4 Tip For How To Organize A Virtual Fundraiser

A virtual fundraising event. It sounds easy right? There’s no need to physically show up somewhere on a specific day, at a specific time. It can be done from anywhere in the world. And, with the right publicity, it has the potential to reach a much wider audience of attendees, far beyond a limited geographic radius. 

Yes. A virtual fundraising event sounds easy. But, if you’re looking to plan one, don’t be fooled. Although the benefits speak for themselves, it comes with its own set of challenges. I should know, I just organized one.

I, alongside Tiffany Wagner from CIVIC Entertainment Group, co-chaired Veterinarians International’s inaugural Healthy Steps For Healthy Pets walkathon. The virtual fundraising event invited people from all over the world to participate in a month-long initiative to raise monies and awareness for animals in need of veterinary care across the globe. 

It launched in September with a brand new microsite and gave supporters a chance to order special walkathon swag. Then, on Saturday, October 3, the virtual fundraiser concluded as humans and their four-legged companions took to the sidewalks of their own neighborhoods as they walked 0.5 miles. Meanwhile, in East Hampton, an intimate group gathered at The Baker House 1650 for a celebratory, and CDC regulated, Healthy Steps For Healthy Steps in person event.

But, as with any first experience, there are lessons to be learned. Here are 4 things I learned about organizing a virtual fundraiser:

It’s Important To Set Boundaries

Now that the virtual fundraiser is over, I realize how much of my time I actually dedicated to it. All of it. Between working from home and everything being so easily accessible from my phone, I made myself available nearly 24/7. But it’s important, especially if you are volunteering, to block out designated time to plan the event. 

Schedule virtual meetings on a calendar, prepare social media days in advance, and keep as much communication as possible to emails and calls. Maybe some people enjoy doing business via text but, personally, it makes me nervous. Mentally, I perceive text messages as a social interaction rather than a professional one. I can’t keep track of text chains and they often go unanswered for hours. But in order to avoid falling behind, I was constantly looking at my phone, quick to jump when new information came in. 

I didn’t set boundaries, for myself or for others. It’s important to clearly define what mediums you’ll be communicating through and time frames you’ll be doing it. Otherwise, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed and create a burnout feeling.

Images and Copy Matter

In person events leave little room for interpretation. When you’re speaking to a room you have numerous cues that aid in your message: your tone of voice, your body language, the decor, even the crowds energy. When you host a virtual fundraiser you only have two things—images and copy. And they are interdependent.

Images and copy go hand in hand to tell a compelling story. They help each other convey a message and act as the two most important tools to achieving a fundraising goal.

Think of images as the door to your event. They attract supporters to explore a website and learn more. You need visually appealing photos that are welcoming and accurately capture the organizations overall mission. Now, think of copy as the key to your door. It is what turns a potential supporter into an active participant and unlocks your fundraisers potential. Without the door and key, your supporters are left on the outside. 

I wrote 95% of the copy for Healthy Steps For Healthy Pets. I write for a living, so it made sense to put most of my efforts there. While it was time consuming and tedious, all the editing and rewriting, it not only attracted new awareness but created a critical dialogue.

Engagement Is Key

Virtual fundraisers are just that, virtual. So, keeping participants engaged is perhaps the most important part. Since you don’t have the ability to go up to your supporters and thank them in person for “showing up” keeping a steady flow of communication goes a long way.

Social media is typically the first thing that comes to mind to engage a virtual audience. Post pics, create a hashtag, tag others, comment on everything. While that is a large part of it, do not underestimate the continued power of email blasts. When someone signs up for a fundraiser that means they are interested in a cause. Tap into that.

When our microsite launched on September 3 engagement was initially kept to social media. Then a lightbulb went off. Why not send a daily email to our supporters with fundraising tips, facts about where the money goes, and a personal story relating to the cause? So, I sent out one every day when the 10-day countdown arrived. It not only engaged our audience by connecting them to the organization on a heartfelt level but it encouraged them to go the extra mile with raising money.

Whether a participant is competing for the top prize or simply joining for fun, engaging an audience from the moment they sign-up to the event day itself can turn them into long-term supporters.

You’ll Never Regret Doing More

I truly believe I did all I could, and more, for the virtual fundraiser. But, a few weeks before October 3, an intimate, CDC regulated, in-person gathering was organized for event day. It took place at The Baker House 1650 in East Hampton where the local community and their pups enjoyed a much needed stroll to the beach and reception that followed. Originally, I was unable to attend. But as co-chair I made sure to be there. It was beautiful and well thought out.

It was here that I made my biggest, and perhaps only, mistake. Since I wasn’t part of the planning of the in person event, or the email correspondence that led up to it, I went from actively spearheading the initiative to being a passive participant. While the in person event was a success, I can still recall all the little ways I could have helped but didn’t think to in that moment. The attention is in the detail and I let my attention slip. As a professional, whether it is something I agreed to do or not, that should never happen. 

And so, the biggest lesson learned here is actually the final one. Always follow up with anything and everything that your name is attached to.  You might regret not doing enough for a fundraiser, but you will never regret doing more. Push beyond the exhaustion, physical or mental, until you cross the finish line. 

Fundraising events act as a lifeline for many non-profits. They raise necessary financial support in order to carry out the organizations mission. Plus, they draw in new potential donors through entertainment, engagement, and live auctions. Although the pandemic has cancelled most to all in person events, fortunately, virtual fundraisers took their place.

Virtual fundraisers might be the new normal for a while, but that doesn’t make them any less effective. Get creative and get excited! The potential is literally endless with what you can do.

If you need help with your virtual fundraiser reach out to me on LinkedIn at Nicole Teitler or email me at NTeitler@gmail.com 

Daily Fitness: The ‘V’ Life

This article was first published in the February 21, 2018 issue of The Independent Newspaper


Are you living “The V Life?” By V, I mean Veridatta—an honest skincare line created by East Hampton native, Rebecca Underdown. Upon meeting Underdown over the holidays, I immediately noticed her complexion. Aside from being a bicoastal resident, between here and California, she attributed the glowing skin to her own products.

How did you come up with a skincare line?

The development of the formulas started nine years ago while I was in acupuncture school in San Diego. I was getting wrinkles and acne at the same time. I felt the organic products weren’t working and the chemical-based skincare lines were giving my skin a grey hue. So, I decided to make my own organic night cream that would reduce the signs of aging and not cause a breakout.

I shared it with my family and then, my friends. It didn’t take long before they all started asking for a day cream and then a cleanser, and then a sunscreen. Each product would take about a year to formulate and test. In this time, I had opened my acupuncture practice in Encinitas focusing on facial rejuvenation. I was also the acupuncturist for the executives at SPY Optic, which allowed me the perfect focus group to record the results of the skincare products.

When I started to see people’s faces change within three days of the using the system, my desire to share the products turned into a passion, and that passion grew into obsession. It only continues to grow, because in all honesty, it’s fun.

Your most popular products right now?

Living Enzyme Scrub is our best seller, because men are drawn to it, so our customer base nearly doubles. The scrub is gentle enough for it to be used every single day, making it the most effective way to improve the skin’s clarity and glow. The second best seller is the Raw Coconut Day Repair, which is an anti-aging moisturizer (meaning it regenerates healthy cells) and does not cause break-outs.

Why does your product work on all skin types?

Because all skin needs the same thing: a clear passageway for dead cells and toxins to move out. All skin conditions are caused by one thing: stagnation. A wrinkle, a pimple, a sunspot, and blotchy skin are due to congestion of dead cells or the byproducts of cells, which limit the movement of energy or blood. Sometimes I see people with a grey skin tone due to years of chemical skincare products, and the buildup of dead cells and chemicals.

What’s your go-to workout to feel good?

I practice Kundalini yoga and ballet. Kundalini yoga is the quickest way for me to see my own blocks and release them. I used to work out pretty hard, but I didn’t have a meditation practice. So, I would often be eating in a thoughtless way. So, the effort of working out was negated by overeating or poor choices. I don’t believe there should ever be a routine that does not intend to connect the mind to the body.

Where did the motto “You are enough” come from?

It is from my own life experience. We are always going to want more, because it is the natural state of the universe. The conundrum in always wanting more is the feeling of not being enough in the present moment. I believe the most important practice one should have each day is to find the feeling of contentment inside. When one feels love and appreciation for themselves, the trajectory of their day is one on course with success and brilliance.

Veridatta reminds people to feel enough, or even better, beautiful and powerful during their morning and evening ritual of using the products.

What does “The V Life” mean to you?

We tag #theVLife on Instagram when there is a visual representation of someone that is owning their beauty. There is a huge difference between looking beautiful and feeling beautiful, and you can see it on camera. When we do a photoshoot, I always prep myself and the models to embody the feeling of “enough.” When someone is feeling this and we catch it on camera, I post it. I want people to see what it looks like.

The best advice you’ve ever received?

From my sister, upon starting high school at age 13. She told me, “Stay true to yourself.” It is a mantra, and in the most challenging times of pressure of other people’s expectations or my own negative thinking, I come back to it.

What made you take on a healthier lifestyle?

I think by most people’s standards I have always lived a kind of healthy lifestyle. I began yoga in eighth grade, was an Eastern Religion major at Boston University, began teaching yoga in NYC after graduation, and then I began Chinese Medicine School in San Diego shortly thereafter. The four-and-a-half years at this school is what built my understanding of the body’s chemistry. Living a “healthy lifestyle” seems like a bore to me. I like energy. I do the things and eat the things that give me more and more energy.

What is Sweat + Glow?

Sweat + Glow is Veridatta’s signature class that is traveling to cities to spread happiness. Happiness is the feeling of being enough, of being powerful, of being beautiful, of being clear, of being conscious, of being oneself. We incorporate yoga or dance with a meditation at the end, and we offer all of our participants sample products and V Tonics [fresh organic juices developed to tone or nourish the skin].

Why is sweating important to Veridatta?  

Chemical skincare products which are basically 95% of the marketplace sit on top of the skin and create a barrier stopping the skin from its natural detoxication process. For optimum health, the skin needs to be able to breathe. Sweat + Glow is an awareness movement connecting the dots for people about sweating, skin, and glowing. I want people to know that with a couple of daily practices they can have beautiful glowing skin. It is chemistry and it feels good!

What’s coming up for Spring?

Locally to the Hamptons, the explosion of Vital Sun SPF in all of our retailers and the opening of The Squeezery, where The V Tonics are made and sold.  Vital Sun is our tinted zinc oxide SPF that works as a daily moisturizer, a concealer, and a sunscreen.

Follow Veridatta on Instagram or online .

Follow my Instagram & Facebook to see my upcoming, personal review after using the Living Enzyme Scrub, Skin Tight Toner and Raw Coconut Day Repair.

28 Days of Food & Drinks

Get ready for 28 new flavors to add to your foodie bucket list!

The number 28 was originally inspired by a blog documenting my Golden Birthday Adventure. This number transitioned into an entire series on how to live life to the fullest. After Springing to Action comes a more concise post about my true passion- FOOD! They say don’t go shopping when you’re hungry, so I’ll advise the same warning: Do not read the below on an empty stomach.


Strollo’s Lighthouse is a soft serve Italian ice spot with several locations in New Jersey. As with any experience, I went to ‘the original’ in Long Branch. All the flavors were tempting but I went for the Strawberry, Pistachio & Peanut Butter combo!

Myself & friend at Strollo's
Myself & Friend at Strollo’s


American Whiskey is a whiskey aficionado’s dream! A New York Sour or Old Fashioned done right, there’s no messing around here- you’ll be tempted to drink yourself back to college days. To [slightly] sober up eat their classic burger or butcher steak. Simple in design, memorable in flavor.

Vauxhall, in Huntington, had the largest warm pretzel I had ever seen. With Ale Mustard Cheddar Dip and Espelette House Mustard (just enough spice!) the entire thing was gone in minutes. I paired that with their original Vauxhall Stout (GUINNESS, VANILLA VODKA, SAIL AWAY COLD BREW), a sure fire way to ensure a returning customer!

Verde Kitchen in Bayshore’s town is great for some quality T&T- taco’s and tequila! Pulpo taco and Pomegranate Margarita were the top favorites (so many options, so short a lunch break).

The Lake House, also in Bay Shore but on the water, provided a Roasted Berkshire Pork Chop worth salivating over. Green Apple, Yam, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Gratin, Maple-Bacon Vinaigrette, Cranberry Mostarda- it’s fall freshness in your mouth (though, technically I had it in summer).

Bay Kitchen, in East Hampton, though closed until May 2018, had a $1 oyster happy hour. Right on the water, the shells were ripe for the picking.

Serafina’s location in East Hampton was a popular spot for a Saturday night. I’d been to the locations in NYC but this was a first. The ALLA NORCINA & 4 STAGIONI personalized size pizza pies were perfecto!

Caliente, an inaugural Hamptons event to benefit Long Island Cares, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and OLA of Eastern Long Island, was an evening of delectables!

Montauk Yacht Club’s Coast Kitchen served up a seaworthy cioppino! For the full review of my entire meal read here.

Cioppino at Montauk Yacht Club


Estias Sag Harbor is a quaint local spot right off the Bridge-Sag Turnpike. Freshness you almost wouldn’t believe (if you haven’t been yet). You’ll likely see the owner Colin Ambrose around as well- who can take the best Instagram food photo?

Estia’s Cole Combo


SagTown Coffee reopened this summer 2017 after months of renovation. The newly inventive draft latte made with cold brew espresso is nothing short of a caffeinated miracle. Read more about the reopening, along with other caffeine spots, here.

SagTown Coffee with owner Shane Dyckman


Cowfish in Hampton Bay’s has a great outdoor bar aside from a lofty inside. The iron skillet cookie is every bit of sugary sweetness one could ask for.

Isola  is a fresh take on an old space in the Historic District of Shelter Island. Every dish tied into the next in a distinctive flow of flavors. Read my full review here.

With Isola Owner Brad Kitkowski & Chef Seth Nathan

Over to Jackson Wyoming….

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is the quintessential bar in Jackson, Wyoming. Technically, I didn’t eat here and drinking at that elevation (6,200FT) with acute altitude sickness was ill-advised. However, I’m adding it to the list because it’s an absolute must-see in town!

Cowboy Coffee, a few steps away and sticking to the theme, has a list of food items with suitable names to lure in tourists (it worked for me). Try the Cow Puncher of turkey, cheddar cheese, red peppers, banana peppers, lettuce and mayo on their outside deck as you people watch. Don’t forget a cup of coffee!

The Outside of Cowboy Coffee


Picnic and Persephone are two individualized coffeehouses I wanted to group together because of their unique personalities. Picnic is more of a locals spot whereas Persephone is in the main town. Grab some coffee, a pastry or a light lunch and take in what the area has to offer. Picnic also serves alcohol, best of both worlds.

Coffee & Breakfast Bread from Picnic


Bin22 is a tapas bar in the back of what appears to be just a wine store. After you’ve navigated through the endless bottles, sit outdoors and try the housepulled mozzarella or grilled snake river wagyu steak- you will thank me. I’m hungry just remembering it!

The Housepulled Mozzarella at Bin22


Chicken Fry benefiting the Wilson Fire Department. It’s an entire fundraiser [hosted by the fire fighters themselves] revolved around frying chicken in the woods. Tin garbage cans filled with the stuff. Dozens of them. Add in some ‘sloshies’ to the mix (a heavily infused alcoholic slushie that apparently I never knew about here on the East Coast) and you’ve got a good ol’ country time!

Buckets of Fried Chicken at the Chicken Fry


Back home to the North Fork….

Little Creek Oysters paired with Greenport Harbor Brewery, a delicious combination. I shucked my first oyster at this little establishment on the docks, hidden in the back with Bait & Tackle written above. Every week they feature an original Greenport Brew (O.G.). My personal favorite (after visiting the 2nd brewery location in Peconic) was the Black Duck Porter beer. For a full review on the pairing read here.

Oysters and Brews at Little Creek


Claudio’s in Greenport holds title as the oldest single-family run restaurant in the United States. Go for the lobster, anything else seems uncharacteristic. Thirsty? Try the Sangria or Prohibition Lemonade.

My Father With His Lobster at Claudios


Bruce & Son is situated for ideal people watching in town. Sad to say, the deliciousness I consumed no longer seems to be on the menu- Duck Hash- duck leg confit, potato, shallot, frisée, chive blossom, citrus, fried duck egg & toast. Hopefully it makes a reappearance!

Duck Hash at Bruce & Sons


Noah’s is a culinary masterpiece on the North Fork. Its farm to table restaurant boasts unique savories such as Goat Cheese Stuffed Squash Bottoms and Crescent Farm Duck BBQ (the polenta cheese, mmmmmm). Keep an eye out for Noah’s on the Go- a food truck with its own dishes (loaded steak fries, just say yes).

Loaded Fries From Noahs On The Road Chef Justin Schwartz

Luncharitos for some East End T&T! Shrimp taco’s, strawberry margaritas. Enough said.

Taco’s from Luncharitos


Industry Standard switches up the menu constantly, so it’s hard to make a suggestion if it’s not on the menu a week later. That in mind, go for the atmosphere, the revolving flavors and a bartender that mentally transports you to the East Village.

The Giving Room is both yoga studio and health center in Southold. Their juices are guaranteed to give you the immunity boost you need- plus they’re delicious! Check out more here.

The Giving Room Juices With Owner Paula DiDonato


North Fork Roasting Company gives another kind of boost- caffeine- and only steps away from The Giving Room. While all of their drinks prove better than any Starbucks, their breakfast Waffle Egg Sammy is a home run hit. And make sure to say hello to the resident dog, Sinatra, who’s on most of the NoFoRoCo gear.

Iced Chai & Waffle Sammy from NoFoRoCo


Love Lane Kitchen on Love Lane in Mattituck is the perfect breakfast nook (but they serve lunch & dinner too). For people watching, for a local feel and for filling plates. I’d recommend a meal but let’s go with the generic ‘gotta try them all.’


That’s the roundup of my Summer of Food. May your bellies be full and your taste buds satisfied.

Until next time [check back for 28 Reasons to FALL]- In Omnia Paratus!

28 Days of Awesome: Spring to Action

It’s hard to believe that Summer solstice is upon us. My blog 28 Days of Awesome: Find Your Local Adventure inspired a movement within myself. Though the initial blog was 28 unique things in 28 days I didn’t want to stop there. Why not try new things each season? Hell, I’m making it a blog series!

In order to make the most of 2017 I vowed to optimize each day as the seasons continue with small efforts to live life as an adventurous journey (not one we simple begrudgingly walk through).  Spoiler alert: it works! I feel happier and healthier.

Here are some new things I partook in (and highly recommend you do the same):

  • Eating at New Restaurants, Attending Yearly Events & Trying New Free Offers From A Variety Places:

The Cuban, Garden City, L.I.- Feel, and taste, like you’re in Little Havana. From Cuban cuisine to Latin music, this restaurant transports you on the vacation you’ve been dying to take.

Salinas, Meatpacking District, N.Y.C.- Bienvenido a España in this beautifully decorated restaurant next door to the Highline Hotel. In the true Spanish tapas style, plates are pequeña but a variety for sharing to get a taste of everything.

–  Ayhan’s Shish Kebab, Port Washington, L.I.- The original of the chain where I drank a pomegranate martini, making me feel like I was one of the Gods.

Left Coast Kitchen, Merrick, L.I.- I bow down to the person that created this Temple Burger. A spin on the classic bagel, lox & cream cheese deluxe, but replace the bagel with latkes and add some eggs. You read that right.

La Fondita, Amagansett, L.I.- Under the same ownership as restaurants Nick & Toni’s, Rowdy Hall and Townline BBQ, this off-the-road location looks understated but its large personality matches the enormous flavor.


Left- The Cuban / Upper right- Salinas / Bottom right- Left Coast Kitchen


–  Hampton Coffee Company, Hamptons, L.I.- I’ve never actually stopped at a brick & motor location for this coffee. Off route 27, it was an ideal pick me up.

Kobrick Coffee, Meatpacking, N.Y.C.- In an intimate and swanky, yet surprisingly casual location, that serves an Affogato worth salivating over!

Starbucks  , All Over- I came, I bought and I loved the newly released Toasted Coconut Cold Brew.

Douglas & James Ice Cream, Port Washington, L.I.- A quaint little parlor right on the water with a decor that makes you want to try it all!

– Carvel’s Free Cone Day, (once a year) All Over- I was the only adult on line, April 27th, but no way was I missing out! Mark your calendar for yours.

Taste of Tuckahoe, Southampton, L.I.- This annual benefit supports local schools and provides delicious tastes from dozens of local fare!

Southampton Publick House, Southampton, L.I.- In its new location, it retains the same welcoming vibe as its former.

  • As a self-proclaimed ‘fitness foodie’ my motto is that if you want to eat hard you have to work out even harder. As evident of the above, I had some hard work ahead of me. Listed below are some of the unique ways to keep fit:

East End Row, Southampton, L.I.- I’d never taken a row class, let alone been on a row machine, but this got me hooked. See my full review from The Independent Newspaper.

Glow Golf, Garden City, L.I.- It can still get chilly in Spring, so some outdoor activities remain on the back burner (like mini golf). But mention indoor, GLOW IN THE DARK mini golf and no questions needed.

Aerial Silks, Riverhead, L.I.-  I took an aerial fitness class in a hammock (what they use for aerial yoga) and became hooked. A slightly different, and more difficult, experience was the dual hanging silks! Full review here.

Volleyball, All Over- I may be an athlete by nature but I had never played competitive beach volleyball before now. Turns out, while I certainly need practice, I’m not half bad (for a real review ask my teammates).

Box + Flow, N.Y.C.- This summer Ruschmeyer’s kicked off #WavesandWellness. Based in NYC, Box+Flow made their east end debut with  a class combining boxing & yoga. This was the best way, potentially the only way, to eagerly get me on a yoga mat. Read my review in full.

Cryotherapy, Water Mill, L.I. & N.Y.C.- Can you stand to be in a tube filled with nitrogen gas at -250 degrees Fahrenheit? How about for 3 minutes? For the health benefits it’s entirely worth it. Read more.


Top Left- East End Row / Bottom Left- Cool Zone Cryo / Top Right- Box + Flow / Bottom Right- Aerial Silks

  • Explored some new places: Some things I just stumbled into, or decided to experience for myself.  In omnia paratus!

Private Artists Exhibit, East Hampton, L.I.- Guild Hall held its 79th Artists Member Exhibition and I was fortunate to attend the initial private showing.

Baron’s Cove, Sag Harbor, L.I.- Sitting under heat lamps on the outside deck, sipping my last whiskey cocktail of the season, it was a pleasant reminder that winter had passed and Spring was blossoming.

– Long Beach Strip, Sag Harbor, L.I.- A different Long Beach, known as Foster Memorial. A beautiful strip on the bay side.

– Democrat Point, Robert Moses Beach, L.I.- I hit a few first with this one, including watching kitesurfers!

Long Island Welcome Center, Dix Hills, L.I.- You’ve likely seen the obnoxious, blue I <3 New York advertisement signs on every major parkway. I stopped by the newly developed L.I. Welcome Center (eastbound on the L.I.E.). With all local produce it supports the entire community and gives back to those who make this island great.

Montauk Salt Cave, Huntington, L.I.- I couldn’t make it to Montauk but I did get to experience my first salt cave at their secondary location in Huntington. Inhale salty benefits, exhale stress.


Top Left- Artist Exhibit, Guild Hall / Bottom Left- L.I. Welcome Center / Right- Montauk West Salt Cave


  • On a more personal note, I made a conscious effort to further my career: I’ve worked hard on building my ‘Nikki on the Daily‘ brand for years. Recently, by consciously making an effort to push harder, it seems things are finally falling into place. But I wouldn’t be where I am without some help.

– Started a Fitness Column, East End, L.I.- I’ve been writing for The Independent Newspaper for several years. Currently I am perma-freelance reporting on several topics. A topic I aimed to be fluent in is fitness & have earned the weekly IndyFit column.

Modeled LIVE on TV, N.Y.C.- When I was in the studio audience of The Wendy Williams Show, back during my 28 Days of Awesome, I was asked to potentially return for a model segment. Thanks to help of style expert, Chassie Post, I modeled in a live TV segment called Look for Less.

– Hampton’s Modeling Debut, Southampton, L.I.- The wonderful Gabby Wild and Southampton Adoption Center invited me to walk in their ethical fashion show/benefit, Catwalk for Canines. I took a step in the right direction in the gorgeous fashion lines of Marita Wrong and Pelush, with a pup up for adoption.

Bethpage Polo at the Park,L.I.- This season, as a manager to the VIP tent on the polo grounds, I am both humbled and proud to be able to contribute to a business community I strongly believe in. Come join us on Sundays.


Top- Live TV, Wendy Williams / Bottom Left- Bethpage Polo / Bottom Middle- Catwalk for Canines, Pelush / Bottom Right- IndyFit Column


From my adventuress to yours, may every moment be more awesome than the last!

Make sure you check back for 28 days of Summer.


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The Colorful Life of Kara Hoblin

Picture the word “love” drawn out in front of your eyes on a black chalk board. Waves, underwater creatures, and flowers all morphed to form the letters L, O, V, and E using every color in the rainbow.

In a single image, that would be artist Kara Hoblin.

“You can’t have positivity without love. Love of oneself, of everyone around you, of the environment.”

Back in August 2016 in Southold, Long Island, Hoblin held her first chalk art show, ‘The Art of Letting Go,’ and created her artistic image after being inspired from our initial interview.

With the intent to erase her work at the end of the evening, to reveal hidden messages below, people showed up from all over, some she barely knew and some she hadn’t seen in years.

John McLane came across Hoblin’s work at different restaurants around Greenpoint before connecting through mutual friends on Facebook and then meeting her in person on the Hampton Jitney.

“I hear her tell her name to the bus driver for the reservation and when she came up the steps I said ‘Hey, nice work!’ She didn’t know my wife and I, so she looked at us very confused. So I said, ‘The chalk drawings.’”

A native Long Islander from Blue Point, Hoblin worked in New York City at a photo and styling agency after graduating from SUNY New Paltz. While so many are tempted to leave home, Hoblin’s love for the community and nature has been her sense of gravity to the area. In returning back to the island she managed Harbes Vineyard tasting room along with handling their marketing and social media. Her first chalkboard design was at First and South Restaurant in Greenport back in 2014.

Owner of First and South, Sarah Phillips, has seen Hoblin undergo a serendipitous transition.

“In a painting she’d be beautiful, well balanced, colorful and stunning almost to a point that it’s sad because you wish that life could be like that every day,” Phillips describes.

Hoblin’s mother, Gina Crawford, described her daughters first exhibit at the young age of three years old when star and flower paintings were displayed in their home.

“At seven, eights years old she did her first exhibit at Bayport-Blue Point library about Beanie Babies. I always knew she was going to be an artist. I’m so proud of her.”

More than chalk, Hoblin explores illustration of all kinds.

“I recently started to get really involved with typography. I find it therapeutic and powerful since language (of all types) is the connecting factor for our species, and communication is both beautiful and necessary.”

Her work is whimsical in style, which she aims to remain true to. While she tries to take on as many projects as she can, they must coincide with her vision.

Living on the North Fork has become a sanctuary to her. Whether it be swimming at one of the local beaches or going on a peaceful walk through one of the many preserves there are endless locations to relax, think, and draw.

Hoblin’s most beloved activity is simply being outdoors. Whether it’s riding her bike, taking a walk with her puppy, Lily, or swimming in the sound.

In gearing her life’s work to her community, she has compiled dozens of hand drawn sketches of locations throughout the North Fork in a coloring book. Each location is depicted as Hoblin imagines it, a magical collection that is available at Burtons Bookstore in Greenport and Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck. She’s currently working on her second coloring book depicting scenes from the South Shore and Shelter Island.

“One of my favorite swimming spots has these large rocks in the water and in the coloring book there’s a mermaid sitting on the rock. I’m really excited and I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this coloring book. I think that coloring and any type of art is really beneficial and stress relieving for the soul.”

For artist Kara Hoblin, Long Island is her inspirational masterpiece.

You can meet the artist at her next exhibit Wednesday, February 8th, from 6-8pm at Love Lane Kitchen for a reception of selected works and pop up gift shop.

Follow more from Kara Hoblin on Instagram  or her website.

Follow more from me on Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat: NikkiontheDaily

This is a follow up story. The original story about The Art of Letting Go was featured in The Independent Newspaper on August 24, 2016.