Monday, May 16, 2016

Boutique Owner Looks in Mirror Each Day: Says “You got this!”

By Megan M. Seckman

Mo McKnight is an expert multitasker who handles everything with grace.  
Photos by Sunni Wigginton 



There are two things Mo McKnight Howe, 30, relies on for success: a gaggle of friends and an air of confidence. And, the latter relies heavily on the former. Mo is the owner of Revelry Boutique Gallery and a member of just about every nonprofit in town geared toward art, environmentalism, and Louisvillian pride — Louisville Visual Arts Association, Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, Forecastle, and Louisville Independent Business Association, to name a few. She surrounds herself with close friends and family that help her navigate her ship through a sea of organized chaos.




When I interviewed Mo at her boutique located in Nulu, we stood at the counter so that her friend, assistant, and cashier at the moment, Molly Huffman, could chime in if Mo forgot anything. “Molly is amazing,” Mo says. “My life is very busy between running the store, board meetings, and my nonprofit work — I’ve had a fundraiser or a photo shoot every single night this week — and Molly helps keep things in order. I also rely on my friend and stylist Katie Lee Jones. She does all my thrifting for me and has really helped me step up my fashion game. She does my hair, makeup, and dresses me in modern vintage from the ‘80s and ’90s.”

After Mo graduated from University of Louisville’s art school, she joined another friend to co-curate a new gallery, Revelry, on Barret Avenue. “My friend wanted someone young, so I became part owner. She later moved, and I became the sole owner. I worked every day for four years in the store, so this is the first year, thanks to Molly, that I actually have weekends off.”



Revelry’s current location at 742 East Market Street was made possible due to Mo’s husband, Scotty Howe, who is in commercial real estate. After the closing of Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, the move from Barret Avenue to a more viable area was necessary. The couple recently renovated their Butchertown shotgun house and lives there (within walking distance of the NULU shop) with their “son” Major, a giant and delightfully mellow yellow Lab.

Mo’s typical day begins at 7:30 when she “...rolls out of bed, struggles into workout clothes, tries to brush [her] teeth (but that doesn’t always happen), and stumbles into Crossfit Covalence down the street looking disheveled.” After that, she showers, makes a green smoothie mirrored after Molly’s recipe: kale, pineapple, banana, lemon, goji berry, coconut water, avocado oil, and chia. Then she is ready for her day of answering emails, organizing board meetings, and running her shop.



Before I go... “I grab Major, a bottle of water, and make sure I am comfortable. If you are tugging on your shirt all day or are worried about the bags under your eyes, then it’s going to ruin your day. I take a good look in the mirror and have to be able to say to myself, ‘You got this!’”



Latest Purchase She’s Praising: “Even though I usually wear the local artists in my store, I recently bought a dress and earrings from Anthropologie that I love. They gave me 25 percent off my purchase because I agreed to walk in their Derby fashion show.”



Beauty Products She’s Using: “My friend, Soozie Eastman [executive director of The Louisville Film Society], is working on a film about the chemicals in beauty products, so she has convinced me to switch over to all-natural products. I have gone to natural deodorant and have swapped out my perfume for Ambre essential oils. They are subtle and adapt to your pheromones, so it truly becomes your scent. I’m working on finding a makeup line next, but until then my makeup is determined each month by my Birch Box. It’s a subscription where I get a box of different products each month to try through the mail. I love this service and always give this as a gift.”



Jewelry She’s Wearing: “I tend to wear one statement necklace or pair of earrings from my shop each week, then put it in the rotation later on. Right now, I love Revelry’s city grid necklace made by local artist Lana Briscella. It comes in gold and silver and is the grid of our metropolitan area. I love to support local artists and love anything that is about Louisville.”




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