This season, we partnered with some of our favorite mothers who happen to be multi-talented artists, photographers, and designers. We asked them to capture their littles in their natural elements. The result has been a series of beautiful images from around the globe.
Kaity Farrell, owner of the small batch food and botanical company Fare Isle, lives on Nantucket with her son and husband. Kaity gives us a glimpse of her life on the island, and shares her views on laid-back parenting.
B+G: On your blog, you stress the idea of sustainable living. What does this concept mean to you? How do you implement this in your day to day?
Kaity: We try to do our best to live and work consciously with the planet in mind. We grow food in our garden using organic practices, which provides us with food for at least half of the year. Last year we brought in a bee hive, as we feel that bees are so important to life on this earth. We don't harvest their honey, but rather let them live freely without much bother and in turn they pollinate the garden. We are a big biking family, and my husband does not drive at all, but rides his bike year round, even when it's blizzarding! I ride a lot with Iley in tow during the warmer months. Of course we recycle, and we compost all our food scraps and biodegradable packaging. Having a business, unfortunately means, we get a lot of cardboard and packaging from shipments. I save all the packing materials to reuse for shipping out our own orders. I use recycled glass jars and bottles to package our products as well as environmentally friendly labels. I source materials and ingredients that we don't harvest ourselves, from organic or wild crafted sources. More recently (over the last couple of years) I've decided that instead of buying cheaply made and often unethically made clothing or housewares, I now focus on saving up and purchasing something that is well made, hand-crafted, fair traded, and that will last for a long time.
B+G: What are the biggest gifts and challenges of motherhood?
Kaity: The biggest gift is the love and bond between a mother and her child. From the moment your eyes meet it is love at first sight and a love like no other. The biggest challenge, for me anyway, is balancing everything.
B+G: What motto do you live by or try to instill in your son?
Kaity: My husband and I try to instill in Iley to always be honest and to be kind to all beings and the earth.
B+G: What is your favorite thing to cook for your son? Or what is his favorite thing to eat?
Kaity: Iley is such a good eater. I'm so thankful for that fact. We don't have to cook him special foods because he eats whatever we make for the day. Some of his favorites are potatoes made any way (he loves potatoes), avocado toast for a snack, homemade yogurt and fruit, and of course any type of baked goods I make like cornbread, banana bread and pancakes. For dinner we eat a lot of soups, rice and veggies and salads, all of which he'll eat. We also eat a lot of fresh fruits and smoothies. I guess I should mention we are primarily plant-based eaters, but eat fresh fish once in a while.
B+G: Describe your ideal family day.
Kaity: An ideal family day for us would be spent outside, first on a morning bike ride around the island. We'd come home and work/play in the garden. Then we would pack a picnic and head out for a hike or an afternoon on the beach. We'd eat a lovely dinner and have friends over for stories around the backyard campfire. That would be an IDEAL day for sure!
B+G: What are your favorite things to do with your son?
Kaity: Iley and I love to go on walks in our neighborhood forest and pretend we are pirates and search for treasures. Treasures are sticks, pinecones and other forests finds.
B+G: What is your philosophy when it comes to motherhood?
Kaity: I'm such a laid back mom, haha. I often just go with the flow and follow Iley's lead on what he wants to do. I feel like play is so important at his age, and all ages really. I honestly haven't read any parenting books or follow any routines.
B+G: What was the biggest surprise about becoming a mother?
Kaity: All of it is. I mean, you can't really prepare yourself for the experience. I'm still surprised everyday by this beautiful soul I helped create. I learn as much from him as he does from his papa and I, I'm sure.
B+G: If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself?
Kaity: You're going to make mistakes and fail, but learn from it and move on. It's going to be ok.
B+G: What excites you most about motherhood?
Kaity: Raising, caring for and guiding your child through life. The entire journey excites me.
B+G: You own Fare Isle, an incredible small batch artisan foods and botanicals business. How did you get started? Where did you learn to grow your own herbs, vegetables, fruits, etc.?
Kaity: I learned to cook and garden by watching and helping my mother, who is a great cook with a very green thumb, as a child. My husband is a passionate grower and has a wealth of knowledge about plants and soils so I often defer to him when it comes to gardening. He is also an amazing chef. Fare Isle blossomed out our shared passions and we decided to just go for it!
B+G: How has it been balancing your business and family life?
Kaity: It is trying at times for sure. Balancing life for any family is. Of course family comes first. Working for myself from home is a blessing but also can be a hardship in ways. I take each day as it comes. Some days I can get a lot of work done and some days I am struggling to complete simple tasks because everyday life interrupts. Often times, I end up working at odd hours, like late at night or early in the morning.
B+G: Any upcoming work projects you are excited about?
Kaity: Yes, I've been working on custom products for one of my best retailers, the Nantucket Looms, right here on Main St. It's been very fun creating and designing new products just for them. I (hopefully) will be doing this with another well-known company, but can't say whom just yet.
B+G: What’s a typical workday like for you?
Kaity: Like I said above, I work at odd hours and take breaks from working throughout the day. Many of our products are made seasonally so every day is usually different than the one before. Some days are spent solely making product and packaging. Others are spent fulfilling orders, returning emails and running errands. And many are a combination of a little of this and little bit of that.
B+G: How would you describe the aesthetic of your home?
Kaity: We rent our home so a lot of the aesthetic we have no control over. So we work with what we have control over. My husband designed and made some beautiful cherry wood pieces like our long dining table, which we love. Our home is small and consists of 3 open floor levels. While we could really use some more space, we try to keep the clutter down. We're always reorganizing our space and getting rid of clutter. We keep a variety of houseplants and always have fresh flowers or foliage to brighten up the space. Our style is simple and our space looks lived in for sure.
B+G: How would you describe your own style? How has it changed since becoming a mother?
Kaity: I've had a love for vintage clothing since the 7th grade when I really started coming in to my own style. I idolized the culture and style of the 60's and early 70's as an adolescent. I still have a little bit of that in my style today. I also love the ethereal white tea dresses and blouses from the Edwardian period. I have a couple of pieces from the early 1900's that I wear on special occasions. Since having Iley, I've leaned more towards clean minimal pieces that I can wear easily everyday. I can't handle high heels, it’s just not me, and so I'm always on the look out for cute flats. I love shoes and sandals with ethnic woven textiles in the design. Chambray slip-ons are my go to when I'm running out the door, they go with everything. I don't wear a lot of jewelry anymore. I have a few favorite pieces I'll put on when I remember to.
B+G: What pieces would you consider staples for your wardrobe?
Kaity: In the cooler months I steer towards tunic length dresses over leggings. They're just so easy. In the warmer months I wear maxi dresses or skirts nearly every day. I'm a sucker for anything dyed with natural indigo. I try to purchase pieces that are timeless and well made and functional, that I will wear for years. Some of my favorite indie designers right now are Hackwith Design House, First Rite Co., Proud Mary, and Elizabeth Suzann. I switch out leather bags designed and handmade by my sister, Meg of Farrell & Co. Her large leather tote is my everyday bag and all of her pieces get better with age. When I remember, I dress up my wrist with stacked beaded bracelets and throw on my long beaded Mala necklace, which goes with everything, made locally by Clay Twombly.
B+G: What do you love most about raising your son in Nantucket?
Kaity: I love that Iley is growing up in such a unique and beautiful place. I love that he will spend his youth playing at the shore and exploring the natural beauty of this island.
B+G: If you could choose another city to live in for a year, where would it be?
Kaity: Hmmm, honestly I don't know. I'd love to visit a ton of places but I haven't been there yet so I'm not entirely sure I would want to stay for a year. I've lived a few months in Sicily and Jamaica before. I'm honestly very happy with where I live now. Nantucket is a dream!
B+G: What is your favorite room in your house and why?
Kaity: I don't actually have a favorite room. I'd rather be outside in the garden. If we had a greenhouse or conservatory (my ultimate dream) I would say that would be my favorite room. I loves the plants.
Thanks for chatting, Kaity! Treat yourself and stop by her amazing shop Fare Isle, and follow her Instagram feed.