Featured Artist: Barbara Gettes

Age: 35

Hometown: Lafayette Hill

Current town: Philadelphia
Job description: Folk Musician in The Spinning Leaves & Herb Crafter Crafter at U-Bee-Well. Professional Dreamer.

Upcoming projects: Filling my first large order for U-Bee-Well for an order at Anthropologie.

What are you working on?

I am working on starting a legitimate business with U-Bee-Well.

What’s your background?

I would say that I have always been a dreamer/visionary.

I was late coming into both music and herb crafting.

What’s been happening in your life/ what’s next for you?

I am on a massive learning curve on how to start a business.  I have been making lip balms and other products out of my kitchen for a few years now. In September I decided to put more energies into the lip balm. A month later I got contacted by Anthro. Very quickly I have started to work with a team of people to help develop and set U-Bee-Well off right.

Current State of mind: Slightly overwhelmed and very excited!

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Currently interested in/inspired by:

The 1800’s in Philadelphia, Pioneering a new way for musicians to make (sustain in) music, the origins of Ben & Jerry (ice cream), and the development of industry and the power of a product with a message

Is any of your work political?

Yes.  I have no less intention than to make this world a better place.

Has the meaning of your work changed over time?

I would say that the meaning of my work has evolved and grown, but it has not changed.  In fact, I feel like what I am doing now is all connecting to my character as a child.

Are you involved with any organizations/ Is there a group you feel affinity with?

The Musical Communities of Philadelphia and all over this country

The Farming Communities of Philadelphia and all over this country

Native Americans

Children in public schools falling victim to the ‘No Child Left Behind Act’

Do you collaborate with other artists?

I have with music. Not so much collaboration yet with other artists in regards to the balms.  There is a pretty great possibility that I will be collaborating in the near future.

What are you reading?

Right now, (which is a recent exploration). I am doing quite a bit of research on non-traditional business models and how to use business to make positive social change. My friend and designer Angela Miles from Carpe Diem Constructions lent me a book of short stories from McSweeney’s that I’m excited to crack open,

What websites do you visit regularly? Umm, Youtube I guess…

What are you listening to these days?

David Brubeck, Bonnie Prince Billy, NPR, The collaboration with Danger Mouse, Jack White and Norah Jones. Etta James

What are a few of your favorite spots in Philly:

My neighborhood in West Philly. The Reading Terminal. The Fire., Franklin Fountain. The Ritz. Fairmount Park. All of the parks in West Philly. All of the ethnic markets in the city… the Asian markets, African markets,Mexican and  Indian markets. All of the public resources for learning in this city… (this has been a more recent discovery.  I very much use this city as a classroom and really dig all the libraries and scholars who are happy to gift those who ask with sharing their knowledge and expertise. It suits me way better than traditional education.)

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Favorite artists and why?

So Many. I’ll start with a few local movers, shakers, creators;


Hezekiah Jones

Chris Kasper

Johnny Showcase

The Great Unknown

Sean Hoots

Andrew Gray

Rob Berliner


The Extraordinaires (Jay Purdy)

Dan & Tim from Good Old War

Jaron Olevsky

Ross Bellenoit

Ali Wadsworth

Toy Soldiers


Susan Rosetti

Birdie Busch

Craig Elkins

The Divers

Kristen Sylvester

Todd Henkin

West Philly Orchestra

The Moonlight Forest

**Non local musician friends I love are Cheyenne Mize from Kentucky, The folks from the school house soda pop speak easy down in West Virginia, Vandaveer from DC, Chris Bathgate from Michigan.

***And lastly, James Michael Baker. My partner in crime, who is a walking talking song.


Tara Murtha

Point Entertainment

Holly Otterbein

Mandy Dollar

Folk You Philly

Bruce Warren at WXPN

John Vettese

Gene Shay

Nick Esposito

Nathaniel Popkin (Hidden City)

Theater-ish stuff:

Adrienne Mackey

Juliet Hope Wayne

Charlotte Ford

Martha Graham Cracker

Johnny Showcase & the Left Lucy Caberet

Swim Pony

Yes And!

**Physical Art stuff:

Alison Dilworth

Carpe Diem Constructions

Frank Kolbmann

Josh Gittelman

Candice Jeffries

Lion of the Sea

**People who are shaking it the most beautiful of ways:

Claire Murray from Inverbrook Farm

The Espositos’ at Emerald Street Farm

Angela Norris at Studio 34

The whole crew up at Orchard Hill Farm in NH

Robin Howson

Two Gander Farm

Katie Phillips

Allison Hoots

MY sister, Nina Gettes

The folks from HyLo

**Oh, man… I could go on and on artists who inspire me. Seriously loaded question for me 😉

blueshirt bindi portrait

What was the first piece of artwork you bought/ do you buy a lot of artwork?

I don’t remember.  Maybe some jewelry made from a Native American Woman out in California. Maybe some art from a thrift shop. I remember buying a piece of art off of someone who created a drawing inspired while we (The Spinning Leaves) were playing a show down in West Virginia.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be?

Definitely some sort of educator or therapist.

How do you choose your subject matter?

I would say my subject matter chooses me more than I choose it.

What are some misconceptions people often have about you?

Oh, I don’t know.  I don’t really understand sarcasm. Perhaps people dismiss my level of intelligence based on that. My dad was the same way.  Total genius of a man, just in his own world a bit. Also, a lot of folks in this town or from the past few years really knew me through my music.  The thing is, is that I was 29 when I started playing out. I never felt so comfortable with being identified strictly as a musician. I would say that music is my favorite part, but I’m glad I have pushed through and have found a way to convey that I create all sorts of things and my biggest passion is sincerely the art of moving people.

What were you like as a kid?

Super sweet, mild disposition, empathetic, terrible student, day dreamer.

What’s your idea of happiness?

Doing and creating good stuff, being around the people I love, my cat Bastian, great vinyls, and a bottomless jar of maple syrup.

Your website(s):

Although this will be changing soon; for now:



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