Rebels Uncaged Ad.pdf
PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY ©2017 Rebel Yell® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 40% Alc/Vol (80 proof), Rebel Yell Distillery, Louisville, KY, Luxco® Inc., St. Louis, MO. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The Rebels Uncaged Contest starts at 4/1/17 at 12:00:00 AM CT and ends 10/8/17 at 11:59:59 PM CT. Open to global residents who are at least 21 years old at the time of entry. To enter, text REBEL and a photo of you “Letting Your Rebel Out” to shortcode 78896 (US residents only) or visit www.rebelsuncaged.com and follow the online instructions to submit an online entry. Message and data rates may apply. See Official Rules at www.rebelsuncaged.com for prize details, restrictions, etc. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor: Luxco Spirited Brands, 1000 Clark Avenue, St. Louis MO 63102.
MAX TEAM CEO & OWNER • DARIN SLYMAN email@example.com PUBLISHER & OWNER • JAMES LESCH firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR • LAUREN HEALEY email@example.com ART DIRECTOR • AUDREY SCHERER firstname.lastname@example.org OUR CONTRIBUTORS ART: Nikki Vogel, Lauren Healey, Darin Slyman, Tom Paule, Allan Crain, Robert Crowe, Nagoya Tazo, Charles D’Angelo, Hisu Lee, Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, Peter Wochniak TEXT: Lauren Healey, Darin Slyman, James Lesch, Caleb Mansfield, Rob Levy, Tina Farmer, Emily Lombardo, Matthew Kerns, Lindsay Toler DESIGN: Audrey Scherer, Melanie Layer-Gaskell ADVISORY BOARD Douglas Hall Jake Hollander Aaron Park Amin Mohabbat Michael Powell Christopher Holt Patrick Shaw
CONTACT US For advertising and press releases: HELLO@MAXSTL.COM 314 . 256 . 1196 4579 Laclede Ave. Suite 268 St. Louis, MO 63108 4
THE I NN OVATOR ISSUE
Local Radio Personality
DUSTIN PARRES StL Whiskey Expert NOT YOUR AVERAGE CUBICLE Cortex Innovation Community
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S 7 Hi, I’m MAX
Total Eclipse of the Lou
St Lou Fringe Festival
Elusive Rooftop Pool
Grand Center Arts District
Summer Skin Care
9-5 the Musical
3 Women & 1 Horrible Boss
Mindset is Everything
The ‘Long’ Haul KDSK’s Jacob Long
42 44 46 48 50
Dwight Carter Fashion Design Competition Narrative Furniture Made By Refugees SLAM Vogue Let Them Eat Art MAX Brag Karlie Kloss on StL
1405 WASHINGTON AVE. // (314) 241-4476 // HIROASIANKITCHEN.COM // #HIROSTL
Hi, I’m M A X... A professional actor, director and educator, I found myself at life’s crossroad a few years ago. Though constantly busy and artistically challenged, I was restless and uncertain where my life was heading. When I heard about the executive director opening at the St Lou Fringe Festival, I jumped at the chance to focus on a career in the performing arts that didn’t include living from a suitcase. I grew up here in the suburbs and have fond memories of attending shows at the Muny, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and many other venues. But, like so many kids, I couldn’t wait to leave the city on the river. Now, I’m incredibly grateful I found my way back home. This year marks the 6th annual St Lou Fringe Festival and a year since I joined the staff, and I couldn’t be happier. The 2017 festival is producing two new works as well as welcoming back, by invitation, artists who have struck a chord with previous years’ attendees. If you are interested in vibrant, diverse theater and participating in our “test kitchen” for new art, I invite you to join us for the St Lou Fringe Festival Aug. 17-26. One of the things that drew me back to St. Louis is the diversity of the city and surrounding region as well as how passionate so many people in St. Louis are when it comes to art and culture. There’s an interesting aesthetic to St. Louis that really draws you in. You can happy hour at an art gallery opening or two, see live theater and then head to a late-night concert. And you can still afford a delicious jazz brunch the next morning. Since moving home, I’ve immersed myself in promoting and producing theater and culture for the region, and I’m particularly proud of St Lou Fringe’s work supporting local and regional theater. During the festival, you can see three headline acts, multiple featured acts and even “we don’t know” acts at select times, on our $1 stage. With more than 100 performances from 30-plus producers over two weekends in one neighborhood, there’s so much to enjoy. We hope you’ll join us! I am Matthew R. Kerns, executive director, St Lou Fringe. I am MAX. maxstl.com
@ MaximizeStL We love St. Louis and want to know why you do too. MAX has been found all across the city, from downtown to the Central West End, the Hill and beyond. Use #MaximizeStL and #MAXStL for the chance to have your images shared in the magazine.
This is the place to be. We’re building St. Louis’s best events calendar based on our founders’ years of experience hosting and promoting some of Missouri’s most memorable parties. Each MAX issue features a Top 10 list of must-attend events. Consider this our contribution to eradicating FOMO in St. Louis. * All info from event webpages.
St Lou Fringe Festival | Grand Center Arts District
Starfire Fest | Atomic Cowboy | 8 p.m. Celebrating the music of Jerry Garcia, this concert features members of the Mighty Pines, Messy Jiverson, Madahoochi and Auset Music Project.
Newsies | The Muny | 8:15 p.m. This cult 1992 film about the Newsboy Strike of 1899 became a Broadway musical in 2012 and is finally making its Muny debut.
As part of his Unusual Punishment Tour, this popular comedian brings his controversial and beliefchallenging standup routine to the Lou.
Midsummer Night’s Drink | Centene Center | 6 p.m.
Jim Jefferies | Peabody Opera House | 8 p.m.
Performing artists in all mediums come together to inspire audiences during this festival that takes place in a variety of venues.
Support the Arts and Education Council over cocktails crafted by Ted Kilgore of Planter’s House while enjoying music and food.
Total Solar Eclipse | Greater St. Louis Area | 11:30 a.m.
The moon will begin to block the sun about 11:30 a.m. with the total eclipse taking place about 1 p.m. depending on the viewing location.
El Monstero | Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre | 7 p.m. Featuring members of several local bands, St. Louisâ€™s definitive Pink Floyd tribute experience will rock with the St. Louis Philharmonica Orchestra.
Summer Showcase | TechShop | 4 p.m. Celebrating the one-year anniversary of TechShop, this event at Cortex Innovation Community includes machine demos, live music, food and drinks.
Bissingerâ€™s, Bourbon & BBQ | The Caramel Room | 1 p.m. Enjoy live music by the Root Diggers and Stephen Paul while tasting over 65 bourbons. The event includes barbecue stations and a three-hour open bar.
The Discovery of King Tut | Saint Louis Science Center Experience a recreation of the extravagant tomb of King Tutankhamun as archaeologist Howard Carter found it in 1922.
ALL MONTH maxstl.com
Open through September 17 For ticket information, visit slam.org/reigningmen. Members always free. Everyone free on Friday.
Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Kean Etro, Italian, born 1964; for Etro, Ensemble (detail), Fall/Winter 2014–15, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Etro; Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA
Now Open! Free admission
Missouri History Museum Forest Park | (314) 746-4599 | mohistory.org
St. Louis American
Local Libations Expert Builds a St. Louis Whiskey Future BY LAUREN HEALEY ART LAUREN HEALEY St. Louis native Dustin Parres, corporate bar manager for
Parres, a founding member of the Missouri Whiskey
Gamlin Restaurant Group — which owns and operates
Society, says it was established in 2014 with the goal of
1764 Public House, opening in September, Sub Zero Vod-
getting like-minded people together to enjoy and talk
ka Bar and Gamlin Whiskey House — is the Lou’s most
about whiskey. With over 600 members, although not all
reputable whiskey expert.
members attend every meeting, Parres says, the society has grown much faster than expected. Meeting on the third
“When I started working at Sub Zero, I used to tell
Wednesday of each month in the Barrel Room at Gamlin
people, ‘I drink vodka professionally, and I drink whiskey
Whiskey House, Parres says, all whiskey — high-end or
passionately,’” Parres says. When he was promoted from
more affordable — is welcome. “We talk about what’s hap-
bar manager at Sub Zero to corporate bar manager for all
pening in the whiskey world at Gamlin, in St. Louis, in the
the locations, he felt fortunate to turn his passion into his
states and all over the world,” he says, adding the meetings
career. “I’ve always enjoyed whiskey,” he says, adding that
always include a show-and-tell. “People will bring a bottle
lumberjacking is another of his hobbies. “I love oak and
and describe their experience with it. Some choose to open
wood; however, the idea of taking a spirit and infusing it
it and share it; others choose not to. It’s fun to see what
with oak, which turns it into something greater, has always
other enthusiasts consider the gem of their collection. We
tickled my imagination. Whiskey has always been what I’ve
also have educational whiskey tastings.”
chosen to drink given the opportunity.” When Parres first began drinking whiskey, he primarily Parres says Missouri was once home to some of the biggest
drank Jack Daniels and Coca Cola or Jim Beam and Sprite.
pre-Prohibition distilleries this side of the Mississippi.
“I will never forget the day that I turned 21 and ordered a
“Actually, we weren’t one of the first states to adopt the
Jim Beam and Sprite, and the guy sitting next to me said,
Prohibition rules when it went into effect; people were
‘Oh, so you think you like whiskey, huh?’ And I said, ‘I love
trying to get whiskey out west,” he says, adding that many
whiskey.’ He responded, ‘So why are you mixing it with
people now consider St. Louis a flyover market. “Part of
Sprite?’ He then ordered two Basil Hayden’s ‘neat’ [when
the reason I do what I do is to change that — we’re putting
a single, unmixed liquor is served without ice or being
St. Louis on the map. I get out of bed everyday to build
chilled]. That was the first time I realized you could drink
a St. Louis whiskey future.” Parres loves that he gets to
whiskey by itself; it didn’t have to be mixed.”
represent St. Louis brands while behind the bar. “LuxCo’s Rebel Yell is a perfect example of that,” he says. “They
Parres says he is a bourbon man through and through. “I
have something for every type of whiskey drinker; [it’s] an
enjoy my scotches, but bourbon is in my blood,” he ex-
approachable, entry-level whiskey that is great for cock-
plains. “With corn as the main ingredient, it’s going to have
tailing. And then their next-tier options are amazing: small
that long, sweet finish with brown sugar and vanilla notes.”
batch, rye and American. The American is my favorite; it’s a blend of both the small batch and the rye. Bourbon and
The way Parres drinks his whiskey depends on his mood.
rye blends are becoming more and more popular, and for
“Don’t ever let someone tell you [not to put ice or water]
good reason — they’re delicious.”
in your whiskey,” he says. “I’m a fan of putting a little ice in my whiskey, especially on a hot day. The new 10 Year
Parres says the ability to make people happy on a daily
Old Rebel Yell Single Barrel is perfect for sipping. I like to
basis keeps him in this industry. “Sometimes, it’s because
put a big cube in mine and let the water slowly open it up.
they are having a good day; sometimes, it’s because they
If you’re enjoying it, you’re drinking it right.”
weren’t, and I’m able to change that,” he says. “I love to create. This is like having my own private lab with a lot less
Quoting former Jim Beam master distiller Booker Noe, he
safety regulations; I have a lot of leeway. We have a lot of
adds, “The only thing you need to drink whiskey the right
fun [coming up with] new drinks and new combinations.”
way is a mouth.” maxstl.com
The Elusive Rooftop Pool BY JAMES LESCH ART COURTESY OF THE FOUR SEASONS ST. LOUIS “All pools are created equal,” said no one ever. There are aboveground pools. There are in-ground pools. There are pools that inflate and kill the grass under them for the rest of the summer, and hell, some people throw a liner in their pick-up truck’s bed and turn that into a pool. For urban dwellers, however, the Holy Grail has always been the rooftop pool. When it comes to rooftop pools, St. Louis is seriously lacking. They are so scarce that the few that are around have limited access due to demand and usually come with a premium. There is still one beacon of hope for the St. Louis city-dweller searching for an oasis: the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown St. Louis. The Four Seasons Hotel pool, located on the eighth floor, features a sweeping view from the Mississippi Riverfront — including the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge and the Arch — to the downtown skyline. The pool itself is four feet deep throughout. It’s perfect for wading with a cocktail while soaking under the sun.
Nearby is a hot tub and shallow lounging pool, all surrounded by lounge
included frozen fruit to keep you cool under the sun and coconut milk
chairs or private cabanas.
straight from the coconut.
If you spring for the Sunset Swim package, of course we did, there might
As the day winds down, the experience only grows: There’s a three-course
be some immediate sticker shock with the $225 price tag, but if you break
dinner at a poolside table while the sun sets; your first glass of sangria is
it down, it covers two guests and includes a hell of a lot for a little over
included, but after a long day in the sun, you will want more. As for the
$100 a person. In addition to pool access, you also receive complimentary
food itself, it’s a standard that can only be upheld by the Four Seasons. A
valet parking, spa access and a three-course dinner.
stunning seafood tower is the perfect opener after spending all day in the heat; it’s fresh and light.
Inside the spa are men’s and women’s locker rooms so you don’t have to arrive in your swimsuit or, worse, have dinner in wet clothes. Plus, there
For the main course, you are offered a choice of roasted branzino or strip
are all the standard amenities that have made the Four Season’s spa one
steak. Having just had seafood, I opted for the strip steak. I was worried
of the best in St. Louis: relaxation lounges with views overlooking the Mis-
this might have been too heavy, but the serving was perfectly portioned. I
sissippi River and Illinois countryside, whirlpools and steam rooms with
didn’t feel too full for the final offering of the “coppa gelato” — a divinely
eucalyptus-infused steam. Oh, and I guess we should mention the fitness
sweet finish to a day that is also described as, well, sweet.
center — if that’s your idea of relaxing. Summer officially ends Sept. 22, but this offer is only available Monday Back by the pool, the attention to details is stunning: From the gorgeous
through Thursdays. Don’t be that guy who’s wishing he spent more time at
landscaping to the attentive wait staff, the entire experience is truly first
the pool once those leaves start falling.
class. Throughout the day, pool treats were complimentary, which maxstl.com
MENS / WOMENS ACCESSORIES COLLECTIBLES GIFTS
FOR STYLE ENTHUSIASTS EVERYWHERE
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SUMMER SKIN CARE BY LAUREN HEALEY ART HISU LEE With the heat index in the triple digits many days this month, skin
Proper cleansing and slathering on sun protection should be your
care and sun protection are of utmost importance. “Sun can do so
primary concerns during the summer, but don’t let other necessary
much damage, even in very small doses,” says esthetician Nicole
skin care fall to the wayside. Spending time in the sun will dry your
Drewes, of Skincare STL. “Simply walking to your car when it’s 100
skin out, so moisturizer is imperative; however, you’ll need some-
degrees can cause wrinkles, sunspots and even cancer. It’s crucial to
thing lighter than what you use the rest of the year. Particularly with
always wear SPF.”
our Midwest humidity, it’s crucial to keep your moisturizer light, such as a gel moisturizer.
Drewes also stressed the importance of proper cleansing, especially during the summer when pores can become easily clogged thanks to
After understanding the basics of summer skin care, it’s time to add
layers of sunscreen. “A lot of people don’t cleanse their skin as long
a “treatment” step. Typically housed in serums, key ingredients to
as they should,” she says. “You should work the cleanser into your
look for include Vitamin C, retinol and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
skin for 1 to 2 minutes, which is a lot longer than what most people
Many skin care aficionados suggest using a Vitamin C product in
think or know to do. You want the cleanser to get worked into the
the morning, then using retinol and AHAs on rotating nights; these
pores instead of just [applying it] topically.”
should be applied after cleansing but before moisturizer. Drewes also recommends getting a professional facial every few months;
For those looking for a natural first step in their skin care routine,
however, “If you’re not taking care of yourself at home, it’s not
look no further than Herbaria on the Hill. Featuring handcrafted
going to matter. Even having a simple three-step routine — cleanse,
soaps made from lye — rather than oil-stripping detergents that
treat and moisturize — can make a world of difference.”
are included in most soaps available at the drugstore — Herbaria has dozens of all-natural soaps to choose from. Owner Ken Gilberg suggests the “Tomato Surprise” bar as a great facial cleanser that tones the skin. maxstl.com
Not Your Average Cubicle
Cortex Puts St. Louis on Innovation Map BY ROB LEVY ART LAUREN HEALEY
Founded in 2002 and resting on 200 acres in the Central West End, Cortex Innovation Community is the ultimate intersection of ideas and innovation. Bursting with creative energy, Cortex serves as the Midwest’s premier hub for turning the ideas of tomorrow into the realities of today. Cortex Communications Manager Gilberto Pinela concisely defined Cortex’s mission: “Cortex is a community-based innovation hub, technology district and working space where creatives can develop products and technologies while also finding new ways of dealing with different aspects of modern conveniences.” He also emphasized how Cortex serves as a unifying presence for a broad range of innovators: “Cortex is all about community. We consider the community around us to be valuable partners for making success.” Located near Forest Park, two universities, medical centers and diverse neighborhoods, Cortex regularly hosts community events including a farmers market, food trucks, yoga and a series of live performances that help culturally enhance the district’s environs. Grounded on an ever-growing foundation of innovation centers, Cortex enables makers to focus on advancing technology, collaboration and inventiveness on all fronts without the hassles of corporate trappings. The community also benefits from the partnerships forged between its tenants, including lawyers, researchers, vendors, communicators and other businesses, creating fertile terrain for fostering growth, exchanging ideas and recruiting staff.
This forging of partnerships is evident at Cambridge Innovation
“I have worked at a variety of businesses, and the lifestyle we have
Center (CIC) St. Louis, a center helping startups get down with
here in the community is great. It’s a breath of new life where you
co-working and office space, stocked kitchens, privacy booths, labs
are constantly exposed to new things. There are a lot of options that
and event facilities suitable for conferences, meetings and recep-
you do not have [in] other environments. It’s very inclusive and very
Another ecosystem partner is the Center for Emerging Technologies
Having Cortex in St. Louis is a feather in our city’s cap. Today,
(CET), Missouri’s largest and oldest innovation center. Under-
many American cities lack a nexus where like-minded neighbors
standing the future is now, CET houses several up-and-coming
focused on innovation and thinking differently work in conjunction
technology, bioscience, consumer and manufacturing companies.
with businesses, government and nearby universities to create an environment where research, development and entrepreneurship act
Every Thursday, Cortex is abuzz as over 500 people meet, greet,
as a vanguard for economic growth and civic stewardship.
mingle and be merry at Venture Cafe, the largest weekly happening for innovators in the world. Venture Cafe has become a valuable resource for local innovators by delivering programs tailored at helping inventive go-getters connect by networking and developing relationships. One constant that local leaders all agree on is that ensuring St. Louis’s growth as a thriving city is dependent on having resourceful young professionals build viable companies. That’s where the BioGenerator innovation center comes in. Recognizing that investing in new ideas is vital, BioGenerator collaborates with these bold entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses.
Vicia Brings Flavorful Noise By Going Under the Soil
Audacious visions also become a reality at TechShop, an
Wouldn’t it be great if every time your parents told you to
18,000-square-foot studio space where software and tools are read-
eat your vegetables they were referring to the ones plated at
ily available to inventors, makers and entrepreneurs looking to turn
Vicia, the zesty and kinetic restaurant bringing innovation
their big dreams into big business.
Blake Marggraff is the CEO for Epharmix, an evidence-based dig-
Even before a plate was served, Vicia was drawing critical
ital health company that creates medical condition-specific digital
attention to itself with its commitment to painstakingly
inventions to assist medical professionals with facilitating more
prepare freshly cultivated and curated meals that captured
the inventive spirit of the Cortex district.
As a Bay Area ex-patriot, entrepreneur Marggraff is impressed by
Offering an ever-evolving menu, Vicia has carved a name for
Cortex’s services. “It is still a bit of a surprise to find a place in the
itself in St. Louis’s culinary landscape by digging in the dirt
Midwest that feels oftentimes so similar to San Francisco in terms
to serve vegetable-forward cuisine that has been wood fired
of the caliber of other folks working on their startups while, at the
to capture robust flavors that taste every bit as good as the
same time, being surrounded by some of the best customers and
research partners in the country.” Recently selected as a participant in the Nosh Pit at Recently named one of St. Louis’s best places to work, AB Mauri
LouFest, Vicia is the crowning achievement for Executive
North America is a baking technology company that moved from
Chef Michael Gallina and his general manager, wife and
their stodgy corporate offices in Chesterfield to the more vibrant
partner Tara, whose strength lies in giving diners an unpar-
alleled selection of salads, soups, entrees and beverages that are invigorating and dynamic.
Rick Oleshak, vice president of marketing, discussed how he and his employees feel energized by the wide range of resources available to
For more information, call 314-553-9239 or visit
AB Mauri North America.
FAT KID TO FITNESS GURU D’Angelo’s Driving Force For Success BY CALEB MANSFIELD ART COURTESY OF CHARLES D’ANGELO
By the time St. Louis native Charles D’Angelo was in high school,
forward,” D’Angelo says. This focus is evident in his transition, but
he weighed 360 pounds and turned to food for comfort. After real-
also in the results consistently shown by his clients. The life con-
izing his need for change, he joined a gym. Fifteen years later, the
sultant doesn’t focus solely on exercise or diet; instead, D’Angelo
life consultant has built an empire that focuses on health stemming
focuses on the internal driving force that guides his clients’ choices.
from the proper mindset and discipline, and he has worked his way to a successful life of fitness, health and happiness.
“It’s not what happens, it’s how you use what happens and turn it into an investment or allow it to be a withdrawal. Many people use
D’Angelo explains that as a child, he was much more sensitive than
their past as an excuse. I’m not suggesting it isn’t painful. Instead,
many of his peers. “When you’re different, sensitive and fearful, you
I’m suggesting it doesn’t have to be your future,” he adds. D’Angelo
tend to withdraw. As I withdrew, I was bullied. This perpetuated a
considers his work his calling; the ability to change people drives
whirlpool idea that I wasn’t good enough,” he says. As an obese kid,
him. “I’m giving people the opportunity to realize it’s OK to be
he taught himself how to play piano by ear listening endlessly to
Billy Joel cassettes. D’Angelo recently met up with Joel at Madison Square Garden in New York and shared his story and gratitude with
D’Angelo says many people struggle with relationships, which
the legend himself. “I was in this environment that most wouldn’t
should be approached like physical health. “Most people talk about
have predicted the type of success that I’ve enjoyed,” he says.
relationships as some type of trade or transaction. The point of a relationship is growth. If you don’t continuously work toward
Part of what makes D’Angelo’s success so powerful is his own per-
something, it will diminish — such as health.” He adds that self-ap-
sonal journey. “I recognized that I was trying to change everything
proval will bleed into someone’s work, health, love life, and all other
around me. Something clicked, and I realized I needed to make
aspects of their lives, which leads to greater success in all areas.
a change within myself. I started to take charge,” D’Angelo says. Through hard work and struggle, he started to make the internal
As for loving his surroundings, the St. Louis native boasts about
change that he claims is more important than anything else. “When
his city just as much as he praises his fiance. “I love the people; I
[people] look at themselves and recognize there is something they
love the community. I love how small it seems; yet it is very large.
want to make better, it is possible for anybody to change.”
Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody. I love the idea of it being a slower paced, warmer community than other cities.”
D’Angelo’s philosophy is simple: He uses what he coined the
If he’s not having a date night on the Hill, you can likely find him
“three-legged stool” approach when consulting his clients. “One
at a live music event in the city. He’s passionate about the city that
[aspect] is exercise, [another] is dieting and the third — and most
important — is the mindset or philosophy inside,” he explains. When it comes to fitness and health, going to the gym and dieting
At the end of the day, D’Angelo promotes happiness from within
are only one-third of the equation; the other two-thirds is mentality.
as the driving force of his life and his work. “Where you are isn’t nearly as concerning as where you’re headed,” he says. “You have to
“Don’t make your focus what you don’t have; put your energy toward what you want to achieve. Where your energy goes determines the result, and you’ll find yourself making tremendous strides
recognize you will always have love if you love yourself.”
Local Innovator Gets Kicks With Life-Size Gaming
Great American Human Foosball Mixes Fitness and Fun BY ROB LEVY ART LAUREN HEALEY
Innovation often requires taking a step back and putting the gizmos
In addition to serving as a source of family entertainment, Great
and gadgets of the modern world away in favor of some interactive
American Human Foosball also focuses on improving health
fun and games. This is the spirit of Great American Human Foos-
through programs designed to stimulate fun in those who love
ball, an organization offering an alternative play space where people
sports as well those who are just looking to get their kicks.
may take a break from electronics and get their blood flowing while allowing friends, families and co-workers to connect and have a
Joined by her father, who serves as the company’s engineer and
carpenter, and her spouse Clayton, who facilitates games, Brown has taken their message to the streets by building community part-
Similar to table foosball, this large-scale version features two teams
nerships with local scouting organizations, nonprofits, tour groups,
of six facing off against one another with each player holding onto
schools and churches. This effort, underway since 2014, has result-
handles. Working as a team, they move in unison to prevent the
ed in a welcoming atmosphere filled with a variety of life-size games
other team from scoring a goal.
that are accessible to everyone, including kids, adults and seniors as well as the mentally and physically challenged.
Owner Sherri Brown explained how the company originated from an idea by her father. “I was in national sales for food packaging,
Inclusivity is important to Brown. “Even though we do human
and I was traveling a lot and tired of it,” Brown explains. “He is an
foosball, that is hardly everything about what we do here,” she says.
entrepreneur and kept trying to get me to go out on my own. One
“We’ve had blind people come and play, and they could engage in
day he proposed the idea, and I thought he was crazy. Within two
activities. We’ve had hemophiliacs play, who, for the first time, could
weeks, I had left my job and we were drawing up the sketches for
participate in group sports because our ball is soft and they are in
a prototype and building it. Two months later, we were in a facility
their own space. The seniors love it because it helps them feel young
and opened our doors.”
again. While the foosball is what they are playing, it has almost nothing to do with what has been happening and the inclusiveness
Brown elucidated on why they chose human foosball as the cen-
that people from all walks of life have been experiencing.”
terpiece of their business. “We hadn’t seen it being done elsewhere and, for the most part, it is such an age-free game, meaning that we
Brown also elaborated on how she took her father’s initial concept
have ages 8 to 80 in here. That way, a parent or grandparent can
and ran with it, developing new games and broadening the compa-
jump in and play,” she says. “The games are on a level playing field
ny’s audience. “Besides foosball, we have other life-size games like
where you don’t have to have a high endurance like in soccer or
Tic-Tac-Toe, Connect Four, Foot Pool, Checkers, Chess and Yaht-
basketball. It’s as hard as you want it to be. Since everyone is in a
zee that people of all ages can do. This opens up our demographics
stationary location holding onto handles, no one can get run over or
because our games do not require a lot of fitness or technological
knocked down. Players go at their own pace.”
knowledge to participate.”
As this creative entrepreneur explains, fitness and sore muscles are
There’s no difference. You don’t have to have a certain amount of
not the only takeaways from a few hours of gaming; life-size foosball
money or brains. If you want to do it and don’t have the money, you
players also improve other skills. “It is good for team building be-
figure out a way to do it. I’ve been on a shoestring budget from day
cause the players are each on a rod and they have to communicate.
one. We didn’t take out any loans, and we utilized all of our resourc-
Athletic ability is almost irrelevant but communication skills are
es, but the No. 1 thing I would say to someone is, ‘If you have an
idea, just do it,’ because that is what sets people apart.”
As a local business owner, Brown offered her insight for innovators looking to set out on their own. “Sometimes, I think we believe it takes a special type of person that can make dreams come to
For more information on Great American Human Foosball, call 314-882-6191 or visit greatamericanhumanfoosball.com.
fruition,” she says. “But really it’s the person who actually does it. maxstl.com
Radio Personality Trish Gazall Talks StL, Radio Stunts and Being the Original TMZ BY EMILY LOMBARDO | ART NIKKI VOGEL | MAKEUP KATE CLARK | WARDROBE FAUXGERTY
Although Trish Gazall, a longtime personality on KEZK 102.5, has enjoyed longevity in a male-driven industry, she doesn’t necessarily see it that way. “I’ve always just plowed ahead and done what needed to be done,” she says. “You always need a woman’s perspective; the audience is both men and women, and people like to hear a woman’s point of view. … You have to find some things that connect you with the target audience to remain relevant. … I was lucky to start at a station that targeted young people while I was young; we’ve grown up together.” As Gazall recites Anheuser-Busch’s list of in-house beers from her days working as a tour guide for the brewery, it is clear she was born to be on the radio. Not only can she remember every word of her 20-page spiel, she will sell you the beer with a smooth and enthusiastic voice that matches her high-energy on-air persona perfectly. “I had to recite that spiel five times a day for five days a week,” Gazall says. Her job at Anheuser-Busch comes as no surprise either; her father and all of her uncles worked at Anheuser-Busch for over 30 years, and the brewery tour guide position was one both she and her sister took in college. If the Anheuser-Busch connection wasn’t enough to make it obvious, Gazall is a proud St. Louis native. She’s quick to say she was born and raised here, anticipating the infamous St. Louis question, “Where did you go to high school?” Gazall attended Ursuline Academy. “I’m a county girl, but I live in the city,” Gazall says. “I love St. Louis; we have the best of what a big city has to offer but with a homey feel.” After high school, Gazall studied first at Saint Louis University and then Webster University, when she worked at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and got her first chance to break into radio. Her foray into radio began with a college internship at a TV station that coincided perfectly with “Good Morning America’s” switch to ABC. “I had to do an internship to graduate, so I did it at Channel 30,” Gazall says. “[The ‘Good Morning America’ producers] said, ‘Will you just pretend like you’re the traffic person for rehearsals?’ And then after a couple weeks, they’re like, ‘Do you just want to do that?’ So I was like, ‘Yes!’” After six months working as a local traffic reporter, Gazall made the jump to working as a radio personality, starting at 105.7 the Point before moving on to the now defunct the River and KTRS each for five years before
“You always need a woman’s perspective.” landing at KZEK, where she works now. Gazall is known for her infamous “Trish’s Trash” talk show, during which she discussed celebrity gossip before TMZ and internet gossip sites were around. “Some woman called me and said, ‘You were [part of] a toast at my sister’s wedding,’” Gazall says of her highest compliment. “She said, ‘Remember when we would get in the car and listen to Trish’s Trash every morning?’” As we talk, I get a special off-air “Trish’s Trash.” “I’m not a Kardashian fan,” she declares, rolling her eyes when I bring up the latest Rob Kardashian news. “The Real Housewives” gets Gazall’s stamp of approval, however. “I do love my ‘Vanderpump Rules.’ I’m addicted to all things Bravo, and, of course, Andy Cohen,” she says. A lot of perks have come with her job. Gazall has been to quite a few “American Idol” finales and Hollywood award shows, but a memorable moment for her is classic St. Louis: helping the Cardinals clinch their Division Series with some rather unusual methods of support. “We were going to sit on a billboard until [the Cardinals] clinched their series, and it took about nine or 10 days. [We] spent the night up there and everything.” Gazall describes her radio work as “the best job” but also says “being from [St. Louis] is always an added bonus.” Her colleagues at various radio shows are like Gazall, St. Louis born and raised and very grateful for it. “We are really lucky that the companies here gave us a shot because usually you have to go to a small town and work your way up.” As part of KZEK, Gazall has raised money for Greater St. Louis Honor Flight; however, outside of work, Gazall is dedicated to many local charities. “Everything is for charity,” she says. “I do trivia nights a lot. I chair charity walks a lot. If somebody asks me, I rarely say, ‘No.’” Saint Raymond’s Maronite Cathedral in downtown St. Louis has a special place in her heart. Gazall, who is of Lebanese descent, prepares the church’s weekly Wednesday lunch and attends services when she can with her family. The sponsors for her show are local too. “I always try to go local when I can,” she says. Gazall shrugs when asked about her about favorite music to play on the radio or a favorite band. The station plays mostly ’80s music, Gazall’s self-proclaimed era, with some current hits thrown in on her KZEK show. She starts to liven up when discussing U2 coming to St. Louis this September for the Joshua Tree Tour. “The Joshua Tree, I mean, everyone had that cassette. I can’t wait.” She thinks, listing other big acts like Billy Joel — who is also performing here in September — on her fingers as she talks. What about Guns N’ Roses? “Ugh,” she sighs. “‘No’ to Axl Rose.” For the first time during the interview, Gazall frowns. “St. Louis likes to hold a grudge, and I’m going to side with St. Louis on this one,” she says of the “Riverport Riot,” which took place in Maryland Heights in the early ’90s during a Guns N’ Roses concert. Even in music feuds, Gazall stays loyal to her city. “I’m never going leave,” Gazall says with a laugh.
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Glove Box Essentials
There’s nothing worse than being out on the town and realizing you need some dental floss, a lint roller or deodorant — you get the point — and having to stop by the nearest drugstore to pay exorbitant prices for a duplicate of an item sitting on your shelf at home.
Many of us have that one friend who always seems to have just what
Whatever may come up in your daily life, being prepared will
you need when you least expect it. Now, with our simple must-have
maximize any situation as well as your friendship with others who
list of items to keep in a small bag in your glove box, you can be “that
are in need.
friend.” If your girlfriend is complaining about a stray eyebrow on your date night, don’t let her feel insecure all night; hand her some
ITEMS: Comb, hairspray, tweezers, lint roller, breath spray, OTC
tweezers. If you get ketchup on your shirt, Shout Wipe it out before it
painkiller, hand sanitizer, scissors, lip balm, wisp toothbrush, floss,
sets in. When your friends have parsley in their teeth at a dinner party,
Altoids, Shout wipes, first aid kit, deodorant, lotion
BY MAX ART DARIN SLYMAN
have their backs with floss and dental picks.
Mungenast St. Louis Acura 25 Years
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â€œMungenast make the differenceâ€?
Total Eclipse of the Lou BY CALEB MANSFIELD ART NAGOYA TARO On Aug. 21, St. Louis will experience a total solar eclipse, during which the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, which, in turn, blocks the sun. The last time a total eclipse could be seen in the greater St. Louis area was 1442. Depending on the viewing location, partial covering of the sun begins about 11:30 a.m. Then, a little after 1 p.m., St. Louis and the surrounding areas will get the chance to witness this galactic phenomenon during the seconds-to-minutes-long total eclipse. Get your solar glasses ready and check out some of these exciting events going on that day.
Moonstock Music Festival 2017 featuring Ozzy Osbourne
See the Great American Total Eclipse
14250 Meridian Road, Carterville, IL 62918
9 a.m. Aug. 21
Food trucks will be on site. Jefferson Barracks Museum
Gates open at 11 a.m. the day of the eclipse.
will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Solar Eclipse Party
Totality Missouri 2017
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, 4465 Manchester Ave.
Chesterfield Amphitheater, 631 Veterans Place Drive
Noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 21
10 a.m. Aug. 21
Urban Chestnut beer, hot dogs and bratwursts will be
Eclipse a Journey Tribute Concert will start immediately
available as well as live music.
after Totality takes place.
Jefferson Barracks Park, 345 North Road
Most events provide solar glasses, but remember it is not safe to watch the phases of the solar eclipse without proper eye protection. Staring at the sun without protection can cause damage to the retinas. Purchase eye protection online at any major retailer.
The St Lou Fringe Festival promotes art that speaks to the diversity and creativity of our city. DDARE BIONIC ( DARRIOUS VARNER) LEARNS THAT HIS PRODUCTION “SAME DIFFERENCE” HAS BEEN SELECTED VIA OPEN LOTTERY FOR THE 2017 ST LOU FRINGE FESTIVAL.
Voices Unleashed BY TINA FARMER ART ALLAN CRAIN AND ROBERT CROWE Six years ago, in the emerging Grand Center Arts District, a group
next level,” enthuses Fringe’s Executive Director Matthew R. Kerns.
of actors, directors and producers banded together to present the
“We’re serving as a launching pad for new work and inviting the
first annual St Lou Fringe Festival. As the district established itself
community to be a part of these shows from the very beginning.” At
as an integral part of the St. Louis cultural landscape, the festival
the same time, he notes, “we still create the opportunity for many
evolved into an annual not-to-be-missed celebration of diversity
voices and artists to be heard.” In addition to the headline acts, local
companies such as Tesseract Theatre and the Midnight Company, invited returning artists including last year’s Fringe favorite
With a philosophy based on the open nature of the original Ed-
Elizabeth Townsend, and new acts including Meatball Séance, Same
inburgh Fringe Festival, established in 1947, the St Lou Fringe
Difference and Inconceivable, are scheduled to perform.
production team actively seeks and promotes a wide range of companies and performing artists. This season, the festival places
Emphasizing accessibility and opportunity, the festival also offers a
a renewed emphasis on producing new, relevant works that engage
$1 stage where anyone can make a donation for a chance to perform
and inspire. Through invitation, curation and an open lottery,
a five-minute piece of their choosing. Interactive opportunities
performing artists in all mediums are welcome to apply to perform.
include a burlesque class from internationally renowned artist and
Acts are given the space, technical crew and platform to present
teacher Lola Van Ella, with an opportunity to perform in a late-night
their work to a wide range of interested patrons, and the festival is
show. Additionally, there’s a free day of family-oriented activities
always seeking to increase community diversity and participation.
and storytelling in Strauss Park on Aug. 19. This outdoor event includes the Story Stitchers, School of Rock, the St. Louis Public
The 2017 festival features three headline acts on the newly ren-
Library, the ACTivist Project from the Missouri History Museum,
ovated Schlafly Stage at the Grandel Theatre. Fringe Marketing
and a full list of other artists and performers. Face painting, dance
Director Bronwyn Ritchie notes that “people don’t realize it, but
and hands-on art activities will be offered in addition to short per-
a number of big shows, ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’
formances; reservations are not needed to attend.
by Tom Stoppard, for example, got their start at a Fringe festival somewhere.” She continues, “the featured headline acts offer a
As part of a commitment to promoting art and community in St.
fantastic opportunity for Fringe and St. Louis to be an important
Louis, the festival offers a wide variety of ticket packages, enabling
part in the development of new, exciting theater. The St Lou Fringe
patrons to see as many or as few shows as they can fit in their sched-
team has been heavily involved in the production of the new work
ule. “We understand that summer is a busy time for everyone,”
chosen as our national headliner.” That show, “A Song for Vanya,”
Ritchie explains, “so we’ve created packages that allow our audience
from Northern California, is a musical take on Anton Chekov’s
members to support the Fringe, see great theater and still fit in their
tragicomedy “Uncle Vanya” that features a St. Louis-based cast.
Local headliner ERA re-imagines “Snow White” in a fresh take on the fairy tale. As director Lucy Cashion explains, the production
The 6th annual St Lou Fringe Festival runs Aug. 17–27 throughout
is “a play about identity, not so much who we are, but what we re-
the Grand Center Arts District. There are 109 shows from 31 pro-
flect.” Finally, late-night headliner the Ashleyliane Dance Company,
ducers across countless genres, including dance, theater, puppetry,
a Fringe favorite and regular participant, rounds out the headlining
solo performance, improvisational comedy and more. A detailed
acts with a dance show highlighting contemporary jazz movements.
schedule with individual show descriptions and a link to ticket packages is available via the Fringe website. In short, St Lou Fringe
The festival creates an opportunity for theatergoers to get the first
offers audiences the opportunity to see a lot of great theater in just
look at these shows and to provide immediate feedback for the com-
two weekends at a reasonable price — a perfect and affordable way
pany. The process is an invaluable part of developing new work that
to finish off summer in St. Louis.
also stays true to the exploratory and experimental nature of the festival’s philosophy. “We are so excited to take the Fringe to the
For more information, visit stlouisfringe.com.
3 Women, 1 Horrible Boss and Plenty of Laughs BY TINA FARMER ART PETER WOCHNIAK With a thriving art and theater scene, St. Louis is a welcome summer home for a number of established actors. At a time when there’s a seasonal pause on Broadway, our city offers a plethora of opportunities for artists seeking to make their name in a new production. From the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis and the Muny in Forest Park to a number of small opera companies and STAGES St. Louis in Kirkwood, there’s an abundance of juicy roles creating a buzz about our theater scene that extends beyond the region. This buzz is part of the reason Corinne Melançon, who plays Violet Newstead, Laura E. Taylor, who plays Judy Bernly, and Summerisa Bell Stevens, who plays Doralee Rhodes, are so excited to be leading STAGES’ regional premiere of “9 to 5: the Musical.” The second offering in the theater company’s season, the show features breakout roles for its leading actresses and songs by Dolly Parton. The musical comedy, based on the 1980 movie of the same title, hilariously explores working life, unexpected friendship and revenge and is a perfect choice for anyone who’s struggled with authority and the need to feel seen. “This is my eighth season with STAGES, and I’m delighted to be back,” Melançon observes. “I always look forward to working here. The staff is so well prepared, the theater is so well run and the organization really makes sure that we feel valued while we’re here.” Taylor and Stevens nod in agreement as Melançon speaks, with Taylor adding, “From the moment you’re cast, you are part of the family. The community and donors even make us a first rehearsal dinner. It’s such a welcoming feeling, and you simply don’t get that everywhere.” Another plus is the show selection and the roles. “STAGES chooses really interesting shows with characters I want to explore,” Melançon continues. “With ‘9 to 5,’ you’ve got three women from very different backgrounds who are each working to find their place in the business world. They bond over a bad boss and unpleasant working environment. I think that’s something that most people have experienced and can relate to.” With a short rehearsal period, there’s not much time to feel awkward, resulting in a sense of freedom that allows actors to delve into the role and the interplay. As Stevens reminds us, “the other two women don’t like my character very much at first, but as they get to know her, they come to appreciate that she’s a lot smarter than they realized. As a society, we’re often encouraged to judge people by their appearances.” Each character changes significantly, an important element of the storytelling that enables the musical to be much more than a chick flick. “This show reminds us, with a lot of humor, that everyone has something they’re struggling with,” Taylor says. “Underneath the songs, costumes and makeup, this is a story about identity and self-empowerment, something nearly everyone can relate to.” Melançon jumps in, “the three women come from vastly different backgrounds and have different aspirations, but there’s commonality. Violet is accomplished, successful and hitting the glass ceiling. Doralee has been dismissed and overlooked because of her appearance. Judy finds herself thrust into the job market after years of being a housewife.” “They all feel marginalized and just want to be accepted,” notes Stevens, “and, really, isn’t that something most of us want?” A heartwarming aspect of the show is the idea that friendship may be found anywhere, and working at STAGES reinforces the theme. Melançon and Taylor worked with the company in previous seasons, and they were both in last year’s delightful production of “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Though new to the company, Stevens was thrilled to join STAGES because she’d heard so many good things about the experience.
“We don’t just go from the theater to the hotel and back,” Taylor explains. “Last year, we went on a float trip, and there’s always a trip to City Museum, which is fantastic. Plus, there’s Cardinals baseball [and] the [Missouri] Botanical Garden; we always find something fun to do on our day off.” Melançon also mentions St. Louis’s many restaurants. “I’ve learned my way around a bit, and I love barbecue. So naturally, we’ve been to Sugarfire Smoke House and Pappy’s [Smokehouse].” Even newcomer Stevens has found local attractions she’d like to visit again: “I particularly like walking in Laumeier Sculpture Park,” which is conveniently close to the Robert G. Reim Theater, where “9 to 5” is playing. Though humorous and upbeat, the show, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, touches on emotions and insecurities many of us have felt in our working lives. There’s a real sense of empowerment and possibility in the show, which is brought to life by its three leading ladies. For more information on “9 to 5: the Musical,” running July 21Aug. 20, visit stagesstlouis.org.
In It For the ‘Long’ Haul BY CALEB MANSFIELD ART DARIN SLYMAN
If anyone exudes St. Louis style, Jacob Long certainly does. Wheth-
“I have always been a big fan of living local and buying local,” Long
er it’s his journalistic work the past two years with KSDK or his love
continues. From date nights to “staycations,” Long lives a genuinely
for all things local, Long is maximizing St. Louis lifestyle. If he’s
St. Louis lifestyle. “I support when businesses, organizations and
not brunching at local joints around the city, he’s busy at area craft
restaurants choose to stay in the city and invest in all of our differ-
events and enjoying the best St. Louis has to offer.
“When I drive around the city, St. Louis gives me chills,” Long
“There is always something to do in this city, and I love that pulse
says. “Growing up here, I had that special connection to the city.”
that St. Louis offers.”
A Granite City, Illinois, native, Long has always had a soft spot for St. Louis. Despite moving away for a decade, Long revealed that coming back felt like a revival. “I love St. Louis for its potential, for its neighborhoods and for its people,” he says. “It’s such an old city, but it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like there is this new and re-energized segment of the population that is taking the city by the reigns.” It’s these places,
Long’s Shortlist of StL Favorites FESTIVALS:
such as Olio and Union Loafers, that are popping up in old houses
and old garages that deeply impress the St. Louisan. He praises the
Whitaker Music Fest
Fair St. Louis
creativity and reinvigoration of these new places. “St. Louis is the canvas, and the people here are the artists. I love what the residents of the city are doing to make it their own.” Recently, Long took a St. Louis “staycation” visiting places he says are hard to get to when he’s working all the time, such as the Mis-
Eleven Eleven Mississippi
souri History Museum, the Muny, the Missouri Botanical Garden
Half-marathons and 5ks
and Busch Stadium. However, he knows there will always be new
Anywhere on the Hill
around the city
places to discover. “On my phone right now, I have this running tab of places I want to check out,” he says. “It could be someone’s fulltime job to just try all the new and interesting places.” The St. Louisan has a soft spot for pets too: He has an 8-month-old puppy named Tucker, and he volunteers with area humane societies when he has time. “If I’m going to be honest, it’s my favorite charity
Four Muddy Paws
Greater Saint Louis
Central West End
to work with. It’s near and dear to me. There are so many ways to help out in the city.”
Dwight Carter Dressed for Success PINS & NEEDLES DEVELOPS TALENTED DESIGNERS BY ROB LEVY ART DARIN SLYMAN Dwight Carter is more than a dedicated follower of fashion. As the
Carter commented on St. Louis’ place as a fashion city. “I think
producer of Pins & Needles, the longest running designer competi-
it’s growing, and there’s a lot of talent out there that people just
tion in the Midwest, he has spent his career presenting the newest
don’t know about. This helped me decide that I was going to be the
trends in fashion.
person to spearhead getting these designers known. I’ve made it my goal to get these designers in front of new people to help them
Utilizing his background in marketing, event planning and promo-
understand the business and help them understand sales, market-
tion, Carter has stayed ahead of the pack by fusing contemporary
ing, PR, selecting models and things like that. I also think that some
fashion with entertainment, establishing himself as an innovator
of the schools here need to do a better job of teaching the business
with a reputation for announcing the arrival of local designers with
end. They teach a lot of design elements, but once they graduate,
a relentless dedication.
they don’t know what to do with what they have and how to take that next step.”
Pins & Needles was originally intended as a platform for local designers before growing regionally as an opportunity for emerging
Having brought fashion design competitions in the River City to a
designers from across the country to gain exposure, experience and
new level, Carter set out to apply his innovation elsewhere. Carter
the necessary tools to take their collections from the runway to retail
discussed Gent, the next step in his production cycle. “Three years
ago, I started a men’s fashion show called Gent. After 12 years of producing fashion shows, I was frustrated that they always featured
Carter summarized the planning process. “We start nine months
womenswear and wanted something new. Around this time, L.A.,
prior to the event. We reach out to all the schools first, then expand
New York and Paris had started doing men’s fashion weeks and I, by
that locally and nationally. Then we begin the submission process
coincide, without knowing about those other shows, was planning
and pick the designers. Once those are picked, they begin to start
to do one here. I did a couple of those. Last year was the first year
their collections. That way, the lines they are going to show will
that I did a multi-day event with a runway show, pop-up shop and
never have been seen before.”
a barber competition. Next year, we are having four days of events with hopes of building on from that every year as St. Louis’s Men’s
Originally a musician, Carter caught the fashion bug while work-
ing retail at a series of boutiques. After being asked to help with promoting a local show he began to attend meetings and become
When not championing St. Louis fashion scene, Carter is nurturing
further involved with handling the designer search. From there, he
it by donating percentages of his ticket sales to the Stevens Institute
worked in fashion PR, where he absorbed the back-of-the-house
of Business & Arts Scholarship Foundation where he teaches fash-
excitement and became hooked on the production elements of
ion marketing class and provides valuable hands-on experience to
organizing fashion shows. Hungry and ready to make an impact,
he began to throw his own shows at various bars, salons and clubs around St. Louis before launching Pins & Needles.
Off the runway, Carter gets his kicks coaching five soccer teams of kids ages 5-10 for Real STL.
Uncompromising in making St. Louis fashion-friendly, Carter offered suggestions for overcoming the challenges of getting local designer threads recognized. “Honestly, it is about getting the consumer to support their local people. You can go to big box or higher end stores and shop there, but there are a lot of great people creating exactly the same thing at a higher quality that is probably more fashionable. It all comes down to local consumers supporting these designers.” He also emphasized the importance of supporting local innovators and creatives with fiscal support. “These fashion shows, are great but at the end of the day, the designers need to make money doing it. If they aren’t going to make money with it, they are going to disappear. It’s a big investment for them, and I know a lot of people are there just to be seen, but these designers are working their butts off to make a living.” Pins & Needles will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Aug. 10 at Majorette, 7150 Manchester Avenue. Charles Smith II of the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator opens the festivities honoring the latest work from six young designers.
BY EMILY LOMBARDO ART LAUREN HEALEY AND COURTESY OF NARRATIVE FURNITURE
Narrative furniture Refugee Made & Built to Stay
It’s easy to see how the Narrative Furniture showroom sticks out. It’s vast and minimalistic, with windows reaching all the way across its Jefferson Avenue entrance, lodged between a gas station and local trademarks like the Way Out Club and Trader Bob’s Tattoo Shop in the Fox Park neighborhood of South City. The shops a block or two in each direction are boarded up with colorful graphics, graffiti and stickers decorating the splintered wood and brick. Between showings, peering into its surrounding windows feels like looking into a museum exhibit after the lights are turned off. In the painted white brick showroom, the pieces inside range from broad tables to polished bars complete with draft beer taps.
Andy Kim’s lessons in crafting furniture Narrative Furniture, a startup venture funded by Larson Financial Fund, was created with the community in mind. “[The businesses] clearly have to have ties with the local community,” says Andy Kim, one of the managing directors of Larson Financial Fund and manager of Narrative Furniture. “We operate with the belief that business can be and is a catalyst for holistic development.” Supporting the Underdog Although many businesses in St. Louis are teeming with local pride, boasting about being born and raised here and serving the St. Louis community, Narrative Furniture’s approach is quietly changing the status quo by bringing in members of the St. Louis community who have been swept under the rug. “We looked at the refugee community and wanted to build a team and engage [that] community,” Kim says. Setting up shop in the county was out. Working with local organizations to recruit potential employees and set up interviews, Narrative Furniture hired three employees: refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea. The company hired a master woodworker with over 45 years of experience, but the other team members were new to making furniture — the rest is history. Kim emphasizes the relationship between owners and employees has to be a mutually beneficial relationship, offering employees chances to go back to school and attend training courses. “We only want the best for them, because in that way, it’s best for the business too; I think that is pretty proven,” Kim says. The efforts have paid off: In the three years since Narrative Furniture opened its doors, there has been no turnover in employees. Outside of furnishing South City spots like Sump Coffee and Gezellig, Narrative Furniture is visible in its efforts to foster community in the Fox Park neighborhood. The company holds meetings with Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, hosts neighborhood meetings and sponsors children’s baseball teams that play in Fox Park. The Man Behind the Mission Kim looks the part of a designer, his hair in a fade cut with the top slicked back. He wears a graphic tee, jeans and gleaming white shoes. His office and conference room are what you would expect from a high-powered Silicon Valley startup. Kim speaks calmly about Larson Financial Fund’s ventures across the world, from a poultry processing plant in South India to a medical university in Gambia. But for Kim, a Los Angeles native who earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in philosophy, Narrative Furniture was a completely new direction. Despite Kim’s style and the fact that he does all of Narrative Furniture’s design work, he never took professional design classes. “I’ve never claimed to be a designer. I learned how to sketch furniture on YouTube,” Kim says. In the beginning, Kim worked in the shop 12 to 15 hours a day for three-and-a-half weeks to immerse in the process. Now, on stressful days, Kim escapes to the shop to “tinker.” Red Brick Roots Larson Financial Fund is a St. Louis-based company. “This is our home, so this is the city where we think we can really have an impact,” Kim explains. The company wants to take St. Louis back to its manufacturing roots. “Corvettes used to be made in St. Louis,” he says. “St. Louis brick built Chicago. This city used to make stuff, so we wanted to tap into that.” In the long term, Kim plans for Narrative Furniture to become a permanent fixture in St. Louis. He aims to focus on commercial work for local bars and restaurants. Upcoming Designs For someone who learned design from YouTube, Kim speaks about making furniture and the new collection with the precision and excitement of an industry expert. Kim believes strongly in building furniture with intention, dismissing products made to be thrown away. “Furniture has this unique capacity to take on human qualities,” Kim says. “Wood is really fascinating in that it’s really durable but, at the same time, it’s very honest. If you’re lazy and shortcut, at the end, you can tell.” The new Lunar Form collection — named after Kim’s wife’s remark that the pieces look like they’re orbiting — is a highlight for Kim. The tabletops are designed with a rounded bevel edge and tapered legs, something Narrative Furniture has become known for, Kim notes with pride. “It’s mid-century modern throwback with a twist,” Kim says.
ART LAUREN HEALEY
SLAM VOGUE VIP PARTY
Even the drinks were dressed to impress at SLAM Vogue, the summerâ€™s most fashionable fundraiser hosted by the Saint Louis Art Museum.
ART DARIN SLYMAN
Let Them Eat Art
Maplewoodâ€™s whimsical tribute to Bastille Day, this annual street fair featured live art demonstrations, a parade, live music, and food and drinks.
“There is an indescribable feeling … about coming back. There’s something special about St. Louis that just stays with you.” - KARLIE KLOSS
as told to the St. Louis Post Dispatch
ART KAREN JONES | SUNDAYJONESART.COM 50
Published on Jul 31, 2017