something in particular

by Grace Bonney

A few years ago, I found myself seriously considering closing down Design*Sponge and moving to Georgia to try and do for that area what Dave Alhadeff did for Brooklyn. I am still in awe of how effectively Dave managed to organize, promote and truly elevate “Brooklyn Design” to the place it is now. Clearly the designers are responsible, as well, but the devotion he showed that particular community will forever inspire me. I never found the right way or time to close things down, and instead found myself re-inspired to focus on D*S and grow our team. But in the back of my mind is always a down-the-line dream to move south and put all my energy into celebrating the amazing design happening in cities like Atlanta, Savannah, Athens, Greensville and Durham. Until that day, I’m glad to see that someone is starting a project that realizes part of my dream to embrace amazing southern creativity.

Along with Melonie Tharpe and Cubby West, designer James Martin is hoping to travel to 13 southern cities in 30 days to “[chronicle and create] an online resource highlighting the people and places driving a resurgence in Southern creativity.” I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend a month, and frankly, I wish I could join them. James, Melonie and Cubby are currently raising money for this trip (via Kickstarter), and I’ve just returned from donating to their cause. If you have a moment to check out their project, please do. I cannot wait to see the final result and know I’ll be sharing it here. Thank you to all the amazing southern designers, past and present, who have inspired and informed all that we do here today. xo, grace

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  • How great is this?! I’m so excited they are coming to Chattanooga- creativity abounds here :) Thanks for posting this, Grace.

  • Great idea, but it saddens me to see a lack of Florida love but multiple TX cities. :-( There is an incredibly hard-working, active, inspiring arts community in Jacksonville, which may be the most “Southern” of Florida’s large cities.

  • James always comes up with the greatest projects. I’m excited for all the exposure this one is getting. It absolutely deserves the support!

  • Thanks for featuring us (and for all the comments)!! Hopefully this is just one of many trips to discover the great things happening in the South. We will be making some local stops to Athens and Savannah….and maybe we can make it to Florida soon. Keep the ideas coming!

  • There are lots of beautiful artistic and historic cities in Georgia… Athens is my love! I’m moving there in the fall. Such an incredible city truly deserves the work. Let’s rewrite the fallacious southern stereotype!

  • Come to Durham NC!!! I just moved here 6 months ago, inspired by how inspired I felt here when we visited. So much going on, so much yummy ferment. Of course Durham includes Carrboro, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill just because they are minutes from each other. Good food, nice weather and friendly people are REALLY GOOD for one’s creative juices….not to mention a high consciousness. Come check us out.