Nurture Facilitator Alumni
NURTURE FALL 2016
SONJA SEILER, Founder (Hearth Workshop) - I think every person needs a place of Self to retreat to - for me, that place is the kitchen. I call it my ‘kitchen boudoir’ - a place where I can connect, create, unfold, nurture, and share my creations as an act of love with myself and with others I care about.
I am a food-obsessed word nerd or a word-obsessed food nerd, depending on the day and love to get creative in the kitchen.
I believe wholeheartedly that creativity is a form of holy self care - that's been the only way past my own chronic intellectual, stuck-in-overthinking-mode ways. I started Nurture: A Retreat out of a need in myself to work alchemically with my darker, needier, or unmet parts. I immersed myself in the transformational 'schools' of playing with food, playing music, playing with words on the page, and that lead me to want to do and learn and grow more because I started to feel more and more myself and more and more alive.
Combine this creative adventuring & soul tuning with my childhood dream of renovating an old farm house and building a bed & breakfast for creatives, and the seedling of this retreat was born. I found the perfect spot in Loretto Maryholme - it's such a beautiful old house with a porch, hardwood floors, claw foot baths, harvest tables for us all to gather around.
I want to nurture: Community. Connection. Creativity. Collaboration. This is what feeds me. Oh and butter. You could court me with butter.
For a candid tell-all where I drink (spill) tea and talk about how Nurture started, check out this video.
Bio pic by Meaghan Eady Photography
REBECCA JACOBS, Garment Workshop (Fall 2016) - I'm Rebecca, a personal stylist with an asterisk. I'm (perhaps a little excessively) passionate about helping women step into who they are and blend it with wardrobe science and systems for more confidence, clarity, and effortless elegance in their personal style. I do this work through my online community and through my one-on-one work as a personal stylist*.
But here’s the asterisk: the work I’m passionate about—it’s not just about clothes.
It’s about confidence, clarity in who you are, knowing you’re enough, loving your life and loving yourself. (It’s self care).
It’s knowing what you have to offer, bringing all the right people into your life, and then showing up for the opportunities—from coffee to cocktails; from first dates to dream clients.
Speaking of coffee and cocktails, those are two of my favourite things. You can usually find me sipping in one of the neighbourhood cafés or restaurants in the west end of downtown Toronto (preferably on a patio.)
I don’t wear high heels (because downtown life is walking life) but I do wear bright lipstick (because you show up when you wear bright lipstick).
You can check out my tips, tricks, guides, and all things style at rebecca-jacobs.com. Or you can find me over on Instagram and proclaim your fellow love of comfortable feet and licorice Allsorts (oh ya, I love those too).
DANIELLE SUPPA, Still Life Workshop (Fall, 2016) - I’m Danielle - a designer, creative director and shop owner. Most days you’ll find me at SOUVENIR - my shop, design studio and event space in Toronto, a.k.a. my second home/design playground. Within the walls and bright light of this little white box, you’ll find a space lovingly filled with a selection of beautiful, thoughtfully designed treasures from Canada and abroad.
My focus is on graphic, textile and product design as well as creative direction, but my first design loves (and subsequent education and work experience) were in fashion and interiors. Regardless of the field, I’m a bit of a diehard when it comes to all things design and can think and talk for days about colour, texture, pattern, details and materials. I love seeing all these elements come together in diverse and unexpected ways.
I believe that when you select, place and combine items together with thought, care and love – along with a healthy dash of personality, curiosity and spirit - something truly magical happens. At the same time, so much of any design or creative endeavor is about the process itself, trusting your intuition (and your eyeballs) – and leaving room in your creative path to try something new. It’s the combination of these two forces – the familiar and the unfamiliar, the new and the old, the thoughtful and the spontaneous - that makes design so endlessly exciting.
When I’m not in the shop (switching up our shelves or catching up with our delightful customers), in my studio (diving into a new project) or in my own head (apparently philosophizing about design - see previous paragraph), you may or may not find me: frolicking in familiar pockets and exploring new nooks of my ever changing city (I am a firm believer that a walk around the block can solve many of life’s issues); hanging out on weekday afternoons or evenings talking to friends (and more often, strangers) about their life dreams; soaking up inspiration in shops, magazines and books, or most simply – and most enjoyably - eating an ice cream cone or sipping a cup of tea.
Bio pic by Lauren Kolyn Photography
NATALIE FRETZ, Plait & Pattern Workshop (Fall, 2016) - I'm Natalie - a maker and artist exploring the art of macrame in the contemporary home with my company Natalie Ranae.
There has always been a drive deep within me to create. Ever since I was young, creating has been a defining part of my life and a form of expression, even when words fail. I find inspiration in all that surrounds me and my eye is drawn to the beautiful details. I love the art of expression through line and pattern and I aim for my work to bring texture and life to a space.
I love sharing and teaching others about my craft and showing them the therapeutic qualities in the repetition of macrame, the pride that is found in the finished piece, and it's endless possibilities that call you back to create more and more.
After completing my Bachelors of Design from OCAD University, and then working as a jeweller and goldsmith for a few years, it has been so empowering getting to choose what I wanted my life to look like. I am working from home (the dream), for myself (also the dream) surrounded by my three kitties--is this a dream? When I'm not making or working on growing my business you can find me doing endless DIY's with my husband for our almost 100 year old house, volunteering locally or watering all of my plants. Who says you can't be a crazy cat and plant lady?!
Bio pic by Jennifer See Studios
SARA MONIKA, Retreat Photographer (Fall 2016) - I'm Sara, a wedding photographer for free-spirited + adventurous couples. I honour love stories through photos so that couples have a return ticket to the way things used to be. My WHY is driven by my sentimental heart. I love showing those I photograph that their story is beautiful + worth remembering. Especially the things in their lives that seem so mundane and ordinary. The day-to-day is what makes up their lives + one day those simple moments will be the ones they cherish the most.
Photography helps me focus on seeing the beauty in the world that surrounds me everyday. This keeps me full of wonder + feeds my childlike spirit, which is therapeutic since play is a integral part of a healthy life balance. Also, through being a wedding photographer, I'm constantly surrounded by love + happiness. Surrounding myself with positive energy has a huge positive effect on my life and I love it!
I believe that sidewalks should be made of grass and that heels shouldn't exist because they keep you from exploring. I also believe every country should have an autobahn; my speed demon needs room to breathe. Did you know that Camembert cheese has special powers and is nature's best anti-depressant?
As a connoisseur of cheap wine, I may or may not reward myself with a Big Mac and a screw-top Chardonnay after a workout. I believe in trespassing, because c'mon... it's (mostly) just harmless fun.
I have been known to fake diarrhea in the bushes to get out of a ticket (details by request only).
I believe in traveling to AT LEAST 3 places you've never been to before... every. single. year. On my airline profile it says "needs extra barf bags when not seated at window" - I always get a window seat.
Instagram @saramonikaphoto & Snapchat saramonikaphoto
NURTURE SPRING 2016
CATHERINE CACHIA (Quill Workshop, Spring 2016) - I'm an artist that believes in the transformative power of creating. There is a great sense of hope and joy that comes with making something. I believe that injecting art and creativity into your daily life can help you live a more balanced, fulfilling and inspired life.
My biggest passions right now are calligraphy, hand lettering and photography. I love that hand lettering, as opposed to more costly and technical art forms, requires minimal tools, making it highly accessible.
I have a degree in Visual Art from Western University where I studied painting, drawing, and printmaking, and developed a strong interest in different forms of art on paper.
When I'm not hand lettering or snapping photos, you can find me snuggling my new baby, decorating and then redecorating my house, scouring thrift shops for weird but cool finds, selling vintage clothing at local Toronto markets and blogging.
AMBER ELLIS (Lantern Workshop, Spring 2016) - I'm a Photographer + light creator. I am passionate about finding the light within others and working with them to create beautiful and authentic portraits & imagery. Whether they're a heart-driven woman entrepreneur, a passionate creator or just a beautiful human soul.
Through Creating Light Studio, I want to help them feel grace in their own skin. To feel confident, and to feel seen.
I believe that we should make the most of our moments here and live a life that's aligned with our purpose and heart. To fill our time with the work, people and experiences that light up our being.
I love spending my time among the trees and in nature. It's medicine for my soul and brings so much inspiration to my work. But I'm equally happy cozied up with a mug of hot tea, cooking for loved ones, or wandering the farmer's market.
There is such a deep connection between our relationship with food and our bodies, and the importance of learning to nurture our beings and our hearts through self-care. I'm currently personally exploring this connection and celebrating it through my 100 Portraits Series project.
VANESSA FARIA (Loam & Blossom Workshop, Spring, 2016) - I am a woman who loves to feel, to move, to be still and to create. I love to guide, support, connect & inspire people into doing what makes them feel most vibrant and alive.
As a professional dance artist and healing arts practitioner I am constantly playing in the rich spaces of the in-betweens. I’m currently researching the blend of movement & energy in ways that allow the body, mind and spirit to evolve harmoniously. I’m interested in how I can share the languages I live and breathe in with those who seek — like me, the fullness of what happens in the moments (almost — or most often) unseen.
My intuition is one of my greatest enchantments. So are words, and so is touch. I love when I am in connection to myself, to the earth, and to others, so that I can be in service to humanity as a whole. I work closely with women through Soul Therapy, empowering them to live in wholeness by releasing limited beliefs and years of conditioning from our families, cultures, and societies. I provide the bridge filled with nurturance and love that guides your way back to experiencing wholeness through emotional, mental, physical, spiritual & soul embodiment. This journey is anchored in self-expression and self-love to really ground in the revelations and heart wisdom that show up for each individual.
When I’m not working you can find me dancing in unique spaces, collaborating with others via shaping my body for creative photography, writing, singing, and curating events & retreats for conscious awakenings, and resting.
LIAT AHARONI (Retreat Photographer, Spring 2016) - I'm an artist, photographer and entrepreneur. My passion is using photography to tell stories in creative ways. I'm in pursuit of magic, no matter what it is I'm photographing - whether it's documenting a wedding or creating surreal portraits of women in nature.
Running my own photography business gives me an immense amount of joy - it makes me feel alive. It's also a constant reminder that self-care is one of the most important things that should be focused on and prioritized, in order to maintain a balanced lifestyle, keep a healthy state of mind, and most importantly - not burn out.
I'm thrilled for this retreat and the opportunity to document and connect with like-minded women. It's going to be magical!
NURTURE FALL 2015
JESSICA HUNTER (Garden Workshop, Inaugural Facilitator, Fall 2015) - I was raised North East of Toronto near Lake Simcoe, where I grew up surrounded by nature’s bounty and its whispering secrets. Ever since I was a young girl I was enamoured with the outdoors. The taste of fresh rhubarb, the fragrance of lilacs and the texture of strata, is a sort of magical time travel for me. I'm inspired by imperfections, aim to find beauty in the mundane, turn the prosaic into poetry and try to live for each moment as it passes.
With a degree in International Development and Non-Profit Management, I was determined to help change the world, and soon discovered through the art of listening that change begins within. I established A Fine Medley (custom floral designs, botanical styling, installations and workshops) in 2014 as a place to further the study of the botanical arts and spark a deep passion for the environment; to encourage its stewardship and conservation. Inspired by the variety in nature’s landscape; texture, colour, depth, composition and frame, my arrangements reflect the way they’d grow in a garden. I currently reside in Hamilton Ontario with my husband and two cats, where I write about the creative process, gardening, self care, forgiveness, and the art of being present.
AMY LEIGH (Parlour Workshop, Inaugural Facilitator, Fall 2015) - I'm a Social Worker (RSW, MSW) pursuing my dream career as an Art Therapist. I've spent the past 15 years using art journals as my personal healing tools. They document the messy yet beautiful chapters of my life. My art journals are my prized possessions. You can find examples of my work here, here and here.
What is art journaling? It's a holistic approach to health where we can focus on our own personal power. We can learn how to manifest our desires through writing. We can purge our emotional junk. Art journals are messy, emotional, sometimes ugly, sometimes breathtaking. They hold whatever needs to be released from within us. They offer us a way to document our lives and see how we change.
My artistic mentors are SARK and Sabrina Ward Harrison. In 2011 I attended Sabrina's Play it By Year workshop on Prince Edward Island and it was life altering - a full circle moment.
I've learned every day is about living right here, right now and letting go. We have the power to heal ourselves. It all begins with supreme self care. I write about it all on my blog: Fate-Filled Times.
I look forward to getting messy with you.
Bio pic by Meaghan Eady Photography
TAHLIA DYER (Field Workshop, Inaugural Facilitator, Fall 2015) - Understanding plants, their properties and their powers is my passion. Working toward becoming a community herbalist. Enamored with growing, cultivating, foraging, and learning about plants.
Often found outdoors, on a farm, keeping bees, or in the woods.
My inspiration is drawn from the rich beauty of Mother Nature and her seasonal influences.
A yoga teacher, practitioner and wellness advocate who strives to reconnect people with self-care and healing, and offer remedies that help inspire, support and maintain health throughout their journey.
Always dreaming up my next adventure. Founder of Sunfire Herbals - small-batch, local, organic and wildcrafted healing botanicals.
Bio pic by Meaghan Eady Photography
ALYSSA WODABEK (Inaugural Retreat Photographer, Fall 2015) - The first rule among photographers when beginning a career in the industry is to develop a “niche.” I’m Alyssa Wodabek, and I am a completely unintentional rule breaker.
Specializing in food, portraits and travel with a lifestyle approach, I spend my time shooting for cookbooks, brands, restaurants and people from all around the world. I blog about it here.
If I'm not working alone, I am alongside my partner Chris Sue-Chu. Working as a team allows us to provide new perspectives and continually grow in a way that makes it possible for us to tackle any project we are faced with.
As a creative, the art of self-care is an important one. We give so much to our craft that it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves in the process. I try to bring an authentic feeling to all my work; I am constantly chasing beautiful light, interesting textures and the beauty in the everyday. Find my work at www.alyssawodabek.com.
EVONNE BELLEFLEUR (Inaugural Retreat Photographer, Fall 2015) - I'm an artist. Inquisitive, creative, deeply nostalgic.
We live in a shutter-obsessed world right now. As an artist, I am always trying to strike a balance between wanting to capture the moment and being fully present in that moment. Both are extremely satisfying and give me tonnes of energy! (The rest of my energy of course comes from eating, making, and dreaming pizza. With an Italian background, it’s in my genes to worship all the edibles!)
My intention is that my work speaks to light, softness, space, and creating a calm happiness. I like to dabble not only in photography, but in watercolour and digital art as well. I help people in any way that I can, whether that be starting a new brand, creating websites, or designing invitations.
See more for yourself!