IN THE EVERYDAY
These rolling mountains of Western North Carolina where Everyday Oil is made have been home to artists and makers for quite some time. Our friends Shelter Collective have created some pretty serious utopian designs from their headquarters here in Asheville. Together, Karie Reinertson and Rob Maddox design intimate commercial spaces as well as the dreamiest homes and residential projects (take a peek at this Martha’s Vineyard home - Pretty Much Every Gorgeous Detail in This Home is Handmade). They are also just amazing people. We took some photos on a recent golden hour afternoon with them and their daughter Luca on top of our favorite hill with friends. (Emma, Karie and Rob and their friend John share this land where they’ve been dreaming up plans and planting trees and a persimmon orchard).
Photos by Sadie Culberson
Hi! What has been happening in your life lately that you would like to share?
Hi! Karie here. We bought a house last week! Living in a 650 sq ft house with 3 of us (one of us is 2 years old and rapidly growing) was starting to feel a little wild. In some ways it’s fun to have a conversation with someone in the bathroom while you’re cooking dinner, but when we had the chance to buy this major fixer upper, we were terrified and excited so it seemed like the right combo so we went for it.
What are you reading? Or what have you loved reading?
We always have comical stacks of books lying around our home and studio, and started a design book club this past year so that has made these stacks grow even more. I’m always muscling my way through something that makes my brain feel like it’s on fire in a good way, but in all honesty I just tore through Octavia Butler’s “Dawn” series, and the first of the Neapolitan books by Elena Ferrante. I also just read The Fountainhead for the first time which was incredible and also so messed up!
Rob jumping in here - I have a tendency towards sci fi dystopian stuff which is kind of too much these days because it feels like we're living in it. I just started Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain and so far reading about an allegorical spirit quest in a Swiss Sanatorium before WWI is feeling pretty good.
Where or when do you find the most joy?
When I’m sitting by a fire on a cool night or next to water on a hot and sunny day after hiking and laughing at lame jokes with people I love. When Luca puts her arms around my neck or laughs uncontrollably. When I see Rob walking towards me from far away — usually we are so close it’s so cool to see him in the context of the rest of the world.
If you can imagine a personal utopia, how would you describe it?
Living in a small community of 20-40 people who are all thoughtful and making their lives however they can and want while being considerate of others. I also want to live in a world where rest is celebrated and we have a community natural pool and make sundried tomatoes from tomatoes we grew and get together for maple lattes.
Do you have any favorite sayings, passages, or quotes?
One of my favorites is “pay attention to what you pay attention to”. I always come back to it — each time it unfolds for me as this beautiful, non-judgmental reminder. In this world that is always trying to steal our attention away, it feels radical to allow ourselves to bring attention to what we actually deeply want to pay attention to.
What practices or environments make you feel whole?
Being with people who make it feel ok to just be a person, rather than achieve or accomplish anything. Walking in the woods. Lazy mornings with Luca and Rob.
Do you take or recommend any herbs, tonics, potions, or elixirs?
We used to soak raw cashews every night and in the morning make cashew cream with vanilla and maple syrup, then add cacao, hot water, mushroom powder, and then more maple syrup. But since the pandemic that’s turned into oat milk lattes every morning.
How often do you use Everyday Oil? Tell us everything :)
If you have one, tell us about a favorite swimming spot or swimming hole.
When I lived in Big Sur a friend took me to these hidden and very tresspass-y hot springs on a river with a cold spring pouring out of the cliff next to it. To this day it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Otherwise I love to keep it classic and go to the Laurel River near Asheville. It’s mellow and beautiful and feels old and kind. Great for dogs and kids.
Simple routines and rituals can help make space for effortless well-being, which is what we strive for with Everyday Oil. Can you share any other habits that help you pause and enjoy simple pleasures?
Nearly everyday for the past 11 years, I’ve done the I Ching in the morning. Throughout the pandemic and since our work has become more demanding, I’ve dropped off of doing it every single day, and it shows. I constantly get lost in my own little world and think that everything is happening to me, and the I Ching helps to reset that and give a kind nudge to recalibrate and take a different perspective on how the day might unfold and how I might guide that.