May 26th, 2016
The Thomases, Settling in Indy
by Brie Stoltzfus
The tale of Grant and Beth Ann Thomas’ time in Indianapolis is a complex one; in one year, they have collectively lived in four different homes and worked for five different places. Between being freshly out of undergrad (Grant graduating in 2014, Beth Ann in 2015—both art majors) and newlyweds as of March 2016, their time here has included growth in their professional careers, as well as navigating married life within a new community.
Internships initially brought them to a city neither of them had previously visited. For Grant, Indianapolis was “on my radar since freshman year.” Beth Ann, on the other hand, was excited for the experience but began to realize that living in a big, inland city did not come naturally. Having grown up in the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina and having lived on Lookout Mountain, Georgia for college, a flat, mid-sized city was an adjustment. While completing their internships, Beth Ann lived in Fall Creek Place and Grant lived in Fountain Square.
Grant took to Indianapolis right away, especially its walkability and bikeability. During his first two weeks in the city, he walked everywhere—for a total of 56 miles. Walking helped the city seem smaller and more manageable. The benefit of community was apparent at the end of the summer; Grant and Beth Ann quickly hit it off with several people who helped them to plug in both personally and professionally. Grant was offered a design internship, an opportunity that would have been hard to find in other cities, not only because of the number of design companies in Indy but also the relationship he and Nathan Sinsabaugh, President of Studio Science had already formed. An internship opportunity there was a natural transition.
For Beth Ann, the transition was a bit slower. But, she said, “It was really encouraging how community-focused the whole city seemed to be with supper clubs, getting to know your neighborhood, the biking, walking—you interact with people more. And I did like that a lot…Indy has a lot of cool people, and they’re really passionate about getting to know each other.” Her new community even helped her as she transitioned out of a job that wasn’t the best fit. “While porching with neighbors one Sunday, I talked to Kimmie Burton, who manages a local coffee shop, Foundry Provisions, about her work. All I did was message her once about working there and she said, ‘Yes! You have a job.’”
After getting married on March 19th, Grant and Beth Ann now live in Herron-Morton Place at The Rosaline, a two-story red brick apartment on Delaware Street. Newly refurbished, the apartment has just the right blend of antique details and modern simplicity. Beth Ann is a barista at the Foundry and a painter; Grant now works full-time as a designer at Studio Science. Beth Ann enjoys walking to the Foundry and the fact that working in her neighborhood means that she often meets her neighbors as she makes their coffee; Grant likes that he can easily bike to work and experience the downtown feel of Indianapolis by day and return to a quieter, more residential space in the evening.
For fun, they go to the Chatterbox with friends during jazz nights and bike. On Sundays, they porch with neighbors. Favorite porching food? “The drinks,” Beth Ann quipped. Kimmie Burton’s guacamole (“It’s pretty fire, as the kids say,” Grant added) also earned a mention. They’ve both enjoyed the opportunity to get to know people from different life stages who have provided their own perspectives on life.
A year in, Beth Ann looks back and can see that slowly but surely, she and Grant have become plugged in. Going away for the wedding gave her some perspective. She explained, “Getting married somewhere else [in Chattanooga] and coming back here, I realized ‘Oh, we’re grounded in both places.’ It felt like coming back to a home and a more solid place than it had been before.”