In one of his college courses on conflict resolution, Williams encountered Wendell Berry’s work. The Kentucky poet and novelist’s ideas of community rootedness, agrarian support, and simple living appealed to Williams, and he has incorporated many of them into Kinfolk, with principles of small-scale entertaining centered on simplicity, artistry, and spending time outdoors.
Kinfolk launched as a quarterly, 144-page, ad-free print magazine. Though the design team had no prior experience in publishing, they sold out their first edition in a couple weeks.
The magazine’s main editorial filters, according to Williams, are centered around this question: “Does it help strengthen neighborhoods, family, or friends?” This community-centric mission sets the tone for every issue. Indeed, Kinfolk has a recurring feature on “How to Be Neighborly.” Every issue, whether addressing urban or country readers, encourages a localist investment in the community. “We put reminders into the magazine of the value of heritage,” Williams says.