Randall Porter in a city setting with text: "A Man About Town: You Asked, Randall Answered"

Due to the personal nature of some of the questions and in an effort to keep submitters anonymous, I will address each question to “Doll.” RanDolls if you will, wink! 

How do you turn down an invitation with southern charm? 

Hey Doll. Thank you for this question. Although it may be uncomfortable to turn things down, I am not sure how “southern charm” would apply because it implies that saying no is something negative. When it is not. You are creating healthy boundaries and saying no to certain tasks, situations, and invitations actually improves your mental health and your relationships. As a southerner, I find nothing more charming and respectable than a person setting healthy boundaries for themselves. 

How do you cultivate your style? 

Hey Doll. Here are five tips I use to master personal style: 

  1. Know Who You Are 
  2. Look For Inspiration
  3. Know What You Want To Accomplish
  4. Hit The Goal
  5. Enjoy The Process

What’s your favorite song right now? 

Hey Doll. This is the hardest question on this list for me. Why? Because I just love music and I have so many favorite songs. Since you said right now, (look up Most Played Song in Spotify) “Day Off” by Cynthia Erivo from her debut album Ch. 1 vs. 1, which dropped 2 years ago. It’s about “what it would be like if I asked someone to stop working and to take a minute with me to do something — anything,” Evrivo says. “I know what that means. I know that feeling when you’re with someone, you’re both going and going and then you just stop and take the whole day to spend together.”  

Not only does the song make me understand my appreciation for the love language quality time, but her silky voice evokes ethereal escapism while offering a classic R&B vibe that feeds my soul. Give the track a listen here.

What keeps you motivated? 

Hey Doll. One word: Failure. “When we fail it means that we have taken a risk. We have risked failure to strive for something big and came up a little short. When you fail you go big versus settling for mediocrity, and that is the key to success. Dreams motivate us to think big and push ourselves beyond the status quo and into something better.”

Having people who fill my cup up and offer words of encouragement and appreciation for what I do and who I am fuels my fire and motivates me to continue to push and strive for success. 

Randall Porter speaking on stage

(Randall Porter/Contributed)

What do you recommend any first-time visitor to Birmingham do and see?

Hey Doll. When my first-time guests come to visit me, I designed the ultimate Magic City Experience.  To treat my visitors to an authentic Birmingham Experience, my itinerary covered some of my favorite parts of town while indulging in all the incredible food, drinks, and views along the way. Here are the top spots to visit:   

  1. Adios Bar and/or House of Found Objects
  2. Bottega 
  3. Vulcan Park or Railroad Park
  4. Hero Doughnuts 
  5. Big Spoon Creamery
  6. Birmingham Museum of Art 
  7. Battle Republic 

Check out this article for a more in-depth look at hot spots in Birmingham.

What do you love most about Birmingham?  

Hey Doll. The people. I truly believe this city today is made up of a community of innovators and creatives that value connection with a goal of delivering increased economic prosperity and inclusion for Birmingham. The people in Birmingham share a goal and passion for the city’s renaissance. That’s the magic of the city. 

Randall Porter and Friends

(Randall Porter/Contributed)

How does a heavy-ish guy present himself as a fashion-forward, relevant figure?

Hey Doll. Being fashionable or fashion-forward does not equate to someone’s size. So let’s get that out of the way first. And to present yourself as fashion-forward breaks down to personal style and fit. I do think there are a few tips to know when for someone with a little extra curve. Fashion-forward people pick pieces that highlight their favorite body part. What are the best parts of your body? Focus on the areas you like best; choose clothing and accessories to highlight them. Get to know your body and measurements. Dress to your body shape. Just because you have more to love does not mean you have to wear baggy, saggy clothes. You can still find fashionable, tailored clothes that comfortably complement your body. And if you need a lesson or two, hire a style expert like me to help you get a better knowledge of what flatters you. 

How do you define being southern? What does being southern mean to you? 

Hey Doll. So I want to let the reader know that I was born and raised in the south. And I would like to point out that there is a difference between “southern” and “country”. Southern means determined, strong, and prideful — rich in culture and history with a dash of modern livability.