BRIKA is all about building connections and sharing stories that inspire and delight. While it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a dedicated team to build an online community — and we thought it was high time you got to know them! So we’ve turned the tables on our BRIKA team and asked them all the same questions we ask our amazing Makers every week.
Lori Mastronardi - Editor
Word Master * Bright-Eyed Optimist * Tomato Queen
"Look for all the little bright spots along the way."
When Lori was in Grade 3, she would study for the spelling bee while watching her grandparents’ roadside fruit stand. She’s been obsessed with words ever since, working in publishing and marketing for companies including Scholastic, Sweetspot, Rogers Media and eLUXE. Today, she splits her time between freelance writing/editing, and visiting her hometown of Leamington (to stock up on fresh produce from the family farm).
What's something you do every day without fail?
Walk through Trinity Bellwoods Park. It’s on my route to work, and I love seeing the park on a relatively quiet weekday morning. Along the way, I’ll spot grandparents pushing their grandkids on swing sets, toddlers practicing their first steps, and so many dogs (sometimes it feels like there are more dogs than people).
What’s one thing you wish you did every day without fail?
The Scientific 7-Minute Workout! I first spotted it in The New York Times Magazine, and it’s the scientifically proven perfect mix of cardio and strength training (think everything from wall sits to jumping jacks).
What’s the last place you visited that inspired you?
Vancouver. There’s a different rhythm on the other side of the country, and being active is a big priority. It was incredibly motivating to run along the Seawall—it’s so gorgeous, you don’t realize how long you’ve been exercising! We recently took the train across Canada (from Toronto to Vancouver) and, really, the whole way was inspiring.
What's your ideal Saturday?
Definitely a day trip! I love to squeeze in little adventures whenever possible.
How do you get around creative blocks?
A good friend of mine says the only way out is through. So you just have to keep chipping away… a walk around the block, a fresh pot of coffee, a break to listen to a comedy show all put me in a good mood and help, too.
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
Popcorn-style comedies—especially The Mindy Project.
Who inspires you?
My family! In the 1950s, my grandfather came to Canada with only a suitcase (while my grandmother and dad were still in Italy). He worked at a factory before building a tomato farm from scratch, and bringing his family over. Today, my parents run the farm, while my grandparents sell tomatoes, cucumbers and the like at their roadside fruit stand. I’m a big believer in big dreams, family tradition, and hard work—and am proud to come from a family of Makers.
What's on your shopping list: A new dining room table for big dinner parties, cozy weekend brunches and board game nights. A bicycle for quick trips around the city. Also, I keep eyeing these earrings by Elisha Marie.
What three things make you happiest in the world: Well-crafted copy, the little things you notice along a walk, and my adorable nephew Brayden.
Favourite cup of coffee in your city: I love all the little cafes along the way, but I especially enjoy a cup from our giant espresso machine at home (my boyfriend Matt belongs to a coffee-of-the-month club, which ensures we’re never short on espresso shots).Have you joined BRIKA yet? Hop to it & discover well-crafted goods from empowering Makers at brika.com. Did you like this story? You’ll probably like these as well!