By DJ Hellerman
Remember the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? Well, in Savannah, it’s one degree of Bunny Ware. You might not know what she looks like, but rest assured Bunny Ware, “Savannah’s Best Connector,” is never more than one connection away.
“Bunny in the City,” her weekly column in the Savannah Morning News, has been a newspaper staple for the past 10 years. She is the woman behind the camera for Connect’s two-page photo spread “Connected.” In addition to that, she is a content provider for WSAV and WJCL. Bunny is everywhere, which is precisely where she wants to be in the city she loves.
Growing up in Wadley, Georgia, a Jefferson County “small country town,” Bunny always knew she had the “gift for gab,” as she describes it. And she also knew how to capture a great moment with a camera. Even though she loved photography and took photos all through high school and college, it wasn’t until after she spent a decade in the automotive industry working with auto parts and service shops that Bunny found her way to visual storytelling and media outlets.
Bunny attended Georgia Southern University in Statesboro where she flirted with history and psychology before finally becoming a communications major. She moved to Savannah in 1999. After college, she spent 10 years working for LKQ Corporation selling auto parts. The automotive industry and high-performance automobiles have been a lifelong passion of Bunny’s. Fortuitously, around the time LKQ Corporation eliminated her position, Bunny met Matt Cohen, the chef and owner of Savannah’s The New South Café.
“I met him and immediately started telling him everything he was doing wrong to promote his business,” she said. “Because of that, Matt asked me to come work for him. I did. And I started introducing this charismatic chef to the community. That led to the beginning of the Savannah Master Calendar and that introduced me to the community.” It was the start of a new chapter in Bunny’s life, one in which she could use her “gift for gab” to help people make good things happen in Savannah.
Eventually, Bunny’s sales and marketing skills, along with her intuitive, open-hearted, and curious personality led her to The Savannah Morning News and the launch of the “Bunny In The City” column. Every week, Bunny highlights the personalities of Savannah, “It gives me the opportunity to meet so many incredible people: from housekeeping and people working in the kitchen to the governor,” she explained. It’s the sincere humanity of the people she profiles that is most important to her.
Even though Bunny is a content provider to four of Savannah’s major media outlets, she’s very clear about who she works for. “It is the story, not the station or the publication,” she said. “I am working for the people, not the platform.” “I like stories of people we don’t hear about. I like connecting people and I am blessed to have platforms that I can share with people doing incredible work who deserve it. I can leverage the connections I have to help people get the visibility they need.” Bunny is intentional about the lighthearted feel of her work. News stations often run an uplifting good-news story at the end of a broadcast, known as a “kicker” in the industry.
“It should be good news all day long,” she said. “We need a kicker station. That’s what I want to be. Savannah’s culture of generosity and giving shows up at so many events that I cover. I highlight people that do good and I only cover good news; I don’t do negative. I don’t put people down; I promote positive.”
Bunny’s work schedule is relentless. For 12 to 14 hours a day, six days a week, she attends as many events as she can. To be nimbler and more efficient, she recently switched from a full-frame Nikon D800 to an iPhone 12 Pro Max on a stabilizer with a light kit so she can edit photos on site and upload to media outlets immediately.
Tuesdays are different. “I try not to leave my house on Tuesdays,” she said. “I’m working, but I’m home. I’ll talk one phone’s battery down and then on to the other one. I even have a landline if I need it.”Bunny is a binge worker – she works “like crazy” for a month or so and then takes a break. During her time off, she is an avid, devoted cold-weather traveler. “I love cold climates. In a few weeks, I am headed to Orcas Island on the West Coast. It is the coldest place I can get since Canada won’t let us in. This weekend, I’ll be in the north Georgia mountains with my mom.”
Spending time by herself is important to Bunny. She’s an extroverted introvert, “Many people won’t believe it but I love being alone as much as I love being with others,” she said.
She loves driving fast. The feeling of being in a high performing vehicle, on a road she’s never driven with really good music, “That’s my happy place. I love speed; that’s my adrenaline. ” she explains.By good music, Bunny means anything except jazz, “Random notes make me anxious; I need repetition.”
You’ve probably spotted Bunny cruising around Savanah in her meticulously maintained Jeep, another one of her automotive loves. In her work life, impeccable organization skills keep her efficient and on time. In her automobile and at home, cleaning and organizing is another form of fun for Bunny, “cabinets, closets, refrigerators. I love to clean anything for fun. Before I leave the house on Mondays I have to vacuum. It’s just something I have to do.”
Traveling is a way for Bunny to shut down and recoup from her intense work schedule. It’s also a way to take stock and appreciate where she lives, “I have to leave here to love here,” she said. “I love the South, I love our people, but I hate our heat. You know, the more I travel, the more I love where I live. Sweet tea, Spanish Moss, Southern manners of people who say ‘yes, ma’am’ and ‘thank you’ all remind me there is no place like home.”
Growing up, Bunny’s Dad hung a 6-foot map of Georgia over her bed. He’d point to a specific location and say, “Here’s where we are going. How do we get there?” Today, it’s a perfectly poetic metaphor for Bunny’s life: helping people get where they want to go. For Bunny, the camera is simply her tool of choice, the instrument she needs to do her work in the world.
“It’s what I am doing behind the camera that most people don’t see,” she explained. “I’m putting into place connections for their success by introducing people to who they need to know to make things happen,” she said. “I am a connector.”
From Savannah Business Journal
Bunny Ware has announced a new partnership for her social column, Bunny in the City, which will run as a weekly column in the arts and entertainment magazine, Connect Savannah. Together, Bunny and Connect Savannah bring awareness to events, arts and entertainment in the greater Savannah area and their partnership will highlight more of Savannah, the people, and its happenings.
“Connect Savannah is honored to have Bunny Ware partner with our publication. Bunny brings so much excitement to our city and her dedication to promoting everyone and their events is evident,” shared Connect Savannah Publisher, Erica Baskin. “Bunny is known for her unique personality and for her ability to showcase some of the city’s most generous hearts,” adds Baskin.
“First up, I have to give a massive thank you to the benevolent Charles H. Morris Sr., Erica Baskin and Christopher Sweat for the invitation to write about all things local," said Ware. "From the people that make this town so fabulous to the never-ending events, I will be giving y’all a weekly recap of some of the wicked cool and diverse social happenings around Savannah.”
The first installment of this new partnership can be found online at Connect Savannah and on their social media platforms. Photo galleries of weekly events are posted online as well.