Marlee Grace Cook-Parrott and I first met about seven years ago when she was establishing herself as an impressive community organizer and businesswoman in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Marlee went on to start a mobile shop featuring vintage and handmade goods in a restored vintage camper. She called her business Have Company and it eventually bloomed into a retail storefront, artist residency and podcast located on South Division Avenue.
Marlee, 29, used the Instagram app to promote her business and amassed a strong following quickly. Also an improvisational dancer with a degree from the University of Michigan, Marlee started posting daily video clips of herself dancing in her living room, at the beach, the cemetery, with a baby, in a field of goldenrod and anywhere else she felt inspired to move on her @personalpractice feed on Instagram. (She has about 30K on her dance feed and 76.7K on her other @softprocess feed.)
What most of her followers didn’t know is that she while she was dancing online daily she was going through a divorce, shutting down her storefront and moving across the country. On this episode, Marlee talks about how she really didn’t feel like dancing on many of the days she filmed and posted videos of herself seemly caught up in the rhythm of songs ranging from oldies to modern pop hits by one of her favs – Justin Bieber. What happened next led to a self-published book, “A Sacred Shift : a book about Personal Practice” and a feature in The New York Times.
I interviewed Marlee shortly after we first met for my newspaper column, but we never sat down for a full podcast interview until earlier this month. Tune in to hear our conversation. : )
Dance with Marlee
West Michigan listeners can dance with Marlee at her workshop on improvising & revealing the complete person from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 5 at Wealthy Theatre Annex, 1110 Wealthy St SE in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Marlee’s Hometown Book Release Party
Marlee will be signing copies of “A Sacred Shift” Sunday. Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. at The Sparrows Coffee, Tea and Newsstand at 1035 Wealthy St. S.E. in Grand Rapids.
And here’s something to look forward to
Marlee is working on another book based on a zine she wrote. The book is called “How to not always be working” and scheduled for a fall 2018 release.
Interested in sponsoring an upcoming podcast episode? Great, email me for information.
Join My Weaver’s Guild!
This year I’m vice president of the Woodland Weavers & Spinners Guild and our first meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 5. Click here for details.
P.S. If you don’t know how to weave and want to learn, get in touch. I teach workshops in West Michigan and I’m willing to travel. : )