Welcome to our new series! We’re featuring women from all walks of life who carry Urban Southern bags in their day to day lives.
Meet Amy Masterson
01. How would you describe your style?
I’ll be 40 this year, and I’ve found that my style has currently evolved. I’m focusing more on timeless pieces and add an occasional graphic tee or fun element. I have a deep affection for the versatility of a scarf, as hard as I try to mix it up, olive green is on repeat in my closet, a good denim button-up is a must, and jeans are my everyday wear.
02. How did you hear or learn about Urban Southern?
Instagram stories are my guilty pleasure, but they are also where I look for tried and true items that IG ladies suggest. Jenny Reimold is a fellow Tennessee mama and also a foster care advocate that I enjoy following. Jenny hosted a foster care event, and Urban Southern donated a bag to the cause. The bag was featured as a thank you to the US ladies, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out a small company, fueled by woman, and made in the state that is close to my heart.
03. Which Urban Southern bag do you carry? And what do you like about it?
I’ve been on the hunt for a travel bag to replace my old one for three years and nothing I have found has felt right. I didn’t want a big name label on my bag. I wanted something that felt more personal, something that represented who I am. When I saw the Market Tote, I knew it was the one. At the risk of sounding vain, what I liked most about it is that it’s gorgeous, it has an original look and is clearly well constructed. And you just can’t get more classic and timeless than leather.
As far as functionality goes, ease of travel was high on my list. On our recent trip from the USA back home to Switzerland, the Market Tote passed all of my tests. It’s perfect for passing through the small aisles on an airplane, fits like a glove in a security bin, and tucks up perfectly behind my legs for takeoff and landing. I found the straps to be the perfect length and the handles were easy to hold for an alternative means of carrying. Family travel also means that mama has to be prepared and have extra space to carry all the things my kids were convinced they needed to bring, but decided they can’t possibly carry (insert eye roll).
04. Have you made any friendships or connections through carrying Urban Southern that you would like to share with us?
Although I’ve always loved to travel and currently call Switzerland home, I’m a Tennessee girl to my core.
Muddy Pond is the home of Urban Southern but also the home to some of the very best ice cream I’ve ever tasted. When I was younger, we would make the long drive to Muddy Pond just for ice cream. We always made a stop at the general store to stock up on spices and any fresh baked items that were prepared in the community. I have fond memories of Muddy Pond. The people were friendly, humble, and welcoming. I always felt like there was an invisible shift into the Amish community. A sense of a slower pace with families gathered under trees while kids ran around but also the evidence of hard work in the handmade items and the abundance of farmed land.
Now that I’m older, I realize my dad took us to Muddy Pond partially for the ice cream, but he also took us to get a glimpse of a different way of life. A life that was foreign to us and yet close to his heart, reminding my dad of the days of his childhood, the farms that his grandparents tended and a slower pace. A life he’d left behind when he joined the Army and his days with grandparents had long passed. I love that I’m carrying a bag that originates in a community that is special to my family and is a connection to my love for Tennessee.I love that I’m carrying a bag that originates in a community that is special to my family and is a connection to my love for Tennessee.Click To Tweet
05. What’s one thing that makes your everyday routine easier?
For me, creating more options with less clothing makes my morning routine easier. When we moved from the USA to Switzerland, I went from having a large walk-in closet to a European sized wardrobe, in an effort to simplify, I jumped on the minimalist bandwagon. Any real minimalist might call me a fake, but I downsized considerably, and I am ok with my ‘wanna be’ status. I’ve found that having a smaller wardrobe has given me more options, and I wear things I actually enjoy instead of wearing something I don’t really like but feel like I should wear because I haven’t wore it in months.
06. What is your best style tip?
Don’t be afraid to make a change! We are all changing and growing, our style should too. It’s ok to be completely different than you were a few years ago.
07. What prepared you the most for what you’re doing with your life today?
Three words… Jesus, motherhood, and death.
Let me explain. I lost my first husband in a car accident when I was 24 and our daughter was 14 months old. All of my new beginnings came crashing to an end. It wasn’t easy but little by little I moved forward. I knew that my daughter was counting on me. I wanted to show her that out of terrible pain and grief there can also be beauty. As a Christian, my relationship with Jesus was absolutely key to my ability to endure. His promises and His love turned my ashes into beauty.
Last year, my husband and I moved to Switzerland with our three youngest children. I had never lived outside of the USA, and I do not speak the language, but I knew I had the strength to take on this adventure. My past has taught me that it’s ok to move forward without knowing how the story will end. There is joy in the journey.
08. What is your greatest strength?
Organization is my love language and a good checklist is my jam.
09. What is your biggest inspiration in life?
I am inspired by the stories of women. The true stories I have read of women that walk for hours to retrieve water for their families; women that care for terminally ill children; and women who are first-generation college graduates. Their stories inspire and amaze me and make me proud to be a woman.
10. Tell us, what is your favorite quote that you live by?
Do not worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Philippians 4:6
11. Which area of your life would you like to be more balanced in and why?
Although my checklists are the key to my daily productivity, they can also be a stumbling block. I’m learning to tailor my checklist based on realistic goals or break my lists down into daily goals and objectives. It’s a work in progress in self-awareness and being kind to myself.
12. What small thing will you do today to make your world/community a better place?
Kindness really matters. Showing my kids how they can be kind in the normal moments of life is important to me. Sometimes that means a smile or an encouraging word, going out of our normal path to help someone, sometimes that means sharing the blessings we have been given. Life is never too busy to be kind, and I want my kids to understand that they are never too young to make a difference in someone’s day.