Area Woman Magazine Feb/Mar '23

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40 Area Style AREA STYLE + SHOP LOCAL wedding 2023 Trends for Brides Hailee and Jared Area Wedding Kaylin and Elliot Area Wedding Mikayla and Derek Area Wedding style Area Style + Shop Local 28 Area Wedding WEDDING STORIES 22 28 30 32 40 6 :: co nt en ts [ aw ]

Heart &

by Sanford Health

(Re) Discovering

by Caitlin Pallai

Books She Loves by Megan Elgin


48 OnThe Cover NATURAL BEAUTY WITH A MISSION profiles The Power of Purpose Sonder Bakehouse
Do Good Adventures: Lighting the Way to Ambiance
20 Years of Sweetness: The Sweet Spot Nichole's Fine Pastry & Café
Natural Beauty with a Mission Love Always Floral
On the Rise: Lisa Vedder
by Janell Meier
by Erin Foley
by Alicia Underlee Nelson
Vascular Screenings:
What's the
Start to College Life
A Smart
Hardware dining
it Tonight
Home &
Recipe: Make
62 Area Dining A WEDDING -INSPIRED DATE NIGHT 42 Area Life (RE) DISCOVERING STRENGTH feb mar 2023 12 18 34 48 64 38 42 44 46 56 27 62 7 [AW] February / March 23 :: co nt en
by Ashley
A Wedding-Inspired Date
by Alicia Underlee Nelson


are the voice of Area Woman Magazine. They bring to life the Fargo-Moorhead area and the incredible stories of the women we feature. These are the talented contributors showcased in this issue. Learn more about these and our other contributors at

ERIN foley

Erin is a retired business owner with a degree in Graphic Design. She lives her free-spirited, ‘Be real, not perfect.’, life in Detroit Lakes with her cat, The Dude. More often than not, will answer in movie or tv quotes and is a lover and advocate for all animals. She is an Artist for Lakeshirts and loves to garden, write, paint, and cook and bake for others. You will often find her at the local yoga studio, behind the apron, elbow deep in dirt or on the lake.

ASHLEY sornsin

Ashley is a local health, fitness, and life coach with a passion for inspiring and motivating others to live their best life. She started her own business, BUFF Inc., teaches group fitness classes at the YMCA in Fargo, is a health and fitness writer, has appeared on local TV as a fitness expert, and shares her life and expertise candidly on Facebook and Instagram. To work with Ashley for nutrition, fitness and life coaching, contact her online at

JANELL meier

Janell Meier is a determined wife, mother, corporate employee and Certified Oola Life Coach. Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 27, Janell learned quickly that life doesn’t always happen how we want. Years later she made her dreams come true by earning the title of mommy through the help of an amazing gestational carrier. Her passion and purpose in life is to help others to find the balance and love for life that she always thought was unattainable. You can learn more about Janell at:

ALICIA underlee nelson

Alicia's stories and photos have been featured in numerous publications, including Thomson Reuters, USA Today, Food Network, Delta Sky Magazine, AAA Living, Midwest Living,, Apartment Guide, trivago Magazine, Matador Network, North Dakota Outdoors and She is the author of North Dakota Beer: A Heady History and a coauthor of Midwest Road Trip Adventures.

MEGAN elgin

Megan grew up on the family farm in small town North Dakota and graduated from MSUM. She is an artist and graphic designer who loves all things creative. She is passionate about reading as many books as possible and loves discussing them with others. Megan lives in Horace with her husband and teenage son.

[ aw ] 8 ::

SAM archer

Samantha is the co-owner and lead photographer at Images by Archer. Working alongside her videographer husband Ryan, they specialize in documenting couples, engagements, and weddings. Along with this, Samantha is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Communication at North Dakota State University and an adjunct lecturer at Concordia College. Her doctoral work looks at the intersection of mass and interpersonal communication with specific focus on how relationships are built and maintained over technology. Find more of her work at or

DAWN duncan

BETH pridday

Beth Pridday has been an entrepreneur and educator her whole life. Her teaching career has included stints at University of South Dakota, Minot State University, and MState. She lives with her husband and two dogs in Detroit Lakes, where she is a full-time volunteer, sometimes retired, a part-time consultant, and business owner. She is passionate about giving-back, animal rescue, cooking, and travel.

Dawn is driven by creativity and sharing her passion for writing, art, and healthy living with the masses. She is from Fertile, MN and now calls Detroit Lakes her home, after living in Colorado several years. She's a UND graduate and lifelong entrepreneur who is also a published children's book author. You'll usually find her hiking in the woods, kayaking, sweating in the yoga studio, or spending time with her husband, Michael, and their German Shepherd, Reva. Dawn is the founder of Yellowbright, a writing and editing agency, an avid community volunteer, and modern day Renaissance woman. Follow her

9 [AW] February / March 23 ::

celebrating 38 years

publisher / art director


managing editor





RENEE REDENIUS | 701.212.7227

JERRY SHEA | 218.205.7454

REBECCA HAARSTAD | 262.994.8744

TERRI JO PEERY | 320.491.5618



read it online

find us

Area Woman is a proud member of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. It is published bimonthly by Area Woman Publishing, LLC and printed in the U.S.A. ©2022 Area Woman Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from AW. Area Woman is a trademark registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Area Woman Publishing assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs and does not necessarily agree with content or advertising presented.

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photography by Justin Eiler
area MAKER

Sonder Bakehouse opened its doors in 2022 in West Fargo, but owner Kayla Houchin’s colorful macarons, impeccably iced cookies, unconventional cakes, and tables heaped with a treasure trove of sweet treats have tempted locals for more than a decade. A physical storefront is just the next step in a life guided by passion and purpose.

A childhood dream

“I grew up baking a lot in the kitchen with my babysitter, Karla,” says Houchin. “She’d always let me make the biggest mess in her kitchen.”

After high school in Fessenden, North Dakota, Houchin wanted to experience college life; she moved to Fargo to pursue an education degree at North Dakota State University. In addition to her college pursuits, she never stopped baking.

“It was my way of connecting with people,” she explains. “Almost once a week for nearly two years I brought in treats, usually a new cupcake recipe I was trying out. It wasn’t uncommon to see me walking around NDSU with a cupcake box.”

She built her business in tiny, deliberate steps. Word of mouth—and her edible art—did the rest.

“It really began when I launched a Facebook page in 2011,” Houchin says. “When I started that page, I received orders. I was a sophomore in college and had baked for a friend’s wedding. After that, it kind of snowballed.”

Coming to a crossroads

Houchin graduated and settled into a routine teaching physical education and FACS (what used to be called Home Ec.) in Fargo Public Schools. She traveled and baked (often for weddings) as much as possible.

Then the pandemic forced a reckoning. It was at that moment that Houchin took a challenging leap of faith.

“When COVID hit, I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she says. “I was kind of lost. I thought about moving to Alaska because it’s one of my favorite places. I quit teaching. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then, nine days later, I signed a contract to build.”

Sonder Bakehouse opened to the public in the spring of 2022. The process has been an emotional journey.

“It's still terrifying,” Houchin says, “but I’m glad I’m doing it. I feel like I’m living my purpose and that keeps me going.”

Coming full circle

Now Houchin employs nine bakers, including Karla, her former babysitter and first baking mentor. Karla’s creations are featured on the menu, too.

“One of our most popular recipes is her signature almond buttercream cookies,” says Houchin. “I’d bring those cookies to school. Everybody always asked about Karla’s cookies. There are some really old recipes from Karla and my grandma that I really haven’t changed. We make several items with royal icing because when it dries, it’s smooth and you can be really detailed; people love the look of them. But, those almond buttercream cookies are just so good!”

Best sellers

Karla’s almond buttercream cookies and those pretty royal icing cookies are very popular at Sonder Bakehouse, but the top seller is Good Stuff – a unique menu item that arose out of necessity which became a customer favorite. There are usually 5-12 varieties in the case on any given day.

“We either level cakes or cut out circles, so we always have leftover cake pieces,” explains Houchin, “but, we don’t throw them out--we turn them into Good Stuff. It’s cake and frosting and some kind of filling or fruit or cookie crumble to give it texture. You just grab a spoon!”

The second most popular item at Sonder Bakehouse are macarons, those delicate French sandwich cookies. Houchin and her team make nearly 40 flavors of the meringue-based confection, from chocolate, salted caramel, and birthday cake to fruity flavors like lemon, key lime, and raspberry.

The macarons are both popular and challenging for home bakers to master. Houchin teaches one or two macaron classes a month. Bakers can take sugar cookie and buttercream decorating classes too, with more options to come.

Unconventional weddings

Sonder Bakehouse does fewer weddings these days, as business shifts to specialty cakes, classes, and supplying the neighborhood with a plethora of sweet treats. Plus, brides and grooms who want a unique dessert experience often select Houchin’s best sellers for their big day.

The macarons are gorgeous and wedding-worthy just as they are. Sonder Bakehouse cookies and cupcakes are easily dressed up in wedding colors. Even Good Stuff makes an appearance, albeit in a slightly different form; Houchin reimagines it as a dessert shooter, tidy layers of cake, frosting, fruit or filling for a sleek and polished look.

“I always encourage people to order a variety, so they’ll get some buttercream cookies, some sugar cookies and maybe some macarons and desert shooters and cupcakes. This way, between the different flavors, they might have 10-12 different items,” she says. “It’s fun to have a dessert spread that people aren’t expecting. Couples will say, ‘People still talk about the dessert table at our wedding.’ It’s a really big compliment.”

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The power of a cause

Sonder Bakehouse’s mission statement focuses on creating connections and sparking creativity through sweet treats. But Houchin also has an international focus. She’s committed to providing clean water to the global community through Charity: Water, a non-profit that donates 100 percent of its proceeds to bringing clean drinking water to people around the world.

“About 1 in 10 people still lack access to life’s most basic need,” says Houchin, her passion coloring every word. “I want to see everyone drinking clean, safe drinking water before my time is up on this earth. It only costs $40 to give people clean water for the rest of their life. The problem is completely solvable.”

Houchin’s goal is to contribute at least $1M to clean water causes in her lifetime. So far, she has raised an impressive $34,300 by donating her tips, auctioning off cakes, making direct contributions, and conducting fundraising campaigns. Funds raised at a May 2, 2023 gala she’s hosting at The Pines featuring Charity: Water’s founder will benefit the cause. Her annual birthday fundraiser will, too.

“It's about giving and serving others,” Houchin says. “That's what matters most to me. Baking and clean water are my greatest passions, so I try to bring those together as creatively as I can." [ aw ]

Imagine sitting at the head table at your wedding reception, looking out at the most important people in your life, all together in one room. Now imagine them sitting in front of a wedding favor that also adds to the ambiance of the room; a candle with a scent and label that is meaningful to you, one that your guests are eager to take home with them and cherish.

18 :: area HOME
“Do good” is also the motto of Delta Gamma, the sorority that my three daughters, sister, and I are all members of."
elevate the every day 218-791-3932 5256 50th Avenue South, Suite A Fargo, North Dakota
DEBBI OSOWSKI founder | owner

“"I love learning new things more than anything."

Debbi Osowski, founder and owner of Do Good Adventures, started a new adventure in life after creating candles for her daughter, Abby’s wedding. Debbi loved seeing the joy and excitement on the faces of the guests as they discovered the different scents on the tables in front of them. She observed as guests swapped with each other and scoured the room for empty seats, so as not to leave unclaimed candles. Even months after the wedding, she heard from guests that they loved the elegant wedding favor. Some guests didn’t want to burn the candle, for fear of not having it anymore, while others said they loved lighting it as a reminder of the newlyweds and the wedding fun.

After the wonderful response she received from her daughter’s wedding, she wanted to create a similar experience for others. She continued making hand-poured soy candles and selling them at different pop-up events. From there, her business flourished into what it is today. “I never intended to have a business with it. I’m a creative wannabe. I love learning new things more than anything,” Debbi says. Eventually, the time came when Debbi was at the point of leaving her career as a counselor, to follow her new passion of creating and selling her candles. She shares that she had the conversation

with her husband, worried he would resent her for making this change in life. "My husband told me, ""At this point, I'll resent you if you don't try.'"

When it came to naming her new endeavor, Debbi looked at her background in counseling. “I worked with teens and I would often tell them to just do the right thing and it would all be okay.

“Do good” is also the motto of Delta Gamma, the sorority that my three daughters, sister, and I are all members of. Additionally, my initials are “D.O.” so the word “do” fits.”

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Owning a business isn’t all invigorating or calm like the candles she creates. Debbi shares some of her challenges as a business owner. “I get lonely. There’s always something; curve balls all the time. I’m very hard on myself, a perfectionist. And, it’s easy to work 24/7 when you’re loving what you’re doing.”

But with all of that said, when asked what the most rewarding part of owning her business is, she says, “Hands down, when people come back and tell me, “These are amazing.” I love it when people comment how great of a product I have.” She shares about one particular customer that said a candle reminded her of making lefse with her grandma.

Debbi adds that another rewarding part is, “To hear my adult kids say, “I’m so proud of you.”” It seems her business has come full circle since Abby’s wedding in 2018. Now, Debbi is happy and proud that Abby is working full-time alongside her.

Debbi shares, “I love learning. I love the next challenge. I want to have something to pass on to my three girls, if they want it.” She added that as a counselor, she always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. That’s why her tagline is “elevate the every day”. She is proud that her candles can positively impact others, whether

that be her customers who purchase her candles; or the people who see her social media pictures and posts. She is fascinated with the social media market and enjoys being on Instagram, TikTok, Shopify, and Facebook.

When asked what defines success, Debbi shares, “Success is a business that’s alive and that has continued growth and returning customers. Also, I feel successful in that I was able to grow the company enough that Abby is part of the full-time staff.”

Outside of her business, Debbi shared her favorite time of day is when her husband brings her a cup of coffee and they talk about their day. She also adds that she loves the end of a workout; for both the pride that she got there and for how she feels when it’s done.

As she looks ahead to her business goals for 2023, she plans on expanding to more wholesale opportunities across the country. As of now, you can find her products locally at Eco Chic Home, Baker Garden & Gift, Unglued, and at her own storefront location. She is already in various stores across the country (boutiques, home décor stores, and spas).

Be on the lookout in 2023 for more classes at her storefront as well. These classes are a fun

and new experience for couples, bridal parties, bachelorette parties, and families. The classes are approximately an hour long and each person gets to choose their own scent and vessel for their candle. Debbi loves the opportunity to create custom scents and labels for her customers. She shared a list of ideas for wedding parties to incorporate candles into their weddings. The candles are very personal, elevated, and classy gifts. A unique idea is to create custom memorial candles for the ceremony, of loved ones that can’t be present for the special day. These could have a custom scent and label as well.

Do Good Adventures offers a subscription box for you and the candle lovers in your life. These boxes include three candles (one inventory scent and two seasonal scents). They are shipped four times a year, so you have one candle per month. With the subscription, members also get discounts on additional purchases.

“I love the next challenge. I want to have something to pass on to my three girls, if they want it.”
DEBBI OSOWSKI founder | owner

Candle making aside, Debbi has a passion for giving back to organizations that are close to her heart. She chooses those that focus on mental health, suicide prevention, and building self-esteem in children and teens. Do Good Adventures gives back to the following local non-profit organizations: BIO Girls, Fargo Vet Center, and Red River Children’s Advocacy Center. [ aw ]

Self-Care Tip: In the midst of wedding planning, it’s important to take time to breathe, relax, and be. A perfect way to do that is to light a candle and pair it with a bath, journaling, or reading, indulging in the present moment and honoring the “now.” It’s a busy process, but with a bit of self-care and conscientious activity, it can be a fun experience that flickers in memory forever.

There are a few ways to incorporate Do Good Adventures candles into your wedding. All of these ideas can have custom labels, scents, and vessels:

• Proposal Boxes

• Wedding favors

• Wedding party gifts

• Gifts for out-of-town guests

• Memorial candles

• Candle box subscriptions

Gift ideas for the special couple:

•Gift Certificate to Do Good Adventures (for classes or to pick out their own candle scents)

• Candle box subscription (a year of candles)

elevate the every day 218-791-3932 5256 50th Avenue South, Suite A Fargo, North Dakota

Bridal styles come and go, with some traditional or more classic ones being timeless. This year, we see waves and whips, with a twist of old-fashioned glamour. The dress will determine the style that is suggested for you. Soft, subtle glam is the trend. You should always add highlight or shine to make your hair pop in your photographs; it makes a difference!

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photography by Justin Eiler

Makeup: Alicia Upton

Hair: Pam Vadnais

Dresses: RSVP Bride by Alan Evans

Makeup: Alicia Upton

Hair: Sandy Erickson

We also recommend for all hair colors to add Redken All Soft Argan-6 Oil. This is an oil applied after you have styled your hair for your wedding; and you will see beautiful shine. Note that the oil should be applied very sparingly, by first rubbing a few drops together on hands and gently, lightly tapping the hair, followed by running fingers through the hair for full application. This product is even shiny in your hands and completes a bridal hairstyle beautifully.

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Makeup provided by Hair Success Salon and Spa

Makeup: Tim Williams

Hair: Tim Williams

Dresses: RSVP Bride by Alan Evans

Makeup: Alicia Upton

Hair: Aurora Chappell

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE Hair & Makeup provided by Tim Williams, Details Salon
BRIDE Hair & Makeup provided by Hair Success Salon and Spa 25 [AW] February / March 23 :: Partner with us as we reach out to women and girls in our area who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and offer them hope. Your support allows us to provide non-judgmental, decision-making mentoring, that includes adoption education, and other life-affirming supports. Life is complicated. Approximately 3 million women face unexpected pregnancies every year in the U.S. 701.237.4473
Special Thanks for providing all dresses and photoshoot location TO

make it tonight

immunity cubes

Make a batch of these to keep on hand. Pop a few cubes in a cup of hot water to enjoy and keep your immune system humming each morning!



1 orange, chopped

1 lemon, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

3 cups water

1/3 cup raw honey

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp black pepper



use a fun ice cube mold like this one to make hearts!

blender ice cube tray or mold


Wash produce, don’t peel. Add all ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to an ice cube tray or mold and freeze overnight. [ aw ]

area HOME [ aw ]
27 [AW] February / March 23 ::

Hailee and Jared DeLaurier first crossed paths in early August of 2020 through an online dating app. This led to meeting in person shortly after in downtown Fargo while each were out with their own friend groups. Hailee comments, “Not too long after this, Jared invited me to a wedding where he was a groomsman. Totally unlike my personality, I went and to this day that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Fast forward to January 2021, when I was surprised again, this time when as Jared asked me to marry him, surrounded by hundreds of rose petals and my closest friends while our special song played.”

The DeLaurier wedding was held at The Pines Black in Davenport, ND, on November 5, 2022. Hailee had a clear vision of what she wanted the wedding to look like and went through pictures on Pinterest and Google for inspiration. “I wanted our wedding to be one where when guests entered, they’d look at it and say, “Wow! This is beautiful!” I didn’t want anything looking too over the top; I liked elegant and graceful with simple touches. Hailee adds that along with The Pines Black fitting their vision, she can’t thank Your Story Event and Design and Dakota Rose Floral both out of Valley City enough, for not only sitting down with her multiple times to listen and work through ideas, but for bringing vision into reality, even better than she and Jared had imagined.

A special detail from the wedding was a memorial table filled with framed photos of special family members and friends who have passed away. “Jared and I have several important people that we wish could’ve been with us to celebrate in person, but instead they got to celebrate with us from Heaven. We knew that we wanted to honor them in some way, so we decided to have a dedicated space to memorialize them,” Hailee explains. Other unique touches were cheesecake for dessert in place of traditional wedding cake, a soft seating area for guests to relax, and Mason jars for each guest to use for their drink choice of the evening. [ aw ]

Photography by The Archers
I wanted our wedding to be one where when guests entered, they’d look at it and say, “Wow! This is beautiful"
Hailee DeLaurier

The Wedding Pros

ceremony & reception / The Pines Black

cake / Nichole’s Fine Pastry

dress / RSVP by Alan Evans

rings / Helzberg Diamonds

flowers & decorations / Your Story Event Design & Rental

hair & makeup / The Powder Room

caterer / Chefs Catering photographer / The Archers

29 [AW] February / March 23 ::

Kaylin and Elliott Radebaugh were married in a “micro wedding” on October 28, 2022. Surrounded by 15 guests, the couple tied the knot at Mezzaluna, Kaylin’s workplace. After just two months of planning, they focused on connection and having a low-key celebration. It had been eight years of dating leading up to their big day and the short and sweet ceremony was followed by a party, where the room was filled with hanging flowers. “Kimberly at Prairie Petals did a fantastic job with the flowers for our space and my bouquet was beautiful!” says Kaylin.

Self-described foodies, Kaylin and Elliott loved the menu by Mezzaluna’s chef, Joseph Brunner, which was a seven-course dinner. A special bottle of wine that the bride’s parents brought back from France and that they had saved for two years provided the perfect pairing for the delectable fare. The wedding cake was made of cheese and charcuterie boards were also served, alternatives to the traditional celebratory dessert confections. Following their meal, the couple stopped at Youngblood for coffee and popped by 46 North for bubbles with service industry friends, and also had a cocktail at Bar Marges. The night ended at Duffy’s before the couple retired to The Jasper Hotel for luxury accommodations. [ aw ]


Kimberly at Prairie Petals did a fantastic job with the flowers for our space and my bouquet was beautiful!

Wedding Pros

ceremony & reception / Mezzaluna

cake maker / Mezzaluna

dress / Affairs By Brittney

suits / Halberstadt's florist / Kimberly At Prairie Petals

rings / Family heirloom (Kaylin's); Scheel's (Elliott's)

hotel / The Jasper Hotel photographer / Kensie Wallner Photography

31 [AW] February / March 23 ::

Mikayla and Derek Branden’s wedding was one that was planned for four years before coming to fruition in 2022. The couple, together since their sophomore year of high school in 2016, planned their timeless and elegant affair with a focus on a traditional aesthetic, but with a pop of color. Mikayla wanted the cake and flowers to stand out and for the church and reception venue to make an impact.

From there, The Pines became the venue and First Presbyterian Church was the location of the ceremony. In addition, Chelsea Joy Photography was chosen to capture all of the day’s special moments. Mikayla comments, “Chelsea was an AMAZING photographer; she knew exactly what I wanted and was there for me the entire day!

I felt so comfortable with her and trusted her completely. She brought a lot of fun to the experience.”

Mikayla also notes also that one unique thing about their special day was that she had lost both of her grandmothers just a few months before the wedding. She was particularly close to one of these women and was able to wear her necklace as part of her wedding ensemble. Mikayla remarks, “It was an honor and I felt very close to her the entire day.”

Four years of planning paid off and Mikayla and Derek had their dream day, watching their vision come to life beautifully. [ aw ]


Chelsea was an AMAZING photographer; she knew exactly what I wanted and was there for me the entire day!


ceremony / First Presbyterian Church  reception / The Pines Wedding and Events  cake / Nichole’s Fine Pastry dress / Lee Anne’s Bridal rings / Wimmer’s Diamonds

florist / Prairie Petals  photographer / Chelsea Joy Photography

33 [AW] February / March 23 ::
Mikayla Branden

written by Erin Foley images provided by Nichole's Fine Pastry & Café

Is there anything that hits all five of our senses more than something freshly baked? The smell of bread as it is pulled freshly from the oven, the sight of a warm chocolate chip string as you pull a cookie apart, the sound of Krumkake when you sink your teeth in for the first bite...

Think of the feel of a perfectly done cake, when the sponge bounces back, and the taste of your favorite homemade treat that brings back that ever so special memory, never to fade from your mind, transporting you to your own personal nirvana.

Have your salivary glands just perked up? There is a place in the heart of the Fargo-Moorhead area that is the cure to all that ails your flavor fever, Nichole’s Fine Pastry and Cafe. Upon walking through its gloriously rustic door, your senses will be awakened to a level you never knew you had. A warm and welcoming culinary hug awaits you as you wander closer to the beautiful glass cases that are home to a variety of freshly baked delights.

Nichole Hensen, head chef and founder of Nichole’s Fine Pastry and Cafe, has been in the business of bringing smiles to the faces of all who walk through her door by sharing her culinary art for 20 years. Like a wedding cake being built, layer by careful layer, building a successful business is no different. It takes time, patience, perseverance and a whole lot of gumption. Nichole has succeeded in entrepreneurship and we are lucky recipients of the fruitcakes of her labor.

Nichole was raised on a farm near Glenburn, North Dakota, where she enjoyed helping her parents with their Hereford cattle and small grains. There was an understanding and presence of baking in the kitchen, but it wasn’t a long-held, family tradition. Growing up, cakes were the best part of birthday celebrations, “It felt like the most special part of the occasion, and I absolutely loved it!” After attending UND and receiving a BBA in Information

area HOME

Management, she moved to St. Helena, California, where she attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America - Greystone. There, she was exposed to a world of flavor beyond the simple chocolate or vanilla. The exploration of flavors was a vast array of endless possibilities: mango, coconut, raspberry, almond. Nichole returned to Fargo, broke the family mold, and opened Nichole’s Fine Pastry in January of 2003.

Life in the bakery throughout the years has been far from dull. The thrill of co-transporting huge, fully assembled cakes that rest in the trunk of her SUV while she navigated the journey has been interesting. Other standout memories include a feature in People Magazine, representing cakes from North Dakota, being named Best Cake in North Dakota by Food Network, and receiving accolade in several other national features.

Most importantly to Nichole, however, is the sharing of the delectable bites she and her team create, putting thoughtfulness into each one.

Nichole enjoys the sense of satisfaction after a job well done and challenges herself with a difficult task of trying something new and rising to the challenge, striving to bring new culinary and pastry trends to the table, and all while staying loyal and adding her own touch to the classics. This rings especially true for wedding cakes. The emphasis is on the inside, not the outside. “A cake can be the most extravagant, gargantuan construction, but taste like cardboard. You must build a good cake on a strong foundation. If the flavor isn’t right, no matter what it looks like, it’s not a good cake.”

With the wedding season fast approaching and being a juggernaut in the field of celebratory cakes, Nichole offers some helpful suggestions for pre-matrimonial couples to consider when planning their wedding cake:

Organization: First and foremost, being organized cannot be stressed enough. Before booking an appointment for a consultation, ask to make sure the tasting is included in the price. Most bakeries have a very thorough website that can guide you step by step through any questions you may have before meeting in person.

You must build a good cake on a strong foundation.
If the flavor isn’t right, no matter what it looks like, it’s not a good cake.”
Nichole’s Fine Pastry & Café
35 [AW] February / March 23 ::

We’re excited to keep growing with the support of the community.

Details: When a consultation date has been set, have an outline of ideas, questions, a guesstimate of the guest list, and know your budget. This will help optimize the time you are paying for at the initial meeting. There will more than likely be many opinions being thrown around from family and friends. Have those opinions sorted out beforehand and keeping the number of people you are bringing to the tasting to a select few is helpful and efficient. Turn on some Hall and Oates, “You Make My Dreams”, taste some cake, but leave the limo driver and third cousin, twice removed and with bad lipstick, at home.

Stick with your Baker: Once you have chosen a baker to create your cake of all cakes, stick with the same baker for the cake you will be serving your guests. You may think you are saving money by going to a big box store, but in the end, it will cost just as much or more and your guests will definitely know the difference between the cakes.

Cut the Cake: Some venues automatically charge a cake cutting fee. Inquire while researching each place you visit about this potential added cost so you can factor it into the price of cake pieces per guest. If possible, redirect the money from the fee to another spot in your budget and be the couple who brings back the tradition of having a favorite aunt or close friend cut the cake and grandma pour the punch. “It’s such a fun tradition and a great way to keep family involved. I love it!”

Placement: Once you have booked your venue, figuring out where you wish to have your cake placed is very important. Placement could factor into the size, display and serving factors.

Simplicity: One, two, or three tiered cakes, each consisting of four layers with either buttercream or a tasty filling between each layer, are not only elegant and contemporary, but quite stunning in their simplicity. “Cakes used to be big; six tiered with lots of frosting and frills, now, they are generally one or two tiered.” Be sure to consult with your baker if you have specific needs, like gluten free or vegan options.

When it comes to how you want your cake decorated, keep it simple. Avoid bold colors when opting for a buttercream finish. Instead, use flowers, organics, and ribbons for texture, color, and uniqueness. “It’s always exciting to work with local florists and let the two art forms compliment one another.” Decorations have been simplified considerably. Simple, elegant cakes are huge, with rustic style, naked cakes following closely behind. The wow factor that will have the

guests talking is not in how it is decorated, but how it tastes. Discuss with your baker a flavor palette that will make your guests eyes roll back into their head with undeniable pleasure, anxious for their next bite.

Finalize: Have a final meeting with your baker to discuss a finalized guest count, timeline of events on the day of the wedding, and any last minute details that will inevitably show up.

Style: Identifying your style of cake is the same as identifying your style of dress or decoration. However, that doesn’t mean your cake has to match your dress. Dream big, but have a sense of reality. Keep in mind, this is your day as a newly married couple and stay true to yourselves. It’s okay to get opinions from your families, but the only expectations you need to live up to are your own.

The future looks ever-so-bright for Nichole’s business. She comments, “I’ve always had a love for wine and pairing those with our amazing offerings. We’ve just installed a self-serve wine vending machine and it is just the coolest thing!” Take note, it is the only one in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

In addition to growing the savory side of the menu and offering more lunch options, Nichole’s is headed to Brewhalla at Drekker Brewing. Don’t worry, they will keep the downtown Fargo location, along with opening a second location there. “We’re excited to keep growing with the support of the community.” [ aw ]

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Be sure to reach out to Nichole Hensen at:

37 [AW] February / March 23 ::

Although they differ from one another, both are important to your health

From diet to exercise, there are many ways we can support our hearts.

However, when it comes to catching problems early, there's no better resource than heart and vascular screenings.

the difference, explained:

You may be asking yourself, "Aren't heart and vascular screenings the same thing?"

While they are similar, they're also very different, says Alexa Reynolds, Sanford Health lead exercise physiologist at the Fargo, North Dakota, Center for Screening.

Reynolds says a heart screening looks at the risk for coronary heart disease.

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schedule a screening:

• Heart screenings at Sanford Health

• Vascular screenings at Sanford Health

"We look at the patient’s blood pressure. We run a cholesterol check, we check their height and weight, and do an EKG (Electrocardiogram) of their heart to look at rate and rhythm," she said.

"Then, we use a tool called a Framingham score to assess their 10-year risk for developing heart disease. If our patients are found to be at a high risk, that means 6% or higher for the next 10 years, then the patient does a CT scan, which looks at calcium build up."

A vascular screening, Reynolds explains, is essentially an ultrasound of a patient's arteries in their neck, abdominal aorta, and legs.

"We have vascular technicians look for any risk of stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and also varicose veins and reflux," she said.

why they're important:

Reynolds says they're different screenings, but equally important.

"Your risk of heart attack and stroke kind of go hand-in-hand. In some cases, if you have calcium buildup in the heart, you most likely have plaque somewhere else in your body as well," Reynolds said.

She says that as we grow older, calcium naturally builds in our arteries. This makes yearly screenings all the more important.

And, despite the pandemic, Reynolds stresses it's safe to seek care at Sanford Health.

"We're really encouraging all patients to still continue with their yearly physicals, visits, and maintenance; screenings are included in this routine. We're doing everything we can to keep our patients safe.

We want patients to know they are safe coming into our clinic, and they're going to be safe at their appointments."

know your risk factors:

“Regardless of your age, level of physical activity, or quality of diet, you may still be at risk,” said Kelly Steffen, D.O., a cardiologist at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Classic risk factors include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, heavy alcohol usage, and smoking.

To prevent heart disease, Dr. Steffen emphasizes yearly exams.

“Everybody, from childhood on, should have a yearly exam with a physician that includes a blood pressure check and a heart rate check, especially if you’re young and don’t have other risk factors.”

genetics play a part:

Dr. Steffen says as patients age, there's an increased need for responsibility when it comes to heart health.

But, the earlier a patient adopts these lifestyle choices, the better the possibility for heart disease prevention.

Things everyone should do, according to Dr. Steffen, include regular wellness exams, physical

activity, not smoking, knowing risk factors like family history, eating well, and limiting stress.

She adds that knowing your family's history is especially important because, "You can't eat your way out of bad genetics, or work your way out of bad genetics with an exercise regimen.”

"If we start earlier, maybe those practices will be ingrained and you can take better care of yourself as you get older." [ aw ]

heart health at any age:

• 20s: Establish healthy habits: Get a yearly checkup. Avoid smoking. Exercise regularly. Eat a heart-healthy diet. Limit stress.

• 30s: Keep annual exams. Know your heart health numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, BMI.

• 40s & 50s: Keep up annual exams. Understand your family history. Know the warning signs of heart attack and stroke. Be aware of your heart health risks after menopause.

• 60s and beyond: Keep your annual checkups. Get vascular screenings. Remain active. Take all medications as prescribed. Know your heart health risks after menopause.

39 [AW] February / March 23 ::

Diamond 'V' Hoop Earrings

These elegant pointed hoop earrings are what you've always needed in your earring collection. They sparkle and shines at all angles! $1,180.00


5601 28th Ave S, Fargo, ND

Gifts For Every Season

A dish towel or wood sign is a great gift for a friend or loved one. Pair with a candle or your favorite BBQ sauce or seasoning for the perfect gift set!

at SCHEELS HOME AND HARDWARE, 3202 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND

area STYLE
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Big buckles are on trend this season.  We have a sandal for every style! Birkenstock sandals offer a supportive footbed for all your summer adventures.

at SCHEELS HOME AND HARDWARE, 3202 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND

Pura Home Diffuser

Pura diffusers are perfect for the busy lifestyle.  Control your diffuser from your phone and have your home smelling fresh at the touch of a button. Scents for every season of life!

at SCHEELS HOME AND HARDWARE, 3202 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND

41 [AW] February / March 23 ::

Ashlee Rostvedt shares her postpartum journey and the benefits she experienced via chiropractic care and pelvic floor therapy.

In December 2020, Fargo resident Ashlee Rostvedt learned that her life was about to change forever – she was going to become a mom.

“I went in at 38 weeks and four days, so I had almost the full term to prepare,” explains Ashlee. “However, something I really didn’t anticipate was the physical recovery of postpartum. I thought I could just have my baby and return to being active right away.”

As a result of pregnancy and childbirth, Ashlee experienced weight gain, back and hip pain, perineal tearing, incontinence, and significant diastasis recti, or separation of the abdominal muscles.

Words | Caitlin Pallai Photographer | Scott Thuen
I thought I could just have my baby and return to being active right away. Ashlee
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→ Ashlee Rostvedt (re)defining expectations of herself and her body after childbirth.

Taking an active role in her prenatal and postpartum care, Ashlee turned to her primary care provider of over 10 years, Jennifer Janke, a nurse midwife with the Essentia Health OBGYN team since 2012.

“I had the privilege to work with Ashlee over the years leading up to her pregnancy and into motherhood,” states Jennifer. “We’ve had a great partnership and Ashlee continues to check in with any questions or concerns she might have.”

During Ashlee’s pregnancy, Jennifer recommended chiropractic care and helped connect Ashlee with Dr. Allison Klug, a chiropractor with Essentia.

“It was helpful for me to redefine my expectations of myself and my body after childbirth,” admits Ashlee. “I did better once I stopped thinking something was wrong with me and focused on the amazing fact that my body was able to heal given enough care and time.”

Dr. Klug, who joined the Essentia team in 2018, specializes in musculoskeletal neck and low back pain.

“While I see all sorts of people, I have a special place in my heart for OB patients and moms to be,” says Dr. Klug. “Ashlee came to me pregnant, experiencing back discomfort, but she had very

specific goals. She wanted to remain active and have a low intervention birth which chiropractic care can assist with and result in a smoother delivery. She also initiated the conversation postpartum about how to regain strength and heal. She was very engaged in her care.”

“The chiropractic care I received during pregnancy and postpartum dramatically improved my quality of life,” emphasizes Ashlee. “After I had my daughter, I lacked the core strength I was used to, and I was taken aback by that. Early on in my postpartum journey, both Jennifer and Dr. Klug encouraged me to consider pelvic floor physical therapy.”

Pelvic floor issues can lead to more commonly known symptoms such as incontinence and painful intercourse, but can also cause abdominal pain and digestive problems.

Initially, Ashlee was intimidated by the idea of pelvic floor physical therapy being invasive. But over time, she found her therapy empowering as it allowed her to be further involved in her recovery and take ownership of what she could do for herself.

“The exercises provided helped me heal and strengthen between sessions, and my PT team helped me see my progress,” states Ashlee.

“While my goals started out small, my PT team helped me regain strength and stay injury-free while reaching my goal of running the Fargo half marathon nine months after giving birth.”

Ashlee also started to have conversations with others about her experience – and her struggles. Throughout her physical recovery, Ashlee also faced postpartum depression.

“I struggled a lot mentally and emotionally afterwards, too,” states Ashlee. “It’s unfortunate, but there is a lot of shame and secrecy surrounding these topics. As a result, it’s easy for women to think they’re alone. I’ve found it incredibly helpful to be able to share and find support, and the more these topics become commonplace in discussions, I hope more women will be encouraged to seek care and improve their quality of life!”

Ashlee emphasizes that it is important to know that help and services are available. Just because something is common does not mean it is normal or must be suffered in silence. In fact, it is never too late to seek help.

“It’s important to know your options and to advocate for yourself,” adds Dr. Klug. “It’s okay to ask questions and to explore options that fit your healthcare goals.”

“I always encourage women to put their health first,” states Jennifer. “Eat healthy, get rest, move your body, and drink lots of water. These will help keep your stress levels lower.”

“Everyone’s recovery looks different and there is no one right way to heal from having a baby,” says Ashlee.

And in many ways, Ashlee feels like her postpartum journey is ongoing.

“Caring for my postpartum body and pelvic floor will be a lifelong process for me,” admits Ashlee. “I’ll never be who I was before I had a baby. But I have become comfortable with who I am, and I hope others can be too.” [ aw ]

The exercises provided helped me heal and strengthen between sessions, and my PT team helped me see my progress. Ashlee
→ Ashlee Rostvedt showing it's never to late to seek help.
43 [AW] February / March 23 ::
Ashlee Rostvedt joined the Essentia Health team in 2010 as a nurse intern, and currently works in nursing informatics.

Love is such a broad subject — from first love to old married couples — reading about all things love, marriage and what it takes to make it work happens to be a favorite subject to explore. In this issue, you’ll find a crafty wedding guru, fresh and funny marriage advice, heartwarming historical fiction based on true events, and raw hope and healing in a second chance story.

The Wedding Game

Don’t let the simplistic cover fool you. “The Wedding Game” is a fun romance perfect for fans of reality TV competition shows — think “The Great British Baking Show” but for DIY weddings.

Luna is a crafting genius so when she hears about “The Wedding Game” — a do-it-yourself wedding TV show — she immediately sets out to convince her brother and his husband-to-be to compete. This could be her big chance to take her business to the next level and be named top DIY Wedding Expert.

Area Woman’s resident Bookista, Megan Elgin, serves you up with books worthy of spending your entire afternoon with. Search for Megan by name on Goodreads or @meganann on Litsy and find out what she’s reading now.

Read one of these books? Searching for something new to read? Tell us what you thought by using #areawomanbooks in your online review or send me an email with requests and questions at

Alec, a jaded divorce lawyer, wants nothing to do with weddings or romance. When his recently engaged brother begs Alec to participate he has no choice but to grab a glue gun. As filming begins, Alec and Luna get competitive with harsh words and a fierce desire to craft their families the winning wedding. But what begins as a heated rivalry soon turns to an attraction neither of them can deny.

If you’ve ever considered DIY-ing anything, you’ll enjoy the crafting game show aspect of this story. I loved the strong connection between Luna, her brother and his fiance. I appreciated the way Alec stepped up to help his brother and learned how to move forward from their tenuous past with Luna’s help along the way.


Meghan Quinn has a long backlist of contemporary romance titles to explore. Pick your favorite subgenre from sports to romantic comedy to small town to billionaires, she has something for every taste. I’m planning to read “The Highland Fling” next.

area BOOKS

Marriage Be Hard: 12 Conversations to Keep You Laughing, Loving, and Learning with Your Partner

A breath of fresh air in relationship books, “Marriage Be Hard” is a candid look at what it takes to build and maintain a lasting marriage.

Kevin and Melissa Fredericks have been married for nearly two decades but it hasn’t always been easy. Growing up in a Southern Christian community they were taught endless rules around dating, sex and marriage, but not a lot about what actually makes a relationship work. When they first got married they felt alone and unable to understand why they struggled when every other couple seemed to have perfect chemistry. There were conversations they didn’t know they needed to have, fears that affected how they related to one another, and seasons of change that put their marriage to the test.

“Marriage Be Hard” simultaneously tells their story while honestly pointing out what they could have done better and how to move forward. Drawing on interviews with experts, their own experience, and honest no-holds-barred conversations, the Fredericks provide a hilarious and fresh master class on marriage. Each chapter ends with a list of helpful ways to implement those changes in your own relationship.

I appreciated the humor they use to get their point across. I also appreciated the honest conversations about how a Christian upbringing can both help and inhibit building a strong marriage … and what to do about it. This would be a great read for any stage of marriage whether you’re newlyweds or have been together for decades.


Listen to their podcast “The Love Hour” for more candid marriage conversations.

The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle

If historical fiction is more your speed, make sure to pick up this heartwarming novel about three plucky women who lift the spirits of home-front brides in wartime Britain.

Cressida Westcott is a renowned fashion designer who loses everything in the London Blitz. With only the clothes on her back, she has no choice but to go home to the family manor house she fled decades ago. She can only hope her niece and nephew will be kinder than her brother.

Her niece, Violet, is thrilled her famous aunt is coming to stay. But just as Cressida arrives, so does Violet’s conscription letter. How will she ever find a suitably aristocratic husband doing war work in a frumpy uniform?

In the village, Grace Carlisle is trying to repair her mother’s gown, her only chance at a white wedding due to clothes rationing. When Violet brings Cressida to the local sewing circle meeting, Grace asks for her help which leads to a growing friendship and more than Grace could ever have imagined. Before long, the group finds themselves mending wedding dresses for brides all over the country. And as the women dedicate themselves to helping others celebrate love, they may just find it themselves.

I loved the friendships these women form as they begin helping first local brides and soon those across Britain. Based on true events, I was swept up in this heartfelt and inspiring novel from the first chapter.

Before I Let Go

Real and raw, “Before I Let Go” looks at a failed marriage and explores what it takes to heal.

Josiah and Yasmen were supposed to be together forever. But when life delivered one devastating blow after another, they found that love alone couldn’t save everything, including their marriage. Yasmen wasn’t prepared for how her life fell apart. After much therapy and time she’s finally started to find joy again. She and Josiah have found a new rhythm as a divorced couple, co-parenting their two kids and running a thriving business together. So when she finds out Josiah is dating someone, she forces herself to try to move on.

Yet like magnets, they’re always drawn back to one another. When one stolen kiss leads to another, they soon find themselves falling back in love. But when old wounds reopen they question if it’s too late. Or could they be even better the second time around?

Yasmen and Josiah’s story looks at a lot of tough subjects including mental health and depression, grief and death. Amidst all of that, I loved the way this couple eventually overcame these obstacles and found their second chance at a lifetime of love.


For another unique spin on wartime fiction, pick up “The Women in the Castle” by Jessica Shattuck. If you loved the heartfelt storyline, try one of Ryan’s other WWII novels, “The Kitchen Front” and “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.”

[ aw ]

Not only was she the first person from her family to pursue a college degree, but she also chose to attend Minnesota State University Moorhead – a university nearly four hours away from her home in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

She knew MSUM was the right choice, but she was still nervous about this next step in her academic career. Then the university invited her to join its SMART Start program. “I thought it would be a great way for me to integrate into college,” she says.

MSUM’s SMART Start program is for up to 40 admitted students who are often underrepresented in higher education, including Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic, LGBTQI2A+, firstgeneration and Pell Grant eligible students.

The goal is to ease the transition from high school to college by removing social and psychological barriers that may keep students from succeeding in the classroom and getting involved with campus life.

To accomplish this, the free program stresses meaningful connections with peers, student mentors and professors.

area LIFE 46 ::
For Chloe Flynn, going to college was a big life transition.

Zinnia Marquette

“We emphasize the importance of belonging,” says Zinnia Marquette, SMART Start program coordinator. “We want all students to feel welcome in our space, to know they’re meant to be here on campus. They’re not just here to get an education but to be part of our community.”

Students in SMART Start are welcomed to MSUM’s campus a week before other first-year students begin orientation. They participate in various activities designed to introduce them to academic expectations and the Fargo-Moorhead community. Peer mentors plan social events that encourage network-building. Those events continue throughout the year.

In addition, SMART Start has an educational component that includes a first-year experience course and a first-semester mathematics class. For their math course, students receive additional support by being placed in small groups with other SMART Start students at a similar level. The idea is to demonstrate that collaboration and peer support can help students do better in a class often perceived as challenging.

These connections pay off. In fall 2021, the retention rate among SMART Start students from fall to spring semester was 95 percent. In addition. BIPOC students who participated in SMART Start passed their first math class at twice the rate as BIPOC students who were not in the program.

Flynn appreciated the educational support but found the social connections to be the most valuable part.

“If I hadn’t been in SMART Start, I wouldn’t have friends,” she says. “I wouldn’t be as involved with campus life as much as I am. SMART Start helped me get to know the campus well and see what college life was really like.”

Marquette says that the professors who teach in the program often describe the SMART Start cohort as a family, a group of people who want to be there for each other. She sees this when she walks across campus and rarely sees one SMART Start student without another nearby.

“We know education is a powerful tool that can help people succeed,” she says. “And we know that students do better when they have strong connections to others on campus.”

Flynn is one example. She is majoring in social work and minoring in art therapy. She also

mentors incoming SMART Start students, mostly because the program was a powerful influence on her own college experience.

“I think SMART Start is a great program for incoming freshmen,” she says. “It gives them a head start. It’s great for people who are nervous or don’t know what to do.”

Marquette agrees. Students represented in SMART Start have valuable, individual stories, she says. These students add much to their peers’ lives when they feel appreciated and welcome. lives.

“We talk about a life transformed at MSUM all the time. With this program, we have an opportunity to be involved in something that changes lives,” she says.

We want all students to feel welcome in our space, to know they’re meant to be here on campus. They’re not just here to get an education; they’re here to be part of our community.
47 [AW] February / March 23 ::
cover STORY 48 ::

Love Always Floral is more than a business. It’s a mission, and that mission is vital enough to move founder and co-owner Christy Tehven to tears.

“The name ‘Love Always’ is from my grandmother,” Tehven explains. “She signs all her cards ‘Love Always, Grandma Lois.’ It is rooted in female leadership and love for each other and for our customers."

Love Always Floral’s Fargo studio was founded in 2016 and its striking wedding arrangements quickly gained a following. During that time, Tehven and her husband Greg welcomed three kids who are now two, three, and four years old.

“We’re here to spread love through flowers, and I love that we can take something that’s in nature, that’s already incredibly beautiful, and make people feel loved and cared for. I hope they feel the love from us and the love from the person giving the flowers.”

While the Tehven family grew, Love Always Floral’s connections with the community and its customers deepened.

The Love Always mission of connection, support, and empowerment drew Janelle Hartford like a magnet. The Washington State native moved to Bismarck to attend college at the University of Mary. After studying abroad in Rome and marrying her husband, Jaden, she was ready to put down roots in her new home.

“I’d been a big fan of Christy for a number of years,” Hartford explains. “I was just in love with everything that Love Always stood for. I had been debating opening up my own floral studio in Bismarck and reached out to Christy to shadow a few big wedding installs in the summer of 2020; she welcomed me with open arms.”

The pair chatted back and forth. The fact that Hartford was a potential competitor didn’t bother Tehven. The two women felt that there was more than enough business for both of them, but they eventually came up with an even better plan.

“Six or seven months passed and we realized that two heads are better than one and we went into business together,” says Hartford. “We’ve never stopped chatting since then.”

Hartford left her full time job in February 2021 and Love Always Floral’s Bismarck studio opened a month later.

The Fargo location employs between 15 and 20 florists throughout the year. Bismarck fluctuates between three and eight employees. All Love Always Floral employees know that their work is

50 ::

about so much more than just crafting beautiful floral arrangements.

“It’s an attitude of servant leadership,” says Hartford. “Each of our teammates know that the art they’re creating serves a larger purpose. The team really embodies that mission and that core of love, no matter the occasion.”

The two studios function as one brand, with a shared mission. A customer might never know the mission that fuels Love Always Floral, but they’ll definitely notice the gorgeous

arrangements. Even people who are not knowledgeable about flowers can see that this company does things a little differently.

“Our goal is to create arrangements as you would see them in a garden,” explains Tehven. “So we focus more on that airy, negative space, and whimsical, natural feel versus a highly structured design.”

The pair instruct their florists to design according to The Hogarth Curve. This soothing s-shaped line is named for the English artist William Hogarth,

who believed that a gentle, elegant curve gives a work of art a sense of energy and vitality. We can see examples all around us.

“The Hogarth Curve leans high on one side, then beautifully and naturally curves down low on the opposite side, like a soft letter s,” Hartford explains. “It’s considered a line of beauty and represents liveliness and activity in art. So for flowers, that shape is what you might find naturally growing in a field or in a garden, as opposed to sharp right-angled intersecting lines.”

51 [AW] February / March 23 ::
“Our goal is to create arrangements as you would see them in a garden. So we focus more on that airy, negative space, and whimsical, natural feel versus a highly structured design.”
Christy Tehven

The resulting arrangements are graceful and balanced. They emphasize negative space in a way that makes the flowers selected feel almost sculptural. For maximum impact, the pair sources unusual blooms that pack a punch.

Dancing flowers, natural curves, and less familiar blooms are key components in a Love Always arrangement. Intriguing textures add visual interest and encourage viewers to look a little closer.

“I also love Ranunculus,” continues Hartford. “Those have a really intricate texture. Because they’re a flower with a high petal count and the petals are looped in a spiral, it’s really interesting to look at.”

Tehven and Hartford use Anemones often, too. The flowers have round centers and cheerful petals; thy are available in a variety of colors. The Panda Anemone’s stark contrast between black and white makes it stand out.

“The Butterfly Ranunculus is a little more airy. It really lets us play with the negative space and the movement in each piece,” she explains. “And another favorite is a Double Tulip. They just have all of these layers of colors. Playing with colors is absolutely one of my favorite things to do.”

Every bouquet is created specifically for the recipient, so they’re all a little different. But Hartford and Tehven can’t help gravitating towards a few favorite flowers.

“I think Lisianthus is one of my favorite flowers,” says Hartford. “It’s light and airy and almost dances on its stem above the other flowers in your arrangement. And Lisianthus comes in a ton of beautiful color tones. My favorite right now is called ‘Roseanne Brown’.”

“They are a very fragile and novel stem, so you don’t often see them in a lot of traditional flower shops or grocery store bouquets,” Hartford says, “So when we get them in, and they’re in good shape, they’re absolutely beautiful to look at; a stunning choice.”

Tehven adds two more favorite flowers that occupy opposite sides of the spectrum. The first is slim and delicate. The second is lush, fluffy and packed with petals.

This emphasis on natural composition, interesting textures, and unconventional colors and flower varieties makes a Love Always Floral arrangement unique—and very different from what most brides carry down the aisle. But Love Always offers so much more than just bridal bouquets. From boutonnieres and floral arches to colorful altar décor and dramatic grasses and greenery that soar over the reception tables, every Love Always Floral wedding creation is grounded firmly in the bridal couple’s vision and aesthetic.

“It’s really fun to dream big with our wedding clients, and then help them realistically bring their vision to life.” says Hartford. “We offer a very custom and creative approach to floral design for our couples. We have several meetings with each of our clients and make an effort to really get to know them on a personal level, their venue style, the flowers they love, their bridal party colorswe take all of those factors into consideration.

“If you get a Love Always arrangement, you’re going to get a few flowers in there that you’ve hopefully never seen before. We like surprising our clients that way.”
Janelle Hartford
53 [AW] February / March 23 ::
“It’s really fun to dream big with our wedding clients and then help them realistically bring their vision to life.”
Janelle Hartford
“We’re all about focusing on their experience and making sure that our customers feel that bear hug from us, no matter which service they ask for.”
Christy Tehven

When you look at our body of work at Love Always, you’ll notice the diversity in our designs. When you hire Love Always, you’re not just flipping through a catalog and choosing a cookie cutter color palette or floral design. We curate a very custom experience.”

This creative, customized approach has earned them many fans – and referrals. Since they get to know the couple and their look so well, there are no surprises on the big day.

She trails off, temporarily overwhelmed. The women are silent for a moment, reflecting.

“We don’t take that for granted,” says Tehven, clearly moved. “We’re so honored by that.”

This deep, respectful connection with their customers is the heart of Love Always Floral. Tehven says they’re always looking for ways to better serve their clients.

“We’re all about focusing on their experience,” says Tehven. “And making sure that our customers feel that bear hug from us, no matter which service they ask for.”

Hartford is excited to see the Love Always Floral community expand to Bismarck-Mandan. The next phase of the company’s growth–and a new cycle of connection in a second North Dakota community–is only just beginning.

“I can’t wait to flower for the modern couples getting married in the western part of our state. There are some really neat new venues opening in Dickinson, North Dakota and in the Badlands,” says Hartford. “And I’m excited to continue developing relationships within Bismarck. As a florist, you might help a couple celebrate a proposal with flowers. Then you book their wedding, and the couples quickly become friends. Flowers are sent when babies arrive, for birthdays and anniversaries, new jobs. It’s incredible to be a florist in a community where entire families invite you in and trust you to celebrate and honor the milestones in their personal lives like this. You are trusted to do flowers for life’s biggest moments. Your florist is someone you can call upon during the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.” [ aw ]

"We ask extra questions about really specific design details, so we can get inside their heads and know the exact aesthetic they’re going for. Knowing that they chose us to do their wedding day, their kick-off to forever is not lost on us. It’s extremely important to us that they do trust us,” says Tehven.

“When you think about the wedding photos our couples will have from their big day, our floral designs are often in their hands and surrounding them and their family in those moments,” says Hartford. “Those will be the photos they print and hang in their homes, and show their grandchildren some day…”

55 [AW] February / March 23 ::
““We want flowers to be the least stressful thing on a couple’s wedding day,” says Tehven. “When they book Love Always for their wedding, they know it’s going to be taken care of."
Christy Tehven


SCHEELS has roots in the hardware industry. German immigrant Friedrich A. Scheele moved to Sabin, Minnesota in 1892 with his wife Augusta and their children, Margaret and Frederick M., who helped plant potatoes on their three acres of land. These were the seeds from which the SCHEELS legacy would grow. With $300 earned from the first harvest, he placed a down payment on a small hardware and general merchandise store. With more than 120 years of experience in the hardware industry, SCHEELS has seen the products change from selling dynamite and horse feed to motorcycles and Nikes and everything in between.


The home side of SCHEELS Home & Hardware is perfectly layered with rugs, pillows, side tables, sofas, chairs, lamps, and decor. Milkhouse and Woodwick candles are a popular offering as an accent for homes. Furniture is available via special order in over 500 fabrics, with some being performance fabrics for extra durability for homes with kids and pets! Brands such as Craftmaster, Rowe, and IMG Norway offer quality, yet stylish furniture pieces for any area of your home.


With more than 20 product knowledge training meetings each year, the SCHEELS experts get hands-on experience with items they sell in order to offer the best customer service around.

SCHEELS Home & Hardware is more than a hardware store

Located on 13th Ave in Fargo, ND the 50,000 sq ft store is filled with an assortment of items from grilling supplies and power equipment to paint and plumbing on the east side of the store. The west side offers home decor inspiration, furniture, a women’s fashion boutique, and men’s workwear clothing. The store also is home to one of Fargo’s best hidden gems, Cafe Robert, which serves soup, salads, sandwiches, and coffee. SCHEELS Home & Hardware has a full service, service shop for most home equipment such as snowblowers, lawn mowers, chainsaws, and other small engines. The “home” side of the store has a full service design studio with two interior designers and one design consultant.


Leah Martin graduated from the NDSU Interior Design program and joined the SCHEELS team shortly after. Leah is a NCIDQ certified interior designer and has been part of SCHEELS Design Studio for more than 20 years. Well-versed in all design areas, Leah has a particular skill and passion for Hunter Douglas window coverings and custom draperies. Morgan Diehl May has her bachelor's degree in interior design and several years of interior design experience. Her passion is in visually coordinating a space from finish selections to custom furniture and accessories. She also has strong experience with Hunter Douglas window coverings and color selection. Judie Madsen is a design consultant with a passion for home decor, wallpaper and in-home color consultations.

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← SCHEELS Design Studio (left to right) Leah Martin, Interior Designer; Morgan Diel May, Interior Designer; Judie Madsen, Design Specialist ↓ SCHEELS Home Decor Expert Natalie Staigle
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Our service shop has three certified technicians and a team of associates ready to help get your machines in tip top shape. They specialize in TORO, Honda, EGO, Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, Stihl and many other machines used by homeowners. They also repair grills and smokers including Weber, Traeger, and Yoder. SCHEELS offers a pick up and delivery service for machines and barbecues and service shop provides annual maintenance and repairs on snowblowers, lawn mowers, chainsaws, ice augers and other small engine machines.


SCHEELS Home & Hardware has a full lineup of the best items to take care of your yard. With the newest technologies in the industry, our equipment will keep you going strong for years to come. They offer string trimmers, leaf blowers, snowblowers, lawnmowers, chainsaws, edgers, hedge trimmers and everything in between. Their experts will gas, oil, and run through a startup of each machine so you are ready to work as soon as you get home! Brands like Miracle Gro and Turfbuilder from Scott’s will help your lawn look great all year long.

SCHEELS Service Shop Technicians
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(left to right) Dan, Matt, and John


Cafe Robert is named after Robert (Bob) Alin and Robert (Bob) Scheel- both of whom were integral in starting SCHEELS. The cafe offers the hottest homemade soups in town and the NAPA is a secret recipe chicken salad sandwich that is best served on a croissant. The cafe is open 8am-2pm Monday through Friday.


The Fusion Boutique offers unique women's clothing fit for every style. With staple brands like FDJ, Liverpool, JAG, Charlie B, Taos, Sorel, Reiker, and many more, the boutique has high quality items for every wardrobe. Small quantities are ordered so new items arrive daily and each piece is unique.


With one of the largest grilling selections in North Dakota, SCHEELS Home & Hardware has a full supply of everything you need for grilling all year long. Don’t let the winter months stop you from enjoying a great steak for dinner. Brands like Weber, Traeger, Big Green Egg, Napoleon, and Yoder stand the test of time when it comes to grilling. SCHEELS has the best sauce and seasoning selections in the area!


SCHEELS Home & Hardware is pet friendly and encourages you to bring your well behaved dogs on leashes to stop in the store. The pet shop is full of treats and toys for every dog and cat. With the largest selection of NutriSource food in town, they have every flavor you need for your furry friend.

There is truly something for everyone at SCHEELS Home & Hardware. Whether you are working on a home renovation project, hosting friends or family in your home, gathering your buddies for a backyard BBQ, or searching for design inspiration- they have it all. The experts at SCHEELS Home & Hardware will guide you through any project large or small. Stop in to see all that they have to offer and grab a lunch from Cafe Robert while you are there!

-Ashley Wait, Assistant Store Leader

→ SCHEELS Display Associate Kristin Moeller
SCHEELS Fusion Boutique's (left to right) Lindsy Kowalski, Fusion Manager, and Mary Gessele, Expert Stylist → SCHEELS BBQ Shop Manager Joe Schultz
@scheelshardware on 3202 13th Ave S Fargo, ND 701-232-8903 58 ::



Join us at the West Acres Mall for a Farmers Market to celebrate Giving Hearts Day! Shop from over 30 local vendors including hot food, bakery, pantry items, household goods, art, and more. Local nonprofits who are also participating in Giving Hearts Day will be present with a range of activities and games to share with the community. We accept SNAP/EBT and match up to $15 per person! Visit the Red River Market information booth or PM us to learn more.

TIME: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

LOCATION: West Acres Mall, 3902 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103



FEB 6 / MAR 10


Come to the vendor & craft show and support small businesses. The show will be from 11-3 and lunch will be served from 11-1. It all takes place at the Fargo Masonic Center, 1405 3rd St N Fargo.

TIME: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

LOCATION: Fargo Masonic Center 1405 3rd St N, Fargo, ND 58102

FEB 20-21 / MAR 20-21



MAR 26


Enjoy an after hours shopping experience with SCHEELS experts. Ticket includes a mini fashion show, snacks, and local vendors. $25 per tickets and receive a $25 SCHEELS gift card at the door.Tickets on sale soon!

TIME: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

LOCATION: SCHEELS Home & Hardware 1551 45th St S, Fargo, ND 58103

MAR 26


Help us kick off Giving Hearts Day! Live music with the Red River Valley Veterans Jazz & Swing Band, swing dance instruction by Lindy of the North, and swing era attire contest with prizes! $10 General Admission. $5 for Museum Members. visit: swingin-sweethearts-dance/2

TIME: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

LOCATION: Fargo Air Museum, 1609 19th Ave N

We provide a free, 2-session, community education class to prospective and current homeowners and advocate for responsible and affordable homeownership. We span throughout North Dakota and Minnesota and bringing in the most trusted and knowledgeable professionals.

*Must attend both sessions to receive certificate. Light meal provided.

TIME: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

LOCATION: FM Area Foundation, 409 7th Street S, Fargo, ND 58103

Hop on over to the Fargo Air Museum to watch the Easter Bunny fly-in for an egg-stra special Easter celebration! Join us for a coloring contest, Easter egg hunt, and photos with the pix squad! Normal admission applies. Museum members are free. No-preregistration required. easter-bunny-fly-in2023

TIME: 9:30 PM - 1:00 PM

LOCATION: Fargo Air Museum, 1609 19th Ave N

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Fargo Public Library events are free and open to the public. A complete schedule of upcoming events is available at all Fargo Public Library locations and on our website at www.


Feb. 5, 12, 19, and 26 at 1:00 PM

All ages are invited to a film series featuring classics from the 1940s. Free popcorn, too!

Main Library: 101 4th St North


February 10 and March 10 at 1:00 PM

Free Friday Movies are at the Dr. James Carlson Library on the 2nd Friday of each month. Free popcorn is also served.

Dr. James Carlson Library: 2801 32nd Ave. S., Fargo, ND


Feb. 2, 9, 16, and 23; March 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 at 6:00 PM

A basic yoga class for adults who have never tried yoga or who need a refresher course.

Dr. James Carlson Library: 2801 32nd Ave. S.


March 11 at 2:00 PM

Author Deb Watley, writer of "Summer Ruins", will visit with kids at Bonanzaville and share what she has learned about the science of archaeology and who she researches and writes her novels. Bonanzaville: 1351 Main Ave. West


February 4 and March 4 at 10:00 AM

Kids ages 3 to 5 years and their caregivers are encouraged to attend these special storytimes to help kids get ready for Kindergarten and learning to read. Every child who attends receives a free book too.

Main Library: 101 4th St North


Feb. 17 at 11:30 AM

Kids are invited to learn about the variety of wildlife species in our area and how they survive and thrive. Presented in partnership with Jeffrey Miller, Director of the Cass County Conservation District.

Main Library: 101 4th St North


February 23 and March 30 at 6:00 PM

Monthly trivia night at the Main Library for families and teens. Pre-registration is required.

Main Library: 101 4th St North Contact Children's Services 701-2411495 or


February 11 and March 11 at 10:00 AM

Emerging readers can sign up to read to a therapy pet (dog or cat) The sessions are 15 minutes each. Space is limited; pre-registration is required. Free.

Main Library: 101 4th St North


Feb. 7, 14, 21, and 28; Mar 7, 14, 21, and 28, 5:30 to 8 PM

All area kids, teens, and adults are invited to be part of the Fargo Public Library's Chess Club. Free and open to all ages (7+) Adults must accompany children under 10 years old.

Main Library: 101 4th St North


-Dr. James Carlson Library February 9 & 23, March 9 & 23 at 10:00 AM

-Main Library February 7 & 21, March 7 & 21 at 6:30 PM

Lapsit storytimes for babies (birth to 18 months) Babies will experience songs, finger plays, short books, rhythms, and rhymes.One child per lap.


February 13 and March 20 at 5:00 - 7:30 PM

Calling all crafters from beginners to experienced! Bring a project, drop in any time from 5-7:30 p.m. and join a friendly group of crafters of all types. Not working on a craft at the moment? We'll have some supplies on hand! Snacks and beverages will be provided or feel free to bring your own.

Northport Library: 2714 N. Broadway


February 1, 8, 15, and 22; March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 at 3:00 to 5:00 PM

Our librarians are ready to help you with your technology questions on Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. Drop in or call to reserve a 30-minute time slot.

Main Library: 101 4th St North

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Weddings are fun, but they can be exhausting and expensive if you’re the bride or groom, or even a member of the wedding party.

It’s a blast to revisit all the fun parts of a wedding (the food, the picturesque venue, the cake, the dance, the specialty cocktails--even the cushy hotel room) without all the pressure.

Pick your favorite elements of the wedding experience and create your own date night.

This itinerary highlights some of downtown Fargo’s most scenic spots. It’s perfect for an anniversary or birthday, but it also makes an ordinary winter night or weekend sparkle!

The Dinner

A sweeping renovation has given Radisson Blu a fresh new look and a brand-new name. This is still one of Fargo’s most iconic event and reception spaces.

You can’t exactly order a wedding banquet for two, but dinner at 84 Italian Steakhouse is even better. Splurge on a porterhouse steak served with buttery potato dauphinoise, creamy risotto studded with shrimp and mussels, or rich, silky Lobster Thermador.

Peruse the sommelier’s extensive wine list to find a new favorite or treat yourselves to a bottle of bubbly as you raise a glass to romance.

The Venue

Fans of architecture and ambiance will love Sanctuary Events Center. This popular wedding venue was once a church. Its soaring ceilings, exposed beams, and stained-glass windows combine to create one of the most dramatic interiors in town.

When there’s not a wedding booked, the venue presents a wide range of entertainment options, from comedians to concerts, to dueling piano shows; you can soak up the atmosphere with someone special, no invitation required!

The Cake

If it just doesn’t feel like a wedding until they cut the cake, get to Nichole’s Fine Pastry. This charming bakery is one of the most romantic spots in town and it tempts customers with a rotating selection of picture perfect layer cakes.

You can also order your favorite cakes in a variety of flavors, from elegant apricot almond to coconut cupcakes, to a delicate Black Forest mousse cake. (Advance notice is required for all special orders.) Can’t decide? Do what brides and grooms do and order a Cake Tasting Box, which include five of the most popular layer cakes and a selection of complementary frostings and fillings. You definitely don’t need to be engaged to indulge.

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WRITTEN BY Alicia Underlee Nelson Image Supplied By Sanctuary Events Center › Image Supplied By The Spirit Room ‹

The Dance

There is no need to wait for the next wedding to take a spin around the dance floor. The Spirit Room offers a variety of dance classes all year in a pretty, art-filled space tucked above Broadway.

Heat things up with a sultry Sunday tango lesson. Any skill level can learn this dance, so beginners are welcome.

Beginners are also welcome at ballroom dance lessons. Learn the Rumba, Cha-Cha, Waltz, Foxtrot and more in a six-week group class or a private lesson. You’ll be the envy of everyone at the reception when the next wedding rolls around.

The Cocktails

The Toasted Frog is a stellar spot for sipping cocktails. Savor a classic Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Spice things up with a Bloody Mary or Caesar

made with house-infused roasted garlic and jalapeño vodka, chipotle liqueur and hellfire bitters. Or, try an Amaretto Sour topped with frothy egg whites.

The original cocktails are even more compelling. The Nonconformist features local Minions gin from Proof Artisan Distillers. Winter is Coming is a cozy bourbon, bitters and house-spiced syrup concoction, while the vodka-based Parisian Mule’s subtle notes of vanilla, pear, and ginger beer provide a sweet escape.

The Hotel

For a decadent staycation, book a room at The Jasper Hotel. Fargo’s newest boutique hotel, wedding, and event venue offers a glamorous retreat from reality with inspiring views of downtown Fargo.

Challenge yourselves in the well-equipped fitness center, take a yoga class, or relax and unwind in the sauna. Make a reservation downstairs at Rosewild to linger over cocktails and Nordic-inspired cuisine crafted from local ingredients.

You don’t need an actual wedding to enjoy the celebration’s many pleasures. Just choose your favorite parts of the party to create a low-stress date night that celebrates romance.

Curl up in your Frette terry robes and order evening room service for the ultimate night in; every room and suite includes a 55’ or 65’ flat screen television, a locally curated private bar, Sferra linens, and blackout curtains, so you can stay up late and sleep in for a totally indulgent experience.

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Image Supplied By Nichole's Fine Pastry Images Supplied By The Jasper Hotel ›


Area Woman magazine celebrates women in the Fargo-Moorhead area who are making a difference. If you would like to nominate someone for this special recognition, please email us at

64 :: area PROFILE

Change, evolution, growth, and opportunities. These are the things that make Lisa Vedder excited about the work that she does. You may recognize Lisa, especially if you’ve attended or hosted your own wedding or event this year at The Pines Weddings & Events venue in Davenport, North Dakota. This year alone, Lisa has overseen and directed over 100 weddings as the Director of Events; certainly a feat worthy of celebrating for someone on the rise in the wedding industry.

Lisa’s start in the event industry did not start in weddings, though. During her time at Minnesota State University Moorhead working towards her Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communication and Associates in Mass Communication, Lisa joined the Fargodome working “grunt labor.”

their operations and events logistics. For four years, she planned USA swim meetings, ensured guidelines were met during events, and even became a USA Administrative Swim Official. But when a position opened at The Pines, she decided to take her career to weddings.

“I never planned weddings prior to this,” Lisa explained. At the end of the day, the wedding-aspects of her job are a happy outcome to her true passion: directing events. Even more so, Lisa loves the challenge, the keeping her on-her-toes per se, of the wedding industry. “When you see couples walk down the aisle and say their ‘I do’s,’ you know that you accomplished your job and helped them on a day they will never forget.” It's this attitude that has carried Lisa into her professional success

As a young and thriving female professional, Lisa makes the “great balancing act” of the wedding industry look easy. “You have to be willing to think on your feet,” Lisa states when asked what advice she would give other young professionals entering the wedding or event industry. One of the best pieces of advice Lisa received early in her career is, “You can’t expect others to do things that you won’t do yourself.” Lisa carries this lesson into her current role as she continues to direct weddings and corporate events, amongst many new hopeful opportunities for the future. [ aw ]

The Pines is now taking wedding and event bookings for 2023 and 2024. Interested in learning more? Reach out to Lisa at or book a tour at

“They shockingly hired me right away with zero experience,” Lisa said. “I started working concerts, trade shows, basically any Dome event.” When she graduated, Lisa decided she “was not a person that could sit at a computer and draw things all day,” continuing her pursuit of events by assisting the Hulbert Aquatic Center with

with The Pines. In her humble and reflective composure, Lisa gives a great deal of credit back to the owners and Autumn Johnson, Wedding & Events Manager, for the successes she has experienced. “The Pines has built a reputation that no matter what they do, they will always grow.” Lisa feels there are “endless opportunities to come,” not only for The Pines but also in her professional career.

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“You have to be willing to think on your feet.” 66 ::
photography by Justin Eiler

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