Meet Kari Shipman – one of Sacramento’s hardest-working fashionistas. Shipman is the woman behind Juniper James, and you can also find her at artist incubator Flywheel at the Downtown plaza, which she co-owns. She’s proud to call herself a member of the creative working class, and is dedicated to seeing Sacramento’s artistic community grow. We almost lost her to Los Angeles. but fortunately for us (and unfortunately for L.A.) she made the decision to put down roots in Sacramento.
Below she shares her thoughts on the necessity of Sunday brunch, enjoying the outdoors like a true urbanite, where the boys can find the best vintage duds, and how to sustain a creative class. Watch the city fly by, Shipman-style.
Name: Kari Shipman
Occupation: Creative Director: Juniper James (Fashion Consulting) // Co-Owner: Flywheel
Neighborhood: Midtown & Downtown
SP: How long have you lived here?
KS: Sacramento born and raised.
SP: Why have you stayed?
KS: I had plans and opportunities to be in LA following high school, and stayed for family reasons. I somewhat begrudged everything in Sacramento for a while, and refused to plug in to the art, music, restaurant, (or any other) scene here, because it wasn’t the life I thought I was going to have in LA. One day I woke up and realized that I was missing out on what Sacramento DID have to offer, and with no plans to leave, I jumped in head first. That’s when I fell in love with my city.
SP: Where is your favorite spot in Sac to enjoy the outdoors and why?
KS: I’m not an "outdoorsy" type. It’s nice and all, but I’m a city girl. My favorite place to enjoy the "outdoors" is from the patio of some of my favorite restaurants. Choice patio spots in Sac: Revolution Wine, Bows & Arrows, Hook & Ladder and Red Rabbit.
If I had to pick something officially outdoors: I love going to outdoor concerts here, especially because you always run into friends. Concerts in the Park, Pops in the Park, Hot Italian’s Hot Lunch Series…
SP: What’s the best season to spend in Sacramento, and why?
KS: I really do enjoy all of the seasons here, each with it’s own charm, events and fun to be had. But summers are so full of life and good times with friends.
Why? Outdoor concert series (see above), great food & drinks on patios & front porches (see above), rafting down the river, River Cats games, sangria, barbecues and bonfires, wearing sundresses and sandals, biking around midtown on a warm evening… so much more. but that’ll do.
SP: Which is your favorite happy hour spot?
KS: Lucca has a great happy hour. With burgers sourced from local Lucky Dog Ranch, and summer white/red sangria by the glass or pitcher with girlfriends, Lucca is definitely my go-to. Also noteworthy: Ella, Sapporo and Red Rabbit.
SP: On Friday or Saturday night we’d find you…
KS: Friday nights lately, I’m usually resting at home with good cooking and wine after a BUSY on-the-go kinda week. But most Saturday nights – supporting friends at live music shows. As a musician myself, I can’t get enough of experiencing the beauty of other’s music. We have so many incredible musicians (who are even more impressive as people), and usually it’s a tough decision on which shows to hit on any given evening.
SP: On a Sunday afternoon we’d find you…
KS: BRUNCH. Almost always brunchin’ it up. I actually have a "Brunch Crew" with a private FB group & everything (what? you don’t take brunch that seriously??), and every Sunday we pick a place and usually spend most of the day there. Hence my affinity for restaurant patios. 🙂
SP: Describe our city in 15 words or less.
KS: Sacramento is a growing, creative city with a big heart.
SP: I’m a tourist. What are the top three things I shouldn’t miss during my stay?
KS: This might be the hardest question of all. So many great places, so many categories, AND so much depends on what season it is. But speaking overall:
See a live show: Exquisite Corps or Autumn Sky are my favorite local bands. Sac Ballet – incredible.
Get a great drink: Adam Saake (Golden Bear) & Ian Beightler (Hot Italian) are my favorite (super talented!) bartenders.
Shop local, handmade: My shop (Flywheel) & Bows & Arrows carry mostly Sacramento Handmade.
SP: Name one of Sacramento’s “hidden gems” – this could be a place, person, business, etc. What makes this a gem?
KS: Ed’s Threads. Ed has been a business owner in Sacramento way longer than I’ve been alive. He’s the real deal. You walk into his shop and you’ve stepped through a time machine into the ‘good ole days’ when men dressed like gentlemen. Sustaining an all-men’s vintage clothing shop for so many years is impressive in and of itself, but the flair & authentic style that Ed himself exudes is priceless. He is a purist, a true collector, who knows every piece and it’s story.
SP: What conversation are you a part of, and why is it important?
KS: I am a part of Sacramento’s creative class, as well as a business owner. It’s one thing to be someone who has a regular 9-5 job working for someone else, and enjoys being creative outside of that. It’s a whole different story being a working creative.
One of the biggest hot-button issues in the creative circles here (musicians, graphic design, photography, visual art, performance art etc) is whether or not Sacramento will sustain you here. It’s a love/pain relationship for almost every creative I know. They love their craft, and (want to) love Sacramento, but whether it be corporate censorship of the media outlets inhibiting the dissemination of emerging art, or patrons not truly valuing it and choosing to pay for the show/piece/image/design, so many creatives find themselves moving to SF or LA.
One of the things that I think Sacramento can be proud of is it’s ever-expanding community-minded values toward the arts. So many organizations, individuals and businesses choosing to respect, embrace and further the arts here. In SF and LA, it’s cutthroat. Everyone you meet is trying to make it as a creative, and willing to eat others for breakfast to get there. Sacramento isn’t that environment and I love that about us. But if we want to keep our creatives, they need to eat. They need to pay their bills and be appreciated.
How I actively work toward that goal:
Flywheel: all Sacramento handmade artisan retail
THIS is Midtown & Launch: monthly summer/annual events that showcase local musicians, designers & artisans.
Put my money where my mouth is: I buy local. I attend local. I promote local. I eat & drink local.
SP: Anything else?
KS: We live in an incredible city full of talented and fascinating people who care about each other and Sacramento. Get involved, support local and make a difference.
So who’s our photog on the streets this week? Sac Press goes tech this week as we hand over the @sacramentopress Instagram to Hacker Lab’s Eric Ullrich.