The Belles and Whistles staff currently consists of four: Jennings Whiteway, Madalyn Parr, Alex Whiteway, and Kate Rogge. We sat the team down for a Q&A so you could get to know us all a bit better:
Jennings, founder and owner of Belles and Whistles, was born and raised right here in RVA. She attended George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where she studied Organizational Management and Leadership with a focus in Special Events.
Full name: Jennings Whiteway
My music teacher in preschool gave me the nickname "Jens" probably because no one could pronounce Jennings at age 3. It has stuck with me since then among my friends and family. In college it got even shorter and everyone called me J.
What is the strangest item you can find in the bottom of your purse?
Fishing wire. Probably from the last event- a baby shower- that I installed!
I'm really into nutrition and fitness. I love trying new workouts and following health nuts blogs. I think in another life I might be a dietitian.
You can’t leave the house without your…..
My calendar—it runs my life!
Would you rather go on a beach vacation or mountain/lake vacation?
Beach vacation, definitely. I'm mesmerized by the water. It's so peaceful. My family has gone every summer that I can remember to the Outer Banks and we have tons of memories being there together year after year. My favorite last year was kayaking early one morning alongside some dolphins!
What food could you eat all day every day?
Madalyn, originally from Montpelier, Virginia, is the Public Relations Intern with Belles and Whistles. She attends Virginia Commonwealth University where she started as a fashion major and switched to public relations. She graduates in 2014.
Madalyn Brinn Parr
Running, reading, DIY-ing. I also really like baking bread and making weird, healthy food. I recently made spaghetti squash for the first time. Organizing and decorating is probably one of my favorite things to do.
What is one item on your bucket list?
Work for any magazine in a big city.
Give us the scoop, what’s the most embarrassing/hilarious/comically horrible thing that’s ever happened to you?
I think every day I do something awkward in public! I remember a time in high school I fell while running onto the field at the beginning of a powder puff football game. It was on the school news and everything—so that was pretty embarrassing for me at the time.
6.5, I have weird baby feet.
Kill Bill, Elizabethtown, The Notebook, He’s Just Not That in to You, and Mean Girls. Kill Bill makes me feel like a strong woman, like I could take on anything and kick just as much butt as Uma Thurman. Metaphorically, though, without all the gore. I could watch it over and over again.
Alex, a VCU graduate with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking, is the graphic designer for Belles and Whistles, lending a hand to design the overall look and feel of the brand.
You couldn’t pay me enough to….
You couldn't pay me enough to become president.
What did you want to be when you “grew up?”
When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be an influential being.
“Sometimes, the heart sees what is invisible to the eye" H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
What’s your idea of the perfect Saturday?
I'd head to the James River, free-run the rocks to any calm destination to catch the sunrise and meditate. Wherever my heart guides me - that is where I'd be. I love helping others and feel enriched while doing so. Whether it be working in my studio, helping family and friends with various projects, or finding a festival to absorb the good vibes and people, I'm always inspired by the eclectic realm that is Richmond. Then I'd be home, with my love, to relax and dream.
Kate is originally from Ashburn, Virginia and moved to Richmond after graduating from Christopher Newport University. An English Lit major, she puts her BA to good use helping to write for the Belles Blog.
Katherine Brickley Rogge
I’ve sort of always been called Katertot (Tot, Totter, etc.)—and my husband, Steve, calls me Kath or Kathy, and for some unknown reason, Ice (or K-Ice or K-Icey B).
Who is your celebrity crush?
Howard Keel, Clarke Gable **swoon** and Christian Bale.
What fictional character would you be (book or movie)?
Jo in Little Women, for oh-so-many reasons: she takes her work seriously, but is still willing to laugh at herself; she’s sure of what she believes in, but keeps an open mind; she’s stubborn and driven and brave….need I go on? I would totally marry Laurie. Josephine Lawrence has a nice ring to it, no?
What’s your go-to article of clothing?
Leggings…I hope they’re a trend with sticking power.