We love Santa Barbara Magazine and are so honored to be featured in their fall publication. So please pick up a copy if you're local and check them out online if you're not. The article is fun and playful, yet tells our story in a very thoughtful way. Thank you for your words Jennifer Blaise Kramer and thank you Lauren Ross for your imagery.
*Three Santa Barbara women hatched a homespun plan that turned into a series of sold-out workshops, creating a movement that would make Martha proud. Likely, it would even make Laura Ingalls Wilder fist bump them with approval. Ashley Moore, Lauren Malloy, and Emma Moore, an herbalist, an animal specialist and a cook respectively, launched Women's Heritage Skillshare in an effort to teach modern women traditional skills of decades past such as, pickling, welding, wreathing, mulling, soap making, and raw baking. Once they realized the topics they wanted to cover were endless, they knew they needed to take it mainstream. "We thought if there's something awesome, let's share it with everyone," recalls Ashley as they first merged their passions and early ideas from foraging to making healthy gummies for kids. "Lauren said, 'Let's make it accessible, share a meal, and have others take something to their homes.' We thought at worst the three of us would have a great time."
Workshops (which start at $40) began in February, and every single one has sold out so far. The classes pop up throughout the city and valley and aim to bring various elements of the homestead past into everyday life. " It's easy to glamorize that life, but full-blown homesteading is so much work," says Ashley. "For example slaughtering animals - that wouldn't interest people."
By learning simple skills such as making herbal salves, natural face serums, kefir cheese, peach jam and plant dyed napkins, the founders educate and connect people. While skeptics might suggest that these workshops are reversing feminism, Ashley reiterates their goal is to empower women rather than send them back in time. "In some ways, it looks like a step backwards, but not in a bad way. It's really a step toward connection," she says.
While anyone these days can walk into a bakery and buy a loaf of bread, they want to teach women how things come together from the beginning. In this spirit the team is working on a line filled with "helpful things from the homestead"- from aprons to beauty products. For example herbal, organic, skincare will be sold, along with directions on how to make the product, so when you run out, you can reuse the jar and recreate it yourself, which Ashley says is further "connecting you to what you are putting on your skin."
Through every Women's Heritage Skillshare workshop, their aim is to instill confidence, along with an appreciation of the past. Simultaneously, the trio is also evoking a sense of sisterhood and effectively slowing people down. Adds Emma: "In our fast paced society, it's so refreshing to see women carve out this time for togetherness." *
Article written by: Jennifer Blaise Kramer for Santa Barbara Magazine
Photographed by: Lauren Ross