This post is part of a series where we interview prominent Southerners or Southern transplants about what they love so much about this area and why others should visit. If you are interested in being featured, leave a comment or send me an email.
Jenni Mowery and Cydney Metz are best friends and the owners of The Suburban Outlaws, a company selling repurposed denim jeans and shirts as well as flasks, hats and other tailgating essentials. They were born in West Virginia but have lived all over the place before settling down in North Carolina.
What do you love most about living in the South?
We were both born and raised in the South and wouldn’t live anywhere else. (Outlaw Jen knows, she’s tried it.) We love boots and boiled peanuts. We love the way it feels like you don’t have a care in the world when you jump your butt up on a tailgate with a cold beer in your hand. We love doing just about everything on a porch; eatin’, drinkin’, nappin’ or celebratin’!! We love that if life feels too damn hard and nothing is making any sense, we can drive 20 minutes in any direction, pull off the road and genuinely laugh with someone over stories of grandparents and children. We love deviled eggs and Coke on a Sunday afternoon. We love that when ordering “tea” in the south, the “sweet” is assumed. We pretty much just love the south. The best place on earth to live, work, dream and love is down here in Dixie.
What are your favorite places in North Carolina?
We spend time between Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina and just love the central North Carolina area. There are great haunts that we never get tired of like Little Richard’s BBQ and The Garage, a great place to see music, in Winston-Salem and shopping at Boris + Natasha and hitting the Beaver Bar or the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte afterwards. We are styling a new restaurant that is going open later this year in Winston called The Porch, so that will quickly become a favorite I’m sure. In between us there are some awesome antique shops and places to hunt for junk. Mocksville, NC is such a sweet little town with a variety of junk and, as we’re drawn to sugar like ants, a kick ass cake shop, Ketchie Creek Bakery. There’s a place near the town of Spencer called Kline’s that is truly different each time you go. They have acres of junk, architectural salvage, old metal boxes, doorknockers and who knows what else. If y’all go, take a truck or trailer, you gonna need it!
What is your favorite Southern meal?
Barbecue, barbecue, barbecue! East Carolina pulled pork with the vinegar mustard sauce, cornbread and slaw. YES, y’all, barbecue is served with slaw. Always…
If you’re grabbing something quick at home, there’s not much better than a room temperature homegrown or farm stand tomato sandwich, good soft bread, thick slices of tomato, salt and pepper, a slice of American Cheese and mayo, not the fat-free kind either!
And we wouldn’t be staying true to our Outlaw spirit if we didn’t say that moonshine goes great with Cheerwine or Cherry 7up if you’re thirsty…
What are your favorite Southern traditions?
1) Football is a religion in the South and while Cyd and I aren’t huge sports fan ourselves, we could have majored in tailgating! We love a good tailgate from start to finish, even if we never make it in the stadium.
2) The warmth and hospitality we feel as we travel around the South is second to none and we honestly have never met a stranger. That nice lady working at Bojangles doesn’t even bat an eye when you call her “darlin’” and she’ll call you “honey” right back as if y’all are long lost sisters.
3) One tradition that we can’t live without is that you can wear cowboy boots anywhere, especially if they’re your “steppin out boots”, damn, you can wear those to your cousin’s wedding!
4) We make good use of the word y’all, I must say it and type it 62 times a day. Our children know by the tone of the “y’all” if they are simply being called to supper or if they are in deep trouble. (on that note: We’d like to ban the ‘g’ on the end of words. Doin’, bein’, lovin’ all perfectly expectable words.)
5) But maybe the finest thing about the south is that Southerners seem to have a knowing, that we carry with us in our hearts, of the struggles of life and the preciousness of listening and paying attention to one another. We say “yes, ma’am” because we know that people of all kinds deserve respect. We gladly pick up a dropped item from a grocery sack because we know that people of all kinds need help sometimes. We are all family down here in the South; a big, loud, rowdy, hilarious, flawed and beautiful family.
Thanks again to Jenni and Cydney for sharing their favorite things about the South. You can buy their clothing on their website or check them out on Facebook and Tumblr. All photos are property of the Jenni Mowery unless otherwise stated.