I AM MPLS!

What: Local comedians Jeff Pfoser and Greg Coleman; musical guests Tickle Torture and Greycoats; citizen models; designs from local boutiques, including Cliche, B Resale, Proper & Prim, Atmosfere and Roe Wolfe.

Where: First Avenue, 701 N. 1st Ave., Minneapolis

When: Dec. 4

Info: General admission $15 advance; $20 at the door; iammpls.com

I AM ST. PAUL!

What: Local comedian Jenn Schall; live music by DJ Shannon Blowtorch, Courtney McClean & the Dirty Curls, PHO; comedy improv; performance art; collections from St. Paul boutiques Karma, Primp, Stephanie’s, Idun, Heimie’s Haberdashery and BlackBlue.

Where: Amsterdam Bar and Hall, 6 W. Sixth St., St. Paul

When: Dec. 12

Info: General admission $15 advance; $20 at the door; iamstpaul.com

Sarah Edwards loves connecting communities in a big way.

She created I AM Kindness, an army of volunteers offering acts of kindness in the Twin Cities, from surprise makeovers at senior homes to bus driver gift bags.

She is also founder of I AM MPLS! an annual fashion, food, art and entertainment event that draws 1,000 attendees each year.

And this year, Edwards, 29, is adding an I AM ST. PAUL! event to the roster for the first time.

Before the fashion and entertainment events get underway next month, we chatted with Edwards about her love for fashion and efforts to connect the creative community.

Q: How did I AM MPLS! come about?

A: I’ve always loved fashion and the role it played in my life. It allowed me to play different characters. I wanted to create an event and fashion show that was about art and design and entrepreneurs. I really consider myself a connector — what I really enjoy is bringing together people from different walks of life and industries and seeing what we can create together. The main reasons I do these events is I believe in supporting the local community and getting people to take risks.

Q: What makes I AM MPLS! and I AM ST. PAUL! distinct from other fashion and entertainment events in the Twin Cities?

A: The events are more about people than fashion. The fashion is obviously very important, but the people — who they are and what they’re about — are more important than the latest trends.

The events also bring in different industries. I want to have someone from the culinary industry, someone from the art industry … someone who is just totally doing their own thing that is cool and kind of bizarre.

Q: Why add an I AM ST. PAUL! event this year?

A: St. Paul and Minneapolis really complement each other, but I didn’t have the bandwidth to do both. Then I found Carrissa (Carr) Glarner to produce the St. Paul event. She has all the right characteristics. She’s collaborative and a hard worker. She lives in St. Paul and is connected to the community. She has taken I AM ST. PAUL! and made it her own. She’s meeting all the people and coordinating the event. I’m consulting. It takes a small army to put on an event, that’s for sure.

Q: How has the event evolved over the years?

A: The first one was at the Fine Line Music Cafe in downtown Minneapolis five years ago. That year about 500 people came. Last year, about 1,000 people attended.

We continue to grow in other ways. We have a new website and continue to join with community partners. When you have funding, it’s a lot easier to put on a show. This year, sponsors for I AM ST. PAUL! include Mississippi Market and Rayette Lofts. We really could not have done this event without them.

It’s about connecting businesses and sustaining an entrepreneurial city where people can shape their dreams and passions and have the whole community support them.

Q: At I AM MPLS! at Aria event center last year, you threw a surprise wedding in which you and fiance Jared Lukes got married. How do you pull off a surprise wedding?

A: It was pretty last-minute. We had been engaged for a long time, but we were both so busy we wondered when we’d have time to plan a wedding. Jared is an entrepreneur, too, so we always fill our plates with more than possible.

Our friends were going to be at the event so we thought, why not? Only a few people knew about our plans. My mom would have killed me if I hadn’t told her. Local designer Emma Berg made my dress, and a few close friends helped with the planning.

People ask me if I would have done it differently. I don’t think so. It was just very us.

Q: How do you describe your style?

A: I can’t stand the word “trend.” I just don’t care about that stuff. I have a really eclectic style. If I see something that speaks to me, I get it.

IF YOU GO

I AM MPLS!

What: Local comedians Jeff Pfoser and Greg Coleman; musical guests Tickle Torture and Greycoats; citizen models; designs from local boutiques, including Cliche, B Resale, Proper & Prim, Atmosfere and Roe Wolfe.

Where: First Avenue, 701 N. 1st Ave., Minneapolis

When: Dec. 4

Info: General admission $15 advance; $20 at the door; iammpls.com

I AM ST. PAUL!

What: Local comedian Jenn Schall; live music by DJ Shannon Blowtorch, Courtney McClean & the Dirty Curls, PHO; comedy improv; performance art; collections from St. Paul boutiques Karma, Primp, Stephanie’s, Idun, Heimie’s Haberdashery and BlackBlue.

Where: Amsterdam Bar and Hall, 6 W. Sixth St., St. Paul

When: Dec. 12

Info: General admission $15 advance; $20 at the door; iamstpaul.com

Nancy Ngo can be reached at 651-228-5172. Follow her at twitter.com/nancyngotc and pinterest.com/nancyngotc.