Lydia lives on the North Side of Chicago with her best friend and spouse David Paul Downs and their lovable, mischievous pets, Tomato, Peanut, and Butter. Lydia spends her time developing her urban homestead, riding her bike, reading, sewing for her online business Pierogi Picnic, volunteering, and growing her elevated veggie garden. When she’s not knee deep in pastries or fabric, Lydia is coordinating volunteers and fosters for The Anti-Cruelty Society.
Lydia’s brother has always called her the family’s token tree-hugger and she delights in discovering new vegetarian restaurants, making eco-crafts, and reading up on the latest green initiatives. She is inspired by vibrant colors, fresh designs, and people who dedicate their lives to helping others, animals, and the environment.
Between far-flung world adventures, Irena’s home base is her favorite town, Chicago. She has spent time living and working in South Africa, Serbia, England, and Thailand – with a few stops in between.
Irena’s favorite things include Turkish coffee, Argentine tango, Hafiz’s poetry, and the jungles of Borneo. She spends her time cooking vegetarian dishes for meat lovers, writing, immersing herself in foreign languages, biking along Lake Michigan, and petting the neighborhood dogs.
David spends his days fiending for fair-trade coffee and vegan desserts, riding his bike, writing, baking bread, and creating art. A St. Louis native, David has spent time living in New York City and presently calls Chicago his home. He is an avid explorer, vegetarian, and lover of life, animals, and sugar.
Inspired by both natural and urban environments, David photographs and transforms elegant black and white images into stunning mixed media paintings. Fascinated by the resiliency of nature, David documents the struggle between the organic and constructed worlds through his art. His work can be found in local art galleries, as well as on his website.
Molly Kay Stoltz dwells on the north side of Chicago, sharing a small studio apartment with her partner Brandon, her pond snail Gary, and her bin of composting worms known as “The Wormies”. She’s living the life of a freelance artist by teaching and choreographing dance and designing eco-friendly clothing for her business Rags by Sock Monkey. She also earns a living by working at the Gethsemane Garden Center in Andersonville.
In her spare time, Molly loves to ride her pretty blue bicycle, practice yoga, try new vegetarian recipes, and research herbalism. She hopes that sharing her knowledge of herbalism will inspire others to connect to nature and lead healthier, happier lives!