Business Spotlight: The Resource Room

Resource Room: Jamie Shepherd

Business Spotlight: The Resource Room

Like the recession before it, the ongoing pandemic has undermined conventional wisdom surrounding college degrees and so-called “secure” jobs. When discussing the opening of The Resource Room, Jamie said, “I followed the rules, I got the degrees, I got the job and this happens and where’s the security? It doesn’t actually exist. So I decided this summer, I’m going to leave higher education, I’m going to put all my effort into this.”

Previously, Jamie worked as an academic advisor. She enjoyed helping students explore their interests, select their classes, and ultimately get them started on their career paths. During this time, Jamie started The Resource Room as a side project. Its goal was an extension of what she did as an academic advisor: help people discover their best selves and promote personal growth.

When the pandemic hit, the illusion of a secure job shattered. In summer of 2020, Jamie’s employer deemed it necessary to furlough workers; she volunteered, knowing she could take the hit better than some of her colleagues. This gave her the opportunity to put all her time and energy into The Resource Room. During the last few days of her furlough, the idea of going back tied her stomach in knots. Not only was there the dread of going back, but she also knew people who were genuinely following their passions and she questioned why she wasn’t. In the summer of 2020, Jamie decided to take the leap and devote herself wholly to The Resource Room.

The Resource Room combines Jamie’s desire to help nurture growth in others with her interest in art. As a kid, Jamie wanted to be an artist like her late father. It was through his art that Jamie got to know and connect with her father. In that spirit, she aids local independent artists in doing what they love and make a living doing it. The Resource Room not only offers artists a place to work and some supplies to do so, but also a place to display and sell their work. Jamie set up The Resource Room to follow a consignment model. Under this model, The Resource Room takes a percentage of sales to cover operational costs and artists aren’t charged anything up front to display their work.

As a lifelong dabbler in all things creative, Jamie knows how expensive getting into a new creative pursuit can be. As such, The Resource Room is also available to the general public to try new things. Some supplies Jamie readily has on hand and can be used at no extra cost; simply schedule a time to use the room. Other things, like t-shirt or button making, will have extra costs associated with them and/or visitors may need to bring their own supplies. The Resource Room is also available for private parties as well.

If you would like to learn more about what The Resource Room has to offer, what they have for sale in their gallery and gift shop, scheduling a time use the space, or displaying your artwork, visit resourceroomlou.com/ for more details.

Business Spotlight: Massage on Mellwood

Massage on Mellwood: Staff picture

Business Spotlight: Massage on Mellwood

The story of Massage on Mellwood is the story of three different people facing the same problem and finding the same answer. Each was unhappy in their careers. Rather than staying the course, they sought out new careers and found each other in the process.

Before becoming a massage therapist, Tina was a social worker, managing 150 people and loaded with stress. It was only natural when Tina decided to study massage therapy. She knew firsthand the stress relieving power of massage after going for couple’s massages with her husband. She had also learned a bit about massage to help alleviate her husband’s arthritic pain.

Similarly, William also opted to change careers due to the stress levels at his job. William had initially studied massage therapy, but quit part way. After working various jobs, he found himself in restaurant management. Just as Tina had done, William turned to massage for stress relief. Between the toll his job was taking on him and his family’s history of heart issues, William decided to go back and study massage therapy.

For Karli, it wasn’t stress, but rather a lack of passion. After six years in data entry and logistics, Karli knew she needed a change. When she began studying massage therapy, she believed it would serve as a transition to something else. Two weeks into her classes, she discovered massage therapy was her passion.

After each independently chose to pursue massage therapy, Tina, Karli, and William found themselves studying together at Advanced Massage Therapeutics. Once they graduated, they started Massage on Mellwood in December 2019.

While the pandemic has impacted business, as they’re not able to do public events, they’re still able to see clients by appointment. Every room is thoroughly disinfected between sessions. Additionally, clients are only called inside once their session is ready to begin; no one is permitted to wait in the lobby.

From now until Valentine’s Day, Massage on Mellwood is offering two 60-minute massage certificates for $100. To learn more about Massage on Mellwood, the two for $100 special, or to book a session, visit their site at massageonmellwood.com.

Business Spotlight: Enchanted Imagery

Danae Winchester in front of dresses

Business Spotlight: Enchanted Imagery

There was never a point in Danae’s life where art and photography weren’t at the forefront. As a kid, she spent countless hours taking pictures. She admits her parents probably spent a fortune on film, but it was well spent as it gave Danae the opportunity to practice and develop her photography skills. While in school, Danae took every art elective course she could, as well as a film photography course in high school. She learned about color theory, composition, lighting, and posing, all of which she brings into her career as a photographer.

After spending time as a wedding photographer, Danae found herself drawn to couture style portraiture, primarily focusing on children and maternity portraits. Danae finds working with children to be extra special as it’s a chance to help elevate a child’s self-esteem. She works to ensure the children are just as excited and eager to get their picture taken as their parents are, even referring to these sessions as “princess sessions.”

Drawing from her love of Renaissance paintings and fancy dresses, as well as her background and experience in art, Danae provides clients with unique and specially tailored photography sessions. Danae storyboards every picture before meeting; sketching out ideas on paper or in her iPad to review with her clients before the shoot.

If you’re interested in seeing more of her work or booking a session with Danae, visit her website at enchantedimageryphoto.com. You can also find her on Facebook at Enchanted Imagery or Instagram at @enchantedimagery.

Business Spotlight: John Albert

John Albert

Business Spotlight: John Albert

As a true craftsman, John is driven by a desire to create. With his interest in the fine details and mechanical workings of fountain pens, as well as his background in furniture design and metalsmithing, it was only natural that John started making his own fountain pens.

Always looking to improve, John is regularly experimenting with new techniques, materials, and filling systems. He strives to make as many of the components as he can himself; each pen is not only hand assembled, but largely handcrafted as well. He is work on making his own metal hardware, which includes the nib units, clips, and barrel overlays. He also cuts and machines the blanks himself. You can find more of his work on Instagram at @jalbertlawrence.

Currently, most of John’s pens are made from plastics and acrylics with metal hardware and overlays. Among the various blanks John has at his disposal are vintage blanks he was able to buy from old pen manufacturers, a huge draw for many fountain pen collectors and enthusiasts. Additionally, these vintage blanks have unique patterns not found in those more recently produced.

Artist Spotlight: Uhma Janus

Uhma Janus with painting

Artist Spotlight: Uhma Janus

Uhma Janus: 2 paintings

Just as any journey begins with one step, Uhma Janus’ art journey began with one line eight years ago. Feeling the pangs to engage with her creativity, she pulled out some paper and acrylic ink she had bought on a whim and painted a line. And then another. And then another. She kept adding more lines over several evenings until she had completed her work. In doing so, she discovered something therapeutic and meditative in this process; something that grounded her in the moment and enabled her to engage with her emotions in their purest forms.

As she progressed in her art, her study of the sciences, and her career as a nurse, Uhma began to combine the scientific and artistic as she began to create art exploring the essence of life and consciousness. While her art is still experimental and abstract, it drifted from the patterns and fractals that had come to typify her work to include representations of everything from cells to whole societies. During this time, she also started experimenting with acrylic and oil paints.

Uhma Janus: 3 paintings

Ever the scientist artist, Uhma continues to experiment with new media and subjects. Some of her more recent work using graphite and colored pencils combine faces and geometry to explore emotions and personality traits. To see more of her work, you can visit her new site at uhmajanus.com.

Artist Spotlight: Katie Wampler

Katie Wampler with art

Artist Spotlight: Katie Wampler

Homesickness can be a difficult feeling to cope with. For Katie Wampler, it would provide the catalyst for her foray into art. Growing up in Louisville and having a parent who worked for Brown-Forman, the Kentucky Derby had played a significant part of Katie’s childhood. For college, Katie went out of state to UVA, marking the first time she was out of state for Derby. After UVA, life took Katie to South Carolina to teach for two years, again forcing Katie to miss the Derby and time with her family.

Katie Wampler: 7 paintings in studio
Katie Wampler: 4 paintings on desk
Katie Wampler: 6 Jockey Prints on Wall
Katie Wampler: Sea Spray #2

By 2015, Katie’s homesickness was at an all-time high. While always interested in art, she never pursued it outside of one class in high school. Inspired by her longing for home and her love of the colorful jockey silks, Katie decided to pull out the art supplies she had on hand and paint the silks in watercolor. When she showed her work to others, they encouraged her to sell prints of her work on Etsy. Even though Katie would eventually leave South Carolina for Washington DC and grad school, she kept working on her art. While in DC, she took a summer class on acrylic painting. After four years in DC, Katie decided it was time to return to her old Kentucky home.

Much of Katie’s work highlights her Kentucky roots, with the Derby and bourbon serving as regular subjects. As a fan of Andy Warhol, you can see hints of his influence at play in Katie’s work. Finding inspiration from colors, patterns, textures, and nature, she also experiments with more abstract styles and the use of floral and botanical elements. To see more of Katie’s work, you can find her on Instagram at @katie_paints. You can also find her online store at fourmintleaves.com.

Katie Wampler: Derby Winner
Katie Wampler: Blanton's Bourbon Painting
Katie Wampler: Jockey Sliks
Katie Wampler: Constellation #2

Artist Spotlight: Brennen Cabrera

Brennen Cabrera

Artist Spotlight: Brennen Cabrera

For mixed medium artist Brennen Cabrera, there has always been a pull towards the darker aspects of life, particularly mental health and the human condition. Working predominantly in oils and acrylics, he explores the everyday horrors of depression, anxiety, and other struggles in his transgressive abstract expressionist styling.

Brennen Cabrera with Painting

For this self-taught artist, painting is how he comes to understand himself and others. In his first show, his work revolved around his personal struggles and inner turmoil. With his upcoming show in our Pigment Gallery, Brennen shifted his focus to the passion, pain, and anxiety of a quiet, intimate friendship as presented from both sides. Following this show, Brennen plans to shift his focus and examine society at large.

Brennen Cabrera: Picture of Painting

To see more of his work, you can find him on Facebook at Brennen Cabrera Art, on Instagram at @brennencabreraart, or view his website at brennencabreraart.com.

Brennen Cabrera: Message
Brennen Cabrera Painting

Artist Spotlight: Karl Otto

Karl Otto

Artist Spotlight: Karl Otto

Karl Otto: Wood and Marker Piece in Mellwood Office

As much as we like to see ourselves as the architects of our own destinies, we can’t deny how much chance plays a huge role in determining our future. No one knows this better than Karl Otto. If you’ve stopped by our office, you’ve seen some of his work hanging on our wall. It exists thanks to the chance encounters Karl has had which helped him discover his aptitude for and interest in geometric designs.

Currently, Karl’s primary focus as a tattoo artist is black work, heavy layers of black ink used to create geometric and ornamental designs. While this style makes up the majority of his work, this wasn’t always the case. Seven years prior, he had been primarily doing American traditional tattoos; simple bold tattoos with small color palettes. By chance, he was approached by a friend and fellow tattoo artist with a request to do a tattoo of a mandala. Karl had never received such a request and had to learn how to design one. This one tattoo would change everything for Karl.

Karl Otto: Back tattoo
Karl Otto tattooing

Once it was completed, he posted a picture of his work on social media, where it took off. Over the next few years, Karl gained a reputation for his mandalas. Eventually, it became the bulk of his requests. As Karl studied, traveled, and worked with other tattoo artists, he saw how much more he could do with geometric patterns inspired by Eastern art.

It was another chance request which would open another creative outlet for Karl. He was invited by the people in charge of the party cove at the Forecastle Festival. Being familiar with Karl’s work, they asked him to do one of his geometric designs on a boat; they would provide him with supplies. When he arrived, he received paint markers, which turned out to be the perfect tool to allow him to create his designs quickly on a large scale. He quickly fell in love with medium and now seeks every opportunity to engage with it. He’s made videos of him creating and has done live events as fundraisers for some local non-profits.

Karl Otto: Skull wood and marker piece
Karl Otto: Marker and Wood Mandala
Karl Otto: Mandala tattoo
Karl Otto: Muhammad Ali wood and marker piece
Karl Otto: Red and black neck tattoo

You can find more of Karl’s work on his Instagram @unflappable_karl and @unflappablekarl_designs.

Artist Spotlight: Kevin Warth

Kevin Warth

Artist Spotlight: Kevin Warth

Our teenage years are a time of self-discover; we figure out our strengths, interests, and passions. We often plan our futures, scrap them, and then plan again as we learn more about ourselves. Kevin Warth, an interdisciplinary artist here at Mellwood, was no exception. Initially, Kevin had charted a path which would ultimately take him to med school. At 16, he took his first photography class, which completely changed the trajectory of his life.

Kevin Warth: 4 embroidery portraits

Through that class, he discovered part of himself he didn’t know existed before. He found a passion to create, a passion he knew he needed to follow in college. Halfway into his college years, Kevin identified what would be the focus of his art: identity, sexuality, and the body. He found that he enjoyed exploring these topics and drawing comparisons between lived experience and the cultural norms pushed by mass media, advertising in particular. In his photography, Kevin tries to find new ways to interpret the home and family while subverting the dominant social narratives.

Kevin Warth: Daily Chores
Kevin Warth: Hung
Kevin Warth: Kitchen Shelf

During his time in college, Kevin took a fiber arts course to fulfill a requirement for his major. At the time, he had very little enthusiasm or interest in the medium. It wasn’t until after he had graduated and took on a studio here at Mellwood that he began to experiment with it. As he played with fiber art more, he found ways to incorporate his experience as a photographer, desire to subvert norms, and explore identity with this new medium. His embroidery portraiture examines the AIDS crisis, how it impacts the LGBTQ community today, and highlights those who passed away from HIV/AIDS complications.

To view more of Kevin’s work, you can visit his site at kevinwarth.com or his Instagram at @kevinmwarth.

Kevin Warth: Embroidery Portrait

Business Spotlight: P & P Collectibles

Dennis from P & P Collectibles

Business Spotlight: P & P Collectibles

For Dennis of P & P Collectibles & Antiques, his foray into candle making was a challenge put forward by another candle manufacturer. Prior to making candles, Dennis’ focus was on his antiques business, where he sold candles made by this manufacturer when he was notified that he would no longer be allowed to sell their candles. When told he couldn’t do it on his own, he was determined to prove them otherwise. Four years and thousands of candles later, Dennis is still making and selling candles, as well as essential oils and fragrances, defusers, and beard and hair oil for men, with plans to expand into other products in the future.

P & P Collectibles: Bourbon Barrel Candle Display
P & P Collectibles: Witch's Brew

Dennis’ environmentally friendly candles are made with a blend of soy and coconut waxes, wooden wicks, and come in over 60 different scents derived from essential oils and fragrances, making his candles easier on those who struggle with asthma. He’s best known for his Kentucky-themed scents, which include Bourbon Barrel (housed in custom made clay bourbon barrels courtesy of Betty Blu Pottery), Cherry Tobacco, and Mint Julep. He also has some more unusually named candles, like Hillbilly Homebrew, Witch’s Brew, Terrestrial, and Butt Naked. Be sure to check out his shop here at Mellwood or his online stop on Etsy at etsy.com/shop/PpcollectiblesStore.

P & P Collectibles: Candles on Shelf
P & P Collectibles: Glass Pigs and Skulls