Molly from Southern Bon Vivant Shares What It Truly Means to Live a Southern Lifestyle


The United States of America is home to over 300 million people. It’s a melting pot of cultures making it one of the most interesting places in the world to learn about fashion. What you see someone wear in California can be lightyears different than the Southern belle in Georgia or the spunky D.C. native. A casual outfit in L.A. is a nude face with a floral maxi dress or tee and jeans, whereas some women in the South never leave the house without a full face of makeup, a structured dress, and a pearl necklace.

The South is known for extravagance in many mediums but specifically family, culture, and style. Molly McWilliams Wilkins, the Editor-in-Chief of the former blog Make It Work Molly now Southern Bon Vivant travels all over the South for the “Girl Meets City” section and shares what she learns about southern culture, style, and food on her website.

Molly is definitely a fun fashionista to watch as her outfits always have a classic elegance but also a pinch of edge whether it be in her choice of color palette, fabrics, or statement accessories.

In this interview, Molly tells us all about how her website transformed into what it is today, why she considers herself progressive, and which cities you’ll see her visit next!




Q&A with Molly McWilliams Wilkins

You recently changed the name of your blog from “Make It Work Molly” to “Southern Bon Vivant”.  What made you watch to make the change?

Well, my site name was a spin-off of a column I had in Macon Food & Culture Magazine called “Make It Work”. People started calling me “Make It Work Molly” and so my website started with that name. Once my site evolved and I had a team of writers, I knew I needed to change the name. I labored over what to call it, and I knew it had to have “Southern” in the title because we explore so much about Southern culture. But what from there? Then I was sitting in Jittery Joe’s coffee shop near my home and saw a sign that said “Bon Vivant” with the definition and I knew that Southern Bon Vivant would be perfect!


10599519_989091615754_6180279273214350621_nYour site encapsulates what the southern lifestyle is for a young working woman. How would you describe the southern lifestyle?

The Southern lifestyle can mean many different things to many different people. What I love about living and exploring here is how we’re able to take historic African-American, Creole, Cajun, Scottish, British, Spanish, and more backgrounds and turn it into this thing we call “The South”. We speak a little slower, we value our past, wear our grandmother’s pearls, and top it off with a lot of sweet tea and bourbon. That being said, there are times when I feel the need to acknowledge the uglier parts of our past. As much as we like to think we welcome all on our front porches, that hasn’t always been the case. But I’d like to think that most of the people like me, progressive types proud of their Southern heritage, are also the ones who are working to make “y’all” truly mean “all y’all”.


You’ve visited many cities for you Girls Meets City section. Which city has been the most fun to visit and why? Where do you hope to take it next?

I can’t pick just one. Just this past weekend I visited Oxford and Tupelo, Mississippi for my first trip to that state and I fell in love. I fall in love with each city and leave a little piece of my heart everywhere I go. This is something else which I find unique about the South: before people even know I’m there to write an article, they want to share what they love about where they live. There’s something so genuine in the stories of these individuals and I’m privileged to get to tell them. They may not be celebrities or people you read about elsewhere, but there’s a spirit about them all which is special.

As for where to next…I’ve had Milledgeville and Madison, Georgia on my list for sometime. But I also hope to go to Mobile, Alabama very soon as my father’s family is from there originally. I hope to reconnect with some cousins of mine whom I have never seen.


Where do you hope to take the site in the next year? Are there any projects we should look out for?

Haha, yes! There’s some fun videos items I hope to start soon, as well as a podcast, perhaps. The sports team is growing by leaps and bounds as well. If I can just keep the site chugging along and keep my writers happy, then I’m happy.


Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.08.15 AMHow would you describe your sense of style? Do you find that you stand out or do you find that your peers also cherish a vivacious sense of style?

Gosh, my sense of style is Southern edgy, as in, I’ll pair my grandmother’s pearls with a pair of leather leggings. I love to go for the unconventional, but also traditional when appropriate. [For example], for football games and church and weddings-haha!


What is your favorite piece in your closet?

Yikes, I don’t have one! My Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 is one of the best accessories ever; it automatically dresses up anything and can withstand even my abuse. My Spanx leather-like leggings, because they hold me in [and] make me look taller and edge up anything. And anything pink. I love pink. I’ve got about five pink dresses… and countless LBDs.



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