For the wholehearted, curious women, engaging deeply with the world around them. Our mission is to connect and inspire women through intellect, generosity and story.

Our Story

Ethel. For the wholehearted, curious women, engaging deeply with the world around them. Our mission is to connect and inspire women through intellect, generosity and story. Ethel is a platform and creative project fueled by a desire to express purposeful, well-rounded femininity, and to explore the perspective and brilliance of women so we can better understand and embrace our world.

The concept for this publication was inspired by my (Allison’s) great, great Aunt Ethel, who was many things—but among them, an educator, a benefactor, and an independent traveler. She was an impressive picture of femininity for a woman born in 1903. Just as I have seen flickers of myself and who I want to be in this distant image of a storied family member, I look for these women everywhere I go and hope to engage the world around me in similar ways—full of humility, spunk, and purpose.

At Ethel, we believe that intellectual, experience-based conversation cultivates empathy for the complexities of life and drives us to be more whole-hearted, generous individuals. We believe that women fuel and drive these conversations, too often from the background, and we want to take that to the front page. Not just story, not just emotion, and not just reporting, but the intersection of it all—just as it occurs in our real lives. We’re hoping to contribute to a more beautiful world and to meaningful legacies.

Contributors

With our contributors, we prioritize accuracy, experience, and heart. We don’t necessarily seek out the most seasoned writer, or only writers by trade; but we seek the most qualified individual with the most unique, thoughtful perspective for their respective topics. We hope to provide a platform to share the experience and expertise of those who may not have other natural outlets.

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Our Team

Allison Antram
Founder & Editorial Director

I’m primarily a writer, a dreamer and a creative dabbler. I’m from Northeast Ohio, and I’ve made my home in Lexington, Kentucky in the last five or so years. On a more personal note, I enjoy baking, traveling, gathering around a table, and un-aesthetically, probably too much television.

I also have a strong desire to learn, to grow and expand my perspective, and I hope you share that with me. Ethel has been a seed held tightly in my hand for some time as I am continually shaped and formed by, in particular, the women in my life. I am who I am today because of the expertise, life experiences, and wisdom of the women who surround me and open their hearts generously, and I’ve always found that connection to be the most beautiful and effective way we become. 

So I’m planting the seed, hoping it grows for us both, and hoping that someone else is hungry for an intellectual and wholehearted, women-centric outlet like I am. Nice to meet you. Here’s to blooming.

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Ashley Castorena
Founder & Marketing Director

I’m from Louisville, Kentucky, but over the past five years, Lexington has become home. Professionally, I am passionate about economic development and community revitalization, finishing my masters in Public Administration and Public Policy in December. Unprofessionally, you will likely find me making Instagram reels and TikToks, running with my dog Charlotte, or watching Jane the Virgin (for the 8th time this year). 

I come from a background of feisty, independent women. Both my mother and grandmother were passionate about journalism and writing, and I’m thankful to carry that torch through Ethel. People often joke that they feel like I’m interviewing them when we first meet (sorry if this has happened to you). Truthfully, I never get tired of hearing the stories and experiences of others. So here’s to Ethel—for giving me the space to interview others without weirding them out, but most importantly, for being a space to share the insight behind experience, and inspiring the legacy we all have to offer.

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Kaiser Shaffer
Designer & Art Director

I’m an observer and a gardener, but mostly a designer. My passion with my work is to  highlight beauty, structure chaos, and partner with the unapologetic idealist to bring the world into focus.

The collaborative nature of this project has been a unique and beneficial expression, an exception from the sometimes mundane day-to-day, and not to mention long-meditated. My hope was to leverage design and creative process to provide another form of voice for the beauty and intellect to speak through.

P.S., our brand fonts are Warbler, Signifier and GT America. We’re big fans of Warbler.