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encore Contributors

Lisa Mackinder

This month, Lisa Mackinder introduces us to several enterprising folks. First, there’s Dan and Julie Fitzstephens, owners of Fitz’s Farms in Mattawan. Lisa says she immediately cued in on the love they put into growing their hydroponic vegetables. “Cultivating each plant truly means something to them,” Lisa says. “And the unbelievably healthy produce is all the evidence you need to see that.” Lisa also ventured into the creative world of Kitty Copeland, owner of KalamazooKitty. “You just want to keep asking Kitty questions,” Lisa says. “Whether about her consignment stores, design and home-staging business, decorating for the Kalamazoo Parade of Homes, or the KalamazooKitty Marketplace. One thing you take away from all of those facets is this: Kitty has creativity in spades.”

Kara Norman

Kara Norman lives in Kalamazoo and writes about local artists for Encore. This month she interviewed Nashon Holloway about her new album, The Palace and the Hut, and was impressed by the young songwriter’s poise. Holloway’s family is full of talented musicians, and Kara says Nashon is “so down to earth and always ready to laugh. “ You can see more of Kara’s work at

Emily Townsend Emily gets to have all the fun! From experiencing pour-over coffee at Fido Café to donning VR goggles to tell readers about the new virtual reality arcade in Kalamazoo, she's had a month of adventures. When she’s not tackling stories for Encore, Emily is a writer, musician, podcast producer and host of “Grrrlville” on WIDR-FM. For more of Emily's work, visit


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Encore March 2017  

Southwest Michigan's Magazine: Awesome Entrepreneurs! Meet KalamazooKitty, Nova Virtual Reality, Fitz's Farms, Chris Falk and many more of t...