VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 2 | SPRING 2020
ON THE COVER PHOTO BY ISAAC JANSSEN | STAFF “FASHION FOR ALL” TARGET WHO WHAT WEAR WOMEN’S PUFF ELBOW SHIRT DRESS | 37 POPS RESALE SKI VEST | 30 2 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
KRNL OUR MISSION
he mission of KRNL Lifestyle + Fashion is to promote the individuality, creativity and uniqueness of the University of Kentucky community, through storytelling that utilizes all of our publishing platforms. KRNL Lifestyle + Fashion strives to bring awareness to the stories that inspire usâ€” through art, human interest, enterprise, investigative, health and well-being or recreationâ€” on and around campus and throughout our community. Whether through words or pictures, our diverse staff invites, welcomes and embraces all perspectives, allowing us to bring to life a variety of stories that we want to tell. Produced and distributed in the fall and spring semesters on the campus of the University of Kentucky and throughout the city of Lexington, KRNL Lifestyle + Fashion aspires to be an important voice for our community.
SPRING 2020 | 3
4 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
BEGIN Looking at 100 blank pages, we had to decide what stories we wanted to tell with our last issue of our time at KRNL L+F. There are a million different ways to fill these pages, and endless stories in our community. But what is the overall message we want to share? What is important to our community? We cannot help but notice the amount of filters in this world that we live in. Daily, we are filtering the truth by hiding our insecurities and portraying a perfect life. We do this literally using an app on our phones. And we do this every time we hold back our true selves. When we filter ourselves, we are sheltering the world from things that make us unique and opportunities to learn about each otherâ€™s differences. When diving into these stories, you will be introduced to people that are expressing their true selves. You will read about a variety of different people and what makes them who they are. You will get to learn more about Lexington communities and influences on our campus. You will hear from your peers, and learn more about your surroundings. After months of hard work, we hand this magazine to you and ask that you read with an open mind and willingness to learn from the people who have shown us the behind-the-scenes of their lives. We hope that you are inspired to take the filters off of your own life and let people see the unique qualities that make you you.
Allie King & Brittany Lyden
8 Donnie Shell does not want you to know him, but he wants you to know his music.
12 Lexington’s East End
community is changing.The question is how much is revitalization and how much is gentrification.
BLAIR HESS’ KENTUCKY LIFE
DJ WARREN PEACE
RECYCLE OUR LEX
ALL YOU NEED IS POPS
A LOVE FOR SEWING
SPRING INTO OUR PLAYLIST
6 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
62 With the help of the Big Blue Pantry, Izzy Thomas wants to help everyone in her path lead a more nourished life.
88 Five UK students share their
story of enteprenuership skills and journeys.
RESORT TO COLOR
FIND YOUR HUB
‘SO MANY TIMES’
EVERYBODY, LET’S FIGHT
SINGING FOR SUFFRAGE
JOIN OUR TEAM
SPRING 2020 | 7
SHELL OF A MAN BY MADISON DUNHAM | PHOTOS BY ISAAC JANSSEN
onnie Shell does not want you to know him, but he wants you to know his music. Donnie Shell is the stage name of a UK student artist who stays in disguise. “Wearing a mask on stage or whatever I’m doing, I think that it really does have the power to truly let you be unfiltered,” Shell said. Many artists like Daft Punk, Orville Peck, Sia, and Billie Eilish use unusual clothes, masks and wigs to conceal how they really look from their audiences. “By concealing your identity, you essentially get to be whatever the audience needs you to be,” Shell said. “They can get into your persona and have it resonate with them on a more personal level. It’s kind of like abstract art.” Two-and-a-half years ago, Shell discovered how over-the-edge obsessive he was about music when he started playing the guitar. He said he considers his music to be psychedelic rock, which was created in the mid-1960s and branched off from rock music style, with influences from the psychedelic culture centered around perception-altering drugs. 8 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Shell’s music is very guitar-heavy; buggy tones are added to his vocals. Shell guides his listeners through the groovy yet jam-worthy music he creates. Though he doesn’t have any music out yet, he plans to release his first single, “Siren Song,” sometime this spring on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and more. Shell’s music influence spurred from the Australian band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. “I got to see them in Asheville this past fall, and it was just like a religious experience,” Shell said. “They were just so talented, and it was a beautifully orchestrated show.” Shell’s sound is also inspired by Tame Impala. “Kevin Parker is definitely a genius, and I think that he deserves all the popularity that he has found,” he said. Other lesser-known bands that play into his sound are Froth, Flaural, DIIV, and Post Animal. Shell did not have much experience with music before starting this journey in December 2019. “He was an athlete and played competitive baseball for many years,” said Shell’s father, who also prefers to be unidentified. “I think it taught him and
SPRING 2020 | 9
taught us all some good lessons. It teaches you how to lose, teaches you how to win with grace and dignity. It teaches you hard work and dedication and how to deal with tough situations.”
It’s been a huge influence in my life on many levels, still is.”
Being involved with sports was a very consuming part of Shell’s life. Once that chapter was over, he wanted to focus on another interest: music. Shell said his interest in music comes from his father.
“Being a father, you have to be a little cautious in not being too critical, but I think as an amateur music critic, I find it very enjoyable,” he said.
“In terms of from at my very core, I would say that seeing and getting exposed to a lot of different kinds of music very early on was a role mainly performed by my dad,” Shell said. Whether it’s during one of the family’s music jam sessions or just a casual dinner conversation, music is all this family talks and thinks about. “Music to me, and I teach my kids this, is what I call the universal language,” said Shell’s father. “It’s one of those things that seems to just sort of break down any or all cultural, racial, socio-economic kind of boundary…
10 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Shell’s father considers his son to be one of his best friends, and he said he enjoys the style and creative elements of Shell’s music.
Shell’s father thought that this route his son decided to take in music was unexpected but rewarding to watch develop. He is 100 percent in support of Shell’s creative choice in wearing a disguise. “To be honest, I didn’t see this level of creativity and energy and desire to pursue music like this. This has been a bit of a blindside,” said Shell’s father. “It has been a very rewarding blindside. I just don’t think anyone saw this coming.” Shell plays the six-string guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar and the keyboard, and he sings. He said he would love to learn new
Donnie Shell’s mask sits on one of his pedal boxes. instruments but the music that he’s creating right now is only centering around the instruments that he already knows. Shell records himself playing each instrument, then layers them on top of each other within his music.
his being alone up there.
Shell said producing his music is “extremely tedious,” like learning a totally different instrument.
While writing and playing music, Shell said he enjoys thinking about how he could take his audience on a journey through his songs. Whether it’s the lyrics or instrumentation, he wants to tell a story to his listeners and to take them places with his music.
Currently, Shell is open to doing live performances in the future but wants to make sure that he orchestrates a performance that is genuinely entertaining versus just playing straight through his songs on stage. He would perform with his band Shell of a Man. He wants this band to attract an audience that not only likes the music but his persona, the artwork and visuals, and music videos as well. His goal is for this band to encompass all these forms of entertainment on the stage rather than
“In this digital age I think that audiences, including myself, really do demand a lot from performers, and I think that’s a good thing,” Shell said.
He finds that playing music is mentally stimulating and thinks it is good not only for him but for others to do in order to expand their mind and just relax. Shell said he hopes that someone is out there who cares about his art and what he is trying to say through it. • SPRING 2020 | 11
EAST END A CHANGING NEIGHBORHOOD BY BAILEY VANDIVER PHOTOS BY ARDEN BARNES
prostitute using the bathroom to wash up. A millionaire and his kids drinking smoothies. A man asking if he can clean the windows to make a couple bucks. A council member sitting in the corner. These could have been the customers in Wild Fig Books and Coffee “on any given day,” said former owner and current UK English professor Crystal Wilkinson. That scene in Wild Fig is like a microcosm of the community that surrounds the bookstore: the East End of Lexington.
Lights shine off a row of houses on Ohio Street in the East End of Lexington, Kentucky, on Monday, March 2, 2020.
generally thought to be framed by Midland Avenue, North Broadway, Main Street and Loudon Avenue. “It’s a neighborhood where extremes exist,” said Griffin VanMeter, a developer and business owner in the East End and North Limestone communities. It’s a place where a family can buy a house for the first time after living in substandard housing for 20 years. But it’s also a place where an escaped dog eats a cat in front of VanMeter’s kids, he said.
When Lexington’s black population increased after the Civil War, many settled in the East End, which was then the outskirts of the city. Now it is just north and east of downtown Lexington.
“I think that unfortunately the East End tends to get sort of homogenized,” said Kris Nonn, executive director of North Limestone Community Development Corporation (NoLi CDC). “East End is much more complicated than that.”
Like its people and its buildings, the East End’s boundaries have changed over time. Today, the East End is
There are million-dollar houses, and half-million-dollar houses, and houses without plumbing, and people
12 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
sleeping in their cars. “There’s no consistency to it,” Nonn said. “It’s a beautiful place because there’s so much going on and it’s all so different,” Nonn said. “It really is a peaceful community,” said Mizari Suárez, who has rented on Chestnut Street for three years and is in the process of buying a home. “And it’s also a community that worries about things, like gun violence, that are constantly happening in the East End.” That tends to be the perception of East End, said Suárez and other residents: It is a place of crime, and it is a place with residents who don’t care. Until 60 years ago, streets in the East End like Deweese and Third were centers of economy and culture. But when downtown expansion began to infringe on the East End, many people fled the area.
The population of the East End declined from the 1960s through 2000, the year of the last available census information about the area. Then, the East End was comprised of 387 acres and 3,940 residents. In 2009, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government considered these demographics in its East End Small Area Plan, a collection of goals meant to drive development in the neighborhood. Eleven years later, the East End has certainly changed. Liquor stores have become bakeries. Shotgun houses have been refurbished and painted bright colors. Bookstores have opened and closed and opened again. Black residents have moved— or been pushed out— and white residents have moved in. This has happened, is happening, and will likely continue to happen. The question is how much revitalizes SPRING 2020 | 13
the neighborhood, and how much gentrifies it. … In 2000, East End was 72 percent black, 26 percent white, and 5 percent Hispanic or Latino. But the racial composition has been changing, said Mike Wilson, a black man and reverend who has lived in the East End for most of his life. Now he lives on the corner of Wilson Street and Elm Tree Lane. A black man local to the area used to own the three shotgun houses past Wilson’s house, but he sold them to an investor for $20,000 a piece. Now, the colorful houses— one with red siding and a blue door, another with blue siding and a red door— are all home to white families. They sold for more than $100,000 each. Wilson said he knew people of color who were interested in purchasing the houses, but he’s not sure if they had the opportunity. But others have even less of a chance. “You’re displacing persons who have basically relied on this affordable housing area for a place to live,” Wilson said. Spiking up prices makes the housing inaccessible for some in the area, which can force them out. With his siblings, Wilson owns another house, a shotgun on Dakota Street. It was his dad’s property, and he’s held on to it for the 28 years since he died. He had occasionally rented it out, but after 28 years of paying taxes on it, he decided to sell in 2017. He chose a developer he knew, a black man in the neighborhood, and was in the process of reaching a deal. Then he ran into “a brick wall.” He found out that one of his siblings had a federal tax loan debt on the house, which made selling more difficult. He and the developer
paused their plans. In April 2019, Wilson received a code enforcement notice about the Dakota Street house. Soon after, requests to purchase the house began arriving via post card, sometimes two a month. These come from developers who are trying to get property for cheap, Wilson said. Somehow, Wilson thinks, these developers find out that property owners have been sent code enforcement notices and may be facing fines if the issues are not addressed. If these issues are too much for the property owner, money from a quick sale to a developer might seem like the best option. “It’s almost like code enforcement was being used as a vehicle to put this pressure on these persons,” said Wilson, who is a former council member for District 1, which includes the East End. Current District 1 Councilman James Brown, who is black, has even received one of these post cards at his house, he said. He has heard community members’ concerns that code enforcement is being weaponized, he said. Some people fear that developers specifically call code enforcement on them in order to turn up the pressure. “Whether or not it’s happening or not happening, there’s a perception that it’s happening,” Brown said. “So I think we have to make sure that’s not the case, and investigate the incidents where it’s happened to make sure that’s not the case.” “We” is the Task Force on Neighborhoods in Transition, a city task force aiming to “protect vulnerable residents from the consequences of neighborhood redevelopment and transformation.” Brown is the chair of the task force, which was created in May 2018 by Lexington Vice Mayor Steve Kay, who is white. The group has been holding monthly meetings, which include feedback from the public, to discuss the issues facing the East End specifically. Most of the neighborhoods likely to see gentrification are located in District 1, Brown said, which made this an issue he “decided to own and to spearhead.” Not calling it the “Gentrification Task Force” was deliberate, Brown said.
“It just has a negative connotation,” he said. “There’s no way around it, and people start expressing their thoughts and what they’re seeing in a negative tone, so it’s hard to have a progressive conversation out of it.” The task force aims to have several recommendations ready to present this spring, Brown said. One of the main focuses is affordable housing. The city already has an affordable housing fund, but it isn’t a
14 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Patrons of the Night Market buy food from vendors in Lexington, Kentucky, on Sept. 6, 2019.
A mural reads ‘The Future is Bright!’ on Elm Street in Lexington, Kentucky, on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. SPRING 2020 | 15
Lamar Hogan, 13, and Lashon Hogan, 16, sit and laugh on a playground on Eastern Avenue, with the Lexington Herald-Leader building in the background, on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Lexington, Kentucky.
LEFT: Thomas Tolliver stands in his home on Third Street in Lexington, Kentucky, on Feb. 6, 2020. RIGHT: Mike Wilson stands in front of his home on Wilson Street in Lexington, Kentucky, on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. 16 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
trust fund because there is no dedicated funding source.
of her neighbors across the street picks up trash and sweeps every day when he gets home from work.
“Yet it has been steady for the last few years since it’s been created, it’s always that opportunity for it to get tinkered with based off the city’s budget,” he said.
“I’ve realized for him it’s like a sense of ownership of his community,” Suárez said, “and a sense of like, okay, I’m taking back what people say about the East End.”
Brown and the task force are proposing a permanent funding source to make it “something that we can depend on and continues to increase as the need for affordable housing increases.” Another recommendation concerns changes to code enforcement. “We want the job that they do to be consistent throughout the city,” Brown said. “What we need to recognize or understand is not everybody is of the same means, so there may be different paths to get to the same goal based off of what code enforcement is trying to do.” … Sweeping the sidewalks and the driveway is part of a typical morning routine in Mexico. Mizari Suárez, who is Latina, said she doesn’t remember much from her childhood in Mexico, but she does remember this. Over three years ago, when she was looking for a place to live, her friend told her to look at his new place in the East End. “You’ll fall in love with it,” he said. When she drove up to his house, he was sweeping the driveway. “That, to me, was just like, oh man, yeah,” Suárez said. “This is going to be like home.” She moved into that house on Chestnut Street as a renter, and she did fall in love with it— and the East End. About a year ago, she moved into the next house over on Chestnut Street, but she still held a special affection for that first house. So when the opportunity to purchase it came up, she said “why not?” “I knew when I first moved into that house that I wanted to be there forever,” Suárez said.
Poet, artist and UK English professor Frank X Walker just moved into the East End, on Goodloe Street, and he often walks the street to pick up garbage. Sometimes it’s thrown by non-residents who don’t care whether McDonald’s bags and beer bottles are on the street. “I think also what happens in communities like this is that when there are so many people renting, there’s not a sense of ownership in the community,” said Walker, who is black. That’s the benefit of homeownership, Walker said. But many people are not ready for homeownership, Councilman Brown said, and renting is not a problem as long as landlords and renters are committed to safe and affordable housing. Suárez said she was lucky because when she was renting, her landlord was her friend, and he wasn’t predatory. “We understand the awful landlords and the developers that come in places like the East End, and that’s not really what he’s trying to do or I’m trying to do,” Suárez said. “We’re really just trying to build a sense of community between us.” Her street does have this community, she said— although she can tell that people have moved because last summer included fewer barbecues and gatherings than the one before. But each summer on Chestnut Street brings beautiful, tall sunflowers, and last summer, Suárez started a new project: a garden in her front yard. She planted tomato seeds and watched them grow. “And one day, I was out there, and there was a big, beautiful red tomato that I was just ready to eat on a mozzarella sandwich,” she said. But a woman whom Suárez had never seen before walked up and offered to pay her for the tomato. “In my mind, I was like, obviously I don’t want to give you my tomato because I’ve been looking forward to it,” she said. “But it hit me that this was probably the only thing that she could afford.”
Suárez and her two-and-a-half-year-old dog Sasha will soon move back into that house. They often take walks around the neighborhood, Suárez said, which allows her to see and know her community.
So Suárez gave the tomato to the woman for free, and she came back several times for more. No tomato ever looked as good to Suárez as that first one did, but she took that as a sign from “whatever you believe in” that she was meant to give away tomatoes.
Many people view the East End as full of trash, Suárez said, but her friend is not the only one who sweeps. One
“People talk about what can we do for the East End, what can we do?” Suárez said. “It’s little things like that.” SPRING 2020 | 17
Mizari Suárez and her dog Sasha sit in front of her home on Chestnut Street in Lexington, Kentucky, on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2020. to sell the business in 2018, a group came together as a worker-cooperative to purchase it. The Wild Fig was always operating like a community center more than a business, Wilkinson said, but she thinks the co-op model has taken it even further in the direction of being “a service to the community.” People have been able to come to the Wild Fig for books, or for good food, or for free condoms. They can also gather there and find a safe space.
Griffin VanMeter holds his daughter Smith, 2, in the Kentucky for Kentucky retail store on Bryan Avenue on Feb. 17, 2020, in Lexington, Kentucky. It’s a food insecure area, Suárez said, so resources should be going to things like access to food, in addition to mental health specialists and social workers.
But at the end of February, Wild Fig had to close in the East End. Sarah Williams, who is black, is one of the worker-owners. She said this is due to a breakdown in communication and agreement with Griffin VanMeter, who is one of the owners of the building as part of Frontier Highway, a company that rents out commercial and residential spaces.
“It is a historically very under-resourced neighborhood,” said Griffin VanMeter, who has brought his personal resources to the area in a variety of ways. “There are a lot of social [and] economic issues that are a result of that.”
It was VanMeter, who is white, who first invited Wilkinson and Davis to bring the Wild Fig to North Limestone years ago, and VanMeter loaned $25,000 to the worker-cooperative to purchase the business. Discussions between VanMeter and the co-op over the last year or so had included promising options for the co-op to eventually purchase the building, Williams said.
One place that aims to be a provider of resources for the community is Wild Fig Books. When Crystal Wilkinson and her partner Ron Davis, who are black, decided
“He never followed through on making that a reality,” Williams said during a Feb. 16 community meeting at the Wild Fig, despite recent talks about avenues for the
18 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
A man walks down North Limestone toward Wild Fig Books and Coffee on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Lexington, Kentucky. Wild Fig co-op to purchase the building this year. Williams said that once she realized that there was no option to buy the building or have the lease extended, the Wild Fig needed to move out of that space. In a Feb. 25 statement, Wild Fig worker-owners said the bookstore received a large donation from the community so it can reopen in another location, but the details have not yet been finalized. Williams has often called the Wild Fig a “sacred space” for the community. Tina Durbin, a Wild Fig worker-owner, said she first walked in to the bookstore five years ago because she had realized “we as white people have to learn more about being white, and what that means, and how we can help break down the barriers for people of color.” “This space allows me to teach myself,” she said. “Knowledge is through power, and we know… that it comes through books, but it also comes through community and conversation… all of which happens right here.” Suárez, who is also a Wild Fig worker-owner, said what happened to the Wild Fig is gentrification doing “its awful thing.” … In the 25 years that Thomas Tolliver has lived in his
red house on Third Street, the lightbulb in the foyer has never needed to be replaced. The light hangs from the ceiling, encased in an intricate glass chandelier that Tolliver describes as a bee hive. It sheds light on the wall just inside Tolliver’s house, where he has pinned photos and pamphlets and a typewritten letter, all of which showcase black history. Much of the decorations relate to Dr. T. T. Wendell, a black doctor whose family owned the house for much of the 20th century. Tolliver, who is black, has a lot of respect for Wendell because he kept pieces of history rather than throwing them away. “It’s good for black history,” Tolliver said. Tolliver describes himself as an East End activist, but he also acknowledges that his opinions differ from many others with whom he shares a neighborhood. Rather than stopping change in the neighborhood, he wants “preservation amid change.” For example, he believes East End history can be told without its buildings, so saving old, rundown buildings isn’t necessary. But what really sets him apart is his views toward gentrification. “Bring it on,” he says. It’s not that he doesn’t care about protecting vulneraSPRING 2020 | 19
A woman pushes a shopping cart through Duncan Park in Lexington, Kentucky, on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. ble long-term residents of the East End. “I just don’t want them to be so strict in protecting that in their effort to protect people, they effectively build a wall around the neighborhood,” Tolliver said. What Tolliver wants is good neighbors, and if that means a white family lives in a refurbished house next door to him, then so be it. He would prefer that to the two boarded-up, neglected houses that are currently beside him, he said. “If some developer came and fixed those houses up and turned them into $200,000 houses and sold them to some white person, you know what I would do to that developer?” Tolliver said. “I’d send him a fruit basket at Christmastime.” Black people who can spend that much on a house are not buying in the East End anyway, in Tolliver’s view. “They don’t want to come back to this,” Tolliver said. “White people, because of the attractiveness of downtown living, white people will come here.” Samantha Johnson of NoLi CDC, who is black, expressed a similar sentiment: “White people are so ready to move into the neighborhood that we’ve been trying to get out of our whole entire life.” So Tolliver welcomes white residents into the neighborhood; in fact, he views it as diversifying an area that is historically mostly black. 20 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Just down the street from Tolliver’s house is what he views as a perfect addition to the neighborhood: Martine’s Pastries, a bakery that moved to the neighborhood nearly two years ago. Owners Martine and Jim Holzman, who are white, moved to the East End in the right way, Tolliver said— they got to know people even before their move. The Holzmans had been looking for a new space; their location on Industry Road had become too small. When they first began looking at this space in the East End, the neighborhood reminded Martine Holzman of her hometown in France, a small village where “everybody knows everybody.” “And when you have a new person coming in, everybody wants to know that new person, and either they fit in or they don’t,” Holzman said. “We knew that we wanted to be welcome, but we didn’t know how.” Vice Mayor Steve Kay and his wife Rona Roberts invited the Holzmans to their home for a meeting with some East End leaders, including Tolliver. At that meeting and others, the Holzmans asked questions and received “some great advice.” “We wanted to understand what are the needs, is it the right move for us— it was before we even moved here,” Holzman said. “Is it the right choice, what is the neighborhood needing, are we the right fit?”
The Holzmans decided they were, and after 17 months of renovation on a building that used to be a liquor store, Martine’s opened in the East End with triple the space it had at its old location.
in the community might consider her a sell-out.
Plus a wider customer base, Holzman said. Their old customers followed them, and they became more accessible to people who may not have been able to visit on Industry Road. And the move brought them nearly two miles closer to employee Gambino August, an East End resident who had been walking to work at the Industry Road location for a few years. Now he lives just a few blocks from Martine’s.
VanMeter had been involved in the area— which he typically brands as the North Side instead of East End— since 2005, getting involved with Stella’s Deli and eventually moving to the area.
The East End is undergoing some drastic changes, but in some ways, it is circling back to its history. The street behind Martine’s is called Flads, and Holzman said she learned that was the name of a German-French bakery that used to be right next door to what is now Martine’s. “So I don’t think it was very far to what the community was prior— what it’s kind of, maybe being again,” Holzman said. From Holzman’s perspective, Martine’s has been welcomed with open arms, but not every business, organization or developer has integrated so seamlessly into the East End. Other organizations and people get the label “gentrification” more often, such as the NoLi CDC, a nonprofit organization with a goal of equitable community development in the North End of Lexington. “Protesters have been very vocal about the harsh truths,” said Samantha Johnson. When Johnson was hired by the NoLi CDC in 2016, she was the first person of color and first woman on staff. Since then, she and the NoLi CDC have gone through “a tough learning process.” Johnson directs the Night Market, a monthly street festival that takes place around the Kentucky for Kentucky store on Bryan Avenue, which is owned by Griffin VanMeter. Around the time that Johnson started, the Night Market was being called #WhiteMarket on Facebook. “It came from every angle,” Johnson said, including white people. Many saw the Night Market as a group of white vendors setting up in a historically minority space. Since then, Johnson has worked on “cultivating all the different ways that we should include diversity,” and she said it has diversified, in both vendors and attendees, but there’s more that can be done. This job has been difficult, Johnson said, in large part because she felt “extremely misunderstood by the black community.” Being from Versailles rather than from the East End “feels offensive” to some, she said, and some
The first time Johnson met VanMeter, who was one of the founders of NoLi CDC in 2013 and just rotated off the board last January, he said, “I am a gentrifier.”
“I just started to think, could I have impact on the neighborhood?” VanMeter said. So in 2007 and 2008, he “started really small”— being involved with the neighborhood association, writing grants to fund improvements, trying to save historic buildings. It wasn’t until he started the NoLi CDC that VanMeter realized that he was a gentrifier, he said. “In his view, ‘I didn’t even realize that’s what I was doing, and now this is me owning that, and admitting it, and being honest about it. Not me bragging about it,’” Johnson said of VanMeter’s calling himself a gentrifier. “What I was really doing was trying to make the neighborhood more— kind of remake it in my own image,” VanMeter said. Then he realized that’s a “skewed perspective.” It’s been a learning process, VanMeter said, and while he is very proud of much of his work in the area, he said he regrets not having “a broader engagement earlier on in all of that work.” VanMeter said he realized the importance of having direction from long-term neighbors, because even if he thinks something is a good idea for everybody, it’s still coming from him and is probably best for him. “All tides lift the boat,” VanMeter tends to think, but Kris Nonn has said before, “But only if everybody has a boat.” Nonn, who is white, has Councilman James Brown on been at the NoLi CDC since Monday, Feb. 25, 2020, in 2014 and became executive Lexington, Kentucky. director in 2018. He said it has been difficult to have a goal in your heart— community development— and see others interpret it as gentrification. One of NoLi’s projects was purchasing several old houses on York Street and renovating them, which didn’t go quite as planned— the purpose was to help historic SPRING 2020 | 21
Frank X Walker holds his son, Kumasi, almost 2 years old, in his studio attached to his home in the Artists’ Village in the East End on Jan. 28, 2020, Lexington, Kentucky residents of the community, but the people who bought the refurbished houses did not look like historic residents. “[Activists] cry foul,” Nonn said, “and in large part I agree, but you can either complain about something or you can try to come up with solutions. “When people say, ‘Oh you’re gentrifying the neighborhood,’ I feel like the process that we’ve employed has been very community-led, in a way that is much more empowering and informative to our neighbors than anything anybody else is doing.” … The big, colorful painting that hangs on the wall of Frank X Walker’s daughter’s bedroom is in its third East End home.
When all the houses are finished— each with a studio out back or under the home, depending on size— they will form an open market area where artists can share and sell work. And the artists plan to host free art classes for kids in the community to learn a variety of art forms. As neighborhoods like the East End change, art seems to be one avenue for preserving history and culture. Even when he wasn’t living in the East End, Walker was sometimes creating art in the East End— like when he was director of the Governor’s School for the Arts, hosted at Transylvania University. GSA artists had made it a habit of leaving community murals wherever their program was, and there is still a mural in Duncan Park that they painted more than 10 years ago.
Walker, in his newly finished home in what is becoming the Artists’ Village, is in his fourth.
It’s the gathering of stories that is important in places like this, Crystal Wilkinson said.
He and his family are the “guinea pig” in the Artists’ Village project, a communal space where artists live and have studio space. Or, at least, it will be communal— right now it’s just them and a couple houses under construction.
“Collect the stories and have them displayed somehow so it’s never forgotten,” she said.
The village aims to offer affordable living and working spaces to artists whose income may be low— when he was younger, Walker said he understood how the “starving artist cliché” could be a reality. 22 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
As a poet and visual artist, Walker is leaving a permanent mark on the East End— in addition to his house, the first he has owned that he saw from a hole in the ground to a finished structure. Murals dot the area, and when The Met— a retail and housing development at the corner of Third Street and Midland Avenue— opens, Walker’s poetry will be on the
Thomas Tolliver holds a recent photo of his home on Third Street in Lexington, Kentucky, on Feb. 6, 2020, next to a photograph taken in 1920, when the house was inhabited by Dr. T. T. Wendell, who moved into the home in 1906 or 1907. sidewalk.
He’s been asked to write a poem about the East End for that; he said it’s still “fermenting” in his mind. The history is so broad, he said, that it’s hard to take on.
It’s not about stopping the change, Councilman James Brown said. That’s not the Task Force on Neighborhoods in Transition’s goal.
“To be able to ride a bicycle over that, embedded in the sidewalk, or seen on the side of the building, would be nice,” Walker said. It will be another way to brand the East End, like the circular logos that dot the edge of some of the East End’s street signs.
“It’s not a brick wall to try to stop redevelopment or revitalization, but to kind of see how we can protect those that are negatively impacted,” Brown said. “Because that train has already started down the track, it ain’t like we’re going to try to stop it, try to put it back in the bottle.”
It’s an area that has been pulling Walker in for decades. He was a UK undergraduate student the first time he lived in the East End, on Sixth Street.
The task force may be disbanded, Brown said, but one of its recommendations will be for the city to task someone with “continuing these conversations.”
Every day, when he walked or biked home, he’d speak to a friendly woman on the corner. Once he overcame his Danville-native naiveté, he said, he realized that woman was a prostitute.
“These maps are going to change,” Brown said. “So it needs to be somebody that is continuing to watch the process and put in the focus where the focus needs to be.”
Back then, people would tell Walker that they couldn’t come visit the East End at night.
The maps change, the people change, the businesses change. That seems, to some degree, inevitable. But some core, or soul, or spirit of the East End has survived for decades.
“People always would go, you live where?” Walker said. Now it’s the opposite, he said. Everybody wants to drop in the East End to see the new house.
And that soul is what they— the council member, the man in the house on the corner, the bookstore owner, the tomato grower, the poet— are all trying to protect. • SPRING 2020 | 23
Author Blair Hess lives with her husband Elliot Hess and their daughter Elliot in their Frankfort, Kentucky, home. 24 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
THE KENTUCKY LIFE OF
BLAIR THOMAS HESS BY LAURYN HAAS | PHOTOS BY ISAAC JANSSEN
lair Hess, accidental expert on the state of Kentucky and real writer (although she struggles to identify with the term, as many of us do), has made things difficult for herself in her household. She met her husband, Elliott Hess, in college at the Kentucky Kernel on a story assignment that took the two of them downtown to interview the homeless. She wrote the story, and he took the photos. They now have a curly blonde four-year-old girl, also named Elliott Hess. In their home, it’s Blair versus Elliott Squared. “We named our daughter Elliott because things aren’t confusing enough in my life. I call her Ella, and she is very quick to tell me that’s not her name, her name is Elliott,” Hess said. “They band together because they’ll be like ‘well we’re the Elliotts and you’re not.’ Look what I’ve done.” But Blair and her daughter do have one important thing in common: they’re both born-and-bred Kentucky girls. Blair grew up in Lexington, her mother is from the Maysville area, and her father is from western Kentucky. As Blair puts it, she had a very “Kentucky kind of family.” “A lot of friends when I was growing up would go out of state to visit grandparents, but my whole everything was right here in Kentucky. And I used to really hate that. I used to be like… why can’t my grandparents be somewhere cool that we get to go travel and visit, but summers were spent in western Kentucky on my grandparents’ farm… I just had a very Kentucky upbringing, very traditional,” Hess said. Vacations in Disney World and at the beach came second to exploring her home state. Blair’s family took regular trips to Lincoln’s birthplace, Mammoth Cave and Cumberland Falls. Every year she went to the Trigg County Country Ham Festival to marvel at everything from the prized pigs to the Ms. Ham Hock competition to the sack the pig contests. An appreciation for all that Kentucky has to offer was instilled in her from a very young age. When it was time to head off to college, Blair followed in her mother’s footsteps and decided on Western Kentucky University. She spent a year in
SPRING 2020 | 25
Blair Thomas Hess’ home decor reflects her Kentucky upbringing.
26 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Bowling Green studying journalism, but she wasn’t getting the college experience she had hoped for. After some thought and a phone call with her parents, she decided to transfer back to Lexington and attend UK. “I got to UK and I started, and I just loved it,” Hess said. “I loved every second of it. I wished I had gone here for six or seven years; I wish that I could keep going. I just loved every bit of it.” Her interest in journalism stuck. Blair knew that she wanted to be a writer in some capacity for all her life. She said she always wanted to tell stories. “Very early on, I told my mom I was going to be a novelist. That’s what I was going to do. And I used to write these ridiculous stories that didn’t make any sense and would never be real novels, but I used to write stories all the time… And then I think I realized at some point that maybe that wasn’t a real career. It’s a scary thing when you realize that,” Hess said. As the way many great stories begin, one day Blair walked down to the basement of the Grehan Journalism Building and into the office of the Kentucky Kernel. Although she ended up majoring in agriculture communications, she never left the Kernel. “I kind of walked in the door, and I was like ‘Can I write here? Are you guys looking for people?’ And they said the same thing then as they say now: always. And it completely changed my life,” Hess said. “I mean every part of it. There are so many things I learned there that I don’t think I would have ever learned, but it wasn’t about the writing, it was about how to ask questions, how to talk to people, how to tell stories, and being a part of a team that all cared about the same thing. “I don’t think I had ever been in a place where everyone cared about and were just as passionate and weird about the same thing. And nobody else understood why you stayed up until midnight working on something that how many people read? Do people read that? It didn’t matter. And I don’t think I had ever seen that or felt that before the Kernel.” Blair acquired bridesmaids, bylines and a boyfriend during her three years as a Kernelite. She met her literary agent, Alice Speilburg, at the Kernel as well. When graduation came, she had the opportunity to move to Nashville for a job at a custom content company. At the time, the middle of the recession, “a job was the greatest thing you could possibly get,” so she took her chance to explore what there was outside of Kentucky. Blair and Elliott started doing long distance, as he had a job in Lexington, and she discovered she would have to come up with ways to keep in touch with her loved ones. More specifically, her best friend and co-author of her books, Cameron M. Ludwick.
Blair and Ludwick met in middle school and remained close throughout high school and college. Ludwick, who works in book publishing, had always wanted to be a writer, too. She majored in English and got a job at UK after she graduated. The two dove into their separate post-grad lives, and in 2011, they planned to meet up somewhere between them to catch up. Ludwick mentioned she had never been to Mammoth Cave. Since Ludwick was born and raised in Kentucky just as Blair was, Blair couldn’t believe she had never been. It was decided, and they planned a trip to Cave City. “We met on a Saturday morning. I drove from Nashville to Cave City and she drove from Lexington to Cave City, and we met and we did a tour of Mammoth Cave and we stayed in a wig wam village,” Blair said. “And unknown to us, this was the first My Old Kentucky Road Trip. We didn’t really know that’s what we were doing, we were just literally meeting in the middle of our two places and we were driving around, but that trip kind of opened our eyes to something that could evolve slowly.” After their weekend, the pair joked about writing a travel guide to help people avoid making some of the same mistakes they made, one of them involving a moccasin shopping detour that ended up derailing their
scheduled tour of the cave. A month later, they planned a similar weekend trip, but this time they were heading to Louisville for a late-night tour of haunted tuberculosis hospital Waverly Hills. The trend continued. Blair and Ludwick had a friend named Matt who ran a music blog at the time. It was beyond MySpace or Facebook, and he was entering this new internet territory of online sponsorships where he actually made money from his posts. With this as inspiration and her work experience running the media for her company, Blair decided to start up a WordPress site. Why not? The name of the blog, My Old Kentucky Roadtrip, was somehow born between the two of them, and myoldkentuckyroadtrip.wordpress.com came to life with stream-of-consciousness-style posts about Cave City, Waverly Place, and every place in between. Blair was learning about search engine optimization at work, so she started incorporating keywords into her posts and linking to travel and ticket sites. One day, she ran an analytics report for a work website and decided to see how My Old Kentucky Road Trip was doing while she was at it. She found that their blog was getting 180 to 250 viewers daily without any promotion. “Honestly, I wish I could tell you that there was this big
Because both her husband and daughter are named Elliott, Blair Thomas Hess says the family dynamic is often her versus “Elliott SPRINGSquared.” 2020 | 27
grand plan, and we had all these great creative ideas, but we really kind of just were playing and making it up as we went along,” Blair said. “People were doing what we were doing, searching Cave City, Kentucky, in Google, and nobody writes about Cave City, Kentucky, so My Old Kentucky Road Trip was pinging up on top of the search engines. And then people would comment and that would drive it even higher and higher and higher.” They decided to see what would happen if they strategized. They made a Twitter and a Facebook, and they started previewing places they were going to go before they went. The castle on Versailles Road was about to open as a bed and breakfast, and they posted about it on the blog. That post got picked up by bigger sites and went viral. Blair purchased their domain name for $18 and they dropped the .wordpress. It was getting serious. Until things got busy. “I moved back to Lexington in 2012 and got married, and Cameron got a bigger job, and we stopped road-tripping, and we stopped updating the blog,” Blair said. Nine months passed. Blair logged into the blog’s Gmail account on a whim and found a message from a woman named Katie Perry with the History Press, now part of Arcadia Publishing. She was interested in doing a My Old Kentucky Road Trip book. Blair realized the opportunity may have passed, but she told Ludwick about it anyways, and she was thrilled. They decided they had to reach out. “So, we called Katie Perry back and because we are the luckiest people in the entire universe, Katie Perry was the kindest person you’ve ever met, and she still wanted to do a book with us and she wanted us to take 25 road trips across the state, and she wanted us to take pictures and she wanted us to write about our experiences and she wanted us to publish a book,” Blair said. They agreed. My Old Kentucky Road Trip made the transition from the web to print. The book deal was signed in 2014, and the first book came out in 2015. “This was about the same time that Kentucky for Kentucky was establishing itself, and Kentucky was suddenly kicking ass… Those things were starting to kind of come about,” Blair said. “So, there was this surge of pride in the state. We didn’t want to be in the bottom five in education and obesity. We wanted to be more proud of where we were from.” 28 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Blair said the feeling of holding your own published book is something that will never get old. “I remember they sent us author advances, and I think I just held it forever. We went to dinner that night and I took it with me and I went to the store and I took it with me, I mean I carried it in my purse for a week. And it wasn’t even to show it off, I just wanted to have it close to me,” Blair said. “Every bookstore I walk in I look for it. Out of habit, I could be in Ontario, Canada, or Lexington, Kentucky, and I’ll look for it. Every time we walk in a bookstore, we move them to the front. Bookstore people probably hate us.” They have since expanded the brand to include topic-specific books on Kentucky foods, bourbon, and Civil War historic sites. Blair has spoken on author panels and bourbon panels where she served as an expert on Kentucky, a role she said she will always exercise, whether a friend needs a restaurant recommendation, or a panel needs a speaker. A publisher in Indiana asked Blair and Ludwick to do a similar series in their state, but they decided against it. It’s kind of a Kentucky thing. But Blair does write about other places, too. For Christmas 2018, the Hess trio took a Euro-trip through England and France with Blair’s mother, her brother, and her brother’s husband, against plenty of discouragement on taking a two-year-old to a new continent with a five-hour time difference. But little Elliott is a traveler at heart. She turned three while on a train from Paris to London and took in sights that some people dream their whole lives of seeing, something that Blair said she will remember forever. “It was the wildest thing. I remember we went to the Eiffel Tower and we did it at night, so you know how they light it up and it twinkles. We’re sitting in line waiting to get on the elevator to go to the top, and my mother is holding my daughter, and they’re watching this big huge Eiffel Tower twinkle, and I remember thinking, this is the most amazing thing you could watch,” Blair said. “And they’d never seen it before, and who knows if either of them will remember it in ten years, probably not, but I will remember it. And it was one of the most special things.” For now, moments like these live exclusively in journals for Elliott to read when she gets older. But what’s next for Blair’s brand? Maybe My Old European Road Trip with co-editors Elliott Squared. We’ll have to wait and see. •
Elliot Hess giggles behind her mother, Blair Thomas Hess, as she sits in their Frankfort, Kentucky, home with the books she has authored.
SPRING 2020 | 29
NORMS GENDERLESS FASHION FOR ALL
30 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
POPS RESALE RED JACKET | 40 SUNGLASSES | 12 THE DOMESTIC BLACK VELVET BLAZER | 22 PHOTO BY AMBER RITSCHEL
SPRING 2020 | 31
BY LEDJEN HAASE
PHOTO BY ISAAC JANSSEN
enderless fashion is the freedom to fully express yourself through clothing with disregard to labels. A growing cultural shift, genderless fashion challenges what we consider to be “masculine” or “feminine.” This revolution in the fashion industry is impacting the way we see and wear clothing, allowing clothing to not be delineated to a specific gender. Increasingly, more designers in the industry, such as Gucci and Christian Siriano, are starting to dress male models in womenswear and vice versa to erase the gender-specific generalizations we make, not only on clothing but also on people. More celebrities are enforcing the changing gender narratives, such as actor Billy Porter and musician Harry Styles, who are inspiring our understanding of masculinity through their genderless red-carpet style. In 2019, Porter talked about his fashion on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “Women wearing pants is powerful, it’s strong, everybody accepts it, and it’s associated with the patriarchy. It’s associated with being male,” Porter said. “The minute a man puts on a dress it’s disgusting. So what are you saying? Men are strong, women are disgusting. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m done with that. I’m a man in a dress, and if I feel like wearing a dress, I’m going to wear one.” When fashion goes genderless, it brings attention to the LGBTQ* community. Diversity and inclusion should not be a for-profit trend, but a natural consideration in all areas of society. The KRNL fashion team’s goal for this photoshoot is to spread the normalization of genderless labels and support mainstream acceptance of gender identities that may still seem unfamiliar to some. The eradication of gender-specific dressing helps to redefine how we traditionally view genders and categorization. Part of being “unfiltered” is to not alter your truth based upon the perception of others. To execute our vision, the styling team utilized three vendors: The Domestic, Target, and Pops Resale. Each of these vendors provides a spectrum of clothing that enforces the blurring of gender labels. In every outfit, we incorporated masculine and feminine details with a mixture of loose- or tight-fitting silhouettes to represent the wide range of styles you can create when ignoring gender characterizations. Our genderless approach is intended to support the freedom of expressing the honest version of yourself through whatever you put on and to not succumb to the stereotypes of “men’s” and “women’s” clothing.
32 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
POPS RESALE RED JACKET | 40 SUNGLASSES | 12 PHOTO BY AMBER RITSCHEL
SPRING 2020 | 33
POPS RESALE STRIPED SUIT | 50 PHOTO BY JORDAN PRATHER
34 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
POPS RESALE WHITE PANTS | 40 THE DOMESTIC PINK BLAZER | 25 PINK BLOUSE | 22
PHOTO BY ISAAC JANSSEN
SPRING 2020 | 35
TARGET LEVIâ€™S SWEATSHIRT | 20 PHOTO BY AMBER RITSCHEL
THE DOMESTIC VINTAGE LACOSTE BLAZER | 28
THE DOMESTIC GOLD SHIRT | 17 PINK JACKET | 24 PHOTO BY AMBER RITSCHEL
SPRING 2020 | 37
SUPPORTER SPOTLIGHT GIVING BACK TO THOSE WHO GIVE TO US
CHRIS POORE C
BY ANNA BYERLEY
hris Poore, former student publications director for the Kentucky Kernel, now uses his knowledge from being a journalist to run his own targeted marketing company called Great Stories LLC.
After graduating from Western Kentucky University in 1991, he worked in the newspaper business for several years before coming to UK, where he worked as a student publications director for the Kernel for 17 years. “Student advisers do everything, from designing, publishing, editing, printing,” Poore said. “Everyone in the organization is getting that experience and it really opens up a whole world of things to learn. My job as an adviser for students taught me that I could do anything.” He said it’s hard to pick just one favorite memory from his time at the Kernel. Poore now works for his own digital marketing company, which helps businesses develop targeted marketing strategies that help drive sales and business to different companies. “I like that every day is different, and that I’m challenged to do new things,” Poore said. “The freedom of it is what I like most. It’s not entirely different from what I’ve done before. Journalism helped me learn how to tell a story and celebrate successes, and now I help companies tell their story through different forms to help drive business.” His job now includes everything from posting social media to paper clip advertisements to attending events such 38 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
as the Lexington Boat Show. Poore had lots of great advice for students about the benefits of working for KRNL and the Kernel. “Working for the Kernel and KRNL is amazing for students. Trying everything and putting in as much effort as you can, because it’s giving you the opportunity to have a front row seat to every event on campus,” Poore said. He said he worries most about the students who aren’t getting involved. If he could go back to his college years and change one thing, he said he would’ve walked into the student newspaper at WKU on the first day, instead of waiting a few semesters to get involved. Poore had two pieces of advice for students looking for their first job after graduation. “First, you must make sure that you work for student publications...” Poore said. “Secondly, you need to treat your job search as a job itself. Everything from your resume to your cover letter must be good.” Poore said he would be happy to hire students who worked for the Kernel or KRNL. In fact, his first hire at Great Stories LLC was Tracey Staley, who was editor-in-chief of the Kernel in 2002. Aside from owning and working for Great Stories LLC, Poore is also a dad, a former farmer and a former owner of a fishing magazine. •
SUPPORTER SPOTLIGHT GIVING BACK TO THOSE WHO GIVE TO US
TRACEY STALEY BY COURTNEY CAVALLO
s an undergraduate, Tracey Staley held a variety of positions at the Kentucky Kernel. In 2002, she became the editor-in-chief, and she developed not only her journalism skills but also her leadership skills. Originally from Hazard, Kentucky, Staley has lived in Dayton, Ohio, since 2004. She currently works alongside Chris Poore with his targeted marketing company, Great Stories LLC. The skills she acquired from her time at the Kernel have allowed her to work with newspapers and non-profit organizations and in a variety of communication roles. Depending on the client, she finds herself working on digital advertising and content development. However, her workdays are diverse— she could be working on a Facebook campaign for one client and increasing search engine optimization for another. “Keep learning,” Staley said to undergraduate students interested in fields related to student media like the Kernel and KRNL. Those fields are rapidly changing, she said, so it’s important to watch what “really great storytellers” are doing. “Keeping your skills sharp just in the core areas that you’ve learned from either working at the Kernel or KRNL magazine and being curious will help you grow and learn as you figure out what your career is going to be.” •
Go to www.kykernel.com to learn how to be a contributor. Email Andrea Giusti at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. SPRING 2020 | 39
hen Portia Burgess goes somewhere, she goes big.
Burgess and her husband, John, wear matching outfits whenever they go out— all-white ensembles for a themed party; colorful patterned outfits for a birthday event; shirts to match their great-granddaughter, Zoe. “We always look good, always,” Burgess said. “Everybody’s eyes on us. Every time I walk in the door, they be like, ‘I know she made that.’ I’m like, ‘I sure did.’” A self-proclaimed “jack of all trades,” Burgess has been making her own clothes since taking home economics in the seventh grade. The very first thing she made was a jumper and pair of pants; her teacher, Ms. Stivers, made Burgess redo the clothes after she made a mistake. “I cut the face in two so I had to redo it, but after that I was good,” Burgess said. She began making clothes first for herself, then sold to others after she graduated high school. Hemmings, alterations, ball gowns, curtains, purses, scarves— Burgess does all this and more, often using her own designs. “All of it’s easy to me because I’ve been doing it so long,” she said. She gets inspiration by looking online at sites like Pinterest, Amazon and, her favorite, Etsy. Then she either buys a pattern or makes something up herself. Even when sewing to a pattern, she’ll change it up by taking away things she doesn’t like and adding something new in its place. “I had one auntie, she could just look at something and go back and buy the fabric and sew it,” said Burgess. “I used to have to have a pattern, but now I can do that, too.” Burgess’s aunts, along with six years of home economics, taught her how to sew. But her creativity is all her own. She uses her designs for hats, scarves and pillows, and often changes up patterns to suit her taste. If she had a signature creation, it would be her skirt design. Burgess uses jeans or jean skirts as a foundation, cutting off the bottom and replacing it with fabric, and making a belt from the same fabric for the top. “I like African fabric, mostly African outfits,” Burgess said. “Just plain, like a skirt and top.” Burgess sources her fabric from Amazon, Hobby Lobby and an African store on Woodhill. Once she got 15 bolts of fabric from a Wal-Mart that was shutting down. But for the African designs, Burgess can use something special. People she knows from UK have given her fabric from Africa. Burgess worked at UK as a crew leader for 25 years. In those years, she often sewed for other employees, making hats and scarves for her supervisors and faculty in the departments she was attached to. “I don’t miss the job, I miss the people,” said Burgess. Beth Barnes, a professor in the College of Communication and Information, has brought fabric back to Burgess from her trips to Africa. Barnes said she brought Burgess “a really pretty blue fabric” from Zambia, where CI formerly led a project. Fellow UK professor Mel Coffee suggested Barnes bring the piece back for Burgess. “And I thought, ‘of course, what was I thinking?’” said Barnes. “I brought it
40 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Portia Burgess flashes a smile in her Lexington, Kentucky, home.
A LOVE FOR
SEWING BY NATALIE PARKS | PHOTOS BY ISAAC JANSSEN
SPRING 2020 | 41
back and gave her a general idea of what I wanted, and she made me this really nice top out of it that… I still wear fairly often.” African-American employees of UK have given fabric to Burgess from their homes or families. “That piece right there that really came from Africa— one girl, her momma sent it to her, and she gave it straight to me,” said Burgess. Burgess spent 20 of her years at UK working in Grehan with the College of CI. “She took such good care of all of us,” said Barnes, who served 12 years as director of the then-called School of Journalism and Telecommunications. For all those 12 years, she kept an ivy plant in her office that “only lasted that long because of Portia.” When Barnes prepared to take her sabbatical, she offered the plant to Burgess. “I said to her, ‘why don’t you just take the plant because we both know it wouldn’t be alive without you,’” Barnes said. Upon her retirement in May 2019, Burgess was gifted a clock that sits in her living room among photos of her family— her three kids, four grandkids and seven great-grandkids. Family is important to Burgess, and her relatives frequently come to her house. She’s sewn pageant gowns for her granddaughter; pants and shirts for her brother, who works as a DJ and goes on cruises; and one year, she made UK hoodies for all her grandchildren “I just make ‘em whatever I want to make ‘em,” said Burgess. The only family member interested in learning to sew is her great-granddaughter, Zoe. “Everything I make me, she wants one of them. I say,
‘you can’t wear what granny wears, you gotta wear little kid stuff.’” Burgess will also teach Zoe how to cook. Cooking is another of Burgess’ talents, one she gets to display often. “My husband, we make chopped barbeque together, NC style, vinegar-based, coleslaw baked beans,” said Burgess. “I can make anything.” John also helps Burgess with her sewing, helping her cut out the pieces of fabric. Burgess said it takes her three or four hours to make something, and cutting out is the main part. Her favorite thing she has made herself is a fleece UK-patterned overcoat. People often ask her about it when she wears it out, Burgess said. UK items and other team gear are her most popular items. In addition to sewing for her family, Burgess also makes original creations for customers. “I don’t care what y’all like— whatever y’all like, if I can find the fabric, I’ll make it,” Burgess said. Customers hear about Burgess through Facebook and by word-of-mouth. For big items, customers bring her the fabric, but for small things like hats, Burgess will use her own supplies. “I had one guy, I made him a UK hat and scarf to match, he went to work and laid it down and somebody stole it,” said Burgess. The customer came back for a replacement. Sometimes, potential customers will show interest after seeing Burgess wear something she made. “They always say ‘ooh, that’s nice, I like that,’” Burgess said. “Then I say ‘you want one made?’” Recently, Burgess has been doing alterations on a ball gown. She said she likes sewing women’s clothes more
A clock gifted to Burgess when she retired from UK is displayed in her living room. 42 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
than men’s— “I’ve made three suits, and I’ll never do it again.” But dashikis are all right, she added. Dashikis are traditional West African men’s shirts, often with colorful patterns, and reflect Burgess’s love of African styles. “Everything I got here, if I’ve got it, John’s got a dashiki to match,” said Burgess. She also made his suit for their wedding. Burgess said the pair gets lots of compliments when they step out. “One guy, he said, ‘are you from Africa?’ I’m like, ‘no— the fabric came from Africa, but I’m not from Africa,’” she said. Burgess said seeing people wear her clothes makes her feel good, like getting a pat on the back. “I love what I do, especially when it turns out good, when I don’t have to pick anything loose,” she said. She spends about three or four days a week sewing something, and she likes making dresses and skirts best. She said everything about sewing has changed since she first started, and that she’s mostly selftaught. “A lot of people say you don’t see that anymore, people sewing at home,” said Burgess. Her family appreciates her talents, especially her daughter. “She’ll come over like, ‘Mom, can you do this?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ll figure it out.’” Many times, Burgess’s creations are for special occasions, like the clothes she makes for her brother Russell when he goes on cruises, or the coordinating outfits for a long-time friend attending an African ball. She even made the wedding dress for her first marriage.
Burgess picks out some of her favorite pieces to show.
“I have made stuff for my daughter’s cousins when they was in school to get them good grades. My grades,” she joked. Even after sewing for the better part of her life, Burgess still enjoys what she does. “I like everything about it— cutting it out, stitching it, putting my own twist on it,” she said. And she’s still finding ways to innovate. Soon she’s going to try putting zippers on the outside, a new technique she’s seen that she thinks will be easier than the traditional inside zipper. But before that, she has a birthday party to go to, and she’s already made herself the perfect outfit. And, of course, a matching dashiki for John. •
Burgess makes clothing items for many of her family members. SPRING 2020 | 43
Edwards is involved with Oneness Sneaker Boutique in Lexington, Kentucky.
THE MAN BEHIND
THE MUSIC: WARREN
BY JEFAWN EVANS | PHOTOS BY AMBER RITSCHEL
hen the lights go off, the Cats come out.
The commentator introduces the players, one by one. Then a hype song starts to play, and players and fans dance. Everyone knows the introduction song played at every game, as Rapper Young Thug’s voice blazes over the loud speaker: “Everything litty, I love when it’s hot,” as smoke and fireworks go off. Most people’s eyes are on the players, but what about the person behind the players? You know, the one playing the music to get everyone hyped up? That’s DJ Warren Peace. Many Lexington residents probably know who DJ Warren Peace is: the guy with the really cool shoes who DJs the basketball games. But they might not know Warren Edwards— Warren Edwards the son, the brother, the friend. The Warren Edwards who doesn’t go out to bars unless he’s DJing. The Warren Edwards who doesn’t drink, and who would rather listen to something soulful than the hip hop and R&B music he plays all day, every day.
mother. Even at the tender age of five, Edwards knew he loved music. “My mother has pictures of me as a child with headphones on,” Edwards said. “I know that if she couldn’t get me to settle down and she put music on, I [calmed down] immediately.” But it wasn’t until growing up that Edwards knew just how much music would get him through. Edwards’ life wasn’t always easy; his mother left his father when Edwards was a baby. They moved to three different states in just five years. His life was never really stable, and he has even experienced homelessness. “I’ve never lived in a house for more than a year or two… I’ve been homeless multiple times and never slept in my own bed until I was about 13 years old,” Edwards said. “I lived on a couch just to make it happen… just because of money.” Although Edwards’ life wasn’t always perfect, he did not let his struggle define him. Instead, his love for music is what got him through those rough nights.
Behind the DJ booth stands a man with a story— of hope and inspiration, of hard work and dedication, of love, good vibes and positive energy.
“As a child when you’re 10, 11, 12 and going through things, I mean, music was a way for me to do that, music played a big part in me coping with some of that stuff for sure,” he said.
Warren Edwards moved to Kentucky at the age of five. He was an only child and grew up with just his
Edwards’ professional love for music took off when he began DJing in high school while working part time at a
44 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
record store. After graduating high school, he decided to become a Wildcat. He attended the University of Kentucky as an elementary education major; however, he knew that wasn’t where his heart was, and he decided to take another path, one that involved music. He is now the official University of Kentucky DJ. He DJs at every basketball and football game and for many other sports, too. “When I was a kid I didn’t go to games… because I was poor, so I didn’t have that opportunity,” Edwards said. “And now it’s like I go to every game and I’m a piece and a part of the puzzle, which is kind of cool, you know.” Not only that, he also DJs for many events around Lexington, like UK homecoming, frat parties, birthday parties, UK student org events, and so much more. On the weekends, he also DJs at Lexington’s hottest nightclubs and bars. From Sunday to Sunday, sun up to sun down, music is a part of Edwards’ life.
a DJ he would have a career in fashion. Here in Lexington, Edwards is heavily involved with Oneness Sneaker Boutique and creates many of his own pieces. In his free time, however, Edwards is a laid-back dude. He doesn’t drink or smoke, and he doesn’t like to listen to much hip hop music either. He would rather hear something soulful. Edwards is all about radiating good energy and positive vibes in life, and that’s something he holds dear to him. “I just try to be a ray of light for people, to be positive and not complain, and try to show as much love as I possibly can,” Edwards said. “I feel like that’s important… just try to radiate what I want back. “I want to make sure people know that money isn’t everything and that you can do anything that you want to do… don’t listen to people when they say no because literally pretty much everyone around you at some point is going to say you shouldn’t do this or you can’t do that, but like at the end of the day when you
If he weren’t a DJ, Edwards said he would have a career in fashion. “I just love music. I’m able to express myself creatively, listen to it all the time, and apply it in different ways in my life and for that I’m thankful,” he said. Edwards isn’t just a lover of music, he’s a lover of many things— including, of course, his mother. He and his mom are really close since he grew up just the two of them. “I love my mom probably more than anything in the world, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my mother,” Edwards said. “She’s probably the reason why I stayed in Kentucky this long, because my mother is here.” His mom isn’t the only one he considers close family, though. Edwards has a tightknit group of friends, and a few of those friends he considers his brothers. They support Edwards at every game and every event, and can always be seen close by. Edwards also loves fashion. He believes if he weren’t
lay down and close your eyes, you know what you’re supposed to be doing, you know what you’re capable of doing. And if everyone was in tune with that, we’d be in a whole lot better situation.” As far as what’s next for Edwards, he said he just wants to better himself each and every day. “I want to be stronger and do better than yesterday, that’s all I ever do even if it’s just a smidge better, as long as the scale is going up and not down,” Edwards said. “I want to make sure that I’m trying to maintain balance every day with workloads, with family, with love, spirituality, everything. I feel like in terms of my life and my family, I give pride to that I did what I said I was going to do, I didn’t get to where I was cheating, blackmailing, stealing, or lying, I was honest and therefore I feel like I’ll get all that good energy back.” •
SEE JEFAWN EVANS’ VIDEO AT KRNLMAGAZINE.COM
SPRING 2020 | 45
BY EMILY LAYTHAM | DESIGN BY KENDALL BORAN
46 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
exington is in serious need of R&R.
That could mean “rest and relaxation.” But to environmental advocates and professionals like Angela Poe, it could also mean “reducing and reusing.” “Since the ‘70s, we’ve kind of treated recycling as the miracle solution to all the stuff we use and buy,” said Poe, a public information and engagement officer with Lexington’s Department of Environmental Quality & Public Works. “We tend to blur how we use those words [reduce, reuse and recycle].” That is a serious problem, especially for a city like Lexington. Last May, the city announced that paper would no longer be accepted in standard blue recycling bins because they’d amassed too much loose, low-grade paper and not enough interested buyers. At Lexington’s recycling center, recyclable materials are not physically recycled but instead sorted and shipped off— and the center only has so much space. Before the paper ban began last year, several months passed where the city was unable to sell off its excess paper. That paper was eventually sent to the landfill. Poe said that the move to temporarily suspend paper recycling was made for transparency’s sake. “It’s not ideal, but really, environmental impact-wise and economic-wise, it’s cheaper if you just put it in the correct bin and take it to the landfill instead of having us process it and transport it [there] again,” Poe said.
At the time, the paper ban made few visible differences on UK’s campus, where paper remained (and remains) recyclable. When news broke of the change, UK Recycling broke from the city, according to UK Recycling Coordinator Joanna Ashford. The move was intended to reinforce UK’s pledge to increase on-campus recycling by 25 percent before 2022. But the ban did spark an on-campus conversation about what is and is not recyclable. Many students and
Lexingtonians operate under the belief that a recycle symbol makes it safe to throw in a blue bin— but, according to Poe, that’s “simply not true.” Ashford said that UK Recycling encourages students to ignore recycling symbols and instead focus on how an item looks. Does it look like a bottle, jug or can? Then you’re probably in luck. “So, your two-liter bottles, your water bottles, your laundry detergent bottles, your milk jugs — all of those can be recycled [on UK’s campus],” Ashford said. “But when it comes to your yogurt cups or your coffee cup… those items are not recyclable.” In fact, not only are coffee cups un-recyclable, they’re contaminants. Leftover coffee often spills when tossed inside, which can seriously degrade surrounding materials. “Everyone wants to recycle their cup,” Ashford said. “And it becomes a big issue for us.” Ashford encouraged all UK students to “take the time to reach out” on UK Recycling’s social media when unsure about what is recyclable. As for the city, an active forum of concerned, recycling Lexingtonians has already cropped up on social media in the form of Trash Talk. The Lexington Trash Talk page on Facebook, created by Live Green Lexington, currently sits at over 1,500 members. On a nearly daily basis, members ask questions about what is recyclable, where it’s recyclable and why. Sometimes it gets heated. But recently, things are calming down as new, innovative solutions to waste management are implemented. For example, earlier this year, Lexington began implementing a new paper-recycling program. Yellow bins in well-trafficked areas across the city are now accepting white paper, catalogues and magazine paper (only). By keeping these basic forms of paper separate from general recycling, the city is able to produce a “much cleaner, higher-quality product that there’s still a demand for,” Poe said. It’s a start. But for the city and UK to properly reduce environmental footprints, students and Lexingtonians alike will need to focus on the other two Rs as well. That’s why UK Recycling has pledged to reduce its overall landfill output by half by 2022. “That means (increasing) not only what we recycle, but increasing what we donate, what we reuse and what we compost on campus,” Ashford said. • SPRING 2020 | 47
ALL YOU NEED IS
alking into POPS Resale is stepping in to an eccentric atmosphere— thanks to the variety of pins, records and mushroom coral filling the room. Owner Dan Shorr is sitting at the cash register, proudly wearing his fedora and holding his three-legged rescue dog, Junior. The selection of sunglasses alone in the front of the store is enough to make any reasonable person melt. The back of the store is filled with vintage goods. But it’s the ceiling tiles that are the most eye-catching. Colorful hand-painted ceiling tiles fill the store from front to back, featuring tiny handprints and detailed “pop” art. Some are worth $3 while others are worth $400. The value isn’t dependent on the artwork, but rather on the donation that comes with it. Shorr gives these canvas-like ceiling tiles to anyone willing to
48 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
paint them, under one condition: They must return the ceiling tile along with some sort of monetary donation. The proceeds of this fun art project go toward the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky, commonly referred to as DSACK.
The proceeds have been used to go to other charities, but when Shorr’s granddaughter was born with Down Syndrome, he knew that DSACK would become the new and permanent foundation these tiles would benefit. Shorr’s granddaughter is now almost seven and will be creating her own ceiling tile soon. Since the store has been around for more than 20 years, there is certainly a surplus of merchandise. The popularity of the store has only increased as people bring in stuff daily. “If we go more than two or three or four days without a batch of records coming in the door, I would get a little worried,” Shorr said. Head on over to POPS Resale on 1423 Leestown Rd. to pay Pop and Junior a visit. Unique treasures will be found between the record stations, clothing racks and ceiling tiles. •
BY MORGAN HANEY | PHOTOS BY ISAAC JANSSEN
SP RI NG
DESIGNED BY BRITTANY LYDEN | CURATED BY ALLIE KING
1. LIVE WELL PALACE 2. IT MIGHT BE TIME
3. CALL ME (feat. PORTUGAL. THE MAN)
4. COPY CAT MELANIE MARTINEZ
5. DADDY ISSUES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD 6. SIREN SONG
SHELL OF A MAN
7. PARENTS YUNGBLUD
8. GASOLINE HALSEY
9. TEENAGE DIRTBAG WHEATUS
10. MONEY AND FAME NEEDTOBREATHE 11. EVERYBODY HATES ME
12. SOME KIND OF DISASTER
ALL TIME LOW
13. ALL THE KIDS ARE DEPRESSED
14. ORDINARY MAN
OZZY OSBOURNE & ELTON JOHN
15. NAVY BLUE CHARLOTTE LAWRENCE 16. DON’T DOUBT UR VIBE
ELON “EDM” MUSK
17. JOKE CHASTITY BELT
18. PNEUMA TOOL
19. JOE FRAZIER ORIONS BELTE
20. CONCORDE THE HOLYDRUG COUPLE
SPRING 2020 | 49
PHOTO BY ISAAC JANSSEN THE DOMESTIC 70S FLORAL BUTTON UP | 24
COLOR PHOTOS BY ISAAC JANSSEN AND AMBER RITSCHEL
WEARHOUSE KY VINTAGE 1980s TWO-PIECE YELLOW AND PYTHON BLAZER AND BODYSUIT | 85
VENDOR G KGH KGKH AGK | XX KH G K AGHAKEH KGKA | XX
PHOTO BY ISAAC JANSSEN
SPRING 2020 | 51
THE DOMESTIC 1970s FLORAL BUTTON-DOWN | 24
52 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
POPS RESALE SUNGLASSES | 12 PLATOâ€™S CLOSET GOLD BRACELET | 8 WEARHOUSE KY 1980s ANIMAL PRINT BELT | 12
BY ABBEY TEMPLEMAN
esort wear can be too loud for some people’s tastes. However, spring’s tropical trends are coming in with full force this year. We wanted to shine a light on those bold prints, bright colors, and vintage pieces that best showcase those tropical trends that are hitting the streets of your favorite vacation spots. The styling team created ensembles using pieces from Pop’s Resale, Plato’s Closet, Wearhouse KY, and The Domestic. “Pattern mixing is just so fun… vintage pieces make it easy to accomplish considering bold patterns were all the rage in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s,” said Candace Reichbach, a manager of The Domestic. “Mixing patterns and decades can lead to really great shapes and textures.” Tropical trends are bold for more than just their prints. Their styles push the limits and can be considered more daring. Our stylists chose interesting pieces that mixed and matched so perfectly. Whether you want to wear a bandeau with a blazer or a bodysuit with just a denim jacket, resort wear has got you covered. “Resort wear is a combination of pieces that are bold, not only in color or appearance but also by the entire vibe it exudes,” said Shanda Snyder, a manager of Wearhouse KY. “At Wearhouse, we like to push people outside of their comfort zone— to try unfamiliar looks that become their most memorable. Resort wear is trying new things to gain a fresh perspective on fashion and self.” Resort wear should be fun! You can make it original to your style and still reach the tropical vibe that you want to achieve. Those bold prints and colors are meant to be mixed. Step outside of your comfort zone this spring with these tropical trends. •
54 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
SOUTHERN MARSH SHORTS | 12 PLATOâ€™S CLOSET BETSEY JOHNSON PURSE | 60 WEARHOUSE KY BLUE AND WHITE STRIPED BUTTON-DOWN | 24
SPRING 2020 | 55
WEARHOUSE KY 1990s FLORAL BUSTIER TOP PHOTO BY | 22 ISAAC JANSSEN | STAFF BRAIDED HOOP EARRINGS | 18 VENDOR POPS G KGH KGKH AGKRESALE | XX SUNGLASSES KH G K AGHAKEH KGKA | XX| 12
56 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
WEARHOUSE KY VINTAGE WICKER GARDENING HAT | 12 1960s WICKER HANDBAG WITH TORTOISE SHELL HANDLE | 34 POPS RESALE SUNGLASSES | 12 PLATOâ€™S CLOSET CHEETAH EARRINGS | 12
SPRING 2020 | 57
WEARHOUSE KY VINTAGE 1980s ESCADA BLAZER | 115 EARRINGS | 32 PLATOâ€™S CLOSET ZAFUL TWO-PIECE TOP | 6 LAYERED COIN NECKLACES | 4
VENDOR G KGH KGKH AGK | XX KH G K AGHAKEH KGKA | XX
VENDOR G KGH KG KH G K AG
@HEX_VINTAGETHREADS (WEARHOUSE KY) 1990s FUNKY PRINT WINDBREAKER | 40
GKH AGK | XX GHAKEH KGKA | XX
SPRING 2020 | 59
@HEX_VINTAGETHREADS (WEARHOUSE KY) BEACH CLUB T-SHIRT | 49
WEARHOUSE KY BLACK AND WHITE WICKER BAG | 42
WEARHOUSE KY WHITE WICKER BAG | 42
SPRING 2020 | 61
IZZY THOMAS FROM FOOD INSECURE TO FIGHTING FOOD INSECURITY AT UK
STORY BY SYDNEY WADE | PHOTOS BY ISAAC JANSSEN
aking a step into the Big Blue Pantry, visitors will find aisles of canned goods and toiletries. And they’ll find sophomore Izzy Thomas. Thomas is the student director of the Big Blue Pantry, created in 2014 to allow students experiencing food insecurity or hunger at the university to be able to show a valid UK ID to receive food, canned items, toiletries and other goods at no cost to them. Thomas is also an education ambassador about food insecurity. She is involved with the Basic Needs Campaign and SSTOP Hunger, which led her to becoming director of the pantry. “I’m only at the Big Blue Pantry to stock and clean, and all the other time is spent meeting with my advisor, Program Specific Executive Team (PSET), doing interviews, volunteer orientations, and also doing promotion for the pantry like Big Blue Harvest, where I give out small snacks to students in the morning to spread the word about Big Blue Pantry,” Thomas said. Then she laughed, as she realized she does more than the average person does in a day. The pantry is a student-led organization. Thomas works with an adviser and the PSET team to manage the overall operations of the pantry. There are also federal work-study student volunteers who help with stocking and other needs.
62 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Izzy Thomas is the student director of the Big Blue Pantry, located in Whitehall.
SPRING 2020 | 63
Over the past five years, the pantry’s trajectory has shifted from a small, unknown space in Whitehall Classroom Building to a bustling resource center for students, with its partnership with Kroger. Since 2014, they have tripled in numbers, currently serving about 100 people per week. The Basic Needs Campaign began as a call to action about food insecurity on Kentucky’s campus, leading to a hunger strike by participants who felt their voices weren’t being heard in spring 2019. While Big Blue Pantry wasn’t directly involved, Thomas and her team were individually passionate about the issues related to the campaign and jumped in swiftly. Thomas completed five days of the hunger strike. “I feel Big Blue Pantry was almost seen in a negative light through the Basic Needs Campaign, and that was never our intention as individuals,” she said.
“Food is such a central part of people’s lives.”
Izzy Thomas holds a basket of items available in the Big Blue Pantry.
64 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
With a passion for food insecurity, Izzy Thomas believes in academic success stemming from a fed body. As those feelings begin to fade away, Thomas said she sees new beginnings for the pantry, with a transition from a grassroots, student-led organization to more corporate. As a result of the Basic Needs Campaign, Arion Jett-Seal— UK’s first basic needs coordinator— will be taking over Big Blue Pantry in fall 2020. For Thomas, working in the food insecurity crisis on campus was familiar territory. At one point, she experienced food insecurity. Storehouse, now the biggest food pantry in the southwest in her native New Mexico, helped her family through a major financial shift when she was 13 years old, helping them with resources and getting them back on their feet. Thomas started volunteering there, and once she was able to drive, she found herself at Storehouse more than ever. Through the pantry, she created a student ambassador position where she was able to go around to middle and high schools to talk about Storehouse and food insecurity while learning about it herself.
Upon turning 17, Thomas created Izzy’s Hike for Hunger through Storehouse. She established the fundraiser during a low point in life, with an end to her dreams of being a Division I soccer player. After quitting the team, she began to hike, and an idea dawned on her. From there, she introduced the idea of a hiking fundraiser for Storehouse, and many people thought she was crazy. Never backing down from a challenge, this was the only fuel she needed. Thomas wanted her fundraiser to fill in the gaps during the summer when Storehouse patrons needed extra assistance because they were not receiving free lunch at school, or when the pantry was not receiving as many donations as around the holidays. Since its creation in 2017, Izzy’s Hike for Hunger has raised over $5,000, and she has signed a contract with Storehouse to continue her fundraiser while she’s away at school. Thomas plans to pursue medicine as a career but also plans on continuing her work with the Storehouse. She
SPRING 2020 | 65
“I think the goal to keep in mind is no judgment, just food.” -Izzy Thomas is also interested in advocating for lower-priced pharmaceuticals and natural remedies. She emphasized being naturally engaged in food, and that combating food insecurity is so important. “Food is such a central part of people’s lives,” she said. “A woman whose whole family died started coming into Storehouse because she fell into depression and lost her job… She was able to get a job and revamp her life,” through Storehouse. Thomas talked of seeing families fall into many different circumstances, like divorce, which she feels could’ve been prevented by having a meal together. “Because of this centralized factor of food, that people don’t have food, or don’t have adequate nutrition, has always affected me,” she said. Thomas said people need to realize that they see and know people every day who are insecure. “Recognizing that and being able to really visualize, whether it be through a presentation or a blurb in class, or just talking about it with friends is the best way to learn about it,” she said. “I think the goal to keep in mind is no judgment, just food.” •
As part of her routine, Izzy Thomas sorts through stocked food in the Big Blue Pantry. 66 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
SPRING 2020 | 67
HUB BY LEDJEN HAASE | PHOTOS PROVIDED
onveniently located at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Limestone, Hub Limestone brings refined, relaxed and modern living to the University of Kentucky campus. Blending bohemian, Americana, and Lexington charm with a unique, contemporary finish, The Hub is a community of intentionally designed living spaces. Surrounded by jaw-dropping amenities that you would never expect to see in student housing, The Hub offers an oasis-styled rooftop sundeck with a pool and hot tub, and a fitness center with state-of-the-art fitness equipment and yoga room that will help you get the most out of your gym time. Afterward, unwind in the spa area, consisting of a steam room and sauna. Additionally, The Hub provides outdoor courtyards with built-in seating and BBQ area, club room and annex with TVs, lounge space, coffee bar, and group study rooms, parking in an access-controlled
68 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
garage, secured bike-storage and repair station, and free high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the entire building. Every apartment comes with a washer and dryer and custom furniture, including a couch, a coffee table, and a 55-inch 4k smart TV in an open living room concept. Their modern kitchens come with stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, and conventional cabinetry. The bedrooms come with a fullsized bed frame, pillow top mattress, a dresser, a desk, and a chair. Individual locks and built-in blackout shades are also located in every bed
space to give you the most privacy. Bathrooms include high-end plumbing fixtures and gorgeous lighting to kick off your mornings. Defined by its unique residents, The Hub is for you— the savvy, smart students with the right mix of creative and calm, ambitious and entrepreneurial. Diverse, bold thinkers that know who they are and are driven to find their way and understand that The Hub is not just “another place to live,” but a lifestyle they want. The ones that enjoy the moment and value meaningful experiences. Elevate your college living experience with Hub Lifestyle events, from pool parties and live music, to catered food and fitness classes, exclusive to our community of residents. Ready to make Hub Limestone your future home? Contact our leasing office at 859-317-2506 to schedule an appointment or head over to our website at hublimestone. com to begin an application! •
EVERYBODY, LET’S FIGHT G
BY MORGAN HANEY | PHOTO BY ISAAC JANSEN
ymtimidation can be a real thing for someone trying to start a new year the right way— like a mom who is trying to get her pre-baby body back, or a college student who is starting to feel the Freshman 15. The idea of standing next to someone with their toned arms and matching workout gear can be downright dreadful. The look of machines and equipment that you’ve never seen before can be scary. It’s hard to find a place to work out that is going to motivate you to achieve your goals, yet make you feel right at home at the same time. That’s where EverybodyFights comes in. When I took my first class at EverybodyFights, I was a bit nervous since I had never been to this particular gym before. I had put on my favorite leggings and tank top and made sure that my hair was in the most perfect ponytail.
is the sense of community and people that make up the gym. “We have built a tribe, for lack of a better term, of humans that support each other, keep each other accountable, and are so much more than a gym,” Matt said. The energy and community at EverybodyFights is contagious. A couple of Matt’s tips for fighting gymtimidation are to remember that most people want to see you achieve, most people are more focused on themselves and aren’t watching you at the gym, that consistency is key. Go pay a visit to EverybodyFights on 124 Malabu Drive! •
When I walked in the front door, I was so kindly greeted by the girl at the front desk, and my nerves were put at ease. Once I got into the class, I was kindly greeted again by the girl standing next to me. My nerves dissipated. The music during the class was truly the best pumpup music. The instructor made me feel motivated rather than intimidated. I felt as if I was working out with friends rather than people I had never met. The range of equipment we used during the class was unbelievable, and I was taught how to use all of it. At other places that I have been to work out, I have gotten burned out because the classes always consist of the same thing. In the two classes that I took at EverybodyFights, I don’t think I ever did the same thing twice. EverybodyFights offers everything from boxing to training to cardio to even yoga. I was amazed at the versatility of the gym. When I sat down to talk with Matt, the man who does “whatever needs to be done that day” at EverybodyFights, he lit up with passion. Matt has been a trainer for over 20 years and says that this is the best place that he has ever been at. What he loves about it the most SPRING 2020 | 69
A CENTURY LATER, STILL SINGING FOR
SUFFRAGE BY BAILEY VANDIVER | PHOTOS BY ARDEN BARNES We’re coming, free America Ten million women strong, We simply ask for liberty, For that we’ve labor’d long The women’s voices echoed off the walls of the Kentucky Capitol rotunda. And their voices echoed down through history, continuing to sing what millions of women sung in the years leading up to 1920, when the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution finally gave women the right to vote.
Behold our grand amendment For your ears we have a quote: We’re marching to our vote! The voices belong to the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Chorus, who began singing together in 2018 in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. The chorus sang at the Capitol on Feb. 13 as part of a joint celebration for the 100th anniversary of the League of Women Voters and the 19th amendment. The civic organization began on Feb. 14, 1920, six months before the Constitution officially promised that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged… on account of sex.” The League of Women Voters event is just one of many performances that the chorus has done in recent months; their January schedule was packed. “Until August, it’s going to be really, really busy,” said Sylvia Coffey, founder and coordinator of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Chorus. Just the day before, the chorus had sung at the Old
70 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
State Capitol for the “Her Flag” event. “Her Flag” is a collaborative, nationwide art project that celebrates each of the 36 states that ratified the 19th amendment. “There’s singers again,” one woman remarked to another as they entered the rotunda before the League of Women Voters event. The chorus is hard to miss: Each woman is in full early 20th century suffragist costume, which constitutes a white dress and a purple, yellow and white sash. “And of course you have to have your white hat,” Coffey said. Coffey said this look did not grow popular with suffragists until the 1910s, when they began marching. “What can women wear that everybody would, you know, stand out, would look alike?” she said. “White.” Some people think they can’t be part of the chorus because they can’t sing, but “it hasn’t stopped us,” Coffey said. There is just one requirement to be in the chorus: You must own a white dress.
Members of the Womenâ€™s Suffrage Centennial Chorus sit in front of a statue of Alben Barkley, a Kentuckian who served as vice president of the United States, on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Frankfort, Kentucky. Barkley is one of five male statues in the Capitol rotunda. Later this year, a statue of Nettie Depp, a female education activist in the early twentieth century, will be unveiled in the Capitol as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the 19th Amendment.
SPRING 2020 | 71
Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! We’re marching to our vote! Though the chorus began in 2018, Coffey’s efforts to commemorate the 19th amendment’s centennial began in 2014. Coffey had recently learned more about suffragists and their movement by reading books about Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and more. “It totally got my attention,” she said. She began planning a centennial celebration for 2020, and others joined her efforts, which will culminate in an Aug. 22 march and celebration in Frankfort. It was Nancy Atcher, one of the 16 current chorus members, who said in 2018 that the group should start a chorus. They did research to find the original songs that suffragists were singing. One song dates from 1795, long before the 72-year-long women’s suffragist movement officially began in 1848. Suffragists often sang during public events, including parades and conventions, said UK history professor Melanie Goan. “Very early on in Kentucky, suffragists often sung hymns and religious music when they gathered,” Goan wrote in an email. “Over time, they began to write new songs to punctuate their demands. They often took wellknown tunes and rewrote the lyrics.” One repurposed hymn is “New Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which the chorus sang to close the League of Women Voters event. Rather than God’s truth marching on, as in the original hymn, women are marching to their vote:
To that more perfect union That was promised by our sires, Not only of the nation, But around our hearth and fires The chorus did not sing these words alone; women legislators stood alongside them to sing that closing hymn. The chorus members are mostly of retirement age— Coffey is 74— but the youngest suffragist to sing that day was only 9: Lila Beshear, daughter of Kentucky Gov. 72 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Under the tricolor sash given to her by the chorus, Lila Beshear wore a long white dress and a purple jacket— suffragist colors. She and her mother, First Lady Britainy Beshear, sang together. Chorus member Lane Lewis said outreach to young girls is one of the main reasons why she wanted to join the group. As they were performing, Lewis said she would see 13-and-14-year-old girls who “had no idea about this history, none.” “It’s important history,” Lewis said. “We’ve got to share it.” “Women’s history, it is so hidden, so well hidden,” Coffey said. “To be strong, determined women, we need to remember [suffragists] and recognize them and learn from them.” Lewis has a granddaughter who will vote for the first time this year, exactly 100 years after hardworking women gained that right for her. Lewis plans to accompany her to the poll in full suffragist costume. “You know, women are over 50 percent of our population,” Lewis said. “Come on, we can make a difference. We gotta get out and vote.”
In our glorious republic Equal justice shall be law Our freedom with no flaw! Lewis will likely attract some strange looks at the poll, and it won’t be the first time. “We get approached a lot by people going, ‘Uh, okay, what’s going on?’” said chorus member Joyce Albro. “It’s fun. It’s a conversation starter.” Albro, who was the first woman elected to the district bench in Franklin County in the 1980s, joined the chorus because a friend was involved. “It’s the sort of thing that I have dedicated my life to,” she said. “Pursuing equality for women just seems logical to me.” Women’s history and women’s rights are not only easily forgotten but also too easily taken for granted, Albro said. “If we take it for granted, we’ll lose it,” she said. The chorus is “a good visual” for this history, Albro said— a way to keep history current and conspicuous. “It’s been really uplifting,” Albro said. “It gives one grounds for hope.” •
GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH! GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH! GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH! WE’RE MARCHING TO OUR VOTE!
Doraine Bailey, left, and Joyce Albro, members of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Chorus, perform during the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the League of Women Voters and the 19th Amendment at the Kentucky State Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Frankfort, Kentucky. SPRING 2020 | 73
UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
ARTICLE AND PHOTO PROVIDED | ART BY TORY STEPHENSON
ver considered being a dentist?
Many times, when someone says they are considering studying to be a doctor, they are referring to a medical doctor. The field of dentistry may never cross their minds; however, a dentist is a type of doctor, and working as a dentist provides opportunities to address the health needs of many people.
Why Dentistry? Currently, the U. S. News & World Report ranks dentist as number two on its list of best jobs based on career satisfaction, job availability, pay, and other factors. Generally, the field of dentistry offers doctors a flexible lifestyle, the option to be their own boss, and the chance to make a real contribution to the wellbeing as well as the satisfaction of their patients. Similar to medicine, dentistry also offers individuals the opportunity to enter general practice or specialize in certain areas, such as orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, etc. Both medicine and dentistry share common knowledge and skill areas, including communication skills, knowledge of science, and problem-solving skills. Dentists typically spend a good deal of time performing hands-on work in a tiny space— the mouths of patients. Working in small areas requires dexterity, precision and good eyesight. If torn between studying medicine versus studying dentistry, take time to consider your interests, abilities, desired work environment and the lifestyle you hope to lead. Shadowing providers in these fields can also be very enlightening and allows you to envision yourself serving in such a role.
74 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
UK College of Dentistry The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry employs a graduated curriculum in which students have clinical experiences early in the four-year Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program. Using the latest instructional technologies in combination with a low student-to-teacher ratio, the college provides exceptional care to patients and prepares students to be capable and confident dentists. When considering dental school applicants, the college uses a holistic approach, carefully reviewing academic performance, service, leadership and other attributes essential to becoming a successful dentist. For more information on the college’s DMD program, visit dentistry.uky.edu. •
‘SO MANY TIMES’
RAISING AWARENESS OF THE PREVALENCE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
BY AKHIRA UMAR | ART BY TORY STEPHENSON
himmering highlight, rosy blush, pallets of peachy shadows. Hanger after hanger of lace, frills, prints, and sequins.
that’s okay to do? And then it hit me. I was like, this has happened so many times to not only me but so many of my friends.”
Hailey Poland rubs in her foundation and fills in her brows.
This incident, and undoubtedly many others like it, spurred Kwan to make a video for a class assignment that called out sexual harassment and called on those who need to be educated about it. She admitted that until that moment, she too had been blind to the issue.
Elena Manauis curls her lashes and lays out her outfit. Megan Monfredi contours her face and fixes her hair. This is the routine, the weekend ritual. This is what going out looks like for these women and so many more. South Limestone is a rite of passage for anyone freshly turned 21 on UK’s campus. Twenty-one is the golden age of horizontal licenses, legal drinking, and bar hopping. And it was in Tin Roof, one of the staples of this street, that Alaina Kwan, newly 21, experienced a rather rude awakening while out with friends. “There was this guy, completely drunk, shouldn’t have been in there, and we were just minding our own business, doing our own thing. And he thought it was okay to touch two of my friends’, um, basically their crotches. Like just plain as day,” Kwan said. “And I was taken aback because, like, I was like what makes you think
Through her video, Kwan shared the experiences of Poland, Manauis and Monfredi, who all described the unwanted attention they’ve received just from enjoying themselves with a night out. Poland shared how conflicting these situations can be and the advances she has been through while in bars and clubs. “Sometimes it feels good, you know, to feel like people think you look attractive and to be noticed. And at the same time, you just want to feel good for yourself. And men, they think it means something else, like it’s for them,” Poland said. “Pretty much every weekend any time you’re on the dance floor, guys will just grab you and grind up next to you. I’ve had guys, like, reach SPRING 2020 | 75
between my legs. I’ve had guys, you know, touch my boobs. Just weird things. Anywhere.”
ed 34 percent verbal, 17 percent groped, and seven percent assaulted.
And anywhere is exactly where sexual harassment can happen. Manauis experienced an advance once she left the bar and entered a place she thought she would be safe: an Uber.
The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, RAINN, states on its website that women ages 18 to 24, specifically college women, are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted rather than robbed.
“I knew I was looking a little more dressed up, maybe a little bit more feminine, a little bit more sexy than I usually do because I was out with friends. And he ended up making an advance at me,” Manauis said. “He tried to kiss me and I was actually super uncomfortable. I was in this car with this guy that I didn’t know because I was supposed to be able to trust that he was my Uber driver, he’s going to get me where I needed to go.”
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment is defined by “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature” in the workplace. RAINN states that “sexual harassment generally violates civil laws... but in many cases is not a criminal act, while sexual assault usually refers to acts that are criminal.”
Monfredi said when guys try to get at her, she either pushes them away or turns to guy friends to appear like she’s with someone else or to show she isn’t interested. Though she loves to look her best to feel her best, she said this isn’t necessarily to draw attention. Yet the unwanted attention comes anyway, causing her to doubt herself.
This grey area between sexual harassment and sexual assault is why Kwan believes many people have been hesitant to speak up about their experiences. According to RAINN, only 20 percent of college women report sexual violence to law enforcement. Kwan said more needs to be done to better the situation, especially since she believes college is the “prime time to get taken advantage of.”
“It makes me question what I’m doing,” Monfredi said. “It makes me question what message I’m sending, and it makes all of us just wonder if we should even dress up that way, but it’s what makes us feel good so we want to.” These women aren’t the only ones with this story. A 2018 Stop Street Harassment Foundation survey found that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime. About three-quarters of these women said the harassment they received was in verbal form, half of them said they were touched or groped, and more than a quarter of them said they survived sexual assault. Comparatively, men report-
76 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
“At the end of the day, you can’t see everything and I totally get that,” Kwan said. “But that just shows you that you don’t know all that’s going on and so you don’t know how many times it’s happening. You don’t know how many girls are being affected by it. You don’t know
“We aren’t objects and we deserve to be treated with respect.” -Megan Monfredi
how many girls that want to speak up about it but don’t know if it’s, like, okay to because they don’t know if it was actually that big of a deal.” With the recent #MeToo movement creating new standards to battle sexual mistreatment, Kwan said she believes things are moving in the right direction, but it’s still not enough. She thinks this is especially true on college campuses, where sexual assaults and harassment have tried to be covered up. Considering the statistics stacked against women and the fact that women make up more than half of UK’s student enrollment, some concerns undoubtedly arise. Poland expressed that on the occasions she does go out, she now drinks less and doesn’t let loose as much, while Manauis analyzes her surroundings more, especially when alone. “That’s the scary part, I think, is that you can’t control other people,” Manauis said. “You can only control yourself. And I really think that it’s sad that some people try to blame the control that you have over yourself for the actions of other people, and I think that’s really, really messed up.”
Kwan said she believes it’s important to emphasize that no matter how done up and attention-grabbing a woman may appear, that is not an open invitation. There is no excuse to sexually harass or assault anyone, ever. Though Kwan wishes she could protect the people around her and every girl out there, she knows that’s not possible. Instead, she hopes whoever sees her video has the same epiphany to become more aware and to help put an end to sexual harassment. Poland had this to say to those who have ever committed such acts: “Think about your actions and how they affect others.” “We aren’t objects and we deserve to be treated with respect,” Monfredi said. “Don’t be afraid to share your story. You never know who it could help.” “This attitude of women have the right to control their own bodies and men don’t have a right to infringe upon it, it needs to be normalized. And unfortunately, it’s not, whether we like to say that it is or not, it’s really not,” Manauis said. “And until we’re able to establish that I think in society, I mean, what real change are we going to see?” •
SEE ALAINA KWAN’S VIDEO AT KRNLMAGAZINE.COM
TIMELESS SOME THINGS EDIT DON’T EXPIRE BY RACHEL PORTER AND RACHAEL COURTNEY
hat makes a film?
One might say the actors, another the music or the setting. Those in fashion, however, would disagree.
The impact of fashion is shown through Halloween and costume parties, but also in everyday style— without many people realizing it. Popular films have caused consumers to flock to stores to try to replicate their favorite actor’s or actress’s fashion. If one could define this generation’s style, it would be a very intricate answer. The trends and style that society currently holds could be defined as a mixture of decades, from the 1920s to the early 2000s, and films have definitely contributed to this. We aimed to show the influence and power of iconic fashion moments in films, but through this generation’s lens. It’s our new take on classics. Collectively, we decided to use films that our parents rave about, ones that we watched in film class and maybe ended up actually liking, and ones that most of the world know and love. We took on The Godfather, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Rocky, Saturday Night Fever, and The Breakfast Club. To bring together the classic look with a modern one, we used two vendors: Street Scene, a local vintage clothing store, and Macy’s, an upscale department store that carries the latest trends. “I think the film industry affects what a person buys because film characters connect with the audience in an emotional way,” said Jennifer Maggard, Macy’s stylist. “The viewer may want to emulate the character or already feel connected in some way. Typically when we shop we are drawn to clothing that is a recreation of something we had in the past or something that we have seen in a movie— and now social media.” • 78 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
SPRING 2020 | 79
CHAMPION MEN’S FLEECE HOODIE | 50 MEN’S SHORTS | 30 PHOTOS BY ISAAC JANSSEN
SPRING 2020 | 81
STREET SCENE BLACK DRESS | 36 BLACK GLOVES | 6 BLACK SUNGLASSES | 12 PEARL NECKLACE | 12 RHINESTONE NECKLACE | 22 PEARL CLIP-ON EARRINGS | 5 PHOTO BY MICHAEL CLUBB
STREET SCENE BLACK BLAZER | 34 ROBERT TALBOTT RED TIE | 30 MACYS ALFANI PANTS | 75 PHOTO BY ISAAC JANSSEN
SPRING 2020 | 83
MACY’S ALFANI BLACK BUTTON-DOWN | 11 MEN’S WHITE PANTS | 120 MEN’S WHITE JACKET | 275 STREET SCENE RED 1980S PROM DRESS | 30 84 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
PHOTOS BY ISAAC JANSSEN
MACYâ€™S FREE PEOPLE SWEATER | 128 FREE PEOPLE SKIRT | 50 PHOTOS BY AMBER RITSCHEL
86 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
STREET SCENE DENIM JACKET | 36 RED FLANNEL | 18 BLUE SANDKNIT FOOTBALL JERSEY | 21 MAGI B SWEATER WITH SUEDE | 38 OSCAR DE LA RENTA VELVET SKIRT | 15
SPRING 2020 | 87
MINDING YOUR OWN
BUSINESS STORY BY LEDJEN HAASE | PHOTOS BY ISAAC JANSEN AND LEDJEN HAASE
88 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
and Claire Frisbie are Integrated
to being a student requires dedication,
Strategic Communications majors and
innovation and responsibility. Entrepre-
the founders of GoddessIncMovement.
neurs discussed how they created their
In December 2018, the best friends
eing an entrepreneur in addition
businesses, how they managed their time
and roommates had a vision to create
and what they learned along the way.
â€œa platform for creatives and individuals
Current seniors Kendall Hutchison
aligning with their highest selves.â€?
SPRING 2020 | 89
KENDALL &CLAIRE GODDESSINC
GoddessInc Movement is about “self-expression, normalizing collaboration and get rid of the ‘competition’ mindset.” Using the benefits of social media to build their business “persona,” Hutchison and Frisbie have created a hub where they can post their own creative content, along with creative events and sharing other creatives’ works that express confidence, authenticity and relatability. Having spent over a year building their brand persona through social media, they are currently in the process of app development for their platform. Their software will be a shortcut to all social media links, allowing users to share their Instagram, Depop, Twitter, YouTube, and other social sites through one link. “We want our app to be a way for creatives to connect with one another and explain what they do,” Hutchison said. “Anything you create is your art; don’t be scared of what others might say.” The students enrolled in the Entrepreneur Boot Camp, which meets at UK, for fall 2019 and spring 2020 to be more educated on the ins and outs of building a business, such as financing, making pitches to investors and more. The business partners said that prioritizing when to get things done is essential. “It takes self-discipline to manage your time,” Frisbie said. “When doing activities in our personal lives, we try to find ways to tie it into GoddessInc since getting content for our Instagram can take a lot more time than you might think, but luckily, we have each other to hold accountable.” Hutchison and Frisbie said GoddessInc is designed to be an umbrella brand for other ventures they plan to achieve. “By the end of the semester, we’ll be pitching our app software to developers and investors to receive funding,” Hutchison said. “We plan on continuing our YouTube channel and eventually having a record label, doing merchandise designs, and helping other startups get their feet off the ground.” The GoddessInc women point out that failure is inevitable. “But look at it like a lesson, not a failure— everything will work itself out. We’re human, so failure can hurt but have the belief that something bigger is coming out of it and that if it doesn’t align with your highest good, then it is not meant for you,” they said. Catch up on their movement on Instagram @goddessincmovement. •
LIFE OFF U & SYNERJII
George Bell, a UK marketing senior, was an entrepreneur by age 5. “[I] used to sell my toys in yard sales and when I turned 12, I would sell candy, cookies and other snacks that we would have left over from my mother’s job at school, and would make about $30-$40 a day,” Bell said. In fall 2017, Bell launched Life Off U, a college marketing app platform that helped students save money at local businesses and for businesses to market to students. “I’m from Louisville, so when I got to Lexington, I wasn’t sure on what there was to do here on weekends,” Bell said. “So I thought, there should be a platform for students to connect with local businesses in the area and get deals, discounts and know about events.” Life Off U was operational until 2019, when Bell decided that he was ready to close the door and look at other ventures. “If you would’ve asked me two years ago, I would’ve thought Life Off U would’ve been my life, but I became ready to move on to something else,” Bell said. With Life Off U’s chapter ending, another began: Synerjii. “Right now, I am in the process of developing Synerjii, President of the Entrepeneur Club, George Bell has been a personal relationship management system that provides a lifelong buisnessman. a way for you to categorize, manage and follow up with your business contacts and networks,” Bell said. said. “One semester I might have lower grades but good “My target market for Synerjii are young professionals business opportunities and vice versa another semester. entering the job market. You’ll be able to do scheduling, I’m still learning work-life balance and allocating my time link emails and categorize your networks in one place to self-care, social life, school, business and going to the instead of having to shuffle through business cards or gym. Sometimes it feels like I have five plates spinning on emails.” these tall poles and threw them up and try to catch them. Synerjii is in beta testing, but Chase is his primary “Eventually I want to bring the money back to Keninvestor, and Bell aims to have the platform out by May tucky,” Bell said, “So many people leave Kentucky and 2020. don’t look back, but I want to bring success back to KenAside from these hats Bell juggles, he’s also the tucky to empower other people. There’s a lot of talented president of the Entrepreneur Club, a part of the Winslow people and opportunities here.” project— the latest property project in development Bell said students who want to be entrepreneurs at the corner of South Limestone and Winslow Street, should just go out and do it. bringing 900 new parking spaces and 23,000 square feet “You’re never going to be prepared enough,” he said. dedicated to retail space, which will include a food hall “With every successful idea, there are two to three failed and UK innovation space. ones, so don’t doubt yourself and keep pushing.” “There are tradeoffs with balancing everything,” Bell Reach George Bell @gfortune_500 on Instagram. • SPRING 2020 | 91
JACKSON ECLECTIC AVENUE After interning in Washington, D.C., in the spring semester of 2019, Joanna Jackson realized she was “more excited picking out business casual outfits than doing legislative stuff.” The 21-year-old political science senior from Shelbyville, Kentucky, decided then to go after her dreams. “I used to sit in class and scroll through stores and daydream about fashion and curating it for others,” she said. “Although I am a political science major, your major doesn’t limit your dreams, goals or ambitions. What you pursue is entirely up to you.” Eclectic Avenue, Jackson’s pop-up shop, combines “west coast style with pieces that you can dress up and down,” Jackson said. Joanna sets up her shop at Lexington spaces and for local markets or events. “I wanted a shop for college-aged students who are finding their style but still affordable.” Jackson held her first pop-up shop event at The Hub on Campus in September 2019 during Parents’ Weekend, which taught her some valuable lessons. “Expect things are going to take longer than you might think and give yourself an extra hour just in case,” Jackson said. “Make every single customer feel like they’re a priority. People want to feel special. They’re more willing to come back and spend money if they had a positive experience.” Before opening Eclectic Avenue, Jackson “sat on the computer for days googling, ‘how to start a business.’” Her inspiration comes from The Native One in Cincinnati, whose owner, Anna Steffen, is Jackson’s age. “I can see what she’s done as a reference.” For curating her collection, Jackson said, “you want to think ahead of the trend. Since I’m dealing with college-aged girls, you want clothing that is not too far off from trends, but still unique.” Jackson attended the Atlanta Apparel market, which she said was a “great starter market” and a place to meet with vendors about starting the process. “When interacting with vendors, stand out, make yourself a priority to them,” she said. “They’re willing to work 92 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Joanna Jackson puts the finishing touches on one of her Eclictic Avenue outfits in Lexington, Kentucky.
with you. Something that I realized was that first-time buyers always get a good deal, such as free shipping, if you let them know.” Joanna offers a variety of dresses, bottoms and tops that are below $100. When buying clothes, Jackson said “bring someone who’ll provide a different opinion and to give advice on appealing to more than one audience. Never be afraid to ask for help, you’re going to need help when running a business.” Running a business will teach you a lot about yourself and is a reflection of what you put into it. “Everything is an investment when starting a business,” she said. “There’s a lot of risks, but a lot of rewards. You’ll learn that being told ‘no’ is okay. It can feel personal, but don’t take it that way.” Sharing her advice for other entrepreneurs, Jackson said, “Something I tell myself every day is that you can pursue trying to be better while still being proud of where you are today.” Keep up with Eclectic Avenue @shopeclecticavenue on Instagram and shopeclecticavenue.com. •
Ling Lo had her own nail station in her State Street house.
NAILS Born in Cambodia and raised in Richmond, Kentucky, Ling is a first-generation college graduate who completed her degree in public health at UK in December 2019. Coming from a developing nation and seeing her parents’ work ethic, Ling learned the importance of hard work and striving for your goals. Ling’s parents own Asian Nails in Frankfort. “They sparked my love for nails,” Lo said. After graduating high school, Lo decided to enroll in nail school to be certified to do nails herself. “Once I got to college in 2015, I started doing my girlfriends’ nails on my dining room table just as a way for us to get together and catch up with one another,” Lo said. “My friends suggested I turn it into a side hustle, and I got inspired to name my business after the street my house was on, State Street.” It began as a word-of-mouth connection between her friends and their friends, but Ling realized she could reach more of a college-aged demographic using social media. “Social media expanded my business more than I
imagined, and I average two new clients a week,” Lo said. “Instagram provides a way for people to see the services I offer.” Ling is able to get most of her supplies from her parents’ salon and cover any additional items she wants personally. As her business began to grow, Ling decided to change her vacant bedroom into a nail room to have a space dedicated to doing nails. “It did not all happen overnight,” Lo said. “I had two years of trial and error to see what worked for me and my business. My college career was school and nails, so I had to focus on time management and designating certain days specifically for school and other days specifically for doing nails.” To build onto her nail certification, Ling decided to get lash certified in the summer of 2019 to offer lash extensions and lift services. “I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, so my prices take that into consideration, but I also understand my market and that the majority of the target audience are college girls, so I want to be affordable,” she said. “My advice for other entrepreneurs? Just do it!” Lo said. “You learn a lot about yourself while doing this and get more out of it than you might realize at the beginning.” With undergraduate complete, Ling is moving out of the house that she has created her business foundation in. But she will still be available for bookings in Lexington on certain days of the week, as well as in Hamburg. “I’ll always keep the name State Street Nails,” she said. “I’ve built up a following and clientele list under it, so we’ll see where State Street Nails ends up next.” To catch up on the latest updates of State Street Nails, see pricing, or book an appointment, follow @statestreetnails on Instagram. • SPRING 2020 | 93
W H O
From left to right: Rachel Porter, Ledjen Haase, Allie Diggs and Catie Archambeau have fun after shooting the Valentine’s Day Lookbook.
Now that you’ve seen our publication, you have seen a small piece of who we are. Below, one of our freshmen, Allie Diggs, shares her insight as to how this publication and, more importantly, the people who work on it, are shaping her college career.
94 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
Starting college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I graduated high school knowing two things: I hated math, and I was decent at writing and loved art. I wasn’t sure what career would mesh perfectly with what I am passionate about and what I am good at. I need some sort of creative aspect in everything I do, or else I become unmotivated. Since UK deprived me of an art class last semester, I decided to try out the next best thing which, a Journalism 101 class. That led me to KRNL Lifestyle + Fashion Magazine. I looked at the fall issue and instantly fell in love. I knew I had to get involved. I am a born-and-raised Lexingtonian and “Living Like A Local” is my weekly blog. I write about everything I love about this town. My goal is to embody the liveliness of the city, and hopefully get students and residents to go out and experience more of what Lexington has to offer. This semester, KRNL L+F has given me more than I ever imagined. It has given me confidence, new friends, mentors, creative expression, motivation, and excitement for what the upcoming years have in store. •
KENTUCKY THEATRE Like a Local
BY ALLIE DIGGS One of my favorite gems in this city is the Kentucky Theatre, established in 1922. This is a staple location in Lexington. Located on East Main Street with a large old-fashioned cinema sign, you canâ€™t miss it.
GUIDE FOR GUYS: How to Dress for Formal or Semi-Formal BY JACK MORGAN In college, tons of guys go to fraternity/sorority formals and semi-formals. These events usually require business formal attire for men. This usually translates into wearing a dress shirt, open collar, with a sport coat and dress pants of some sort. This is a great look in my opinion; classy and simple where you canâ€™t really go wrong. This article will help you look better and possibly even stand out at your next function.
NEW YORK FASHION WEEK 2020 BY CATIE ARCHAMBEAU Finally, the weeks that fill the lag of the winter are here: global fashion shows. To start the season off, New York Fashion Week took place February 6-12 and showcased ready-to-wear looks for fall and winter of 2020. This season we saw knits, feathers, cape-like coats, florals and monochromatic shades of color bright enough to energize the winter. Here are some of my favorite statements from a few of the shows.
SPRING 2020 | 95
CONT RIBU TORS
LEFT: EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ALLIE KING RIGHT: CREATIVE DIRECTOR BRITTANY LYDEN
GRAYSON DAMPIER CONTENT TEAM
LAURYN HAAS ARIZZONA ALBRIGHT ASHLYNNE ARNETT PHOTOSHOOT COORDINATORS
TORY STEPHENSON LEDJEN HAASE ALLIE DIGGS MANAGING EDITOR
96 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
MORGAN HANEY STYLISTS
CATIE ARCHAMBEAU KEAIRA BURNS NICOLAS TORRES LEDJEN HAASE DESIGNERS
KENDALL BORAN MYA LACLAIR
ABBEY TEMPLEMAN EVENT COORDINATOR
NEW VENTURE SPECIALIST
WRITERS CATIE ARCHAMBEAU COURTNEY CAVALO RACHAEL COURTNEY GRAYSON DAMPIER ALLIE DIGGS MADISON DUNHAM JEFAWN EVANS LAURYN HAAS LEDJEN HAASE MORGAN HANEY ALLIE KING EMILY LAYTHAM BRITTANY LYDEN JACK MORGAN NATILIE PARKS RACHEL PORTER ABBEY TEMPLEMAN AKHIRA UMAR BAILEY VANDIVER SYDNEY WADE PHOTOGRAPHERS ARDEN BARNES MICHAEL CLUBB LEDJEN HAASE ISAAC JANSEN JORDAN PRATHER AMBER RITSCHEL
BEHIND-THE-SCENES MAY MAY BARTON RYAN CRAIG ANDREA GIUSTI DAVID STEPHENSON DESIGNERS KENDALL BORON ALLIE KING MYA LACLAIR BRITTANY LYDEN ILLUSTRATORS TORY STEPHENSON MODELS KAYLA ALEXANDER JARED BOGGS JAYA DURRAH MEGAN FARRAR ROSHOWN GATESKILL BRYSON HOBBS JALEN HOLDER AMERA NASSER ASHLEY NGUYEN KYLEE PRESTON SOMA HAROLD PRITCHETT LARRY REED KAITLIN TEMPLEMAN ASA THOMAS LOGAN WINKLER
SPRING 2020 | 97
SPONSORS KRNL SPONSORS EVERYBODY FIGHTS 124 MALABU DRIVE LEXINGTON, KY 40503 (859) 469-8152 HTTPS://WWW.EVERYBODYFIGHTS.COM
HUB ON CAMPUS LIMESTONE 341 S LIMESTONE ST LEXINGTON, KY 40508 (859) 317-2506 HUBLIMESTONE.COM
POPS RESALE 1423 LEESTOWN RD. LEXINGTON, KY 40511 (859) 254-7677 POPSRESALE.COM
UK DENTISTRY UK CHANDLER HOSPITAL, DENTAL WING 800 ROSE ST. LEXINGTON, KY 40536 (859) 323-3368 WWW.UKHEALTHCARE.UKY.EDU/DENTISTRY
DONOR PROFILES CHRIS POORE TRACEY STALEY
IN-KIND SPONSOR JINGERSPICE COOKIE CO FACEBOOK: JINGERSPICE COOKIE CO @JINGERSPICE_AND_EVERYTHINGNICE
PHOTOSHOOT SPONSORS GENDERLESS
LOCATION DOWNTOWN LEXINGTON VENDORS THE DOMESTIC POPS RESALE
LOCATION UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY CENTER FOR COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCES VENDORS WEARHOUSE LEXINGTON THE DOMESTIC @HEX_VINTAGETHREADS (WEARHOUSE KY) POPS RESALE PLATO’S CLOSET
LOCATION SHAKESPEARE & CO XOXO NIGHTCLUB & LOUNGE EVERBODY FIGHTS WILLIAM T. YOUNG LIBRARY VENDORS MACY’S STREET SCENE All prices are subject to change without notice. While the KRNL staff makes every effort to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information, occasionally one or more items may be mispriced. In the event a product is listed at an incorrect price due to typographical, photographic, or technical error in pricing information received from our suppliers, merchants have the right to refuse the sale of the product listed at the incorrect price.
98 | KRNL LIFESTYLE + FASHION
VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 2 | SPRING 2020 A NATIONAL AWARD-WINNING DIVISION OF KERNEL MEDIA UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY 338 MCVEY HALL LEXINGTON, KY 40506 KRNLMAGAZINE.COM FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @KRNL_LF LIKE US ON FACEBOOK @KRNLLF CONTACT US KRNLMAGAZINE@KYKERNEL.COM 859.257.6524