WINC. M AY 2 0 1 5
Mother’s Day Issue
WINC. Publisher Zach Ahrens Editor Lori Quinn Contributing Writers Jeanette Anderton Leah Ashby Detra Clark Rachel Dickerson Jessica Hauser Andrea Lennon Jill McCollum Susan O’Keefe Brandon Riddle Jennifer Stanley Kelly Sublett Chief Photographer Brandy Strain
Contributing Photographers Lindsey Faith Watson Advertising Sales Director Betsey Barham
Advertising Coordinator Molly May Advertising Sales Executives Sarah Allen Crystal Geraldson Tara Mallett Lisa Licht Leigh Anne Shapard Advertising Artists Lauren Crimes
Jay Prince Ashley Turnage
Editorial Advisory Board Detra Clark Nicolle Fletcher Haley Crafton Fowler Sarah Frost Mary Harlan Nancy Jackson Cate Ketcheside Leslie Kostecky Caroline LaVan Velda Lueders Candace Meeks Misty Morse Carol Patty Amy Reed Lori Ross Mary Margaret Satterfield Katherine Thomason Stefanie Holt Vann
Questions or Comments? Call (501) 327-6621, e-mail: email@example.com or write to P.O. Box 969, Conway, AR, 72033 www.womensinc.net
4 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
WELCOME LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Lori Quinn
Mary Catherine Mann, Conway native, mom of four, grandmother of two, and full time office manager at Flanagin Dental - her family’s business that her grandfather started in 1926 - is all about her family. What a great example of a loving mom and now grandmother! Mary Catherine sums it up best, “I want them to know they can always come to me no matter what - kids or grandkids. I am here. I am a great listener. I may not know the answer, but we will do the best to work it out.” Birth by Design Birth Services has been doing business in Conway since 2010. The business now has a new home in Downtown Conway on Front Street. Owner Nicolle Fletcher has a passion for offering women support during the entire pregnancy and birthing process. Nicolle says, “families are beginning to understand the benefit of supported labors and postpartum experiences. We provide the holistic support women have been longing for but didn’t know where to find it.” Marilyn Shock and her daughter, Michelle Pape, recently opened Aromatherapy Bar and Wellness Center in Greenbrier. This duo hopes to help pass their knowledge of essential oils, reflexology and aromatherapy on to their customers. They are also offering free classes on healthy eating and essential oils. Have you taken the time to walk through Jenifer’s Antiques in Downtown Conway? Well, if you haven’t, now is the perfect time! With their recent expansion, you are sure to find the perfect treasure. And when you need to take a break from all the antique shopping you are sure to do once you step inside, sit down and have some lunch at Cross Creek Sandwich Shop located inside. And finally, what Mother’s Day is complete without the perfect Mother’s Day gift? We have some great gift ideas from Faulkner County businesses in our Mother’s Day Gift Guide on pages 24-27 of this issue. Happy Mother’s Day to all those amazing moms out there!
M AY 2 015 / / W O M E N ’ S I N C .
6 on the cover
BIRTH BY DESIGN
Mary Catherine Mann All About Family
Room to grow
Offering Different Options for Childbirth Jenifer’s Antiques embraces addition
16 family business 28 a new twist columns Shock, Pape launch wellness center
Children’s room décor
42. art scene
44. book review
God cares for you by Andrea Lennon Spring reading suggestions by Susan O’Keefe
Summer arts in Conway by Jennie Strange
Make mom feel loved by Chef Jill McCollum WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 5
cover stor y
6 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
All about family
mary catherine mann
For Conway native and resident Mary Catherine Mann, life is all about family, particularly her children and grandchildren. She is a mother of four, including twins Catherine Wood and Mallory Mann, son Patrick Mann, and youngest daughter Abby Richard. Catherine is married to Brad and is mother to Natalie Kate. Abby is married to Zane is is mother to Avery Grace. Brad is engaged to Leslie, and the two will be married in June. Mary Catherine is fortunate to have most of her family nearby. Catherine’s family lives in Little Rock, Abby’s resides in Greenbrier, and Patrick remains in Conway. However, Mallory is completing her doctoral program while teaching and living in Tacoma, Washington. For Mary Catherine, family is a vital part of her existence. Much of this she credits to her own upbringing at the hands of parents Jim and Mary Flanagin. In fact, both she and her brother, Jimmy, still work in the family business, Flanagin Dental of Conway. “My grandfather started the practice in 1926, and my father followed in his footsteps. Now, Jimmy has continued the
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“In the blink of an eye they will be in high school, even though they are one and two now. It won’t be any time.” tradition, and I work as the office manager for the business.” She has worked in the family business for over 30 years, with both her father and her brother. “Jimmy and I have a great working relationship, and I love working with family,” she says. “We love serving Conway. The city is growing and thriving, and it is a good time to do business here. Despite its growth, it is still a family town at heart.” Mary Catherine says she most enjoys knowing so many people and the comfortable, friendly environment of the city. She is involved with HAVEN, having co-hosted their Christmas coffee and served with the Board of Directors. She is also a member of Antioch Baptist Church in Conway. Of the early years with her children, she believes one of the biggest challenges was being a working parent. Prior to working with
Flanagin Dental, she worked for a local bank. In fact, she says she has always worked. Like so many working parents, she says, “One of the biggest challenges was just getting kids back and forth to and from their various activities while also meeting the demands of a job.” At different times, her children were involved in basketball, football, baseball, and volleyball. “ I always made sure they were staying involved. I also felt keeping them involved in church was so important. I also wanted them to make their grades.” Mary Catherine had high expectations for her kids, but that certainly paid off. “Another parenting challenge was trying not to control them at certain ages. It was hard to know when to step back and let them make their own decisions, for better or worse,” states Mary Catherine. She believes knowing how and when to allow children
some leeway to make choices is difficult. “In the end, we all want positive things for our kids. Raising them is tough!” She is thoroughly enjoying her new season, that of being a grandmother to Natalie Kate and Avery Grace. “It is the best. We are all told when our children are growing to enjoy each age because it goes fast. Until you have grandchildren, that doesn’t really sink in,” she says. “You sit back and look at the grandkids, and you don’t care what is in the kitchen sink that needs to be washed. You want to give them your undivided attention. You have a little more distance because you are’t with them every day, and you realize how fast they grow. In the blink of an eye they will be in high school, even though they are one and two now. It won’t be any time. I have learned to stop and get down in the floor and play or read books.
Mary Catherine (center) with all four of her children: Catherine, Mallory, Patrick and Abby
“Cherish every moment!” Though her granddaughters are young, she tries to take them to the park often and looks forward to adding more activities to their repertoires as they grow. She also enjoys time with the extended family. “We have a big family dinner at my house once a month. Everybody comes, including my brother and his family. He has five children, and they are really growing up with my grandchildren. My sister also joins us; we have a total of 18 at the dinners,” she says. “The kids all have so much fun together, and I am so glad they are close.” Mary Catherine cites family as one of the most important
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parts of her life. “I couldn’t get through life without some of my friends, but family is critical. You have to keep the lines of communication open with your loved ones and make an effort to stay involved in each other’s lives.” She carries that sentiment to her relationships with her children and grandchildren, saying, “I want them to know they can always come to me no matter what - kids or grandkids. I am here. I am a great listener. I may not know the answer, but we will do the best to work it out. That is important to keeping everyone together and on the same page, which is the key to it all.”
irth by design
Offering Different Options for Childbirth By Jennifer Stanley Photos by Brandy Strain and submitted photos Nicolle S. Fletcher founded Birth by Design Birth Services in 2012 in an effort to empower women’s birth choices. Nicolle’s passion for the heart and needs of all women led to her founding the business, which is thriving. A native of San Diego, her family moved to Arkansas in 2007. She has been married to Phillip D. Fletcher for 17 years, and the couple has three children Nicollus, 16; Najee’, 14; and Nichelle, 12. Unsurprisingly, each child was born without medicine. Nicolle earned her BA in Social Relations from the University of California, Riverside. The family traveled when Phillip joined the United States Army. During their seven years in the military, she developed a passion and deeper understanding for women’s needs, which only grew when they moved to Arkansas. “I began training as a doula in 2009. I was certified by Birth Works of Central Arkansas in 2010 (the doula component of the business is now retired), and I have been actively working ever since,” shares Nicolle. Nicolle desired to continue doula services in Central Arkansas, and Birth by Design was, well, born. “Birth by Design really comes from my understanding that God is the ultimate designer of birth. He had a plan for childbirth before the foundations of the world. His plan is good, and we should trust it. It can also be a play on words for those who don’t share my belief. Literally, women have the right and privilege to design their birth experience as much as possible. Some women may choose to birth in the hospital, while others opt to birth at home. Some women opt for medication or cesarean, while others choose un-medicated labor. I want women to be comfortable and understand their birthing options, to actually be partakers in this grand birth by design.” In a sense, doulas offer birth education. As Maternity Neighborhood explains, “Doulas are trained companions who provide continuous 12 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
Nicolle Fletcher, owner of Birth by Design Birth Services
B IRTH B Y D E S I G N
postpartum doulas, five lactation support personnel, three placenta encapsulation specialists, one registered dietitian, and one infant massage educator. Clients can literally design the birthing package to best suit their needs. For example, a client can hire one specialist or multiple, based on area of concentration. Birth by Design operates throughout Central Arkansas. The company continues to flourish. “Birth by Design has experienced growth in a way that I could not have imagined. I started this company alone and have had 22 birth working women on this team! We have an office inside Wellness Revolution in Little Rock. I feel like…families are beginning to understand the benefit of supported labors and postpartum experiences. We provide the holistic support women have been longing for but did not know where to find it. I have personally grown from about eight clients per year to around 30 per year. I, along with a few other team members, have to turn away clients. Because of the quality of support we provide, we have to limit the number of clients we accept to function as a humans.” Birth by Design also offers classes, including: • Childbirth Classes (“People love this class. It is fun, open, interactive, and very informative.”) • Baby Basic Workshops • Prenatal Lactation Workshops • Nutrition Workshops • Infant Massage Workshops Client feedback for the classes and services has been overwhelmingly positive, as the following testimonials detail: physical, emotional, and informational support to women during labor and birth.” People often confuse doula services with midwifery. Says Nicolle, “Yes! When I say ‘I’m a doula,’ the majority of people respond with ‘I know what that is, but I don’t plan to birth at home.’ The doula is a professional support person. The midwife is a licensed practicing professional
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regulated through the state to attend births at home. The midwife is like the obstetrician for home birth. Doulas don’t attend births at home without a licensed professional midwife. We will not attend births at the hospital without proper medical support as well.” Birth by Design’s current team consists of 18 women. This includes 12 birth doulas, four
“I took the Birth by Design birthing class in January as a second time mom, first time home birther. It was a great experience. There are certain things about the physiology of birth that don’t change, but the more informed you are the better. Nicole’s class covered a range of topics and gave a strong base of what to expect from contractions and the phases of labor. I think the information
presented helped me feel more confident in what to expect from a homebirth and what my body will be going through. It seemed to me that this class was very informative for hospital birthers as well so they will be prepared for any interventions offered and able to make informed decisions during labor. It’s always great to learn and become informed with other moms and like-minded people, but it was also a fun and relaxed environment to do it in! Nicole is excellent at imparting information in an interesting way and always made the classes entertaining. I would definitely recommend this class to any expecting mom.” ~ Courtney Milligan “My husband and I used Birth by Design for our first daughter, Susannah. We attended the five-week childbirth class, hired a Birth by Design doula for labor and delivery, and had my placenta encapsulated. Our connection with Birth by Design was so beneficial while preparing for delivery. The classes taught us so much about what to expect and gave me the confidence to birth naturally. My doula, Nicolle, was very encouraging and knowledgeable during prenatal appointments and so helpful during labor and delivery. She constantly reminds her students and clients that, as women, they are designed by God to birth, which gave me a great birthing experience.” ~ Brianna Kidd
“…Our experience with Mekelle and Amanda of Birth by Design was absolutely top-notch! I literally feel sick thinking about what it would have been like without them helping to coach my wife and I through a very diff icult delivery. As a military member and husband, it would be easy to be put off by having someone in such a position during such a tender experience, but I can assure you the experience was nothing of the sort. Instead, they were reassuring, educational, and helpful. Much more of a ‘Let’s try this together’ than a ‘Do what I say.’ My highest recommendation
to anyone considering a doula for their labor and delivery (and breastfeeding and postpartum care, etc...).” ~ Justin Hinrich For additional information, visit Birth by Design’s website: http://www.birthbydesigndoulas.com/. They are hosting the third annual Arkansas Birth Fair Saturday, May 23, 2015 at Hendrix College from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, or to inquire about booth space at the event, call 501-504-6994.
Michelle Pape and Marilyn Shock, owners of Aromatherapy Bar & Wellness Center
Family business By Kelly Sublett Photos by Brandy Strain
Mothers and daughters often do a lot of things together. It’s a relationship like no other. For one Greenbrier pair, the relationship extends beyond family dinners and shopping trips — it’s business. Marilyn Shock and daughter, Michelle Pape, have taken their personal wellness goals to new levels, sharing knowledge and best practices with people in their own city. The two launched the Aromatherapy Bar & Wellness Center in March, and have begun free classes on healthy eating and the very popular topic of essential oils. “I’ve been doing essentials since 1993,” Shock explains. “I had a medical issue and learned all I could about it, and it helped me. I use them for everything, and I wanted to see what would happen if I learned more.” Shock has since taken numerous classes 16 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
on essential oils and aromatherapy, gaining certifications and honors for her work in reflexology and aromatherapy. She was considered for a state Alternative Medicine Board and chosen to be a member, but the group never made it through state processes to be official. “We just need education on wellness,” Shock says. “I come from a generation where we ate meals at home and didn’t have all the environmental factors and processed foods. It fits who I am.” Pape is just discovering the world of total wellness, although she always has been a fan of clean eating and healthy lifestyle choices. “I am really just learning. She is teaching me,” Pape says, smiling at her mom. “We just hope to build this business and teach people.” The duo has been a part of Greenbrier on and off of 30 years, and Pape’s son attends the junior high school. She said it is impor-
Marilyn Shock, daughter Michelle Pape, launch Aromatherapy Bar & Wellness Center tant for people to understand how practices like aromatherapy, using essential oils and reflexology can help combat allergies, stress and fatigue. “Most people we serve here come in with a knowledge, and they don’t want to spend a lot of money,” she explains. Most people who seek out our business have done their research. They will ask for help with stress, anxiety or they can’t sleep. “It’s just like me. When my son was 6 months old, he had asthma. My mom gave us the oil Breath Easy and we put it in his diffuser. It really opened him up and helped to stop it, I think. We also use essentials for bug bites, peeling hands — all that kind of thing.” Shock says she always has encouraged wellness and the use of essentials for all nine of her grandchildren. “I cannot tell you how many times it has helped with congestion,” she says, assuredly. The Aromatherapy Bar & Wellness Cen-
w e l l n e ss g o a l s
ter is picking up business daily, Pape says. It is important to the mother-daughter team to educate as well as be a retailer for some hard-to-find items like essential oils. “We also teach about using whole foods to heal,” Pape says. “We carry things here, but you might be surprised that you can find these foods at Harps and the new Greenbrier Wal-Mart. We are fortunate that we have these things available in our community.” Shock says they decided to call the wellness outlet a “bar” because people can walk
in and tell them exactly what they need and want and they can serve it up on site. “We will help with anything they may need, including putting together hospital care baskets or gifts for teachers,” Pape says. Shock says, “I’m a ‘Do-It’ person. I didn’t want to start this business by myself. I wanted to help create something for Michelle and her family. I have always been a pioneer of new things, I guess. This was something new we could bring to Greenbrier.” Starting a business with your mother, Pape
says, is a lot of fun, and both she and Shock enjoy interacting with the community. “You have to be on your toes all the time,” she laughs. ”And you had better get along. It is important to know each others strengths and weaknesses.” For more information on the Aromatherapy Bar & Wellness Center, email marilyn@ thearomatherapybar.com or call (501)5811316. Follow the business online at www. facebook.com/thearomatherapybarandwellnesscenter.
Jenifer Hendrix, owner of Jenifer’s Antiques
“I love that I am able to enjoy my passion every day and make a living at it. I love the people I meet and the friendships I’ve made.” ~Jenifer Hendrix 18 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
Room to grow Jenifer’s Antiques embraces success with 3,000-square-foot addition By Leah Ashby Photos by Brandy Strain Jenifer Hendrix, owner of Jenifer’s Antiques, enjoys doing what she loves every day. Jenifer’s Antiques has been a mainstay in downtown Conway since opening for business in May of 2002. Jenifer grew up watching her grandmother, Beulah Katheryn Watts Carter, and mother, Carol Carter Hendrix, operating antique booths. Their passion for antiques created the desire in Jenifer to one day own her own antique business. After 14 years of teaching, Jenifer decided to realize her dream. November 9, 2014 marked the grand opening of the recent expansion. The shop historically had a waiting list of dealers wanting space, and Jenifer started putting the plan in motion several years ago. She joined forces with her father, a retired architect, to expand the store. After meeting with the historic district committee and creating several drafts, they arrived at the perfect plan. The expansion increased the shop by 3,000 square feet and allowed for 21 additional booths. “The project far exceeded my expectations and has been a great asset to the shop. It’s strange, but I don’t even remember a time we didn’t have the additional space. The expansion is a perfect fit for what we needed,” Jenifer said. In all, Jenifer’s Antiques houses 36 dealers in 55 booths, which provides the shop with an eclectic mix of antiques. Jenifer personally buys and sells American-made primitives, and her dealers also offer a wide range
of merchandise. You can find mid-century modern, English, mission, architectural, industrial, and a variety of other styles to suit a multitude of tastes. Re-purposed pieces are also available in the shop. In the past, Jenifer participated in antique shows in several states. “I realized that Dorothy was right when she said there’s no place like home. My greatest joy and success happens right here at 1003 Oak Street,” she said. “I have so many great friends in the antique industry and have always cherished those relationships.” Jenifer couldn’t be happier about her WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 19
Cross Creek Sandwich Shop, owned by Chris Jennings is located inside Jenifer’s Antiques
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Chris Jennings, owner of Cross Creek Sandwich Shop
downtown Conway address. “I love that the shop owners are like one big family. We encourage our customers to visit each other’s shops and see the success of our neighbors as a win for our own businesses. I also appreciate the city’s constant work toward improving the downtown and the willingness to listen and be helpful when we need it. I feel like Jenifer’s Antiques is in the middle of a modern-day, sophisticated Mayberry. It’s the best of both worlds,” she said. Jenifer considers Cross Creek Sandwich Shop, owned by Chris Jennings, as part of that family. Cross Creek Sandwich Shop occupies space within Jenifer’s Antique and also enjoyed a recent facelift, which included an expanded kitchen. Cross Creek is open for business 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday – Saturday and serves a variety of soups, sandwiches, salads, and daily specials. Desserts and drinks are available throughout the day. Jenifer’s community involvement doesn’t stop with being a local business owner. She is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Downtown Partnership. “I love that I am able to enjoy my passion every day and make a living at it. I love the people I meet and the friendships I’ve made.” WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 21
“I love that the shop owners (downtown) are like one big family. We encourage our customers to visit each other’s shops and see the success of our neighbors as a win for our own businesses.” ~Jenifer Hendrix
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FOR MOM shopping
Jewelry by Steven Dweck Available at Fletcher Smith’s
Day shopping made easy: These local stores have
something for every mother Colorful bag, scarf, glasses and necklace Available at Statements
Estee Lauder fragrance gift sets Available at Lefler’s 24 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
XXXX XXXXX Michael Kors perfume, Sequin T-shirt, organizer and clutch Available at Fragrances Unlimited
Bracelet and earrings by TarDee Jewelry Available at Branch Out
Heritage slide bracelets Available at Brooks Fine Jewelry
Aquiesse candles Available at Grand on Oak
Agave jeans, linen sweater and tank, G. Spinelli necklace, Fly London shoe Available at Grand on Oak
Bare Minerals lipstick, lip gloss, eye shadow and mascara Available at Grand on Oak
Hobo clutch Available at Lefler’s
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Cupcakes Available at GiGi’s Cupcakes
Silver frame and candles Available at White Goat
Gift basket of gardening items Available at Aromatherapy Bar & Wellness Center in Greenbrier
Silver serving pieces Available at White Goat
Monogrammed bag, hobo wallet and purse Available at Southern Savvy in Greenbrier
t s i Tw
on kids’ spaces
By Jennifer Stanley Photos by Brandy Strain & Jennifer Stanley
House One: Customized and Kid-Friendly
Adam and Nikki Jones of Greenbrier knew just who to consult when designing their children’s rooms: their kids! Makenna, 10 and Maddox, 7 were heavily involved in the planning and decision-making for their respective spaces, though mom was obviously able to make a few more choices in the room of their one-year old daughter, Marlee. The family moved into their home last May; it was custom built by Jim Hawks of TriCon Builders, and Adam and Nikki custom designed it to suit their family. Nikki is a realtor with Grissom and Company. As 28 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
a ten-year old, Makenna was very handson with her room. As Nikki says, “I kind of turned her loose on Pinterest. She was searching for bedding, and we found this whole design. She loved it!” Russell Garrett Paint painted the entire home; however, Nathan Terry added a chevron wall for Makenna. Her wall colors are hopeful and pool blue, and all paint is Sherwin Williams. Nikki describes her furniture as “modern shabby chic…if that was a term, it would describe her room! Her bed is from Ashley Furniture. She’s the one who found it. It’s very classic girly with bling.” They bought her desk at an antique shop, which they refinished and painted together. Makenna’s bedding is Caden Lane. “Her favorite things in the room are her
k i ds r o o m s
window seat and shopping bag wall. She helped design the window seat area, and Adam built it. She loves to read, so it has plenty of bookshelves. She’s very girly and into fashion, so the designer bag wall was something we collected with the help of friends…. It turned out perfect; the kid loves to shop!” Son Maddox was also heavily involved in planning his baseball-inspired room. “He loves baseball…so we searched Pinterest for baseball rooms, and he wanted this one.” The walls are painted iceberg blue and clover green; the green is almost the perfect grasslike color. His headboard looks like an actual baseball, and Nikki found it on Amazon. “His dresser is actually an old changing table we had repainted to match his bathroom cabinets,” she shares. The bedding is a patchwork quilt design, and there is a “dugout” built over and around his bed, complete with “home” and “visitor” signs. It is the perfect room for a baseball-lover. “Our next project for his room is a scoreboard that will mount around his television, so it will look like one big WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 29
scoreboard.” Nikki wanted a “super girly but different” look for baby Marlee’s room. “The Bratt Decor furniture in vintage gold caught my eye immediately, so I knew I had to plan something around that. I saw this company Addison’s Wonderland on an episode of Shark Tank and fell in love with the fabrics. I loved that the colors were soft but unusual, like lilac, mint, and coral.” The colors and textures were perfectly complementary to the furniture Nikki loved. Marlee’s paint color is rhapsody lilac. The gorgeous, chandelier-style light fixture is Pottery Barn Kids, and the curtains are also Addison’s Wonderland. The overall effect of the room is almost regal. Clearly, involving the children in the design of their rooms was a win for the Jones family. The end result is a custom, comfortable space that is a reflection of each room’s occupant.
House Two: A Delicate Nursery
Jeremy and Ashley Gardner of Conway wanted a delicate room for their youngest daughter. The result is a beautiful pastel space that flows with their home’s modern aesthetic. The couple, along with their children Olivia and Amelia, have resided in the West Conway home for two years. Local contractor Tom Watson of Watson and Watson Construction built the home. Ashley is a realtor with ERA Team Real Estate. Their youngest, Amelia Evelyn, was named for Ashley’s grandmother Evelyn Robinette. When it came time to design her nursery, she wanted a soft, airy feel. “I went bright and bold with her older sister, Olivia’s, nursery, so I wanted something different for baby sister,” says Ashley. The wall color for the nursery is worldly gray. The Gardner’s added an accent wall that is painted with horizontal stripes. The wall has Valspar paint crystals mixed with Sherwin Williams paint, which gives it a sparkle effect. The paint crystals can be added to any paint. The stripes are cityscape, also from 30 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
Sherwin Williams. Ashley added a collage of empty white frames over Amelia’s changing table/dresser. “The empty frames all came from Hobby Lobby (50 percent off, of course!). I just went and got all shapes and sizes and played with the arrangement. Her bedding and drapes were made by Ms. Beverly and Bevy’s in downtown Conway. The stripes on her wall and the art over her crib were painted by a friend, Courtney Burton.” The beautiful light fixture was purchased on Overstock. com. The white nursery furniture adds to the clean pastel look of the room and gives the space a light touch. “This is actually the same crib Olivia used, and it was originally black. We had it spray painted shoji white from Sherwin Williams. The green glider was also in Olivia’s nursery, and I had every intention to get it re-covered to match Amelia’s, room but she decided she would try to send me into pre-term labor, and I had to take it easy for the remainder of the pregnancy. So there the green chair sits in all its mismatched glory,” laughs Ashley. It works, however, as the overall effect of the space is relaxing and charming. WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 31
House Three: Viva La Conway
Conway residents Jake and Jennifer Stanley thought outside the canvas for their daughter Kate’s room. “Kate is incredibly artistic. She enjoys anything to do with design and planning at the ripe old age of eight,” says her mother. The family also includes son, Chaz, 14 and daughter, Bella Grace, 5. Jennifer and her daughters share a love of all things French, so Paris emerged as natural theme for Kate’s room. The family enlisted the services of Isabell Creek Art of Conway to paint a custom mural. “Ashley was great. I showed her a series of four acrylic paintings over Kate’s bed, which
depicted different French-inspired street scenes. Then I gave her a copy of the book Madeline. The illustrations were part of our design idea; we wanted a more whimsical look since it was for a child’s room. From there, we just trusted her expertise.” Isabell Creek Art does commissioned portraits, landscapes and abstract pieces for private clients, interior designers and small businesses. Of the mural Ashley says, “I designed a scene that would make the viewer feel as if they had stepped onto a Paris street. I selected the color palette based on the existing textiles and décor of the room for a cohesive flow.” She used Valspar interior latex-based satin paint with low odor and zero VOC.
The end result is a cobblestone street leading through Parisian shops toward a distant Eiffel Tower. There is even an art gallery named for the room’s occupant. “Kate was quite involved in the decision-making, and Ashley was so patient with her and really tried to incorporate her ideas. We could not be happier with the outcome.” To add to the mural, the homeowner worked with Jill White Designs to expand the “street scene” on the wall to into the bedroom. This was achieved by adding a distressed white bench adorned with vases and a ghost chair and by updating the bedding. “The girls love being able to visit Paris in their own home, and we love the custom, unique touch the mural provides.”
“The girls love being able to visit Paris in their own home, and we love the custom, unique touch the mural provides.” 32 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
D O G
For just a moment, let this truth sink in: God is directing the events of your life. God guides, sustains, cares, loves, and longs to have fellowship with you. God is always at work in us and around us. God is purposeful in the way that He works. We can trust the heart and hand of God. Not only is God leading us, He is also preparing the way so that we can experience victory in our daily walk with Him. Without exception, God knows what is best for us in every situation that we face.
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The truth that God is directing the events of our life does not prevent times of difficulty or pain. Believers are not guaranteed a problem-free life. Even now, you may be reading this column as you sit in a doctors office waiting for your name to be called. When sin entered this world, bad things like death, disease, and difficulty became a reality that every person would face; however, we should not be discouraged. God is ultimately in control, and His presence is always with us. We serve the One True God who is able to meet and exceed every need that we face in life. God promises to work all things (the easy things and the hard things) together for our good and for His glory. How should we respond to the truth that God is directing the events of our life? We should trust Him! This type of trust comes
from knowing that God is with us and that He is for us. We express our willingness to fully trust God by placing our confidence in Him. We can know that we are placing our confidence in God when His peace permeates our hearts and minds. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, New International Version, emphasis added) Let’s think about our hearts. God’s peace enables us to have a quiet spirit instead of a “tizzy” type of spirit. A quiet spirit is a calm spirit. A calm spirit is filled with a peace that we cannot explain. This calmness is real, and it is apparent especially when we are in the
cares for you.
middle of an unknown or uncomfortable situation yet have an unexplainable peace. A “tizzy” type of spirit is much different. It brings a feeling of being out of control, as though life is one big roller coaster ride. The events of our day determine if it is a good day or a bad day. In a matter of minutes, we can go from one extreme of feeling happy to another extreme of feeling despair. Let’s think about our minds. A Spiritled mind knows and finds peace in the fact that we do not have to solve our problems. This means that we do not have to rely on our own strength, resources, or abilities to get through our day. Instead, we can rely on
God’s strength, resources, and abilities to guide us. It is reassuring to know that we do not have to figure out how to overcome the messy situations of life. We can go to the Lord and know that He cares for us and willingly guides us each step of the way. It is one thing to say, “God is directing the events of my life. He guides, sustains, cares, loves, and longs to have fellowship with me.” It is another thing to actually believe it! This week, take these truths to heart. As you do, the peace of God will flow in and through your life. Always remember — God cares for you!
Andrea Lennon lives in Conway, Arkansas, with her husband, Jay, and sons, Jake and Andrew. Andrea ministers to the women of Arkansas through a speaking and writing ministry called True Vine Ministry. To learn more about this ministry, access Andrea’s website at www. andrealennon.net.
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in the news
Dragon Boats are coming to Beaver Fork Lake
Paddles up! Come paddle like ya stole it, on Beaverfork Lake on May 30 with the ladies of Junior Auxiliary! Get your friends, family and coworkers together for Conway’s most unique sporting event! Registration is now open for the Inaugural Conway Dragon Boat Festival, benefiting Junior Auxiliary of Conway. Teams will compete for the coveted Golden Paddle and, of course, bragging rights. Teams consist of 18-20 paddlers, plus one drummer who keeps the paddling in sync. Each team will compete in a traditional 42-foot-long dragon boat. No need to hit the gym to pump up your inner dragon. This competition is all about team work and synchronization. The team that works in true harmony will leave holding the Golden Paddle. A practice session for each team will be provided, along with all equipment. This high-energy atmosphere is guaranteed to be a good time. Racing is just part of the fun. Each team is encouraged to dress up and decorate their tents. Prizes will be awarded for the best drummer costume, most spirited team and fastest team. Individual prizes will be awarded to the top 3 fundraisers, as well as the top fundraising team. Spectators and competitors will enjoy the
fun family environment, with a kid zone and food truck vendors. Can’t get an entire team together but still want to participate? Sign up as an individual paddler and we will get you on a team! To get your team registered or to donate to your favorite team, go towww.conwaydragonboat.com. Questions? Call Jessica Clawson at 501-269-8739 or Karen Fulmer at 501-351-3924.
On Wednesday April 8, the Faulkner County Board of Realtors gathered at Centennial Valley Country Club to celebrate member’s achievements for 2015.
E.Leigh’s annouces April ‘Mission Monday’ non-profits
E.Leigh’s Contemporary Boutique, a multi-award winning clothing boutique with three locations in Arkansas (Little Rock, Conway and Fayetteville and one set to open in Southlake, Texas, in May) announce that they have selected three non-profit organizations to benefit from their Mission Monday Program (formerly known as Philanthropy Friday) that will be hosted on Monday, April 27, in each store. E. Leigh’s Conway location at 830 Front St., in Conway, will support the Children’s Advocacy Alliance. An independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving Faulkner, Van Buren, Searcy, Pope and Conway counties and working side by side with the CASA 20th Judicial District Program, the Alliance strives to provide coordinated guidance, treatment and support for child victims of abuse and neglect, from the initial investigation of abuse to their placement in a safe, permanent home. (www.hopeandjustice.org) Following suit, E.Leigh’s Little Rock location, located at 2911 Kavanaugh Boulevard, will host a Mission Monday event for Central Arkansas’ Big Brothers Big Sisters. Wanting all children to achieve success in life, Big Brothers Big Sisters strives to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better. (www.bbbsca.org) E.Leigh’s third location, found at 628 West Dickson St., in Fayetteville, will host their Mission Monday event in April to benefit the Make-a-Wish Mid-South. (www.midsouth. wish.org) Ten percent of the day’s sales will go to each location’s chosen non-profit. WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 37
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United Way’s Jeans and Bling
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C H I L D REN ’ S TU M O R F O UN D ATI O N
K L IFE D O D G E B A L L T O URNA M ENT
Arts Scene Summer Arts in Conway
Summer is quickly approaching, which means three months of exciting opportunities to get your kids involved in the arts! Here are just a few of the many options that can be found right here in Conway.
ART ON THE GREEN Day Camp June 8-12, July 13,-17, August 3-7 This day camp provides basic instruction in a variety of mediums for children ages 10-15. Students will learn to appreciate and express themselves through art. More information can be found at www. artonthegreen.net.
BLACKBIRD ACADEMY OF ARTS Explore: Summer Arts Experience July 6-31 Students will explore ceramics, garden art, storybook creation, painting, songwriting, acting, and so much more! Sign up for 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks of this exciting day camp for ages 7-12. Dance Intensive July 27-July 31 Jam packed week featuring guest instructors teaching over 10 different dance genres and topics including contemporary, ballet, jazz, aerial silks, and so much more! For intermediate and advanced dancers ages 10+. Super Hero Art Camp June 22-June 26 Students ages 5+ will develop and draw their own Super Hero, then create devices and props to go along with their character. More summer camp opportunities for visual arts, dance, fashion design, and theatre can be found at www.blackbirdacademy.org. Ask about summer scholarships as well! 42 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
FAULKNER COUNTY LIBRARY
Thursday Presenters June 8-July 31 Join the library each Thursday at 10:00 a.m. for a variety of performances and presenters, including the Spoon Man, Brian and Terri Kinder, comedian Chester Drawers, a magic show and more! Suggested for ages 0-7. Teens and Tweens Art Classes June 8-July 31 A variety of classes will be offered to teens and tweens including anime art drawing, comic book drawing, character creation, make your own model hero, and documentary filmmaking. Wednesday Craft Classes June 8 – July 31 Each Wednesday craft classes will be offered at the library. 9:00-10:30 a.m. will be for day care centers; appointments necessary. Classes open to the public for all ages will be from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., with tweens and teens classes from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Find out more about the above offerings by calling (501) 327-7482.
PRESTON PALMER STUDIOS Rock Camp June 8-12 Smokey Emerson will return to PPS this summer with a great opportunity for kids to rock and roll! This program takes kids who have always wanted to play in a rock band and gives them a taste of fun. Even if you have never picked up a guitar or hit a drum, he’ll have you feeling like a legend.
Summer Music Camp July 6-10 A week-long camp where kids of all ages will get to explore their love of music by playing several different instruments through fun and interactive activities. Never played an instrument before? No problem! More information can be found at www.prestonpalmerstudios.com.
UCA COMMUNITY SCHOOL OF MUSIC Summer Strings Camp
July 19-25 This weeklong camp is for violin, viola, cello, and double bass players from early to intermediate skill levels and beyond. It is open to students in grades 6th-12th who have completed one year of lessons or orchestra. Includes master classes, a fiddling workshop, a webinar with Young Orchestra Professionals, Ultimate Frisbee, Wild River Country and more! Concludes with a final concert on July 25th. Find out more at www.uca.edu/csm.
UCA YOUTH THEATRE OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS Summer Intensive June 1-27 UCA Theatre’s Youth Theatre of Central Arkansas will host their annual Summer Intensive Program for ages 10-18. Get more information at www.uca.edu/ theatre/summer-intensive. Jennie Strange is the founder and Executive Director of Blackbird Academy of Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality performing and visual arts education. She lives in Conway with her husband, Statler, and a random assortment of dogs, goats, and chickens. To submit your arts calendar events, email Jennie@blackbirdacademy.org
M AY E V ENTS
Kelly Shipp Photographer Originally from: Dallas, Texas. Lived in
Conway since 1988.
How did you get into photography? Since I was a kid, I always had a passion for exploring, but I often found myself wanting to share the experience when I returned. In my early teenage years I remember seeing my first wild Swainson’s Hawk up close. I desperately wanted to have captured that
moment on film. That was the moment I was driven to get my first SLR camera.
What are your favorite subjects to photograph? That is tough since I have so
many interests. One of my specialties has always been infrared and black-and-white photography. As for subjects, my favorite area has historically been nature. I’ve always enjoyed photographing waterscapes and waterfalls. Over the past decade, I have trended more towards telling a story with a single or series of photographs.
What do you like most about photography?
I really enjoy the creative process. I’m an artist.
Which photographers inspire you? Ansel Adams, Gordon Parks, Galen Rowell, Davie Muench, and Frans Lanting. Current favorite quote? “None of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.” John Muir Where can people see your work? Art on the
Green in Conway.
MAY Arts Events Please check out the event website for more information and pricing.
May 9 The Old Oak Tree, presented by Blackbird Academy of Arts @ Reynolds Performance Hall; 6:30 p.m. www.blackbirdacademy. org (G)
May 13 UCA Public Appearances announces their 2015-16 Season; 8:00 a.m., on their website www.uca.edu/reynolds
May 15 An Evening in the Park, presented by Blackbird Academy of Arts @ Simon Park; 6:30 p.m. www.blackbirdacademy.org (G)
May 16 4th Annual Backyard Gourmet, hosted by the Faulkner County Library and the Urban Farm Project; 5:00 p.m. (501)327-7482 (G)
May 28 The Conway Symphony Orchestra Guild presents Jazz It Up! fundraising event @ Southwestern Energy in the Village at Hendrix; 6:30 p.m. Rating key: G – Suitable for all ages PG-Suggested for ages 7+ PG13- Suggested for ages 13+ A- Suggested for Adults 18+ WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 43
into reading a few suggestions
By Susan O’Keefe Why read? Why read? There are as many reasons to read as there are allergen irritants in Arkansas in springtime. Recent studies show that staying mentally stimulated through reading can slow or even possibly prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Keeping brain waves active and engaged prevent it from losing power. And just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it healthy and strong. Reading reduces stress as patrons become immersed in a life story other than their own. Vocabulary expands. Knowledge is added. Memory improves. There’s even an
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increase in strengthening critical thinking skills. To spring into reading, here are a couple of favorites on recent book club lists: Spring Fever and The Story of Beautiful Girl. Spring Fever is definitely a beach read. It’s a bit dramalicious mixed with a hint of honeysuckle. If you listen hard enough, you’ll hear the theme from “Dallas” playing in the background. Again, this is a beach read. There are life lessons and funny moments, but mostly, it’s small, southern town charm, family business debacles, and marrying for love instead of a country club membership. A stuffy church sets the opening scene
of the story. There’s a bride, groom, and ex-wife all under one steeple. Annajane Hudgens declares her allegiance to her divorce, and promises that she is truly over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless, top dog at Quixie, the local, family owned cherry cola plant. Mason is the groom. His soon-tobe-wife, Celia, is everything Annajane is not. Celia frames her size 2 figure in designer suits with three inch heels to match. Her brief case coordinates perfectly. She’s an entrepreneur, admired in the business world, and arrives in Pascoe, North Carolina, to consult the floundering Quixie, and return her to her glory days. Just as vows are about to be exchanged,
spring reading the sweet bespectacled flower girl, Sophia, informs the congregation of her aching tummy. Leave it to kids. The wedding is postponed. Sophia is rushed to the hospital and has Mason’s full attention. Readers are led to believe that Mason is Sophia’s father after a one-night stand. But at our book club discussion, there was hardly a woman who believed that part of the story line. Within minutes, Annajane scrambles to help Sophia, and untangle the mess of emotions flooding her body. Seeing Mason in his wedding wear stirred something in the pit of her soul. She’d been in love with the Quixie king since she was a teenager. Now, four years after their divorce, Annajane’s heart beat rapidly as if to remind her of why she in fell in love with him in the first place. Was this really the beginning of second chances? And that’s just chapter one! Another award-winner and all-time favorite from our club is The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon. In the mid-1960s hundreds of thousands of people with intellectual disabilities lived in institutions. Lynnie was one of those people. Born into an affluent Pennsylvania family, Lynnie’s parents decided that she would receive better care in a sterilized home rather than in the one they maintained. There were outside social pressures. There were stares and snickers when Lynnie still used a diaper at the age of 5. There were questions with no answers, and simple mindedness was considered a punishment for an unmentionable sin. The Story of Beautiful Girl made me
weep. I wept for the people who are products of a system designed to help and protect, yet fail. Lynnie, the young white woman, fell in love with Homan, a strapping African American deaf man. Homan met Lynnie behind the suffocating walls of the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded. Homan does not have a mental disability, but he is classified with a group that does. He is a classic example of one who falls through the cracks. Yet there is a silver lining as a friendship between him and Lynnie blos-
soms into a beautiful relationship in the most unlikely of places. The Story of Beautiful Girl made me laugh. Because he only picked up bits and pieces of slang sign language, Homan never had a fighting chance to communicate with the deaf world. Since he never learned to read or write, he had no chance to communicate with the hearing world either. People shouted at him, as if speaking louder would suddenly make a deaf person hear. Perhaps Lynnie fell somewhere in between worlds, as if living in Homan’s world was sufficient. The Story of Beautiful Girl made me ache for those making decisions in place of those who mentally cannot. Our group discussed that burden and the multitude of feelings and emotions that accompany it. As the novel spans four decades, Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia find their lives completely separated and completely intertwined at the same time. There are astoundingly insurmountable obstacles for each of them, but in the end, it is the common thread of extraordinary love that brings them back together. Early in the novel, one of the characters comments, “Sometimes you think you know what you want until you see how much more you can have.” There’s a lesson for all of us, both the strong and the simple minded. Susan O’Keefe is a wife to Jack, mother to four children, and eager to face the crazy, awesome, fun things God delivers daily. She and her family recently moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where Susan will continue to read and review, instruct fitness classes, and embark on this next adventure in life.
strawberry waffles 46 WOMEN’S INC. / MAY 2015
Make your moments count By Chef Jill McCollum, CC Photos by Lindsey Faith Watson Make every mom feel young, invigorated and excited on that second Sunday in May. Why not give her a reason to dress up? Show her that you love her and truly value everything she has done for you and/or your kids. Perhaps you’ve exhausted all the possible Mother’s Day surprises you can think of. Well, think again, because with a small amount of extra time and care, you can make this one especially memorable. Of course, every mother is different, so think about her interests and plan your Mother’s Day surprises around that. Sure, the old box of chocolates and bouquet of flowers are sure to please, but you should really come up with something original. One thing that always makes a big splash is acknowledging their lives outside of motherhood. Think about it: What’s something they really like to do but never get to because they’re too busy taking care of everyone else? • Create a photo of memories • Make a tribute video • Offer her a spa treatment • Plan a weekend getaway for her • Take her out for a private dinner • MAKE her dinner • Enroll her in an interesting class • Help her around the house These are just a few ideas, most important thing, make her feel loved on this one day a year. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, We Love you! Chef Jill McCollum, CC is the Caterer and Food Service Director for Central Baptist College. Jill is the owner of Jill McCollum Catering in Conway. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 730-4422
Vanilla Crepes 2 cups milk 3 egg yolks 1 tablespoons vanilla extract 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons sugar ½ teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons melted butter
In a large bowl, mix together the milk, egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in the four, sugar, salt and melted butter until well blended. Heat a crepe pan over medium heat until hot. Coat with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Pour about ¼ cup of batter into the pan and tip to spread the batter to the edges. When bubbles form on the top and the edges are dry, flip over and cook until lightly browned on the other side and edges are golden. Repeat with remaining batter. Fill crepes with your favorite fruit, cream, caramel or even ice cream or cheese to serve.
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Fresh Fruit with Cream Strawberries cut in half Blueberries Raspberries Choose any fruit of your choice Heavy whipping cream Powder sugar or Splenda Cut fruit of your choice. Lightly whip cream, just enough to coat berries, add sugar, pour over fresh berries and serve.
Strawberry Waffles 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder ¾ teaspoon salt 2 cups buttermilk ½ cup vanilla Greek-style yogurt ½ cup butter, melted 2 eggs, beaten 1 ½ tablespoons white sugar ¾ cup chopped strawberries, or more to taste Preheat and grease a waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Whisk buttermilk, yogurt, butter, eggs, and sugar together in a separate bowl; stir into flour mixture until batter is smooth. Fold strawberries into batter. Pour about 1/3 cup batter into preheated waffle iron; cook until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
Natural & UV-Free Airbrush Tanning We all feel better with a healthy sun kissed glow, so you will be happy to hear you can enhance your skin tone without exposing your skin to the harmful UV rays of the sun or tanning beds. How? By protecting your skin with our natural looking sunless tan. We customize our solutions to your skin tone, so go from winter-white to a gorgeous golden glow â€” or all the way to just-back-fromCabo honey brown. What is a custom spray tan? A custom spray tan is a 1-on-1, personalized, spray tanning session with a professional sunless technician. The spray tech, using a high-pressure spray gun, will apply sunless solution to the areas you desire during your scheduled session. Sessions often include full-body application, legs only, or facial sprays. By allowing a professional to apply the spray solution you can ensure a flawless even application, especially on hard to reach areas such as the back. Sunless sessions usually last around 15-30 minutes (this includes drying time) and results can be expected to last 5-7 days. Why airbrush tan? The first reason is to stay healthy and not increase your chances of skin cancer! Melanoma is the least common but the most deadly skin cancer. In 2015, it is estimated that there will be 73,870 new cases of melanoma in the United States and 9,940 deaths from the disease. People under age 45 account for 25% of all melanoma cases. The incidence rate of melanoma has doubled since 1973. The United States has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of melanoma cases over the past few decades. The incidence of melanoma has increased 15 times in the last 40 years.
In young American women between the ages of 20 and 35, and in adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29, melanoma is the second most common cancer. Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25 to 30 and is second only to breast cancer in women ages 30 to 34. In the US, melanoma is currently the fifth most common cancer in men and the seventh most common in women of all age groups. Other reasons to airbrush tan: Doesnâ€™t cause premature aging and wrinkles, No sun burn, Customized color for your skin type, Instant bronze color for event nights, No harmful UV damage or sun-spots, Look slimmer instantly, Instant confidence, Skin appears healthier with a nice glow, Evens out tan lines, Quick and Easy, no laying out in the sun for hours to get that golden tan. Spray tanning only takes ten minutes. At studio skin we offer custom airbrush tanning. Mention this article for a discount as our customer appreciation and to reward you for choosing the safe way to tan. Angela Jackson, owner of studio SKIN has been a licensed aesthetician for 16 years. She currently sits as an appointed member on the Arkansas Dept. Of Health advisory committee. Angela is a member of Associated Skincare Professionals, an organization dedicated to the promotion of safe, quality skin care. Angela practices in the Fayetteville area, has for over 14 years, under the direct supervision of a board certified plastic surgeon. Angela has been offering skincare in the downtown Conway area for the last 6 years. She offers expertise and certifications in corrective skincare, facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, airbrush tanning, full body waxing and make-up.
‘The Longshot’ GENERATION
“From the first time I sat in the car, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. So, when I was 9, they got me a car of my own. I fall in love with it, every time I do it.”
Young people are often the pulse of a community, as sporting events, school events and activities bring them into the spotlight. Women’s Inc. wants to showcase these young people in a special feature each month. iMatter will seek to tell the stories of a new generation of community, skill, success and achievement. Do you know a student in Faulkner county, ages 10-23, who is truly one of a kind? Send youth’s name, school, parents contact information (if under 18) and a brief explanation of why you think your youth or you would make a iMatter candidate to email@example.com.
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madeline roper By Jeanette Anderton Photos submitted Madeline Roper, 19, is a bit of a conundrum. She grew up around cars and drag racing and, since the age of 8, has herself been drag racing. However, as her mother, Hollie, pointed out, Madeline is not a tomboy. “She’s not a tomboy or anything like that,” Hollie said. “She’s a girlie girl; she just drives a race car.” Madeline recalled competing in a beauty pageant and a drag race in the same weekend. “I was in the pageant one day and on the track the next, still with my hair fixed in my helmet,” she laughed. Madeline’s grandfather, Bobby Roper, took her to her first race when she was just 6 months old. She grew up spending time with him, whether it was watching him race his ‘69 Camaro or helping him prepare. “When we weren’t at the races, I was out in the shop helping him with his car and things like that,” she said. “I grew up with a passion for racing. By the time I was able to talk, I was begging for a race car and, of course, my mom said, ‘No, you’re not getting a race car.’” But Hollie could only hold out for so long. When Madeline was 8, the minimum age to compete in an NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) race, she rented a junior dragster at Centerville and let Madeline race. “I just absolutely fell in love with it [racing],” Madeline said. “From the first time I sat in the car, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. So, when I was 9, they got me a car of my own. I fall in love with it, every time I do it.” One might think a teenager who has won
NHRA and IHRA (International Hot Rod Association) championships would have a speeding ticket or two, but not Madeline. In fact, the girl who has been drag racing since age 8 only recently learned to drive on the interstate. “I don’t like driving fast on the road with so many other cars around me,” she said. “I didn’t learn how to drive on the interstate until last summer before college because I was going to Morrilton so I had to learn. It scares me. I don’t like going fast, except on the racetrack.” And fast she goes. After graduating from the junior class, which is for 8-18 year olds, Madeline got her first full-size dragster, which she started racing in August. “Me and my papa built the motor,” Madeline said. “It was very good bonding time for me and him.” Her best time in the new car is 5.30 seconds for an 1/8 of a mile, or 130 mph in her car with a 496 big block Chevy motor with
700 horsepower. “I feel like it’s no other rush you could ever feel,” Madeline said. As Madeline has grown and progressed, so have her race cars. Her first car was named “Drama Queen,” which Hollie said fit the 9 year old at that time. As she got a little older, she named her next car “No Mo’ Drama,” because she was done being the drama queen, Madeline said. Her full-size dragster was named “Longshot” when she got it, and initially, Madeline planned to change it. “But, I realized it fit,” she said, explaining that she often races against grown men with a lot more experience under their helmets. “Right now, I am the longshot.”