Ron and Kristen Menapace’s 10 Favorite Things
From celebrating birthdays to frolicking outdoors, the husband and wife team and co-owners of The Farmhouse Store tell us the things they can’t live without
By Sarah Emily Gilbert
The “About Us” page on The Farmhouse Store’s website begins, “Ultimately it’s a family business.” You need not look any further than owners Ron and Kristen Menapace’s list of 10 favorite things for proof of that statement. With their #1 spot going to spending time with their family, it’s clear that the Menapace’s success is rooted in their love for one another. Ron and Kristen aren’t running their highly esteemed home furnishings and accessories store, they can be found motorcycling, traveling, or doing another one of their favorite things listed below.
1. Spending time with our four kids and family: We’ve heard that large families are like waterbeds. They used to be everywhere, but now they’re just seen as weird. Every day is mayhem and brings its own unique chaos. With a first-grader, two kindergarteners and a toddler…all while growing a business poses challenges every day. But we wouldn’t change it for the world. Our immediate and extended family, no doubt, tops our list of favorite things.
2. Spending time outdoors: We have always enjoyed nature trails, hiking, and traveling. Our national park system from Acadia to Zion is an amazing way to see all our country has to offer. We have loved visiting many of these parks and we plan to instill this love of outdoor activity to our children. This summer, we began our latest project renovating a vintage Airstream. Camping is great way for us all to connect. We love to see the excitement in our children and planning our adventures ahead.
3. Motorcycling: Architect, Antione Predock summarizes our love of our two wheel adventures when he says, “The connection to place, to the land, the wind, the sun, stars, the moon… it sounds romantic, but it’s true – the visceral experience of motion, of moving through time on some amazing machine – a few cars touch on it, but not too many compared to motorcycles. I always felt that any motorcycle journey was special.”
4. Princeton: From the nature, to the culture and the arts (not to mention the cuisine), Princeton has a metropolitan feel, without the hustle and craziness of a big city. We love that we’ll hear 5 languages being spoken on any given Saturday. It’s a place where the locals and visitors alike appreciate the arts, from McCarter to Morven, to the Princeton University Arts Museum, and The Princeton Arts Council.
5. Travel: In our line of work, searching for the unusual and cool items, we are fortunate to build relationships with so many talented, wonderful and some quirky artists, craftspeople and “normal” everyday people. We visit places we wouldn’t normally go to, meet people we wouldn’t ordinarily meet and learn about subjects we didn’t know we would be interested in. So while we love exploring new places, learning the local history and discovering the ‘unique”, we find the beauty of travel is in meeting the people and experiencing the “local flavor.”
6. The creative process: Art forms take on different shapes…sometimes we’re building Legos with the kids and other times building custom furniture for a Wall Street office. The Farmhouse Store affords us the opportunity to explore the creative process. If you asked either of us why we enjoy this process we would probably summarize it very succinctly…making things is fun.
7. Coffee: ‘Nuff said.
8. Exercise: Do you want to know a secret instant mood enhancer? Get off the couch and get some physical activity. Seriously, we have a short amount of time on this planet, let’s feel good and get moving. While Kristin loves teaching and working out with moms at Princeton’s Baby Boot Camp (a stroller-based fitness program) we both enjoy running, swimming, biking, going on walks and enjoying the D&R Greenway.
9. Our similar design aesthetic: Our tastes aren’t exactly alike, but we’ll both tell you that we appreciate an eclectic style of home décor. We have created a warm, inviting home that tells the story of our life’s travels. Trends come and go, but the aesthetic we’re drawn to has a timeless, comfortable feel. That feel is reflected in The Farmhouse Store and we rarely are in disagreement when we are designing a new space in the store.
10. Birthdays: We have lots of them in our house. Candles, singing, pretty packages, balloons and CAKE! What’s not to love? No doubt, there is something very special about celebrating life. Did we mention cake?