Q&A Series: Meet Cambria Grace Brockman!

This month we are kicking off a new interview series here on the Place & Gather blog! We are so lucky to have befriended many talented people since opening the store and thought it would be fun to highlight them here through a Q&A. First up is Cambria Brockman, who many of you probably already know either through her fabulous instagram account @cambria_grace or from her wedding photography business. We first got to know her last fall when she coordinated a collection drive for the tender age shelters in Texas. We were so inspired by her generosity and knew we wanted to get to know her better! Without further ado…

You are not a New England native, can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up and how you ended up in Charlestown? My parents were geologists for energy companies so we moved a lot. I was born in Texas, moved overseas to the UK, went to boarding school in New Hampshire, attended Bates College, and then finally, moved to Boston, and Charlestown (!), after I graduated college. Actually, now that I am reflecting - when I first moved to Boston, I meant to drive into to Beacon Hill, but I accidentally ended up in Charlestown, up by the Monument (...I'm really good with maps). I remember thinking: what is this cute neighborhood? I want to live here! And then I moved in about a year later with my now-husband. That was about seven years ago. 

What do you enjoy most about living in Charlestown? How to choose? I love Asana & in my pre-book/pre-baby days, I used to go to C.Town Cycle regularly (which reminds me I should probably start doing that again soon). Charlestown is a quiet neighborhood but is still SO close to the city, so we go for a lot of city-hikes. One of my favorite memories of Charlestown is when it snowed 50 feet (jk, but it felt like that, right?) and we went skiing in the streets. Now that we have a toddler, we enjoy frequenting Little Groove music classes and allllllll the playgrounds and parks. I have met so many other parents and it’s nice to be able to stop on the sidewalk and catch up with another family. And I can walk into a store like Junebug and say hi to everyone :) That is definitely my favorite thing about Charlestown - the community feel. 

You started your own photography business, what do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? Freedom! Creativity! Being my own boss! It's the dream, especially when a hobby becomes a business (as it happened with me). I love photography so it was really fun creating a business around that.

Your first novel, Tell Me Everything, is coming out this summer, congratulations! How did writing a book come about? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do? Thank you! Yes, it's something I've always wanted to do. I read constantly as a kid, and in pre-internet days, I spent a lot of time making up stories. However, I never gave myself false hope that I could be an author. I figured it was an 'unrealistic goal'. Both my parents had corporate careers so I thought that was what I was supposed to do - health benefits, 401k, etc. Writing was always a BIG dream, and I never thought it could be a reality - until one day, I was like, you know what? F it, let's give this a go - and I'm really glad I did. 

What did you find most challenging about writing a book? At first, finding confidence. I used to delete so much of what I wrote. It's also slightly terrifying thinking that someone will read a story you created - it's like one of those dreams where you are standing naked in front of an audience. Those things stopped me a lot in the beginning. Then my only goal became finishing it, because that was what it was about for me - writing and finishing a book. Now, the most challenging thing is actually sitting down and focusing whenever I have a free moment. Sometimes I jot down notes while I simultaneously play with my son - the hustle is real!

Can we expect a second book? Yes! I'm actually working on two right now, and I can't decide which one I like better..which, yes, is as crazy as it sounds. One of them takes place in a Boston neighborhood (wink wink) with a large cast of colorful characters, a big mystery, and lots of secrets! 

And finally, what’s next for you? Any bucket list items you hope to check off? Get my son into a preschool in Charlestown, anyone got any tips??? Haha. And hopefully write a few more books. If you see me around town, please say hi :)