My name is Wendy Darling; I live in the beautiful Berkshires surrounded by breathtaking nature, great music and good friends. I am a designer. I design and make clothing and home goods made from vintage, antique and recycled fabrics; jewelry, using sterling silver, sometimes gold, and gemstones; and I create events. My events encompass all my passions, whole food, music, dancing, the great outdoors and dear friends, old and new.
Life’s creative adventure for me started from the early age of 4 when my neighbor, Viola Reed introduced me to her unusual bohemian life. I fell in Love with her magical ways of alternative lifestyle before I even knew what the word lifestyle meant! I have a clear and delightful memory of a beautiful dress she gave me.
The seed Viola and her husband, Joe, planted with their eclectic house filled with treasures, became a path that I followed throughout my life. Since way back then, clothing and jewelry, good food, and music played major roles in my life.
In 1972 GYPSY, I opened my first store, opened in Gainesville, Florida. We sold high fashion and imported clothing and jewelry. The store was a huge hit and soon, I was designing clothing for large volume producers manufacturing in India. An amazing world of ethnic textiles, technique and culture was opened to me through this work. Other stores were opened, Second Hand Rose consignment, Dramboui was a vintage store that I opened in 1973, Magi where we sold spiritual books and herbs opened around the same time. Things were busy and successful!
Gypsy, became well known as a trendsetting clothier selling, what then was the height of fresh and new - imported ethnic clothing with a western design twist. I was outfitting well-known performers and developing lasting connections to the LA music industry. Soon my clothing and jewelry was being featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Playboy magazines.
Minnie Ripperton and I had become good friends at Gypsy, she was in LA, so when my late husband, David Carron, and I moved to moved there we were introduced to a built-in in tribe. David was delving into the music industry with great success. He and I were very close, and spent the bulk of our time together, with friends in the well-known1970’s LA music scene. Elton John, Alice Cooper, Minnie Ripperton, Stevie Wonder, David and me, we were a tribe, spending time and creating magic with music, food, and stage fashion.
Fast Forward 15 years. . .
We moved back to The Berkshires in 1980 and lived in Becket. David had had great success in his musical career in Los Angeles but became sadly disheartened with the integrity of the music industry. We were happy to be home and continued to walk a path of bohemian bliss. Lana, my second daughter was born in 1981.
In 1985, David passed away at the crazy young age of 36 of a brain aneurism – such a shock. He was in a hot local band, we had a store on North Street in Pittsfield also called Gypsy. We were surrounded by love and shared history.
When David died, I had two little girls, a broken heart, and shattered dreams. I shut down, turned inward and focused on raising my daughters. The girls and I spent summers on the shores of Pontoosuc Lake at my family’s lake house in Lanesborough. Everything was safe and simple there. David and I had spent many a wonderful day, summer, afternoon together there which added to the comfort we all feel there to this day. It is this magical place that has played a center role and been a grounding place throughout my life.
Years later in 2002 my good friend Eddy Broderick and I were married. Eddy arrived in my life shortly after David's passing, He helped me through everything I had been through as a young, widowed mother, spending years telling me we were meant to be together. Three years after our meeting, we moved in together. Three years later, our daughter, my youngest, Hayley, was born in 1991.
I would make the change to assure every living being no dis ease of any kind. Everyone would have all things necessary to live a good honorable and healthy life. Sharing Peace, with deep LOVE connections, pure Joy and sincere Gratitude.….all beings!
Cff: What is your current passion?
In these times my art has taken a back seat to my ministry work. Assisting others and being able to make a difference in someone’s life, however that transpires….one act of kindness at a time has been my passion. Sometimes with words, time spent in actions, and music. I so want a streaming radio show “It’s all about the LOVE” Where we can have dialog, questions, music and sharing. I love promoting concerts for those in need, I so love writing, creating music, art, jewelry and clothing designs.
My father was a huge influence. I watched him give to everyone…I saw lives changed by his care and his heart. I truly felt Love was from a very young age and believe that is why I had the love of my life in my first boyfriend and the amazing relationship we had. It was so light filled and special; people would say we floated when we walked together, that they could see light surrounding us…we felt the same way. So LOVE has always been the most important passion in my life. I was able to see and know manifestation of dreams, I saw the reality of it as a young teen and never doubted that ability…..until I experienced personal loss…my good friend Minnie, my brother, my husband and my father within 5 years…I lost faith for a minute and had to learn some things all over again.
Cff: Who/What has been most influential in your work?
My late husband David & Dance. First of all I had been dancing in costume since I was 3 and as a young teen, I loved making my clothes and wanted to impress my boyfriend at the Lighthouse dances in the 60’s. I wanted him to be over the moon when he saw me walk into a room…so I began to create my own clothing. It was the Yardley look…mini skirts, petti pants and stockings to match with little French heels as many were in knee socks and saddle shoes….I was out of the box for sure. Soon others wanted what I had created and I began sewing and designing for many folks.
Cff: Where do you find your inspiration/motivation?
From nature mostly…LOVE, sunsets at my lake house inspire me so much. I enjoy painting and drawing as well as design. Love brings me joy and when you are joyful, you are free to just be…in being I find creativity flows through me. I love color and putting things together in palates that please me. I also love making children’s clothing…everything looks great small!
Cff: Aside from working, how do you spend your time?
I meditate and do yoga every day. I write in my journal, photograph things, take walks, create art, cook healthy and (sometimes) gourmet meals and enjoy time with people I love. In the summers I share my lake house to inspire peace and well being with friends. We play music, share time, food, memories and the wonder of it all.
Being present in the presence of guru Muktananda after Woodstock in 1970 transformed my process. He smiled deeply into my soul and handed me a blade of grass…In that moment I realized the “moment” was the experience. So living and Loving (allowing) the moment became my path. A life long work in progress…
Cff: Do you have a prized possession? What is it?
I have a few, but none of them are prized, they are only possessions. A possession I am quite fond of is a very old painting of Jesus that I found in our barn when we moved to a small farm in upstate NY.
There are many that stand out; I will share two if I may.
Sitting next to Stevie Wonder while he sang harmony to his cassette tape of “The Secret Life of Plants” and said it was his greatest achievement to be the first blind man to score a movie. I was over the moon with bliss at that time in my life.
At a Rainbow gathering in 1972 Granby Colorado where we hiked 3 miles into the Rocky mountains with food on our backs to pray for peace and the end of the Vietnam war. We would make a large circle in the field holding hands to pray, daily .…not a festival mind you, a real vigil for peace. It is known that some Native Americans believe if they would pray for peace, a white buffalo would appear in the sky and that meant there would be peace that year. As we gathered one day to pray for peace, my friend Pierre Blanche’ took some photos. In a very special one, looking between two arms upheld you could see the tiny people on the other side of the huge circle, each holding hands in prayer. In the triangle of the two upheld arms were the Rocky Mountains. There in plain sight the snow had melted to form a perfect white Buffalo. Soon after, the Vietnam war ended…it was a sign…one the Native Americans had foretold. (I can enclose the photo). On the way down the mountain a rainbow circled the sun…a brightly colored enormous rainbow!
Cff: If you were able to spend an afternoon with anyone – dead or alive, who would it be? What plans would you make for your outing?
At first thought I wanted to say my late husband David…a summer day on Greylock in the field of blueberries with a blanket in each others arms and then I thought, I would be sad all over again if I had to relive the loss. So I might have to say Jesus, as he is someone whose teachings I aspire to. A day in the garden with Jesus would be amazing.
Feeling redundant, but my favorite place is our lake house on Pontoosuc Lake. There is so much nature; it is so peaceful, many birds, bald eagles, incredible sunsets, LOVE, beauty, and with friends to share it with. Just to sit by the shore, lie in the hammock, make music on the stage, watch the children play with strangers and become the best of friends in one moment. Remembering all the generations of Love and life shared on that sacred ground. I adore sitting under the apple trees that my dad planted there from our homestead in upstate NY and watching the carp dance in the water and on the rocks…all while Listening and sharing music, friendship, food, & LOVE.
Cff: Tell about how you imagine the world might look in 10 years.
I am afraid to say what I think, but I pray every day to lift the dark energies and allow more light, compassion, humanity. I strive to bring that to my everyday life as a living example. “It is all about the LOVE”. Let us be the example for all of the children.
Cff: What/who is your community?
ALL of Berkshire county! So many wonderful people, great artists, musicians, light workers, humanitarians. My spiritual network is my community.
Cff: How are you seen within your community? How do you see your role?
I believe I am seen as a light worker. Bringing Love to every situation, offering a positive message for the highest good of all and connecting people together.
Cff: Do you have an upcoming event or significant happening that you would like to promote with your blog posting? When? Where? Details and contact information please.
I am running an Indiegogo Campaign called Music and Mermaids to support the upkeep of our Pontoosuc Lake House and sacred ground. Please consider making a contribution to keep the music, magic, and connections happening there. Events there happen all summer long. They are always free and welcoming.