Last month, Mend took over The Lev, a community bookstore in Venice, Calif. that caters to female authors and women of color. We met and celebrated Mari Andrew, an Instagram illustrator whose new book “Am I There Yet?” nails the struggles of adulting. On a beautiful Friday night, our founder Elle Huerta sat down with Mari in front of 300 people and discussed everything from her new book, traveling solo, and the true meaning of self care.
Elle and Mari first met over email when we featured her in a #howimend interview. When Mari announced she was heading off on a book tour, the gears started turning to bring her to Los Angeles. After deciding to partner with Mari, we had to find a place to host this event and The Lev called our name. Miriam Chan, the owner of The Lev, thought Mari would be the perfect author to bring into the community pop-up space. Once details of the event were announced, the RSVP list got hefty. With over 400 people signed up, it was clear that both Mari and Mend count on huge support in Los Angeles.
"Every time I think I’m really pushing the limits of specificity, that’s when people really relate. They can feel what I’m feeling when I tap into that." - Mari Andrew on creating relatable art.
Mari and Elle had a fun and insightful conversation about heartbreak, getting out of rough patches, and finding your curiosity again. Mari's tips for self care included calling it "self-kindness" instead and exploring different ways to be kind to yourself. For her, that meant drawing illustrations and pushing herself creatively to share them daily.
"I only say self-kindness because I feel like self care is nebulous at this point. We all think about taking a bath — sometimes you don’t need a bath if you’ve taken five baths that day. Being kind to yourself means so many things." - Mari Andrew on finding your definition of self care.
For our Menders, it was important to talk about heartbreak. Mari shared her own anecdotes of past relationships and tips for getting out of those dark spaces. She found happiness in exploring her curiosity and finding sparks of hope through great friends.
Mari was kind enough to sign every book and personally meet every single person at the event!
After her Los Angeles stop, Mari headed off to Australia to finish her book tour before returning home to get started on a second book.
We're so glad everyone enjoyed the event and got to meet Mari! Elle also met some amazing Menders who shared their stories of using the app and how Mend came into their lives. We had a great time meeting all of you and would love to see you again! It's always great to hear your stories and these events are a great way to bring Menders together.
If you want to check out The Lev, stop by their Venice pop-up and if you want to see more amazing events and authors, support the great work they're doing!