Our Yellowpages Interview with Athena Raypold
Athena Raypold met with us to conduct an interview for our Yellowpages business story in December 2016 at Alysia's home in southside Edmonton.
We've met Athena before--first by an accidental stumble on her blog, The Salty Almond, "Inspired by local businesses and food offerings, The Salty Almond is a collective love letter to food." It was here where we were referred to Tuesday's Together, A Society of Creative Entrepreneurs gathering the second Tuesday of every month in the spirit of Community over Competition. So we met, drank, and exchanged ideas on what it means to be an entrepreneur, and how to improve our skillsets and habits to become better than we were yesterday.
But we didn't meet Athena the writer until that day. She came in with rosy cheeks, bundled up from head to toe, and having trekked 45 mins in an Edmonton blizzard to get to us, she wasn't going to leave with just a 15 minute interview. With a few self-deprecating jokes, she had us settled in to the living room where she non-chalantly turned on her recording device and continued on the conversation as if we've been on the road talking with her forever ago already.
Athena started off asking the usual, ("How did this all start?") then more personal, ("Tammy, what do you think Alysia's greatest contribution to Caramia is?") and more personal, ("Do you think being the children of immigrants influenced who you are today?" The 15 minute interview turned into a 3 hour conversation interlaced with uncontrollable fits of laughter, giant lobs of tears rolling down both our faces, and then more sh*ts and giggles again.
Maybe we felt so comfortable baring it all to her because she was so unabash in sharing her passions with us, and what it is that makes Athena, Athena! (Or maybe because she made us watch a skit from Ali Wong's Baby Cobra and we giggled so hard we all had to take emergency bathroom breaks??) Initially, we only had one question to ask her ("What's your favourite Caramia Caramel flavour?") but found ourselves asking more and she answered as if we were interviewing her too. Athena is a self-proclaimed feminist and an advocate for racial, social, and gender equlity. Mom to an adorable blue-eyed toddler called Fitz and wife to a very lucky and loving man. She is hilarious, witty, and bubbly warm, and that she too has complicated moments.
In addition to being a freelance writer, Athena is currently working on a new project with Fiddleleaf Photography called, "Becoming", where she herself is one of the subjects.
Through candid conversation with writer, Athena Raypold, and intimate portraiture by photographer, Kelly Marleau, “Becoming” is an explorative art project that encourages mothers to uncover their vulnerability, to discover their identities, and to celebrate their unity. Sharing your story and your image is both cathartic and transformative – not only for you, but also for other mothers – your story will inspire them to emerge from the darkness into the light of shared experience, helping them to see that they are not alone. Becoming promises to be a raw, beautiful collection of women’s stories, a chorus of mothers’ voices, an anthology of intimate vignettes that reveal the complexity of a mother’s identity.
These ladies are still looking for participants, so if you're interested in applying, please see more details here!
When she left, we felt like peeled onions, did we let her get too deep? Does she think we're too stinky?? I guess it's too late for that now, because the Yellowpages Business Story is out (yay!!!)-- you guys can read it here. We can't thank Athena enough for spending that time with us, and baring your all too!
PS. Athena's favourite Caramia Caramel is Sriracha Roasted Almond--and no, we forgot to ask if the reason why is because it's got salty almonds!