Name: Whitney Adkins
Occupation: Manager of Video On Demand at Scripps Networks Interactive
Where are you from?
A lot of different places. I was born in Maryland and moved to St. Louis at the age of 1. My dad took different jobs so we lived in Italy, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Paris, France.
What brought you to Knoxville?
My parents thought that they were going to move to Germany and I wanted to go to school, so I randomly chose UT. I majored in journalism and electronic media. I was pretty happy to have a partial scholarship. I've kinda always been obsessed with Tennessee. It seemed like a weird place I always wanted to visit. I grew up loving Dolly Parton and Elvis. When I got off the plane I thought, what am I doing here? It's the smallest place I've ever lived and now I have lived here longer than anywhere.
What do you love and loathe about Knoxville?
I moved here in 1999 and it took me a really long time to like Knoxville. The first seven years I was plotting my escape. I was always running into people I knew and I didn't really want that. The downtown has grown so much and I'm doing my part to help. I love that I can own a house with a garden here. The mountains are just outside the city and it's a quick drive to Asheville, Nashville, and Atlanta. We have a nice set-up here—it's not like you have to take the subway anywhere. My biggest complaint here would be the public transit. It hasn't quite spread out enough. There is no park-and-ride situation like in most cities. The city would have a lot more ridership if they set up a few parking lots for that feature.
Where does your fashion inspiration come from?
I've gone through a lot of different looks. In high school I dressed really crazy: leotards, a cape, tiaras. I would raid my dad's closet in search of slacks. In college I had dreadlocks. My mother is very honest and always tells me if something is unflattering. She taught me not to be afraid of color. My greatest fashion pleasure is how it makes me feel. When I have on a great outfit I never want to take it off. I guess I would describe my personal style as classic and always comfortable. Even though I lost 80 pounds over the last few years it's still a daily battle to tell myself that I look good.
What current fashion trends do you like and dislike?
I love knee high boots, skinny pants, nautical stripes, thick belts, pencil skirts, and I have a soft spot for bell bottoms. I hate weird '80s stuff, collar-popping, huge long flowy Stevie Nicks-ish sweaters and shirts, and Ugg boots (ugh is more like it). But really, there are people who can pull off any of these looks and still look great.
Scarf: my husband Adam, two years ago for Christmas
Blazer: T.J. Maxx, two weeks ago, $19
Jeans: Gap, one month ago, $60
Shoes: Old Navy clearance rack, two weeks ago, $6
Earrings: my friend Jessica Weiss made them, one year ago