Nickel City Gritty: Holly Kirkpatrick


When I started Nickel City Pretty, one of the first “blogging” friends that I met were the crew from Rise Collaborative. These three wonderful folks, Drew, Kevin & Bridget, are doing huge things for the WNY area. They produce video and blog content that promotes local small businesses and talk about hot-button issues that are affecting society today.

More recently, they’ve come out with the No Boundaries newspaper, which has evolved into the first issue of the No Boundaries magazine (available now at some of your favorite local hot spots!) Along with the newspaper, Rise has their very first podcast called Lifted. This podcast is hosted by Holly Kirkpatrick and is released weekly. It takes a deeper look at the people behind positive change in the community. In these current times, it’s so great to have something to listen to which lifts our spirits and showcases a lot of positivity.

I had the pleasure of strolling around Silo City with Holly a few weeks ago and talking about all things podcasts, her new home here in Buffalo (she’s originally from England), and all things Spice Girls.

This is Nickel City Gritty, and this is Holly Kirkpatrick.


Tell me about how you started working with Rise Collaborative.

I came here because my boyfriend at the time, now my husband, got a job in Buffalo so eventually I moved over (from England) and I got started with Rise because I saw their newspaper No Boundaries and I thought that what they were doing is really interesting. I heard about this idea of Buffalo’s resurgence and that narrative and what they were trying to do was see if that was actually happening everywhere in Buffalo. I really liked that idea. Also, being a newcomer, I think, or essentially a foreigner, I was in a new city and I was walking downtown one day and I thought, “Oh my god there’s so many different people here with so many different backgrounds and stories,” and it sounds cheesy and it’s a bit of a cliche but that’s what happened and that’s what I thought. So I just came up with the idea that it would be a great way to explore this via a podcast. I was listening to a lot of podcasts at the time. I thought the idea that I had would be a really good fit for Rise, so I pitched it to them and it went from there!

Tell me a little bit about the podcast.

The podcast is called “Lifted” and it profiles the people and perspectives of people living in the community and this area. Each episode focuses on somebody different and each episode is pretty short, they are only like seven to ten minutes long. The idea behind all of that is hopefully by doing these short profiles and telling these short real-life stories, that eventually we’ll build up like a patchwork quilt and we’ll get a bigger picture of what it’s like to live in this area and in this community in the modern day. I’m trying to capture those different experiences of one place. My favorite part of the whole thing is interviewing people. Everyone’s usually pretty open and pretty excited about telling you about a project that they’re working on or about something in their life. It’s been a great way to meet different people.


Describe your personal style.

Well, I made more of an effort today because I knew I was going to get my picture taken *laughs* but usually I’m pretty low key and casual, so you can normally find me in a pair of skinny jeans and a tee shirt and sneakers. I don’t like to spend too long getting ready and I like to be comfortable. I don’t like worrying about if I’m gonna get blisters or stuff like that. But, that being said, if there’s a special occasion like a wedding or a posh party, then I do quite enjoy making the effort to dress up a little bit for that.

Name five things that you can’t live without.

That is really difficult. Do you allow people?


Oh…I wish I hadn’t asked that *laughs* I’ll take people out of that. I’ll say, my lip balm...I’m addicted to my lip balm. My moisturizer…I feel like my skin is just sort of like cellophane if I don’t put it on. Ummm…chocolate. That’s three. I think, the radio or podcasts…I really like having that familiar feeling and voice around the house a lot. And…oh this is tough…Netflix.


What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

Ooohhhh….do you know what, I don’t know. Wait, do you know what I’m gonna say, actually my first bike. I have really fond memories of it, and it sounds cheesy but you have that kind of feeling of being super free the first time that you charge down your street as a kid. It was a red rally bike and we sold it at the British equivalent of a yard sale and I remember, like, I was really old like 16 or something and I remember crying, nearly, seeing this little boy ride off on it. I think we sold it for ten pounds which is like eighteen dollars. I felt really sad but it had just been collecting dust in the garage for too long.

What is one of your favorite smells?

I really like the smell of popcorn when you go into the cinema. I don’t really eat it, I don’t know, you guys seem to put butter on it which I think is weird! So yeah, the smell of popcorn or like kettle corn at the fair, I love that smell. It usually means that you’re going to have a good time.


What is your spirit animal?

Ummmm….The Spice Girls?


Every one of them! Well, at least if they’re not my spirit animal, that’s what I’m trying to embody. My favorite band was The Spice Girls, like, the people I looked up to were The Spice Girls! I even used to go down to our village store, and I don’t know if you guys had them, but they had these, like, photos, like actually printed photos, and they made it look like they were really candid shots of them and it was like a pound for a packet of like ten of them and you’d collect them like soccer cards. I used to collect them.

Geri was my favorite!

Yeah, everybody kind of knew that she was the wild one, but that’s why everyone liked her. It was really sad when she left. After that I felt like they weren’t really the same. I still bough their albums, but it wasn’t the same.


What accomplishment are you the most proud of?

I think the fact that I’m here in the US and I’m really liking it. Basically, I came here as an adult and I’ve made new friends, which I’m pretty proud of myself for that. And also I feel like I’m much more independent than I have been before. If my car breaks I can’t just call my dad to come and check it out or recommend a mechanic, I have to sort that stuff out myself. So yeah, I think I’m just proud of growing up and being independent in a new place. I’ve enjoyed it. It makes you feel kind of powerful, in a way, because you realize that you can do lots of stuff, you can do anything.


What are some of your favorite bars or restaurants in Buffalo?

Well, one of the main reasons I really like living here is because you can’t exhaust that. This summer I’ve been hanging out here, the bar Duende at Silo City. The thing I love about it is that it’s repurposed, a lot of upcycled things from within the silos themselves. So Bob the builder took me for a short little tour, he’s the guy who built Duende, and apparently the front panel of the bar is made out of like a reused garage door. I really like the fact that you have a bit of Buffalo architecture and they are reusing it and having it come back to life. I spend quite a lot of time at Remedy House, I love the fact that they have great coffee but they don’t just focus on that fact, they have that whole spritzer alcohol thing going on which is always good in my book! I like places that you can cycle to because I live downtown so Hydraulic Hearth is really good for that. I think it’s so good for winter and summer. Oh, and Ballyhoo, I like that place a lot. The bar staff is really cool and friendly.

What’s on your playlist?

It varies, it depends on my mood, but I always have go-to artists that I’ll always return to. Lady Gaga, I love her. I saw her live in like 2009 and it was just amazing. It was one of the best live shows I’ve ever been to. Wolf Alice, this British band, I listen to a lot. They just came to Town Ballroom a few months back and I saw them there. Ummm, Florence and the Machine, I’ve been listening to a lot of Beck and David Bowie recently. I made a road trip playlist of girl power songs, and on that playlist are a lot of bands that are influenced by the kind of Riot Grrrl movement…so like Hole, Bikini Kill, Blondie, those kind of bands.


What are some small things that make your day better?

I love breakfast! Like, when I wake up in the morning, that’s what I’m looking forward to…eating. When I see a dog in the street! I am that person who pets people’s dogs in the street. Or cats, I like cats, too! But yeah, I can’t stop thinking about food. I plan my days around meal times.

When do you feel the most confident?

I think it’s when I just feel the most content with things, life, I guess. Whether it’s spending enough time with my friends and loved ones or working on a project like this…I’ve been given complete creative freedom from Rise Collaborative and it makes me feel really confident to be told, “Yeah, we trust you.” But then on a more superficial level, after I’ve had my hair done I feel quite confident.


What topic could you spend hours talking about?

What podcasts to listen to, like I love exchanging ideas about what people are listening to or any book that I’ve taught, because I was a teacher of English. I’ve never taught book that I’ve hated, which I think is pretty lucky because in the UK you don’t get too much of a choice about what you teach. I mean, there is a choice but within reason.

What fictional place would you most like to go?

Hogwarts. I mean, is that fictional? Maybe not. I’d love to go to Hogwarts, I’d love to be a professor there.


What is the best thing that happened to you last week?

Probably being a part of the Torn Space show. I was a guide in that and I really enjoyed it because it is cool, it’s weird, it’s cutting edge contemporary performance, it uses this amazing setting of the silos, and you get to be here in the summer which is amazing and then you get to hang out at Duende. It’s just this amazing visual and sonic spectacle, and I love the fact that the silos are part of the main character, like it couldn’t be done anywhere else.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I feel like I’m only just getting to be a grownup. I mean, I guess it’s a huge stereotype because I’m British, but like all five Spice Girls in one person, which is probably not gonna happen but it’s something to aspire to! And did you read that one Kathleen Turner interview? So I’d like the edge of that in there, like the confidence to kind of be that sassy. So yeah, I think that’s my answer, and I’m probably going to regret that answer. I feel like I’ve spoke about The Spice Girls way too much.

NO! You could never talk about The Spice Girls way too much!