March 2022

MARCH • 2022

TEXARKANA MAGAZINE March | 2022 | Volume 3 | Issue 3

42. S T Y L E Beautiful Evolution 50. L I F E Dear Mrs. (Slightly) Sophisticated

10. c o v e r/ S E L F M A D E Grit and Determination 16. S E L F M A D E A Boozy Business

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34. E N T E R TA I NME N T Good Evening TXK 38. L I F E Words to Live by

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52. S T Y L E Easter Style 54. T X K R O O T S Kurt Williams

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22. S E L F M A D E Pitch It TXK! 28. T E X A R K A N A MO N E Y M A K E R S Financial Profiles

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If I could start a business…

CASSY MEISENHEIMER A local magazine sounds pretty good to me!

TERRI SANDEFUR I would make comfortable AND supportive AND attractive bras for well-endowed women. I know, it’s a fantasy!

KARA HUMPHREY I would create a clothing

LEAH ORR I would open a store around the corner from my house that sells wine and dips with a drive-thru window.

brand designed specif ically for non-typical sizes. Big, tall, short and small… apparently, clothing designers have never met any short people.

MATT CORNELIUS What I’m doing now but bigger, better and more!

BRITT EARNEST MoMo’s Cookies!

ANNI BISHOP It would most def initely be a gym catering to women of all shapes and sizes. I would also have a cute little smoothie bar where women could sit and mingle.

RACHAEL CHERRY I would really enjoy f lipping houses.

Cookie delivery from my great grandmother’s old house off Richmond Road

LINDSEY CLARK I currently own Lindsey Clark Photography & Design LLC and right out of college started my dream business of a dance and f itness studio, The Studio Loft in Hope, Arkansas.

LIZ FLIPPO My business would be a company to clean homes and put away laundry while the mom sleeps at night.

BAILEY GRAVITT I would love to have a bookstore with big comfy chairs where people could gather and relax together and share what they’re reading.

MEGAN GRIFFIN I would do blowouts and manicures that come to you.

TIFFANY HORTON I recently started a business, Horton Design Studios. I do residential design and construction. But, if someone else wanted to open a Pure Barre, I would def initely sign up!

MOLLY RILEY I actually just created a Facebook page for a little side hustle I’m doing. “Life of Riley Customs.” It’s t-shirts, sweatshirts and custom air fresheners.

MRS. (SLIGHTLY) SOPHISTICATED I would be a surprise travel agent, surprising people with free far-away vacations to places that they never thought they could see.

LIBBY WHITE A women’s only spa!

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txkmag.com letstalk@txkmag.com 903.949.1460 OFFICE 911 North Bishop Street Building C • Suite 102 Wake Village, Texas 75501 MAIL 2801 Richmond Road #38 Texarkana, Texas 75503

“Most new jobs won’t come from our biggest employers. They will come from our smallest. We’ve got to do everything we can to make entrepreneurial dreams a reality.” —Ross Perot

Publisher C A R D I N A L P U B L I S H I N G Staff C A S S Y M E I S E N H E I M E R cassy@txkmag.com T E R R I S A N D E F U R terri@txkmag.com K A R A H U M P H R E Y kara@txkmag.com L E A H O R R leah@txkmag.com M AT T C O R N E L I U S matt@txkmag.com B R I T T E A R N E S T britt@txkmag.com Local Sources C L A R E A N G I E R J O H N L U K E A N G I E R M A R Y C A R O L I N E A N G I E R

M y favorite all-time entrepreneur is the one and only H. Ross Perot. Every story I’ve ever heard about him I find fascinating. I remember when I was in elementary school, he ran for president. I became intrigued when I learned he was from Texarkana, attended Texas High School and Texarkana College and was running for President of the United States! This blew my little elementary mind. That old saying “You can grow up and become president,” was actually in motion for someone from my hometown. It was also during this time my grandmother gave me a picture of Perot that said, “To Cassy, Best Wishes, Ross Perot” in his handwriting! He even spelled my name correctly. I still have this picture in my house today and even though the ink has faded, I will always know what it said. That keepsake sparked a flame in me at a very young age. Through the years, I learned a lot about him and even met him a few times. In 2014, my friend Whitney Brooks and I painted a four-foot by four- foot picture of him for the annual Party with Picassos fundraiser. We loaded up our huge piece of original artwork (that required us borrowing my dad’s suburban for transport to Dallas) to meet with Mr. Perot, hoping to get his signature as the icing on the cake of what we thought was the best artwork ever created. We were unsure where to go or what to expect upon arrival at his office. We were checked in by security and lead to Mr. Perot’s private office. He was just finishing up a meeting with what Whitney and I assumed to be some group of “world leaders” when he was greeted by us and our gigantic piece

of artwork, along with a Bryce’s Pie… his favorite. He was delighted by our extra treat and then we got straight to business. He signed our artwork, “God Bless Texas, Ross Perot.” After completing the task, he took pictures with us and had his people show us around. It was a wonderful experience and one I will never forget. Mr. Perot accomplished many things in his time on earth. He attended the United States Naval Academy (USNA) (because he admired the late and great Mr. Josh Morriss who had also been a USNA student), founded a billion-dollar company, became one of the richest people in the nation, invested in other people so they could grow billion-dollar companies and ran for President of the United States… twice! He had a deep love for our country, our military and for making a difference. I’m not saying you have to agree with everything he did or supported, but you cannot say he wasn’t a remarkable entrepreneur with an uncommon fire. I encourage everyone to check out the Perot Leadership Museum in the Palmer Memorial Library on the Texarkana College campus. They have done an incredible job of capturing his legacy. Mr. Perot was a hard worker and put in the endless hours and effort to accomplish all he did in his lifetime. This month’s issue features local entrepreneurs who all have a similar spark and work ethic. Their journeys are different, but their stories are all equally remarkable.

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Texarkana Magazine is a multimedia publication showcasing the Texarkana area and is designed and published by Cardinal Publishing, LLC. Articles in Texarkana Magazine should not be considered specific advice, as individual circumstances vary. Ideaology, products and services promoted in the publication are not necessarily endorsed by Texarkana Magazine .

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GRIT and DETERMINATION BY KARA HUMPHREY

C olin Powell once said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” Looking at the life of Greg Francis, you can see the truth of this sentiment brought to fruition. “This quote speaks volumes to me,” he said. “Getting up, being responsible and dedication are the things that get you what you want. You can dream of success, but if you do not put in the man hours to make it happen, then it won’t.” Greg was born and raised in Texarkana with his mom, his dad and his brother Chad, who is ten years older. When Greg was eight years old, his father, who had been a diabetic since childhood, passed away, leaving Greg’s mother, Francine Francis, to raise him alone. “I don’t remember a whole lot before my dad passed away, but it was definitely a rough time,” recalled Greg. Losing a parent at any age is a difficult thing, but when it happens during childhood, every memory is precious. “As a kid, I enjoyed working with my dad before he passed. He worked in landscaping and residential dirt work, so that is where I initially learned a lot of my skills. I used to go to work with him in the summertime. I would ride with him on the dozer or whatever machine he was operating that day. I learned a lot from him during this time. When I was with him at work, I used to carry his voice pager around, and I thought I was so cool. I remember Sundays were always a big family day. We’d have family over and we kids would play on all the equipment while the adults sat around and watched us.” According to Francine, Greg has always been a go-getter. “He was basically born an adult,” she teased. “It was challenging to

get him to be a kid. I think after his dad passed, both my sons felt responsible for me. My husband told them before he passed, ‘Take care of your mom.’ They took it to heart and have always tried to do that. He started very early and wanted to try to start mowing other yards as a way to earn extra money.” “At a young age, I knew I wanted to provide for myself and not have to rely on others, so I just started working. If I wanted something, I wanted to be able to buy it. The only way I knew how to do that was to work so I could earn the money to allow me to buy what I wanted and needed,” Greg said. So, with all the grit and determination available to a 13-year-old boy, he stepped into the role of business owner, doing yard work for friends, family and any other business he could drum up. “I started my business in the eighth grade and would head straight to work when I got home from school,” he recalled. “In tenth grade, I started the work-release program. I would go to school for half a day, and then go to work the rest of the day. I didn’t have much of a game plan. I mostly took it day by day because I never really knew what would come of it. But Francis Lawn Care is still in business today and Francis Excavating has grown beyond residential to also include commercial and industrial projects and subdivision developments.” Starting a new business is difficult, and there are always trials along the way. Greg encountered his fair share like everyone else. “At first, he used our mower, and then he bought his own with the money he had earned,” his mother said. “I remember he and I went to one of the dealers to look for a mower, and they didn’t give us

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the time of day… a woman and her son. He wanted to buy a bigger mower. So, we went to what was then Tom’s Tractor. They were impressed by him, and he bought his bigger mower from them. They won his business for a long time after that. You get loyalty when you give that kind of customer service. They believed in him. Later on, I saw the other dealer, and I thought ‘they made a mistake because over the years, he will buy hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of equipment.’” Leave it to a mother to see all the potential in her child, and in Greg’s case, she was exactly right. Though he started young, from the beginning Greg was determined to build something he could be proud of. Each success pushed him further toward that goal. Eventually, at 15, he was ready to take out a loan so he could purchase his very own commercial mower. Unaware he needed to be 18 years old before he would be eligible for a loan, Greg applied. “The bank never realized I was not 18, so they gave me the loan. I paid that note off, and I needed to buy another mower, so I went back to the bank for a second loan. It was then they realized I was still not 18, but decided to give me the loan anyway since I paid off the first note ahead of schedule and was never late.” When he finally graduated from high school, Greg’s landscaping business was in high gear, and he made sure it continued to grow. A couple of years later, Greg’s focus began to shift. Since their father was in the “dirt business,” and it had been such a part of their early lives, Greg was determined to include his brother, Chad, when it was time to get Francis Excavating off the ground. Because the landscape business was running smoothly, and he had built a team he could trust to run things in his absence, Greg and Chad were able to focus their time and energy on the excavating business. “The first few years of business were a lot of personal man hours. We bid the jobs, we ran the equipment, we worked long hours… you name it, we did it. It was a rough few years starting out, just like any business, but we were determined to make it work.” And that is exactly what they have done. Coming from a legacy of hard workers makes an impact on a child, and that has been the example from all the adults in

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telling her friends and coworkers who then hired me to take care of their lawns.” Having that type of support and encouragement from the people around you can make all the difference. “My mom was always supportive and would never allow me to go hungry, but she always taught me to work for what I wanted. I learned really fast the value of earning money, saving it and reinvesting it in more equipment in order for my business to grow. It used to frustrate me some back then, but I now appreciate the fact that my mom never gave me any handouts.” She believed in his abilities to make a way for himself, and over and over Greg has proven her confidence was not misplaced. Success can also sometimes hinge on the people with whom you surround yourself. Greg has been strategic in that area as well. He has been in a long-term relationship with Lauren Callaway for a while now, and she has many of the same

Greg at eight years old on one of his father’s backhoes.

Greg’s life. His mother, Francine, has a successful career as the Director of Marketing and Communications at CHRISTUS St. Michael. Her example, as well as his father’s commitment to letting Greg spend time with him as he worked, and the influence of his “Papaw,” who was Francine’s father, laid the foundation for the hard worker he is today. According to Francine, “Greg was born with work ethic. He saw the family history of working hard. His dad worked hard, I worked hard, his grandparents worked hard. I would describe him early as being tenacious, stubborn, decisive, a risk taker and one who didn’t see challenges as challenges but as opportunities,” she said. “When I was in middle school,” recalled Greg. “My Papaw would pick me up from school every day. After school, we always had a project to work on. We worked on old cars and trucks, barns… basically whatever we could get our hands on. The main thing I remember is that he taught me to do things the right way, the first time. So, taking the time to do something right and not rushing through anything has been something that’s always been instilled in me. I learned a lot about work ethic from him, so I’d say he had a lot of influence over me when it came to me starting my business.” Many people can look back over their lives and recognize the people who have built in them a strong work ethic. What is it, though, that makes some brave enough to take that next step and act on that entrepreneurial spirit inside them? His mother is convinced it came naturally to Greg. “He’d share his ideas and tell me, ‘I can do it.’ And I’d say, ‘ok,’ and we’d give it a try. He was a lot braver than I was. He got that from his father. He had the bravery to explore the unknown.” Greg, however, lays some of the credit

qualities driving her to be successful in her own entrepreneurial endeavors. “They make a good couple on several levels,” said Francine. “They’re both entrepreneurial and driven to be successful in their particular roles and businesses. She’s taught him a lot about patience and looking at things a little broader sometimes.” Greg is grateful for her influence and support. “Yes, I am a lucky man. Lauren and I have a lot in common. We are very similar when it comes to our work ethic and drive, which is what initially attracted me to her. She’s very smart, beautiful and extremely caring. Lauren is very good at her job, and we actually work a lot together on projects. She’s as stubborn and headstrong as a mule, so she keeps me on my toes. I never quite know exactly what I’m about to get into with her, but she’s never steered me wrong, so I think I’ve found a keeper.” There are very few who even know what they want to do with their lives at 13 years old. That number is made even smaller when you start counting those who are willing, at that age, to bring that dream to life. Greg Francis is truly special. We all could use a little more of the drive, determination and commitment to excellence that has made him successful in building his businesses. His advice to other dreamers is three-fold: “1) Be okay with starting small but to always strive for growth. Allow yourself to be the little guy and work your way up. As long as you have the drive to grow bigger, and you do not give up, then chances are you’ll do just that. 2) Always have a Plan B. I would say MOST of the time, Plan A does not pan out like you thought it would, so if you do not have a Plan B, you might get discouraged and quit. And 3) As you begin to grow, know that you cannot do everything

yourself. Hire people that are an asset to your business. It takes many, many people to keep the puzzle together, and I’m very thankful to have phenomenal employees from the office to the field.”

SCAN HERE TO VIEW THIS MONTH’S COVER STORY VIDEO

back at her feet. “I started my landscape business when I was 13 years old, so she would have to drive me to and from my jobs. She also helped me get the word out by

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ABoozy Business BY RACHAEL CHERRY Dating back to ancient times, wine has been a mainstay of societies around the world. It was used for centuries for its medicinal properties and even now is chosen for its rich antioxidants. It may be selecting the perfect wine to complement their favorite dish for some. For others, it is a way to relax after a long day. Wine is celebratory and used to toast a bride and groom. It evokes feelings of romance, elegance and timelessness. Champagne, a sparkling wine, is used to christen new ships and launch them on their maiden voyage. Wine is often given as a thoughtful housewarming gift and shared among friends as they enjoy each other’s company. Many churches use real wine for holy communion. The Bible even records the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding. Make no

mistake, this age-old libation is engrained in cultures the world over. Still, here in our tiny spot on the globe, two Texarkana friends, Donna Griffin and Judy Smith, have put a relatively new twist on this old favorite.

The original Wine-A-Rita ® Wine Glacé ® flavor

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markets. It remains the number one seller to date, and both Donna and Judy list it among their personal favorites. Wine-A-Rita ® now proudly offers 11 flavors to choose from, including their latest introduction to the lineup, Key Lime, which they recommend blending with whipped cream vodka. Judy describes it as “a boozy key lime pie” and gushes, “Oh my!” When adding new flavors, the team says they consider current food trends and then brainstorm until they come up with just the right idea. New products are first tested on employees who love tasting days. “Every time we introduce a new flavor, we promise it will be our last!” stated Judy. Wine-A-Rita ® is primarily a wholesale business with their biggest customers being wineries. Donna and Judy have secured

Judy explains, “Wine was beginning to be the new ‘in drink.’ Neither of us liked wine; we were margarita girls.” Then, while enjoying a day by the pool, the two discussed how they might enjoy drinking wine if it were frozen. All great businesses begin with an idea, and this revelation started these friends on what has now become a 17-year successful business venture. Donna and Judy worked with a recipe developer and created their first product, Wine Glacé ® . Described by the pair as “an upscale, gourmet item,” it is a simple concept with a considerable impact. Wine-A-Rita ® is a drink mix, and all you need to enjoy this amazing product in your own home is a bottle of wine, ice, a blender and, of course, the Wine-A-Rita ® mix. Wine-A-Rita ® mixes can also be combined with ginger ale for a non-alcoholic option. The new concept for a frozen drink was launched to the public in 2004 at the local Mistletoe Market, an annual fundraising trade show hosted by the Junior League of Texarkana. The response was enough to assure Donna and Judy they had found a niche market. They ventured beyond Texarkana to Dallas Market and AmericasMart in Atlanta, Georgia. These two wholesale trade venues provided just the exposure that was needed. Wine Glacé ® continued to gain popularity, and after three years of success, another flavor was added to the Wine-A-Rita ® family. Peach Bellini was an instant success winning multiple awards, including Fan Favorite and Best Drink in Atlanta, Dallas, and Las Vegas

sales for their popular products in over 2000 retail locations across the United States and credit the majority of their customer base to their presence in the Dallas and Atlanta markets. They do not use sales representatives, but prefer to maintain a personal connection to their customers. Donna commented on the many friendships the two have made over the years, and Judy expressed their appreciation for customer referrals. As the entrepreneurs expanded their enterprise, they proved they had more than just great ideas. They personally worked on marketing their product and getting it in the hands of the public. Wine-A-Rita ® was exhibited in more than 15 wholesale shows from the East Coast to the West Coast. In addition to the wholesale market, Donna and Judy both work retail trade shows. Donna shared that they have done as many as 21 shows in a year, with eight of them being retail shows during the few weeks between September and the week before Thanksgiving. She said, “We became an expert at pulling a trailer and driving a 26 foot Ryder truck.” This is just one of the myriad of personal anecdotes the two share from being in business together. Donna reflected on their only regret. She stated they wished they would have kept a journal of their experiences together. The local business owners now have permanent showrooms at Dallas Market Center and AmericasMart Atlanta. Judy focuses her efforts in Dallas while Donna works the Atlanta market.

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The company also has an internet presence. Wholesale vendors can place orders for Wine-A-Rita ® products directly on the website at WineGlace.com. Orders are packed and shipped from the Texarkana warehouse within 24 hours. Donna added, “We take pride in and have many compliments on our customer service.” The website also offers retail sales for individuals who may not have access to a local vendor. However, Donna adds, “We always like to refer customers to

her creativity to steer marketing. Fortunately, both women love the customer service aspect of the business. This is no doubt one of the most significant contributors to their success. Judy stated confidently, “I could not ask for a better business partner.” Donna and Judy attribute their accomplishments to an incredible team of workers, some of who have been with them from day one. “As they say, it takes a village, and we are very

local retailers.” Wine-A-Rita ® mixes can be purchased locally at Julie’s Deli, The Party Factory and Fan Fare Gifts. If you prefer to purchase Wine-A-Rita ® by the glass, you can visit Pop’s Place or Redbone Brewing for a drink. Being a Texarkana based business , Donna and Judy were thrilled to par tner with Opportunities, Inc., a nonprofit organi zat ion that prov ides developmental and suppor t services for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. From soon after the business began until 2020, individuals from Opportunities Adult Center would cut and sew fabric bags for the Wine-A-Rita ® mixes.

thankful for ours,” Donna said. She adds, “We all work well together and are a family. We never imagined it would grow to what it is today, and we are blessed.” Judy concurs with her partner’s sentiments and they both acknowledge their gratitude for the support of friends and, most of all, family, in helping them to follow their dream. This thriving, nationwide, female-owned

HOW TO MAKE A WINE-A-RITA ® All you need is your favorite Wine-A-Rita ® mix, ice, a bottle of wine or ginger ale and a blender to create a fun and delicious frozen drink. 1. Select your favorite Wine-A-Rita ® mix 2. In a blender, combine the flavor you selected with 12 fluid ounces of wine or ginger ale.

and oper ated Texarkana-based business is a testament to what can be achieved with a great idea, a lot of hard work and an excellent support system. Judy confidently offers this encouragement, “Don’t be afraid to chase your dream.” For centuries, wine drinkers, thinkers and makers have looked for ways to improve the wine experience. This is how sparkling wine was created. Judging from the overwhelming reception and acclaim, Wine-A-Rita ® mixes may be the best thing to happen to wine in over 300 years. SCAN HERE TO VIEW OUR HOW TO MAKE A WINE-A-RITA ® VIDEO

3. Blend until dissolved. 4. Fill blender with ice. 5. Mix until smooth. ENJOY!

Unfortunately, because of COVID, they could no longer maintain that partnership. Donna said, “They were a joy to work with.” Both Donna and Judy are hopeful they will get the chance to work with the men and women at Opportunities, Inc. again in the future. After more than 30 years of friendship, they know how to make this company work; they draw on each other’s strengths. Donna is the numbers girl and handles the accounting, while Judy uses

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BY ANNI BI SHOP

Some of the most successful companies in America began with a single person and an idea. Thomas Edison had the right idea when he said, “I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it.” Texarkana, USA is full of businesses that have started with a unique idea and a passion

to grow our community. Maybe you have an idea that you feel would greatly benefit the community of Texarkana. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had a way to get a jump start on making that idea a reality? What if our recent college graduates were presented with the possibility of starting their very own companies right here in Texarkana instead of taking their brilliant ideas to other larger cities? Here is the opportunity your creative minds have been waiting for. A team of local sponsors who are committed to drawing and retaining the brightest minds of our area will hold an entrepreneurial competition cleverly called Pitch It Texarkana! This event will be held at Crossties Event Venue in Downtown Texarkana on March 31, where aspiring entrepreneurs will “pitch” their products, services and technological ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win $5,000. The second-place winner will receive $2,500, while third place will be awarded $1,000. Contestants will have exactly three minutes to “wow” the judges. This panel of local professionals will be looking for authentic and innovative ideas that will benefit the Texarkana area and further draw more talent and possibility.

Natalie Haywood, Director of Events and Communication at the Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, explained the details of this event and described how it got its start. The idea for Pitch It Texarkana! all started a couple of years ago when Mason White, Lesley Ledwell Dukelow, Steve Mayo, Ina McDowell, Brad Bailey and Judy Morgan were attending a Strategic Doing Workshop hosted by Leadership Texarkana. Strategic Doing lays out an approach to community development created by author Ed Morrison. Its goal is to “teach people how to form collaborations quickly, guide them toward measurable outcomes and make adjustments along the way.” Ed Morrison (2019) In today’s world, collaboration is essential to meeting the complex challenges we face. Leadership Texarkana and Ruth Ellen Whitt have spearheaded the Strategic Doing efforts in Texarkana. During the workshop the group was posed the question, “Imagine if Texarkana, USA was a magnet for talent and entrepreneurship... What would that look like?” Much time passed after that workshop, but after running into each other and talking, White and Dukelow decided to round everyone back up and put their heads together. As the goal for Pitch It Texarkana! is to inspire startup companies and promote entrepreneurial synergy within our community, this unique Texarkana program plans

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• Who is behind the company? As the old saying goes, “Bet on the jockey, not on the horse.” Participants will be expected to explain how the experience of themselves, their team and/ or their advisory board gives them credibility.

to turn strategic thinking into strategic DOING. “Graduating seniors would be more compelled to stay and pursue their dreams locally, startup businesses would thrive with a higher quality applicant pool and a wealth of resources, and Texarkana would be known throughout our region as a hub of innovation and opportunity,” said White. Of course, much planning and organizing is

The Pitch It Texarkana! crew is excited about many things this event will bring about. Kasey Coggin, a member of the Strategic Doing Team, explained what she was most excited about. “As a “Texarkanian,” I am beyond excited about the opportunity to listen to the innovative ideas from our local residents that can potentially bring a new business, product or service to our community.” Haywood explained the team is also excited to see the community support of this inaugural event as the response has been great with press coverage and submissions. Expecting this event will be successful, discussions are already being held for next year’s Pitch It Texarkana! event. Once the winner is declared on March 31, the team will discuss the plus and minuses of the event to better prepare for future events. If you have been waiting for the opportunity to pitch your idea, it’s not too late to throw your hat in the ring. The deadline for submissions is March 16 with a $15 application fee. The website for submissions is www.pitchittexarkana.com. The community is welcome to come out and watch the final pitches. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on the same website. Food and drinks will also be available for purchase, so be prepared for an all-around fun and exciting time. According to www.pitchittexarkana.com, when applying for this event, keep in mind that the judges are looking for “applicants to think outside the box, harness their talent and creativity, pitch an innovative idea and see a path to entrepreneurial success here in Texarkana, USA.” As in any community, Texarkana’s success and growth will depend on working together and “doing strategically.” “Sometimes the first step is to simply pitch an idea and see where it goes!”

in motion to prepare for this event. The judges include local entrepreneurs who have a desire to see Texarkana grow and flourish. Who better to judge than a panel of individuals who love our community and have played a part in its growth? Participants will have exactly three minutes to pitch their ideas to the judges and will be evaluated based on their ability to answer the following Key Questions... • What is your technology, product or service? Participants will briefly describe what they are selling and the need it fulfills (i.e., what is the problem and what solution does their product/service provide?) • What is your target market? Participants will briefly state to whom they are selling this product/ service. How large is the applicable market? Into what industry does their product or service best fit? • Who is your competition? Competition is positive, as it confirms that a market exists for their product/ service. All products and services have competition. • What is your competitive advantage? Participants

will explain what makes their product unique. Why do they have an advantage over others? How will their company provide this product/ service better than the competition?

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FARMERS BANK & TRUST To Us, You’re Family. QUALITIFCATIONS

24 years in financial services industry. Held positions in wealth management, trust, banking, insurance and mortgage. Series 6 and 63, SIE and Insurance License INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY Diversify… WHAT SETS US APART The service we provide by being able to help you with any financial need for all Seasons of Life! GIVING BACK…

2900 St. Michael Drive Texarkana, TX 75503 903-255-1863 MyFarmers.Bank

SERVICES Wealth Managament

Trust Services SPECIALTIES Investments Retirement Trusts

LESLIE ROWE WARNER “My focus is to enhance our customers’ experience by offering investment, trust and insurance solutions to help them meet their financial goals.”

For The Sake of One Leadership Texarkana Pleasant Grove School District

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BODCAW BANK For What’s Ahead. #beBodcaw

3625 Richmond Road Texarkana, TX 75503 903-716-5505 BodcawBank.com

WHAT SETS US APART Bodcaw Bank is all about building lasting relationships and trust with our customers in order to produce the best experiences for them. We go above and beyond to provide the highest level of personal banking service possible. Local decision making affords us the ability to commit to the best interest of our clients. We are your neighbors, friends, and family. We are familiar faces who care. When you call, we answer. The culture we have worked hard to create for our customers and employees is unlike anywhere else. #beBodcaw GIVING BACK… What does it mean to “Be Bodcaw?” It means being a part of the places we call home. We thrive on small town,

SERVICES Commercial & Consumer Loans Bodcaw Checking Now Checking Regular Savings Bodcaw Super Savings Money Market Personal Checking Money Market Commercial Checking Community Business Checking CD Options IRA

“handshake” banking. It’s all about taking care of the communities, the locally owned businesses and the people around us. It’s rewarding to be able to help your neighbor, your child’s teacher, a member of your church… We enjoy helping people bring their dreams to life, such as opening a business or building a house. We are here to help you invest in your future. That’s what community banking is all about. What can Bodcaw Bank do for you?

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GOOD EVENING TXK COLUMN BY BAILEY GRAVITT

I know St. Patrick’s Day is associated with fun parties and getting pinched if you aren’t wearing green, but beyond that, I knew little about it. So, I decided to research. Did you know Saint Patrick was born in Britain during the Roman period but eventually became a slave in Ireland? Did you know that Saint Patrick is also believed to have gotten rid of all the snakes in Ireland (even though snakes don’t usually live in places like Ireland anyway, so who knows about that one?). And where in the world do these leprechauns come from? Well, apparently, they are mythical fairy creatures and if you find one, they have to tell you where their pot of gold is hidden. How LUCKY! Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day gives you a better chance of sneaking up on one because it is said green clothes make you invisible to them. I only own a single green t-shirt in my color-coded closet,

LIVE BANDS Friday, March 4 Cody Hibbard Whiskey River Country, 8:30 PM Saturday, March 5 Frank Foster with Cody Cooke and Crawford & Power Crossties, 8:00 PM Friday, March 11 Lost in Nostalgia—90’s Rock and More

and I usually forget to wear it on the actual holiday. Shame on me. As I did my research, I also discovered that Saint Patrick and I probably shared some similar beliefs. After he was freed from his slavery, he became a priest and was later named bishop of Ireland. It is believed that he brought Christianity to Ireland. So, in contemplating this special day, when four-leaf clovers are everywhere you look, I’ve been pondering a lot on luck versus blessings. Even as Christians, like myself, we often throw around terms like “you are so lucky” or “fingers crossed.” As someone who believes that every single thing that happens does so for a reason, I am convinced these situations are always congruently pieced to a much bigger plan, controlled by a much bigger force, in a much bigger story.

67 Landing, 8:00 PM Saturday, March 19 T-Town 5 Arrow Bar, 8:00 PM Wednesday, March 23

A Night with Gordon Mote Bright Star Theatre, 7:00 PM Thursday, March 24 Candlebox—Live in Texarkana Crossties, 7:00 PM

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There is such an abundance of lavish comfort and peace in feeling oh so small amid this massive, incomprehensible plan that was put in place for me and for my good at the beginning of time. God IS my four-leaf clover. Jesus IS my horseshoe. The Holy Spirit IS my shooting star. All these signs of good luck are comforting for a moment, but luck can’t direct my steps like my all- knowing Heavenly Father can. This isn’t a cautionary tale. It is just a moment meant to cause you to sit back and ponder. For example, if you see me eating honey butter chicken biscuits, and you don’t want a honey butter chicken biscuit, maybe you should search within yourself and figure out what’s wrong with you. The best part of waking up every day is possessing a brand-new chance as the sun rises once again to be the person you want to be today. And if by the end of the day you still haven’t met that person, there’s always tomorrow. I know for me, I need more than luck to get to that person’s heart. But I do look sexy as a gangsta Who else comes up with their absolute best ideas in the shower? I don’t mean to come off weird, but I’m tired of the way people look at me after I tell them I was thinking about them and how they can fix their entire life with a solution I came up with… in the shower. leprechaun, right? RANDOM THOUGHT…

LOCAL EVENTS

Thursday, March 3 March Masquerade: Behind the Masks of Evergreen Silver Star Smokehouse, 8:00 PM Friday, March 4 Wine and Jazz Gala Silvermoon on Broad, 7:00 PM Saturday, March 5 Dancing with Our Stars 2022 Northridge Country Club, 6:00 PM Saturday, March 5 Runnin WJ Ranch presents Unlimited Dreams Prom Texarkana Arkansas Convention Center, 6:00 PM Saturday, March 5 TSO Capathia and Tony Together Perot Theatre, 7:30 Friday, March 11 Bingo Night benefitting For the Sake of One Silver Star Smokehouse, 6:30 PM

Saturday, March 12 TRAHC presents: 3 Redneck Tenors—Broadway Bound Perot Theatre, 7:30 PM Thursday, March 17 We the Kingdom Live First Baptist Church, 7:30 PM Saturday, March 26 Texarkana Home & Garden Show Crossties, 9:00 AM

Wednesday, March 30 DogMan: The Musical Perot Theatre Thursday, March 31 Pitch It Texarkana! Crossties, 4:00 PM

SAVE THE DATE... Four States Fair & Rodeo begins April 1

For more events visit

MEDIA RECOMMENDATIONS

BOOKS

STREAMING

PODCASTS

Debbie Lee The Tender Bar on Amazon Prime

Clay Sandefur The GaryVee Audio Experience

Joe Reagan Why I Am Still Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere

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IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK COLUMN BY L IZ FL IPPO Words to Live by S he turns seven this month. Getting her here took longer than we thought and started with a year of disappointment. It wasn’t until we were in the midst of the first stages of infertility testing that we were blessed with a positive at-home pregnancy test. Although I didn’t want to hear it at the time, my loved ones were right—it happened once I gave up control and got out of my own way. Our girl was the first grandchild on my side of the family, and it had been six years since the last grandchild was born on my husband’s side. She had everyone’s attention at all times, and we relished in her every move. Over the past few months, I have taken time to reflect on the last six years. As first-time parents, we made some great decisions. We also made some not great decisions and had to learn our lessons and change the course. I don’t hide our mistakes from our children because I want them to learn some humility and realize Mom and Dad aren’t perfect. And because we aren’t perfect, we don’t expect them to be either. There are some ground rules, though, that I want our daughter to carry with her always. When times get hard or she is not sure which road to take, surely the guide to her answer lies somewhere in these words. And maybe somebody else needs to hear them as well.

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In honor of your birthday month, here are seven rules to remember, my girl...

become heavier. God is never surprised by what you’re going through or how you’re feeling, though. Cling to Him. In the words of one of your favorite people, “you are strong, and you are brave.” Remember, seasons change, and whatever difficulties you face will not last forever. 5. Embrace your roots. Listen, my girl, you come from a long line of strong Southern women. I cannot wait to watch Steel Magnolias with you and teach you how to cook family recipes. Maybe one of them will become your staple meal because you will need one of those when someone is sick, or you are throwing a last-minute get- together. Always have a funeral dress in your closet and a pair of pearls in your jewelry box. One of these days, you may have children of your own and you will coddle them while they cry, but just for a moment. Then you will tell them to swallow their cry, find someone who needs help, and help them… just like your grandmother told me and her momma told her. You might also repeat ridiculous sayings like, “it’s as cold as a minkajumpin” or “if you hit your mother, your hands stick out of the grave when you die, and buzzards eat them off” because those were also passed down. We don’t know where the phrases came from, but they have been told by the matriarchs of our family who loved big. Embrace it, sister. 6. Things are just things. Place your value in relationships, not your material items. You are not defined by what you have, but by who you are. Please do not let someone else set the standards for your happiness. Also, please do not go into debt thinking you need all the expensive things or have to go on the lavish vacations. It is perfectly fine to skip a social event if you do not want to go. Purge your belongings regularly and donate those in good condition to someone who needs them. We could actually do a better job of that now, as your bedroom bookshelves are packed with trinkets and other things you have hoarded. We will work on that. 7. Call your momma. There is a piece of artwork hung in our house that says, “Sweet darlin’! If you call your mother every day you will go to Heaven!” I haven’t found that passage in scripture just yet, but I wouldn’t risk it if I were you. My girl, it is my greatest joy being your mother. You make me want to be a better person and to stay healthy. Your tenderness and love for life makes the world a better place and please don’t ever change your southern accent. I love watching you lead “The Brothers” and dance with your daddy. You have all three males in our home wrapped around your finger. You make me proud every single day and I will love you with all I have, all my life. Happy birthday, Gabbie Jane! You’re my favorite girl in the world.

1. You are to be treasured. Surround yourself with people who make you want to be a better person. Be friends with those who cheer for you and celebrate your victories. And for those who aren’t happy for your success or may be ugly to that big, beautiful heart of yours… be kind to them. Right now, you have the most precious friends who send you videos of excitement when you are chosen as the school’s student of the month. These are the same people you ask to FaceTime when they’re home sick from school, so you can check on them and tell stories they missed from the day. Nurture and protect those relationships. There will come a time when you date a boy and I want you to never, ever settle for someone who does not think of you more than he thinks of himself. First, he should love Jesus, then you. He should respect you. He should respect his parents, too. Your daddy is setting the example for how you should expect to be treated, and that bar is high. Bonus points if he plays golf or likes the Razorbacks. Do not accept anything less than wonderful. You are to be treasured, sister. 2. Stay healthy. Your genetic makeup is heavy with some chaos, honestly. If you fall behind your daddy, you are likely to struggle with terrible allergies and poor vision, but you will have a great metabolism and strong teeth. If you toggle more onto my side, you may face issues with anxiety and have a lengthy dental record, no matter how many times you floss or keep a perfect brushing record. Health isn’t just physical, and it looks different on everyone. There is a lot of pressure on women these days in the department of “health.” Cut the size tag out of your clothes because it’s just a number. Your body is strong and can do incredible things. Be good to it! Continue to drink a lot of water and please, please find a green vegetable you like. Keep your mind healthy and always read books. Go to bed at a reasonable time, take your vitamins and find a blessing in every day. 3. We will always love you. Read that again because it is important—we will ALWAYS love you. There is nothing you can do or say that would change that. Ever. 4. Some seasons will be hard. You are tender right now. You’re quick to happy cry at good news and can get disappointed just as easily. Your feelings were recently hurt when someone asked why your adorable southern voice sounded like a boy. However, do you remember your response? “Because God made me this way.” Don’t forget that kiddo, because as you grow up, things just get harder. Heartbreak, illness, confusion and choices

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Beautiful Evolution BY TIFFANY HORTON, HORTON DES I GN STUDIOS PHOTOS BY MATT CORNEL IUS

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Building a house is really a lesson in trust; you might not always see the same vision as your spouse, but you recognize the need to communicate and offer your support. When Katie and Kyle Trumble went through the building process, they worked together and allowed the house to evolve and change as they went. “I had never built a house before,” said Katie. “And Kyle had a definite vision for what he wanted.” The couple also hired Seventh Day Design to provide mood boards of Kyle’s inspiration pictures and purchasable links to everything. “This made the process really easy!” Pulling up to the Trumble’s, you might notice the quiet lake in the background or the striking black and white color scheme, but every detail makes this house a showstopper. Most of the house is a painted white brick with black accents, while the front entry is showcased through the use of stucco and elegant copper gutters and downspouts. The simple, clean lines are artfully paired with crisp landscaping, the highlight being a series of perfectly imperfect concrete balls that Kyle and his dad built. “I had an idea for the landscaping. I really wanted round concrete balls, so I decided to do them myself. It was a long process because there are so many steps, but we love the look. I even love that they aren’t perfectly smooth,” said Kyle. One of the most surprising things about this house is that the bulk of its inspiration came from an elk mount—one that ironically did not even exist when they were building. “Kyle designed the entire house with the plan to put an elk mount on that wall one day,” Katie laughed. Kyle then added, “We wanted to combine several

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styles we liked.” In addition to a few mounts, warmth was added throughout the house through the careful use of varying textures, including soft wooden tones. Natural wood can be found in the flooring, the cabinets, and other accents throughout, but probably the most breathtaking use of wood is the floating staircase that leads to the second floor. Not only is it gorgeous in its own right, but Kyle added ample ambient lighting under the nose of each step to increase the feel of floating. There is a multitude of windows in every room, bathing the house in sunlight and allowing the outdoors to come right in. Walking from the entrance to the living room, you can’t help but notice a

large window wall directly across from you. The wall comprises two oversized picture windows that flank two sliding glass doors. It not only accentuates the two-story vaulted ceiling and perfectly frames the lake view, but it also allows the Trumbles to open the living area directly to the expansive back porch. Another characteristic of the living area is a black stucco accent wall with cleverly built-in niches for the television and fireplace that also allow excess firewood to become art. The open living space flows into the kitchen, which features riff sawn white oak cabinetry and a mix of both glass and solid cabinet doors. The large island, with its Calacatta Luccia quartz countertops and

striking metal and glass pendants, allows ample seating to make the entire space function well for large family gatherings. Something you might be surprised to not see in the kitchen is the refrigerator; the Trumbles designed the home so that the refrigerator is housed in the walk-in pantry instead. “At first it seemed really inconvenient, but I would never put the refrigerator in the kitchen again,” Katie said. “I love having it in the pantry, and having a mini fridge in the kitchen for our guest” Just off the living room and kitchen is a fabulous outdoor space which includes three primary areas: an outdoor kitchen and eating area, a covered sitting area with a gas firepit and an uncovered sitting area

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