Founder & CEO
Erin E. Barrio
Lifelong desert dweller and endlessly seeking seeker, Erin is a traveler, feminist, foodie, writer, and community builder. She currently works as a communications manager for a venture capital firm, and is passionate about tech, startups and economic development for New Mexico. Founding Cushy in 2016, Erin is also a co-host on Accio Politics, a Harry Potter podcast about politics in the wizarding world. In her spare time she enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging around Albuquerque with her husband and three pets.
Editor in Chief, Web | Liz Haebe
Currently living in Portland, OR but originally hailing from the desert of Las Cruces, NM, Liz is a writer, feminist, activist, and proud cat lady. When Liz isn't training to become a birthing doula or volunteering for Planned Parenthood, she enjoys reading fiction and non-fiction by writers who identify as women, but is open to all manner of voices. She loves herself a good ol' Broadway musical, and dances like no is watching, because, sometimes no one should be watching.... she concedes that's creepy.
Editor in Chief, Print | Nat Davis
Originally from the enchanted New Mexican desert, Natalie is a nomad at heart, and has moved around spending several years in Las Vegas, NYC, and PDX. Graduating with her bachelor's degree in Arts and Fashion Design in 2012, Natalie is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, with certifications in Anatomy & Physiology and Health & Wellness Coaching. An avid practitioner and yoga enthusiast, Natalie has always had a reflexive relationship with what feels right for her body: from dancing to eating to who she spends time with. When she's not studying and writing for her degree, Natalie loves to dance, sing, think, laugh and play.
Branding & Executive Producer | Adri Wilson
Former island girl, unabashed feminist, and proud Boricua currently living in the desert, Adriana Wilson is a writer, editor, graphic designer, and voracious reader. Her life-long passion for reading and writing led her to pursue and complete a graduate degree in English. During her graduate school years, she began dabbling in graphic design as a stress-reliever. When she is not using her writing and analytical skills working as a Proposal Writer, Adriana is the creative force behind House 407. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two rescue chihuahuas (Gael and Emmy).
Danielle Schadler | Senior editor, print
Although she has replanted her roots in Atlanta, Georgia, Danielle is a desert girl at heart. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2011 from New Mexico State University and has spent the last 7 years working in Intensive Care Units all over the country. She finds joy in life by adopting shelter animals, learning new crafts, furthering her ongoing education, playing video games with her husband, and hunting for some decent green chile in the Deep South.
Adriana siler | Senior editor, Web
Though she was conceived in sunny (humid) Florida, Adriana Garcia considers herself a native New Mexican. She has been living in the shadows of the beautiful Organ Mountains for the last 23 years of her life, and tries spending as much time as possible exploring their rocky trails. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s in Information technology, while also working full time as the Life Enrichment Director at a local Assisted Living Community. When she isn’t drowning herself in work or school, Adriana spends her time teaching her 2 children how to be decent human beings, getting snugs on the couch from her fiancé, or completely wrapped up in a random craft or garment she’s sewing (or about a billion other things, because we rest when we’re dead).
Dani Adams | senior editor, web
A desert girl since birth, Danielle Adams hails from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she earned her bachelor's in English from New Mexico State University. She currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she spends her time cooking from one of her many cookbooks, exploring the southwest, and reading anything she can get her hands on. While she spends her days focused on strategic marketing and event planning, she is, at heart, a daydreamer, a writer and an explorer.
Melanie Sweeney Bowen
Melanie Sweeney is a writer and maker living near Houston, Texas. She holds an MFA in creative writing from New Mexico State University and writes fiction and nonfiction, usually about motherhood and identity. Her nonfiction chapbook on motherhood, nature, and the body, Birds as Leaves, is available from The Lettered Streets Press. Sporadically, she teaches a workshop on journaling for authenticity in motherhood, and she blogs about writing and parenting at melaniesweeney.com. Melanie is a mother to a nearly five-year-old boy and two-year-old twin girls. As such, most of her writing and creative pursuits are relegated to night time, when nobody needs a new cup of water or to be removed from unsafe places like the kitchen counter. She sews custom doll carriers for kids and other items and dabbles in hand embroidery, which she sells at Microaffections on Etsy, and enjoys photography.
Tika grew up in Juneau, Alaska, lives in Oakland, California, and has never been to New Mexico. She has also never wanted to get married or have children, but has dedicated herself to Professional Aunting for the kids of all her friends and family and plans to found a Baba Yaga Community for retirement. An extrovert amongst a sea of introverted friends, she spends a lot of time meeting new people and sending GIFs in group chats. Tika holds a degree in Art History and has very strong opinions about textiles and their role in the rise of the internet, which she will expound upon at length to anyone who gives her an opening. In her leisure time, she reads books written by anyone who isn’t a white cis-het male, knits, spins, goes out dancing, attends Art Church at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, and gets sat upon by her two grey cats any time she thinks about getting up to reheat her coffee.
Melina Laroza, Contributor
Melina Laroza, originally from Taos, NM, currently resides in Albuquerque with her two sons who are her cornerstone. Recently split from their father, she is navigating the world of being a single mama supporting herself. Her main love is to create community and build authentic relationships by spreading fun and joy everywhere she goes. She is inspired by beautiful people and the Universe’s miracles on a daily basis to put her energy into what has heart and meaning. Some of these outlets are singing, making art, being a healer, growing herbs and plants and creating ceremony for her children and the close circle of womyn in her life. Her mom and two brothers are her greatest source of support and gratitude and deserve recognition for her recent physical and spiritual progress.
Andrea N. Rodriguez-Former Contributor
Andrea N. Rodriguez was born and raised in Portland Oregon with a brief 2-year stint living in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico at age 9. As longtime lover of books and movies Andrea, never saw herself reflected in mainstream media or in the books she read at school. After all these years, she decided to do something about it and has embarked on the adventure of story writing with the desire to create characters that little kids can see themselves in. While getting her BA at the University of Oregon, she discovered Ethnic Studies which uses history to tell the stories of underrepresented populations like hers, so she switched majors from plain old History to Ethnic Studies and Journalism. With just one year of marriage under her belt and a band new baby, she’s got her work cut out for her. When she's not starring lovingly at her son, she writes her stories, runs and trains for races, makes movie dates with her friends and laughs with her partner.
Jen is an old soul with a childlike affinity for silliness and laughter. She lives in Sacramento with her Golden doodle Sammy. After spending years researching the spectrum of emotional experiences and situations, she settled on love as her preferred emotion, state and experience. In recovery from depression, anxiety and addiction, Jen deeply believes in sharing all aspects of the human experience; including pain and how to overcome adversity. Jen holds both a B.A. in Sociology and a MA in Organizational Leadership and Behavior. She works as a content manager by day, developing and delivering training material. In her free time, Jen enjoys trying to teach Sammy yoga as well as sharing the love with friends and family.
Sam is a graphic designer and writer from the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico. When she isn't learning to code websites and apps, she is making zines, going to punk shows, and cuddling her cat. Connoisseur of salt & vinegar chips and sparkling water.
Marina is a Californian by birth, a New Mexican by choice, and a Seeker at heart. Raised in a multicultural, military family, her roots were woven among and in-between worlds — Mexican and Armenian and Lebanese and American and Military and Civilian. Today, she continues to explore and learn by walking fine lines and seeing the world the only way she knows how: with one foot not-too-firmly planted on each side. She's a data analyst who believes in magic and a healthcare researcher who still uses her abuelita's cold remedies. Not unlike a Niffler, which may, in fact, be her spirit animal, she enthusiastically collects the shiniest bits and baubles from any and all platforms to share with friends in a monthly newsletter (aptly) called Shiny Things.
Lori Kay Fierro | Contributor
Originally from Texas Lori is a traveler, a speaker, an advocate, a yoga teacher, and a life skills trainer for those with disabilities. She is director of Tim's Big Heart Enterprises and is the owner and creator of The ALEX program. Both companies are dedicated to working and inspiring those with disabilities all over the world. When Lori isn't jet setting around the globe with her job she is living in New Mexico, probably hiking or hanging out at the hot springs. Other noteworthy labels she would give herself: Hugger. Nacho lover. Coffee addict. Magic worker. Soul seeker. Moon admirer. Hater of soggy bread.
Cassandra Sambrano-Former Contributor
Born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Cassandra was raised on recipes taught to her from her mother, whose mother taught her, so on. Graduating with her Bachelors degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing in 2013. Recently relocating to Albuquerque in 2016 for a career move, Cassandra resides in the historic Nob Hill district with her furry companion Lily. When she's not kicking ass as a young professional, Cassandra enjoys a good book, baking, cooking, and sharing a meal with friends and family.
Rachael: A seeker, a traveler, a wordsmith, and basically being as chaotically neutral as humanly possible. A professional technical writer/editor, graphic designer, and business consultant Rachael has lived and traveled throughout the United States, England, Wales, and Mexico. Her heart beats a rhythm imprinted from each place she’s called home, for however brief, but her wanderlust hasn’t yet been sated. She currently lives in Albuquerque, NM with her partner and their four dogs and two cats on a half-acre of land right next to the river. She holds a degree in Creative Writing and is completing both her M.B.A and a Master’s in Information Technology. Additionally, she is completing her Yoga Teacher Training, and will be certified to teach Yoga and Guided Meditation. When she is not slaving away to finance her travels and dreams you can find her reading voraciously, gaming nonstop, attempting to write, cooking (eating), gardening, or taking photos of the beautiful Bosque she calls home.
Jessica Klingbaum, Contributor
Jessica is an original Jersey girl, but has been living in New York City for almost 25 years. She’s a recovering Emmy-nominated TV producer turned essential oils advocate and Certified Aromatherapist. You could say that producing and running live TV programs for CBS News, Fox News and Fox Business Network made Jessica see the light and realize the need for slowing down and taking control of her own life. Divorced and remarried, Jessica is a mom of two and stepmom of one, and has stories of navigating the pitfalls of a broken marriage, dating, being a single mom and finding a new partner that could probably be a sitcom. As an eternal optimist, she’s been able to move through it all with a smile on her face, and one of her core philosophies is laugh it off. Especially now that her kids are entering their teenage years. Jessica holds a BA in American Studies from Brandeis University and a MA in Broadcast Journalism from NYU.
Carli Rene Romero
Carli Rene Romero is a native New Mexican, who is in love with the state's blue desert mountains and won't give up red or green chili for the world. She is a community organizer, invested in cultivating feminine leadership, and transforming education in her state to support WHOLE learners. She is currently studying for her master's in Educational Leadership at the University of New Mexico, and formerly founded and directed a branch of Shakti Rising in Las Cruces, NM. Carli is publishing her very first poetry book, “Sistar, I See You…Writings of Women and Their Magical Ways” this August, and has written for Rebelle Society. Her new motto is “a poem a day keeps the mind fucks at bay."
Hannah is a journalist and audio producer in Albuquerque. She spends a lot of time reading, singing, and working on her local community newspaper, Two Way Street. An active explorer, she's always looking for rad women to hike, climb, and mountain bike with. At home, she loves embroidering and growing food with her partner, their dog Gus, and their five chickens. Originally from Iowa, her heart's other home is Dillingham, Alaska, where she returns to participate in the world's largest wild salmon fishery.
Kaitlyn is a scientist by training, a technology transfer professional by trade, and a Southwesterner by soul. Born and raised in the Land of Enchantment, Kaitlyn grew up with a curiosity for all things science, animal, and outdoors related. She received her bachelor’s degrees from New Mexico State University in Biology, Microbiology, and Animal Science. In what seemed like a very long 5 year stint, she decided to leave NM and freeze her ass off in the Midwest while getting her PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Immediately after, she promptly packed up her life and moved back to the southwest where she now works and resides in Tucson, Arizona helping to commercialize scientific inventions at the University of Arizona. She lives a chaotic life of sleeping, drinking, eating, playing and hiking with her husband, who works in animal welfare, and their three babies: Moose – the love of her life, Widget – the crazy one, Mushroom – the newest addition to the family.
Kelsey Elizabeth Rust
Kelsey Elizabeth Rust is an "up-and-coming" writer whose had her toes in every form of medium from woodwork to embroidery, illustration, and graphic design. What hasn't changed - despite her best wishes - has been her consistent need to write. She often goes back and forth between poetry and narrative journalism, while also juggling multiple projects that are rooted in her attempt in finding avenues to share her voice in the current context. A single parent and a recent graduate from the University of New Mexico, Kelsey finds comfort in the little things. Like many New Mexicans, she enjoys the outdoors, our beautiful mountains, and the ability to practice her skills in the local community. Currently in societal purgatory, she is considering graduate school or an alternative education to pursue her aspiration to teach.
Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico Andrea is a University of New Mexico graduate. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Spanish. Andrea currently works as a Job Coach, but she is also a licensed Zumba Instructor and runs the blog, myheartbeatsnewmexico.weebly.com. She is an Advocate for Mental Health Awareness and Sexual Assault Survivors. She is an adventurer, and loves the outdoors. She donates blood for fun and loves to help those in need. She is a huge nerd, she loves superheroes, comic books, video games, and conspiracy theories. Her hobbies include, cooking, writing, exercising, volunteering, and spend time with her family and friends. She lives in Albuquerque, with her boyfriend and their two dogs. Andrea's love for writing started at a young age. Writing has always been her way of expressing herself.