The Foremothers Café

The Foremothers Café

Here is a world right out of author Helen Lundström Erwin’s Historic Novel: Sour Milk in Sheep’s Wool. We worked with Helen to recreate this café depicted in her novel, which serves as her main characters’ meeting space during the women’s suffrage movement. Now she can host readings of her own book inside of a setting from the book itself. Talk about “meta!”

Click below to visit this world in Spatial!

Favorite this world on Spatial »

Helen Lundström Erwin‘s recently published historic drama is set in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century women’s suffrage movement. The novel follows the point of view of two women:  Annette, an unwed mother doing her best to stay afloat, as well as café owner Hanna, a suffragette community organizer. They each live very different lives but their fates are intrinsically linked around this important subject.

On May 12th, 2022 Helen invited friends and family to join her in AltspaceVR for the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the cafe’s grand opening! She was particularly excited to share the news of her own virtual space and we got a very kind shoutout in her announcement post.

Announcement! Big News! I have a virtual world! Please join us for the Grand Opening of #TheForemothersCafe

It’s built by the amazing Cause + Christi: Immersive XR Design and inspired by Hanna’s café in my historical novel Sour Milk in Sheep’s Wool. Set in Lund, Sweden, circa 1918 during the suffrage movement, The Foremothers Café was built to honor the pioneering women whose shoulders we stand on today. It will be a place for women from around the world to meet and discuss important issues and build community, just like Hanna did.

I can’t quite describe how it feels to put on a Quest2 and walk around in VR inside what, until now, existed only in my imagination and in my book. It’s very emotional and absolutely awesome. I’m so excited to be among the first few authors to own a virtual world in the Metaverse inspired by a setting in a book.

Helen Lundström Erwin – Author

(Above) Helen Lundström Erwin cuts the ribbon and welcomes guests to the grand opening of the Foremother’s Café in Virtual Reality, then invites friend and VR aficionado Sofia Christina to perform a song in honor of the night!

“Showing the Sour Milk in Sheep’s Wool book trailer about Hanna’s café, IN Hanna’s café is quite something isn’t it?”

– Helen Lundström Erwin

We enjoyed reading Sour Milk in Sheep’s Wool and carefully replicating the many details that described Hanna’s Café. From the historically accurate architectural style to the interior décor, Helen had a vision of what the café looked like, based on the historical styles of the time and the lives of her characters.

To see more photos and read more about our iterative design approach, visit our Behind-The-Scenes post below!

Behind-The-Scenes: Building the Foremothers Cafe »

Foremothers Cafe News

Since launching the Foremothers Cafe, Helen has become a VR pro! She continues to hold events in her VR world, and even got on stage to share it live during the XR Women 2 Year Anniversary event at ZeroSpace in NY!

XR Women Two Year Anniversary. What a cause for celebration!! I’ve only been part of XRWomen for a few months, but I can wholeheartedly say that I have never been in a more supportive professional community before. It’s quite amazing. It’s welcoming and truly supportive, a place where I can be myself and feel comfortable to ask questions, learn, and share my own knowledge with others. To be quite honest, it reminds me of the running community, only this is about work and learning. So, back to the celebration, on Wednesday, we met in  XRWomen Hall in our ILRN Virtual Campus as we do every week, only this time we celebrated and reflected on XRWomen’s  100th event and Second Anniversary. Then on Thursday, we all headed to Zero Space in Brooklyn for an In Real Life party.  
Many of us had only met as avatars before, and/or on Zoom, and here we were face to face, dressed up and all, eating delicious food and drinking champagne. It was SO great to meet everyone in the flesh, it felt like meeting longtime friends and colleagues and we are too, the only difference is that now we see each other in a different way.  
Then on Friday, we had a full day of workshops and presentations. I went into The Foremothers Café on stage and casted to Zero Space’s  Virtual Production and LED wall. A completely new experience for me, and so much fun!   

Helen Lundström Erwin