Amy Kinslow vandy

Wilson Central High School graduate Amy Kinslow, owner of Southern Fried Design Barn, was recently recognized by Spanx creator Sara Blakely with a $5,000 COVID-19 recovery grant from The Red Backpack Fund through Blakely’s foundation.

In a press release, Blakely shared that her hope is the gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by the pandemic.

“Twenty years ago, I started Spanx with $5,000 in savings and I see this as a time to pay it forward. Small business is the backbone of our culture,” Blakely said.

Kinslow said that she’s been a fan of Blakely’s for years and felt honored to be recognized.

“This money will help us continue to run daily operations and keep our employees on payroll. It’s assisting us in shipping our wholesale orders to small boutique businesses across the nation who rely on profits made from sales of our merchandise to meet the financial needs of their small business,” she explained.

Southern Fried Design Barn, located in Hermitage, was established in 2012. Kinslow employs an all-female staff to produce shirts, kitchen towels, stationery products and other merchandise. She said that Southern Fried Design Barn merchandise is carried in over 300 stores across the country.

According to the press release, Kinslow is a frequent exhibitor at AmericasMart Gift and Home Market in Atlanta and Dallas Gift Market in Dallas.

One of her most popular pieces, a “Dolly for President” T-shirt boasting to “Make Country Music Great Again,” helped Kinslow donate $10,000 to the Dolly Parton My People Fund.

Kinslow obtained a bachelor of fine arts degree from Middle Tennessee State University. Her hobbies include being with friends and family, traveling and spending time with her quarter horses.

Kinslow named her mother and late grandmothers as women she admires.

“My mother, Paula Kinslow, and both of late grandmothers, Ann Kinslow and Nell Tidwell (influenced my life). I come from very strong women on both sides of my family,” she said. “My mother can run circles around me. I get my artistic creative side from her. Both of my late grandmothers lived through The Great Depression and World War II. They were tough as nails and I was blessed to have a wonderful childhood with them both.”

To nominate someone for the Woman of Wilson feature, contact Sabrina Knowles at

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