When Stephen Staples comes across an ancient ash can or a board stripped of its nails, he studies it as if it’s the Mona Lisa. What appear to the common eye to be scraps are seen by Stephen for what they truly are—the building materials of early New England homesteads and factories. With his family, Stephen repurposes the salvaged materials into handcrafted kitchen tables, headboards, armoires, and benches.
“All this stuff is from somewhere special. … You look at the piece, you see the history, you know what went on," he says. "They say the piece can’t talk. They do talk, you just need to know how to listen.” For those not fluent in the language of reclaimed materials, Stephen includes a certificate of authenticity with each piece that details its age and probable history, including which pilgrims stored their socks in it. For his meticulous handiwork and passion for history, Stephen has been featured on This Old House and WCVB's Chronicle and in Design New England magazine and the Boston Herald.
Marcelle Racine, the certified massage therapist at Boston Empowerment and Wellness Center, kneads tension out of anxious backs and shoulders during one-hour Swedish massages. Employing a series of long strokes, gentle pressure, and encouraging pats on the back, Marcelle works to alleviate pain and improve flexibility. While the muscle mender manipulates dorsal landscapes, clients relax, allowing their bodies to take part in a mélange of health benefits, from bolstered blood flow to increased tissue regeneration to more effective immunity against diseases and dive-bombing pigeons.