On October 10th the fire broke out in an instant - engulfing the Sonoma Valley and forcing Claudette Soulier and her pup Angel to flee their home. Unable to grab anything, Claudette headed straight to the stables setting lose her horse Allegra and mule April.
For 4 days, Claudette, her daughter Allison Caetano, and Angel were on the move. There was no power, hotels were full, and the few rooms available were unaffordable and wouldn't accept Angel. Each day the safe zone itself would shift. And every night they were forced to find a new place to sleep. Kenwood itself was still off limits, but the family wanted to stay nearby to be the first in to help the horses and see what was left of the home.
On the 12th, Allegra and April were saved with the help of some brave neighbors who had snuck past the baricades. Don Maria Henderson and her friend Gregg brought the two to a temporary home to recover from the days they spent surounded by fire.
(Claudette visiting Allegra and April in their temporary home)
On the 17th, Allison and Claudette were allowed back in to Cloud Ranch.
(Before and After of Claudette at her studio)
(Before and after, the stables)
The studio and the stables are completely flattented .
In a miracle, Claudette's home is intact, smoke damaged, but still standing. The neighbors and her landlord were not as lucky. Even though the place still stands, it is not yet clear if Claudette will be able to return and live on the property as she did once before.
Claudette will need immediate help, securing a long-term transitionary home for Allegra and April. This must happen soon. If you or someone you know, knows of any horse stables with room for one more, please let us know.
Claudette’s studio was home to her life's work as a metal artist, as well as Cloud Ranch Jewelry (www.cloudranchjewelry.com ) a startup Claudette created with her daughter Allison.
Claudette and Allison have lost everything in the fires. Everything they've invested in the business, from Claudette's tools, to the hand-carved wax molds of her life’s work, were lost in the fire. Hundreds of Intricate carvings from the '60s on, years of work and memories - irreplaceable, all of them, now gone forever.
(Claudette handcarving an eagle cuff, the eagle cuff, what's left of a cuff)
Throughout the studio, rivers of sterling silver sparkle in the sun, here lies the remains of her life's work. For Claudette, this is the greatest lost.
Claudette is lucky and grateful. She has her life, her animals and her family. But she will need help recovering. The studio was her livelihood. In the months to come she will need a lot of support getting a stable place to live for herself and the animals.
If you are in a place to help please share her story here, on facebook or on instagram with #savecloudranch . Any and all donations go directly to Claudette to help her rebuild her life.
This gofund me was created by friends of Cloud Ranch, to be mannaged by Claudette's daughter Allison Caetano, and the friends of Cloud Ranch Jewelry. Money will go directly to Claudette to help her recover during this time.
Follow her story at www.instagram.com/cloudranchjewelry and at www.facebook.com/cloudranchjewelry
Thank you and lots of love from Claudette, Allison, Angel, April and Allegra, and all of us in the Cloud Ranch Family.
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