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Charman Driver is one of the organizers behind the “End Racism Now” mural painted in giant yellow letters along West Martin Street in front of downtown Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum earlier this moth. A few days later, on Juneteenth, Raleigh’s Confederate statues, monuments to white supremacy, began to come down. Learn more about this Raleigh resident, former CAM chair and all-around inspirational person from our interview with Driver last year.
For nearly 20 years, Charman Driver has motivated and encouraged women to enhance their quality of life through healthy, healing behaviors, as a pilates and women-only boot camp instructor, Duke-certified integrative health coach, community builder, arts advocate, writer and business owner. Her latest venture, BY: NEST, is a wellness initiative and lifestyle blog committed to deepening the literacy of self-maintenance for the woman who aspires to be true to herself and live with social purpose. BY: NEST is built on the belief that when you feel good, you then do good. Driver is the past chair of CAM Raleigh’s board of directors and serves on the board of the Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy. She and her husband, Frank, have a daughter, Delaney, 11, and a 3-year-old
Portuguese water dog named Mochi.
Hometown: Jacksonville, North Carolina in a military family.
Your neighborhood: Cameron Village, for almost twenty years.
Currently reading: Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through The Seven Transitions Into Adulthood by Lisa Damour, Ph.D and Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen.
Currently listening to: NPR’s CodeSwitch podcast.
Style mantra: “Less is more.” I’m a no-nonsense woman and I don’t have a lot of time to spend fussing over clothes and searching through my closet for something to wear—I keep it simple. I love effortless minimalism and I like lines that are modern, without being too trendy. For special events, I like to play with my look a bit more and try get outside of my comfort zone by adding some texture and flow or by getting a little edgier. I also love super-high heels (only on occasion) and color.
Style influencers: I’m inspired by people whose values align with mine when it comes to fashion: being committed to sustainability, ethical and purpose-driven. I adore the effortless style of Nadira Hurley, owner of Vert & Vogue in Durham. The clothing store is a B-corp, committed to using business as a force for good. Brooklyn-based Aurora James, founder of the Brother Vellies brand, has gorgeous taste. Her shoes and bags are designed in Brooklyn and handcrafted across Africa. I’m totally infatuated with the super-dope style of Saudi-American businesswoman Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz. And my other favorite is Gabrielle Jewelry by the super talented Raleigh-born, San Francisco-based Gabe Bratton Hall.
Favorite clothing labels: Rachel Comey, Ganni, Raquel Allegra, Mi Jong Lee, Raleigh Denim. Shoes by Coclico, Brother Vellies and Veja.
Flats vs. Heels: Flats. I live in sneakers.
Local go-to shop: Vert & Vogue. I also love the tiny, beautifully curated corner in the Umstead Hotel’s shop. I love shopping for vintage at House of Landor; owner Mary Beth Paulson curates the most gorgeous collection of unique clothing. I love the idea that something old is new again and it reduces my carbon footprint!
Last great lunch: Heron’s at the Umstead Hotel.
Go-to piece: My navy Rachel Comey jumpsuit is minimal, comfortable and sophisticated all at once.
Favorite bling: My husband gifted me a beautiful orange sapphire and diamond ring designed by my friend and jeweler extraordinaire, An Nguyen, at Atelier N in Durham.
Travel dream: Last summer I travelled to Southeast Asia. I’d like to go back pronto!
How you stay fit: I’m always moving! For exercise: running, pilates, yoga, and I teach a women’s boot camp class.
Favorite drink: A Hemingway Daquiri
Style secret: It’s no secret and anyone can have it. I work hard to live a healthy, happy and fit lifestyle. Fashion plays a big part in that overall feeling of well-being for me. When I feel good about myself and about my body, beautiful clothes look and feel better on me. In my opinion, they go hand in hand. Feel good, look good.
Moment/event in your life that inspired your style: We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so there weren’t expensive clothes, but my mother took great care of what we had and we looked like a million bucks. She loves fashion and always made sure we looked put together. She did more with less.
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