Saturday, January 1, 2011

Inspirational Interview, Aura j o o n

If you have already had the chance to read Aura's blog, 

then you are in for a treat, with a chance to get to know her a little bit better today.

If you have not visited Aura's blog,

 you are also in for a treat,

 as the beauty of her work will both inspire and sooth you.

With the continuation of my inspirational interview series,
 I reached out to a small group of women
 that have made a large impact in my life.

(I was giddy when Aura decided to participate.)

Her blog is a daily destination for beauty and tranquillity.

 This month she opens doors to her new website, Bark and Leaves,
where she will invite her faithful following to shop various Aura inspired creations.

Then in just a few short months from now,
 she and her husband will welcome their greatest creation, 
a baby girl.

(I just cannot wait to see the sweetness.)

Without further ado... Aura j o o o n.


1.How did you choose the name of your business and or blog? What significance does the name hold?

I am a huge nature lover and spent most of my childhood outdoors, looking for adventures, camping with my family, and climbing trees. I was looking for the perfect name, and one night about a year ago I was listening to my music and "I Had A Dream" by Priscilla Ahn came on. I had heard it a hundred times before, but at that moment, brainstorming a name for a new path in my career, it really struck home.
The words to the song go:

"I was a little girl, alone in my little world, who dreamed of a little home for me.
I played pretend between the trees, and fed my houseguests bark and leaves,
and laughed in my pretty bed of green.
I had a dream... that I could fly from the highest swing. I had a dream."

It reminded me of how much we are affected by our childhood, and the things we find inspiring and important at the time. For me, it really struck a chord with how much nature, my imagination, and all the old trees I used to climb shaped my personality, today. When we're young, we are idealists with big dreams and aspirations. With age, something about that becomes jaded. This song reminds me that the happiness and wishes I had at 8 years old are not far from the ones I carry, today.

2. How do you take your coffee?

I have actually never had a cup of coffee in my entire life. Ever. But I drink tea quite a few times a week. I like it plain, hot, and black. No sweetener, no fruit flavors, just plain brewed tea. In my family's culture, you drink tea like water. We're talking 5 or 6 cups a day. I am actually surprised we don't all have brown teeth.

3. What inspires you?

Everything, absolutely everything. The way the wind sound in the trees, a bit of light coming through fabric, music, love, color, compassion, and anyone who is doing something that they absolutely love with no reservations.

4. Earliest childhood memory?

When I was a toddler, my Mom and Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and my sister and I lived in a house right around 1,000 sq. feet. We had a big garden, chickens, and grapes growing on our fence. Those are my very first memories, and they are still so vivid to me. They really shaped who I am today, and I think about our little house on Berry Street quite a bit.

5. Favorite movie of all time?

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the Gwenyth Paltrow/Ethan Hawke version of Great Expectations. The score, imagery, and the repetition of the color green just really get me. I first saw it as a teenager, and it encouraged me to dig into art and creating.

6. How old were you when you gave birth to your first child? (If applicable.)

I will be 28. I am due the first week of April 2011. It can not get here fast enough!

7. Sun rising or sun setting?

Setting. There is something incredible about a sunset - it is the start of a fresh, new day with endless possibilities. But you can not beat the sleepy romance of a sunset. Especially here in Oklahoma, where our horizon line seems to go on forever as far as the eye can see. It makes for some incredible sunsets.

8. Greatest influence?

My family, hands down. My parents escaped Iran during the Revolution in the late 70's. They left behind everything they had to come here and start over. We were very poor growing up, but our beautiful memories, family vacations, and simple endless love were all I needed to think we were rich. I owe everything I am and will be to them. They have inspired me in ways I can't even put into words. I spent my childhood learning that true happiness comes from good food, spending time together, and always sticking by your family.

9. When did you know that you were ready to embark on creating your own business/blog?

I always knew. But around the time that my husband Michael and I started talking about having a baby, I thought it was time to start putting things into play so that I could work part-time from home. It's amazing how much a hypothetical child can change you, even before they're here. We have dreams of taking Summers off (he is in school to become a middle school History teacher) and hitting the road.

10. Most treasured item?

I have a few pieces of jewelry that I really adore. A dove necklace and ring that belong to my Mom, a stone my Grandma purchased in Iran when she was young, and the diamond in my wedding ring. It's a family stone that belongs to Michael's family - a European cut diamond that was brought here and passed down many, many times before it ended up on my finger 5 years ago. For the first couple years we were married, I would have nightmares that I flushed it down the toilet or it went down the sink drain! I still panic about it, sometimes.

11. If there was a soundtrack of your life, what songs would be included?

Anything Jack Johnson, he has been part of my life soundtrack for the last decade. We went to see him in August, and I came home with hives. I still love him.

12. Hopes for your future in both your business and your personal life?

It has always been my dream to have a brick-and-mortar store front tucked away somewhere. I go back and forth between trying to decide if I want to own a children's book store, or a boutique that carries a little bit of everything. I guess I could always do both. In the next year I hope to work up stock in my online store, and then I will look into renting a space of my own. I dream about silly things like the music I will play, the way I will decorate the front window for the different seasons, and how much it will feel like a dream come true.
In my personal life, I am wishing for lots of years of good health, traveling, and memories to be made with my growing family.

13. What is a little know fact about yourself?

This Summer, Michael and I hiked to the top of the 2nd tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. It took 7 hours total, and was probably the most mentally trying thing I have ever done. Two days later, we found out I was pregnant. Good timing, because I now call it my labor preparation.

14. By which is your favorite means of travel... Automobile, boat, airplane or hot air balloon?

It's hard to decide. I love a good road trip, but seeing the world from a bird's eye view is pretty amazing. I will pass on the hot air balloon, I'm terrified of heights.

15. What would be your everyday must have item?

The sunshine. I am a gloomy monster if the sun is not out. I am always counting down the days until Spring gets here, again!

(If you would like to take a peek at the other amazing interviews that I have been so honored to conduct, you will find them on the right hand side bar of this here blog, tagged under "inspirational interviews.)
Thank you.


Aura said...

Thank you, Corey :) Happy New Year to you and your family!

Jen Vogt said...

So happy to read Aura's interview. I found her blog a few months ago and spent hours reading from the first post to the most recent. You are absolutely right about how inspiring and soothing her blog is. It's such a pleasure to learn more about her through your questions...thank you for sharing!!

christi said...

I adore Aura and her blog! She shines with grace and tranquility.

Pam said...

yay! ♥