme and era of reference, we research the wares and then begin formulating ideas on how to put a “twist” on the collection. From here, we might take it upon ourselves to do a bit of sketching and then hand it over to our designer/pattern maker who brings the items to life. After we approve the samples, the grading process begins, followed by production, and topped off by the ever so important quality control. For our accessories the process is much simpler, and we love it that way! What is your philosophy on manufacturing and selling products made in the USA? (Please include a few sample of the brands you carry that are made in the US). On top of keeping jobs stateside, US production allows us a bit more flexibility when it comes to having a more hands on approach to our production. It’s great to be able to take a short trip to California to have a face to face chat with one of our bag manufacturers about ideas of new designs or subtle changes to existing silhouette’s. “Made in the USA” is a strong selling point and we are happy to be a part of the movement. Our inventory of domestically made brands include Tanner Goods, Boxing Kitten and Thorocraft Shoes.



Store Manager, Najee D. Redd


Owner, Brian Merritt


How do you choose the labels you carry at Sir & Madame? We look for quality brands that in most cases have a story and are not currently carried in our market. It’s great to be able to give a client some insight into the brand. We think a story makes a brand so much more attractive and ultimately more exciting to promote. What are some of the attributes that make your shop unique? We are inviting. Our staff is solid and genuine, and make an effort to get to know everyone who comes through the door. Yes we want you to buy something, but moreover we want you to trust us. When it comes to sales, we are not in the business of sending people off. If something doesn’t work for you, that is quite alright. We can have a conversation instead and feel comfortable knowing that you will be back for something else, and hopefully bring a friend. Another unique aspect of the shop is our location. We are in a diverse residential neighborhood nestled between two major shopping corridors, and it totally plays up our aesthetic. Our neighborhood truly reflects the style of Sir & Madame: an intersection of many things old and new.

What have been the most challenging and rewarding aspects of working with your spouse? There is definitely no simple solution to overcoming the challenges of working with your spouse. Maintaining open lines of communication, respecting each other’s differing opinions, and the separation of work and personal issues always present themselves. You just have to go with the flow. As far as rewards, sharing a dream with your partner is amazing, and enjoying the fruits of your labor is even better. Looking back at what you have accomplished with the person you love makes all of the challenges worthwhile.

Sir & Madame 938 N Damen Chicago, IL 60622 773-489-6660 @sirandmadame


PeRSEVERANCE PASSION & SWEAT Koehler Kraft has been a cornerstone of the San Diego boating community since opening in 1938. Family owned and community minded, CF Koehler continues his father’s legacy of craftsmanship.

Photography by Ben Weldon & Interview by Rebecca Hill



What are the key elements that you believe have contributed to the longevity of Koehler Kraft? Luck, perseverance, passion, and sweat.

How did your father’s work ethic and creative vision inspire you to continue the family business? The values and rewards of hard work where engrained in me at an early age. This allows me keep the “creative vision” during challenging times when too often the light at the end of the tunnel is another train.

Can you share your favorite memory working with your father? My dad was a true craftsman and could sketch his ideas effortlessly. I can remember him quickly making chalk drawings of how to build or repair something on the shop floor. It was a great tool for the communication of his ideas.

“T he values and rewards of hard work

were engrained in me at an early age.�


What has been the most challenging aspect of running a family owned business? Aside from the normal family bickering, the biggest challenge is finding skilled employees that share the same passion and vision.

What has been the most rewarding? When we complete a job and have a celebration with the entire yard crew and the happy customer. It gives purpose to all of the hard work.

Please share with us some of the ways Koehler combines traditional techniques with modern technology. We use state of the art tool techniques as well as traditional materials. The methods are the same: the key is knowing when not to use a particular technique.









In what ways has the business evolved and grown in recent years? In the beginning (1938), Koehler Kraft built custom boats of its own design. The operation moved to its present waterfront location in 1951. In the 1960s the demand for production fiberglass boats did not appeal to us so the company switched to boat repair and maintenance. With renewed interest in wooden boats Koehler Kraft has come full circle. We have returned to wooden boat building and repair with a modern twist. Our new facility allows us to work on all types of boats regardless of their construction material.

What are some of the positive contributions Koehler has made to the local community? To the boating community we provide a facility that allows boat owners to work on their own boats if they choose to do so. We also host the San Diego Wooden boat festival at our Marina. In addition to boating we also host the 17 piece jazz big band that I play trumpet in. We play every other Wednesday night.

Do you have any suggestions for young people interested in learning the handcrafted aspects of your trade? The art of working with your hands to create is a wonderful skill. It takes years of hard work and dedication. I hope there are young people who will make this commitment.

What do you hope the life you have chosen will give to your son? Do you hope that he continues the legacy of Koehler? I hope to share and teach my son how to use his hands to make things and the art of seamanship. So far he is into it and we have a great time. I won’t do a thing to discourage his enthusiasm.

Koehler Kraft 2302 Shelter Island Drive San Diego, CA 92106 619-222-9051



KEITH CARTER Keith Carter emerged from humble beginnings to become an internationally recognized photographer and educator. Eleven monographs of his work have been published and his photographs are included in the permanent collections of numerous prestigious museums. Carter’s introduction to photography came through the talent and ingenuity of his mother. When she found herself solely responsible for the care of her family, she turned to photography as a way to provide for her three children. In turn, her efforts also inspired the creative endeavors and work ethic of her son, who is entirely self-taught.



“Meagan’s New Shoes – 1993”


Called “a poet of the ordinary,” Keith Carter’s enigmatic images did not materialize overnight. Built on a foundation of perseverance and curiosity, his artistic vision has developed over many years of earnest hard work and an undeniable passion for photography. His career has been built in collaboration with his wife of 37 years, Patricia. Her unwavering support and encouragement of Keith’s vision cannot be overstated. Together, this devoted couple has created a life full of adventure, art, and truly extraordinary images. Q – Can you speak about your mother’s ingenuity and entrepreneurship in regard to her photography career? A – We had recently moved to Texas in the mid 1950’s when my mother became a single parent with 3 children under the age of 6. She opened a one-room portrait studio and began specializing in black & white portraits of children. She would set up a booth at the county fair and run “Sunday Specials” – 2 5X7’s for $6.95. She photographed 50 kids one Sunday and turned our apartment kitchen into a darkroom at night. I can’t remember a time when she didn’t work. She had a good business sense and tried to model herself as specializing in outdoor portraiture at a time when it was not in vogue. Later she set up reps across Texas and toured twice a year.

the business of professional portrait photography, at least in Texas, was primarily the domain of men. She worked hard. I grew up around photography but did not pay much attention in my youth. One day, in my first year of college, I came home and saw a group of her portraits stacked against the wall. It was the first time I had really paid attention. Her use of natural light just captivated me. I borrowed her camera, made some crummy photographs, and showed them to her. She said “Honey…you have a good eye. You have a nice sense of light.” I thought, “I do? I’ve never looked back. I think it was her early encouragement that gave me permission and confidence to have faith in myself.

Q – What qualities of her work and life have most influenced how you approach your creative endeavors?

Q – You describe artist David Cargill as one of your first mentors. How did you first connect with him, and how did he influence your desire to create art?

A – She loved photography. You have to remember when she began,

A – We lived in a boarding house when my family first moved to Beau-

mont. David and his wife Patty lived in the garage apartment and the garage itself was his sculpture studio. I would come home from kindergarten and he’d ask me about school. He was working on a life-size statue of Jesus for a church and let me play with the modeling clay. Creative people, particularly in a small town often recognize kindred spirits. My mom remained good friends with David and Patty for the remainder of her life. David also loved photography. He had his own darkroom and would let me borrow it when I was learning to print. He also has this magnificent art library and loaned me books on painters, sculptors, textiles, photographers, and industrial designers. I would bring him my photographs and he would crop them and we’d talk about design, perspective, and light. I’m self-taught in photography but I think of David as my art school training. We still have lunch every Wednesday. He has the most original mind of any man I’ve ever known.




Q – Early in your career, you sold your motorcycle to finance a trip to New York City in order to view prints at the Museum of Modern Art. How did that experience guide your artistic education and photographic aesthetic? A – There was no photography being shown in museums and galleries in my region at that time. My aesthetic world, up to the point I took the Greyhound bus (really) to NY, revolved around art books. MOMA for me was like being a kid in a candy shop. I was on fire to learn and felt I was at the point I needed to see the real thing; actual prints made by the artists I revered. I had only seen reproductions. At MOMA, for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week I could look at almost any print I wanted. I quickly exhausted my list and the interns began suggesting work I should see. Today I think of it as my 3 week graduate school. It was also where I discovered Joseph Cornell and first saw Paul Strand’s glorious prints. When I returned home, I was transformed.

Q – Can you discuss a few of the many ways your collaboration with your wife Patricia has enriched your career and encouraged your artistic vision to develop? A – Pat is the smartest, kindest, strongest, and bravest woman I have ever known. She’s always the first person I turn to for advice, discussions, opinions, and courage. Artists often need a “ideal” viewer, someone with no ax to grind, to tell you the truth about the work. She’s it for me. She’s also an extraordinarily beautiful woman. One of a kind.

Q – On your 10th wedding anniversary you and Patricia set out to photograph 100 small towns in Texas. One of the parameters of the trip was to make only one image in each town. Can you share how challenging yourself with this project contributed to your confidence and growth as an artist? A – I didn’t really have a signature “style”, or “look” at the time we began that trip. I came up with the idea as a gift to Pat. We were both beguiled by the quirkiness and majesty of ordinary people and thought the trip would be fun. In many ways I had blinders on regarding what a good photograph should look like. On that journey I was forced to make photographs of seemingly arcane things because there wasn’t anything else around. I was forced to use light and compositions that I wouldn’t normally have used. It shook me up. As I progressed, I found I had an affection for the poetry of the ordinary. I learned I could make “good” photography anywhere, anytime, and anyplace. I use those lessons all the time.

Q – Can you share your philosophy on the importance of belonging to a community, and what role that connection plays in the images you create? A – I think creative people need to belong to something. I think we need to put down roots which becomes the foundation for growth. In my youth I felt it was geographic. Now I’m not so sure. There are several ways to define community. East Texas, where I live, has ties to the Deep South. The folklore, religion, music, literature, and popular culture have all helped shape my thinking and my work.

Q – As an established artist, in what ways do you continue to evolve and challenge yourself to create innovative new work? A – The beautiful thing about making art is the more you learn, the more spiritually enriched, refined, and civilized you become. I like to work on “projects” sometimes lasting several years. You have to learn to live with ambiguity in your life. I come from a film background and have had to learn the digital evolution. But I also recognize there is no romance in pixels for me. It’s a mushy way to learn photography. Lately, I’ve been learning the 19th century wet-plate collodian process using an old 8X10 view camera. Everytime you make a plate it’s like opening a Christmas present. It’s so laborious and capricious, you don’t know what you will find. I’m excited to see how it will inform my new work.

Q – Can you tell us the story behind “George Washington” A – I was on assignment for the New York Times Sunday Magazine to do a story on Angola Prison in Louisiana. There is a single, lonely road leading to the prison and I passed a sagging group of houses with a couple kids fixing a bicycle. I stopped to make a picture. I often ask children if they have anything they would like to have their picture made with. You never know what might happen. He came back with George Washington.

Keith Carter




IN THE WORDS OF PATRICIA CARTER Q – What was the catalyst for your collaboration with Keith? How many years have you been working together? A – Keith and I married in 1975, and the catalyst for our collaboration was the desire to work together toward a shared goal, and the necessity of combining our efforts to earn a living through Keith’s work as a photographer. In the beginning he took on all kinds of work; portraits of children were a specialty, but he also did advertising work, weddings, editorial assignments, anything that came his way. At the same time he was trying to continue to develop his personal work and find his own artistic voice. I took responsibility for all the nonphotographic work: bill paying, collection of receipts, scheduling and negotiating fees. When Keith was finally able to give up the commercial assignments and concentrate on his own work, my responsibilities morphed into keeping records of images, their edition numbers, distribution, and dealing with galleries.

Q – Before Keith found his unique artistic vision, what elements of his early work inspired your faith and encouragement of his aspirations? A – When we first met, Keith was a young man on fire to make photographs, but there was something else about him. He seemed to have a real appetite for the work itself. He had faith that it was worth doing, and it didn’t hurt that I thought so too. He

also had faith in what he has always called the alchemy of photography. His taste for the physical work of the process has stayed with him through the years. *This is adapted from a longer answer in my Afterword for A Certain Alchemy 2008.

Q – The images made on this Texas road trip became Keith first book, From Uncertain to Blue which you documented beautifully with the text that accompanies the photographs. In what ways was this journey a time of growth and transformation for you? A – We realize now what a lasting gift we gave ourselves: to travel with no intention except to see what was along the way; to wander unhurried, so that there was always time to stroll down a path, to sit and look, or sit and talk; to end each day together watching the fading light as night came on. It was a luxury unsurpassed by any travels since. There was a special quality in our connection with the people we met. As strangers Keith and I had these advantages: We were not lost; we were not selling anything; we had come specifically with an interest in seeing that place. And Keith had come to make photographs. People recognized instinctively that he saw significance in the things that made up their lives, and often their hearts opened to us. *From my notes in the new edition of From Uncertain To Blue 2011

Q – What have been some of the more challenging aspects to your collaboration with Keith? A – When an artist makes the commitment to live by his art, he must also accept the uncertainty that comes with that decision. We knew there were no guarantees, but we were both committed to that decision. There is a natural ebb and flow to a long career, but Keith’s passion for the work remains strong. He has learned the digital process and adapted it to his use. Currently he is pursuing an interest in older processes, such as wet plate collodian.

Q – What has been the most rewarding? A – I drop everything when I am called to the darkroom for a first look at a new print, and I walk the twenty-five paces from house to studio with real anticipation. The pleasure of this experience is undiminished even though I have done it thousands of times. I love seeing first-hand the process of creativity – how the germ of an idea slowly becomes a cohesive and coherent body of work – and, often, how that work is further refined and edited to become a handsome book. It is my great joy to share this life and to feel I have made a real contribution. It continues to be exciting and fulfilling.

Three determined entrepreneurs and their community of supporters bring homemade pie, fresh roasted coffee, and biscuits from scratch to a once abandoned Chicago storefront.Â

as american as

Story & Photgraphy by Rebecca Hill



There is nothing that says “Ameri-

O Magazine, June 2003.) If you

David were rejected because the

ca” like independence, innovation

want to walk down a street filled

building had never been occupied

and a big slice of apple pie. If you

with family owned shops, indepen-

by a business. The space had

are lucky enough to visit Bang

dent establishments, and friendly

never been reviewed by a building

Bang Pie and Coffee in Chi-

faces, this idyllic dream is now

inspector, so they now needed to

cago you can add Blood Orange,

within reach. Micro-financing sites

hire an architect to draw the plans

Strawberry, and Chocolate Peanut

like Kickstarter and Indiegogo

the city required. Frustrated, but

Butter Banana to your list of classic

provide an online platform for

determined to realize their dream,

summertime favorites. Walking

creative projects to receive vis-

they turned to Kickstarter to raise

into Bang Bang you get the sense

ibility, community support, and

the additional funds required to

that you are among friends. It

funding without turning to a major

get their doors opened. Originally

may seem like this establishment

financial institution. Donors can

asking for $3500, they raised over

has been around for years, but

pledge small amounts of money

$10,000 and Bang Bang has been

in only a few short months, this

to give independent entrepreneurs

thriving ever since.

once vacant storefront now hosts

the much needed financial boost

a community of devoted custom-

many start- ups require. Essen-

ers. Simply put, who doesn’t want

tially, each one of us now has the

pie? Especially when it is made

ability to “cast our votes” by invest-

from scratch and accompanied

ing a few dollars into the business

by fresh roasted coffee. Together

and artistic endeavors we want to

with Michael Ciapciak, husband

see in our worlds.

open and their summertime flavors

envisioned this warm and invit-

Opening the doors of Bang Bang

happy customers will tell you, this

ing cafe where others only saw an

was no small endeavor. Originally

little slice of heaven is really a

abandoned property.

working from a food truck, Megan

dream come true.

and wife Dave and Megan Miller

I first visited the shop only a few weeks after they opened. I was thrilled to see the tables full and the ovens were baking at capacity. Bang Bang’s outdoor space is now are on the menu. As their many

and David desired a permanent The ability to materialize a dream

place to call their own. However,

into a thriving reality is the gift that

the City of Chicago did not make

every brave entrepreneur gives to

the transition easy for this deter-

their communities. A new Ameri-

mined couple. “Before we started,

can dream is on the rise as each

we contacted the city repeatedly

one of us realizes that we too can

to find out what the various steps

play a part in the revitalization of

were, but they never gave us

our neighborhoods. The building

direct answers. Different depart-

renovation and opening of Bang

ments also communicated differ-

Bang was funded in part by the

ent expectations. The only way to

crowd sourcing site Kickstarter.

find out if something was proper

“Every time you spend money,

was to apply for our license and

you’re casting a vote for the kind of

get rejected.” Once their applica-

world you want.” (Anne Lappe,

tion was complete, Megan and

Upper Right Bang Bang Pie Co. partners Megan and David Miller and Michael Ciapciak



Bang Bang Pie 2051 N California Ave Chicago, IL 60647 773-276-8888

financing your small business My favorite author Kurt Vonnegut once said, “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” Starting or expanding your small business is a leap of faith – often a very lonely one. And while for a lot of us these days it feels more like we were pushed from that precipice rather than chose to leap, the resultant mix of feelings is often the same. A moment of liberation as the entire vista of opportunities opens before you, followed by the sheer terror of a frenetic free-fall as you quickly realize you have no idea what you’re doing. At this point, whether you chose to leap or were pushed is merely a distinction without a difference. Mid-flight you must keep your perspective oriented to the opportunity on the horizon and develop the wings to guide you there. And that last bit really is the crucial piece. If you haven’t taken the time to learn the skills needed

to grab hold of opportunity, forced or chosen, then the ground quickly, unforgivingly rises up. With an economy simultaneously stagnant and volatile, learning the skills to manage your new start-up or fledgling small business is more important than ever. There is little margin for error. One of these skills is how to properly finance your small business. Capital, or money, is the life-blood of your venture. Some amount is required at creation or expansion, and a constant, pumping stream of it is necessary to cover ongoing day-to-day operations. The requisite amounts are as varied as the companies in existence. No two situations are the same so I don’t presume to offer that counsel. My hope is that after reading this article you’ll have a better sense of financing methods and capital forecasting requirements, the various sources of


capital, and your likelihood of gaining access to these, as well as some resources to assist you when looking for funding. I. Methods of Financing Your Small Business Finance can mean a number of different things. In this case, finance simply means the process by which you fund your small business with the necessary capital to start-up, expand or continue functioning. Broadly, all financing takes one of two forms regardless of the capital’s source – debt financing or equity financing. Debt financing is when you borrow money. The capital raised becomes debt and establishes a debtor/creditor relationship between you and the source. That relationship carries with it a set of terms and conditions governing the repayment of the

Show Pony provides general information only. Show Pony does not guarantee the accuracy of this information. This is not legal advice. Show Pony is not responsible for any legal advice, information, or assistance that you may obtain by using the Show Pony website or magazine. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer. To contact a lawyer, use a referral system in your state.


money borrowed (the principle) as well as the cost of the money (the interest). When deciding to make a loan, a debt financier is analyzing the risk of non-repayment and structuring the loan to mitigate potential losses usually by requiring collateral. Debt financing doesn’t confer any ownership interest to the lender, and also likely provides a tax advantage to the business owner through tax-deductible interest payments. However, debt financing also has disadvantages as start-ups often find it difficult to make regular loan payments given unpredictable cash flow and potential interest rate hikes. Carrying too much debt may also turn off future investors because of the perceived risks associated with repayment obligations. Equity financing is when you receive money from individual or group investors in exchange for part ownership of your company. Depending on your company’s legal structure that ownership interest can take different forms, such as stock issuance if you’re incorporated or membership shares if you’re set up as a limited liability company (LLC). The type of stock or share structure will then spell out the investor’s voting and management rights, if any, as well as their rights to distributions and taxable income or losses. When deciding to invest in your company, an equity investor is concerned with your future growth potential, their rate of return on investment, and how much control, if any, they can exert on the company. Equity financing is advantageous as it doesn’t obligate you to repay the money. Rather, investors are taking a risk in the hopes of

Red River Rockhouse, featured in Show Pony Magazine Issue 1.

reclaiming their investment out of future profits and growth. The main disadvantage to equity financing is that the investors become part owners of the business, thereby gaining a say in business decisions. If you are at a point where equity financing is possible, you absolutely need to work with your own attorney to formally establish the agreement between your company and any potential investors. Deciding between debt and equity financing depends on your long-term goals and the amount of control you wish to maintain. Some experts recommend a small business rely more heavily on equity financing during its early stages because of the difficulty making loan payments without a reliable cash flow. But most start-up companies also have trouble obtaining equity financing until they demonstrate a proven track record and strong

future profit potential. If available, the most prudent course of action is to obtain capital from a variety of sources, ideally maintaining a debt-to-equity ratio falling between 1-to-1 and 1-to-2. Regardless of the financing methods used for your business you’ll need to first estimate your initial capital requirements, which include one-time start-up costs, on-going working capital, and a reserve (an average reserve is 25% of start-up costs plus working capital). This estimate will be most accurate if you take the time to write a business plan and a financial management plan. For start-ups it’s recommended a financial plan project the first three years of business broken into monthly projections for year one and quarterly projections for the following years. The financial management plan consists of: 1) a profit and loss statement – measuring projected




revenues minus projected costs over a given period of time – your net profit or loss; 2) a balance sheet – measuring assets minus liabilities at a specific point in time – your net worth; and 3) a cash flow projection – like balancing a checkbook, it projects your available cash on hand at future points in time. SCORE, a nonprofit association, has excellent free business and financial plan templates. Creating and maintaining a business and financial plan may seem daunting at first. But, both equity and debt financiers require this type of information before they’ll take you seriously enough to part with their money. These tools are also used for far more than obtaining financing. Even if you’re completely self-financed you should still take the time to maintain these plans, as they’re the tools needed to constantly evaluate and keep your business on a viable, sustainable path. II. Sources of Financing Financing is obtained from two different broad categories. Internal sources, such as personal assets, family members, friends or business partners, and external sources, such as banks, venture capitalists or angel investors. Generally, start-up businesses are initially self-financed by their founders, family and friends. Inc. Magazine surveyed 5000 fastgrowing private businesses and found 82% utilized self-financing with limited, if any, capital from external sources. Once a business establishes a track record of success, expansion or ongoing operations are financed by profits from the

business and capital infusions from external sources. This pattern is typical because external sources of capital look for a proven ability to repay, in the case of debt financing, and a proven track record of success with high growth potential, in the case of equity financing. Given the difficulty obtaining capital from external sources as a start-up you’ll need to examine your personal finances closely and then tap whatever resources you feel comfortable risking. Typical personal assets available are savings, investments and salable goods, life insurance policies with a cash value, credit cards, and home equity loans. Most start-ups will use a combination of personal savings and credit cards. In essence these are also debt or equity financing where, other than credit cards and home equity loans, you’re the source. Credit cards are simply an expensive loan, but an easy one to obtain. Shop around for the best terms and rates you can find, and always, always, always make the minimum monthly payments to maintain your credit rating and avoid drastic increases in interest rates. Home equity loans should only be considered after you’ve carefully considered every other option available and are confident that you’ll be able to make the payments, as the collateral for this loan is your home. After tapping all your personal assets you may need additional startup capital and may be able to seek relationship lending or relationship investing from family or friends. The dangers of this option are obvious. But if you are comfortable

seeking this assistance, take care to formalize the business relationship with a promissory note in the case of a loan (including interest), or providing shares in your business in the case of an investment. Another option is sweat equity. If you have family or friends with skills useful to your business they may be interested in providing their labor in exchange for a share of your business. Obviously any labor provided in exchange for equity lowers the amount of money you would otherwise spend for those services, and has the advantage of not risking the money of your closest family and friends. Another option is to take on a business partner willing to risk their capital alongside yours. Of course, you should be very careful selecting business partners. They will have a large or equal say in the business. If you go this route, the relationship should be formalized through a legal agreement. For established or expanding businesses (or if you and your start-up idea are amazing) external sources of capital start to become available. The method of financing provided depends on the external source and they look for either significant collateral and operating history, or businesses with opportunities for a good return on investment. Banks are debt financiers and predominantly lend to small businesses to fund expansion. Only on rare occasions do they lend to start-ups, and they generally require collateral equal to the full amount of the loan. Banks lending to an established small business offer a wide variety of loan packages. Asset-backed


financing requires use of your business assets, such as accounts receivable, inventory, or equipment, as collateral for the loan. With lines of credit a bank sets aside a designated amount of money you can draw on based on your cash flow needs. Interest accrues only on the funds actually used until repaid. The best time to seek a line of credit is when it’s not needed, as this will be the easiest time to qualify at the best terms. Banks also provide letters of credit, which are a guarantee from the bank that an obligation your business undertakes will be repaid. They’re generally used to purchase products from vendors and banks charge fees for making the guarantee. In the non-bank realm, angel investors provide both equity and debt financing. Angels are usually individuals with money to spend. Besides providing capital most angels want to be involved in your business if they see an exciting opportunity, and they often have extensive knowledge that can prove to be a huge benefit to your growing company. Most cities have angel associations that maintain angelmatching programs. Search online for these or check with your local Chamber of Commerce as a starting point. Venture capital firms offer equity financing. These firms are organized businesses primarily focused on your future prospects. They seek high reward situations often in newer industries, and as a result, fund a very small percentage of start-ups or even established small businesses. For entrepreneurs more focused on

“The best time to seek a line of credit is when it’s not needed, as this will be the easiest time to qualify at the best terms.”

SEC approval process. Crowdfunding has a lot of potential as a capital source for start-ups and I’ll be following and writing more about this over the coming months. III. Resources for Pursuing Funding

the creative world this can be an unlikely source of funding.

Given the confusing web of financing for small businesses it’s beneficial to consult third-party resources to assist you in obtaining capital. A number of governmental and nongovernmental resources exist for this express purpose.

A potentially very exciting new source of financing is crowdfunding. Last March President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the JOBS act). This act contains a provision authorizing crowdfunding for for-profit businesses. Crowdfunding allows you to raise capital from individuals, through Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved online portals, without registering your business with the SEC. Examples include or The difference is that it’s now legal to provide equity in your company in exchange for usually smaller amounts of capital from many individual investors. The law sets broad criteria to protect potential investors from fraud (and from over extending themselves on risky start-ups). The SEC has until January of 2013 to develop specific regulations governing the crowdfunding world. For instance, online portals providing the venue for start-up entrepreneurs to seek and accept funds from individual investors will need to go through a likely rigorous

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency that provides assistance to small businesses in the form of guidance and, more importantly, backup guarantees to local lenders for underwriting small business loans. The SBA has several loan programs, but rarely does it directly provide the capital. Its function is to induce banks to make loans it would otherwise view as too risky. The SBA selectively approves small businesses seeking its backing. It generally requires that the owner(s) have clean credit histories, be active in company management, have projected cash flow adequate to repay the loan, and the owner(s) must invest thirty percent of the required capital while personally guaranteeing the balance of any loan made. If you qualify, SBA loans provide longer repayment terms and lower down-payment requirements than conventional bank loans. The SBA also licenses and certifies privately owned, quasi-venture capital firms through the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) and Certified Development Company




(CDC or 504 loan) programs. SBICs do assist with start-up funding and CDCs focus on long-term financing of fixed assets, such as real estate and buildings. The SBA website provides extensive information on all their various lending programs, including short-term microloans, as well as other useful information for small business owners. Most states also have their own Economic Development Agencies. These agencies offer a variety of programs to small businesses within their states. They are particularly interested in supporting companies that employ locally. These agencies are often a good source of microloan funding for start-ups that find it difficult to obtain capital. You can find a link to your state’s economic development agency through the SBA website.

development specifically geared to those in the arts community. Non-governmental third-party resources, such as incubators and small business loan brokers, should also be considered. Business incubators provide a temporary environment to start-up businesses until they are financially viable. Incubators are predominantly seen in the light manufacturing, service and technology industries, and screen businesses for acceptance. They offer potential access to capital, shared business services, networking opportunities, and rental costs usually below market rates. The National Business Incubation Asso-

ciation can direct you to an incubator in your area if this is an option. Multifunding is a legitimate broker that works with small businesses to identify and obtain loans. They only receive payment if a loan option is accepted by the small business, and sometimes the lender pays that fee. It may seem frustrating trying to find the money to get your idea off the ground. But just know that many fast-growing businesses started with a few thousand dollars, a credit card and a dream. Having a better understanding of your financing options and the numerous resources available to assist you should help once you’re ready to take your leap.

There are additional financing resources available to minority and women owned small businesses as well. The National Bankers Association represents minority owned banks that target loans to minority owned businesses. The SBA can also direct you to specific resources dedicated to women and minority owned businesses. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency is an additional resource. For all of our artist friends out there, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+) is an excellent organization providing emergency funds to craft artists who’ve suffered a careerthreatening emergency. But, much more than just emergency funding they maintain an Artist’s Career Resource Center that has information on loan programs and business

Epidemic Skateshop featured in Show Pony Magazine Issue 1.


ndless E Summer Camp Wandawega has been the host of beloved childhood memories for decades. Rescued on the cusp of fading away, creative entrepreneurs Tereasa Surratt and David Hernandez have given the camp a new lease on life. Photography and Story by Rebecca Hill




Upon my arrival in Elkhorn Wisconsin, I began to experience the feeling of sheer elation I felt the first time my parents dropped me off at summer camp. Finally liberated from adult supervision, I knew that my ambivalent teenage camp counselors were no match for the mischief I had planned. I was let loose and ready to soak up every second of fun and adventure that awaited my childhood spirit. Like the long summer days we hope will never end, that clever little girl eventually faded away. Exploring my surroundings, I soon found my adult self elation at the sight of a two story tree house. I hurried to ascend the stairs that lead to a cabin built upon the branches of an old elm tree. Reaching the top, I opened the door to find a childhood dream come true. Up in the air and overlooking 25 acres of untouched Wisconsin beauty, I was energized by the endless opportunities for summertime fun that lay before me. I was so excited to explore everything this place had to offer: rope swings, canoes, fishing, and teepees. But of all the treasures that awaited me, the most valuable was the opportunity to become reacquainted with the adventurous childhood version of myself.Â


Portrait by Bob Coscarelli



Co-owner David Hernandez has managed to literally preserve a beloved piece of his own childhood. He spent every summer at Camp Wandawega when it was owned and maintained by Latvian priests. Three decades later David introduced his fiancée (now wife), Tereasa Surratt to the camp. Enamored and inspired, the couple requested that the priest contact them if they ever considered selling the property. David and Tereasa became the owners of Camp Wandawega on December 31, 2003. Their continued efforts to revitalize the property have given guests of all ages the gift of immersing themselves in old-school summer camp fun. “When we set out to rescue this near-abandoned summer camp, we found a treasure

trove of original gear that had been left behind by it’s former vacationers and campers. We’ve spent every weekend of the past nine years restoring Camp Wandawega back to its original 1922 condition. It’s become such a labor of love, we now consider ourselves as the caretakers, instead of owners.”The once dilapidated cottages have

been renovated by the creative energy and ingenuity of Tereasa and David. “Camp Wandawega has a storied past - from a brothel to speakeasy, supper club to summer camp. Each era left a bit of itself behind for us to discover and dust off.” Original pieces are combined with Tereasa’s extensive collection of American antiques

and flea market treasures. Guests are delighted by the vast assortment of vintage books, boardgames, and artwork that makes each room’s decor unique. Tereasa and David have done the majority of work themselves. However, the show stopping “Tom’s Treehouse” is an artistic collaboration between the couple and several of their incredibly talented friends: Furniture Makers and Designers Bladon Conner, Shaun OwensAgase and Tyler Peterson of Stone

Blitzer, Angela Finney Hoffman of Post 27, and Steven Teichelman of This is Threefold. Named in memory of Tereasa’s father, “Tom’s Treehouse” embodies the Camp Wandawega tradition of reinvention and creative imagination. Once stricken with Dutch elm disease, this beloved tree now represents the generous character of Tereasa, David, and the community of friends they have welcomed to join their adventure.

Idyllic yet informal, the accommodations at Camp Wandawega offer guests the nostalgic experience of old school cabin living. Guests are invited to join the fun of various activities including canoeing, fishing, shuffleboard, and archery. Primarily a private friends and family retreat, the camp has recently made their cabins and cottages available for rentals. Pack your bags: summer camp is now in session.


Wandawega Camp Store Wandawega Camp Store



The Wandawega Camp Store is now open for business. Shop this old school souvenir stand for nostalgic items such as slingshots, bird callers, and tree-swing kits. Online or in person, this eclectic mix does not disappoint!

Tereasa literally wrote the book on creating collections of vintage decor. Follow her thrifting adventures in her most recent book Found, Free and Flea; ($21, Clarkson Potter.)

As chronicled in Tereasa’s first book A Very Modest Cottage; ($15, Country Living), the couple moved a cabin 245 miles from Tereasa’s hometown in Beardstown, Illinois to the grounds of Camp Wandawega.

Camp Wandawega W5453 Lakeview Dr Elkhorn, WI 53121


Rachel Comey beach set $345

American Beauty Celebrate the long, lazy days of summer with a casual, classic, and 100% American Made wardrobe.




Left/Right Rachel Comey Duke one piece suit $276 Gary Graham jodhpurs $313 Eve Cahill dual hook bangle




Tenoversix shirtdress Wendy Nichol oxidized bead bracelet Leather multi-strap cuff, stylists’ own


Sophomore Henley Rachel Comey Revival bikini $253 Wendy Nichol double yarn shell necklace $161


Wool and the Gang Li’l Indian Joe fringe vest $189 Wool and the Gang Sweet Gigi bra $44 Dream Collective large disc multi necklace Dream Collective skinny disc necklace Denim cutoffs model’s own



Left Rachel Comey Townee dress $329 Dream Collective pendant Dream Collective white pendant Wendy Nichol dyed yarn shell necklace $253 Wendy Nichol double yarn shell necklace (worn as bracelet) $161

Right Tenoversix dress with open back $163





Giving Back Longtime friends and sought after interior designers, Vanessa De Vargas and Jordan Cappella give us a tour of their design project for Hartman House. Story and Photography by Rebecca Hill

This charitable collaboration brought together the efforts of two wonderful nonprofit organizations. The Mary Magdalene Project, founded in 1980, gives women who have been victimized by domestic trafficking and street prostitution the opportunity to turn their lives around. They teamed up with Hartman House, an organization dedicated to rehabilitating homes throughout the United States and abroad. Their latest endeavor, Project H.O.M.E, is dedicated to supporting families facing hardships and partnering with charitable organizations who are giving back to their local communities. Felicia Burns, executive director at Hartman House, was in the beginning stages of a home rehab for the Mary Magdalene Project when she first met Vanessa at an event. Vanessa remembers, “We met and I knew that together we could really transform the home into something fun and safe for the women.” This was truly a project that needed the professional expertise of established interior designers. With only four days to complete the mission, Vanessa and Jordan flawlessly combined vintage and donated furniture and accessories. The result provides a bright, clean, and optimistic environment for the women as they begin a new life. Finally, a place they can truly call home.

“We could not have made this project happen without the love and donations and support from these wonderful resources.” Henry Road: NW Rugs: midcenturyLA: Hilary Thomas Designs: The Sofa Company: Astek Inc: 45 Three Modern Vintage Home: For more information on Vanessa De Vargas and Jordan Cappella |



Hand in Hand

Urbanic owners Audrey and Joshua Woollen fell in love by exchanging handwritten letters. Thoughtful correspondence established the creative foundation of their relationship and was the catalyst for building a thriving business. Tucked away by the ocean of Venice Beach, Urbanic Paper Boutique offers stylish papers, modern gifts, and endless opportunities to connect with loved ones. Photography and Interview by Rebecca Hill



Your relationship began as a long distance love expressed through handwritten letters. Can you share how your relationship inspired you to open Urbanic?

Do you feel that your early artistic collaboration and hand-written letters allowed your relationship to develop more authentically than modern communication would have?

In our relationship we found that we both really enjoyed expressing ourselves through words and creativity on paper. We both loved the excitement of getting good mail and the anticipation of waiting for something to arrive each week in the mailbox. Once we got married we knew we wanted to open a business together. We were inspired to open Urbanic so we could become a resource for others like us, who shared an appreciation for unique stationery. Also we were thrilled for the chance to showcase the work of some of the independent designers we had discovered.

Since we got to know each other through hand-written letters, this was the beginning of the creative foundation in our relationship. For us, the tangible process of using paper, ink, and our creativity allowed us to be really thoughtful in our correspondence. It was totally oldfashioned! Since we developed that kind of connection in the early part of our relationship we got to know each other in a slow-paced special way. We would read each other’s letters over and over again throughout the week until the next one would arrive. It was definitely authentic for us. It forced us to trust the pace of our relationship.

Where does the name Urbanic originate from? Urbanic was a word we came up with that seemed to fit the line of cards that I was designing at the time (8 years ago). This line of cards had actually stemmed from our letter writing relationship. As a city dweller my whole life, I’ve always been inspired by the creative forwardness of the urban lifestyle. I was also very drawn to the simple and organic elements from nature: thick cotton papers, twine, and kraft envelopes. The combination of these elements were my inspiration when designing, and led us to come up with the word “Urbanic.”



You often express your love for the neighborhood where you live and work. How has being a part of the Venice community enhanced your lives? Our neighborhood rules! The block we’re on, Abbot Kinney Blvd., is this cool little strip tucked away in the back pocket of Venice. Our shop is nestled in amongst amazing art galleries, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. We’re inspired everyday by the diverse architecture, variety of people, and the constant flow of creative energy that surrounds us. Our lives are particularly enhanced by the people we’ve come to know from being in business these last 6 years. There’s a sense of community here in Venice that is rare in most parts of Los Angeles. We have many regular customers and since we’re in the business of sentiments, we get to engage with them on all the good stuff like weddings, babies, birthdays, and holidays. Someone came in last week to get a “sorry” card for shrinking her roommate’s sweater so we even get some of the “bad stuff” as well. This personal connection with our community is really rewarding and probably the most meaningful part of the business. We’ve met some of our best friends through having the shop here.

In an age of texting and tweeting, do you feel that taking the time to hand write a card or letter is a way for us to re-connect with one another? Yes, yes and more yes! We don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy finding a hand-written envelope in the midst of a pile of junk mail and bills. Opening up a personal letter can give an unexpected boost to your day. It’s the little things in life like this that have become a rare treat in this digital age.

Why do you feel it is important to you to carry products designed and manufactured in the United States?

In what ways does Urbanic support and contribute to the creative community that you are a part of?

We think it’s completely important to support the domestic designers in the U.S because it helps keep good independent design and production alive! Even a small company like ours can make a difference in helping improve the economy.

We host events and workshops throughout the year that bring people together. At Urbanic, we’re surrounded by so many different types of creative people in the community that we’ve made it our personal project to bring these like-minded folks together to meet, mingle and hang out. It’s so awesome to see connections made! We produce each one of our events with a team of other talents. This brings our parties to another level making them more dimensional. The events also create an opportunity to feature the work of planners, stylists, florists, foodies, photographers, and bloggers. We also incorporate a d.i.y feature into all of our parties that we’ve termed “project socials.” This gives people the opportunity to get to know each other while being creative.

Can you share some of the locally made product lines that you carry? Some of the lines we carry that are local to the Los Angeles area are Fugu Fugu Press, Dear Hancock, Sugar Paper, Pei Design, Dee and Lala, Ghost Academy, and Maginating. We especially love these folks because if we get in a jam and need more cards they will sometimes personally deliver them to us!


How do you balance owning a thriving business with raising a young family? To be honest, it’s a daily challenge for us to juggle the demands of the shop and the children and be all that we need to be as parents and proprietors. It’s a work in progress, but we’ve found that our time is most effective when we have a game plan for each week in advance. We try to come up with weekly goals and often have to plan time to plan! Sometimes we’ll continue our workdays after putting our kids to sleep and don’t stop until one of us passes out on the couch. We’ve learned over the years that trying to work while simultaneously being with the kids was frustrating for all of us. We weren’t able to get any productive work done or spend real quality time together. Now we try to alternate with the kids during the week and reserve certain days as “family days” so we can be totally present together. In addition, we couldn’t do any of this without the help of our amazing staff!

What do you hope the life you have chosen will give to your children? We hope our children will have an abundance of great memories of their childhood and our family time together. One of the main reasons we wanted to have our own business in the first place was to make sure we would be able to be with our little guys as much as possible. We also hope that they will follow their ambitions and choose a path in life that they are excited about. The four of us are in this together and our hope is that one day when they look back, they’ll see all of this as a wonderful family adventure.

Urbanic Paper Boutique 1644 Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291 310-401-0427


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new york city

Four and Twenty Blackbirds 439 3rd Avenue – Brooklyn, NY 11215

NYC lifestyle photographer and enthusiastic foodie Alice Gao shares her favorite Manhattan eateries.

Buvette 42 Grove Street NY, NY 10014

This gem in the West Village is the perfect breakfast spot. It often feels like an escape from the city because it’s just so darn charming inside. It can be quite bustling at night, but it is much quieter in the mornings. For breakfast, the steamed eggs with prosciutto is a simple but fantastic choice. I absolutely love the grilled crunchy toast they serve with a number of their dishes.Â




Four and Twenty Blackbirds 439 3rd Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215

Thank goodness I don’t live closer to this pie joint, because I’d be stuffing my face here every day. I like the black bottom oatmeal pie which has gooey oatmeal innards, a caramelized oatmeal top, flaky crust, and a chocolate ganache bottom. It’s got oatmeal so it’s perfectly acceptable for breakfast, no? If you’re not feeling sweet that day, they offer a variety of savory pies as well.

Kaffe 1668 275 Greenwich Street NY, NY 10007

This cafe used to be a staple in my day when I worked nearby. When I first moved to NYC Kaffe was my introduction to seriously good singleorigin coffee. I still love to stop by any time I’m in the area. The chocolate chip cookie is a must. It’s one of my favorite cookies in the city and all of the coffee drinks are great. I’ll grab a quick lunch here some days too. There are usually about three sandwiches to choose from.

Peels 325 Bowery NY, NY 10003

I really dig the “gobblecado” here. It’s a simple sandwich consisting of smoked turkey, avocado, chili mayo and Cotija cheese. It is one of my favorite lunches to enjoy. The housemade potato chips served alongside the sandwich are fantastic and addictive. Another popular choice is the fried chicken sandwich: you can’t really go wrong with that! I love the overall atmosphere here and actually prefer to eat in the tiny wooden tables near the front of the restaurant rather than the booths in the back.



Abraco 86 East 7th Street NY, NY 10003

This postage-stamp sized coffee joint is my absolute favorite in the city. I actually chose my current apartment based on proximity to Abraco! On hotter days, I like to go with an iced cappuccino. I love that they don’t offer things like skim or soy milk. There are no frills here. Their olive oil cake is a classic and I could happily eat it every morning. But really, you can’t go wrong with any of their in-house baked goods. Or heck, you can’t go wrong with anything here. Not that I’m biased...


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In the next issue of Show Pony Magazine: Travel Have you ever found yourself dreaming of owning a bookshop in Paris, a vintage boutique in Amsterdam, or an independent clothing line in London? Our October 2012 issue travels the world to interview small business owners at home and abroad.