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Laura Scholz

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A South Fulton mom draws national attention with her upcycled clothing brand, Jabella Fleur

Jabella Fleur
Alissa Bertrand

Photograph by Very Clever

Mom of six Alissa Bertrand was frustrated with the clothing options available for her three youngest daughters. “I was getting really tired of screen-print shirts, cutesy prints, and poor-quality fabrics that only last one season,” she says. Though Bertrand could find fun, vintage outfits for herself at places like Park Avenue Thrift and Value Village, the stores didn’t offer similar styles and fabrics in children’s sizes. So, about three years ago, the home sewer started creating dresses, jumpsuits, and separates for her girls using curtains, bedsheets, and other thrifted textiles sourced from Etsy and shops around the city.

“I never really intended on being a sustainable designer, but thrifting is cost effective,” says Bertrand, who learned to sew as a child with cross-stitch kits that her aunt gave her. “Fabric is $15 per yard or more, and if you’re making a little girl’s dress, you need three yards, times three kids, and that gets expensive.”

Encouraged by her 21-year-old daughter, Abigail, Bertrand started snapping photos of 11-year-old twins Jada and Jayla and eight-year-old Ella wearing her playful, retro-cool designs, such as ethereal prairie dresses, delicate ruffled collar shirts, and lush velour coats. Then, dubbing her brand Jabella Fleur—a mashup of her daughters’ names, her initials, and her love of floral patterns—Bertrand started uploading pictures to Instagram in January 2019. Shot with an iPhone in grassy fields and other rustic locations, the images exude a sense of magic and nostalgia.

Jabella Fleur
L-R: Jayla, Ella, Jada

Photograph by Very Clever

Her daughters are “natural models,” says Bertrand, whose posts look more like magazine features than social media. Not expecting her account to draw much attention, she mostly wanted her girls to feel empowered and “to show other BIPOC girls you have an outlet to dress how you want and to be photographed in a way that we weren’t before, which is a fashion editorial sense.”

Last summer, Bertrand participated in the #VogueChallenge, a viral contest in which thousands of Black creatives uploaded their visions of Vogue covers to reimagine a space in which they historically have had little representation. After Vogue shared her submission on Instagram and published an online story about her work, Jabella Fleur’s Instagram account swelled and now boasts more than 40,000 followers.

One of those new followers was Stacey Fraser, creative director and founder of Pink Chicken, a New York–based children’s company. She reached out to Bertrand and asked her to design two pieces for the spring line. With muted blush and jade patterns, tiered skirts, puffed sleeves, and ruffled details, the matching mommy-and-me dresses retail for $265 and $88, respectively.

What’s next for Bertrand, who sews on her Singer Quantum Pro at night after homeschooling her girls? She’s in preproduction for her own line of children’s clothing, to bring her self-described “eclectic and vintage” aesthetic to a broader audience.

This article appears in our May 2021 issue.

ASW Distillery opens its third location at the Battery, where it’ll produce a new vodka and gin

ASW Distillery The Battery
The new ASW Distillery at the Battery Atlanta at Truist Park

Photograph courtesy of ASW Distillery

Atlanta-based ASW Distillery, creator of award-winning craft whiskies, is opening a third location at the Battery Atlanta on Saturday, March 27. The 4,914 square-foot space features a large tasting room with a cocktail bar, a private event space, and a small distillery for the production of two new ASW spirits: Bustletown Vodka and Winterville Gin.

Produced using a small Vendome copper pot/column hybrid still—ideal for creating a variety of small batch, high quality spirits—Bustletown is seven-times distilled for purity and clarity and retails for $22. With notes of juniper berry, citrus, and spices like coriander, Winterville will launch later this spring. Both spirits will be available for purchase at the Battery location as well as in bottle shops throughout Georgia.

While most new liquor brands start by producing clear spirits like vodka and gin because they don’t require aging and can be sold immediately, ASW Distillery took a different approach: a silver whiskey.

Co-founder and CEO Jim Chasteen calls the brand’s namesake unaged whiskey, which can be sipped straight or mixed in a cocktail as a substitute for vodka or rum, a “conversation starter” that helped the brand stand out in a saturated spirits market.

“Because the product was so unusual, we were really able to educate our customers about whiskey and our brand while we worked on producing aged spirits,” he explains.

Nearly a decade later, the ASW Distillery portfolio now includes rye, bourbon, and double and single malt whiskies, plus a flagship distillery on Armour Drive and a tasting room and barrel house, the ASW Exchange, which opened in West End in 2019.

Later that year, the Atlanta Braves approached the ASW Distillery team about opening an outpost at the Battery. Chasteen says the location is ideal because of its proximity to customers in the northern suburbs, foot traffic from visitors as well as neighborhood residents, and space for distilling and bottling the already-in-the-works Bustletown Vodka and Winterville Gin.

ASW Distillery The Battery
Inside the new ASW Distillery at the Battery Atlanta

Photograph courtesy of ASW Distillery

The Battery location includes a large tasting room and bar, where customers can sample spirits and cocktails like the Peachtree (Bustletown vodka, peach nectar, lime, and hibiscus bitters), and tour the distillery between 12 and 9 p.m. daily and to 10 p.m. on Braves home game days.

While reservations for indoor, socially distanced tables at the Battery opening are sold out, drinks will be available to go for sipping outside on the patio or in the Battery’s open container district. Masks are required when approaching the bar, and the room will be operating at a reduced capacity.

Eventually, the location’s small event space will host private tastings, cocktail classes, bartender education seminars, and other special events.

How Marietta’s Aaron Marino made a career out of his savvy style advice for men

Aaron Marino
Aaron Marino

Photograph by matt odom

When Aaron Marino was working as a personal trainer in 2006, one of his clients—a meteorologist at the Weather Channel—admitted he couldn’t decide what to wear on a first date. After Marino helped him shop for new clothes and prep for the outing, he realized he had stumbled onto a new business: image consulting for men.

“At the time, there was not much style and grooming advice for regular men, just a handful of high-fashion magazines like Esquire and GQ,” Marino says. “I realized there might be a market for my advice.”

With a fitness coach’s drive and intensity, Marino soon built a loyal clientele and started posting videos on YouTube—spicing up style, grooming, and fitness advice with hot tips like why sweat is sexy or that women love drummers. His Alpha M. channel boasts more than 6 million subscribers, and his line of grooming products—Pete & Pedro—was featured on Shark Tank.

His latest venture is Salon Posta, a partnership with his longtime hair stylist, Stephen Posta. When searching for a location, the pair discovered a vacant, circa 1848 building in Marietta that was originally a United Methodist church. After a year of renovation, which included building a mezzanine and installing indoor plumbing in the 5,000-square-foot space, the salon opened late last year.

Aaron Marino
For their new Marietta salon, Marino and Posta kept the historic building’s original tongue-and-groove ceiling and reproduced its arched windows but added luxuries like plush velvet seating and Carrara marble bathrooms.

Photograph by matt odom

The salon offers men’s haircuts, coloring, beard shaping, and grooming plus women’s haircuts, extensions, hand-painted color, and balayage.

Marino’s Styling Tips for Men

Don’t neglect skincare.
Washing your face morning and night and using a moisturizer with at least an SPF of 20 can greatly improve the health and look of your skin.

Schedule regular haircuts.
Marino recommends that men with medium-length hair schedule appointments every three weeks; those with shorter hair should opt for every two. Busy or forgetful? Set up a recurring appointment with your barber or stylist.

Experiment with facial hair.
If you think you can’t grow a beard, think again. “Most men who’ve always been clean-shaven think their beard hair will look worse than it actually does.” He suggests growing it out for a month, investing in a grooming kit, and trimming the edges regularly.

Maintain a simple grooming routine.
Clip fingernails and toenails, tweeze stray eyebrows, and regularly trim ear and nose hairs.

Invest in a great pair of jeans.
Overwhelmed by options? Head to a trusted retailer like J. Crew or Gap. Marino says that medium washes with a bit of stretch work well on all body types.

Opt for versatile footwear.
Marino’s two go-tos? A clean pair of white, minimalist leather sneakers and a simple, slip-on Chelsea boot, both of which work well with denim and business-casual attire.

Pete & Pedro Picks

Salt
Using a sea-salt spray as a prestyler adds texture and soft volume to hair without having to use a lot of product.

Putty
This high-hold, low-shine styling product is a versatile option for short- and medium-length hair and provides hold without making hair look wet or greasy.

Control
Using a dandruff shampoo with the active ingredient coal tar is the best way to fight flakes, says Marino.

Clay
If you’re looking for a light hold and the “no product” look, Marino says this clay is a helpful addition to your hair-styling routine.

This article appears in our March 2021 issue.

These Atlanta mobile beauty companies will bring spa services to your door

Spa Theory
Spa Theory

Photograph courtesy of Spa Theory

Need a last-minute trim but your favorite stylist is booked? Craving a massage for sore, stressed-out muscles but don’t feel comfortable in a crowded spa? Both services are just a click away, thanks to a new crop of Atlanta-based mobile-beauty companies offering everything from blowouts and body scrubs to manicures, hair extensions, and makeup applications—all in the safety and comfort of your own home. (Prices are generally comparable to salon fees.)

DashStylists
French-born entrepreneur Pierre Dubois moved to Atlanta in 2017, and soon, he saw a potential market for mobile hair services, which are more widespread in western Europe than they are here. Launched last July, DashStylists now boasts 35 hair stylists and barbers. Services include women’s, men’s, and children’s haircuts, as well as braiding, extensions, blowouts, up-dos, and special-event styling.

Spa Theory
Even prepandemic, freelance makeup artist Alyshah Vishram Lalani would travel to clients’ homes and offices to provide assistance for weddings, photo shoots, and other special events. Also a former spa manager, she founded Spa Theory in early 2020, built a network of more than 200 beauty professionals, and expanded her mobile offerings to include massages, nail services, henna, hair styling, blowouts, and spa parties, 365 days a year.

Rendezvous Beauty
From massages and body scrubs to waxing, hair styling, and nail services, Rendezvous has been curating in-home spa retreats since 2019. Choose from more than 60 vegan, nontoxic nail shades for your manicure or pedicure or opt for a massage with an organic, hydrating, and invigorating grapefruit and walnut shell body scrub.

This article appears in our March 2021 issue.

Brash Coffee was my office and my muse

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Brash Coffee
After nonessential businesses shut down in late March, Brash remained my only consistent contact with the outside world for months.

Photograph by Ben Rollins

On March 11, 2020, the seriousness of the novel coronavirus—once a vague, faraway threat—started to become clearer. On that day, the World Health Organization officially declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, the NCAA announced that it would host its annual basketball tournament without fans, the NBA canceled the remainder of its season, the United States announced a travel ban from Europe, and actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson revealed they had tested positive for the virus.

As these announcements came pouring in, I was sitting on a barstool in my usual nook at Brash Coffee on the Westside, watching—over the course of hours—as customers and staff became increasingly anxious.

Having worked as a freelance writer for more than a decade, I have turned to coffee shops as my second home, both temporary office space and community gathering place. I’ve met an editor to discuss new assignments at a nondescript coffee shop on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, filed stories straight off a plane at the Ace Hotel’s Stumptown in New Orleans, and made lifelong friends of strangers at a sidewalk cafe in Amsterdam. But at home, Brash is my go-to spot.

Housed in a repurposed, 700-square-foot shipping container in Westside Provisions District, the space is intimate, bright, and warm—sometimes too warm in summer, when the windows often fog due to the oppressive humidity. Seating is limited indoors, with five metal stools tucked underneath a high-top wooden slab on one side and two chairs flanking a low counter on the other. Outside, a large, L-shaped communal table with low benches sits atop dusty gravel.

What it lacks in size and seating, Brash more than makes up for with ambiance: vases with artfully arranged, minimalist flowers from Le Jardin Francais, hip playlists rotating through the likes of My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes, and, of course, stellar coffee, sourced directly from small producers primarily in South and Central America. While others may gravitate toward an iced latte or other fussy drinks, my usual order is a simple 12-ounce coffee, black.

Brash CoffeeThe caffeine fueled many of my marathon writing sessions, but the change of scenery was just as effective at stoking my creativity. Whether it was subtly eavesdropping on strangers or joining an impromptu Sheryl Crow singalong with a group of chiropractic students, the environment broke up the monotony of writing from home and the anxiety over looming deadlines. Plus, it’s hard to nod off on the sofa, throw in another load of laundry, or reorganize your closet when you’re inside a coffee shop.

After all nonessential businesses in Atlanta shut down in late March, Brash remained my only consistent contact with the outside world for several months. I stopped in every other week with my dog (a bag of coffee beans for me; treats from doting baristas for her). Even the two-minute interaction with someone outside my home made me feel a little less isolated. That’s not to say that placing an order through a plexiglass barrier, religiously sanitizing your hands, and grabbing a to-go drink even comes close to luxuriating with a hot mug of coffee in a cozy box with a bunch of similarly work-focused strangers. In today’s new socially distanced world, places like Brash may be the last to return to “normal.” But when they do, I’ll be the first in line—and probably the last to leave.

This article appears in our February 2021 issue.

Two designers bring their custom and curated collection to Buckhead Village

The Drawing Room Atlanta
Zimmerman (left) and Van den Bergh with their Henning glass dining table, $8,400.

Photograph by Martha Williams

Longtime friends and former coworkers Daniel Zimmerman and Seth van den Bergh, self-described “modernists with an appreciation for classical design,” launched their interior design firm, the Drawing Room, in 2018. In addition to creating custom pieces like end tables and chandeliers for both residential and commercial projects, the pair started acquiring vintage furniture during their travels to Europe, India, and Australia—branding and selling both old and new as the TDR Collection.

When space opened up last spring at Buckhead Village—currently being reimagined by Jamestown (also home to Pinker Times)—they jumped at the opportunity despite the pandemic.

As Zimmerman explains, “The timing wasn’t ideal, but we are finding that people are more focused on home than ever before. They’re spending more time at home and investing more in their living spaces, and we want to be able share our collection with people beyond just our existing clients.”

The Drawing Room Atlanta
Gigi Radice for Minotti Lounge Chair, $6,600
The Drawing Room Atlanta
Handmade Earthenware Stool / Accent Table, $465
The Drawing Room Atlanta
Peter Keil “Palma de Mallorca”
Platter, $1,249

Opened last fall, the 1,200-square-foot showroom displays pieces from the TDR Collection, including fine art; vintage furniture such as midcentury chairs and Italian brass chandeliers; and original creations like hand-blown glass vases, earthenware stools, and plush area rugs. Their favorite original design is the Henning dining table, which beautifully captures and reflects light.

“It brings us a lot of joy to work with artisans and create customized, one-of-a-kind pieces for our clients,” says Zimmerman.

Their latest project is a collection of luxe outdoor furniture called Portofino, a nod to their interest in midcentury Italian design.

This article appears in our February 2021 issue.

A shelter-in-place hobby blooms into a thriving floral pop-up, Pinker Times

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Pinker Times AtlantaLike many of us, SCAD graduate and art director Skye Lin needed a creative outlet while quarantined at home in the spring of 2020. Sidelined from work and isolated from friends and family, Lin began purchasing flowers and creating her now signature, minimalist arrangements for her home solely as a hobby. But after posting her creations to Instagram, orders started pouring in from friends and neighbors, leading to a small pop-up shop and exhibition space in Buckhead Village last summer. She soon outgrew that space and moved to her current 1,200-square-foot shop in the retail district a few months later.

Pinker Times Atlanta
Bouquets start at $15, custom arrangements at $85.

Photograph by Cori Carter

Decorated with soothing pastel pink walls and two of Lin’s permanent floral art installations, Pinker Times sells bespoke bouquets and sculptural floral arrangements featuring seasonal blooms sourced from Georgia growers like 3 Porch Farm and Chattahoochee Queen. The shop also offers a build-your-own bar stocked with dried flowers and floral design for special events. Seasonal workshops provide opportunities for experimenting with wildflowers, dried ingredients, and pressed florals (currently limited attendance due to Covid). Attendees get to take home a vessel and three photos of their creations ($180). The pop-up runs through March.

This article appears in our February 2020 issue.

5 great Atlanta self-care gifts (that you can absolutely gift to yourself)

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Spa gifts
The “Sunrise” Flight Club Kit ($250) from Aviary Beauty + Wellness includes a journal from Young Blood Boutique, Luzern face cream, 3rd Ritual body gel, a Colin Adriane stained glass charm, and other extras.

Photograph by Jason Lagi

Aviary Beauty + Wellness “Flight Club Kit,” $250
Each month, the Old Fourth Ward spa releases a new wellness kit, hand-delivered to your doorstep. Choose from the “sunrise”- or “sunset”-themed boxes, filled with creams, teas, and tokens designed to uplift or calm. A portion of sales are donated to the Dream Warriors Foundation, which provides grants for women-owned businesses. aviarybeauty.com

Hawkins & Clover “Me Time” gift basket, $80
This Grant Park salon doubles as a Scandi-style gift shop stocked with housewares, candles, and one-of-a-kind items. Order a customized or ready-made gift set like “Me Time,” complete with a Kitsch microfiber hair towel and satin eye pillowcase, a candle, and lip balm. hawkinsandclover.com

Kindred Studio “Holiday Face Time” Kit, $90–110
These DIY kits include two facial treatments plus a JoAnna Vargas sheet mask and a jade roller. Three kits contain a hidden golden ticket, redeemable for an in-person oxygen primo facial, valued at $200. kindredstudioatl.com

Buckhead Gift Company “Spa Experience Box,” $168
Here, find all the ingredients for an indulgent home spa day: K. Hall Designs bath soak and triple-milled soap, a natural wool sea sponge, a LAFCO Marine candle in a hand-blown glass vessel, and Tay Tea Muse tea. buckheadgiftco.com

Bombchel Factory gift set, $50
Owner Archel Bernard collaborated with other Black creators in Atlanta to curate this gift set, which includes a beeswax candle from Bear and Honey Candle Co., a pack of 20 affirmation cards from Muse Denim, and a pair of cozy Bombchel tie-dye socks, all packed in a drawstring bag. shopbombchel.com

This article appears in our December 2020 issue.

Sleep oasis: Five tips for creating the ultimate bedroom retreat

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Tips for making your bedroom better for sleepIn a perfect world, a bedroom is a sanctuary, a quiet and calming place to relax and rest. In reality, it’s become a harried, multipurpose space where we stream TV shows, catch up on work emails, and scroll through social media. Reclaim your sleep space with these tips from local interior designers.

Separate spaces
If your bedroom doubles as an office (as many do these days), Alice Cramer of Alice Cramer Interiors recommends distinguishing between the two spaces visually by using a folding screen. Or you can create a cozy reading nook or meditation area with just a comfortable chair or a few soft pillows and blankets, suggests Erika Ward of Erika Ward Interiors.

Invest in your bedding
“You spend a good chunk of your life in bed, so investing in a great mattress and high-quality sheets is key,” says designer Dayka Robinson. She swears by sateen sheets and hypoallergenic pillows, while Cramer encourages splurging on Sferra sheets and an all-seasons cotton blanket.

Manage light and temperature
Transition to sleep by avoiding bright overhead lights in the evening and opting for table lamps or sconces with dimmers for reading, says Robinson, who also uses blackout Roman shades and heavy drapes to control external light. Run a fan to keep the room from getting stuffy, Robinson suggests.

Calm with color
Paint color can have a big impact on the psyche. If you’re up for a refresh, think about what hotel brands or other spaces make you feel calm, says Robinson. Ward finds neutrals, blues, and colors found in nature most soothing. If you’re not up for painting, think about the color of your bedding.

Wind down
“If you think of your bed as a place for restoration, you are less likely to use it for work or watching television,” says Ward, whose daily wind-down ritual is reading in bed with her five children. Before tucking in, Cramer enjoys a hot Epsom salt bath and sprays pillowcases with a lavender-scented mist for its calming effect.

This article appears in our November 2020 issue.

Atlanta experts share tips for fighting maskne

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Tips for fighting maskne mask acneWhile wearing a mask or face covering is essential for public health, it can be tough on your skin: “Masks trap heat and humidity, which compromises the skin’s delicate barrier and exacerbates existing oils, creating the perfect environment for breakouts,” explains esthetician Bisma Rais of Artisan Beauté in Buckhead. Banish blemishes, irritation, and other mask-induced issues with these tips from Rais and other skincare experts.

Opt for skin-friendly fabrics
Just like fitness enthusiasts favor breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics, dermatologist Dr. Nikki Hill recommends that non-frontline workers look for similar qualities in masks and face coverings. (To be most effective, they should be tightly woven and multilayered—or have a built-in pocket for a filter.) “Cotton will wick away moisture, and you should avoid fabrics made with synthetic dyes or chemicals.”

Prep your canvas
“Think about how you treat your skin when you’re flying,” explains Rais, who suggests using soothing and calming products before even masking up. Her go-to? Biologique Recherche’s Crème Masque Vernix, which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that create the “perfect barrier” between a face covering and skin. She also regularly hydrates her face with a mist “to bring oxygen and life back into the skin” and uses a gentle, oxygen-rich cleanser like BR’s Lait VIP O.

Ditch the makeup
A made-up face is so 2019. Not only will that carefully applied blush or foundation end up smudging, but it will transfer to your mask, which “increases moisture and leads to more breakouts,” explains Hill.

Esthetician and Kindred Studio co-owner Kelly Painter agrees. “So many of our clients have seen improvement in their skin by letting it ‘breathe’ more regularly and avoiding the inevitable bacteria and grime buildup of wearing foundation under a mask,” she says. “A tinted moisturizer like the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint is an excellent alternative to traditional foundation.”

This article appears in our September 2020 issue.

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