Meet our Team

Kari Chitwood

Sandersville, Ga
Georgia Tech - Atlanta, Ga

Tell us your story: I'm from Royston and Sandersville, graduated from Georgia Tech (shh, don't tell anyone in Athens), worked in the business world, decided I wanted to go back to school to be a teacher, then opened our first store the day after I graduated from grad school! It was always my dream to have some sort of boutique/bakery combo. I'm still trying to figure out how to work the bakery in, but I'm loving every minute of this crazy journey!

Spirit Animal: I have no idea, maybe a Koala? Or a Double Doodle since my dog, Polly, and I are basically the same. 

Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride


Jaicee Brewton
Web Manager | Women's Buying Assistant
Screven, Ga
University of Georgia - Athens, Ga

Tell us your story: I'm from the small town of Screven, Ga, graduated recently from the best university in the land (Go Dawgs!), studied Fashion Merchandising and I'm now living out my dream in the world of retail. I'm newly engaged, I have a passion to help people better themselves, and I love all things coastal. As of now, my future consists of wedding planning and growing my knowledge in the fashion industry.

Favorite Book: The Bible, and The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch - highly recommended for all of you recent college grads!

Favorite Actor: Denzel Washington, who doesn't love a good Denzel movie?

Derrick Bahnsen

Men's Buyer | Assistant Store Manager, Athens location

Valdosta, Ga
Georgia College - Milledgeville, Ga

Tell us your story: You've got Bahnsen here. I'm from the sacred town of Valdosta, Ga (AKA: Titletown). I graduated with a Business Management degree from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville. I'm now living it up in the Classic City, and I plan to be here for the long haul.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and what would you do? I would like to go to Australia or New Zealand to explore and attempt to surf.

Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump

Autumn Martin

Assistant Store Manager, Lavonia Location 

Lavonia, Ga
Athens Technical College - Athens, Ga

Tell us your story: I’m small town girl born and raised in Franklin County, Georgia where I attended school and graduated in 2013. I started my career as a sales associate with V.F. Chitwood’s in 2014 and shortly after was promoted to Assistant Store Manager. If all goes as planned, I will graduate college in December of 2016 with a degree in Health Information Management Technology. I love spending my weekends flying, at the lake, or on the farm with my boyfriend and family. My future plans are in God’s hands, and I trust that he will always lead me in the right direction.

Betsy Bradfield

Favorite Movie: Friday Night Lights - TV series

Favorite Actress: Sandra Bullock & Jennifer Aniston

Hamilton, Ga
University of Georgia - Athens, Ga

Tell us your story: Ciao! My name is Betsy Bradfield, and I'm from Hamilton, Georgia. I've been working at Empire South for about 9 months now, so I'm excited to be a feature writer for our blog! This summer, I'm studying abroad in Verona, Italy, but I'll also be visiting Munich, Germany and several other regions in Italy. I hope you'll follow along on my travels, which I can't wait to share with you!

Favorite Book: The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Favorite Movie: The entire Harry Potter series

Paige Smith


Kennesaw, Ga
University of Georgia - Athens, Ga

Tell us your story: I am a senior at UGA from Kennesaw, GA. My major is in Marketing and my minor is in Fashion Merchandising. I’m a member of the Student Merchandising Association at UGA where I helped style outfits for last year’s fashion show. When I graduate, I hope to continue working in the Fashion Merchandising field and hopefully, move to a big city like New York or Los Angeles! 

Spirit Animal: Cheetah

Favorite Actress: Kristin Wig

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