This is the ongoing story of our labor of love.

We are Mary and Tim Vidra. 17 Apart symbolizes the age difference in our relationship. Though many thought it could never work (including us at some points), over the past 8 years we’ve kept bridging the gap, learning from & loving one another more each and everyday.

While we may be a generation apart, we find it’s those differences we once worried might break us apart that are actually the glue keeping us together and laughing at ourselves or maybe it’s just our shared Hungarian heritage. Here on 17 Apart, we hope to share the things we’re passionate about, give a peek into our own version of what sustainable living means to us, and offer up a few surprises from time to time.

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How we Met:
We originally met when I (Mary) was in college and began working in a local restaurant at which Tim was already a regular. I used to tease him about how we’d make a great couple when he would order a favorite salad that included tomatoes (he hates tomatoes), telling him I’d always eat the ones he pushed aside. Pretty cheesy, I know. A few years down the road, we began dating and joke to this day about that line every time we order the same notorious salad  and yes, I do eat the tomatoes he pushes aside.

Fast Forward:
We survived 3 ½ years long distance dating while I moved to New York City after college to follow my passion for jewelry design and now live together in Richmond, Virginia with our weimaraner, Basil. Each day we're working towards the goal of building our own version of living sustainably through a little creativity, trial & error, and learning from those around us. After a 1 1/2 year engagement (we like to take our time), we've now made it official!

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Want to know more?

Mary: You may know me from my work organizing the merchandising efforts for Etsy.com. In addition to my behind the scenes work for Etsy, I author regular columns including the Quit Your Day Job and Merchandising series for Etsy's blog.

Apart from but related to my work for Etsy Inc, I design and create my own line of jewelry, Contrary. Given my background in metals and textiles (I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts), my creative process typically integrates an assemblage of found vintage oddities. I find motivation in making pieces which tell a story
beyond their face value.

In my free time, I look forward to indulging in flea markets, farmer’s markets, and antiquing. I also love to try out new recipes, learn new craft skills & take on DIY projects, peruse design blogs, take photos, make jewelry, hang with the family, and am an admitted Netflix addict.

Tim: “I was born hungry” pretty much sums up my passion in life.
I recently gave up my corporate day job to concentrate on my blog  E.A.T., where I share my point of view on all things food related. I enjoy advocating the use of local & seasonal foods, sharing easy tips for how to incorporate them into dishes that will impress, supporting local business, sourcing local products, eating locally, and eating well. 

In my free time I like to spend time with my family (in addition to Mary and Basil, I have two incredible children ages 22 and 19), visit local farmer’s markets, indulge in new eats, try out new recipes, take photographs, go fishing, listen to music, visit my favorite local food haunts and take new ones for a spin. 

I also maintain two vintage shops on Etsy, Behind The Screen Door and Vintage Crack and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention I’m a sports fanatic and a die hard Steelers, Phillies, Penguins, and Celtics fan. In 2009, all four of my teams were world champions - how many people can say that?

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