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More than Ever, Support Local Businesses this Holiday Season

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

I know, I know, but Amazon is so dang easy. And ah, therein lies the problem. Every time something is too easy, I really have to stop and think about why now. Because every time I think about it, I realize why. Corporate greed, cultural laziness, technology taking over our lives. Nothing good, basically. This all isn't going to change overnight. But every single being on this planet needs to take the steps towards change. Because if we all do it, then maybe we can start to see some difference. Better yet, make something for your loved ones with your own two hands, maybe go to a local class and make some pottery, you may surprise yourself.

After the last few years of, no offense, a literal kind of anxiety-hell overtook us all, it made me take a step back and realize what was important to me, and my future. My local community has taken a backseat in my priorities for way too long, and now I am making changes the best that I can. I soon will be going through a two week training program through Tip of Merrimack Valley, where volunteers get solutions on how to deal with every high crisis emergency situation, and what us regular civilians can do to help our own neighbors dealing with trauma. I am really excited for this journey, because I always have known I could do more, but wasn't quite sure how. I know, if anything, this will be a life changing experience. And I need me more of those in the positive column. Period. There are only 14 organizations like this in the entire country, and only 3 are on the East coast. I just joined a fun zoom with the organizers and they called themselves the "tipsters". Love!!

I also am making it a goal of mine to reach out to more and more local businesses and artists. I want to open a gallery of my own in the future, and I know it takes a village to make a beautifully curated store/gallery. We all have to help each other out of this anxiety-hell, and be there for each other. The more connections we make, the happier the world will become. If you need to use technology to make those connections, do it! I am a glorified introvert with an anxiety disorder, so I like screening a bit, I have gotten pretty good at picking up red flags. If they ask for any personal information immediately, or want to buy things for their wife's 50th wedding anniversary, run for the hills.

October Mountain Falls is now Showing at Soma's Aromas (Tors AHHT and Ally Voner, in the flesh, photo credit: Soma)

A recent connection I am happy to share is with Soma's Aromas, a store in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts, who makes her own natural soy candles, while also supporting as many local artisans that she loves. Her energy is full of zest, and bright with promise; I was immediately hooked. I knew she, of anyone, could sell my artwork. I knew we saw the world through a similar window. I knew this before we even spoke in person, and everything just made sense. Yes, this is what I should be doing, I thought. Making friends with my like-minded peeps, and spreading the word on how great they are. You are amazing, Soma! Now hanging, at Soma's Aromas, are 7 paintings of mine, seen below, plus some other merchandise you can find on this website here. She also is hanging prints from the amazing silk-screener, Chris Boudrow, of Good Bites & Glass Pints, who I already am an avid collector. Buy his prints online here. My sister, Ally Voner, will also soon be hanging her nature photography, matted and framed, which I am excited to see hanging near my paintings! We are nailing it, kehd ;) Soma will also be showing work by many others, like Clay and Oak, and Shire Alchemy. Her candles are the total bomb, she has SO many different kinds of scents, it covers every personality type. And I am not biased or anything, I make my own candles as well, so I am very picky about my candles. All clean and natural for me, which is just how Soma does it, so I am a happy camper.


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