Editor’s Note: Creative Spirits

Photo by Viktor Budnik

One of the things I love about my job is the opportunity to connect with creative and talented individuals in our area. The people we write about are endlessly fascinating and unfailingly impressive, and my life has always been enriched in some way by including them in Ventana’s pages.

I feel particularly fortunate to feature the people who make up this month’s Made in Ventura County issue. Because while I admire their exceptional skills, it is their ability to express integral parts of themselves through their crafts which has truly made an impression on me. Anything made by hand with love is going to be imbued with the spirit of its creator.

On our cover is the vivacious ceramicist Lyndsie Harris (Conversation), a lover of all things colorful and “wacky” (her word). Her playful pottery is full of personality, and reflects the artist’s own irrepressible joy and wit…while also being exceptionally well made, delightful to use and easy to care for.

Two of our June subjects are clothing designers, and both are committed to sustainability. Rat Boi, founded by the young, hip Alexa Coughlin (Profile) and named after her dog, is known for its comfy, youthful, even flirty undergarments and loungewear. Tigerowl’s Summer Dalton (About Town) puts her printmaking and sculpture background to work through her earthy, artsy, comfortable garments. Both brands emphasize quality over quantity, making clothes that are built to last as a way to disrupt the fast-fashion industry through thoughtful design and intentional manufacturing. And, unsurprisingly, their garments reflect their own personal styles, too.

Daron Hope’s skincare journey began with a fascination with the outside world…and her search for relief and healing. Through both a “love affair with herbology” and her own “kitchen alchemy,” she discovered the power of plants and created EarthTonics Botanical Skincare (Culture). Now her all-natural oils, tonics, creams and other skin treats help others get the lasting glow that she herself radiates, inside and out.

What beautiful parts of themselves these creators share with the world through their work. And what a beautiful privilege it is to share their stories with the world.

– Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer