In one of her earliest posts she explained what inspired her style and the name of her blog: her sister once described her active, rural dress as "not from office to evening but from barn to evening." Elea writes, "Where I live, in Poulsbo, we're in mud nine or ten months of the year. Very few of the fine clothes I see in fashion magazines are suitable for life in the mud."
She was kind enough to let me interview her, and I found out some interesting things. Like I could call her Elmo. That she's a fiction writer. And that she & I both attending SF State University around the same time. It's small little green world, sometimes, isn't it?
Where do you live, and where are you from?
I live north of Poulsbo, Washington, US, in a beautiful valley near the Hood Canal. When the sun shines, which is not often enough, it is the most beautiful place I've ever lived.
I am from somewhere very different: Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is consumed with what what-to-wear; Poulsbo? Not so much. In Poulsbo, people are more interested in being comfortable in the rain and mud. Barn-to-Evening rose out of the contradiction of my clothes-conscious, Memphis-self living in the Pacific Northwest. New York, San Francisco, Puerto Rico, Albuquerque: everywhere I've lived between Memphis and Poulsbo has contributed to my style.
How long have you been blogging, and what inspired you to start your blog?
I am embarrassed to say I've only been blogging about three months. I was inspired to start blogging to keep a record of what I was wearing, in an effort to dress better. That quickly got boring, plus, my pictures were awful, so I began to write about what other people were wearing in this environment.
Name some blogs that YOU admire, that inspire you.
So many! And it changes all the time.... But in addition to the folks who are doing good works, like the bloggers at Huffington Post and Death Row Diary, there'sWhat do you do for a living? What do you do for fun?
For a "living," I'm a mom. My children are my life. My art is fiction writing. For fun? Well, I just started this fashion blog....
"in Poulsbo, where I live, mud -- we experience for nine or ten months of the year. Very few of the fine clothes I see in fashion magazines are suitable for life in the mud."
Who is your biggest fan?
My biggest fan for the last twenty years has been my husband. I could never repay him for the love and support he's shown me.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Like my daily reads, this changes all the time. But this morning my younger son expressed an interest in Venice, Italy, and said he'd like to go there. In addition to LOVING Venice -- sounds more apt in Spanish: Venice me encanta, it enchants me -- I'd go with said younger son in the drop of a hat because Venice interests him despite the fact that he has never played a Venice-oriented video game.
Who is your biggest influence in your outlook on life?
My children! Everything I do for myself, I'm actually just doing for them.
WHO/WHAT are your biggest fashion/style influences.
People: Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, and my paternal grandmother, Ethel Elizabeth Poindexter Carey.
Fashion-makers: Coach and Carhartt. Yes, seriously. My idea outfit would be Coach top and shoes or boots, Charhartt work pants and a couple of peacock feathers stuck in my hair.
Natural Influences: Peacocks and minks.
If you could give the world anything, what would it be?
What a sweet question. I'd give the world the knowledge that, as Saint Julian said, All will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well.
What are you doing to make this world a better place? What would you like to be doing?
What will you be wearing this summer?
Another sweet question! I'm not doing enough. But in my little way, I go organic whenever possible, I try to keep my carbon emissions low (in 2009 I only traveled by train, no flying), and I try to keep peaceful with my kids. I write fiction, which heals the psyche; I correspond with my friend Bill, who is on death row.
What will you be wearing this summer?
This summer I'm going to wear some awesome, white, over-sized men's shirts and I'm going to get a tan no matter what anyone says. I think when you live in the Pacific Northwest, you should try to get as much sun as possible.
Tell me 3 trends that you like seeing, and would like to incorporate into your wardrobe.
(1) I'm hoping the waist of pants will continue upward. Not to empire-heights, but just a glamorous Lauren Bacall level.
(2) I'm hoping people will continue to pronounce "empire" correctly.(3) And I know I'm in the minority here, but I really like the spring sandals with a classy sock.
Tell me something about yourself, that I might not know.
As a child, I broke ponies to ride.
Who's your favorite artist?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be the person who supports the family.
Coffee, tea or other? If other what:
Two or three large cups of green tea, followed by a double shot of espresso from the Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse.
If you were a flower, what kind of flower would you be?
A Citizen Rosebud! I love the rigor of "citizen," which sounds almost Soviet, and the loveliness of "rosebud." A very Barn-to-Evening combination!
For those who like the Barn-to-Evening style & philosophy, Elea created an online e-store via Amazon.com. Her online shop offers the selective buyer eco-conscious items that you may not be able to get locally. Elea decided to open an Amazon.com store "because there are things my Kitsap County readers can't buy locally," (like organic undies) "and things my, let's say Romanian, readers can't get in Bucarest, like Carhartt's." So her Amazon store provides choice items that are carefully selected for value, quality and sustainability. And you can order them when needed, whenever, where-ever, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Shop Barn-to-Evening:The BARN-to-Evening Store
And, if you'd like to learn more about Elea Carey and her green passion, check at her blog here.