Susannah is one of the most hardworking women that I know, so much so that she has "Work Hard" tattooed on her fingers.
She spends her time between running the ATL offices of Creative Loafing Award Winning Print House Mindzai Creative and her other project "Eleventh Housewares" where she cross stitches GirlBoss words of encouragement, Twin Peaks references and a few Morrissey lyrics.
I have to admit that I was intimidated by her when I first met her- her vegan leather jacket adorned with buttons displaying metal bands that I had never heard of before, her impeccable taste in sky high heels and thick black eyeliner that Amy Winehouse would tip her hat to; We miss you, Amy!
I wasn't fooled; Susannah has a heart that beats loudly for her friends, fiancee and furry friends alike.
She is a girls girl who will read your tarot cards, gift you birthday crystals and send you a Jeff Goldblum meme if you are having a bad day.
I am so thankful for this wonderful, witchy woman.
If I could choose to write songs like anyone living or dead I would undoubtedly choose the late and great Amy Winehouse; if I could take photographs like anyone? It would be Kelley Raye.
Kelley has the ability to photograph strangers in a way that make you feel like you know them, she photographs events and makes you feel like you were indeed a guest; and the girl never met a crumbly brick wall that didn't make for a bad ass photo op!
In her sky-high heels, she manages to go undetected at events to capture real laughs, real smiles and real life.
She is so good at her job that she has traveled all over the states and across the seas to capture people and places, all with the same moody eye that plays up the shadows whilst capturing the light.
She is a serious cheerleader for those that she believes in, which is one of the reasons she is one of my BFF's.
I simply think that she is magic. If she wasn't so insanely lovely, I might hate her (just kidding. sort of).
Her beautiful smile and understanding eyes...and caffeine induced shakes make me feel that when I spend time with Kelley, I just might be a little magic too.
I can't wait to see her name on the VOGUE Magazine credits when she fulfills her lifetime dream of shooting Beyonce for the cover. It's gonna happen!
You can book Kelley to take photos of your wedding, "Girl Boss Branding" or next event here.
You can also book time at Rose Gold Studio ATL here
Evan is an artist that I met at the Indie Craft Experience Holiday Show a few years back and she is one of my most favorite underrated Atlanta artists to this day.
Evans Instagram feed lights me up from the inside as she shows videos of herself flipping through her gorgeous sketchbooks that are filled with whimsy and awkward portraits, her cats and pages of watercolor studies.
Since I have known Evan she has started a floral design company called Thicket Floral Design, and I have contemplated a vow renewal with my hubby of 10 years just to be able to carry one of her beautiful bouquets.
Evan has a truly unique style all of her own that echoes decades past but is never costumey. I covet her vintage pieces that she pairs with thrift store finds and her own handmade jewelry.
Evan studied in England for a time in college, she decided to go because of her affinity for William Morris. She now wears the same William Morris bloom tattoo as her dear mama. Be still my heart.
You can find Evans inspirational Instagram here and visit Thicket Floral Design here.
Sometimes life allows you to meet someone that you feel like you've known forever, even though you just met.
Karen is so warm and enthusiastic and so about making her dreams come true that you can't help but be inspired by her.
Karen is the principal artist behind Tiny Doors ATL, which is no small project.
Inspiring curiosity and exploration, Karen's hope with her community-based art project is to bring a sense of wonder to all who wander by a Tiny Door.
Tiny Doors ATL highlights neighborhoods and landmarks that make Atlanta unique, from the Krog Street Tunnel to Paris on Ponce there are 11 doors to be found, of course with more in the works.
Karen is the queen of puns and will pepper a conversation with them, so you have to pay attention and be quick enough to catch them. It's a fun game.
Karen is also a girl who loved her cat "Pants" enough to make him a tiny mortar board so that he could be photographed with her when she graduated college. I feel like this is the perfect example of Karen's spirit; that she wants those that she loves to be included and celebrated. I adore this about her.
Fun Fact- If Tiny Doors ATL ever fizzles out (unlikely, I know) Karen can go back to being a rock star full time as she toured with a punk rock band (with a very cheeky name..) and played bass guitar for years before she moved to Atlanta.
Morgan is the California girl that I call when I want to know what and where to eat. Operating "EatHereATL" isn't easy, but she's digging into Atlanta's culinary scene one plate at a time.
Whether you're discussing rap music, fashion, family or food she's a great listener and genuinely cares for her friends and strangers alike. Even though I'm firmly on team Biggie, and she is a die hard Tupac fan, she's the girl you want to have around if your heart is breaking, or if you're getting dressed up to go out and break some hearts.
Morgan is a curator for "Souk Bohemian", an online store who's beautiful mission is to "sell global goods for a global good". The items she helps to choose are handmade with special details from artisans all over the globe in the spirit of building a stronger community. I admire their mission so much and find such good energy in all of their beautifully worded Instagram posts. I also want everything that Souk Bohemian offers- especiallythis canvas tote *swoon*.
Morgan is also a die hard Beyonce fan and is ready to get into Formation at any moment as she wields her #BlackGirlMagic like no other.
Rachael is the Louisiana-born, no bullshit, ever so spunky redhead with an amazing accent and tolerance for cocktails that is the heart and hands behind Neva Opet.
Rachael is a "show up" kind of girl who makes it a priority to support her fellow boss ladies.
I pretty much only carry Neva Opet bags these days (with the exception of my diaper bag- take note Rachael ;) due to her beautiful, timeless aesthetic and the fact that her bags are built to last. The more you love and abuse them; the more awesome they get.
I found out that Rachael loves Egyptology and the "Opet" in Neva Opet is a reference to an Egyptian festival that celebrates the renewal of all things good; that makes me smile. The "Neva" is a nod to her grandmother, who is also a 'maker"- You know someone is the real deal when it's in their bloodline.
I hope to hear Rachael's infectious laugh and exclamation of 'Yasssssss Queen!" for so many more years, over so many more cups of mid-morning coffee.
Shannon Mulkey is one of my personal heroes and I sometimes can't believe that a person who has had such a massive impact on how I see the world is just a phone call away. It's truly magic, and I am surprised I haven't scared her with my blatant fangirling.
When I moved to Atlanta when I was 21, I was scared as I didn't have many friends here. I saw a flyer for Shannon's business with her partner Christy Peterson "The Indie Craft Experience" and I went, by myself and fell head over heels in love. Shannon and Christy had brought a group of creative people together that loved to make art and crafts and I left I.C.E feeling like I too could live a creative life out loud. Something that I always thought he made me weird as a kid (making things and journaling) was not only ok; It was freaking cool! It was such a powerful day in my memories and I will be forever grateful to them for this.
Shannon got her start in indie crafts when she started creating reclaimed fashion for fun, this lead to her creating her own clothing label "Patina".
Shannon manages to do all of this amazing work as well as go to her full-time job teaching at the High Museum. I don't think the woman sleeps.
I am in awe of her generous spirit, sweet nature and affinity for all things Hello Kitty.
This is Leela Robinson.
As a child in Augusta Georgia, with a mother who is an accomplished oil painter, Leela was destined to acquire some paint splatters on her heart at a young age.
She has spent the past 5 years earning her living through her wonderful paper goods and gift company "Native Bear" which embraces a modern bohemian aesthetic with a splash of everyday magic. I was a customer the second I laid eyes on her work which invokes the easy vibrations of the 70's.
Simply put Leela brings the good vibes, not just with her stellar taste in music, but with her entire being. She is calming and graceful and thinks before she speaks.
I admire Leela as an artist absolutely, but what I constantly find most admirable about Leela is her compassion and tireless search for the good in the world. She cares deeply about social justice and flies her feminist flag freely, always questioning authority and seeking a better way of living. She moves me with her open mind and arms.
It seemed only fitting to cleanse the studio with a sage smudging whilst Kelley photographed Leelas page. Smudging is burning a sacred plant in an effort to clear the air of negativity and lift your spirits as the smoke fills the room.
Here is a "smudging prayer" that is supposed to set intentions if you would like to try it yourself.
Ask anyone in Atlanta and they will tell you that to know Amanda Mills is to adore Amanda Mills.
Amanda is tenacious, a true self-starter and has done so much for the Atlanta arts community that I'm waiting for someone to paint a mural of her somewhere in the city already! but Seriously- can we someone get on that?!
My first real memory of Amanda is her introducing me to the Atlanta Zine Library, a collection of self-published hand made magazines on topics ranging from "the top 5 best songs to sing at karaoke" to "How to be a better trans-ally". I was amazed to learn about these kick ass, punk rock, rebellious, informative and sometimes silly DIY projects that make people connect in a really positive way.
My most memorable interaction was the day she introduced me to her son Francis, and told me with tears in her big blue eyes that she had "never known love like this".
The girl looks like a French movie star and is cooler than anyone else you or I know and she's not even trying. Oh, and she's a total badass- just let her tell you some stories about working the graveyard shift at the Majestic Diner- girl can give as good as she gets.
Get in touch with Amanda through the organization MURMUR that celebrates DIY culture, Wonderoot the amazing arts organization in Atlanta that she works for, or Instagram.
...or "My Friend Court" as she's known in the blogosphere intimidated me so much that I once saw her in a coffeeshop and I was so flustered that I had to leave, without even getting my coffee, and if you know me personally, you know how much I love coffee.
That was dumb, because now that I know Courtney, she is possibly the most approachable girl on the planet. But when you really admire someone you can get real nervous around them.
With her ever-changing hair, seemingly bottomless stash of covetable costume jewelry, bright and cheery (sometimes DIY'ed0 outfits, and even more cheery disposition; I imagine that no one is shocked that she was an art teacher for years. She said a tearful goodbye to her kids in 2015 to become a full-time artist and blogger.
With her two dachshund pups Olive and Pickle by her side Courtney makes the world a little bit brighter with her signature abstract painting style.
Her shop StudiOHshoppe is jam packed with wall art, accessories, bags, journals and mugs so you can channel Courtney's colorful lifestyle.
Last year Courtney came back from a trip to Iceland with her man (super talented photographer Chris Burden) with a big old piece of ice on her ring finger.
The couple are returning to Iceland in a few short months to say "I do" and I can not wait to see which wedding dress she picks out!!!
I read Courtney's blog for a long time before I met her, delighting in her painterly way of living, and I can't help thinking as I write this; that hopefully a few of her bright colored brush strokes have rubbed off on me.
You can read Courtneys blog here, check out her instagram here, her awesome StudiOHshoppe here and go to Paris on Ponce if you're in Atlanta to see her work in person.
This tiny Tennessee firecracker has hair long enough to make a mermaid jealous. She talks like Dolly Parton, can handle her whiskey like Johnny Cash and has a crooked perfect smile like Elvis himself.
Britney recently got married in Vegas and made a stunner of a bride in blush lace and her signature berry lipstick.
Britney learned to embroider 20 years ago under the watchful eye of her grandmother Velma. She now makes wearable art for girls who share her affinity for all things vintage and who drink their cocktails out of bone china teacups.
She loves all things Star Wars and even named her cat Anakin.
Britney inspires me because she wants everyone she meets to be happy; she exudes sweetness and light and I'm so glad that we've become such good friends through working together.
Owner and operator of Electric Rival; Erica's main mission in life is to dress you like a rockstar and introduce you to your new favorite band. (LIke CLAVVS, the pink vinyl record photographed here, click here to read her interview with the East Atlanta residing band)
She's a free bird, a wild thing, a gypsy soul.
The branding for Electric Revival makes me want to run barefoot in a sheer maxi dress to a candle lit makeshift stage and hear my most favorite band in the world play a life altering acoustic set for me and my friends. Electric is the real deal, dripping in leather and suede fringing and delicate paisley, without the stale scent of incense and that scratchy polyester blend of the 70's.
Erica is a concert queen, she's been to every stadium, festival and concert in the "A" and beyond. She feels the rhythm, especially of the band "The Killers"; I think in the past year she's spent more time in rooms with Brandon flowers than me. You've got to love that dedication.
Erica listens to vintage vinyl on her turntable as she writes about bands she's seen or made her FEEL for all kinds of publications.
I'm so glad that I get to add some tracks to the soundtrack of Erica's life. Her melody is the sweetest.
Besides having the coolest name of any real life person I have ever met, Lindy is also a total bombshell; And that "Southern Charm" that everyone talks about drips from her lips and fingertips.
I met Lindy when I was curating an art show and someone (Hey Katja!) suggested that I would like her style. "Like" is an understatement. Her work is equal parts class and sass and totally perfect.
She scours thrift stores for pre-loved paintings of landscapes and portraits and then embellishes them in mint green and powder pink with words such as "Chin Up buttercup" and the ever so eloquent "fuck off". I just love her sense of humour.
I often feel likeI live vicariously through her, as she is often seen climbing mountains, swimming in lakes wrangling snakes and swinging in hammocks. It would appear as if the lady is in a state of permanent vacation.
The St.Simon raised siren is as sweet as Georgia Peaches, but be careful; she acquired the nickname "Calamity Lane" as she's a dynamite shot with her rifle.
I met Beth when I was 18 years old in a florescent lit room in a musty college classroom in Newcastle England. I thought she was the coolest, with her American accent, blonde highlighted hair and stamps on her passport. I’ve been trying to get on her level ever since.
We spent a year in Newcastle, taking trips to Scotland, walking along Hadrians wall and eating fish and chips; then it was the English kids turn to come to America and she introduced me to Atlanta highlights such as The Earl, Estoria and the East Atlanta Village at our time at GSU.
Beth works with another inspirational lady, Courtney Hammond, to bring immersive artwork that challenges the status quo with their experiential curatorial agency “Dashboard Co op”.
Together Beth and Courtney have curated 42 exhibitions in 7 US cities in the past 7 years that have given opportunities to 125 artists across the globe. Together they have highlighted America's forgotten spaces; and the most beautiful part? After each show that they have produced, the buildings have been leased and have since turned into thriving businesses. Dashboard has literally changed lives y’all.
My favorite exhibit was BOOM City where they took a vacant mall in downtown Atlanta and transformed it into a wonderland of artist installations. It remains one of my favorite Atlanta art experiences to date.
Beth recently got an opportunity to speak about her love affair with her project through a TED talk (click the link to watch) and although I was not in the auditorium, I watched on my computer moths later. Watching Beth speak so eloquently and passionately about artists brought me to tears.
Atlanta is so very lucky to have this lady call her home.
As the owner of Modern Mystic Shop in “Paris on Ponce”, Kelley is bringing mysticism to the masses and making it easier than ever for mere mortals like myself to live out their high school fantasies of joining a coven like the girls in “The Craft”.
With an actual Gypsy soul (her ancestry is peppered with Hungarian Gypsies), a New Jersey accent and an enthusiastic and effervescent disposition, Kelley is the tarot reader that all the cool girls go to. Her no-nonsense approach to magic is modern and refreshing.
Her business came to fruition when she started an Instagram account to find like minded folks; and by golly, she found them. Her following is over 15,000 and growing every day.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Atlanta then you should visit her shop because she wants to teach you all about the metaphysical world and give you the tools to live your best life.
I think the most delightful.. thing about Kelley is that even with all of her witchy wonderfulness, she’s totally down to earth; She swears like a sailor, watches super crappy TV on her down time and is very involved in politics.
As a bleeding heart liberal, she has marched for women rights and has her Georgia representatives on speed dial. If that’s not magic, then I don’t know what is.
Vanessa was an outspoken political badass before it was cool. She has taken part in Black Lives Matter campaigns, marched for women rights and made beautiful art for“Signs Of Solidarity ATL”, a city-wide art protest in opposition to hate that I was also proud to be a part of.
She owns Rabble + Rouse, a t-shirt company that brings attention to the everyday injustices that we encounter through their no-holds-barred slogans reinforcing, if we ever doubt, that good people do exist. Favorites include “Give All The Damns”, “Intersectional or GTFO”, “Put Ya Senator On Speed Dial” and “Good People Disobey Bad laws”. Even more wonderful is the fact that 20% of the profits are distributed to nonprofit organizations serving the community; They’re the apparel brand for rebels with a cause.
Vanessa is the queen of Halloween. I have never met a person that has been so involved in creating a beautiful and accurate costume. She has been a Matryoshka, Iris Apfel, the best Prince impersonator I have ever seen, a bearded lady in a vintage traveling sideshow, Maleficent and her beloved Frida Khalo. Seriously, look up the hashtag #fridasbrowhalloween and be wowed!
Everything about Vanessa is artful, from her bold colored lipsticks to her enviable and exuberant wardrobe. She is also an artist with words, turning simple conversation into poetry. She lives her life out loud documenting her days with the most imaginative and inspiring photographs and prose. Joe King was so inspired by one of Vanessa's self-portraits that she took that he painted a giant mural of her at Wynwood Walls, FL.
I understand - this rabble rouser is an Atlanta Icon.
Photos, as always, are taken by Kelley Raye at RosegoldstudioATL
This is Caroline Cox.
Savannah born stunner, Atlanta residing rebel. Caroline Cox is less pouty than her Lana Del Ray doppelgänger, but every bit as cool.
Graduating with a degree in journalism from Georgia State University, she has wasted no time at all getting her byline in all of your favorite publications in Atlanta and beyond.
Caroline has written about a lot of things throughout her professional writing career- she’s been dermaplaning (where someone takes a 10 gauge scalpel and scrapes off thedull top layer of skin to reveal a new shiny one, not an extreme sport), she’s been to a psychic fair by herself, and even interviewed a former exorcist for Rolling Stone magazine; yeah; told you she was cool.
Her ultimate dream job is hard to pinpoint as she wants to write stories about strong, inspirational women, but also want to receive full medical, vision and dental. The two don’t seem to overlap so much.
Caroline is a girls girl through and through, and even though she is planning her wedding to super cute Sean, she collects friendships like crystals; believing that one can never have enough magic…or pizza dates. I couldn’t agree more.
or bump into Caroline at literally every art show or writing/reading series in Atlanta .
Photographs by the incredible Kelley Raye, taken at Rose Gold Studios ATL
This is Monica Campana Even if you don’t know this petite Peruvian powerhouse well enough to grab a coffee with her, you know her just by walking around our fair city. As the co-founder and Executive Director at Living Walls- The City Speaks, Monica has introduced Atlanta to some of the most distinguished street artists and muralists from all over the globe.
Monica is always down to share her Latinx playlist with you and lives for an all night long dance party.
Her accomplishments could take up an entire sketchbook. She speaks proudly about women issues, immigration problems, her thought on public art, and raises her voice to fight the injustices that she faces on a daily basis. Her efforts in making the world a better place even led her to the White House a few years back to hear Obama speak. Atlanta is lucky to have this warrior call her home.
My ring is custom made with love in Atlanta by the bad ass babes from Fossil and Hide
My nail color is Mint Candy Apple by Essie you can buy it here
This is Muriel Vega.
As one-half of the driving force behind Common Creative ATL with her BFF Caroline Cox, Muriel Vega is making sure that Atlanta's creativity is celebrated every Wednesday. Common Creative ATL is an online platform that shines a spotlight on painters, photographers, sculptors, artisans and makers that call Atlanta home.
I first learned about Muriel's badassery after I stumbled upon her "Pie Zine" a few years back and learned that she baked 50 pies over 12 months as a way to help her calm her anxiety. How imaginative!
Muriel shares her days and home with her love Alex, but don't expect a big blow out wedding anytime soon, these two love birds renew their "travel vows" to each other each year when they get a new stamp in their passport and go on an adventure abroad. With 15 countries and counting, I'd say they're taking that vow pretty seriously.
Oh yeah! And she's also an Editor at Hypotamus (no big deal, right :)) so you can send her a startup pitch by emailing email@example.com
This is Kristen Ramsey.
One of the hardest working ladies that I know, Kristen is Mama to three beautiful girls who are just as creative as she is. I'm not sure how she managed to home school her little ladies and get her business "sign me up signs" off the ground and thriving, but I am in awe. She even found time to start the "Indie Arts Alliance", an arts organization in Smyrna which exists to help give a voice to public art in her neighborhood. So far they've had art shows, meetups, creative classes and have started their own free art movement.
and check out her beautiful website here (she is a graphic designer too, so if you need help with your website shoot her a message)
Photos shot by the talented Kelley Raye at Rosegold Studios ATL
This is Erin McManness. This girl always has my back and makes me feel like I am kick-ass because of her constant encouragement. I imagine Erin's brain is as gorgeous as a colorful English garden because the illustrations that she creates for her brand Paper Raven.Co are beyond beautiful. Erin is one hell of a girlfriend. She bought tickets to Scotland for her love, Dan and they went on the most epic adventure together; I'm really happy that they came back because I wasn't so sure that they would. A SCAD graduate, MINTED award winner and TOMBOW brand ambassador, Erin is a true artist and looks for ways to make a change through her art. She recently made the decision to have all of her cards printed on 100% recycled paper; no easy feat, but it was important to her soul as she is a peace-keeper, environmentalist, and feminist. Her basset hound mix Patty is so loved that she has her own Instagram, follow along @pattyportal for cute portraits and dinner time dances to Sinatra.