Hello friends and Happy New Year!! 
In the spirit of fresh, new beginnings we will continue exposing you to the amazing talent we find and feature, but in this particular moment we'd like to take the time to reflect on the success of our most recent, past experience.  

We created Lore with two central goals. 
The first was to create a network of exceptional art and design. We wanted to create a little society of work that we simply admired. We spent time seeking out a small bundle, and a variety of artist's works. We wanted Lore to be a collection of simply everything because the splendor of creativity is infinite. 
The second goal was to put the concept into effect in a physical place. An exhibition. For a short period in December, we installed a "pop-up," shop. Our location was a beautifully charming space off of the Historic Columbus Theatre on the West Side of Providence. The Street was Broadway, a bustling midpoint of the West Side, with a diverse public.

With little time to prepare, we gathered a team and began constructing our first concept store. We had already collected 20 different designers to be featured in the shop and the work varied from fine art, to furniture, to jewelry, to apparel, and even artisan textiles. Needless to say, the shop was already pretty well furnished! All we had to do was hang some decent lighting, plaster our name all over the beautiful bay windows, and touch up, and construct a few simple displays we already had lying around. 

Before we knew it, Lore was alive! Our opening celebration was on the 12th of December. Our turn-out was incredible, people really got excited about what we were doing, and we knew it was all worth it! For the following 9 days we were open to the public. It was amazing to see people truly enjoying the work we collected. Let's just say that there are some lucky recipients of some of our featured work out there! 
As amazing of an experience, creating our concept Store was, we couldn't have done it with out the help of some very dear, and talented friends.  

Let's take a moment to highlight : 

Rani Macneal: With her past business and start up experience, Rani was exceptionally helpful in finding out exactly what Lore needed to function as a legal business. Rani was not only helpful in structuring our plans, but also contributed heavily in our instal. She was constantly problem solving and making excellent suggestions. Photo credit: clickclicklove


Naushon Hale: Naushon's experience in carpentry and a variety of installation work was extremely valuable to the construction of Lore. Naushon helped us build the majority of our exhibition. With his help from design to execution, we were able to fabricate what was needed to display our collection. Naushon is also a featured designer for Lore. 

Christine Kim: A working artist, and jewelry designer in Providence, Christine is also multi talented. Christine was extremely helpful in the installation of our shop. She knew exactly what the space needed and would take initiative in executing her ideas. Her hand was heavily involved with merchandising, lighting, and signage.

The Columbus Cooperative: The Columbus Cooperative is a group of Volunteers who run a flourishing music venue and community out of the Historic Columbus Theatre. They were kind enough to rent us the small space, in which we housed our Pop Up Exhibition for the month of December. If you haven't seen a show at the Columbus, you haven't truly experienced the West Side of Providence. We highly recommend it. 

We Simply can not express how happy we were with the results of Lore's First stab at a Shop. Oh, and don't worry, that was only the beginning. 


Margaret Hinge and Jayna Aronovitch 


                                                                                                      Colleen Clines 

One beautiful October morning, Colleen Clines, Co-founder and CEO of the Anchal Project, happened to be in town. Over a hot cup of coffee we discussed how the throes of vigorous passion for change can cultivate something wonderful.

Lore Collection: What inspired this project?

 Anchal artisans 

Anchal artisans 

Colleen Clines: I always viewed service as a volunteer experience outside my chosen profession until I took a RISD seminar class named "Design for Development"  where I realized that design could be a vehicle for positive social change. We went to India in 2009 as a part of the class. There we met women in the commercial sex trade and learned about some of the local textiles being made in West Bengal. Through conversations with local leaders and non profits we committed to taking the project beyond the classroom! Being naive young designers we just went for it! We generated $400 selling notebooks and note cards at the RISD art sale, sent it to India and trained the first group of women in Kantha quilt making. It was a great opportunity, not only to tie in beautiful vintage sari’s, but also was a quick technique that they could learn to start making money.”

LC: Was it your design originally? Did you come up with the technique?

CC: It’s a tradition that exists in West Bengal but slightly different. After the first batch of textiles was sent to us, we realized we needed to have a heavier hand on design guidelines. It took a while to get there, but the idea was always training the women involved to make the design decisions themselves. Teaching basic color theory and composition is key to creating all one-of-a-kind pieces.

LC: That’s the wonderful thing about art; even without a traditional education, it’s possible to be successful by following your visual, and creative instincts.

CC: Absolutely! It's pretty amazing what the artisans are able to create in the workshops we’ve conducted. With our guidelines and the design training, all the decisions can be made by them, with a western palate in mind.

 Colleen Clines amongst Anchal artisans 

Colleen Clines amongst Anchal artisans 

 Colleen Clines explaining design & color principles to artisans in India 

Colleen Clines explaining design & color principles to artisans in India 

LC: How did ‘Anchal’ become the word that you chose to represent this project?

CC: Atisha Varshney, a Co-Founder in Landscape Architecture at RISD with me, is Indian and shared the Hindi word with us. It was the perfect fit. Anchal is the edge of the sari, and the most decorative. Women wearing it often use it to wrap their children; providing love and comfort. So, it felt natural.

LC: Can you tell us a little bit more about how you found and built your team?

CC: We started with the 4 co-founders. Everyone had a background in either landscape architecture or architecture, naturally when we graduated people started making moves to execute that training. I expected to do the same, but I was committed to getting Anchal off the ground. It was hard. Devon and I worked closely for the first two years building the foundation. When she left my sister Maggie joined the team. You need someone close and committed to launch a start-up like Anchal; Maggie stepped up to be my partner. More recently Lauren Radziminski joined us from American University in International Communications and Tess O’Keefe contributes to development remotely from Boston. No one person can do this alone. I am proud of the strong group of passionate young women running this project together.

LC: Do you have the same team of women working with you in India from the beginning, or is that somewhat transitional as well?

 An example of Anchal's collaboration with Urban Outfitters; Kantha stitch accent on a jacket 

An example of Anchal's collaboration with Urban Outfitters; Kantha stitch accent on a jacket 

CC: Within India we partner with local non-profits that take on a lot of the leadership. We have hired additional project managers to oversee larger production, like when we collaborated with Urban Outfitters last year.

LC: Tell us a little more about that?

CC: We had a really good experience working with the Urban Renewal team of Urban Outfitters. Together, we created the Anchal x Urban Renewal Collection composed of 11 pieces of apparel. Each piece used textiles made by Anchal artisans and Urban transformed them into dresses, skirts, tops and jackets. This collaboration was a unique way to blend design, fashion, craft, and women’s rights into one garment. Not only are the pieces beautiful & unique, they ultimately have great impact on the lives of the women who made them. I am thrilled for our mission and products to reach a new younger audience at Urban. The movement in socially and environmentally conscious products is on the rise because the public is demanding a change. Anytime you can support a good initiative through your purchase, it is a win. Collaborations with large brands and retailers create the perfect platform for maximum reach to new audiences and increased impact in the lives of the artisans. Our hope is to continue such partnerships.

LC: How often do you get over to India?

 Anchal Artisans enjoying the creative process 

Anchal Artisans enjoying the creative process 

CC: Last year I was there for two months on separate occasions. This year we focused on marketing and fundraising, so I haven’t gone. We’ve always felt that the project should run sustainably without a heavy hand from us, and we have been able to do that this year! For the first time I didn’t feel like I needed to be there. I am going in February to make new product samples and help improve operational logistics. We are starting to over-dye fabric and I think it will subdue a lot of the really crazy prints; we are really excited.

LC: So how did you transition from landscape architecture to textiles?

CC: I am shocked when I really think about how that happened. You guys know that a design foundation applies to many things. Technically, I’m not a textiles expert, but the design process can apply to multiple mediums.

LC: But surely, you’ve picked up some skills of the trade?

CC: From a conceptual point of view you can address it like that. My background in landscape is helpful in that we study urban systems. When you can look at complex systems like that, you can look at the sex trade in India or a business model and apply design thinking to it, and make change in that system. Things are starting to fold back in. We won a competition in Louisville to grow natural dye plants in vacant lots. We want to integrate that into the project. There is a little bit more of an overlap that I can envision happening. I’m excited. We have one lot now that will be the demonstration space, and our intention is to replicate it as a network within the urban environment. Then that becomes a different model; essentially another outreach for women here in the states. So, cool new things in the works and exciting to fold landscape back in.

We look forward to sharing with you,  the wonderful work of Anchal Artisans in the Lore Collection! 

Cheers! Margaret Hinge & Jayna Aronovitch 


On a cold stormy night we caught up with Lisa Billings, our meticulous seamstress . In her cozy cottage we drank some wine, raided her wardrobe, and had a chat on craftsmanship and making the time to sew.

Lisa Billings in her East Side Apartment 

Billings cutting a textile

LORE COLLECTION: How did you get started?

LISA BILLINGS: I actually started out in banking, working a corporate job. 13 years ago I had a beautiful daughter and decided to stay home with her for a few years. I’ve always been creative and in the boredom of being a stay-at-home-mom, I got some time to focus and I started making stuff. My initial work was pretty beginner but I honed in on my sewing skills and I started selling my bags on eBay. It went well, I made a lot of sales and people really liked what I did. I didn’t have any interest in copying other people's styles, I did what was authentic to me. People responded so I just kept going from there.

LC: Where are you from and how did you get here?

LB: Well I traveled all the way from East Providence, [she says with a glint of sarcasm] to Attelborough, to Pawtucket, then finally made the move into the big city! I live on the East side in the Summit neighborhood, and it’s a perfect fit for me. There is a good community atmosphere and I work just up the street at Kreatelier, so I am happily able to walk to work.

LC: What is your creative process?

LB: I take what inspires me from a lot of different sources. This can be anything from Pinterest, to a pattern that I see in a shop window, or just browsing fabric. I keep track of those types of things; patterns, moods, and colors. I try not to follow the trends too much because they’re transitory. Whereas, if you really develop your own style I think its more lasting and you can identify yourself better that way. So I keep track of those types of inspirations and what I do, is try to make beautiful, utilitarian objects. I love art for art’s sake, but I also like to make things that are useful. I love making bags and pouches, and while that’s what I started off with and still do now, I’ve branched off into pillows, blankets, and quilts. Lots of times, when I start off making something I don’t know where I’m going with it, so the creative process is the most fun out of everything I do. I love physically sewing but the space that I’m in when I’m creating is my favorite. You get completely immersed in it and get lost in the whole process. Every step of the way is super exciting for me. Sometimes the finished product isn’t exactly what I intended to begin with, but its about working out the process. To make something new for the first time is my favorite part of doing what I do. The biggest challenge is to recreate. If people respond to it, they like it, they buy it. For me to keep remaking is hard, it requires discipline.

LC: So how do you handle that discipline?

LB: Not very well, its always a challenge for me. I plan to work on that in the future; narrowing down and streamlining my product line, designing, and outsourcing the physical sewing. So it requires me to find outlets that do wholesale accounts and I can focus on designing. Anyone can do the physical sewing, so that’s where I’m planning on going next.

LC: When you are describing what you do, what do you consider yourself in your artistic practice?

LB: I would consider myself an artisan, a crafts person. I know there is this debate between art and craft. Because I do take existing materials and I transform them, I don’t create anything from scratch. However, I am starting to with the hand painted work (which will be exclusive for Lore) and I’m enjoying that. Its different for me because I’m not a painter but I’m actually interested in taking a screen printing class. I would love to make my own textiles. That would be the ultimate for me, that would be the next step.

I love textiles, I love commercially made textiles, I’m surrounded by it all day, and there are some beautifully made things out there, but anyone can cut squares, sew in a zipper and make it into a pouch. If you have beautiful textiles, you’re going to have a beautiful product. It is about the combination, I have that eye and I’m not uptight about mixing styles and colors. I’m actually pretty fearless when it comes to that. I also have meticulous sewing skills. It comes naturally to me, I love being meticulous, almost OCD when it comes to that sort of thing. I think its super important, you can have all the creativity in the world but craftsmanship makes a difference.

I kind of have craft ADD, that’s a problem I have. Everything I see I want to recreate. I want to make lamps, I want to crochet, I want to print fabric. It’s very hard to get anything accomplished when you're stretched in that many directions.

Bilings at her sewing machine

Billings finding the perfect zipper accent 

Billings finding a match to a textile she hand painted

LC: How do you balance?

LB: It’s very hard and I can’t do everything but I’m trying to get more balanced. Between spending time with my daughter, boyfriend and working a full time job, its hard to find the time to get into the studio. I’m trying to be disciplined; I have no social life pretty much, so that helps!

LC: What are you inspired by? What drives you?

LB: I love to sew, that’s always present, I love to construct things, its in my blood. I have to do it! I’m online a lot, I’m on Instagram, and I have blogs that I like to follow.  Just living in Providence, there is so much creativity and art. Its all these things bombarding my brain and constantly stimulating me. It also can be a double edged sword because sometimes I get overwhelmed, there is so much out there I want to get done and I get paralyzed. Its so weird because I love feminine, fru-fru; liberty of London, and flowers, but then at the same time I’m drawn to artists like Rex Ray. I love his bold, jagged, and colorful patterns.

LC: So how do you overcome that paralysis you mentioned?

LB: I have to focus. Sometimes I take literal breaks from looking at anything, and taking in any more stimuli. I’m driven by whatever is necessary at the moment, I work and sell at Kreatelier and for practical reasons, I try and make things that will sell for the holidays. Gift sets, pouches, little pretty things. I’ll do little floral pins and stuff that people want to give as gifts. I have to do utilitarian pieces right now, I don’t have the luxury to work on concept pieces that are purely for artistic sake. I'm finding the balance between the two. The hand painted pieces for Lore are pushing me to be able to work on these things. Sometimes I get physically tired but also creatively tapped out. But at the same time, making this commitment to you guys is good for me, because it provides discipline. Yesterday I was tired but I went into the studio and I decided to not over think and just do something. I ended up being really satisfied with what I came up with.  

We look forward to showcasing Lisa Billing's designs in the Lore Collection! 


Margaret Hinge & Jayna Aronovitch


As we climbed to the highest peak of Wickenden Street in Providence, complete with an adventure through a bamboo forest at Zoe van Buren's back door, we knew she was on to something! We climbed a mile's worth of stairs to meet up with Zoe in her cozy, little apartment. We talked about life, folklore and of course knitting! She showed us her yarn collection and spun us some yarn on her spinning wheel, while we chatted.

LORE COLLECTION: How did you get started with knitting?

Zoe spinning yarn she hand dyed. 

Zoe van Buren in her backyard of bamboo.

Zoe spinning yarn she hand dyed.

ZOE VAN BUREN: I think I started when I was about 11. I was originally taught by my mother. She taught me the first few things, but never got that far into it herself, so I quickly reached the point where I had maxed her knowledge. So, I turned to the internet and taught myself everything else from there. After a while, I started to realize that I was starting to care about knitting so much that it was becoming more than just a hobby. I was going to the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rheinbeck every year and would start seeing new things that I wanted to learn. So, I bought a spinning wheel and a drop spindle. I bought some dyes and some blank yarns and I’ve been learning how to dye since then. Every year I’m starting to push the chain of production back one more step. I feel like the next logical step is to own sheep! It’s become something I do every single day and I love it.

LC: Where are you from and how did you get here?

ZvB: I’m from NYC and I got here on a whim. I was in Ithaca last year after graduation, and everything I was doing in my life sort of neatly ended in at the same time. So I thought, "I have one year before I conceivably am in grad school," (I’m in the process of applying now) and I thought, "well, where do I want to live?" I had a friend who was very excited about Providence. He encouraged me to come here. I knew I wanted access to art classes, and I thought, "between RISD, and friends, and just generally loving New England this is kind of perfect."

LC: What are you inspired by?

ZvB: Recently, I am inspired by my simultaneous efforts to become a folklorist (um it fits in really nicely with the name of your studio haha), and looking more and more at traditional forms and skills; both for myself and my own artistic process, as well as academically. I'm thinking more and more about why people use these outmoded techniques which have been made irrelevant by industrialization. Why am I willing to spend 50 hours to get a sweater that costs me 3 times as much as buying it at Old Navy? I'm finding the answer in myself and other people who do it too. I find it really inspiring. The connection to traditional knitting techniques matters to me. I can combine the past, the present, and the future at the same time. Knitting is in a very exciting vogue moment right now and its fantastic! These styles, techniques and patterns were developed hundreds of years ago and can still be used to make new work that resonates with people now in a way that can't be beat.

LC: So you are exploring what this answer is? Can you tell us a little more about that?

ZvB: It's been about making the things that you have in your life really, truly have meaning. There are so many things that I buy from stores that I feel lukewarm about, and I end up throwing them out or giving them away in a year. When you make something yourself and put that much time, effort, and sometimes money into it, you value it. Even if you don’t love it; you’re still going to wear it all the time and treasure it. It becomes a part of you; like you’ve made yourself another finger. It doesn’t need to be perfect. There is a little flaw in everything that I make. I like to think about how every stitch takes me a little bit under one second. So, if I look at all of the stitches in this room, each of those represents approximately one second of my life. If you look at a sweater like that one, that’s a lot of seconds in my life you’re looking at! It’s a little memorial to the time that I had; it makes the finished piece so much more valuable because it’s a piece of you. It's also really good to slow down, not expect instant gratification all the time, not expect things to be perfect, and enjoy the process of making.

LC: What’s your creative process?

ZvB: I guess we already delved into that, but I can talk about design a little bit.

LC: You design all of your own things?

ZvB: Now more than most, that’s still a relatively a new part of the craft. I’ve only recently turned it from something totally craft based to something more artistic. I used to always follow patterns, but then I realized I couldn’t always find the pattern for what I wanted, so I had to make it myself. I’ve been trying to design almost every new thing that I make, or at least alter it in some way so that it works better for me. For example, this is a pattern that I decided on by flipping through old glossaries of established knitting stitches. I use that nugget of inspiration to wonder, "what would it look like as a top to a sweater or the cuff of a glove." It's a lot of making it up as you go along, sort of faking it until it feels right. I ripped the stitching out on the initial mitten 8 times before I was happy. That was an important creative process moment for me, because it was the first time where I was like, "It's worth it being exactly what I want. If I just let it be it's going to drive me insane." I’m also selling patterns now, designing so that other people can replicate it. Knitting is an interesting art form in that way. A lot of established designers are designing patterns so that other people can do it too. That's really not the case for other forms of designed pieces, where the artist’s hand is more important. Here it’s more about designing around how other people can recreate it. The technical writer becomes just as important as the designer. The creative process isn't limited but informed by what the audience brings to it and is willing to do themselves. If i’m making something that's frustrating and tiny; I might be ok with it but not everyone is. That’s been the early creative process.

A hat in progress.

Mittens and cowls soon to be part of the Lore Collection!

LC: Do you ever find yourself with too much other stuff going on? How do you find motivation to pursue this creative part of you?

ZvB: The really great thing about knitting is that it started out as a comfort-thing for me. It’s already the thing I do to chill out when other things are causing me frustration. In that sense, it never really feels like a true roadblock, because at the very least I’m working on something for myself. Also, because each thing takes so long, it gives you a lot of time to rethink it. My cousin gave me the best gift ever; two skeins of yarn from her friends’ alpaca Tito, which are now the white mittens. I saw a picture of him on her Instagram and I commented on how cute he was and she told me I was getting a piece of him in the mail. The kindest thing! I was staring at these two skeins and I said to myself, "something special needs to come of these because its such special yarn. I can’t make someone else’s pattern, its got to really compliment this specific yarn, it has to be in line with the story and I have to love it!" (Jayna, "its very in line with the folklore.") It has a background, its just a little thing but in knowing where it comes from makes it special. I started making a different pattern out of it and it wasn’t working; the yarn wasn’t right for it, and nothing about it was making me happy. I was about to settle, but I couldn't. So I tore everything out and I let it sit for a while. I was sorting through my bag of yarn and pieces of scrap yarn from other projects and I held up one next to the white and I was like, “oh my god” I need to add color!" It just instantly came to life. Rip it out and try again! Walk away. I needed the space to be able to see those colors together and it worked!

Keep your eyes pealed for van Buren's knits in the Lore Collection

Cheers! Lore Collection

Margaret Hinge, & Jayna Aronovitch 


Jessica Starkweather in her stylish  Providence home

  Starkweather examining a scarf she designed out of found,  vintage blanket

 Starkweather examining a scarf she designed out of found,  vintage blanket

  Starkweather with a new sweater In the works!

 Starkweather with a new sweater In the works!

 Starkweather with her exquisite yarn collection

Starkweather with her exquisite yarn collection

With the beautiful bouncing baby Arlo in tow, Jessica Starkweather is a force to be reckoned with! She is working on many projects under the store name 'Mardy Stark' including; a contemporary knitwear collection, a repurposed vintage clothing collection, and hand selected vintage pieces. She is one of the 8 vintage vendors at the Vault Collective (our favorite new vintage pop-up shop in downtown Providence!). We fell in love with her knits on our first visit to the Vault and ever since she has been one of our most wonderful and accessible designers to work with! We got a chance to sit down with her in her beautiful apartment which she shares with her husband Phil and 8 month old son.

We met Jess in her 'Not-looking- after-the-baby-boots.'  She grinningly informed us,  "I can only wear them when I’m not on duty.” After a few laughs, our conversation unfolded...

LORE COLLECTION: How did you get started, and come about doing what you do?

JESSICA STARKWEATHER: Well I think it started very, very young, my Dad used to sell fabric, so there was always fabric and notions all over the house to play and create with. At school, I loved art and design lessons and  following that path. I was lead straight on to University to do a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion and Textile Design. That’s basically where it all began. I went on to get a Graduate Certificate in Teaching Design and became a Design and Technology professor in London, but when I moved to the States that opportunity just wasn’t here for me. So it was ok, what do I do? I just started working for myself, collecting and selling vintage and then a little later picked up the knitting needles again. Now, here I am 5 years later, kind of making a living out of it.

LC: Where did the name Mardy Stark come from?

JS: This is interesting, and kind of irritating at the same time because people think its my actual name. I played with lots of names when I first started on Etsy.  Having to promote myself in that way doesn’t come naturally for me and my name Jessica Starkweather is kind of long.  So I wanted to shorten it but keep something sentimental or something personal about it. Mardy is actually a word from Nottingham where I’m from in the UK, and it means to be grumpy, to be a little bit angry about something but in a childish way, I was often called this as child. Then Stark is a smaller version and most likely the original version of my second name. That’s how it came together but I do battle every day people calling me Mardy which means grumpy.

( Which is the exact opposite of the wonderful woman sitting across from us!)

LC: We would like to know, what kind of things inspire you to make, and create?

JS: So you may have noticed, my house is very eclectic, we like to call it a 'tastefully chosen treasure trove.'  Collecting things is what inspires me, and I think that is why the vintage and handmade items combine within my store so well. Objects inspire my work more than other designers. Old handmade objects for the most part are what really excite me. When I’m in a thrift store or at a yard sale and I find a sweater that a grandma made over 15 years ago and no one ever wore it, that excites me! Here is this garment that someone poured love into, I want to wear that and take inspiration from that. They are the kind of things that inspire me and my work.”

LC: What is your creative process?

JS: It's changed a lot over the years. I would say that when I was starting out and learning about being creative it was very much like, flip through the magazines, find this, find that piece of inspiration. And now I feel like as I’ve grown into my own as a designer and collector it is just about being surrounded by these things all the time, at home, in my wardrobe or store. Having a feeling or idea spark out of that, maybe do a few sketches and then just start making it. Its not actually until the collection or piece is finished that I can actually see the process. That’s how it works for me. Making little bits, playing with fabrics, merging different materials and textures, things that aren't necessarily intended for sweaters, like cutting up a tee shirt and knitting with it.

LC: As we all know, artists have hurdles that we have to jump through. How do you overcome the challenging things that can stand in the way of your motivation?

JS: My approach is that nothing can happen in a day. Everything has to be done a little bit at a time, I might have in my mind that I just want to go out tomorrow and make this collection but I’m just very realistic and aware of my constraints. Whether they’re money or time, I know I have to take it slow.  I’m a new mother, I don’t have time for barely anything, and so its more of just learning to produce things in small steps, reflecting on that, going back adding to it or changing it until its right. That’s basically my approach to the challenges. Having a supportive husband also helps and then to just keep going at it. Meeting other creative people helps, that keeps the momentum going and the excitement about making going. Its very hard to just work by yourself sometimes and not be connected with what else is happening on out there. So having connections to a creative community, where we are all going through similar struggles and creative breakthroughs really helps. That’s about it.

You can find Jessica Starkweather's designs in our shop starting mid-November

Cheers! Lore Collection

Margaret Hinge & Jayna Aronovitch