Alyssa Karpa is a visual artist and event promoter who originally hails from the greater Philadelphia area. She spends the majority of her time making art, organizing an annual music festival, and getting outside as frequently as possible. Alyssa has been a practicing artist for seven years, having traveled throughout the East Coast in order to hone and study her craft. Her passions are heavily founded in facilitating community through art and culture. Alyssa moved to Colorado Springs in 2016 to search for more adventure and new experiences.
Inner workings of human beings and our world have mystified me for as long as I can recall. This poetry of interconnectedness inspired me to pursue a degree in Applied Linguistics and study one of humans primary ways of relating to the world; their language. The spirit of adventure has made home in my bones and when it calls I try to not question. So when my inquisitive heart pulled me to move to the US, I went on to learn about another aspect of a human’s journey — through the field of Psychology.
After college, when the road brought me to Colorado, I found solace in the Rockies with their junipers, ponderosas, sagebrush, and prickly pears. This high desert landscape and I bore witness to each other and soon enough I found myself studying Herbalism and Nutrition in the Vitalist Tradition under Lisa Ganora, Mary Barnes and many others at Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Boulder.
With the excitement of a wild creature, I moved to the Western slope where I spent the winter living off grid in a bus, and the summer camping and nesting in an aspen grove. From the quietude, reflection, self-discovery and eternal wisdom of the Elk mountains, Babushka Botanika sprung into life. It is dreamt to be a space for clinical work, flower essence and wellness visits, intimate gatherings, as well as for the creation of small batch, wild crafted and heart centered medicines. My academic knowledge of psyche, clinical work, nutrition, and yoga are woven together with trusted traditional wisdom and lore of my matrilineal ancestry, my babushkas, to bring a full spectrum, whole hearted and comprehensive nourishment to mind, body, and soul.
Craig, his wife Kellie and their two children moved from their suburban home in Southern California and purchased 10 acres of land in the small town of Black Forest Colorado, just North of Colorado Springs. With absolutely no farming experience, they began their journey of self sufficiency and along the way discovered their love for farming. 7 years later, they had built a successful small farm called A Joyful Noise Farm.
On their farm, they ran a raw goat milk dairy. They also raised dairy and meat goats, chickens for eggs and meat, heritage turkeys, Large Black hogs and beef cattle. All of their animals were raised on pasture and fed a certified organic diet that contained no corn, soy or GMOs. Besides their livestock, they built an 8000 square foot market garden that included 3 four-season greenhouses. They harvested from their greenhouses year-round following Eliot Coleman’s growing methods.
In the spring of 2014 Craig & Kellie sold their farm and move back into town. They are still working together selling real estate in the Springs as well as sharing their love for urban agriculture.
Becky turned her photography passion into a business when she and her husband were raising money to adopt their son from Ethiopia in 2008. For the past 9 years she’s captured countless families, events, and weddings and is incredibly thankful for the gift of photography. Knowing that she can’t photograph every moment, she loves helping others learn the art so that they too can document the oh-so-important events of their day-to-day lives.
Becky - an almost-native of Colorado Springs – is married to her high school sweetheart and together they are raising their two littles to love this city as much as they do. Becky also coaches volleyball at a local high school and runs the Jack Quinn Running Club 5k every week.
Becky’s professional work can be found at www.good-photo.org
Emilie is a world traveler/Colorado homebody – While her passion for food and cooking evolved from her mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens early on, teaching has been her career. For the last ten years, she has traveled the world working as an instructor with Evert Tennis Academy US Army – Comprehensive Soldier + Family Fitness +, US Air Force – Comprehensive Airman Fitness and most recently in the corporate world.
Through her travels, and bottomless appetite for new culinary adventures, inspiration struck in the form of A Great Thyme, LLC. What was first an attempt to share all that she was tasting and learning has now become a place to share her passion for teaching, cooking, and writing.
Emilie has a Bachelors degree in Psychology + Nutrition Science from the University of Rochester, a Masters degree in Sport + Performance Psychology from Barry University, and holds instructor certifications from United States Military Academy at West Point, University of Pennsylvania, is a Registered Yoga Teacher (200-Level) with the Yoga Alliance, and is a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
When she isn’t teaching classes, she enjoys spending time with her husband and new baby, playing outside, and traveling whenever she can. She looks forward to meeting you in cooking class.
Sally Piette appreciates the beauty of anatomy and takes advantage of the deceased to explore and include in her artwork. In her words: “Earth spent millions of years creating intricate pieces of art, and we just run them over with our cars.”
Cathy moved to Colorado Springs 4 years ago after being in the Chicago area for 20 years. Now that her kids are grown she has more time to do the things she loves which include hiking, gardening and her favorite pastime up-cycling materials into pieces of art. She has been doing mosaics for the last couple of years and has set up a small workshop out of her home. What started out as a hobby has turned into a small business called Shattered Glass Restored. When Cathy isn’t doing any of the above you can catch her volunteering at Who Gives a SCRAP in Old Colorado City or giving tours at the Glen Eyrie
Alex Lewis is the founder and Chief Sharer at Car Window Poetry, a social good movement focused on people gathering their friends, writing encouraging poems, and sharing those poems on car windows in their communities. With features on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, HLN's MichaeLA, and various local news outlets, Car Window Poetry has grown worldwide with kind words being shared in nearly every U.S. state, as well in multiple countries around the globe. Deeply invested in Colorado Springs' poetry community, Alex believes poems are more than just rhymes - they are words that can give hurting humans hope and lines that can breathe life into dead dreams.
Peter Candelaria is a New Mexico native, Colorado transplant, father to a daughter and two pups, and the owner and mastermind behind Candelaria Creative, LLC., a local home remodel and custom design firm. Peter is a skilled craftsman, carpenter, welder, painter, builder, designer, and artist with more than fifteen years of trade experience that began in the wood shops and art studios of his Uncle Lenny and Uncle Felix, both revered and skilled artisans and craftsmen. Peter’s passion is in custom wood work and furniture design. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves to fly fish, mountain bike, rock climb, and backpack
Meghan Sheppard is a Colorado Springs native who loves hiking with friends and making things with her hands. She studied Fibers at Savannah College of Art and Design where she learned how to do things like dye fabric, knit and crochet, weave, screenprint, etch, create patterns for textiles, and basically became a professional grandma. Soon after she spent 2 years in San Francisco gaining experiences at small businesses in the area, including a small letterpress studio called People I've Loved. Meghan is hoping to begin her own small business here in the Springs making handwoven goods for the home, and can't wait to dig in deeper with the growing artistic community in her hometown.
Anna Papini- has been a Colorado resident for 38 years and grew up in a small town by the name of Florissant located in the rocky mountains. She lived in Denver for several years where she earned a bachelors degree in Cultural Anthropology with emphasis on Native American studies and a minor in holistic health. It was through these studies that she started to become a practicing herbalist and earned a certificate as a certified herbalist through Sage Mountain Herbs in Vermont and had been a practicing herbalist for almost a decade. Anna started Anna's Apothecary with her sister Sara in 2012 and is located in Manitou Springs where all herbal products are made in house with holistic and sustainable practices. Anna strives to bring awareness and education surrounding herbal therapies and practices to the Pikes Peak region with emphasis on the importance of balance and self care.
Sara Foster-Berry has been a self employed entrepreneur in the Pikes Peak Region for 20 years. She owned "I Dig the Garden" gardening company for 16 years from 1998-2014. In 2012, she co-founded Anna's Apothecary with her sister Anna and moved into a brick in mortar space in Manitou Springs, in 2014 where the business is currently located and thriving. Sara is also land and project developer to "Earthship Village Colorado" situated on 400 acres just 20 minutes East of downtown Colorado Springs, where she lives with her family and is creating a 65 home off grid housing community. Sara has also spent many years studying and practicing the design science of Permaculture, holding several certificates in that discipline and using its principles in her daily life to create permanent and reliant systems for future generations.
Bri McGrew is the designer + maker of The Universe Conspires Jewelry. Influenced by her background in fine art, her own work is minimalist and sculptural, each piece hand-fabricated and one-of-a-kind. Taking inspiration and gathering materials from travel means she's often on the road, but Colorado Springs is always home.