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You Can Go Your Own Way.

Posted on 12/03/2020 by Jessa Kimbra Trotman

Ilocal artist with two tone hair drinking iced coffee in Elizabeth City, NC've always been me. In the way that I tried to change to fit in but I could never commit to the usual. It’s a curse, yet I believe it has gotten me to where I am today. You have probably seen me downtown, running after my Littles between meetings or sitting outside my shop, Dear Alchemy. Covered in paint, tattoos, and usually carrying a coffee from The SweetEasy. Yes, your mouth should be watering now. I’m that girl that paints murals, draws and screen prints her own designs onto apparel. Yes, women run the world. Didn’t you know that already? I never knew my life path would lead me back to our home town after being gone for 4 years. Elizabeth City was calling my name and I could hear it clearly, even though being almost 900 miles away. I love this city. My family and I moved back here, with the mindset of painting the town and I have in my own ways. Elizabeth City has charm. Grab my hand, don’t worry I’ve sanitized and let me tell you a few of my favorites about our town.  

woman laughing with friends in Pailin's Alley in historic downtown Elizabeth CityI love creating moments with people and our downtown area is a perfect place setting for that very thing. Have you seen Pailin’s Alley?! It’s seriously right out of a Nicholas Sparks movie. Pailin’s Alley can do no wrong for your selfie game. My go-to place is our little Historic downtown. You can find me at The SweetEasy often, coffee in one hand and one of their amazing baked goodies in the other. My fave is their New Orleans coffee, you’ll go bananas. Pun intended. Don’t forget one of their signature cake jars. You can find the cake jars available only on Saturdays and while supplies last, so don’t hesitate. Run! My husband and I don’t get a lot of alone time together and when we do get a few moments, we’re running to Ghost Harbor Brewing Company. I love all the things from Ghost Harbor. So much so, that when I order, I tell them to surprise me. They can do no wrong. 

young husband and wife smiling for selfie at brewery in Elizabeth City
woman smiling with cute pigletI've created the most genuine friendships with amazing business owners in our downtown area and I love running into them while on a coffee run or shopping. One of my favorite encounters being with Steel Creek Kune Kune Farms and one of their piglets. Best believe I took a selfie with the piglet.

You don’t know love until you walk into Albemarle Floral and feel Sheri and Taylor’s light. This is my go-to place for any floral arrangements. The amount of love they pour into each arrangement is breathtaking. The Albemarle Floral building is also the home to the very first mural I painted. You can find a two and half story lighthouse painted on the side. 

women smiling in floral shop holding coffeeI often find myself making an excuse to grab food. Girls night, date night, just because I don’t wanna cook night. I’m supporting local, duh. Have you had Hoppin’ Johnz cheese fries?! Ask for their pickled jalapeños on them. You’re welcome. Chicken salad on your mind? Flour Girls. She has the most convenient, scrumptious to-go plates. I’m a pasta-holic and Paradiso feeds into that addiction. Not only do they make their pasta themselves, their tiramisu is to die for. Rest In Peace me, for I do not stand a chance against their tiramisu. 

My favorite past time is shopping and doesn’t my bank account know it. My mostly shopped at boutiques would have to be Bijoux Vibes, Elle Lynn or the just newly launched Anna Jean Boutique. I have a very minimalist style with signature popping pieces and I can always find what I need at these places. The owners are always so welcoming and friendly which adds to the charm here. 

cute, young family with color coordinating outfitsBut above all else, the best thing Elizabeth City has to offer is the people. I am inspired from so many locals. From amazing hair stylists and entrepreneurs like Lakenya Felton, clothing line designers like Sanctifly and ScriptzandBlendz, and artists like Holly Luke and VersaceInk. This town is oozing with talent. 
dear alchemy storefront with cute decor and beer from local breweryI could go on and on about why I love Elizabeth City but as soon as you walk down Pailin’s Alley or shop in all the cute boutiques, you’ll understand why I decided that this was the place for my family and business. My children can be who they want to be here. This community has come together time and time again to show love and support for so many different reasons. It’s the charm. It’s the potential. It’s knowing that I can be exactly who I am and people love it and support it here. Elizabeth City is evolving. The creativity here has sparked and I’m just here painting the town. 


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