Finding Joy at Salt & Sand Studios.

“We loved that we could have a break from the ‘world’, learn glass blowing and do some yoga – even though we didn’t have any prior experience.”

“I didn’t know I could do this…”

“I have to tell other people about this.”


These are the words of recent visitors to Salt & Sand Studios, a new hub for wellness and art in the Mad River Valley.  Owners Karen McPhillips and Spencer Kirk-Jackson had a vision when they purchased their property in Warren last year, and now, it’s clear through the initial accolades that their vision is coming to life.  They are inspiring people to connect and create, and helping people discover joy.

The couple relocated from Boston in order to pursue their individual passions.  They chose the Mad River Valley because it was here that they discovered their own joy – relaxation, local and seasonal foods, spending time together, meeting wonderful locals and visitors, and the natural beauty – more than 18 years ago.  They’d been visiting annually ever since.  When they decided it was time for a change of lifestyle – devoting more time to art, yoga, and community – the Mad River Valley called.

Karen and Spencer did not wait for their ‘official grand opening’ to open their doors and make partnerships within their new home community.  This summer, they put on a glass blowing camp for teens and a “YesterYoga” program for the students and staff at Yestermorrow.  The Studio offers both yoga and glass blowing classes, customized experiences, retreats.

In September, they are hosting a myriad of ‘grand opening’ events during the VT Barns & Bridges Festival, (did we mention their glass blowing studio is in a lovingly restored 1800’s barn?!).  And, they will host the FREE Festival Party Sunday, September 16th from 3-6pm.  Refreshments and glass blowing demos are included, plus a “Get-It-While-It’s-Hot” Auction where the bidders bid on a hand-blown piece of glass while it’s being made!

We (those of us lucky to call the Mad River Valley home) are happy to welcome Karen and Spencer to our community!  Their colorful (wait until you see their property!), warm, positive energy is inspiring.  We’re looking forward to chatting with them more about their mutual adventures volunteering at sea with  Earthwatch Institute and Alnitak, and to enjoying future joyful-making occasions at Salt & Sand Studios!