This is Her Haven’s first official blog post, which is being written as much of the Northeast is about to be buried in several feet of snow. I guess an impending blizzard and possible power outage has motivated me to connect while I can.
There is also something about looking out the window, seeing snow falling on bare trees, hearing the tea kettle whistle, and feeling my sleepy dog at my feet that seems rather Thoreauvian, so here it goes….
It has been a year since Her Haven received its 501(c)3, since I met with an amazing group of students from the Student Chapter of ASID at Fairfield University, had a table at Career Night where I met several of the wonderful companies that supported our efforts with our fledgling projects, and held our official Launch Celebration. I would liketo recognize all of these amazing people, companies and organizations here, and hope thatyou will support whatever it is that they do: CT ASID, who sponsored our Launch in May, Fairfield University who donated the lovely space, Glenro Wine and Spirits who provided the wine, Minuteman Press who donated all of our printed material, Robert Valle who contributed the flowers and beautiful decor, Cynthia Brown Studio who capturied it all with her amazing photography, and singer/songwriter Carrie Johnson, who entertained us with her lovely voice and guitar all evening.
For our support with our first two projects with Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County, we would like to thank A.G. Williams Painting Company, Rockwell Art & Framing, artists Kerry Brock and Andrea Bonfils, Bella Interiors, Draperies Inc., Bea Schriver Florals, and Painter’s Supply Company. Last but certainly not least (in fact, the most important people of all), I wish to thank the two incredible Project Managers who spent countless time, energy and resources on creating the most beautiful and functional spaces imaginable: Bethany Armstrong and Jenine Beck. These wonderful women – along with their team members Stephanie Dinella, Meghan Fries, Jim Metzger, Tori O’Brien, Jen Orr, Nancy Rosado, Karen Stier, Joanna Szlaga, Elaine Wallace and Sarah Weiland - are not only amazing designers, they are amazing women and friends. I hope you will contact them for your next design project so you can see this for yourself.
Our next projects will be with the talented students at the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at the University of Bridgeport. I met with this group a few days ago, and they can’t wait to get started. They will be working on a beautiful 8 bed home for women who have suffered trauma and have co-existing addictions. The home was built in the 1800s in the Italianate style, and the mouldings, casings, fireplaces (there are many!) and staircase are original – and exquisite. What an unbelievable canvas on which to work! We also hope to help our friends at the Center for Women and Families. They are in need of paint, art and a little love in their waiting room, interview room, and the space where 4 female employees work to improve lives. Last, we hope to be able to help another new Habitat for Humanity homeowner turn her house into a home. She is a single mother of three children who grew up hearing gunshots outside their old apartment, and has contributed over 500 hours of sweat equity toward building this new structure. By providing a warm, functional and beautiful space inside their home, we hope to help them build wonderful memories as well.
What a privilege it will be for us to help these two incredible organizations, this new homeowner, and by extension countless women and families. What a privilege it is for me to be a part of this work: harnessing the passion of such enthusiastic design students, enlisting the help of our generous supporters, and delivering beautiful art and design to amazing women in our community.
Thank you, world. What a privilege.