Natkin and Gloria Ramirez promote wellness through Artery MKE.
Two Bay View
women who make their living in the restaurant business have paired a
passion for healthy food with artistic talent.
Mara Natkin and
Gloria Ramirez combine computer-aided and freehand drawing to create
greeting cards, T-shirts and other items featuring food and
nutritional information displayed with a light-hearted sense of humor.
Their business, ArteryMKE, has a serious side ó eating habits
determine a healthy life.
message is found in a series of clever plays on words and factoids.
A few examples
include "Iíve BEAN missing you," followed by nutritional
facts about beans; "Iím NUTS about you," with everything
you need to know about nuts; and "Iím sorry I made you
cry," with vital onion facts.
to make something that people will benefit from but do it in a way
that is fun," Natkin says.
started from a personal perspective. Natkinís aunt died and Ramirez
struggled with her own health issues. The two discussed what was
important to them and came to one conclusion ó living a quality life
would mean they would need to eat healthier.
Both servers at
Maxieís Southern Comfort in Milwaukee, they said converting to a
healthier lifestyle was challenging.
working late hours around food and not getting the proper sleep or
exercise is part of that," Ramirez says. "But we are
committed to this."
partnered with Sara Axtell, a Shorewood-based naturopath and Ramirezís
physician. Naturopathy is an alternative form of medicine that
emphasizes the bodyís "vital force" and shuns the use of
drugs and surgery.
pursuing natural medicine," Axtell says. "I think itís
truly inspiring to see these women transform themselves and their
Ramirez said they also have been inspired by Kris Carr, a cancer
surviving wellness activist and national author whose books, including
"Crazy Sexy Diet," reflect the national trend in alternative
have been a big part of our interest in communicating what we believe
in," Natkin says.
Ramirez have been showcasing their business at art walks, festivals
and farmers markets in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Brookfield and Madison.
say, is the key.
really happy with the interest so far," Natkin says, adding that
health care professionals have taken a particular interest in Ramirezís
colorful anatomical drawings that adorn shirts.
Ramirez said they want to eventually take their online business
(artery-mke.com) and morph it into partnering with a local grocery
store, opening their own store with a juice bar and art gallery or
even incorporating that concept in a food truck.
to find your style, your mojo," Ramirez says. "We are
thrilled knowing that this could help people and at the same time make