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Meet & Greet – Candace

Candace and I first met in middle school, at an after-school program called STEP (Special Talented Enrichment Program) Music Theater. We both loved singing, particularly anything by Jonathan Larson, Eric Whitacre or Jason Robert Brown. We performed alongside one another for over six years in everything from Latin chorales, French lullabies, pop duets,  madrigals and more! We both also hold a fondness for Nintendo, but that sort of nerdom can go into another post.
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Name: Candace Tomkiel
 City: Old City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
 Occupation: SEO Account Manager at Razorfish Healthware
 Age: 26

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And as part of my ongoing EAT/SEE/SHOP/DO series, I asked Candace to come up with a short list of her Philadelphia favorites. Let’s delve into the city of brotherly love!

  • EAT: Oh god there’s too many. I’m going to go with Wedge & Fig (great brunch!) but I could do a story just about food in Philly and how amazing it is.
  • SEE: I’m going to go with the Ben Franklin Bridge – I can see it from my condo and I love running across it too (it’s 4 miles for me to run from my condo over the bridge to NJ and back). There’s something kind of nice about being able to see the way to get to one’s home state from one’s new house!

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Photograph of Reading Terminal by Jared Kofsky.
  • SHOP: IT’S A TIE! Between the Italian Market and Reading Terminal Market. Fresh veggies, cheese, fish, meat etc. I just love both markets, they remind me so much of markets in Italy or Spain!
  • DO: I already said this in SEE but I love running in Philly, across the Ben Franklin Bridge or to Kelly Drive. Gorgeous views of Philly on both routes. I also love going to Karaoke on Tuesdays/Quizzo on Wednesdays at National Mechanics – National Mechanics is actually a fairly historic building that was originally built as a bank in 1837.

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  • INSPIRE: The people around me are who really inspire me. As such, I try to surround myself with friends and family as much as I can, whether it’s mentoring new co-workers, hosting dinner parties at my condo, or organizing events with my alumni club.

Do you have any friends that remind you of Candace? Let’s MEET & GREET them!

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Strawberry Moon Books & Boutique

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Name:  Tenae Stewart
Location: Middletown, California (Just north of California's Wine Country)
Occupation:  Art history student raised in the family floral business. 
Now, shop owner of Strawberry Moon Books & Boutique.

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Based on the West Coast, Tenae Stewart of Strawberry Moon Books & Boutique sells vintage (mostly leather-bound) books & handmade sundries for the discerning bibliophile. She supports the timeless experience of immersing oneself in a good book again and again (not everything is better digitally). Remember the feeling of crisp paper between your fingertips? The satisfaction of dog-earing a page? The heft and subsequent weight loss when a large volume is completed? If you, like Tenae and the great Thomas Jefferson agree that you “…cannot live without books” – then meander over to Strawberry Moon Books & Boutique.

Strawberry Moon Books & Boutique

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A hardcover copy of Cabbages and Kings, a collection of short stories by O. Henry. This copy was printed by Doubleday, Page & Company, in 1917. This book features numerous short stories involving a small American town and the lives of the people who live there. 

Tenae’s  inspiration to start the shop came from her longtime love of books (both reading and writing.) Some of her favorites include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Night Circus, all of Sherlock Holmes and My Gun is Quick. One of Tenae’s favorite parts of the job is “book hunting” at library sales, book fairs and hole-in-the-wall used bookstores! She’s basically a book detective.

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Image by Wonderland Photography.
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A hardcover copy of The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, written in 1895. This particular copy was printed by Reader’s Digest in 1984.

Books are not just rewarding to read (quotes, new words, novel plots and ideas!!) – they are also great additions to a bookshelf as double duty, home decor.  The shop is the first step towards the owner’s  dream of creating a book and gift shop on the Pacific coast; Tenae hopes to expand into a brick-and-mortar location in the future.

The owner divides her time between classes, running her Etsy shop, volunteering as an art teacher at a local private school and working at my family’s flower and gift shop where she is a manager, buyer and display coordinator. How does this girl have time for a social life?

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A stunning antique copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated into English by Edward Fitzgerald.

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This is a beautiful burgundy and slate hardcover copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. It features gold lettering and designs on the cover and spine and an attached burgundy ribbon bookmark. 

 Tenae has graciously offered one of The Walkup blog’s audience members an “Antique Reader’s Set” which includes One (1) Vintage Book and One (1) Handmade Bookmark. Enter below and good-luck! 

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“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.” ― Voltaire, Candide

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Bears Eat Berries

Prepare yourself to be swept away in a cloud of Washi tape, gentle, dusty color palettes, Kraft paper, and minimalist silhouettes…say hello to Laura Wentzel of Bears Eat Berries – Design & Letterpress Studio. My first inclination when I came across Laura’s whimsical and simple design via Etsy was to swoon, and immediately after that I giggled. Then, I was envious of her hair…she has that perfect, tousled, highlighted-by-nature-the-sun-and-lemons sort of vibe.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

A graphic designer by trade, Laura’s work is recognized by its clean typography, graphic illustrations, nature-inspired patterns, and folk motifs. She also works on an honest-to-god-half-ton printing press from 1911. In case you weren’t around for that great year, it was a big year in mechanics – in fact, Henry Ginaca invented the “Ginaca Machine” that automated the peeling and coring of pineapples. Huge.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

Also, as a happy coincidence (or maybe kismet), in that same year, Arizona was admitted as the 48th State in the Union called the USA. Bears Eat Berries happens to be located in southwest Arizona, therefore this was all meant to be! Circuitous logic? Maybe.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

Name: Laura Wentzel
Location: Phoenix Valley of Arizona
Job: Owner & Designer of Bears Eat Berries
Age: 29

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

EAT: Gallo Blanco in downtown Phoenix. It’s set in the ground floor of a funky midcentury era hotel and is furnished with eclectic furniture and decor. Overall it has a very funky vibe. It’s also the first restaurant my husband and I tried when moving to the southwest! Gallo Blanco tries to source locally and places a lot of emphasis on simple Mexican-inspired dishes. Before dinner you can bring your drinks to the poolside or climb to the rooftop for an amazing Phoenix skyline view.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

SEE: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West School. It was his architectural school (still in operation) and winter home which sits at the brow of a mountain in North Scottsdale. Wright designed the nature-inspired complex in tune with its desert surroundings. It’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the valley, especially at sunset.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

SHOP: I love perusing Ultimate Consignment in Phoenix. It’s a huge warehouse filled with consigned and vintage items where you can find absolutely anything from a hammer to a handbag. I just recently scored two vintage tweed green office chairs there!

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

DO: Hiking and exploring the southwest. My husband and I just moved here about a year ago and we love driving out in the desert to discover new towns, mountains and the ever-changing landscape. I love spotting a line of quails cross the street and the occasional roadrunner.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

INSPIRE: I’m inspired by children’s picture books, Japanese design, traditional folk motifs from around the world, and any great use of white/negative space. Throughout my life I have been drawn outdoors, so nature-themes play a role in many of my design.

Laura Wentzel featured by The WalkupFrom a business perspective, Laura set up Bears Eat Berries studio to offer various price points so that a wide range of customers can enjoy them. Isn’t that nice of her? She offers single cards which are priced to compete with normal retail stores (why go to CVS, Walgreens, or Duane Reade, when you can support a local artist?) and she offers custom and personalized products for those who want something extra special – like for a wedding, or business card, ahem?

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I came across Bears Eat Berries while looking for letterpress (I’m a sucker for texture and hand-mixed inks) Thank You cards for my bridal shower. Immediately her craftsmanship was obvious – the cotton paper, the simple yet, bold design, the odes to nature – oh to be a symbol pressed into one of Laura’s clever cards! Think of all the joy you’d bring to your [                    ]. 

Want to send someone you love (father, mother, sister, cousin, BFF, long lost twin, pen-pal, mistress, step-son, pirate, actor) a clever, old-fashioned note? Now you CAN. Enter to win these woodland animals saying hello! Perfect to send a friendly hello. 

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

Each set of twelve letterpress woodland animal hello cards includes coordinating kraft brown envelopes with two of each animal (fox, bear, hedgehog, rabbit, deer, squirrel). Original illustration and printed by hand on an antique printing press on thick, luxurious 100% cotton paper.

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