Mavens | Missy Graff Ballone of Wellness for Makers

This is the first post in a month-long series called A Month of Mavens. Read the intro, here!

If you follow The Basic Goods on Instagram you might already be familiar with my good friend Missy, founder of Wellness for Makers. She is a gifted artist, licensed massage therapist, entrepreneur and 500 HR yoga teacher. We met while teaching at Yoga Mechanics and quickly bonded over our shared passion for wellness, community and well, we both have a really goofy sense of humor. There’s just nothing like someone who gets your weird jokes, guys. Treasure them. I sure do.

Fast forward to nearly a year later and Missy has become one of my biggest supporters and champions of The Basic Goods; always encouraging me to dream bigger and work smarter, not just harder. She is one of the most genuine and kindhearted people I know, who doesn’t see others as a threat or competition but invests in their growth and wellbeing. For that reason, I’ve experienced a shift in myself and had the guts to bring big projects to life such as, A Course in Calm and A Yogi’s Guide to Winter Wellness (thanks to her equally talented hubby, Jonathan at Scratch Work Labs) Not to mention, she and I have a retreat planned for this summer!

To experience some of that Missy magic for yourself, read on to hear all about this maven’s ongoing journey to bring wellness to the makers and the masses.

Continue reading Mavens | Missy Graff Ballone of Wellness for Makers

People | Protect Our Winters (POW)

Our climate is changing. Politically, socially and especially environmentally things aren’t the way they used to be. For those of who us who love our winters, that’s a problem.

I grew up with parents who love to ski. From the time I could stand up in a shopping cart (apparently, this was the tip-off) I was on a pair of skis and learning how to pizza and french-fry my way down the mountain. Memories of fluffy powder days out west and even glorious cruddy days out east —although, we certainly have our own brand of pow — are things I won’t ever forget. However, if the rising temps have anything to say about that, these might just stay a memory.

If you’re a skier, snowboarder or a [enter winter sport here] this news probably sucks. At least, that’s what the folks at Protect Our Winters (POW) thought. Founded in 2007 by pro snowboarder, Jeremy Jones, POW is a nonprofit organization that works to engage and harness the power of the outdoor community to implement positive environmental change.   Continue reading People | Protect Our Winters (POW)

Q + A | How to Make a Feature Film

It’s not everyday that you get the chance to have a conversation with two feature-length filmmakers. Especially when those two filmmakers decided to buck the trend, ditch the industry standards and make their movie the way they want to do it.

While this is a little bit of a departure from our regular content on The Basic Goods, Kate and Daryl inspired me to get outside of my comfort zone and shake things up a little. After all, this blog is dedicated to telling stories of a life well lived and these two devoted filmmakers and hardworking creatives truly embody what it means to make things happen — no matter what.

So, without further ado, here’s my conversation with Kate Forsatz and Daryl Ferrara, filmmakers and producers of the upcoming feature film, Thre3bound!

Check out their website to learn more about Thre3bound, here.

Continue reading Q + A | How to Make a Feature Film

Impact | Gifts that Give Back: Jabonarte Soaps

What I love to do most on The Basic Goods is share with you all the talents, missions and big hearts of people I am lucky to call my friends. This one especially strikes a chord with me because Nia Salas, founder of the Costa Rican-based social enterprise Jabonarte, was my fearless leader on a volunteer trip to Costa Rica years back. The kindness, warmth and pride of the Costa Rican people who welcomed me and my father into their community made such an impression and today I’m deeply honored to have an opportunity to give back again.

Jabonarte is a social enterprise in San José, Costa Rica that designs, creates and sells artisanal soaps. By employing women who have survived domestic violence every purchase helps to ensure permanent jobs and safe futures for the makers and their families.  Continue reading Impact | Gifts that Give Back: Jabonarte Soaps