Recording Artist, Actor, Dancer, Restauranteur, Entrepreneur, Hillbilly Tea
Karter’s first professional theater gig was at the age of 15 and he started his first production company by age 17. After brief success in Hollywood, Karter turned his attention to music. And although he quickly landed a development deal with a major label, the deal was dropped when Karter insisted on being an openly gay recording artist in the 1980’s. Forging his own way, he formed the label Kworld and successfully produced and released three albums. His label also produced the highly anticipated yet never released “Twisted Tongues”, a documentary that chronicled pioneers of the gay hip-hop movement.
Now more than a decade later, Karter has turned his many talents and passions to food. Karter developed and co-created San Francisco’s ultra chic Samovar Tea Lounge, which now hails four locations in the city. Next he cofounded HHnL Design Group in Taipei, which in turn spun off the most highly sought after independent lighting design firm Uno Lai Design based in Shanghai. After an extensive stay in Asia, Karter returned to his hometown of Louisville Kentucky, where he decided to open Hillbilly Tea. This unique downtown restaurant serves up its own quirky brand of teas and locally grown farm-to-fork Appalachian style cuisine. More than anything, Hillbilly Tea expresses Karter’s passion for multiculturalism and healthy eating.
Fueled by the amazing reception to this unique American tea concept, Karter randomly decided to open a second Hillbilly Tea in Shanghai, China and is currently at work on two additional locations, one of which will be in the emerging Louisville neighborhood of Portland. All of this will be done under his newly formed restaurant development company, GBG, llc, which will create and develop the concepts that Karter intends to transform into exciting culinary ventures.
And he’s still creating art. Karter has two completed albums, one of which is in post production. Recently he has been approached to do television, and he’s returned to the theatrical stage this fall after a 25 year hiatus. He’s not slowing down.