Things My Mother Taught Me: Cory Ohlendorf

The Editor in Chief. The Big Kahuna. The Brain. Cory Ohlendorf is a leader. While other online-only men’s magazines exist, Valet is the best. Without question. I visit it on a regular basis (see: daily, sometimes hourly), and I wonder to myself, “How did he do this?” While the too-big-to-fail mainstream glossies are slowly embracing this thing called Web 2.0, Cory and company have been at it forever.

It’s one thing to create the first electronic men’s interest magazine; it’s another thing entirely to consistently provide tasteful, approachable, and yes, trendy reportage on all things happening in a man’s world. Cory’s multitude of interests and passions speaks to that. His is a testament to a Midwestern upbringing, growing up with parents who instilled in him the desire to seek the unique in the everyday, to seek out the quality in all life’s experiences. It’s with great pleasure I share his words here on all plaidout.


Though my wardrobe at the moment revolves mostly around All-American classics, my personal style when I was younger was a tad more eccentric. I liked the idea of dressing differently than others and if that meant wearing my belt on the outside of my pants or jacket, so be it. Call it the misspent youth of a Midwestern son with dreams of “the big city.” My mother, Christine Ohlendorf — child of the 60s without a judgmental bone in her body—not only allowed it, but encouraged my sartorial expression. Allowing me to wear my signature look, complete with a handmade necklace from summer camp while on vacation? She didn’t mind. (That’s me on the right, age five, with my brother Danny at Graceland in Memphis.) She always encouraged my imagination and when I wanted a Batman costume (not for Halloween, mind you, but just a random day in July), she took to the sewing machine and turned out a mask and utility belt. Funny, I never realized it until now, but it was that kind of freedom and creativity that probably led to what I’m doing now. So thanks Mom, for letting me be just a little different and loving me all the same.