Checking in with the Locals: Cary Oliva

Posted on October 7, 2014 by


Charlottesville is a city filled with local-loving people, and a spirit of community and collaboration unlike anywhere else. Every week, Cville Niche will celebrate that spirit by featuring a local’s top picks.

Check out previous local check-ins!


Photo courtesy of Cary Oliva

Cary Oliva

Describe what you do in town.

I am a Virginia native, having lived in Charlottesville several times and am now growing some roots here. How fitting when I think about my current collaboration with friend and former C-villian, Kate Barton.

With many requests for Charlottesville specific items while selling the crafty products I make at ByCary, since I knew and loved Kate’s designs, I felt it would be a great synergy. So, now instead of just finding Kate’s Grow Your Own Roots t-shirts around town, you can also find bottles, bags and coasters with the same design. ByCary makes different sustainable and unique gift items that are sold at the Farmer’s Market, retail shows and at various stores around town including a recent new biggie, Whole Foods.

Describe yourself in 5 syllables or less.

super creative

Top Picks

A favorite dish in town.

The tortilla espanola at MAS with just the right amount of sea salt sprinkled on top.
It’s so simple but good you have to get the racion.

A favorite drink in town.

The Headless Horseman from the Livery Stable served in their copper mug.

A favorite local musician.

Devon Sproule. Probably will always be my favorite local musician. Unless I can count Paul Curreri in there too. I have fond memories of their Valentine’s Day concerts together at the old Gravity Lounge (now The Southern).

A favorite local fitness class or fitness event.

I love all classes at Opal Yoga I’ve taken. Too many great teachers to name just one, but Liz, Monica, Karen and Kiki are some of my faves.

A favorite local artist.

Cynthia Burke, who paints amazing somewhat surreal animal paintings in oils and has a studio at McGuffey. I’ve always enjoyed seeing her stuff. Think I might need to save up for one to put in my new house.

A favorite local gallery/venue to see art.

The Kluge Ruhe is a local favorite. It’s unique as it’s the only museum in the United States dedicated to the exhibition and study of Australian Aboriginal Art. I recently really enjoyed seeing James Tylor present his wet collodian photographs there during the LOOK3 festival in June.

A favorite local music venue.

The Garage, next to downtown on 1st Street. An art and music space that always is sure to please. Seeing amazing bands play in such a tiny space while you sit in Lee Park with a cool summer breeze is definitely my kind of fun.

A favorite local shopping destination.

BitterSweet on the downtown mall always has something a little eclectic and fun.