Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem’s Curated Lifestyle & Design Magazine
interior design · furniture · art · lighting · vintage 513 s elm st. greensboro 336.265.8628 www.vivid-interiors.com
EDITOR from the
Happy holidays, #marvelouslyMOD readers! I can’t believe the holiday season is upon us, and this issue will definitely get you in the spirit to celebrate.
First off, we take you inside a gorgeous historic home in Greensboro’s Fisher Park. The 100-plus-year-old abode got a refresh from the designers at Vivid Interiors, and we think you’ll love the story of how the designers worked with the homeowners to give the house a fresh look that honors its rich history.
With the season of giving upon us, we share the story of Hope Truck Food Co., an organization that operates a food truck and coffee shop with the mission of feeding those who cannot afford meals. Their work not only fills the bellies of the hungry, but it also feeds the souls of those involved.
Nurturing the soul is a big part of poet Jacinta White’s work. While the Winston-Salem writer has published several volumes of her poetry, she feels her greatest calling is helping others process trauma and explore grief through writing. We talk with her about the healing power of poetry.
Our latest Book Club feature highlights another person called to writing: Bestselling novelist John Hart. The North Carolina native tells us how he made the pivot from public defender to writing thrillers, including his latest book, The Unwilling. This issue we also resurrect our Concierge column, taking you on an exclusive tour of Paris with stops at a couture atelier, a custom perfumery and one of the most lavish boutique hotels in France. In Points of View, Lisa Johnson celebrates the beauty in imperfection and encourages us to rethink how we perceive flaws in ourselves and in our home’s design. And Clothes Whisperer Maribeth Geraci is excited for a return to holiday dressing — bring on the sparkle and shine!
Speaking of sparkle, in Society Sightings we take you to Fashion’s Night Out in High Point. The event celebrated the fashion side of the furniture city. Finally, we’ve got your holiday shopping started with our MOD gift guide. It’s chock full of fabulous finds for the home, stylish pieces to spruce up any wardrobe and gifts certain to please even the pickiest on your list.
As we wind down this year and look toward 2023, I’m excited for all that’s to come. I hope this issue of MOD Society enhances your enjoyment of the holiday season and gets you in the mood to celebrate a new year. See you in 2023!
Jennifer Bringle, editor-in-chief
The holiday season is upon us, and have we got a gift for you! Our editor shares all the goodies in store for our readers this issue.
3� 33 �6
The designers at Vivid Interiors helped a busy couple refresh their historic home in Greensboro’s Fisher Park. And the results honor the abode’s legacy while making it modern and livable for its current owners.
Our Concierge column returns with your insider’s guide to fashionable and fabulous Paris. We have your itinerary for an unforgettable visit to the City of Lights.
POINTS OF VIEW
Lisa Johnson celebrates the beauty of imperfection and encourages us to do the same in our own homes as we mix old and new, perfect and flawed.
This season, stylist and Dresscode Style owner Maribeth Geraci implores us to return to dressing for the holidays. So break out the sparkle and the shine — it’s time to party!
THE THRILL OF WRITING
As a public defender in Salisbury, North Carolina, John Hart knew he needed to follow a different path. Seven bestsellers later, John has built a career as one of the top mystery/thriller writers. We chat with him about his latest novel, The Unwilling, for our Book Club feature.
50 60 14
Have a long list to shop for this holiday season? Find the perfect gift, plus items to make your home more festive, in the MOD Gift Guide!
Triad’s Finest has big news: They’re expanding! The agency recently opened its new office in Summerfield.
After losing her father at a young age, Jacinta White turned to poetry for comfort and healing. Now the Winston-Salem poet shares her love of writing with others, guiding them through feelings of grief, loss and sadness during her poetry workshops.
Born of a mission to feed the hungry in the Triad, the Hope Food Truck Co. and Given Coffee serve pay-what-you-can food and drinks to the needy. We take you inside their kitchen to learn how their mission is filling bellies and feeding souls.
SOCIETY SIGHTINGS: HIGH POINT FASHION’S NIGHT OUT
The furniture city became a fashion capital during High Point Fashion’s Night Out. We have your ticket to the stylish soiree.
SOCIETY SIGHTINGS: GUILFORD GO RED WOMEN LUNCHEON
We take you inside the Guilford Go Red for Women luncheon, an event designed to highlight the importance of women’s health. Attendees learned about getting healthier while raising funds for the American Heart Association.
54 16 54 4 � 4 5
50 60 38 MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 15
photography by aura marzouk
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 17
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 19
Sometimes a home just feels meant to be. Whether it’s a love-at-first-sight situation, a custom-built dream home or a place you just can’t forget, some houses seem to speak to their rightful owners.
That was the case for Greensboro residents Tina McEntire and Michael Getz with their historic Fisher Park abode. The home, which was built in 1905 and is on the National Historic Register, at first seemed too overwhelming a project for Tina and Michael, a busy couple with demanding jobs. But after looking at the home three times, they knew it was meant to be theirs.
To tackle renovations and refresh the home’s look, Tina and Michael called on the team at Vivid Interiors in Greensboro. Designers Laura Mensch and Gina Hicks have worked on multiple historic homes, so they understood the delicate balance between honoring the history of the space while making it modern and functional.
“When we came here, it was a beautiful house, but it didn’t have a modern flair — it felt very historical,” Tina says. “We wanted to figure out how to make it a bit more modern and of today’s style while still honoring the amazing history of the house. That’s the problem we took to Vivid.”
One of the first things the design team tackled was the outdated lighting. Some of the fixtures were so old they still had gas piping from before electric wiring became commonplace.
“When they came back with the lighting design, we began to get the feel,” Tina says. “The modern fixtures made all the difference in the world for us, and they transformed each room. It’s amazing how just a central light in the room can transform a space.”
Tina and Michael also wanted a home that felt welcoming and comfortable to their family and friends. The designers at Vivid accomplished that by creating a flow between the first-floor rooms to make entertaining easier.
Just off the entry, a sitting room is outfitted with a sofa and two cozy swivel chairs in serene blues and neutrals. During the day, the space is bathed in natural light from four large windows, providing a sunny space for conversation. But when a larger crowd gathers, pocket doors open to the adjacent den.
“The room right beside it was originally the dining room, and they wanted to make that into their den where they would watch TV,” Laura says. “This room is adjacent and has open doors to it. So if they have a lot of people over for a football game or their whole family is in, you can open those doors and everybody can see the TV.”
And that den isn’t your average TV room. The space is saturated in a deep turquoise hue offset with gold and wood fixtures and accents. An ornate wooden mantel with its original jade green tile inset pops amid the deep blue walls.
“We covered the room in that deep moody blue, and we painted it everywhere — ceiling as well,” Laura says. “It just envelops you in that color and really adds some texture.”
But while the room is a showstopper now, Tina and Michael weren’t convinced when the design team first suggested it.
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 21
“When they said, ‘You’ve got to paint the ceiling and every inch of the room, even the electrical outlets, this one color,’ we both said, ‘No,’” Tina says. “We said that would be overwhelming, but we went with it and trusted them. And I think that’s the key I learned: You have to trust the designers.”
That trust came into play with a piece of art in the den, as well. The Vivid team found a large painting that looks like a historical portrait with the exception of a smattering of butterflies flying across the subject’s face.
“I thought, ‘There’s no way they’re going to go for it,’” Laura says. “But the colors were so perfect, and it was so fun. It’s traditional, but with a little twist.”
At first, Tina and Michael nixed the painting, but again they decided to trust Laura and Gina, and fell in love with the art in the space.
“Everyone who visits the house, this is their favorite room, and it’s their favorite painting,” Tina says.
The furnishings certainly play a role in the room’s place as the favorite, too. The Vivid team sourced the modern sectional and other furnishings from Hickory, North Carolina-based C.R. Laine. And accessories such as the fur-covered pillows came from Vivid’s downtown home design store.
The den flows into the breakfast room and kitchen, which is painted a soft Tiffany blue that serves as a visual juxtaposition to the richer hue of the den. The Vivid team removed a wall to create a more open flow, and they added a banquette along one wall to create more seating around the kitchen table.
“Historical homes have very distinct rooms — they don’t have an open floor plan,” Tina says. “But what Vivid has done through their design is allow us to have an open floor plan in a very cutoff historic house.”
A formal dining room offers another space for gathering. It’s painted a pale peach and outfitted with a mix of fresh furnishings and antiques such as a waterfall-front sideboard that serves as a bar.
“We wanted to add in a softer layer of color, and we wanted to keep it feeling really warm so when they had guests for dining, they can use that space, and it feels really cozy,” Laura says.
The designers also extended the living space outdoors onto the home’s large wraparound porch. Two distinctive seating arrangements allow Tina and Michael to entertain or simply relax outdoors.
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 23
“It’s amazing how in this house we’ve got two different seating areas on our porch that have become part of our living space,” Tina says. “We have two almost mini-living rooms that have become such a part of our lifestyle. I’ve never lived in a house where I sat on the front porch until now.”
Vivid’s design also allowed Tina and Michael to preserve and celebrate the original beauty of their home. One major project was refinishing the heart pine floors, a detail that Tina says was added to the home because the owners believed heart pine would ward off tuberculosis.
Another special detail is the stained glass window in the entryway near the grand staircase. The home’s original builders found the glass in 1860 and saved it until they built their dream home in 1905. Sadly, they never got to enjoy their beloved glass or the home built around it.
“It took the couple years to build the house, but they never lived in it because the woman had tuberculosis and died two months before they planned to move into the house,” Tina says.
While Tina acknowledges the home’s sad beginning, she feels a sense of coming full circle since she and Michael — who recently wed — moved in. The couple waited until their children were grown to marry and buy a house together, and now their home is a space where they can welcome those kids and their own families.
“That’s why I love to tell that story, because now it’s such a happy home filled with love,” she says.
Shortly after moving in, Tina and Michael commissioned local artist Denise Landry to recreate a painting of the home she did for the previous owners. As she walked through the renovated space and took in the home’s exterior, the artist told Tina her home had a magical quality.
MOD Society Magazine Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem Vol. 4 No. 6
Maribeth Geraci Kristen Haynes Lisa Johnson Autumn Mowery COPY EDITOR Jennifer Weaver-Spencer PHOTOGRAPHERS
Anna Danielle Lindley Battle Aura Marzouk Stephen Thrift LAYOUT AND DESIGN Stallard Studio DIGITAL AGENCY The Buzz Effect ADVERTISING Advertising@yourMODsociety.com
Regarding the Home...
DESIGN TEAM: VIVID Interiors
HOME OWNERS: Tina McEntire and Michael Getz
Cover Sitting Room
Pages 16-17 Sitting Room
“She said, ‘Your house is almost like this magical portal, the way it’s shaped,’” Tina says. “But I know that there’s something magical about this house. I think when people enter it, they just fall in love with it.” yourMODsociety.com Triad.MODsocietyMagazine #marvelouslyMOD MOD
Page 18 Sitting Room
Page 19 Den Pages 20-21 Den
Page 22 Entry Page 23 Breakfast Room Page 24 Front Porch
Featured Home Photos
Society Magazine, trees are planted as part of the PrintReleaf program.
Society Magazine is
MSM Media LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. ©2022. For each edition of MOD
ON THE COVER VIVID Interiors PUBLISHER MSM Media, LLC Kathryn Field VICE PRESIDENT OPERATIONS
Crystal Staley EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jennifer Bringle Editor@yourMODsociety.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem’s Curated Lifestyle & Design Magazine November/December MMXXII HONORING HISTORY Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem TRIAD CERTIFIED REFORESTED MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 25
336.209.1862 tlinterior.com Relax in luxury.
Paris, the city of love — the romantic essence of the French capital is undeniable. The allure of the Parisian lifestyle? Delectable food and wine, deep-rooted history, breathtaking architecture, head-turning fashion and vibrant culture at every corner all coexist to create a distinctive charm that can only be described as having a certain je ne sais quoi
With a plethora of luxury hotels, there is no scarcity of sumptuous accommodations. Consistently listed as one of the best hotels in Paris, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée is a 5-star hotel of grandeur. Recognized as the backdrop in the series finale of “Sex and The City,” this iconic hotel boasts a mixture of regency and art deco decor and attracts the most glamorous of clientele. And while in Paris, do as the French do: Make an appointment at Le Studio de Parfum for a custom experience. Founded by an epicurean perfumer and perfume chemist in 2006, Le Studio de Parfum became a pioneer in tailor-made fragrance workshops. Passionate perfumers guide you through the creative process and awaken your senses with more than 180 notes of varying scents. During this process, you go on a journey of memories and emotions to perfect your fragrance and leave with your own personally curated scent.
Pair that custom fragrance with a bit of haute couture with a visit to iconic French fashion house Balenciaga’s new couture store. Shoppers at this exclusive boutique can purchase looks fresh off the runway, giving them insider access to couture, a universe that is otherwise closed-off and inaccessible.
A day of shopping will certainly pique the appetite, and as one of the world’s culinary capitals, Paris offers plenty to satisfy the palate. Originally birthed in New York City, Soho House is a private hotel and social club reserved exclusively for creative minds that just opened a Paris location. With a membership, gain access to the celebrated international fare at Le Cabaret du Soho House restaurant. Or head to La Maison du Caviar near the Champs-Elysées. The eatery’s handpicked caviar served on a bowl of ice makes for a marvelous wind-down. With its lavish fashion, opulent accommodations and delectable food and wine, Paris calls to the traveler seeking an escape from the ordinary.
— Autumn Mowery
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 29
POINTS OF VIEW PERFECTLY
There are so many statements that I can express about the title of this article, as I feel it best exemplifies me, my style and my outlook. It would be a far more stressful life to always strive for elusive perfection, but getting close is close enough for me! So, let’s start with a perfectly imperfect home that has functional pieces that are striking in their imperfections and magnitude.
For any redesign commission, I rely on rare finds and vintage and antique treasures that I collect from around the globe. I love that each piece is not too perfect because it must often coexist with new pieces that many clients already own. The imperfect pieces somewhat surprisingly add a luxurious décor element that doesn’t feel too fussy. Imperfection can make a home or truly anything or anyone feel more welcoming.
Often, an antique piece is less expensive, more interesting and readily available. This leaves me wondering why there’s so much new décor in homes. Mixing it up allows for a distinctively rich array of colors, tones, textures and details. Each room can inform its own story, never trying to be too much.
Being invited into a home that needs a refresh is my idea of nirvana. When a client trusts me enough to take charge and allow the process to flourish, it’s a joy! Before I begin, I want to understand how a family lives, the ages of their children (if they have any), what they most need to feel comfortable and how they like to entertain. After I know this, it’s off to work! Blending a sense of their family into every room is a must. Melding history with modernity is a goal. Ensuring warmth and beauty is nonnegotiable.
Taking the good pieces in a home and re-envisioning how they function in different spaces is a great starting point. Removing all art and objects is the next step. This allows me to place them in areas where they are more suited. Opening spaces for a new vintage find is important. Art is the crown jewel and adds refinement to a home. It’s an expression that furnishings alone cannot attain, which is why I love art.
Everything in life is about the balance between perfect and imperfect, old and new, inexpensive and costly. Take the time to relax, indulge your curiosity and know that the stressless way is to be perfectly imperfect.
– Lisa Johnson, Lisa Johnson & Company | Shop on Blair
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 31
Since many of us have been out of practice accepting invitations and attending big social events, I thought I’d write about dress codes for the upcoming holiday season.
The range for appropriate dress for any given occasion has grown wide. This wide range can make getting dressed for these much-anticipated evenings quite confusing. Before our unanticipated social sabbatical, getting dressed for special occasions had already gotten a little blurry. Maybe it began when people started using clever dress codes on their invitations, such as “casual elegant,” “dress to impress” or “bring on the bling,” to name a few. Whatever happened to “black tie,” “formal” or “cocktail attire?”
Let’s take a look at one of these dress codes: Casual elegant. This is a contradiction, because according to etiquette for invitations, if it says casual, it means there is no dress code and you should just be comfortable. Well, that’s enough to have us all staring into our closets for hours.
Fast-forward from our long dress-up dry spell to the 2022 holiday dressing season, and I will not be a clothes whisperer about this special time of year. “Black tie,” “formal” or “cocktail attire” on an invite sets a mood for an event. It immediately brings a level of excitement.
How often do we get really dressed up anymore? It’s a celebratory ritual, and it’s worth the effort. Pull out your cocktail party clothes! It’s time for sparkle, shine and elegance. I’d even be so bold as to say if you get a holiday party invite, ignore the dress code, and just go all out!
This year, some things that remain consistent are what’s in style to wear. Sequins remain a mainstay, as does satin, velvet and the colors black and navy. What’s new are one shoulder tops and dresses, full-circle skirts, deep V-necks and a lot of bright colors.
In closing, I’d like to throw in a bit of fashion history, which I always enjoy. Black tie began as a recognized dress code back in 1885, and it literally meant a loosening of the tie among the well-to-do. It was swapping a tailcoat for a smoking jacket with matching trousers. This was considered dressing down for those times.
This year, the holidays are especially festive, so show up wearing your party best!
– Maribeth Geraci, DressCode Style www.dresscodestyle.us
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 33
ThrillTHE WRITING OF
John Hart’s writing career is a story of second chances. While studying for his master’s in accounting at UNCChapel Hill, John wrote his first novel — which never saw the light of day. But he refused to give up and penned a second book while in law school.
“Both of them widely unpublished, as they should be,” he says with a laugh. “They were very much teeth-cutting exercises. But I could tell that I was improving — I was gaining a little confidence that I could actually do it.”
Fast-forward a few years, and John was working in Salisbury, North Carolina —where he also spent a big chunk of his childhood — as a criminal defense attorney. He’d been in the role for a few years and had started to tire of defending people he didn’t really believe were innocent. At the same time, John and his wife had a baby, and when he thought about expanding their family in the future, he realized he would either have to choose between committing to his law career or giving writing one last shot.
“So with my wife’s blessing, that’s what I did. I left the practice and gave myself a year to write what became The King of Lies, my first novel, and I finished it in 11½ months,” he says.
After finishing the book, John went back to work as an attorney and began searching for a literary agent to represent his book. That search took four years, but he finally found the right agent. In 2005, he signed a contract to publish his first novel.
The King of Lies, a thriller set in Salisbury, went on to become a bestseller, setting the tone for the remainder of John’s career. Since then, he has written six more bestselling thrillers, many featuring places in North Carolina and drawing on his experience as a criminal defense attorney. For his most recent book, The Unwilling, which was recently released in paperback, John marked his first foray into writing about the past. He set the story against the backdrop of Charlotte during the Vietnam War.
“I’d always wanted to write something set entirely in the past, and I hate the term ‘historical novel,’ because I remember the 1970s, but I was young,” he says. “The book is set in 1972, and I was seven in that year, but I remembered Vietnam and people going to Vietnam. And I wanted to write about the effect of war on people at the time.”
The book tells the story of a family scarred by the war. One brother was killed in battle and his twin brother, Jason,
returns home bearing the emotional detritus of what he experienced in Vietnam. Jason struggles with civilian life, landing in prison for a stint and turning to alcohol and drugs as an escape. The youngest brother who is about to graduate high school feels caught between his brothers and idolizes both the fallen soldier and his troubled twin.
John took inspiration for the Jason character from the true story of the Mỹ Lai massacre, an especially dark moment in the Vietnam War during which American soldiers executed hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians. Helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson, Jr., along with two other Americans, tried to stop the massacre and save dozens of civilians.
John wove bits of that valor into Jason in The Unwilling.
“(The story of Hugh Thompson, Jr.,) is an utterly remarkable story of unflinching courage — physical and moral,” he says. “And I’d always wanted to try to write a character that had that sense of unwavering strength and knowledge of right and wrong.” Another important component of The Unwilling’s story is the tenuous yet ultimately loving relationship of the brothers with their father, a police detective. Troubled family bonds are often depicted in John’s books, but he’s quick to admit those familial rifts are works of fiction.
“People think I must come from a broken home because I write about dysfunctional families, but I find family endlessly fascinating,” he says. “And it’s tied into another conviction I have that as a writer, this is all part of making characters real. If you make the characters believable, even if their actions are a little bit over the top, if you ground them enough that they’re real, readers happily go along for the ride.”
After taking some time off to care for his mother, who recently passed away, John says he’s working on his next book, a novel set during an apocalyptic time inspired by events such as the global pandemic. And like most of his books, this novel will likely incorporate references to Salisbury, which is not only his hometown, but in many ways, a lifelong muse.
“I believe firmly as a storyteller that universal elements of good storytelling don’t require a setting like LA or Hong Kong,” he says. “I think you can tell universal stories in small towns. So it started off because I knew Salisbury, and I understood it. And now, honestly, it’s just what I see when I close my eyes and start writing.”
Jennifer Bringle, editor-in-chief
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 39
LOCAL. SHOP THIS HOLIDAY SEASON MOD. When area businesses, artists and craftspeople offer this array of wonderful goodies, shopping local makes us MOD happy! Printer’s Alley GOLD LEAF BOX & BLUE-AND-WHITE CANDY JAR Conversation Starters printers-alley.com Polliwogs LOTTIE BUNNY FESTIVE HAS DRESSED HER BEST IN A BEAUTIFUL SCARLET VELVET FROCK. Some Bunny Loves You polliwogs.com Polliwogs MATCH THE ENTIRE FAMILY IN THESE SOFT, PIMA COTTON PAJAMAS FROM LULLABY SET Sweet Dreams Little One polliwogs.com Monkee’s of High Point Boxwood Antiques The Feathered Nest GODDESS CHARM BAR NECKLACE BY ALLISON AVERY CHINOISSERIE CHIC JEWELRY JULIE VOS JEWELRY Good Luck Charms Add An Asian Flair Wearable Luxury monkeesofhighpoint.com @BoxwoodAntiqueMarket @thefeatherednest_greensboro 42
DressCode Style PONCHO FOR PUTTING OVER ANYTHING. FAUX FUR TRIM. Pack a Poncho dresscodestyle.us The Feathered Nest SILK NIGHT WEAR DECORATED WITH COLORFUL PEACOCKS Robe Me in Peacocks @thefeatherednest_greensboro Simply Meg’s GOLD CHAIN WITH SERENTIY PRAYER CHARM Prayer Chain simplymegsboutique.com Monkee’s of High Point JHENEE SNEAKER IN SILVER METALLIC SUEDE BY DOLCE VITA Can’t Sneak by Me! monkeesofhighpoint.com Simply Meg’s 24+7 DUFFLE - DARK SIDE I Duffle Need a Weekend Getaway simplymegsboutique.com Watkins Sydnor MULTICOLOR MURANO GLASSES BY CASA CELVA. ONLY FOUND IN U.S AT... They’re a Work of Glass watkindssydnor.com Shop On Blair BEAUTIFUL HANDMADE BOWLS AND SERVERS IN AN ARRAY OF COLORFUL RESIN AVAILABLE Bowl Me Over @shoponblair @lisajohnsonco Watkins Sydnor ELEGANT INDOOR/ OUTDOOR CORDLESS AND WATERPROOF LAMP Light Up Your World watkindssydnor.com MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 43
Jacinta White knows the healing power of poetry. The Winston-Salem poet learned that lesson firsthand in 1996 after her father passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack. Reeling from the loss and trying to navigate her grief as a young adult, Jacinta put pen to paper and let her emotions flow out in verse.
“I didn’t know that poetry was going to help me in that way, but my response to the grief was writing poetry,” she says. “A few years after that, I pulled out my notebooks and read my poems, and it hit me that poetry chronicled my journey and was also a part of my healing. And I knew I wanted to help others do the same.”
Living in Atlanta and working fulltime as director of a nonprofit at the time, Jacinta began holding sessions for young people, helping them tap into and process their emotions through reading and writing poetry. She held the sessions in her spare time, sometimes even using her lunch break to facilitate poetry workshops for kids.
“I came back into the office one day, and one of the people on my team asked, ‘Where did you just come from?’ I told her, ‘I just came from working with students using poetry,’” Jacinta says. “She said, ‘I think that may be your thing — you are completely different.’ She could tell something had shifted in me.”
In 2005, Jacinta quit her job, sold most of her belongings, and moved to North Carolina to focus on helping others through poetry. She expanded her work beyond youth to include adults and senior citizens, and she founded her business, The Word Project.
Through The Word Project, Jacinta offers online and in-person poetry workshops, digital guides such as “Journaling through Coronavirus,” coaching and guided meditations, among other services and events. Jacinta’s sessions center on personal healing and growth, allowing participants to feel safe in exploring difficult emotions and working toward emotional well-being.
Jacinta says poetry is perfectly suited for working through emotions that might be difficult to express otherwise.
“Poetry allows for playing with language — you can use metaphors and similes,” she says. “Instead of saying, ‘This cancer is making me feel sick,’ it might be, ‘There’s a tornado inside of my body.’ It gives you an outlet to express what you’re feeling that you may not otherwise be able to say or share. And particularly with an illness, it gives you ownership. You can name what you’re dealing with, as opposed to a doctor doing it. It gives you back some power and control of your experience.”
And while some may be intimidated by the idea of writing poetry, Jacinta says the art form doesn’t have to be difficult.
“It can be very short — you could write a haiku,” she says. “It doesn’t have to rhyme. It’s just getting it on the page — the page is a mirror. That’s where the healing comes, too. I can’t tell you how many times I worked with people, and when they’re done writing, they’ll say, ‘I didn’t know I felt that way, or I didn’t know I still felt that way, or I didn’t know that was in there.’”
Along the way, Jacinta kept writing her own poetry, publishing her first collection, Broken Ritual, in 2012.
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 51
“Poetry... gives you an outlet to express what you’re feeling that you may not otherwise be able to say or share.”
The poems in Broken Ritual explore grief, both Jacinta’s own and that of others who have survived everything from disease to divorce.
“How do you find the beauty in loss? That’s what those poems, the body of work, is trying to get to,” she says. “Recognizing the pain — I think that’s really important. I don’t think we do that well in America — sit with pain. We have to numb it as a culture. So these poems are saying, ‘Let’s sit with the brokenness and find some light and holiness in that.’”
Since then, Jacinta has published another book of poetry, Resurrecting the Bones, which began as poems she wrote while visiting the churches her grandfather pastored before she was born. That led to a poetic exploration of other churches in North Carolina and even out of state, funded by a grant from the Winston-Salem Arts Council. “It stopped being about family at that point,” Jacinta says. “Most of these churches are in the rural South. They had cemeteries on the property, and I became curious about that. I just followed this trail, and I wasn’t sure where that was going to lead me. Three years after the publication of the book, I’m getting requests to speak. It has a life of its own, and I love it.”
Jacinta also founded an online literary journal, “Snapdragon,” in 2015. The quarterly publication explores themes of art and healing, and publishes poetry, creative nonfiction and photography from artists around the globe.
“We ask people to submit based not just on grief and trauma and illness, but also overcoming it — the other side of the journey,” she says.
Along with her poetry, Jacinta also serves as a consultant to local businesses, providing personal coaching and leadership development programs and insights through her company, Deeper Dive Consulting. And while that’s how she pays the bills, poetry — her own, the pieces she publishes through “Snapdragon” and the words written by her workshop participants – still what lights her up and feeds her soul.
“Poetry is my love and my passion,” she says. “Poetry facilitates conversation, and it is a tool to have a deeper conversation.”
– Jennifer Bringle, editor-in-chief
Hunger is a real problem in the Triad. Every day, people across our area struggle to put food on the table, and many of those without enough to eat are children and families.
According to nonprofit Feeding America, more than 1.2 million people in North Carolina are facing hunger, and nearly 400,000 of those are children. That’s one in eight people, and one in six children.
But in the Triad, a food truck and its companion coffee shop are working to change that.
A decade ago, Pastor Scott Newton of HopeCity church in Winston-Salem was looking for ways to feed hungry people in High Point. At first, he and a friend made hot dogs and handed them out on a corner in downtown. Eventually, Scott received a small trailer that he turned into a mobile kitchen.
The mobile kitchen allowed Scott to feed exponentially more people, and it also made the team realize how much more they could do with a full-sized food truck. Cue divine intervention: A family who started a food truck business realized it wasn’t for them, and they donated the truck to HopeCity. The Hope Truck Food Co. was born.
“It was more than a $200,000 food truck that they just gave to us, and we were like, ‘Wow, this is God for sure,’” says Jamie Via, executive director, Hope Truck Food Co. “So that’s how it morphed into the food truck being how we go out and serve the meals.”
With an actual truck, Hope Truck Food Co. could expand its menu beyond hot dogs and chips with selections including hot and cold sandwiches, nachos and desserts.
“We tried to find a menu that had your typical American fare, so we didn’t specialize in tacos or wings or something like that,” Jamie says. “Just about anybody could find something on the menu that they like. We wanted it to be high-quality food truck food.”
The food truck works in multiple ways to get meals to people in need. While it still visits communities known for food insecurity, the organization also has partnered with other local nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Club and Leap of High Point for more targeted meal distribution.
The food truck also is available for hire and shows up to food truck gatherings and happenings such as the High Point Market. Meals are pay-what-you-can, but a suggested price for each item is usually paid by those attending events. Jamie says some customers pay more than the suggested price for their meal, knowing proceeds fund the truck’s free and pay-what-you-can meals.
But whether they pay or not, Jamie says the meal the customer receives is the same.
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 55
“IT WAS MORE THAN A $200,000 FOOD TRUCK THEY JUST GAVE TO US, AND WE WERE LIKE, ‘WOW, THIS IS GOD FOR SURE.’”
“Wherever we take the food truck, whether it’s to a private party or catering at a wedding or at the furniture market, or if we are in an area where we know people aren’t going to be able to afford to pay for their meals, the quality is still the same,” she says. “It was just important to us that the food people who cannot pay get is just as good as the food that people got when they can pay.”
As their reach grew, Jamie says the Hope Truck Food Co. team wanted to find new ways to fund the operation, which is totally self-sustaining from its food sales. So they launched Given Coffee Co. in Winston-Salem, which serves a variety of coffee drinks, as well as pastries and other light bites. The venture not only helps raise funds for the Hope Truck Food Co. operation, but it also provides another way to reach hungry people in the area.
“We thought, ‘Just about everybody loves coffee,’” she says. “We had a space at the church that was not being used that we outfitted into our coffee shop. And we thought, this will not only have the same pay-what-you-can structure, but people can also come and get a free meal no matter where the truck is.”
As of September, Hope Truck Food Co. has given away more than 19,000 free meals in its three years of operation. And Jamie says the community has really embraced what they’re doing, and she’s continuously struck by the kindness and generosity of others.
“We were recently at a homeless shelter in the area, and of course we just expect to give everything away for free,” she says. “But there was one gentleman who had 51 cents and begged our food truck manager to let him give that money toward his meal. And she was like, ‘No, this is on us.’ And he said, ‘No, I want to help.’ When you hear things like that, you know there are still so many great people in the world who really do want to do good and to help others.”
– Jennifer Bringle, editor-in-chief
photography by the reeses
High Point Fashion’s Night Out
On October 8, the Triad celebrated the second-annual High Point Fashion’s Night Out, hosted by Stephanie James Goldman and Patti Allen of Allen & James Home, Katy Erikson and Molly Keenan of Monkee’s of High Point, Gary and Sherri Simon of Simon Jewelers, and Sarah Beth Davis of Wynnie’s Children’s Boutique. The event supports the High Point Center for Child Wellness, a branch of Family Service of the Piedmont.
The evening began with a cocktail social catered by Southern Roots and beverages donated by The Blue Restaurant Group. During the cocktail hour, attendees
enjoyed a raffle with items from local artists, including art, jewelry and home décor.
Emcee Frosty Culp kicked off the show, followed by pintsized models from Wynnie’s Children’s Boutique walking the runway. A fierce presentation featuring clothing from Monkee’s of High Point and jewelry from Simon Jewelers closed the show.
This event would not have been possible without all the amazing local and corporate sponsors who came together to support the High Point Center for Child Wellness.
Courtney Penley, Stephanie Goldman, Kathryn Harrell
Karen Kepley, Patti Allen, Katherine Covington
Gloria Culler, Katy Erikson, Gwyn Erikson
Matt Keenan, Molly Keenan, Molly Ragan
Gary Simon, Sherri Simon, Kevin Permenter, Taylor Permenter
Debbie Permenter, Brian Casey
Top: Jamie Awad, Deborah Rogers, Katherina Weddington
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 61
Bottom: Molly Keenan, Lauren Skerlak, Katy Erikson, Patti Allen, Stephanie Goldman, Phillip Stalmann
Guilford Go Red for Women Luncheon
At the Guilford Go Red for Women Luncheon on May 6 at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, 125 women showed their red in support for making heart health a priority.
Led by Leah Hazelwood, Guilford Go Red for Women chair and vice president of Go-Forth Pest Control, with Tracey McCain of WFMY News 2 as emcee, the program included a “purse”onality auction and lunch. Best-selling author Tanya Dalton shared how to reject the pressure to do more while embracing the unbalance inherent in the lives of many women.
Bebe Ramzah, owner of Crazy Running Alamance, shared her story as a chronic hypertension survivor turned marathon runner and trainer. Bebe put the mission into action and got the attendees moving during the program.
The Guilford Go Red for Women Luncheon is supported by National Sponsor CVS Health and Guilford Go Red for Women Platform Sponsor Go-Forth Pest Control. To learn more, visit GuilfordNCGoRedLuncheon.heart.org.
photography by yasmin leonard photography
Hollan Anderson, Tanya Dalton, Tracey McCain, Leah Hazelwood
Bebe Ramzah dancing with attendees
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 63
MOD SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MMXXII | 67