Tender Warrior Co. is about liminal space: the directionless, unsettling place between what was and what’s next.
I relish the transitional space between rough and raw and polished and precious (what was this? where has this been? -- what can it be? where will it go?). Like humans, I think objects have incredible capacity to adapt and thrive in new environments and forms.
I work with neglected and discarded material because practicing reuse -- even on a small, symbolic scale -- feels like a necessary practice in our consumption-obsessed world, and because I enjoy the challenges these materials present.
Like the things I make, Tender Warrior Co. was born in the liminal space between an abandoned past and an uncertain future.
My New England Puritan upbringing made me strong-willed, driven, and independent. It also made me cynical, serious, and terrified of vulnerability. When a relationship went sour and I realized my identity was wrapped up in a career that didn’t serve me, my life turned upside down. I felt confusion and rage. I lacked direction, but I knew one thing for sure: I have one life to live and goddamnit I’ve got to be tender.
Starting Tender Warrior Co. was my first act of tenderness towards myself. I gave myself permission to go down a path with minimal social or financial rewards because when I make art I’m a kinder, softer, and more resilient.
I make things for the people I think the world needs the most: the fierce and sensitive, the heart-centered fighters, light-footed militants, the aggressive lovers and compassionate leaders constantly examining themselves and the world, who make sure they’re bringing everyone with them.
I named this business as a mandate for myself and as a beacon to others who are also trying to be fierce in their pursuits while being tender towards themselves, others, and the planet.
Hello. I see you. I love you. Thank you for being tough and tender.