Lover of music, mother, artist, nurse, community advocate, downtown dweller, big hearted and married to her best friend. Just a few ways to describe Micki Lile, our featured style inspiration for June. When she’s not discovering new bands, hanging with her beautiful family, making jewelry, or rehabbing an old camper she just purchased, this free spirit is out and about in Indy supporting local artists by creating a killer local music scene with her husband, Craig, owner of MOKB presents. Her style is down to earth, easy going, grassroots with a rock n roll flare and hints of the country life she grew up in. Micki creates a story with her clothing, one filled with adventure, self discovery, and joy. It’s one we would all enjoy reading, and when finished put on our cowboy boots, find some live music and go dancing.
Laura Walters: Where did you grow up?
Mickie Lile: I grew up in Monroe City and spent my youth working on our family farm. I’m a small town girl who loved growing up playing in the country. I also knew that someday I wanted to leave and experience what the world had to offer.
LW: Where did you go when you left home?
ML: I went to college in Evansville (USI) and started a major in pre med. I ended up changing majors and graduated with a degree in business. Funny, I really always wanted to be in medicine, so I should have just stuck with it. I ended up going back to nursing school in my late twenties.
LW: So are you a nurse now?
LW: You and your husband Craig are big time music fans. Your husband started local concert and event company MOKB. How did that come about?
ML: Dodge started his MOKB (My Old Kentucky Blog) about music years ago, and never really thought it would amount to much, other than a fun outlet for his passion. Much to his surprise, people started following it, and then its popularity continued to grow. So much in fact, that we began to realize Indianapolis has a huge appreciation for awesome music — music that’s not necessarily mainstream. We began to ask ourselves why these bands weren’t coming to Indy. Answer was lack of fan base, but we realized there was a fan base. So we just started planning shows. Attendance was great, more than we even expected. MOKB Presents was born.
LW: What do you love about music?
ML: My love of music runs so deep. I have been going to see live music since I was little. As I got older, I started attending music festivals. I love anything that isn’t mainstream. Discovering new music, new bands, and how they collaborate is one of my favorite things. I’ve followed music blogs from a very young age and have become friends with several of the bloggers that I follow. We travelled to shows and music festivals together. We were, and still are, like a family.
LW: Name four words to describe your personal style.
ML: relaxed, casual, down to earth, bohemian
LW: What inspires your style?
ML: I grew up in a small town, working on a melon farm during the summers. My style hasn’t come that far from my farm days. My everyday style is comfort and casual. Typically a denim shirt or jacket over a summer dress and my Frye boots for warm weather is a normal go to. Or jeans. Love pairing jeans with a soft vintage t-shirt. I’m very into jewelry that incorporates raw, natural materials like wood, geodes, leather, etc. I’m drawn to those materials and think it probably reflects a bit of my roots.
LW: You travel a lot with your husband. Especially to music festivals. How do you dress on the road?
ML: That’s a complicated one. I LOVE to camp and be outdoors, so I spend most of my time in cutoffs and white tanks in the woods. When it gets chilly, I layer with an LL Bean zip. I wear running gear a lot as well.
Craig (my husband) and I usually head to Austin a couple of times a year. I love going there because I can really let my country girl come out. I am all boots and denim while there. I always travel with a dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the jewelry and shoes I put with it. We tend to go from day to night, and I don’t want to have to think to hard about what I’m wearing.
We also try to hit Vegas at least every other year. I enjoy taking it up a notch and getting dressed up. I love a good cocktail dress. I find that you can really never over dress in Vegas. Sequins, bling, anything goes.
I follow the same rules when going international. I find myself influenced by other cultures and often come home with jewelry or accessories.
All in all, I just try to be myself and be comfortable.
LW: Do you have any packing tips?
ML: Oh dear. I’m not the girl that can back efficiently. It’s sort of an ongoing joke in my house. I wear a size 11 shoes and 11.5 running shoe. I practically need a whole weekender bag just to pack three pairs of shoes! My shoes are huge! I always check a suitcase. It’s just a given. My best recommendation is ALWAYS pack toiletries in a baggie and try to leave a little extra room in your bag so you can bring something fun home. I have an incredibly enormous hard case suitcase that I use for international travel. It keeps all my purchases safe on the way home. I love to buy liquor (and scarfs and jewelry) in other countries and bring it back as gifts for friends.
LW: What is your favorite item of clothing you own?
ML: That is an easy one: my Frye harness boots. I had been coveting them for what felt like forever and couldn’t pull the trigger. Finally, when I was seven months pregnant with Kellen, my youngest, my husband bought them for me for Christmas. I was ecstatic. I call them my life shoe and never travel without them.
LW: What is your favorite trend?
ML: High waisted pants and midriffs, together or separate. I was so happy to see both still on the runways and in stores this season. I don’t keep my finger on the pulse of fashion but I do peruse a good magazine at the gym or during my lunch and was happy to see both are still sticking around.
LW: Who are your favorite designers?
ML: As I mentioned before, I’m really into unique jewelry and accessory pieces. That’s probably where most of my shopping and energy is exerted. We have a lot of talented individuals here in Indy making incredible things. I have a hobo bag from Howl & Hide Supply Co. that is just slick. I get a compliment on it at least once a week. They are killing the leather game and are located just over near Fountain Square.
Over Christmas I couldn’t resist purchasing a new geode necklace at the Handicraft Exchange, hosted at the Harrison Center (one of the must attend summer and winter events for me). Rana of Salame Jewelry designs is creating some really beautifully delicate and energizing pieces. I had been following her on Instagram for a while and finally got the chance to purchase one of her necklaces. I was so excited!
My husband and I are big believers in supporting local artist and makers of all types.
ML: Well I’m not sure I would call myself a designer just yet, but creating jewelry is definitely a creative outlet for me and very therapeutic.
I’m also knee deep in a camper renovation. It’s an undertaking I had been wanting to do for a long time but had some apprehensions about it. Now that I’m in it though, I’m having a blast. I had no idea how much joy it would bring me. We are in the planning phase for an epic trip out West this summer with our girls. I’m seriously giddy with excitement!
LW: As a mother of two, a nurse, a world traveler, a jewelry designer, and true lover of music, what style advice would you give to a woman who is busy with very little time to shop?
ML: I shop online. I really don’t like the mall. I’m tall and have big feet. I’ve never had a lot of luck finding the right length of pant or shoe size straight from the store. I typically find something close and the store will order what I need and ship it to me for free. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve just cut out the store experience all together. The only caveat to that is I like thrift shops and consignment stores and we have few good ones in the city. I just attended the Forty under 40 reception with my husband and knew I wanted something conservative but still a little sexy. I found the perfect knee length designer shift for $15 at a local consignment shop. It was like winning the lottery! I find the challenge and reward of thrifting to be really gratifying.