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Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:00

abqARTS - March 2012

Cherie Austin, Entrepreneur

Cherie Austin is a swirl of energy, ideas and enthusiasm – wrapped in great fashion and grounded in family and love for the land. A native New Mexican who started out in architecture and design, she spent 13 very successful years in nonprofits.

Austin has an amazing ability to translate her diverse skills, interests and experiences into whatever idea she wants to conquer next. She’s the woman who gives you a lovely, small painting as a gift – and it turns out she made it herself. You visit her gorgeous home and find out that she and her husband designed and built the beautiful, straw bale home. Stop by the hip and funky La Parada import store on North 4th Street, where she has been a co-owner for 7 years.

Eighteen months ago, Austin decided her next challenge was a restaurant that would be more than just a place to eat. She set out to create Farm and Table, a celebration of local food systems, growers, farmers, cheese makers and more, by building a community around food, music, art, culture and the need for sustainability in all aspects of our lives.

Austin knows words like “local, “sustainable,” and “organic” are trendy now, but she wants the restaurant, the on-site farm, and the other events they offer to bring people back to the basics: Trees, land, gardens, homemade, handmade and community – especially community. Farm and Table will open soon at 8203 4th St NW; visit shoplaparada.com for details..

Sources of inspiration?
My grandmother, mom, four sisters, friends and my morning shower.

Without restrictions (job, money, time, etc), what would you be doing right now?
Traveling through Europe with my family.

What might surprise people about you?
I started a mobile juice/smoothie business to pay for college.

Favorite artist?
Georgia O’Keefe because she was both feminine and bold.

Guilty pleasure?
Turning off my phone and disappearing.

What creative skill would you most like to master?
Pottery on the wheel: spinning, shaping and glazing.

http://www.abqarts.com


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