VIP Interview: Brent and Josh of The Fabulous Beekman Boys

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

While at the 2015 Birmingham Home & Garden Show, Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell of Beekman 1802 sat down with the VIP to chat about how losing their big-city jobs changed their lives like they never would have imagined. In addition, we chatted about how “small farms can grow bigger than their fences,” adorable goats, and tomato sandwiches. 

Meeting Brent and Josh and hearing their story was such a fabulous experience, and now I am ready to share all of the details with y’all, the VIP readers. So, without further ado, I introduce the Fabulous Beekman Boys! Yay!

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VIP: How did y’all get started with doing all of the awesome things that y’all do–Beekman 1802, The Fabulous Beekman Boys, and so forth?

Josh: We were just too city guys. He [Brent] worked for Martha Stewart, and I was in advertising. In 2006, we bought a big ol’ farm in Upstate New York; and then, in 2008, we both lost our jobs in the recession. So, we had this giant farm that was just supposed to be for fun that we had to turn into a farm that paid for itself. So, we had about 130 goats, and we started making goat-milk soap and cheese and working with different places to create products. We set up an e-commerce site ourselves and started selling to places like Anthropologie and William Sonoma. It just grew, grew, and grew to what it is now.

VIP: What is y’all’s favorite thing to do on the farm?

Brent: Our favorite thing to do is just sit on the farm! But anyone who owns a farm today knows that the work is never ending. We can work twenty-four hours a day, and we still feel like we did not get everything done. One thing that makes our situation a little bit different is we are a business and a farm–but not just any farm. We are a farm that grows beyond its fences. Without the great team of people we have behind us, we wouldn’t be able to have done all that we have done.

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VIP: Whenever you feel the need for good comfort food, what do you immediately go for?

Josh: We raise almost all of our own food on the farm. So, for us, I think our comfort food is when we get back late at night from a trip or something, and we just go out to the hen house and get a couple of eggs and go out into the garden with a flashlight and pick whatever we are in the mood for to make a good omelette with our own goat cheese. There is nothing like being able to pull a meal together literally from scratch.

VIP: I think that is so awesome! You can just walk into your backyard and tah dah–a meal is born!

Brent: Oh, yeah! For me, there is nothing more perfect than a tomato sandwich with Duke’s mayonnaise.

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Baby VIP with her Paw Riley.

VIP: When I was little, I used to hate tomatoes until my Paw Riley made me a tomato sandwich with tomatoes from his garden. Since then, I have found comfort in a fresh tomato sandwich. Two pieces of white bread, mayonnaise, tomato–it’s just good!

Brent: And you cannot forget to add a little salt and pepper! It [a tomato sandwich] is just the best–I could eat ten of them!

VIP: Other than losing your jobs and overcoming that hurdle, what would you say is one challenge y’all have conquered going into farming?

Josh: One of the biggest things we had to learn is how to be patient. As busy as we are all the time, living out in the country and on a farm, we had to learn to embrace patience. In the city, you could get anything you wanted delivered to your door in less than an hour, but out in the country, you have to make a special trip to the grocery store, if you want a certain kind of food or beverage. So, for instance–tomatoes. We don’t eat tomatoes, if they are not growing in the garden. So, there is a full ten months or so that we don’t have tomatoes. One plus side to waiting that long is that when it is finally tomato season, they taste so delicious because we have waited and waited for fresh tomatoes.

VIP: Oh, I totally agree–patience tastes delicious!

Josh: Oh, definitely! And I think people who live in the cities and suburbs that just buy whatever they want whenever they want it do not learn to appreciate things to the extent that those who have patience.

Brent: Exactly! Patience makes the heart grow fonder.

Photo via Beekman 1802 Facebook page.
Photo via Beekman 1802 Facebook page.

VIP: What is each of y’all’s personal style?

Brent: Well, I think we have sort of meshed city and country together to create our own style. Working in media, I had to be aware of the trends; and when we moved to the country, we took our city wardrobe with us! So, often people will see us working on the farm in designer clothes, and even when we go into the city every now and again, people will see us wearing our muck boots with something city-style.

Josh: This winter, we had a stylebook we released on decorating, and it really highlights the idea of opposites attract. We have city stuff and country stuff–

Brent: My stuff and your stuff–

Josh: Yeah, you’re stuff and my stuff. We also have stuff from when the house was built in 1802 as well as a variety of modern stuff. Instead of conforming to the world of matchy, matchy, matchy, we take the things we love and put them together to create a style that not only we wear, but that we also put into our decor.

Brent: Exactly. A perfect relationship isn’t two identical things–it’s two different things or persons that get along with each other. A little contrast is important in every aspect of our lives.

Photo via Beekman 1802 Boys Facebook page.
Photo via Beekman 1802 Boys Facebook page.

VIP: Now that we have talked about y’all’s style, I have to ask my VIP question. What is one item in y’all’s closet y’all would never toss out and why?

Brent: Hm…I would probably say our muck boots.

Josh: Yes–definitely our muck boots. We have probably thirty pairs or so, and we use them everyday. They are kind of like part of the lifestyle now.

The VIP, Josh, and Brent walking to the main stage for The Fabulous Beekman Boy presentation at the Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2015.
The VIP, Josh, and Brent walking to the main stage for The Fabulous Beekman Boys presentation at the Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2015.

Stay tuned to the sister blog for the rest of the interview with Brent and Josh coming soon!

Connect with Brent and Josh and stay up-to-date with all things Beekman 1802:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website | Shop | Live Baby Goat Cam

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

VIP Interview: John and Whitney Spinks of HGTV’s Flipping the Block

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

While at the 2015 Birmingham Home & Garden Show, John and Whitney Spinks from HGTV’s Flipping the Block sat down with the VIP to chat about how Whitney’s blog, Drab to Fab Design, changed their lives. In addition, we chatted about the couple’s time on the show + big design must haves + Whitney’s obsession with skinny jeans *wink*

Meeting the Spinks and hearing their story (and not just the one from Flipping the Block) was such a fabulous experience, and now I am ready to share all of the details with y’all, the VIP readers. So, without further ado, I introduce to y’all John and Whitney Spinks! Yay!

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VIP: What was y’all’s experience like on HGTV’s Flipping the Block?

Whitney: Flipping the Block is probably one of the most intense and one of the most rewarding renovation projects that we’ve ever done. The timelines are crazy, the rules of the show are very strict, and you only have a few days to get these major projects done. It was so crazy, but at the same time, it was so much fun. 

John: And the cool part about it is it all came from Whitney’s blog. They [creators of Flipping the Block) sent her an email inviting Whitney and myself to apply to be on the show. Out of all the teams on the show, we were the only ones not to go to a casting call–mainly because we did not even know it was going on! Other people had been interviewing and going to casting calls while Whitney was over there blogging and got an email about it. 

VIP: I think that’s awesome! Such a lucky opportunity!

John: Yeah, we really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Almost everything that we learned from the experience was captured on camera, and that’s one thing I think was really great about Flipping the Block. It didn’t just highlight dramatic moments, it also showed the troubles and the good times. 

VIP *to Whitney*: So what is the name of your blog?

Whitney: My blog is called Drab to Fab Design!

VIP: That’s a super cute name! How long had you been blogging when they contacted you about applying for the show?

Whitney: Well, I started the blog in November of 2011, and they contacted us about November 2013–so, I had been blogging for two years.

John: And who knows–we will see you [talking to the VIP] on TV soon! Like Bravo or the Style Network!

VIP: Hey…I would not reject to that at all! I love the Style Network! *giggles*

John: In all seriousness, a lot of people like you, me, and Whitney get the opportunity to be on channels like HGTV because the shows need good talent and good personalities!

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VIP: Y’all have your design company 27 South Design Group–what can y’all tell me about that?

Whitney: Well, 27 South is our design business, and we started it immediately after we were done with Flipping the Block. We always knew that we wanted to open some type of design business, and Flipping the Block was sort of that push to make us actually do it. The show gave us the confidence we needed to start our dream and launch our business….We live and run our business out of Jacksonville Florida.

VIP: Ooo! Warm down there! I live in Northeast Tennessee now, and it has been a bit since I have seen any warm temperatures. 

John: Oh, where at [in Tennessee]?

VIP: Johnson City, Tennessee–up towards the Virginia line. 

John: Johnson City!

VIP: It is warmer here [Birmingham, AL] than when I left Johnson City on Friday. 

John: Well, where we are from in Indiana is about two hours from Nashville, so we go through Tennessee all the time. We take family vacations to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

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VIP: What color would you say best describes each of you?

Whitney: That’s a great question! I am really into blues in design–

John: *motions to Whitney’s outfit*

Laughter among everyone

Whitney: …but I also love grays too. A big part of me really likes deep, sort of moody blues, but I really love bright greens as well.

John: Man…what color? It is so hard to pick one color because when I think of “color”, I think of pink or other bright colors, but when I work with colors, I think more along the lines of leather or steel.

Whitney: He likes a lot of industrial elements.

John: Yes! Industrial–like deep grays. I also like a lot of natural color or color from nature. 

Whitney: Think of like natural textures and the colors that those textures have.

John: Oh, texture is a great thing from a design standpoint…then add some color. 

VIP: So, what got y’all into doing design?

Whitney: I think it really evolved when John was in the Navy. He was deployed, and I was home by myself. I have always been creative and hands on, so I sort of just dived in with the blog trying new things. And after I started my blog, my love for interior design just sort of blossomed, and I started learning more and more about the processes. I got a lot of inspiration from online and other bloggers, and it all sort of went up from there!

John: Yeah, my thing was like we grew up in a little farm town in Indiana where guys are expected to be a “man’s man”. I was in construction working for a custom-home home builder, but I have always been sketching and designing so the seed was already planted, so to speak. Whitney’s blog and the show just watered it and made it grow. I always felt like designing “wasn’t cool” to do, and as I got older, I realized that I have to do what makes me happy–that is what design does for me. 

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VIP: Whitney, what is one item in your closet you would never toss out and why?

Whitney: I am a huge, huge fan of a good pair of skinny jeans, so I could never toss out my skinnies! If I find a brand or a style that I really love, I will buy two or three pairs of them. Skinnies are pretty much my staple fashion piece–I am almost always in a pair of skinnies!

John: *joking with the VIP* What? You’re not going to ask me about my favorite clothing piece? 

VIP: *joking back* Okay, John–what’s one item in your closet you would never toss out and why? *wink*

John: Well…these worn-out boots I have on right now…and…Ah, who am I kidding. Whitney still dresses me most days.

Whitney: *joking with John and the VIP* It’s true…but his style is evolving haha I don’t care what he wears though. I like him just the way he is. 

*awh moment–John and Whitney are pretty much the most adorable couple ever*

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CONNECT WITH JOHN & WHITNEY:

Facebook | Instagram (John) (Whitney) (27 South) | Blog | Website

Stay tuned to the sister blog for the rest of the interview with John and Whitney coming soon!

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

VIP Home: Birmingham Home + Garden Show 2015

I had a lovely time at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show on Saturday, February 14. This particular vendor tugged at my heart strings because it took me back to the days of showing Polled Herefords.
I had a lovely time at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show on Saturday, February 14. This particular vendor tugged at my heart strings because it took me back to the days of showing Polled Herefords.
I just had to show y'all this photo of me with my heifer and Paw Hathorn. Y'all can see why I had to hang out at the beef vendor. Click here for fabulous recipes and more about beef.
I just had to show y’all this photo of me with my heifer and Paw Hathorn. Y’all can see why I had to hang out at the beef vendor. Click here for fabulous recipes and more about beef because “Beef–It’s What’s For Dinner” *smile*

Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

Happy Monday, y’all! Today on the blog, I have a special treat for VIP Home–it is an overview of the Birmingham Home + Garden Show 2015 AND a few sneak peek photos from the interviews I had with John & Whitney Spinks from HGTV’s Flipping the Block + The Fabulous Beekman Boys. I cannot wait to share all the fabulousness with y’all *smile* Did I mention that the sister blogs will also have coverage, exclusive photos, and more from the Birmingham Home + Garden Show? Oh, yes! Be sure to check out Sweet Sorghum Living and Sixteen & Successful all this week–y’all will not want to miss out *wink*

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show 2015!

An impressive crowd at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show on Saturday, February 14.
There was an impressive crowd at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show on Saturday, February 14. I am guessing a few were working on their honey-do lists *wink*

More than 300 companies were represented at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show–many of them offered exclusive show-only deals. There were vendors showcasing everything from home improvement to speciality cookware. From what I witnessed, a lot of folks took home some great deals and ideas!

Hot tubs were a hot item at the Home Show *wink* Hollywood Pools offered up some pretty fabulous deals on their show models. Be sure to head over to their website for not only your hot tub needs, but also outdoor furnishings and more. They can pretty much take care of your outdoor entertaining needs! Hurry up, Spring!
Hot tubs were a hot item at the Home Show *wink*

The Birmingham Home + Garden Show took over the BJCC for four days with nationally renowned experts in landscaping, outdoor living, home improvement, interior design, instructional how-to-seminars, give-aways, and more. The Western Supermarket was on the upper level of the BJCC, and it had some pretty delicious treats–from ice cream to sweet tea. This year the garden portion of the show was held on the upper level of the BJCC, where the garden designs were enhanced by natural light. Local design experts from Southern Botanicals, Trimm Landscape, Backyard Paradise, and Williams Landscape Services created gorgeous yard and garden displays to inspire the visitors. Hurry up, Spring!

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Just enjoying my favorite diet beverage *smile*
Just enjoying my favorite diet beverage *smile*
Lake Guntersville Pool & Patio had some pretty fabulous outdoor furniture and deals at the show.
Lake Guntersville Pool & Patio had some pretty fabulous outdoor furniture and deals at the show. I am pretty sure that the VIP’s mom picked this as a top pick for her blog, but y’all will have to wander over there to find out *wink* A little birdie told me that she will be posting SSL’s Top Picks later on this week.

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What's not to love!
What’s not to love!
I am totally crushing on these tees by Art Wear Tees. Y'all will have to go check out their site! Click here for more info and fabulousness.
I am totally crushing on these tees by ArtWear Tees. Y’all will have to go check out their site! Click here for more info and shopping-in-your-pjs fabulousness. Isn’t is great supporting small and local businesses!

In addition to all of the fabulousness at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show marketplace, I also had the wonderful opportunity to sit down and chat with John and Whitney Spinks from HGTV’s Flipping the Block and the Fabulous Beekman Boys! I am not going to spill the beans just yet–y’all will have to stay tuned to the blog for the interviews *wink* BUT…until then, here are some cute sneak peek photos :)

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OH! And don't forget to stay tuned to the blog for the interview with the Fabulous Beekman Boys to find out why I am taking a selfie--or as they called it a "shelfie"--with tomato sauce...Hm...I wonder why the VIP is going that??? *wink*
OH! And don’t forget to stay tuned to the blog for the interview with the Fabulous Beekman Boys to find out why I am taking a selfie–or as they call it a “shelfie”–with pasta sauce…Hm…I wonder why the VIP is doing that??? *wink*

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

VIP Home: Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2015 + Coupon Offer

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 Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

Looking for a fun and fabulous trip for this Valentine’s Day weekend? Well, look no further because the Birmingham Home & Garden Show will be at the BJCC for four awesome days of interiors, exteriors, and gardens galore! The Birmingham Home & Garden Show will take place in downtown Birmingham, which houses a variety of delicious cuisine, night venues, the Birmingham Museum of Art, antique shopping, and more! Stay at the fabulous The Tutwiler Hotel (Hampton Inn & Suites), have lunch at Cantina at Pepper Place, take a relaxing stroll in Railroad Park, visit the Birmingham Home & Garden Show, and return to Pepper Place for a scrumptious Italian dinner at BETTOLA. 

Stay tuned to the end of this blog post for a VERY special coupon announcement. Coupons…everyone loves coupons *wink*

The Details about the Birmingham Home & Garden Show

When:

Thursday, February 12 11:00 am 9:00 pm
Friday, February 13 10:00 am 9:00 pm
Saturday, February 14 10:00 am 9:00 pm
Sunday, February 15 10:00 am 6:00 pm

Where:

Birmingham-Jefferson
Convention Complex
2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North
Birmingham, AL 35203

detailed directions here.

Admission: 

Adults $ 11.00
Adults (Online) $ 8.00
Children Ages 6 – 12 $ 3.00
Children Ages 5 & Under FREE

For a special VIP blog offer…see the coupon code at the end of this post! 

Who’s Gonna Be There:

2015 Celeb Guests

The Fabulous Beekman Boys

John and Whitney Spinks from HGTV’s Flipping the Block

John and Whitney will showcase their flair for affordable design, share their Best DIY tricks and give you tools you need to overcome renovation challenges.

What’s Happening:

For practical home and garden advice, a look at innovative products, and fabulous inspiration for your home, check out all the happenings at the Birmingham Home & Garden show! For details about other events at the show, please visit the official website here.

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The VIP and  Ty Pennington chatting behind-the-scenes at the Birmingham Home Show. Check out the interview here.

I will be covering the event on Saturday, so if you are at the show, stop by and say “hello”!

The VIP Interviewing Food Network Star and Retro Rad Diva Emily Ellyn. Click here to read the interview.

Read VIP & save! Enter the coupon code “VINTAGE” when purchasing tickets to the Birmingham Home & Garden Show online to save some moola on your tickets! Click here to purchase + redeem coupon code. 

And ending tonight's post with a tiny bit of motivation to kickstart the week :)
Ending tonight’s post with a bit of motivation to kickstart the week :)

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Birmingham Home and Garden Show 2014

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The Birmingham Home and Garden Show 2014 was four days jammed pack with celebrity guests, food tastings, inspiring outdoor displays, local vendors, and MORE! Can you believe it? All of that fabulousness in downtown Birmingham at the BJCC [Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex]!

I attended the Birmingham Home and Garden Show on Saturday, February 15, and I was amazed at the turn out! There were so many people chatting with local vendors, sampling food at the Western Supermarket pavilion, and snapping iPhone pictures of the awesome yard inspiration.
I attended the Birmingham Home and Garden Show on Saturday, February 15, and the turn out was amazing. There were so many people here, there, and everywhere chatting with local vendors, sampling food at the Western Supermarket Pavilion, and snapping iPhone pictures of the awesome garden displays. Oh, the Birmingham Home and Garden Show is the place to go!

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Car shopping at the Home and Garden show? Nah...I wish--my dad said no race cars *wink* I guess I will have to stick to Fiat of Birmingham *wink*
Car shopping at the Home and Garden show? Nah…I wish–my dad said no race cars *wink* I guess I will have to find a super adorable and sporty ride at Fiat of Birmingham *wink*
Carmen Johnston presenting Southern Plant Collection's expert decorating tips for 2014. Wow! Carmen gave me some great ideas for decorating the small green space of my future apartment.
Carmen Johnston presenting Southern Living Plant Collection’s expert decorating tips for 2014. Wow! Carmen gave me some great ideas for decorating the small green space of my future apartment.
Ah...daffodils! Spring is in the air....
Ah…daffodils! Spring is in the air….
Love this backyard idea! So cute and colorful!
Love this backyard idea! So cute and colorful!
Emily Ellyn (as seen on Food Network Star Season 8 and Cupcake Wars) and I chatting about about vintage prior to the interview. We could have talked about vintage clothes all day long *wink*
Emily Ellyn (as seen on Food Network Star Season 8 and Cupcake Wars) and I chatting vintage clothes prior to the interview. We could have talked about vintage all day long *wink*
Meeting Ahmed Hassan (Yard Crashers host) before our interview. It was so much fun getting to meet and chat with Ahmed!
Meeting Ahmed Hassan (Yard Crashers host) before our interview. He is such a fun person and a healthy eater *note the banana in his left hand haha* ;)
Ooo another paparazzi shot! The VIP and Emily Ellyn chatting with the Father Nature Landscapes people about their awesome display.
Ooo another “paparazzi” shot! The VIP and Emily Ellyn chatting with Father Nature Landscapes about their awesome display.
Ahmed Hassan giving his presentation at the Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2014.
Ahmed Hassan giving his presentation at the Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2014.
Emily Ellyn cooking up a storm at the Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2014.
Emily Ellyn cooking up a storm at the Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2014.
Okay...So, this photo was wayyyy too embarrassing for me NOT to share with y'all. The VIP in public with no heels, dressed up, and eating a cheeseburger. That's okay though, I am not ashamed *wink*
Okay…So, this photo was wayyyy too funny for me NOT to share with y’all. The VIP in public with no heels, dressed up, and eating a cheeseburger. That’s okay though, I am not ashamed *wink*
And...another shot of the VIP and her dad snacking it out at the show haha *wink*
And…another shot of the VIP and her dad snacking it out at the show…check out my chew-smile haha *wink*

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For more information about the Birmingham Home & Garden Shows, please visit www.birminghamhomeandgardenshow.com.

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Stay tuned later today for the VIP Interview with Ahmed Hassan! Yay!

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn