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.

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A Month of Mavens

It dawned on me one day that so many of the most influential figures in my life have been strong-willed, talented and intelligent women who are business owners and industry leaders in their own right.

In fact, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to work for many of them. For instance, my time as Web Editor at Pure Green Magazine and right-hand gal to Editor-in-Chief Celine MacKay, was enlightening to say the very least. To this day, Celine still has one of the best eyes for style and beauty and an innate sensibility towards environmentalism that changed the way I saw my role as an everyday eco-activist. I have her to thank for so much of my work today.

My yoga teacher and friend Omni Kitts-Ferrara, CEO of YogaMechanics in Montclair, New Jersey is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is Omni one of the most creative people I know, she’s also a gifted movement expert and excels in teaching others about the human body. She has a voice in the yoga world that has transformed many, many lives for the better and continues to push everyone to be the best version of themselves purely through leading by example. My favorite question to ask her is, “so what are you up lately, Om?”

I could keep going because there are so many awesome women out there whose accomplishments are worth celebrating. What I decided to do instead was feature a handful of them here all throughout February in a series I’m calling, A Month of Mavens. 

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People | How to Start a Farmer’s Market

If you’ve ever been to a bustling farmer’s market, tote bag in hand, and walked up and down the lanes past vendors with an abundance of fruits and veggies, handmade goods and food, you know that a community market is a special place.

To me, it’s become an essential part of my routine in which I can establish a greater connection to my food, the land it was grown on and the people who grow it — a relationship that has sadly faded into the background of sterilized produce and the fluorescent-lit aisles of a modern grocery store. When I don’t make it to the farmer’s market, food shopping becomes a completely different experience. Connecting food to faces is an undeniably powerful way to help us appreciate the love and hard work that goes into it and the process as a whole. Especially in today’s world, this is a vital connection that cannot be lost.

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