This week I interviewed a great small business: @pagesofvega !
- Tell me a little about yourself:
“Call me Vega.
Vega is my last name and also one of the brightest stars in the night sky, giving off a blue-ish glow. There is a great story about the Milky Way love affair between the stars, Vega and Altair, that you should look up sometime. Vega was once the north star and will be again in about 13,000 years. It’s a very celestial namesake.
I grew up in Dallas, TX within a mixed family of Filipino and Mexican-American heritages. The cultures are similar due to Spanish colonization and Thanksgivings were always a conglomerate of lumpia eggrolls, pancit noodle dishes, turkey, and tamales with rice and beans. Some of my favorite memories are eating pan dulce sweet bread with my grandparents and running around with all of my cousins. My first name is Natasha, by the way.
I moved to NY about 7 years ago and have been living here off and on (back and forth from TX). My jobs have mostly been in retail/sales, interior design, and as a teacher. I’ve always had a creative mindset with an appreciation for the arts, visiting museums, and reading books. All of these feel like portals; glimpses at other people’s worlds, feelings, adventures. I’m into astrology and identify quite strongly with my dreamy sun sign of Pisces. I’m also a Sagittarius moon, which keeps me moving around (I’ve lived in Mexico, Spain, and South Korea), with a rising sign of Leo (which I’m still trying to decipher). Don’t even get me started on the house placements of my birth chart!”
2. Can you talk a little about your store?
“Maya Angelou has an infamous quote about how people will forget who you are, and what you said, but never how you made them feel. I’ve thought a lot about this and have tried to adopt it into my practice for the shop, “Pages of Vega”. I hope to provide an entire book experience for the buyer. I like to add different vintage paper pieces as decorative flourishes with each order. Books in themselves are very special from the cover art, to the illustrations, and stories. It always feels like secret information that you are telling yourself. I have a fondness for 1970’s paperbacks and early 1900’s hardbacks which is evident in the shop. I am working on highlighting more WOC authors as well.
I’m not a baker, so my Covid hobby that I picked up was paper making. It’s such a process, making the pulp and the slurry, but I love all the botanicals and texture that you can add to the quality of the paper. My goals are to create stationary, cards, and other novelties like zines, bookmarks, and journals as an expansion of my great love of paper. “
3. If you had to make a top five must reads for fall. What books would you put on the list and why?
” My first top read for Fall would be, “The Plague” by Albert Camus for obvious reasons. I read it about 4 years ago for the first time and then frantically looked for the exact vintage red cover version earlier this year. I wanted to know how this ends, if this ends. It heightened and calmed my nerves reading about how others dealt with the age old crisis of plague and what they discovered about themselves; the isolation, the compassion. The descriptions of those bubonic rats are also stomach churning!
Second on the list would be, “Seven Eves” by Neal Stevenson. It’s quite a heavy loaf of a novel that begins with the moon exploding in the first few pages. WOW! A Sci-fi thriller that goes quite in depth about the technicalities of living out in space. I enjoy the layered cast of characters, strong female leads, and transition of worlds. Worth the time investment (it’s almost a thousand pages long) as it’s a complete immersion into this alternate galactic space life.
Third, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte- a classic by all regards. It’s my cozy bedtime read every Fall season. Although I’ve read it many times, I still get caught up in the 19th century prose and Jane’s character. It has all the vibes of love, loss, self discovery, and gothic brooding. Perfect for crisp autumn nights by a faux or real fireplace.
Fourth, “Your were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance” by Chani Nicholas. This is a good intro into understanding your 3 major sign placements (sun, moon, rising) and how to work through their challenges and gifts. I know astrology is often perceived as made up, but there is a science to it. Researching more about the special arrangement of my birth chart has allowed me to be more merciful towards myself and how I interact in the world. Learning more self awareness is always a good thing in my book, any season.
Fifth, “Martita, I remember you/Martita, te recuerdo” by Sandra Cisneros. Cisneros hasn’t published a novel in a decade so this was a delightful surprise. Growing up, “The House on Mango Street” and her poetry “Loose Woman” were very impactful. These were stories about feeling lost in the duty of family and the struggle of becoming one’s own self from a Latinx point of view. I’m excited that this new novel is dual language. Even though I am not fluent in Spanish, I still try to read and practice. I’m also intrigued that the novel is spawned by re-discovering a long lost letter from a friend, the connections we make while traveling, and the movement of life. I admire Cisneros and will always recommend her. “
4. What is an interesting fact that not many people know about you?
“This was a bit difficult to decide on. I will share that although I enjoy living in different countries and learning about other cultures, I am pretty shite at learning languages and holding conversations in them. My Spanish is embarrassing at best and I only learned survival Korean phrases for ordering food and asking for directions. I can read hangul characters though, which is maybe another interesting tidbit, along with the fact that I have a hangul tattoo of my name on my left arm.
So, despite all the language difficulties, I do enjoy singing in other languages. The accents and wording are a hell of a lot more forgiving with a melody. I have a few songs I like to sing in Spanish (mostly Selena songs), a couple Korean (indie) ones, and even a couple French songs. Tagalog is the next language I’m looking to add to my singing repertoire. “
5. Do you have any upcoming promotions or events that you would like share?
“I just had my first IG “Giveaway” and pop up market experience in Albany. I would definitely like to do more of both. There will be another book giveaway happening sooner than later and I am looking into different market vending events. It’s such a great way to meet people and see your work/collections out in the open for others to enjoy. “
If you like to learn more about the Pages of Vega store. The following contact information is below:
Hashtag: #readmorevega for complete listing of books available
Thank you so much for the interview!
Until next time!!!