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Debra Shigley

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Portrait Coffee in West End is all about disrupting the traditional coffee-shop model

Portrait Coffee
The Portrait Coffee team during a pop-up at Full Commission, right to left: founder John Onwuchekwa, team member Kiyah Crittendon, founder Aaron Fender, and Full Commission coffee manager Brynn del Risco.

Photograph courtesy of Portrait Coffee

When John Onwuchekwa first moved to Atlanta 11 years ago, he parked his car and hopped on a MARTA train. He rode from the airport to North Springs for months to get to know the city, and as the train traveled north, the Houston-born pastor noticed more Black folks getting off, and more white folks getting on.

“Also, the [view] outside of the train changes,” Onwuchekwa says. “The further you go up north, the more the economic conditions of our city improve. So literally, what you see is Black and brown folks getting off the train before they can take advantage of the opportunities that surround them.”

As a coffee enthusiast, he saw parallels to the supply chain in the $225 billion coffee industry: Black and brown folk at the southernmost end literally growing the coffee, yet further “up the supply chain,” predominantly white ownership of brands selling $18 pounds of specialty coffee in a store. To help disrupt this status quo, he and his wife Shawndra, partnered with fellow coffee hobbyist, Aaron Fender, his wife, Erin, and friends Marcus and Ansara Hollinger, to launch Portrait Coffee just a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. We chatted with John and Aaron via Zoom recently to learn more about the business. 

I love this idea of your tagline, “pouring a new narrative.” What does that mean?
John:
One of the first things Frederick Douglass did when he finally learned how to read and write was [to write] a narrative of his life. It was a way for him to insert himself back into a history that was often too eager to forget the people who helped build it. As we think of coffee, we tend to feel like the industry as a whole is the exact same thing. We wanted to start a shop, trying to pour a new narrative of the picture that comes to mind when you think of specialty coffee.

How did you come together to form Portrait?
Aaron:
I started as barista in 2012 in Atlanta and worked my way up the ranks. I had the opportunity to travel to Africa in 2016, and it was really interesting to see no matter where you are in the world, Black people suffer. Why? It was a burden.

John: We’d become friends, and a few years ago we just looked at the community we were a part of. The West End is an opportunity desert. There are not a lot of ways out for kids that live here, nor ways to improve economic conditions of community. We felt if it was done right, coffee could be an industry that was introduced into our community that could also serve to improve it. We just said, “Hey, what would it look like to start a cafe in the West End, and see what happens?”

You successfully raised about $30,000 through a Kickstarter campaign and then, a pandemic.
John:
We signed our lease two weeks before COVID hit. We were getting ready to build and then March 12: Don’t come into contact with other people. Threw a wrench in the plan.

Aaron: We, as a team, read this article called “Welcome to the Ice Age.” To paraphrase, the analysis was that, you should prepare for the Ice Age—realize the world as we know it will never be the same. As a team, we asked, if this is true, what do we do? Initially our business plan and marketing were built off this idea of building community through pop-ups and in-person events. Very quickly it was like, we can’t do that. Instead, we asked, “What does digital hospitality look like?” We started doing a lot of Instagram Live interviews with entrepreneurs, artists, and thinkers to build community. We started a coffee delivery service to your doorstep. We made a coffee club coffee subscription. Overnight we built our business through e-commerce and are focusing on that while we wait for a vaccine, I guess.

How does the subscription service work?
Aaron:
You can choose to have coffee delivered to your doorstep either once a week, twice a week, or once a month.

John: For a time, if you lived in Atlanta, Aaron would drive the coffee right to your front doorstep. That was cool until we got overrun with support and love from our city. Now we the postman is gonna bring it to you.

You’ve mentioned before your beans go through a pretty intense roasting process?
Aaron:
It’s kind of a strenuous process, but pretty fun. Right now we’re roasting in someone else’s facility. We’ll roast anywhere from 250-350 pounds a day. I have my laptop plugged into the roaster, and I’m studying the data of the different temps and curves. This morning, I tried a new profile for [our blend called] Toni. It’s a naturally-processed Brazilian bean. John and I were doing quality control: Is there the sweetness we want? Is there the acidity we want? Stuff like that.

There’s a funny episode of Curb your Enthusiasm where Larry David opens a coffee shop and is obsessed with procuring the right beans. Can you relate to that?
Aaron:
We saw that! I would say it’s a balance to have the right beans, and the technique. There are over 40 countries from which we could import high quality coffee across the globe. John and I have found a lot of joy in taking coffees that some people would call ordinary—say a Brazilian coffee—making this the best cup of coffee possible. Other beans are more coveted, like [our most popular] Ethiopian guji. Ethiopia is like the motherland of coffee. We put the same attention and energy into making sure that’s the perfect coffee, too.

This Black Lives Matter moment has shined a spotlight on more Black-owned businesses and prompted investment in Black communities. Do you think it’s a trend, or is it going to stick?
John:
As an entrepreneur, and just as a person, I think this is different. With all that is going on, there’s a unique sense of unity and solidarity that has enabled people to empathize more. On the one hand, we’re grateful for the increased support and attention. People are trying to be charitable, though we don’t receive it in that light because we believe in what we do. We’re grateful for whatever reason folks have tuned in and turned the channel to us. We think that we have something compelling that’s going to force them to stick around for a bit.

Your flavor blends are named for iconic Black figures. Tell us more.
John:
Our Toni coffee is an ode to Toni Morrison—my favorite author and my wife’s favorite author. [Morrison] did so much to shape not just Black folks, but also the picture that comes to mind when people think of Black culture. We’re grateful for her unapologetic Blackness. The coffee is savory smooth and unapologetically chocolate.

Aaron: Another is called Barry because Barry Jenkins [director of Oscar-winning film Moonlight] is favorite filmmaker. If you look on our Instagram, he ended up buying the coffee and reposting it. I love the creativity and detail he brings to filmmaking, and that’s how I like to think about business and life. The notes are berry, juicy, and well-balanced.

How do you guys each take your coffee?
John:
Black.

Aaron: Black.

Always? Or did you become that as you became more of an enthusiast?
John: I became it. I never took cream, but I started out with half a pound of sugar. Working late nights and early mornings, I just drank so much coffee that I knew unless I go black, it will make me unhealthy!

If all goes as planned, you’re opening the cafe by late fall. Are you creating—or meeting—the demand for your neighbors in the West End?
John:
Maybe a little bit of both. When you tell people that coffee was discovered in Ethiopia by people that looked more like me and Aaron, they tend to be a little shocked regardless of their ethnic or socioeconomic background. That aspect would be an education for community we live in. Yet, there’s also a healthy longing for additional spaces like this, by both residents old and new.

My quest for amazing brisket led me to a new butcher in Kirkwood

Brisket in Atlanta
Why can brisket be so difficult to find?

Illustration by DenPotisev / iStock / Getty Images Plus

During the High Holidays—that is, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur—I experience a sudden urge to quest for and cook authentic Jewish food, usually centered on three things: noodle kugel, brisket, and round challah. (Matzoh ball soup I’m okay with out of the box, to be honest.)

When we lived in Mexico City, I was pleasantly surprised to learn there was a large Jewish community and lots of kosher supermarkets and Jewish bakeries. I got all excited to make a brisket for Rosh Hashanah, and over the course of three days went to literally every kosher butcher in the city. Perhaps something was lost in translation, but no butcher knew or had the cut of meat I was looking for—brisket just wasn’t a thing! Disappointed but undefeated, I turned my attention to the noodle kugel, which proved another story in reinvention. The key kugel ingredient of “sour cream” also does not really exist in Mexico City. The closest thing is crema, which is delicious and irreplaceable on enchiladas but lacks the requisite tang to congeal a custard. After many trips to different supermarkets, I concocted the sweet egg noodle pudding using Greek yogurt, and it was passable.

In Atlanta, admittedly we don’t have a Katz’s or Zabar’s-type deli on every corner, and it can be an urban adventure to locate a box of Matzoh. Sure, you can hit up any Whole Foods in a pinch, but as you may have already sensed, these journeys for nuanced, authentic ingredients are as much about the dish as they are about the whole schleppy process, and craving an at-least-annual connection to Tradition, with a capital T.

But in the perfect timing to indulge my annual Jewish cooking renaissance, a buzzy new butcher/baker, Evergreen, recently opened near my neighborhood in Kirkwood after a somewhat mysterious, yearlong build-out. The owners are a husband and wife team, butcher Sean Schacke and pastry chef Emma Schacke, who met while working at chef Robert Phalen’s One Eared Stag.

Evergreen Butcher and Baker Atlanta
Evergreen Butcher and Baker opened recently in Kirkwood.

Photograph courtesy of Evergreen Butcher and Baker

Two days before Rosh Hashanah I remembered their shingle, which states very simply “Butcher and Baker,” and thought maybe I could kill two birds with one stone—brisket and challah dreams! The next morning, my husband suggested we grab a coffee there after dropping off our five kids at school. I strolled in full of expectation, having already scrolled through their Instagram and seen gorgeous pics of pain au chocolat, crusty breads, and a line down the block on opening day.

Inside, Evergreen was all open kitchen and classy details. There’s the namesake rich forest green accent wall, so perfectly-toned I immediately asked for the paint color. Succulents in adorable round pottery hung from the ceiling with tidy rope. Small hexagon mosaic tiling brightened up the whole space. Golden crinkly croissants and thick hearty breads beckoned from one side of the shop. Sean and Emma were behind the counters, carving and baking, something, respectively.

Evergreen Butcher and Baker Atlanta
The meat counter at Evergreen

Photograph courtesy of Evergreen Butcher and Baker

“Do you happen to have brisket?” I asked Sean. He considered it for a moment. “No,” he said. “But I can cut one for you?”

“You mean like, from the cow?” I asked.

“Yep, I have it in the back. I can have it ready tomorrow. How much do you need, say four pounds?”

My heart fluttered with delight. This was not just any brisket. It would be a bespoke brisket, cut and prepared only for me. This quest was going well already! As Sean wrote up the order, I asked Emma if she would be making any challah for the Jewish holidays.  “I saw your post on Instagram about learning to make challah,” I explained.

“Oh!” Emma said. “I hadn’t planned to, but I will if I have time!”

Evergreen Butcher and Baker Atlanta
Pastries at Evergreen

Photograph courtesy of Evergreen Butcher and Baker

The next morning I arrived and my brisket was cut, prepared, and vacuum-packed. “I saved you a challah,” Emma said, producing a cute square box. She had made them, and even set one aside, just for me. Suffice it to say, I was tickled pink and digging the friendly neighborhood vibe. Emma’s challah, by the way, was soft and fluffy but not too dense nor too sweet. My kids (and I) finished the petite loaf in one sitting. When we got around the cooking the brisket a couple days later, it was downright delicious. I couldn’t find my grandmother’s recipe cards, so I settled on an Ashkenazi style sweet-and-sour version from Tori Avey. We seared the meat, doused it with a pureed sauce of tomatoes, carrots, celery, sugar, vinegar, and lots of garlic—popped it in the oven as early as possible in the day, and waited. When the brisket was finally ready that evening, I ate too way much, telling myself it was comfort food, just once a year, declaring the High-Holidays-quest a success.

Challah Hunting
In search of a specialty version of the festive Jewish egg bread? Here are a few more options on our radar.

Alon’s Bakery and Market: The OG of Jewish food in Atlanta. Round challahs are wall-to-wall during the High Holidays, and feature classic, honey wheat, and honey wheat raisin varieties.

Challah Girl: A semi-secret boutique challah service by local mom Jaci Effron. Sign up on her email list for weekly flavor specialties, which include the Elvis (peanut butter and banana with crushed potato chips), Unicorn (topped with Beautiful Briney Sea’s salt blend), and the Everything, which is stuffed with onions and garlic. Available for pickup every Friday in Morningside.

Great Harvest Bread Co.: These buttery, plump, and exquisitely braided challahs that have a cult following. Rumor has it Door Dash will deliver for $5. Locations in Marietta, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, and Loganville.

At a town hall, a debate for the future of the Shops Buckhead Atlanta

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Shops Buckhead Atlanta sold
The Shops Buckhead Atlanta

Photograph courtesy of Jamestown

Buckhead’s well-heeled gathered for Pinot Grigio and canapés, mingling among high-top tables and Chiavari-style chairs in a scene that looked more wedding cocktail hour than scrappy community meeting. The posh town hall took place in a sunlit-filled suite in the Shops Buckhead Atlanta, organized by the Jamestown Properties, who recently closed on the beleaguered retail development. Once pitched as Atlanta’s answer to Rodeo Drive, the property changed hands twice—originally owned by Ben Carter Properties, then sold to San Diego-based OliverMcMillan in 2014—but has never quite found its groove as a high-end retail destination, particularly with the Phipps Plaza and Lenox Mall just blocks away.

Residents, business owners, and community members, including the former mayoral candidate Mary Norwood, RSVP’d to standing-room-only at this first town hall meeting to voice their concerns and hopes for the new ownership. Chalk paint murals covered one side of the room, asking, “What does Buckhead mean to you?” with responses ranging from the dreamy (“tree canopy,” “patio dining”) to the nostalgic (“my first home when I moved from Dallas”) to the curmudgeonly (“crime + traffic”).

Jamestown executives Matt Bronfman and Michael Phillips opened the discussion and moderated the flow of comments. Bronfman noted the “false start” of the development’s two previous ownerships and that Jamestown had actually coveted the project for many years. “We are choosy,” he said. Phillips assured the crowd that they are “long-term owners” and are not looking for some “magic dust to sprinkle,” adding that their initial thoughts are to “warm it up” and create a “contextual streetscape,” without turning the project into another Ponce City Market.

About two dozen people took the mic to speak over the next hour. The big theme that emerged was a tension between making the center more “accessible” versus establishing the Shops as Atlanta’s true beacon of luxury shopping—with a lingering question whether those two ideas are mutually exclusive. Many expressed an interest in having more local boutiques represented. A chorus of parking woes (Confusing! Expensive! No more valet!) juxtaposed pleas to create a safely walkable experience. Several speakers declared they live five minutes away but “never shop here.” One participant suggested a high-end grocery anchor like Dean & DeLuca (which itself is also struggling) to bridge the luxury divide by offering smaller indulgences. Other voices lobbied for bakeries, flower shops, family activities, street music, and bookstores.

“Let’s not go to Disneyland,” said 27-year Buckhead resident Ellen Adair Wyche, earning hearty applause. “Let’s have some more local, quirky, surprising, and unexpected.” After the session, Wyche expressed at her dismay over the years that the Shops did not reflect the genuine Buckhead community and identity. “Disneyworld is a façade that you build in order to spiff up and show your best face to the world,” she explained, “but you never know what’s going on behind.”

Real estate agent Richard Newton, who was raised in Paris, said he was curious about what would happen at the Shops, and stunned at how complicated a task the project seemed to be. “[Atlanta doesn’t] have the walkability that you have in Washington [D.C.], in parts of New York and Chicago. I think maybe in 10-15 years [we’ll get there],” he said noting that he’s more inclined to jump on a plane to purchase, say, a designer bag, in Paris, rather than here in Atlanta, for the all-around experience. Still, he thought the luxury ideal of the Shops should be reimagined, not stripped. “[It] should be exclusive, in my opinion, and I think it would be a big mistake to try to appeal to everyone.”

Whichever direction comes next, the consensus was that something must be done to give the area more life. Said Flo Fillingim, homeowner’s president of the Barcelona Condominium on Pharr, “I walk up [to the Shops] every morning and walk around, and it’s a very dry, atmosphere. There’s nothing going on, you know? They need to get it vibrant.”

Saving lives—even off the clock. 7 times Atlanta doctors came to the rescue.

In a true medical emergency, sometimes the nearest hospital is miles away. That’s when you’d better pray there’s a physician nearby—one who’s willing to step up until the EMTs arrive. We wondered what it was like to be the medical professional answering the call. Here, our Top Docs tell us about seven times when they unexpectedly had to come to the rescue.

Top Doctors in Atlanta: Dawn Mandeville and Darwin Brown

Dr. Dawn Mandeville and Dr. Darwin Brown

BROWN: The date was April 19, 2014. I know because my wife, Dawn, and I get phone calls from Ella’s parents every year thanking us for being there. Ella and our daughter, Lauren, were in the eighth grade, playing in a basketball tournament in Cumming. There were about 10 games going on in the arena. I was in the stands on one side of the court, settling in to watch the game. By day, I’m an endocrinologist.

Top Doctors in AtlantaMANDEVILLE: I’m an OB-GYN. I can be a bit too vocal and get a little too excited as a fan at our daughter’s games. So, I take pictures of the games [and do other small tasks] to keep myself out of trouble. The coach asked me if I would manage the buzzer, so I was seated at the scoring table.

BROWN: Halfway through the first quarter, Ella—our daughter’s close friend—got off the bench, took a knee, and checked in. Then, walking toward mid-court, she collapsed.

MANDEVILLE: I saw it, too, and at first thought she was being silly and joking until the fourth step, and she literally hit the ground in an awkward manner. That doesn’t look right, I thought. I pressed the buzzer to stop time. I rushed to her and turned her over. I felt someone move past me, and it was Darwin. Amazingly, we were the only trained medical professionals in the entire arena.

Ella’s arms were motionless. Darwin checked and said, “I’m losing the pulse.” Ella’s face became a dusky, bluish-gray color, rising up her neck to her face.

 

BROWN: We started CPR, one of us doing compressions and the other giving respirations. Around this time, Ella’s mother came out of the stands. She was screaming, “My baby!”

MANDEVILLE: People had circled around us. I looked up and said, “Somebody call 911! Somebody get a defibrillator!”

BROWN: The defibrillator looked like it hadn’t been used, ever. It had some explanatory drawings. I hadn’t run a code in 18 years.

MANDEVILLE: I had never even done CPR on a patient. I’d done it on a dummy in residency. We continued with CPR, and there was some commotion as someone in the crowd figured out that we should just plug in the machine. It turned out the defibrillator automatically tells you what to do. We found the adult pads and slapped them on and the machine took over, saying, “Move away from patient.” We both moved away—but the machine still wasn’t working. Turned out, somebody in the crowd had come to Ella’s feet and was praying. They had to peel that person off her feet to allow the machine to get a reading. It finally got a reading and then announced, “Shocking!” And just like in the movies, Ella’s whole body lifted on the ground.

We went through about three other rounds of CPR and, during the last one, she reached up and lightly grabbed my hand and pushed it. We continued, then she more forcefully grabbed my hand, sucked in air, and her eyes opened. We were shaking her and egging her on. She was back!

BROWN: I remember when Ella regained consciousness, I stood up and took a few steps back, overwhelmed with shock and relief.

MANDEVILLE: After the paramedics arrived, I remember burying my head in Darwin’s chest and just weeping for 10 or 15 seconds. Then, we snapped out of it, thinking, we’re still on duty here.

EMS rushed Ella to Northside Hospital Forsyth. The basketball games had obviously stopped. We followed the ambulance to the hospital. In an hour or two, Ella’s dad, Richard, came out to brief us and asked, “Do you want to see her?” He brought Darwin and me back. We drew the drape, and Ella was sitting in bed on her cell phone—typical teenage form! She said, “Oh, hi, Mrs. Brown! Well, my head hurts, and my chest really hurts.”

BROWN: She’d had a cardiac arrest, and they never found the cause. She had the event at rest—complete cardiac arrest—as a 14-year-old kid. Reflecting on that moment, I thought how wonderful and challenging and frustrating it can be to be a physician. Medicine is very humbling, and things happen without explanation.

This year, Richard called when I was on hospital rounds. We caught up on what Ella’s up to, what’s she studying at the University of Southern California. She went on to play competitive basketball and lacrosse; she’s a singer-songwriter. There’s always a feeling of, wow, she’s gone on to do great things.

Top Doctors in Atlanta: Amber Degryse

Dr. Amber Degryse

I’m a pulmonary and critical care physician—dealing with issues like lung disease, COPD, asthma, and patients in intensive care. Most of my day is in a hospital setting; I’m the director of the ICU at Northside.

I went to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., in January 2017, right after the election. I was carrying a sign that featured an ironic tweet that President Trump sent out—about how we should march on Washington to “prevent this travesty.” So I marched.

Top Doctors in AtlantaI was with some friends and, actually, another physician, Stuart Handelsman [also a Top Doc]. We were walking around the Mall at about 1 p.m., as many of the most high-profile speakers were taking the stage. [New York senator and 2020 presidential hopeful] Kirsten Gillibrand had just spoken when, from the same loudspeaker, they said, “Is there a doctor in the crowd?” Stu and I looked at each other.

In that moment, I was feeling a little trepidation: What will I walk into? When there’s a distress call, you don’t really know if you can handle it. It could be a baby being born in a parking lot, a gunshot wound, or a dehydrated sorority girl. Literally, I’ve responded in each of those situations. But you have to be ready to act.

People were really packed in wall to wall. It was so hard to move as Stu and I started to make our way. Then, the crowd parted for us like the Red Sea. We slithered through a fence and walked down an embankment—about half a football field’s distance to the stage. The person in need was an older woman, about 70 years old, who was reclined on the grass.

I knelt down next to her and took her pulse. (Stu is a nephrologist, and he said, “You got this—it’s not dialysis.”) The woman was able to talk. She looked kind of clammy and said she was dizzy. I asked, “Are you diabetic? Seizure disorder? Chronic conditions? Missed medication?” These are all the basic questions. Her friend said she hadn’t eaten or drank, that they’d been out there a long time. Someone in the crowd gave her a cookie, and someone had a bottle of water.

When you’re out there in a situation like this—doing a physical exam—you’re triaging whether you need to escalate care. As long as they have a pulse and are breathing, you don’t need CPR. I provided reassurance and told her to take slow, deep breaths. Within about 15 minutes, the EMS came from the other side of the stage and led her away. We started walking back, and people left and right were saying, “Thanks, Doc! Thanks for caring. Thanks for all you do.”

Top Doctors in Atlanta: John Xerogeanes

Dr. John Xerogeanes

By day, I’m an orthopedic surgeon, mainly sports medicine: joints, bones, ACL surgery. I’m the medical director for the Atlanta Hawks, head orthopedic surgeon for Georgia Tech, and the knee consultant for the Georgia Braves. Our practice treats a lot of professional and college athletes.

My wife, Teri, and I like to freedive and spearfish. We tend to go places that are off the beaten path. Several months ago, we went to the Exumas in the Bahamas, which is a little harder to get to, and less touristy, than Nassau.

On Sunday, the first full day of the trip, we’d been on a boat, fishing and diving. We barbecue, have dinner. At night, our kids, ages 11 and 13, go down to the beach to chase the little snow crabs that run back and forth there—using my cellphone as a light. It was wet, and a wave came. Teri was chasing after the kids and slipped.

The kids come running back to the house, saying, “Mommy dropped your cellphone in the water!” So, I’m pissed. Then, I go down there, and she looks like a wet doll being tossed in the waves, wearing this billowing sundress. Her hand was bent backward like an “S.” I thought, Oh no, that’s not good.

Top Doctors in AtlantaWe pulled her wrist back into place. If you knock the bone back right away, it hurts less because you’re in shock. If you wait, then you have to sedate [the patient]. Teri puts one arm over me and one over my 11-year-old son, and we stagger up the rocky path to the house. I was holding her arm in place. It’s not like [the wrist] is stable when you pop it in—it still wiggles.

We were vacationing with friends, so my buddy’s up there with his wife, and they’re cleaning up from dinner. Teri lays her arm on the table. Usually, at this point, you have a splint. We got a People magazine and duct-taped it in place so her wrist didn’t move around.

Then, I called around. Of course, the only doctor on the island is an OB-GYN—and there’s no pharmacist. I call another buddy John who lives on the island. He comes over with one Percocet from a back surgery four years ago. A neighbor is a Rastafarian—he shows up with some Moroccan hash, a little bag of mud-looking stuff. Teri declines and takes the pain pill. She doesn’t even like rum, but it’s everywhere on the island for $10 a bottle. So she has three shots. She says it tastes awful, but she felt better.

The next day, we went to the OB-GYN’s office and figured out how to use the x-ray machine. Her wrist looked like it had been smashed with a hammer. I called my partner, who is a hand surgeon—Gary McGillivary—and texted him a picture via WhatsApp. He could do the surgery the next day, but we were supposed to be in Exuma until the next week. “Nah, I can tough this out,” Teri says. The OB-GYN didn’t have any casting material, but his wife had carpal tunnel syndrome, and she had an old splint. It fit my wife perfectly and worked for the rest of the vacation.

Top Doctors in Atlanta: Michael Quinones

Dr. Michael Quiñones

It was totally the middle of the jungle. In 2010, I went on this photography tour in Costa Rica with my practice administrator, her husband, and my wife. We’re all friends. I’ve been doing photography since seventh grade—amateur photojournalism. We stayed in a beautiful resort near Mt. Arenal, an active volcano. We’d spent the day taking pictures of the hot springs or the swinging bridges among treetops and practicing different techniques.

One night, there was a horrific thunderstorm. It was one of the worst thunderstorms I’d experienced in my life. When it finally abated, it looked like the sky was electric. I think the atmosphere must have spooked the horses.

Top Doctors in AtlantaAt around one in the morning, there was banging on the door of our cottage. They bring in Enrique, who was the main farmhand. He had blood pouring from his forehead. One of the horses had kicked him in the head.

The nearest hospital was at least two to three hours away—probably more, since it was still rainy, muddy, and the middle of night. I examined Enrique, speaking Spanish, as I’m Puerto Rican. I’d done lots of trauma in the past. He was awake and alert, and there was no fracture. I was mainly checking—and praying—that he didn’t have a serious head injury.

Someone brought a rudimentary suture kit. It had gauze and something like a scissor but no real suturing instruments. I cleaned off the laceration with alcohol. Enrique downed some liquor. I took my time to suture it up by flashlight—about six or seven stitches across his eyebrow. He went back to bed. A few days later, he was all better; he recovered without a scar or infection. He’s lucky I’m a surgeon.

Dr. Todd Mitchell Antin

About four or five years ago, I was consulting, and I flew to Monroe, Louisiana. I always took the first flight of the day. It was a small aircraft and a 6 a.m. flight. When I boarded, there was a commotion—an agitated passenger, refusing to sit down, pacing back and forth. Soon after, they made an announcement, “Are there any doctors on board?” Uh-oh, I thought.

I’m a psychiatrist and, truth be told, I ordinarily don’t step forward on the first call. Chest pain or CPR is not my forte. But, then, they called again and asked if there was a doctor who could speak Spanish, and I knew I would be stepping in. I learned Spanish through school and in my dad’s business growing up. He sold wholesale food and beverages to small markets and bodegas— manual labor on a truck—and I helped out. Many clients were Latino. Plus, I went to med school in Miami.

Top Doctors in AtlantaThe passenger was about 60 or 70 years old. He smelled like he had been drinking and appeared disoriented and intoxicated. He was with his wife. She told me he doesn’t fly, that he’s afraid of the plane going down.

I put on my doctor hat and began treating the situation like a consultation. I actually do a lot of court testimony and legal work. This was not all that different. First, I ascertained if the crisis was medical or psychological—it was the latter. I tried to befriend him but also be an authority figure. I spoke in his native tongue. He had very little flying experience. He felt [the crew] were being disrespectful to him, being stern and telling him to sit down. He didn’t understand the protocol of flying. He thought he didn’t have to sit down until the flight actually took off.

The flight crew wanted me to gauge if he was unsafe. I had to deescalate the situation quickly. If I couldn’t calm him down, they would likely call the local police, escort him off the plane, and cancel the flight.

As we sat and talked, he calmed down. We spoke about where I learned Spanish. I reassured him we wouldn’t crash. The flight attendant got him some water and a snack. We defused it. The pilot went back into cabin and announced, “We have rectified the situation.” We taxied out.

I got a standing ovation, huge applause. The pilot came over and thanked me. The airline gave me some drink tickets and things. It was nice to do a community service. When we arrived in Louisiana, I spotted the man before we left. “You did it!” I said. He said, “Thank you!”

Top Doctors in Atlanta: Jonathan Weiss

Dr. Jonathan Weiss

Think about an era before people talked about medical ethics. It was about 25 years ago, and I was at Disney World to attend a meeting. I had my mother-in-law, wife, and two kids with me.

We decided to go to Epcot for the laser show and fireworks and hopped on the tram. It’s fading daylight, not quite dusk. From across the tram, about 30 feet away, I see this big, multicolored, black spot on the middle of a guy’s cheek. I’m certain he has a melanoma. He was in his 30s.

Top Doctors in AtlantaIf you looked today on Medscape, or an American Academy of Dermatology handout, this mole could be a textbook picture for melanoma: irregular, not huge but definitely bigger than six millimeters. It was light brown, dark brown, and jet black and had irregular borders. It was almost like a small picture of flames in a firepit, with pigment shooting off the top. It made such an impression on me that, 25 years later, I can still remember it.

I sat there and debated with my mother-in-law and wife for the five to 10 minutes of the train ride. Initially, they thought, we don’t know what you should do. Back then, melanoma wasn’t that common; you saw one every two or three months. (Now, our practice sees several every week.) Finally, we agreed I had to approach him; it was just the right thing to do.

I went over to him. I said, “I’m a doctor, and I’m here for a meeting. How long has that mole on your cheek been there? I wouldn’t rush or change your vacation, but I’d see a dermatologist. You should get it checked out.” I didn’t feel comfortable bringing up the “C word” in the middle of Disney World on the way to dinner—but I did everything but come out and say cancer. The man wasn’t angry; he was a little shell-shocked. His wife was so grateful and thanked me profusely. She said, “Oh, he’s going!” And to him: “I told you so.”

Maybe I did save this guy’s life. The melanoma appeared early-stage. I didn’t carry my business cards around. It was an anonymous interaction, and we never followed up.

In the moment, I was thinking, would I be invading his privacy? The situation falls in a gray zone of medical ethics—telling someone there’s a problem when he’s not your patient—but if you left it there, it could kill him. That was the big debate: Is it an okay thing to do? In the end, I kept it anonymous and made it clear. I see these scenarios pop up in medical ethics columns today. Intuitively, I did what felt to be the right thing.

There aren’t many emergencies in dermatology. When there’s an emergency on an airplane, I usually don’t raise my hand. If there’s an ER nurse and me on board, it’s better to listen to the ER nurse. But if you got a rash, I’m your man.

Top Doctors in Atlanta: Sheri Zager and Glen Lew

Dr. Sheri Zager and Dr. Glen Lew

This past January, we were flying to Colorado on a family ski vacation. Normally, we all sit together. For some reason, the airline upgraded my husband, Glen, and me to first class, and our teenage sons, Jacob and Sam, were in coach.

About halfway through the flight, we hear an announcement asking if there’s a medical provider on board. We looked at each and knew we had to act. I’m a pediatrician. Glen is a pediatric oncologist. We never work together. Well, not since more than 20 years ago, when he was a fellow in charge of me as an intern.

We both walked to the back of the plane. There was a man in his 50s who was having a seizure. “Tell me what’s going on,” I said to the woman with him, who turned out to be his fiancee. She didn’t know much about his condition but thought he had missed a dose or two of a medicine. I told the flight crew, “Bring me whatever you have,” and immediately placed the oxygen mask over his face. Meanwhile, the flight crew kept coming over and asking us for medical ID, questioning, “Don’t you have any credentials with you?” Time was of the essence to help this man. Finally, I just suggested, “You have Wifi, Google us!”

Top Doctors in AtlantaHis fiancee was crying and hysterical. It’s very scary when you see a family member seize. The protocol is to make sure the airway is clear. Turn the head sideways. In an emergency room, you would have anticonvulsant medicine. On the plane, they just had pain relievers and nitroglycerin. We tried to calm everyone, talk the man through it, and hoped it would go by fast.

His seizure lasted only a few minutes. The flight attendant asked if we needed to make an emergency landing, but it was not much further to Denver and the seizure had stopped. The passenger was very groggy, so my husband swapped seats with my older son to be closer in case he started seizing again.

The funny part was that our kids were sitting one row away from the man having the seizure. My 17-year-old, Jacob, watched and asked if the man was okay, but my 14-year-old, Sam, was sitting in the window seat and missed it all. He was wearing noise-canceling headphones and was totally engrossed in his movie. When we were close to landing, he finally looked up at Glen and said, “What are you doing over here?”

See all of Atlanta’s top doctors.

This article appears in our July 2019 issue.

At Atlanta’s first gender-neutral kids’ clothing store, you’ll find rompers and band tees—and nary a heart or truck

Mini Friday gender-neutral clothing Atlanta
Mini Friday owner Allie Friday

Photograph courtesy of Mini Friday

On a shady corner in a Kirkwood, new boutique Mini Friday showcases trendy graphic tees, rompers, and track suits, all in “pint sizes” for toddlers and kids. The manicured potted plants and crisp white exterior frame cute designer streetwear from Insta-friendly brands like Mini-rodini, Ammehola, and A.B.C. Step inside and there’s a mural reading “Love Equally” in bright green letters, signaling a broader message of compassion and individuality. We sat down with owner and mother-of-three Allie Friday to chat about her vision for the store and inclusiveness in childrenswear.

Mini Friday gender-neutral clothing Atlanta
Mini Friday

Photograph courtesy of Mini Friday

Mini Friday is believed to be the first gender-neutral children’s clothing store in Atlanta. What inspired you to open it?
When my [7-year-old-daughter] Erin was five, she voiced her preference for streetwear, over princess dresses—and no tight-fitting leggings. It began as a conversation about clothing, and over the next few years Erin had broader questions like, “What does it mean to be a boy? Or a girl?” She told me, “I don’t want people to think I’m weird for not liking the girlie stuff.” We would buy Barbie, but she preferred the Ken doll. For Halloween she wanted to dress up as Hulk, so we painted her green. I just wanted a happy kid.

When did you think a store like this could be a potential business idea?
I knew Erin couldn’t be the only kid in the world that didn’t like the frilly stuff. Personally, I’ve always loved streetwear and the sort of androgynous look. As a kid, I loved sneakers, and wearing brands like Nautica and Polo—but still having my nails done. I lived in Los Angeles for a few years, and I love the whole Kanye vibe—kind of like grunge. I thought, man, kids could be so cute dressed this way!

Mini Friday gender-neutral clothing Atlanta
Mini Friday

Photograph courtesy of Mini Friday

Mini Friday gender-neutral clothing Atlanta
Mini Friday

Photograph courtesy of Mini Friday

What did you do professionally before opening the store?
A mix of day jobs in customer service and social media. But I’ve always had a drive for entrepreneurship. In high school (Redan High in Stone Mountain) I launched a makeup service for homecoming, and later after going to Paul Mitchell School had a bridal makeup business for five years.

There are a lot of gender-neutral and streetwear brands online, so there is access for people seeking these looks. Why a brick-and-mortar store?
You’re right, and I discovered these brands online first, and thought about doing an e-commerce store. But I felt like the brick-and-mortar was important because it’s a safe space. As a parent, you could shop from comfort of home and keep [this conversation] at home, still a little bit secret. Mini Friday creates a safe, fun space out in the world.

Landing on this spot in Kirkwood was lucky. As a first time store owner, I hit some roadblocks finding a space. A friend recommended I check out Kirkwood. I hadn’t realized how much the neighborhood had changed. I called the woman who owned the building and she said she loved the concept. That’s all she wrote! We opened three months later.

Let’s back up. What makes a piece of clothing “gender-neutral” anyway?
That’s a good question! Because a lot of the lines I carry aren’t actually marketed as uni-sex. I just shop the pieces that I think work with the aesthetic of the store. I buy many oversized pieces—track pants, hoodies, shorts with drop-crotch. There are some dresses. Jaden Smith wore a dress before and he made it dope. It could be a tunic. If there’s a little boy who wants to wear a dress, it’s his prerogative. No judgments.

The prints on the clothing are mostly animals, foods, or, say, bicycles—but not [stereotypically-gendered] hearts and stars for girls, nor trucks for boys. We do have pink and purple pieces, but overall the colors are more neutral—grays, blacks, and tans.

Mini Friday gender-neutral clothing Atlanta

Mini Friday gender-neutral clothing Atlanta
Mini Friday

Photograph courtesy of Mini Friday

How do you see the trend of gender-neutral parenting evolving?
For me, I see it as an opportunity to allow people—because kids are really little people—to be exactly who they are. This movement hopefully educates others to be more compassionate and without judgment on how children choose to express themselves. I’m glad to be a part of it.

What’s next for Mini Friday? Any thoughts on expanding?
I’m still waiting on this store to do great. I would love to have a store in Los Angeles, too, one day. Right now, we’re getting to know our Kirkwood community. Next up we’ll be hosting mommy and me events and kids yoga classes in our great backyard space. We just want people to come in and have fun! 2033 Hosea L. Williams Drive Northeast, shopminifriday.com

How Pinky Cole used Instagram to make Slutty Vegan’s burgers a viral hit IRL

Pinky Cole Slutty Vegan AtlantaThe first time I visited Slutty Vegan, there was a woman seated in a plastic chair by the door at 12:30 p.m.—the first in line for when the Westview restaurant would open at 4 p.m. Over the next three hours, the line grew to the length of two blocks, at least 200 people deep. One vegan guest brought two nonvegan friends to experience the sheer excitement of it all and, of course, to taste the plant-based burgers, which boast provocative names such as One Night Stand and Ménage á Trois and are doused in a messy, orange-hued special sauce. “It’s a beautiful day today, but I would have waited in the rain,” she told me. Another woman in line perched her laptop on a windowsill, working while she waited. Similar lines have formed pretty much every day Slutty Vegan has been open, since its debut on January. (And it’s impossible to ignore that almost everyone visiting is black—not the typical mass audience associated with the vegan movement.) There are even memes concerning people who discover the loves of their lives while stuck in the Slutty Vegan line.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt1iY3sAJD8/

This isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to Atlanta, either: in mid-February, owner Pinky Cole kicked off a Slutty Vegan national pop-up tour in New York that drew a line 500-people deep in Harlem and ultimately served 900 bundled-up patrons in 36-degree temperatures.

The Slutty Vegan concept was born nine months ago, when Cole had a light-bulb moment in which she decided to create “healthy junk food”—vegan burgers and fries—wrapped in sexy marketing packaging. She received her food service permit from the city last July—a moment, memorialized on the company’s Instagram feed, which now boasts 160,000 followers and counting. From that point, Cole’s business grew from serving burgers out of a commercial kitchen, to having a food truck, to opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant (and two food trucks), to the national four-city tour.

“On the surface you can call it a phenomenon,” says Cole. “It’s really the result of being in alignment. I’ve had almost 25 years of paving and grinding. I have been doing this a really long time.”

Pinky Cole Slutty Vegan Atlanta
Slutty Vegan founder Pinky Cole

Photograph courtesy of Slutty Vegan

Cole grew up in the DC area—her Jamaican mom was a local celebrity who had a reggae band called the Strykers’ Posse, she says, and her dad was a “big time drug dealer” who did 20 years in prison. Cole says she was popular and “grew up knowing everybody,” picking up street smarts and hustle along the way. She says that as a middle schooler, she earned $4,000 per week as a party promoter. At 16, she says, she’d buy $1 McChicken sandwiches from the local McDonald’s and sell them back to students at her high school for $2. “I sold out every day,” she says.

After graduating from Clark Atlanta, she set her sights on becoming a television producer—eventually working as a producer on The Maury Show. With the money she earned on Maury, she started a Jamaican-American restaurant in Harlem called Pinky’s in August 2014. It too had lines out the door, but it burnt down in July 2016 due to a grease fire. “I’m not sorry [that happened],” says Cole. “Had that not happened, we wouldn’t be chatting now.”

The trauma of losing Pinky’s sent Cole into a period of reflection and rebuilding. She started working out, cleaned up her credit, and took a job as a casting director with Iyanla Vanzant’s show Fix My Life on Oprah’s OWN Network, which brought her back to Atlanta.

While working on Fix My Life, Cole, who grew up vegetarian and became vegan four years ago, decided to venture back into the world of food. She settled on her concept of plant-based burgers because it was something fun and easy she could cook herself, using Impossible Burger patties as the base for her creative toppings. She also had a broader mission to serve the community healthier food. She began cooking in a shared kitchen, but on her first day, she sold a discouraging four burgers.

Then came a first tipping point. Her friend, well-known vegan Atlanta chef Dymetra Pernell—aka the “Plant-based Princess”—made her popular ice cream in the same shared kitchen as Cole. Pernell mentioned Slutty Vegan’s burgers to her more than 25,000 Instagram followers. The next week, Cole served 100 people—and realized the impact social media could have on her business. But she quickly nixed the idea of showing beautiful staged photos of the burgers—contrary to pretty much every food-blogging best practice. “I know that people eat with their eyes,” she says. “But my food doesn’t look good. It’s sloppy. A burger is not sexy.”

Instead, Cole decided to capitalize on people’s reactions when they first encountered the Umami-laden flavor bomb her burgers deliver. “We [decided] to show videos of them having the realest, rawest experience of chewing burger and literally having an orgasm-like experience—but guilt-free,” Cole says.

The idea worked, and customers started posting the videos themselves, trying her food for the first time—and getting so-called “sluttified.” To boost the signal, Cole began reaching out to a few select celebs. She sent a short message—and a burger—to influencer Shod Santiago, who agreed to post a video to his 500,000 Instagram followers. Cole also asked her Fix My Life boss Vanzant to give the burger a try. That video, which has been reposted many times on Slutty Vegan’s feed, shows a close-up of a curious Vanzant chewing the burger and immediately commenting to the camera, “So what’s on this? Little things keep falling out of this, and I’m eating them off the paper.” She chews a little more and there’s an audible “Mmm.” “I love this,” she says, eyebrows furrowed and head tilting, still quizzical about what exactly she’s eating.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtrpVyYhAR8/

“Iyanla sent me the video and I posted it to our page—it was like her giving [Slutty Vegan] her natural endorsement,” Cole says. “She didn’t even need to post on her [social networks] to create influence.”

With each video, Slutty Vegan’s Instagram following further exploded. Outgrowing the commercial kitchen, Cole bought a food truck, which drew more celebrities, both arriving to the truck and asking Cole to send burgers. Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri. Taraji P. Henson. Tyler Perry. Porsha Williams. Tiffany Haddish. Jazze Pha. Da Brat. Cole says she didn’t pay any celebs to try the burgers—although she did comp their meals. Those videos, she says, are the “TMZ of food.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Brl9_8HlSTU/

https://www.instagram.com/p/Brf_NRVla2Y/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsmD-E9lM-g/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrqatDllY3k/

“We were getting a million impressions every week to our page—and our followers truly wondered Who’s gonna be a Slutty Vegan today?” she says.

Cole also created suspense by waiting to reveal exactly where the Slutty Vegan truck would be until just two to three hours before parking it. “People love surprises—especially surprises around food,” says Cole. There’s something else they love: “This whole theme for Slutty Vegan had everything to do with sex, being provocative, escorting—dirty mind, clean body.”

Slutty Vegan’s Instagram is run solely by Cole and driven by whatever idea happens to inspire her. Recently, while getting her nails done, she had an idea to post a series of patrons from different countries saying, “I love Slutty Vegan” in their native language—the intention being to show that her fan base is more diverse than people may realize. “Before I post I’m always thinking, will it make people laugh, or think, or feel emotional? Why do we care about this?” As she expands she knows she won’t be able to continue posting everything herself, but for now, it works.

As Slutty Vegan continues its ascent, Cole wants to further encourage healthy eating in the black community and more strongly push the point that veganism is colorless and classless. “It still hasn’t hit me,” she says of her instant success. “Yet I know this is supposed to be happening. It’s a very humbling feeling I don’t take for granted: Out of the billions of people in world, [I get] to be the spokesperson for a historic movement.”

Five Minutes with Dolvett Quince

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Dolvett Quince hasn’t exactly been toiling in obscurity; he’s trained stars like Boris Kodjoe and Justin Bieber. But now the longtime Atlanta trainer is helping America get fit, as the newest cast member on NBC’s The Biggest Loser.

You’re shown shirtless a lot on Loser. I think a person’s body should be a walking, talking billboard of their task. If the personal trainer doesn’t care about his body, why would you trust me?

So how’d you get the Loser gig? They called my studio and asked if I was interested in coming out to L.A. to audition. I told them I was too busy. Just kidding! The audition wasn’t too difficult; they filmed an episode with me training two former contestants and two other people that hadn’t done the show before.

Your client and friend Bert Weiss [of Q100] has played a role in your success. Ten years ago, I would average maybe two new clients a week—with me having to knock on everyone’s door to sell myself. Then Bert and I became friends, and he started talking about me on his radio show. It jumped to forty to forty-five new clients a week.

Say I have to lose five pounds in a week. What’s Dolvett’s secret? Drink a ton of water. Eat clean. If you usually work out twice a week, work out four times. That’s the real secret: Don’t do the same thing you did before.

What’s the most egregious way you’ve seen a client cheat on his or her diet? I had a client come in the studio with a box of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. She was eating them in front of me right before her workout.

What’s your go-to cheat meal? The chicken curry at 10 Degrees South. This thing has chicken and bananas and rice . . . oh, it’s delicious. I want some right now. 

How To: Look Great for Less

Spring has sprung, but last year’s warm-weather wardrobe is on life
support. Trouble is, so is your bank account. No worries, according to
some Atlanta style experts, who swear that buying on a budget—or even
not buying at all—can refresh your look quickly.

Start by going
shopping in your closet. “Invite two of your most fashionable friends
over and do a complete wardrobe purge,” says Cecile Blanco, owner of
the personal shopping service Style Me Now. “It can be painful, but you
should only have things in your closet that you love and that look good
on you.” Throw out or donate anything that is out of style, pilled,
damaged, or worst of all, doesn’t fit. Be ruthless, regardless of
label. Says Blanco, “You can wear a $3,000 Dolce & Gabbana dress
and look bad because it fits poorly, but a well-fitted, fifty-buck
dress from H&M can make you look like a million dollars.” After the
clean-out, have your friends help you mix and match the remaining
pieces, and assess whether any “maybes” are worth a trip to the tailor
for revival (hint: the fabric better be high quality and the
mending/altering minimal).

If you discover you’re lacking in
wardrobe staples, jot down what you need and where you plan to invest.
Next, you’ll need to hit the stores for a few trend purchases. “You can
be set for a season if you buy one or two up-to-date pieces,” says Mara
Maddox, spokeswoman for Bloomingdale’s Lenox and Perimeter, who notes
that this spring you’ll get mileage out of a striped or “preppy” tee,
bangle bracelets, a loose “boyfriend” jacket, or a bold statement
necklace. And you don’t have to spend a lot—reigning supreme for style
at bargain prices are chains such as H&M, Forever 21, Zara, and
Target, as well as local boutiques such as Sage, where most items are
under $100 (sageclothing.com), and 1*FIVE*0, where everything is under
$150 (150atlanta.com). Also, learn what designer brands fit you well
and gain access to sample sales through members-only sites like
gilt.com. But remember: A discount price does not always a bargain
make. One year, Dafina Nya Memberr, co-owner of Sunny’s Hair and Wigs
boutique in Buckhead, decided to ban herself from buying anything on
sale because she realized she had a closet full of “cheapie” purchases
that were in reality all junk. “Now I am the anti-impulsive shopper. If
I’m standing in line, I ask myself, ‘Do I really need this? What will
this go with?’ and talk myself out of a [so-so] purchase.”

Finally,
even if your budget is tight, embrace the look-great-for-less power of
grooming. “A [well-groomed] woman in jeans and a T-shirt looks better
than someone who has fancy clothes but has roots showing, chipped
nails, and bushy eyebrows!” says Blanco. Prioritize, rather than
eliminate, your beauty rituals. Shannon Kitchens, the busy owner of
Sage and mom to a toddler, gets her hair colored every eight weeks and
“desperately needs” her biweekly massages, but she’s ditched the salon
mani-pedis. “I do my own now.”

When to Spend More
Despite
all these frugality tips, insiders say when it comes to wardrobe,
sometimes it is worth it to spend. It all comes down to a concept
called “cost per wear,” says stylist Blanco. Say you buy a little
spring dress for $300, but you’re likely to wear it only a few
occasions. The cost each time you wear it—up to $100—is quite high.
“But if you buy a nice jacket that you’ll wear to the office a couple
times a week for the next six months, that’s a very low cost per
wear—great for the budget,” says Blanco. Timeless pieces that work
throughout the year are even better long-term buys. Here are six
wardrobe staples that deserve a big chunk of your shopping budget.

1. Designer jeans
—You
can never go wrong with a great pair of jeans. Go for a straight leg if
you are petite (under 5 foot 4) and a boot-cut if you’re taller. Once
you find a brand that works well, there are deals to be had: Kitchens
gets her True Religions at an Off 5th outlet near her home for half the
price of a denim boutique. “They might technically be last season, but
they still fit the same!”

2. Black suit
—Look
for something with a little stretch in a versatile, high-quality fabric
such as lightweight wool. Don’t balk at spending $500 or more; it’s
worth it considering you can use it year-round for the next few years.
Wear a $500 suit once a week for a year and that cost-per-wear figure
gets down to $10.

3. Sheath dress
—As
fashionable today as when Audrey Hepburn wore them, and flattering to
most body types. Modernize a chic navy version with a thick belt,
flip-flops on the weekend, or a cardigan for work, says Maddox.

4. Trench coat
—Perfect for transitional weather and most of Atlanta’s mild winter. Look for something in a neutral color.

5. Cashmere
—Always
classic and luxe, a well-cut cashmere sweater or wrap yields instant
polish; works in both cool and warm temperatures; and nowadays can
often be found at modest prices. Stock up on rich colors like eggplant,
navy, and chocolate—which will pair nicely with spring brights and
carry you into fall and winter.

6. Crisp white shirt
—Look for something with a little give and special details like darting.

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