To market Kern’s Food Hall in Knoxville, this small business moved there


At Vella Crew, Suzanne Young’s passion for marketing and film has turned a hobby into a career.

Young has had a natural background in the arts from an early age in the form of dance, music and film, and she studied film in college. She also has a degree in computer science, which is where her expertise in marketing comes from.

“I do my hobby for a living,” Young said. “It’s the way I make money and feed my family, but there’s not a day that feels like work because this is exactly what I want to do. I love the world I live in.”

Vella Crew has overseen the branding and marketing of the newly opened Kern’s Food Hall for approximately two years since the construction phase.

After graduating, Young had worked for several years as a developer for a national brand, developing sites alongside the brand as a whole. As an artist, however, she didn’t feel fulfilled working eight-hour shifts in a cubicle. Young said her productivity took a hit because she was figuratively and literally locked in a box, which ultimately led to her firing.

“I’m better suited to activate a vision,” Young said. “Because I look at things from a broader perspective. And it’s harder for me to be locked in a box where I feel like this is the worst thing you could ever do to an artist.

While most would see it as a bad break, Young saw it as an opportunity to finally realize her vision. She wasn’t given a place to be creative and explore new ideas, so she decided to create it herself, now Vella Crew.

For about seven years, Young steadily grew her business. She has taken on many clients from many sectors of the business community. As a result, she started to imagine the ideal customer that best suited her and the company, namely food, fashion and entertainment.

It wasn’t long before Young had the brand recognition to choose clients who better aligned with her vision.

She brought her husband, Phillip, on board to help grow her business. However, his background had nothing to do with marketing or film.

Phillip Young was a supervisor at Costco at the time. What he did have was a background as an athlete – a competitor. That competitive fire drove him to become an expert in the film business.

“He has the mind of an athlete,” Suzanne Young said. “When he decides he wants to do something, he really throws himself into it.

“I brag about him a little bit because he’s a bit of a savant when it comes to film. I think the way he learns things is exponentially fast and the way his eyes see things through the camera lens. He just knows his stuff.”

Vella Crew continued to grow, eventually working with the renovation of Kern’s Bakery into the newly opened food hall.

With such a large project, Phillip and Suzanne Young wanted to give Kern’s Food Hall their full attention, so they brought in Vella Crew. They were able to build a studio in the dining room instead of the garage studio where they worked.

The next step at Vella Crew is to make full use of the studio space. It will serve as a physical sign of their brand, but other people will be able to use it for creative purposes.

“There will also be a lot of people and eyes on us in this creative space,” Suzanne Young said. “Having a space at Kern’s will also be like giving back to the community by creating this space for other creatives. It’s not just for ourselves.”