Many people don't know this about me, but I have some social anxiety. I mean, I have tons of varying anxiety, but it's all compartmentalized for me and my social anxiety is considered moderate. As fate would have it, this week I was invited by the lovely, multifaceted creator and editorial director of Love It! EVV magazine, Kana L. Brown, to attend the launch party of the latest issue, Kiss and Be Married. At first, I hesitated. Did I really want to have to drag out some decent clothing, (Sidenote: I'm sort of a lazy hippie. A clean one though.) just to go to an event where I knew literally two people? After little deliberation, I decided: Absolutely.

I decided at the end of 2016 that I would get out more and create unique and lasting relationships with the locals who build up our community each and every day. At the end of the day, if I want to help shape this community, I have to know the people of this community.

I get ready, I get to the venue, and wow. I knew immediately this was going to be a uniquely magical experience just from the location. The freshly renovated Mystic Hand Letterpress & Design venue was perfect inside and out for an intimate experience.

Photo by Sunny Richardson
Photo by Sunny Richardson
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Jamie Brewer from DayLily Events greeted us promptly and politely upon arrival. Jamie's courteous and fun manner helped me to shed some of the anxiety I felt about what might lie ahead. Turning the corner into the midst of the actual event, I felt at ease.

Dulcet tones and incredible vocals from Vesper Days live music immediately gave the entire party a new perspective. With good vibes, great music, and fabulous company, I decided to explore.

Photo by Sunny Richardson of Vesper Days
Photo by Sunny Richardson of Vesper Days
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What happened next was definitely the worst part of the night, which strangely enough, was hilarious and I look back at it now and laugh! Making my way from the main mingle room, I head toward the dining area with fantastic coffee smells from Wired Coffeehouse (The Chai tea was out of this world) and delectable healthy eats from Wellness With Emily (I mean mouth watering delicious), I wander all the way to the back of the venue to the restroom. What happens next is totally my luck.

I close the door, get situated, sit down, and realize the toilet seat is wet. This in turn causes me to jump, ever so slightly, knocking into the toilet paper roll which in turn breaks loose, and the spring that holds the roll onto the wall flies across the room and slams into the back of the door. In a panic, I jump up and start wiping every part of my body that touched the seat. Before I had entered the room, a lady informed to me that the bathroom had been the last thing renovated and was just painted. The paint was dry, but she warned me to be careful. I'm now completely wiped off, and it turns out that the wetness was just Lysol cleaner. Thank the heavens. Still in a disoriented frenzy, I approach the sink to thoroughly wash my hands. I bend sideways and press my dress right against the paint. Thankfully, none of it transferred to my dress and the wall remained freshly intact. To say my confidence was rattled by a toilet seat, toilet paper roll, and freshly painted room is embarrassing. My first foray into nightlife since 2010 and I immediately crush my vibe within less than 5 minutes.

Luckily, as soon as that mini-nightmare ended, I met some fantastic people. The Love IT! Evv launch party atmosphere was very unique in that it was full of very engaging, creative, uplifting individuals who share a similar collective and cohesive community vision. Within minutes, I was completely relaxed and ended up having a fantastic experience! I found myself very inspired by the individuals I met and the atmosphere that started as a vision, breathed to life by all of these creative souls. On Love IT! EVV's website they describe themselves as:

Learn it! Live IT! Love IT!
A special platform Highlighting creatives & Small Business
in and Around Evansville Indiana.

From the amount of small businesses represented at the launch party that night, including drinks by Sauced, videography by Moments Remembered, and photos by Kyle Quigley, I think it's a very accurate representation of what this magazine and brand is about. In a recent blog post, Love IT EVV! also adds:

Love IT! EVV Magazine aims to be so much more than a magazine. We want to be at the very center of connection in our city. A hub for creativity and curiosity. Most importantly we want to plant the seed of authenticity.

In this regard, from the experience I had at the launch party for Kiss and Be Married, I can absolutely say that I believe Love IT! EVV embodies this statement and these ideologies.

Kana L. Brown, Founder of Love IT! EVV, photo by Sunny Richardson
Kana L. Brown, photo by Sunny Richardson
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By the end of the night, I felt I'd conquered my fears and even, dare I say, enjoyed myself! By taking a leap of faith and diving into the heart of Evansville's community, I overcame my anxieties and had one of the best times of my life. Thus, Tri-state residents, I encourage you to put yourself out there and allow yourself to be embraced by the creative collective that is us.

If you're interested in any of the local businesses mentioned above, please click on their names/links and check them out. If you're interested in attending a Love IT! EVV event, check out their events page here or their official Facebook events page here!

Thank you to everyone at the Love IT! EVV Magazine Kiss and Be Married launch party for being so welcoming and helping this gal break out of her shell by creating a truly magical evening!

Photo by Sunny Richardson 'Kiss Board'
Photo by Sunny Richardson 'Kiss Board'
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