ode boutique

Artist Interview

Erin McNally of Tiny Anvil

September 4, 2018

There's an ocean about Erin: a depth and fathomless calm, a wild beauty, a quiet wisdom and a spirit that inspires wonder. She's someone with whom you'd want to travel, garden, sip tea on a porch swing. A friend and artist at Ode since we opened our doors 8 years ago, Erin McNally started out making sculptural leather earrings and has since grown her Tiny Anvil collection into something more intricately expansive: architectural and etched brass and stone pieces inspired by the natural world. What we love about Erin's jewelry is that each design is so unique, and yet so wearable. There's a simplicity to each piece that makes her pieces so universally beloved. Join us for a night with Erin, where she'll be featuring one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces. Friday, September 14th, 6-8pm, at Ode.

What inspires you and your designs?
I am inspired by the enduring solid designs of old simple tools. I am also inspired by natural formations and symmetries. My vision for the jewelry I design spans beyond aesthetic and adornment. I strive to create pieces that are beautiful but, in some cases, I am more interested in making pieces that the wearer can imbue with their own meaning, connecting their sense of identity to the object, and even deriving a sense of power and protection from the piece. I have always been interested in self expression as a form of empowerment. I am drawn to jewelry that is linked to cultural and social expressions of power and emotion- talismans, ritual adornments, signifiers of commitment, faith, loss, etc. I am interested in the ability jewelry has to wordlessly express so much about who we are. I make my jewelry with the hope that it can become the wearers everyday piece, keeping them anchored to themselves, and giving them a way to express themselves to the world around them without words.

Is there a “Tiny Anvil” in your collection of tools?
Several (wink).

You are a bit of a fish. Talk to us about the importance of water to you. Where’s your favorite place to swim?
I am a pisces so water is in my stars. I get a deep sense of peace when I am in an expansive spaces so the ocean is incredibly comforting for me to look at and swim in. One of my favorite places to swim is at Flamenco Beach on Culebra, Puerto Rico. There is a stretch where the waves are big and the break is shallow and, if you duck under at just the right time, you can propel up out of the crest of the wave. When it crashes water rains back on you in a gentle sprinkle and often creates a momentary rainbow. Its unbelievably fun. Around here in Western MA I love a swimming hole in Conway.

What’s your spirit stone?
I am drawn to the stones that contain light like labradorite and opal. I think they are magical.

A wandering spirit and adventurer, you have traveled to and lived in many different places. Where is your “heart spot”? I learned a lot about knowing people from the heart more than from the head living in Culebra, PR so I’d say that is a “heart spot”. But I also have been gardening at the Northampton Community Gardens on Burts Pit Rd for 10 years and my heart is always nourished by that space.

If you could describe your aesthetic in one sentence, what would it be?
Simple grounded enduring and functional design with balanced embellishment.

What famous or influential person would you love to adorn with Tiny Anvil?
Alive: Solange
Departed: Frida Kahlo

From your early leather earrings to your current intricate metalwork, your collection has really transformed through the years. How has your art and your philosophy evolved?
A lot of the evolution of my style has coincided with the progression of my skills as a metalsmith. Initially, as I was self-teaching, I was very experimental with materials. Eventually, as I started to dig in to more traditional bench work, I was able to build my aesthetic around more simplicity. The knowledge I gained helped me to achieve impact with less detail/embellishment. Now, as I continue to advance my skills, I am able to bring in more detail while maintaining solidity and integrity. I think there is a common thread that links my aesthetic throughout its evolution and now, having established an extensive line of work, I feel I am able to branch out again into experimenting with materials and drawing in bolder elements like the stones I am incorporating. I have consistently wanted to have my jewelry be a part of individual empowerment through self expression, and to make pieces that feel grounding and anchoring, so my philosophical views for jewelry have only become better articulated as I acquire more skill. 

What grows in your garden?
Currently tomato, tomatillo, husk cherry, delicata squash, zucchini, jalepeno and anaheim peppers, watermelon, eggplant, kale, cucamelons, raspberries, sunflowers, tons of herbs, echinacea, weeds- lots of weeds. Also marigolds, I’m hoping to have enough to make a garland.

Three years from today, where are you and what are you making or doing?
I’ll be living close to the ocean, at least part of the year and I will be making jewelry out of a space that will have a small showroom/shop where I can feature other makers from my community. 

Artist Interview

LADY JANE: Esperanza Friel

July 10, 2018


When Jocie Adams of the band Arc Iris wrote to us and said, "Do you know Lady Jane? We played a show with her recently. She is from Nothampton and is great!", we had our mission: find this woman, and ask her to play at Ode. And so it came to be. Esperanza Friel, aka "Lady Jane", will be performing at Ode this Friday, and we couldn't be more ready for some good local music on a hot summer night. See you soon! 

What’s the origin story of “Lady Jane”?
The origin story of Lady Jane is a long and winding one, but essentially it boils down to that one song by the stones called "Lady Jane" and how one night at an open mic I had no idea what to put down on the list other than my own name, and out of the blue I started to hum that tune and wrote down Lady Jane on the list.

What inspires you to write a song?
I get inspired at the strangest moments. When I'm grocery shopping or making dinner or out with friends sometimes a melody will pop into my head, and I'll excuse myself to go record it on my voice memos on my phone. My heart and all that anchors it give me most of my material, but sometimes I'll write songs and I have no idea where they came from.

Last time you laughed:
The last time I laughed was with my boyfriend on the beach today. He always makes me laugh—no matter the mood I'm in, he always finds a way to make me smile, and he's the funniest person I know. 

Guilty pleasure:
BBQ potato chips. 

Go-to summer album/song:
My go-to album this summer has been Super Trouper by ABBA. It's bouncy and joyful and just sounds like summer to me. Honorable mention goes to Caroline Rose's album, Loner, which has also been on constant repeat. 

What are your favorite summer spots in Western Mass?
Favorite swim spots are the Chesterfield Gorge and Chapel Falls.

What do you wear when you want to look and feel powerful?
To feel and look powerful I wear my vintage Levi mom jeans, a white t shirt, my Blundstone boots, and all of my jewelry, which consists of the four rings I wear everyday and two necklaces that I made with small charms that mean the world to me. 

Three years from today, where do you want to be and what will you be doing?
In three years I hope to have graduated from the MSW program at Smith (where I am currently a student this summer) and still making music. Doing both this summer has been a struggle, but it's proof to me that this is how I want my life to always be. Full and vibrant and busy and full of love. And if nothing happens the way I want it to, than at least I hope I am happy whatever I am doing and wherever I am.

Who are your music icons?
My music icons are Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell. After my first heartbreak in high school, Blue was the album I turned to. I named my first car Stevie Nicks. I listen to so much Fleetwood Mac it's insane.

What/whom do you sing for?
I sing for a lot of people. People I've been and people I've known and people I know right now at this moment in time. Music is kind of like that for me. Timeless and nostalgic and full of everything all at once.

Artist Interview

Happy Planting w/ Alison Annes

June 9, 2018

 Alison Annes is her own bouquet: a dynamic arrangement of all forms of beauty, adding flourishes of color to the day. Florist by trade, life-enthusiast by nature, and an expert in "what looks good together", her expertise keeps plants and customers alike happy (and artfully arranged) at Ode. Everyone has been long awaiting this Ode art workshop! Choose from succulents and plants Alison has personally selected, and learn how to properly plant and care for your creations. And Alison will be there in all her glory (and wisdom), which means you will get to bask in in! We've reserved two nights for the workshop: June 13th and 14th, 6-8PM. There are still a few openings, so call or stop by Ode to sign-up! 

What’s your first memory of learning how to grow something?
In the garden with my Mum growing her prize winning roses, using her secret recipe fertilizer.

Best smelling flower?
It's so cliché, but a beautiful lavender rose called Ocean Song.

Spirit plant?

Other than working at Ode, what have been some of your favorite jobs?
Working at Adobe Flowers, where I learned so much from my mentor, Miss Nikki. Owning my own
flowers shops was a great accomplishment! My best job ever though was working on a horse
farm every summer as a child, payment was a ride at the end of a long day!

Top three rules of green-thumb?
Select plants that will do well in your home's environment.
Don’t be scared! Plants tend to intimidate us, don’t let them!!
Set a watering schedule, most plant problems stem from watering too much or too little.

What makes you blossom?
My grandson, watching him devour life with such enthusiasm. Oh, to be 7.

Favorite plant to cook/eat? How do you prepare it?
I love fresh herbs! Have to say Cilantro in homemade salsa, it’s such a sassy herb!

Where do you go to picnic, and what’s in your basket?
My favorite place is by a river, and my basket must have roast ham, salad, cheese, pickled
onions and sausage rolls...and a good bottle wine!

What’s your go-to gardening song?
Landslide. I yell along to it, forget my worries, and get lost in the dirt!

How does nature speak to you?
It calms me. If I close my eyes all my fond memories come from the sea, carpets of bluebells in
the woods, picking wild blackberries with my granddad.

Reserve your spot for Alison's Happy Planting Workshop by stopping by or calling Ode: 413-727-8026!

                                                   Photos by Chattman Photography


Time’s Up and The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts

May 1, 2018

Ode is hosting its second annual Auction for Action on May 11-13, a silent art auction featuring a curated collection of art, jewelry, and clothing. Inspired by the rising tide of women speaking out and for each other, Ode will be donating all the proceeds from this year's Auction for Action to Time's Up and The Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts.  Join us in supporting these incredible organizations on May 11-13, by bidding in-store or on our Instagram page, or attending our aunch party on Friday, May 11, 6-8pm.

The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts fuels progress toward gender equity by funding the most promising solutions, collaborating with results-oriented partners, and by elevating the collective power of local women to take charge, and to lead with purpose. 

Since 1997, Women’s Fund has awarded over $2.5 million to more than 150 nonprofit organizations helping to build long-term, sustainable, change through:
Leadership Development – 250+ women trained to lead communities in public, private and policy leadership roles through our Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI).
Local Investment – 3 million women and their families in Massachusetts are impacted through strategic partnerships and grant making.
Shared Vision – Over $2,500,000 has been invested by donors.

Powered by women, Time's Up addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have
kept underrepresented groups from reaching their  full potential. They partner with leading advocates for  equality and safety to improve laws, employment  agreements, and corporate policies; help change the  face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable. Time's up wants all victims and survivors to be able to access justice and support for the wrongdoingtheyhave endured.  By lifting up the voices, power, and strength of women working in low-wage industries, Time's Up hopes to help put an end to the lack of financial stability that makes women vunerable to high rates of gender-based violence and exploitation in the workplace.

MUSE Series / Inspiration

Alison Advises: Plant Tips for Spring

April 22, 2018

In honor of Earth Day and our love for providing a place for all living things, we decided to sit down with Alison, our resident florist and plant guru, to give us her top tips and tricks to having the greenest thumb in your own personal space.  

I love the idea of making sure we are checking our plants all year long, but Spring is a great time to think about fertilizing, repotting, as well as taking cuttings and separating plants.  If you want your plants to be bold and beautiful, you have to dig deeper into the soil. I am going to share a few of my tips and tricks on how to display plants in containers throughout your house in an upcoming Ode Art Workshop (June 13 & 14), so be sure to join us!

Spring is a good time to take your houseplants outside. Once the temperature is warm enough, to give them a good wash and a sheltered but sunny day on your porch.  Your plants need to get some fresh air too!

Definitely think about fertilizing in the Spring, but be careful with indoor plants because they don't need as much as you may think.  Some indoor plants require very little fertilizer and some plant types require their own special formula. It's always best to check what your specific plant needs and start with a balanced fertilizer which you can always get from a great local garden store.  Usually, the 20/20/20 and 30/20/20 fertilizer varieties (the numbers correlate to nutrition values such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) are what is recommended as a general guideline, but it is best to know your plants on a individual basis.

Repotting is always advised when you bring a new plant home but not always needed or necessary.  Some plants like overcrowded pots, some like going solo, so always check before you decide to repot (reference resources below for more info). One of the most important things with plant care and repotting is buying very high quality, organic soil.

Even though we are talking Spring, cuttings can be done throughout the year.  Plant cuttings are basically an easy way to multiply your plants! Some of the easiest plants to start with are Spider Plants, Wandering Jews, and Anthuriums. These varieties are great beginner plants as well.  Something I’ve learned this year is the easiest plants to grow are Bromeliads...did you know that they have pups (the pups are their babies that grow beside the mother plant in the same pot!). These pups are easily separated to make more fabulous potted Bromeliads for all over your house. But remember, if you have pets, always check when bringing a new plant into your home so that your fur babies are safe around them.

Alison’s Favorite Resources for Plant Tips, Necessities & Inspiration:

The Sill - NYC (www.thesill.com)
Hilton Carter (IG @hiltoncarter)
Jamie’s Jungle - London (IG @jamies_jungle)
Conservatory Archives London (https://www.conservatoryarchives.co.uk/)
Local Garden Stores: Andrew’s Greenhouse, Hadley Garden Center

Be sure to join us at the next Ode’s Art Workshop with Alison on June 13 & 14, where Alison will educate and guide us on creating a beautiful planters to decorate your home or patio. Stay tuned for more info!