Introducing the Gray Matter Minneapolis Panel
I've got so much to say when it comes to this latest project, Gray Matter Series: Sense of Self. I've been working through the concepts of the heroine's journey, reclaiming what it means for a woman to go to those darker, complex places that come right before massive growth and transformation. It can be humbling. It can be isolating, scary, chaotic. If we don't understand what is going on, it can be downright crazy-making and tap into our biggest fears. But what if it was a natural process that we can start to understand and help each other through?
That's why I am bringing together a group of women in both cities I am launching my film and fall collection of hats/scarves/paintings. In order to connect with ourselves, we need to understand our interdependence. These women are doing the work to keep us connected, empowered, and engaged with the work that needs to be done to deepen our Sense of Self, while establishing that we are not alone on our respective journeys.
Samantha R Crossland // Samantha Rei // @samanthareiofficial
Samantha R. Crossland began her fashion design career with her label Blaspheminas Closet in 2000. After closing Blaspheminas Closet in September of 2013, she started anew with her new eponymous label Samantha Rei. Samantha Rei embodies the sweetness, femininity and attention to detail that has come to be expected from the designer.
Samantha Rei draws her inspiration from such illustrators as Chris Riddell, Brom, Tony DiTerlizzi, Brett Helquist and Mihara Mitsukazu as well as stories like Alice in Wonderland and Snow White. Her hero Alexander McQueen along with designers Vivienne Westwood, Hirooka Naoto, John Galliano, and Anna Sui have all influenced her style.
In 1998, Samantha began attending the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, Minnesota, choosing to hone her skills as an illustrator and painter so she could pursue comic book art. After graduating in 1999, she spent some time at the College of Visual Arts (CoVA) in Saint Paul to major in illustration before continuing her education at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College for Apparel Technologies. Shes been featured in Huffington Post, Shojo Beat, the American Gothic and Lolita Bible, Gothic Beauty, Glamour UK and Vogue UK. Samantha was named one of 2014 City Pages Artists of the Year" and 2016 Best of the Twin Cities "Best Fashion Show" and Reader's Choice "Best Local Fashion Designer." In 2015 she authored and illustrated a how-to book on subculture fashion design called Steampunk and Cosplay Fashion Design and Illustration. Samantha Rei was a contestant on Project Runway season 16.
Samantha strives to help women feel confident, strong and comfortable in their own skin. She believes they can all be beautiful warriors.
Kylee Leonetti // @leonetticonfetti // @kyleeandchristiancreative // @girl.creativemsp
Kylee Leonetti is a producer/photographer/writer at Kylee and Christian Creative, a production company she runs alongside her husband. She is also the founder of Leonetti Confetti - a party products line that employs women in treatment - and GirlCreative, an open-invite social hour to connect creative women in the twin cities. Mom to one fiercely independent girl and three cats.
Liz has spent her career creating award-winning strategies for some of the most iconic brands in the world. Her passion for learning, creativity and planning are put to good use at both The Coven and local creative shop Fast Horse, where she holds the position of VP, Strategy. She thrives in entrepreneurial environments, and is eternally grateful to have found business partners who not only inspire her to be the best version of herself, but temper her hyper-awareness of risk.
After completing her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Spanish, Liz swore she'd never go back to school. As part of a lifelong commitment to proving herself wrong, she completed her Master's degree in Strategic Design and Management from the Parsons School of Design in 2017 while working full-time, launching a business, and raising a special young man named Tommy. She has not been bored for quite some time.
Liz lives for her family and rarely turns down a travel opportunity. As a fluent Spanish-speaker, she loves to visit Latin America with her Chilean husband, Gerd. You might find Liz biking around Minneapolis, worshipping at the altar of Alchemy, or exercising her vocal chords at some of the Twin Cities' finest karaoke establishments.
Amy Kuretsky // Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts // @constellationacu // @amykuretsky
Amy Kuretsky is a wellness coach for mind, body, and business. As a creative entrepreneur herself, she doesn’t believe that you have to choose between your health and your hustle. Her work is focused on helping female-identified and non-binary business owners heal what needs healing - whether that’s their anxiety and limiting beliefs one day or their business model the next. When she’s not coaching creative business owners she’s running Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts - a busy Chinese medicine clinic in Minneapolis, leading wellness retreats in Joshua Tree CA, and hiking in the woods with her dog, Juniper.