ode boutique

Artist Interview

Victoria Accardi

February 1, 2018

Remember the vibrant rainbow in Ode's window at last year's Auction for Action? Victoria painted that. Or the multi-colored triangle lemon cookies on display? Victoria made those. Oh, and that blooming hand-painted garden hanging on our wall last fall? That, too, was Victoria. Whether she's painting, cooking, dancing bachata, dressing a window, or donning her signature striped pants, Victoria Accardi brings a distinct joie de vivre and play to her creativity. But there is also undeniable intensity and intentionality to all she does. On life as a professional painter, she says, "I don't always love it. It's hard work. But I have to do it. I can't not paint." And the world gets to thank her for that. Currently, Victoria's work is represented by The Gallery at Somes Sound. She will be teaching Ode's first art workshop, Flowers in February, an ink watercolor exploration, this Thursday, from 6-8pm. Please call or stop by to sign up, as there are limited spaces.

What inspires you to make art?
I am inspired by contrast and contradiction; things that are not initially perceived as or considered beautiful. I want to point out the serenity in a chaotic urban landscape, the romance of a neon-lit laundromat, the isolation of a crowded street. I am interested in eliciting common and relatable emotions in unlikely and overlooked settings. 

What do you do/wear/listen to when you paint?
I favor very old, broken-in denim, soft t-shirts, and a blue and white pinstripe Brooks Brothers button-down that I stole from my Dad as a teenager.

Bushwick" 26x36" Oil on canvas 2016 (Victoria Accardi)

What’s the best mistake you’ve made artistically?
I am a big proponent of the “learn by doing” method; my approach to learning any new medium (or anything at all) is very hands-on. The ignorance of any “rules” allows me to make mistakes that teach me so much about that particular medium. A perfect example is this technique of ink watercolors. I stumbled upon this because I did not bother to read the ink label and learn that ink is not water soluble, and the reactive properties turned out to yield really beautiful results when mixed with water. Just to be clear, this is not a technique I pioneered – I just came upon it by accident.

Describe the perfect day in your New York.
There is a very specific scent that the breeze carries in New York City in the late Spring. Growing up I referred to it as “the almost-Summer smell". I think it may be indescribable and possibly undetectable to anyone who didn’t grow up in the city. But there is nothing better than being in New York city as the pear and gingko trees are blooming and getting hit with a warm breeze filled with the smell of almost-Summer. It is only present for a few days usually in May. On these days I like to walk across one of the bridges and people-watch, ideally ending up in Brooklyn drinking rosé with some friends.

What makes you dance?
Almost anything:
-When a car driving by is bumping the song of the summer.
-When I am in Trader Joe’s with my best friend and Jessie’s Girl starts playing.
-When I need to embarrass my brothers.
-When something good happens and there isn’t even any music playing.
-Literally anytime there is Salsa or Bachata music playing.

What’s your favorite food?

If your style was an animal, what would it be, and what kind of sound would it make?
If my style were an animal it would be a bird of paradise, and it would laugh.

Favorite color of paint? Least favorite color?
My favorite color to paint is and has always been red. Usually a bright red with shades of Alizarine and Quinacridone glazed over it. My least favorite color to paint with is yellow, the pigments are weak and frustrating to modulate. 

Last time you belly-laughed:
Last night, facetiming my best friend who can always make me laugh until I cry. 

What 3 women have inspired you this past year?
My mom, who got her undergraduate degree from Smith this year at age 46 and is already onto her masters. She is a nerd-Goddess. 

My 16-year-old cousin Magdala, who is attending catholic school in rural Pennsylvania among very close-minded peers. She does not let anyone dissuade her from standing up for what she believes in and advocating for human rights with eloquence, bravery, and grace. She is a social justice warrior. 

The owner of Ode Boutique Kristin, whose leadership style is one of encouragement and mutual respect. She has shown me what can be achieved when women support women. Working with the incredible group of women here at Ode is unbelievably inspiring.


From Ode to You: A Letter

January 20, 2018

Window Design

Women’s March Window

January 18, 2018

Our latest window went up yesterday featuring Women’s March posters by Kimothy Joy and Victoria Accardi. Along with Shepard Fairey, Ernesto Yerena, and Jessica Sabogal from Amplifer Foundation’s, We The People project. We stand with all Women marching this weekend and look forward to bringing you projects and events that will expand on the four tenants of Ode - Fashion, Art, Beauty, and Heart.

Artist Interview

AM Radio

November 9, 2017

                                            AM Radio (Left to right: Mia, Meg, and Audrey)

Can we get an A? AUDREY! Can we get an M? MIA! And that's how the story of AM Radio begins. The two met "via boys and a bar" and discovered they shared musical interests and inclinations, and they formed a duo, performing around Burlington. Along came Meg and her standup bass, and the glorious trio was born. Fortunately, there was no need to change their name because Meg's initials fit right in (their unofficial band stipulation: your name must start with "A" or "M"). You may remember Mia from the Dire Honeys, who played Ode several times. We're so excited to have her back, along with Audrey and Meg, bringing to us all the way from Burlington some North Country Soul. They'll be performing at Ode this Friday, November 10th, from 6-8pm. A perfect cold night for some red wine and some strong, sweet music.

Describe each other in three words: 
Meg—Kind, Enthusiastic, Inspiring
Mia—Strong, Creative, Sassy

Meg—the cool cat of the crew, multi-talented, confident
Audrey—the sweetheart, optimistic, nurturing

Mia—Fierce, confident, capable
Audrey—Wise, graceful, supportive 

                                                          (Top: Audrey and Mia. Below: Meg)

What is your most memorable moment from AM Radio so far?
Audrey: There are moments when our harmonies are so blended that it feels like everything else in the world stops and I am truly present. We played our first house show recently and I was so taken back by the suspended silence when we finished playing. That was incredibly memorable. 

Mia: We performed a very intimate show for family and friends of a women battling cancer- we played acoustic and at first it was a struggle to capture the room- but by our last song we had moved right up next to the audience, and the room fell silent. It was a very emotional event and our last song seemed to cradle the room. It felt like our voices were a blanket laid upon them, or the arms they needed to be held by. I sang the entire song with my eyes closed and when we finished, a beautiful sadness hung in the air and many of the people wept.  It was a validation for making music, to know that just by singing we provided a place for those people to let go and just feel. That's what art is for after all isn't it, to let us feel?

Megan: I loved when we were playing the song "San Francisco" (a beautiful tune with bowed bass that Mia wrote), and there was a lighting storm outside. The windows were flashing and there was a crash of thunder right as the song swelled. 

Fall sounds like:
Audrey: The whistling of a crisp breeze through the dying leaves. 
Megan: Crispiness and crunchiness

What's your stage-wear?
Audrey: Stage-wear depends on the gig, though almost always incorporates denim, floral prints, cowgirl boots, and occasionally some suede. 
Mia: Always something involving cowboy boots.
Megan: Cowgirl chic

Favorite Halloween candy:
Audrey: Mini- Twix bars.
Mia: Kit kat bar/ tootsie rolls
Megan: Almond Joy or candy corn. 

First snowfall, where will you be?
Audrey: I hope to be in my bed nesting with a warm cup of something (tea or a hot toddy preferably), watching the first snow fall.
Mia: Hopefully snuggled up with my animals and a hot toddy. But realistically, I will probably be outside harvesting root vegetables.
Megan: Snuggled up in my room with my cat

The word you most like sung?
Audrey: I couldn't possibly pick one word over all others as a favorite. Though words that resonate for me are; home, see, stay.
Mia: I really like it when people sing long words, with multiple syllables that end in "ally" Traditionally, hypothetically, professionally, confidentially, etc... I don't really know why. I am just always very impressed.  
But for me, I love singing the word "Darling" or "Why" both of which you can spin a real nice twang into. It must be the wannabe southerner in me.  
Megan: "waiting" 

Describe North Country Soul. Who are the forefathers/mothers?
Audrey: ​I'm honestly not familiar with the history of "North Country Soul", though in my own words, I would say it feels like music that is inspired by the landscape. Mountains and wild streams. Fresh cut hay, cold nights, and clear skies. Inspired by love and heartache and identifying what home means.

Mia: Well, it's a genre I sort of just invented, at least by name. Often when we think of country music we think of the South, but here we are, three very Northern women doing our version of country/blues, and I wanted a way to describe it. The music we make can be damp like our forests and mountains, and melancholy like our winters and endless days of grey. It can be heavy like the snow that covers us for months at a time. It can be light like the undying faith in spring, and it can be hot and sticky like the absolute stubbornness of a humid day in summer. The stories that come out of the North are different, as our the people writing them. While the South has football and line dancing and belt buckles and unbeatable hospitality. We've got liberalism and seasonal affective disorder and maple syrup and wood-stoves. Our environment influences our songs; it influences our souls.

Megan: Well.. I'm new here! Honestly I know more about the soul of the West than the North Country, but would love to learn more!

What song do you listen to while jumping into a pile of leaves?
Audrey: "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by the composer Edvard Grieg.
Mia: Jitterbug- by Wham
Megan: Something bright and earthy like Sigur Ros "Go Do" or an explosive song with a bunch of strings and horns.


Jessica Weston: Chef, Author, Healer

October 13, 2017

Superman gets a cold. Yeah, he's Superman, but it's been a rough stretch, late nights, a world that needs saving. Who should he fly to for help? We'd recommend Jessica Weston: holistic healer, owner and executive chef of Superfresh! Organic Cafe, and culinary creator and author of Healing Tonics, Juices, and Smoothies. A superwoman in her own right, Weston calls on and culls from the earth's bounties to feed, fuel, and nourish the body and soul. She will be here at Ode on Friday, October 13th, from 6-8 for a meet and greet...and eat, with tastings from her cafe and from her newly released recipe book. A little food for thought from Jessica Weston:

What is your signature elixir?
This would probably have to be our Superhero Hot Chocolate.  I am a loud and proud chocoholic!  Especially when it comes to super high quality cacao.  We use organic heirloom Arriba Nacional Raw Cacao from Ecuador.  This is the best cacao I have ever experienced and is perfect for hot chocolates and raw desserts because it is super smooth, extremely pure, and very powerful.  The flavor here is unmatched, in my opinion.  This hot elixir is filled with many of my favorite go-to superfoods including maca, lucuma, and shilajit.  It also has vanilla, cinnamon, and either local raw honey or VT maple syrup.  I sometimes add a teeny tiny pinch of Himalayan salt and if I’m really feeling it I sub the hot water for either an herbal tea (think rose, medicinal mushrooms, or nettles) OR hot coffee! 

Describe a place that heals you.
Nature - either with a mountaintop or water destination.  My two favorite local spots are Kilburn Pond in Pisgah State Park, NH or Black Mountain in Dummerston, VT.  I take my dog on hikes to these spots frequently.  With everything I hold running my business(es) I have to find ways to fully unplug and recharge as often as possible.  I find the more I slow down, the more effective, healthy, and happy I am to conquer anything that comes my way.  I also receive such huge downloads of inspiration in nature; words flow through me, ideas pop up, solutions to problems arrive, etc.  Without this dedicated time I find it extremely hard to fully disconnect from technology and I am inevitably left drained.

What's the best flavor in the world?
Is it too corny to say love?  Ha!  But seriously, anything made with love and care is going to taste SO much better.  But, to answer your question more specifically… this is a tough one, as there are SO MANY amazing flavors to choose from… but my top two (at least for today) would probably be maca and ramps.  Maca is a magical aphrodisiac adaptogenic superfood, a root that is grown in the high Andes of Peru.  It has a smooth, malty, nutty flavor that makes everything better.  I mostly use it in hot or cold elixirs and raw desserts.  It is great paired with VT maple syrup… I think they were made for each other.

Ramp season is arguably one of my favorite times of year (and yes my favorite times of year are centered around what foods are available).  Ramps, otherwise known as wild leeks, are a wild food source that are packed with flavor – super garlicy, super pungent, SUPER DELICIOUS!  Make sure you’re getting them from a sustainable source or harvesting sustainably if you’re gathering them yourself.  Never take everything you see, and more importantly, only harvest the leaves.  While the bulbs are delicious, pulling them out of the ground is very detrimental to their over-harvested existence.  I like sautéing ramps with coconut oil and salt, dehydrating the leaves to use year round, adding them to batches of kimchi, and my most frequent / favorite use is a simple pesto.  Seriously the BEST PESTO EVER.  Seriously.  All you need is ramps, cashews, lemon juice, and salt.  If the ramp flavor is too strong you can add other more mild greens like spinach and basil to calm it down a bit.  Put it on anything.  Especially a pizza topped with sautéed fiddle heads!

You start to feel a winter cold coming on. What’s your routine and remedy?
When I start to feel a winter cold coming on I go all out.  I start drinking regular shots of fire cider and elderberry syrup (about 3 times a day).  I make sure I am drinking plenty of water, along with at least one green juice a day; my favorite is the Green Goddess that we serve at Superfresh! and that is in my cookbook (kale, apple, ginger, lemon, celery, cucumber) – I also add garlic and cayenne.  I whip out my doTERRA On Guard essential oil in full force; I use it topically dabbing it on the bottom of my feet and my neck, I diffuse it in my home, and if I’m really worried I take a drop internally (p.s. don’t do this with any old essential oil – doTERRA oils are certified pure therapeutic grade and even still, not all are meant for internal use).  And I make sure I let myself get as much rest as I need.

You eat and drink and live health. What’s your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure would probably have to be vegetable pakora; an Indian appetizer that is a chickpea fritter filled with veggies.  I make special trips to Northampton just to get them at India House (topped with tamarind, onion chutney, and mango chutney).  I also occasionally make my own version at home that I fry in coconut oil.  Honestly, it’s a kind of boring, not that guilty “guilty pleasure” since the worst thing about it is that it is fried… Since I eat so clean and in tune with my body, partially do to various food intolerances, I don’t have the craving to go too far out into the junk food realm because at this point in my journey I know how sick I’d feel so quickly.

What’s your driving on a fall day song?
Currently: “Steady” by The Staves

In 10 words or less, what led you to where you are now?
Family, friends, support, passion, courage, happenstance, love.

Describe your spirit’s style.

Bohemian hippie earth goddess wolf mama.

If you could cook for anyone, who would it be?
My Grandma Erma.  She was almost always found in the kitchen over a pot of sauce, making meatballs, baking cookies, and simply nourishing our family with love.  She taught me some of her secrets and I’d love to share with her the love I put into the food I create and how my story has grown.

If you could choose one person to cook for you, who would it be?
Pascal Baudar; wild food guru.  I have a deep passion and fascination with wild edibles.  I am slowly learning more and more each year.  The work Pascal is doing is bringing us back to the land that supports us in ways that I think are crucial for survival.  Wild foods are more nutrient dense, generally readily available, very sustainable (for the most part), often considered invasive, and slam-packed with flavor!  Plus there is so much to explore, making it so very exciting in the kitchen!  He’s been writing beautiful cookbooks sharing recipes, tips, and tricks; teaching workshops all over; and sharing so much on social media.