Jen McCabe has been a good friend over recent years, championing my work and supporting me on a personal level and even letting me sleep in her spare bed made of a cloud! We first met in Minneapolis in 2007 when I played a show at the 7th Street Entry (where Prince shot "Purple Rain"). Jen took me out for drinks before the show at an amazing bar (the closest I'll ever get to being in an episode of "Twin Peaks"), making me miss soundcheck and forcing Todd Trainer of Shellac to sit in for me! Since then we often share mixes and thoughts on art and design, which is always a pleasure for me.
These days Jen lives in Portland, Oregon and publishes the beautiful blog Honey Kennedy which demonstrates Jen's immaculate taste in everything. I'm thrilled that Jen is doing what she loves and has found the audience that she deserves. This interview is long overdue!!!
Where did the name Honey Kennedy come from?
Honey was my grandmother Jacquelyn Kennedy's nickname growing up in New York. It's what her parents always called her and it just stuck with the rest of the people in the neighborhood.
Which other blogs do you find particularly inspiring?
A few of my favorites right now are Door Sixteen, Verhext, Pugly Pixel, TeenAngster, Le Projet d’Amour and Miss Moss. These girls are all fun people and absurdly clever.
What's the most inspiring thing about the people and work that you tend to focus on?
Most of the people I write about are independent designers, shops and artists who work hard to produce beautiful things on their own. Most of them do a great job at keeping great brand integrity — staying true to their aesthetic in their online presence and social media interactions.
What's happening in Portland?
A lot. All of the time! Ha. There is a lot of good food and the whole city is in bloom during these warm months. It’s beautiful! You should move here, Kristian. I will never stop saying that!
Is there a genuine movement for independent creativity and retailing in Portland?
Well, people in Portland are definitely thoughtful about how they spend their time and money. Everyone I know shops at small businesses whenever they can. It makes sense to put your money back into the hands of people in the community. I love how the 3/50 Project breaks it down.
What do you make of Portland becoming a cultural stereotype?
I think it’s hilarious and sweet. Most cities have aspects that fit the same cultural stereotype which is why it is so funny and relatable to so many people. It is also a pretty idyllic lifestyle that seems unreal or unattainable when you’re living in the fast pace of a bigger city or in a smaller city without the same supportive community and resources.
I do like Portland and find it a very beautiful and inspiring city. However, I find a lot of people there to be overly aggressive and militant in being "right-on". I once put a paper coffee cup on the sidewalk while I looked for something in my bag only to have a passer-by say, “I hope you're going to put that in the trash can!". To me that sums up a certain atmosphere in Portland. Is that something you've encountered?
That’s so funny. I’ve had similar encounters, but not very often. Most people here are relaxed and give people the benefit of the doubt. It has a very small town vibe, but there just happens to be an abundance of amazing restaurants, shops and sites.
There are quite a few “right-on” sorts here, but usually they have better aim at who to target than you and your offensive paper cup. They were probably more offended by the fact that you were using a paper cup instead of something reusable than that you might leave it on the sidewalk, really.
What do you do aside from Honey Kennedy?
Honey Kennedy takes up most of my time, but I also help some local businesses with their social media, branding and online presence.
What are you currently obsessed with?
Embarrassingly, I realized recently that the movie Sixteen Candles was 28 years old (!!!!) and have been listening to tracks from the soundtrack quite often. I think I listened to "If You Were Here" by the Thompson Twins about 50 times this week. I’ve also been enjoying Veronica Falls, the new Spiritualized record and The Vaccines!
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of years you can find Honey Kennedy HERE