Business Spotlight: Peonies & Sparrow

Business Spotlight: Peonies & Sparrow

Transformation is a common theme for Brenda and her boutique/salon, Peonies & Sparrow, whether it’s the business itself or the emotional state of her clients. The desire to provide this emotional transformation for others has been a near constant in Brenda’s life. Doing so through the creation and operation of Peonies & Sparrow is the culmination of the past 20 years of Brenda’s personal and professional life.

After graduating from high school, Brenda knew she wanted to become a hairstylist. “I wanted to to make people feel their best, and it feels good to make them feel good. There’s a transformation when people come in. Once they have their hair done, there’s this whole shift. It’s awesome to be able to do that for people.” Brenda worked as a hairstylist for nearly 20 years, owning and operating two salons, before setting out on a new business venture.

In 2018, she and her best friend partnered together to start a pop-up boutique. Together, they carefully curated collection of clothing including t-shirts, dresses, and sweaters, among other things. Two years later, they were looking for a permanent space to set up shop, a space to store inventory and offer their customers a regular location they could visit. They found this space here at Mellwood, where she and her husband had their wedding party in 2007.

It wasn’t long before Brenda wanted to take things in a different direction. She had lost someone dear to cancer. She used her experience as a hairstylist to ease her friend into the hair loss which accompanied chemotherapy. She was also there to offer her friend emotional support. Brenda later lost her father to cancer and her mother is currently in the midst of her own battle with it. Cancer had left its mark on Brenda, and she saw how she could use her talents to help others; Brenda knew it was important to incorporate that into Peonies & Sparrow. After a discussion with her best friend and business partner, Peonies & Sparrow became a sole proprietorship and added a salon component in addition to the boutique.

With the salon services, there are two parts which Peonies & Sparrow offers. The first is typical salon services, while the second helps women diagnosed with cancer. Brenda provides her hair styling services, and emotional support, depending on the client’s wants and comfort level free of charge. This is free service is also extended to any friends or family members who are shaving their heads in solidarity as well. Lastly, Brenda makes these services available wherever the client is more comfortable, whether it’s at her studio here at Mellwood or the client’s home. All salon services are appointment only.

The inclusion of hair styling isn’t the only transformation to come to Peonies & Sparrow, the selection of products offered by the boutique is changing as well. While some of the previous inventory is still available, Peonies & Sparrow is shifting towards products to aid in comfort and healing. The boutique still offers clothing, such as sweaters and wraps, but it will expand to include candles, lotions, and other sensory products too.

For more information, to book an appointment, or to see what products Peonies & Sparrow offer, you can find them on Facebook at Peonies & Sparrow Boutique Hair or on Instagram at @peoniesandsparrow.

Testimonial

Peonies & Sparrow: Brenda with clients, Jessie and her husband

When you step into Peonies & Sparrow Boutique your worries and stresses are left at the door. The energy of the space is peaceful, calming, and restorative. Brenda welcomes you not only with open arms, but with an open heart to just ‘be’ yourself. Part of her mission is to provide a space for breast cancer warriors who are just beginning their treatment to come and tackle their hair care journey in a space with love, acceptance, trust, and confidence. When I started my breast cancer journey, losing my hair (which is such a BIG part of your identity) was a HUGE fear. And not one I wanted (or could) face alone. So when my hair started falling out, Brenda was there. With open arms, and a caring and supportive spirit. She allowed my family to come in with me, and she transitioned my hair from falling out to a powerful shave/cut that made me feel overwhelmed with confidence and power. She let me cry, she let me talk, she let me BE. This space is a place where love surrounds you. Where grace is abundant. And a place where you can find yourself again when all else is lost. Brenda walked by my side through my entire hair care journey, holding my hand, holding space for me, and allowing me to find strength in the process. I LOVE this space. I LOVE Brenda. And I hope that MANY more warriors (and men and women alike) find this space as restorative, peaceful, and loving as I have.

“Brenda also has a line of clothing and jewelry that are out of this world! Beautiful statement pieces that will last through any changes or seasons in your life!”

– Jessie G.

Peonies & Sparrow: Brenda with clients, Jessie and her husband

When you step into Peonies & Sparrow Boutique your worries and stresses are left at the door. The energy of the space is peaceful, calming, and restorative. Brenda welcomes you not only with open arms, but with an open heart to just ‘be’ yourself. Part of her mission is to provide a space for breast cancer warriors who are just beginning their treatment to come and tackle their hair care journey in a space with love, acceptance, trust, and confidence. When I started my breast cancer journey, losing my hair (which is such a BIG part of your identity) was a HUGE fear. And not one I wanted (or could) face alone. So when my hair started falling out, Brenda was there. With open arms, and a caring and supportive spirit. She allowed my family to come in with me, and she transitioned my hair from falling out to a powerful shave/cut that made me feel overwhelmed with confidence and power. She let me cry, she let me talk, she let me BE. This space is a place where love surrounds you. Where grace is abundant. And a place where you can find yourself again when all else is lost. Brenda walked by my side through my entire hair care journey, holding my hand, holding space for me, and allowing me to find strength in the process. I LOVE this space. I LOVE Brenda. And I hope that MANY more warriors (and men and women alike) find this space as restorative, peaceful, and loving as I have.

“Brenda also has a line of clothing and jewelry that are out of this world! Beautiful statement pieces that will last through any changes or seasons in your life!”

– Jessie G.

Business Spotlight: Focus Physical Therapy

Business Spotlight: Focus Physical Therapy

You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t taken at least one personality inventory. Maybe you took one as part of a class in high school or college. Maybe you found one on the internet and took it for fun. These inventories can help us better understand ourselves and how we relate to other personalities. Some of these inventories even include lists of professions best suited for each personality type. While in high school, Brad from Focus Physical Therapy took one such inventory to help him figure out the right career path for him.

Brad Conder from Focus PT working on patient's back

With the results in hand, Brad did some volunteer work to figure out which of the hypothetical professions suited him best. He found his calling when volunteering with a physical therapy clinic. While in college and physical therapy school, Brad believed he would go into pediatric physical therapy, as most of his volunteer experience was at clinics treating children and special needs cases. When it came time to do his clinical rotations, Brad did so at a pediatric clinic. However, when he graduated from physical therapy school in 2006, there were no jobs in pediatric physical therapy available. There are few clinics which treat children specifically and most are non-profits, making such jobs hard to find. He instead went into out-patient orthopedics, which would work out for the best in the long run. For the next ten years, Brad worked for various corporate physical therapy practices before striking out on his own to start Focus Physical Therapy in 2016.

Focus PT physical therapist working on patient's back

Focus PT can be divided into two components: its out-patient program and its on-site injury prevention program. With the out-patient program, Focus PT specializes in chronic pain treatment. Brad has seen many chronic pain patients either slip through the cracks or simply prescribed medications, which fails to address the pain’s root cause. Focus PT’s on-site injury prevention program looks to prevent workplace injuries before they happen. This includes developing proper methods and procedures for workers when performing certain tasks, implementing ergonomic changes, testing workers to ensure they can do the job without injury, and intervening to treat minor problems before they get bigger.

Focus PT physical therapist working on patient's arm

At Focus PT, Brad wanted to provide a level of care that many healthcare providers, inside or outside of physical therapy, are unable to give. The key to this is time. At a minimum, patients at Focus PT spend thirty minutes to an hour with therapists. All too often, healthcare providers rush to see as many patients in a day as possible, meaning patients spend more time waiting to see someone than they do with their doctor, nurse practitioner, etc. This leaves patients and their healthcare providers little time to determine and understand the root cause of any given problem. Brad wanted to avoid this and truly treat the underlying cause. The therapists of Focus PT spend a lot of time speaking one-on-one with their patients to understand their patients’ problems and develop a treatment plan based on that information to meet each individual patient’s needs.

For more information about Focus Physical Therapy, visit their website at physicaltherapylouisville.com. They also have a helpful YouTube channel with educational videos, which you can find at youtube.com/c/PTFocus/. Lastly, you can find them on Facebook at @Focusphysicaltherapy or Instagram at @pt_focus.

You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t taken at least one personality inventory. Maybe you took one as part of a class in high school or college. Maybe you found one on the internet and took it for fun. These inventories can help us better understand ourselves and how we relate to other personalities. Some of these inventories even include lists of professions best suited for each personality type. While in high school, Brad from Focus Physical Therapy took one such inventory to help him figure out the right career path for him.

With the results in hand, Brad did some volunteer work to figure out which of the hypothetical professions suited him best. He found his calling when volunteering with a physical therapy clinic. While in college and physical therapy school, Brad believed he would go into pediatric physical therapy, as most of his volunteer experience was at clinics treating children and special needs cases. When it came time to do his clinical rotations, Brad did so at a pediatric clinic. However, when he graduated from physical therapy school in 2006, there were no jobs in pediatric physical therapy available. There are few clinics which treat children specifically and most are non-profits, making such jobs hard to find. He instead went into out-patient orthopedics, which would work out for the best in the long run. For the next ten years, Brad worked for various corporate physical therapy practices before striking out on his own to start Focus Physical Therapy in 2016.

Brad Conder from Focus PT working on patient's back
Focus PT physical therapist working on patient's back
Focus PT physical therapist working on patient's arm

Focus PT can be divided into two components: its out-patient program and its on-site injury prevention program. With the out-patient program, Focus PT specializes in chronic pain treatment. Brad has seen many chronic pain patients either slip through the cracks or simply prescribed medications, which fails to address the pain’s root cause. Focus PT’s on-site injury prevention program looks to prevent workplace injuries before they happen. This includes developing proper methods and procedures for workers when performing certain tasks, implementing ergonomic changes, testing workers to ensure they can do the job without injury, and intervening to treat minor problems before they get bigger.

At Focus PT, Brad wanted to provide a level of care that many healthcare providers, inside or outside of physical therapy, are unable to give. The key to this is time. At a minimum, patients at Focus PT spend thirty minutes to an hour with therapists. All too often, healthcare providers rush to see as many patients in a day as possible, meaning patients spend more time waiting to see someone than they do with their doctor, nurse practitioner, etc. This leaves patients and their healthcare providers little time to determine and understand the root cause of any given problem. Brad wanted to avoid this and truly treat the underlying cause. The therapists of Focus PT spend a lot of time speaking one-on-one with their patients to understand their patients’ problems and develop a treatment plan based on that information to meet each individual patient’s needs.

For more information about Focus Physical Therapy, visit their website at physicaltherapylouisville.com. They also have a helpful YouTube channel with educational videos, which you can find at youtube.com/c/PTFocus/. Lastly, you can find them on Facebook at @Focusphysicaltherapy or Instagram at @pt_focus.

Business Spotlight: Vital Motion

Business Spotlight: Vital Motion

It was her sophomore year when Dana found herself at a crossroads. She needed to make a decision: stay the course or make a radical career change. When Dana first enrolled at UofL, she did so as a math major. At the time, it made sense, it was one of her interests after all. Then her grandmother, whom she was close to, passed away. Dana’s grandmother struggled with her weight, as well as the health problems which arise from being overweight. When Dana heard from the doctor that things could’ve been different had her grandmother been more active, Dana heard her life’s calling. She wanted to help others, who like her grandmother, struggle with weight and wanted to be more active.

She changed her major from math to exercise science. While working on her bachelor’s degree, she interned at the gym she would one day own. At the time, it was owned and operated by one of her professors from UofL under the name Pure Fitness. She was hired on as a trainer following her internship and graduation in 2012.

Dana stayed on with the gym as ownership and company names changed. Before owning the gym, she was a partial owner and partnered with the previous owner, who had operated the gym as a franchise of Training for Warriors (TFW). After six months, he wanted out. To keep it open, Dana knew she needed to buy his stake in the business. If she didn’t, it would likely close; the community which had built up around the gym would lose its home. She couldn’t let that happen. She bought out her partner and has been the sole owner and operator of the gym for the past three and a half years. Seeking to be an independent entity, she ceased to be a franchisee of TFW and rebranded as Vital Motion.

The name Vital Motion ties back to Dana’s personal mission to improve lives by helping people move, be healthy, and ultimately have more time with their loved ones. While Dana touches on dietary basics and ensures they’re implemented, her main focus is exercise through a combination of strength training and cardio. There are three six-week cycles for the strength training, with supplementary exercises to compliment them. The strength training is tailored to each individual’s goals; for some it’s increasing muscle mass, for others it range of motion. A typical week at Vital Motion consists of strength training on Monday and Friday; cardio on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; and a mix of the two on Wednesday. Dana knows that starting at a gym can be intimidating and sometimes people need to try it first. As such, Vital Motion offers a two-week free trail. New members can join the program at any point and Vital Motion will help ease them in.

For more information about Vital Motion or to become a member, visit their site at vitalmotionfitness.com. You can also find Vital Motion on Facebook at @vitalmotionlou and on Instagram at @vital_motion.

Artist Spotlight: Sam Parker

Artist Spotlight: Sam Parker

We all have something that’s almost intrinsic to who we are, something that’s been part of life so long it becomes part of our identity. For Sam Parker, drawing is that integral aspect; he can’t recall a time when drawing wasn’t part of his life. Even at a young age, Sam realized drawing allowed him to express himself where words failed.

In high school, at the age of 16, Sam enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. It was around this time that Sam really began his career in art. He started taking little jobs and selling some of his work in boutiques. By the time he graduated from high school in 1993, Sam already had a year of undergrad completed. Sam began to show interest in tattooing. One of his friends worked as a tattoo artist. In addition to doing some of Sam’s tattoos, Sam began to hang around the shop and watch his friend work. This friend helped Sam get his first pieces of tattoo equipment. Shortly after this, in 1994, Sam dropped out of art school. A year later, he moved to Atlanta.

Sam Parker: Illustration 1

Sam got a job as a tattoo artist in an Atlanta tattoo shop. After a few years, Sam began to pick up work painting murals in addition to his work as a tattoo artist. In 2000, Sam decided to go back to school. He attended Kennesaw State University where he studied drawing and painting. During his time in undergrad, Sam began to show his work in galleries. After receiving his BFA in 2004, Sam continued showing his work in galleries, got married, and started a family.

In 2007, Sam enrolled at Georgia State University’s graduate program for drawing and painting. After earning his master’s, Sam and his family moved to Colorado and opened his first studio/gallery, The Spiritual Bypass. He continued to show his work in galleries. His work made it into gallery shows across the country, with a few international shows as well. As time wore on, Sam began to feel burnt out. By 2015, he stopped doing gallery shows altogether, preferring to spend his time and energies in the studio making art rather than setting up shows and traveling. Focusing on his art for the remainder of his time in Denver, Sam worked with a group of great artists.

Sam Parker: Illustration 2

As he and his wife began looking to buy a house, they quickly realized the housing market in Denver was far too expensive. This prompted their move to Louisville. Despite the pandemic, the transition was fairly smooth. Currently, Sam works as a tattoo artist with Karl Otto out of Good Karma Tattoos. Additionally, Sam and Karl have a separate art studio space here at Mellwood, working under the Spiritual Bypass name.

Sam’s work, both his art and tattoo, is illustrative in nature. Both influence the other and share the use bold, distinct black lines. His tattoo work is largely black work, meaning the tattoos only uses black ink. Much of his artwork is pen and ink with splashes of paint for color. On occasion, he uses a traditional brush, but he primarily turns to pentel color brushes. He likes the loose feel theses brushes have compared to traditional brushes. In their use, it’s more akin to drawing than painting. To see more of his work, visit his site at samparkerartist.com. You can also find him on Instagram at @samparkerartist.

We all have something that’s almost intrinsic to who we are, something that’s been part of life so long it becomes part of our identity. For Sam Parker, drawing is that integral aspect; he can’t recall a time when drawing wasn’t part of his life. Even at a young age, Sam realized drawing allowed him to express himself where words failed.

In high school, at the age of 16, Sam enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. It was around this time that Sam really began his career in art. He started taking little jobs and selling some of his work in boutiques. By the time he graduated from high school in 1993, Sam already had a year of undergrad completed. Sam began to show interest in tattooing. One of his friends worked as a tattoo artist. In addition to doing some of Sam’s tattoos, Sam began to hang around the shop and watch his friend work. This friend helped Sam get his first pieces of tattoo equipment. Shortly after this, in 1994, Sam dropped out of art school. A year later, he moved to Atlanta.

Sam got a job as a tattoo artist in an Atlanta tattoo shop. After a few years, Sam began to pick up work painting murals in addition to his work as a tattoo artist. In 2000, Sam decided to go back to school. He attended Kennesaw State University where he studied drawing and painting. During his time in undergrad, Sam began to show his work in galleries. After receiving his BFA in 2004, Sam continued showing his work in galleries, got married, and started a family.

Sam Parker: Illustration 1
Sam Parker: Illustration 2

In 2007, Sam enrolled at Georgia State University’s graduate program for drawing and painting. After earning his master’s, Sam and his family moved to Colorado and opened his first studio/gallery, The Spiritual Bypass. He continued to show his work in galleries. His work made it into gallery shows across the country, with a few international shows as well. As time wore on, Sam began to feel burnt out. By 2015, he stopped doing gallery shows altogether, preferring to spend his time and energies in the studio making art rather than setting up shows and traveling. Focusing on his art for the remainder of his time in Denver, Sam worked with a group of great artists.

As he and his wife began looking to buy a house, they quickly realized the housing market in Denver was far too expensive. This prompted their move to Louisville. Despite the pandemic, the transition was fairly smooth. Currently, Sam works as a tattoo artist with Karl Otto out of Good Karma Tattoos. Additionally, Sam and Karl have a separate art studio space here at Mellwood, working under the Spiritual Bypass name.

Sam’s work, both his art and tattoo, is illustrative in nature. Both influence the other and share the use bold, distinct black lines. His tattoo work is largely black work, meaning the tattoos only uses black ink. Much of his artwork is pen and ink with splashes of paint for color. On occasion, he uses a traditional brush, but he primarily turns to pentel color brushes. He likes the loose feel theses brushes have compared to traditional brushes. In their use, it’s more akin to drawing than painting. To see more of his work, visit his site at samparkerartist.com. You can also find him on Instagram at @samparkerartist.

Business Spotlight: TailoredShotz

Business Spotlight: TailoredShotz

Although she didn’t know it – of course there never is with these sorts of things – it all started with a Polaroid camera Taylor had in middle school. That camera helped foster a passion for photography, which would become her chosen career path in time. As she got older, she upgraded to a point and shoot digital camera, which she used to take pictures for her Facebook profile. In her friend group, Taylor was the photographer. She worked to get the right angles and lighting for the perfect shot, something her friends were less interested in by comparison. At this time, however, Taylor hadn’t considered photography as a possible career as another of her passions held her attention: sports.

She had been an athlete her whole life and, when she enrolled at UofL, she majored in sports administration. After graduating in 2017, Taylor ended up working at a car rental business full-time, coaching basketball on the side. While this enabled her to live comfortably and travel as she wished, she knew she needed more.

TailoredShotz: Self-portrait standing

In December 2017, just before Christmas Eve, Taylor realized that she wanted to become a photographer. She headed down to Murphy’s Camera and bought her first professional grade camera. From that moment on, Taylor dedicated herself to studying and practicing photography. Part of what drew Taylor to photography as a career was its open-endedness; there’s more than one way to approach it. This presents each photographer the opportunity to develop their own style. When not working her full-time job, Taylor dedicates her time to learning and building her portfolio.

TailoredShotz: Signature board

Starting out, Taylor met clients to shoot on location. This was problematic though as it meant she had no control over several key aspects of the shoot, including lighting and the background. Taylor knew she needed a studio. After speaking with her friend Jaelynn, who owns MesmerEyez, Taylor decided to take on a studio here at Mellwood in January 2021. It’s been a leap of faith, but in taking that leap Taylor has been able to have her own indoor space to work more consistently and have greater control over those aspects she couldn’t when shooting on location.

TailoredShotz: Self-portrait sitting

Ever eager to learn new things, Taylor is open to all forms of portraiture, whether it’s weddings, maternity shoots, sporting events, or senior portraits. She’s open to expanding her body of work to include street photography and event photography. She hopes one day to work with celebrities, possibly capturing the cover shots for magazines. For more information, or to see some examples of her work, check out her Facebook or Instagram pages at @tailoredshotz.

Although she didn’t know it – of course there never is with these sorts of things – it all started with a Polaroid camera Taylor had in middle school. That camera helped foster a passion for photography, which would become her chosen career path in time. As she got older, she upgraded to a point and shoot digital camera, which she used to take pictures for her Facebook profile. In her friend group, Taylor was the photographer. She worked to get the right angles and lighting for the perfect shot, something her friends were less interested in by comparison. At this time, however, Taylor hadn’t considered photography as a possible career as another of her passions held her attention: sports.

She had been an athlete her whole life and, when she enrolled at UofL, she majored in sports administration. After graduating in 2017, Taylor ended up working at a car rental business full-time, coaching basketball on the side. While this enabled her to live comfortably and travel as she wished, she knew she needed more.

In December 2017, just before Christmas Eve, Taylor realized that she wanted to become a photographer. She headed down to Murphy’s Camera and bought her first professional grade camera. From that moment on, Taylor dedicated herself to studying and practicing photography. Part of what drew Taylor to photography as a career was its open-endedness; there’s more than one way to approach it. This presents each photographer the opportunity to develop their own style. When not working her full-time job, Taylor dedicates her time to learning and building her portfolio.

TailoredShotz: Self-portrait standing
TailoredShotz: Signature board
TailoredShotz: Self-portrait sitting

Starting out, Taylor met clients to shoot on location. This was problematic though as it meant she had no control over several key aspects of the shoot, including lighting and the background. Taylor knew she needed a studio. After speaking with her friend Jaelynn, who owns MesmerEyez, Taylor decided to take on a studio here at Mellwood in January 2021. It’s been a leap of faith, but in taking that leap Taylor has been able to have her own indoor space to work more consistently and have greater control over those aspects she couldn’t when shooting on location.

Ever eager to learn new things, Taylor is open to all forms of portraiture, whether it’s weddings, maternity shoots, sporting events, or senior portraits. She’s open to expanding her body of work to include street photography and event photography. She hopes one day to work with celebrities, possibly capturing the cover shots for magazines. For more information, or to see some examples of her work, check out her Facebook or Instagram pages at @tailoredshotz.

Artist Spotlight: No She Dint

Artist Spotlight: No She Dint

“I’ve never not written.” Meagan took to writing like a fish to water; she quickly developed a love for it. Early in her childhood, Meagan kept a journal. But as she grew up, Meagan gravitated towards creative writing. Meagan also had a passion for singing from a young age. In high school, Meagan went to YPAS (Youth Performing Arts School) at DuPont Manual; she loved the stage and musical theater. Despite this, she knew she didn’t want to become an actor – the courtroom was the stage she wanted to be on. After graduating from college, law school, and passing the bar, Meagan became a litigation attorney.

Like an actor memorizes lines, she memorized cases. And much like the theater, the courtroom played out scenes ranging from comedy to bitter tragedy. Good lawyers need to be good writers, especially when dealing with contracts. Meagan appreciated this aspect; it allowed her to use the writing skills she had dedicated so much time to honing. During this time, Meagan got married and started a family. As she got further into her career and family life demanded more of her attention, she felt she had to focus on her career and motherhood; she drifted away from creative writing and singing.

After practicing law for seven years, Meagan acquired a disability, leaving her unable to continue as an attorney. Meagan knew it was time to get reconnect to her creative outlets. She tried to do so from home at first, but she couldn’t find the peace and quiet she needed to work. Meagan needed a place outside the home for her projects, which brought her to Mellwood.

While in her studio here, Meagan writes songs, as well as love stories and children’s stories. She also practices ukulele, piano, and guitar. Through her writing and playing, Meagan not only reconnects with long-held passions, but she also finds catharsis and healing. While she hopes to put her work out there, she has no desire to give up her anonymity. As such, she hopes to publish any writing under a pen name and find someone who’s interested in performing and recording her songs. To see some of Meagan’s work, you can find her on Instagram at @noshedint.

Artist Spotlight: Tomisha Lovely-Allen

Artist Spotlight: Tomisha Lovely-Allen

Growing up, art was her passion; Tomisha loved to draw. She regularly flipped through fashion magazines and drew the people inside. While she never took any art classes in school, she managed to work art into any and every class project she could. Towards the end of high school, when it came time to decide what to do after, Tomisha discussed her options with her school counselor. She told her counselor she wanted to go to college. When asked what for, Tomisha expressed a desire to pursue art or fashion design. “You don’t want to be a starving artist,” her counselor replied. Knowing that she was good with numbers, the counselor recommended becoming an accountant. When Tomisha enrolled at NKU, she did so as an accounting major.

Tomisha Lovely-Allen: wall of paintings

After graduating, Tomisha became a licensed CPA. Working for a year as a public accountant, she later transitioned into corporate accounting. Even as she started her career in accounting, got married, and started a family, Tomisha held on to her passion for art. When time allowed, usually at night after her kids went to bed, she would work on her art. Up until her this point, Tomisha had never ventured into painting. It was while she was pregnant with her first child that she bought some watercolors, acrylics, and oil paints and began to experiment. She found watercolors difficult to use for her work and acrylic dried too fast; oil paints suited her best. She even attended a six-week oil painting course through LVA. During this time, Tomisha also took on a few commissions. Once life aligned in a way that allowed her to do so, Tomisha stepped away from her accounting job. While she doesn’t regret studying accounting and enjoyed her job, she wanted to shift her focus to learning, developing, exploring, and creating art.

Tomisha Lovely-Allen: two paintings

Much of Tomisha’s existing work are photo-realistic representational realist portraits capturing a moment of daily life, focusing on human subjects set against a blur of colors. Each piece started with a reference photo. As she worked from that photo, Tomisha played with color in these paintings, adding life and vibrance as she went. Having further progressed in her art, Tomisha now experiments with more conceptual paintings, still beginning with reference photos and human subjects as the focus. Unlike previous work, which captured moments in daily life, the recent pieces are commentary on the experience of Black Americans, protest, and what civil rights mean, juxtaposing images from the past behind images from the present. Looking to the future, Tomisha is currently working on brand new paintings to display in our Pigment Gallery at joint show next year with another Mellwood artist, Sandra Charles. To see more of Tomisha’s work or to inquire about commissions, visit her site at lovelyallenart.com. You can also find her on Facebook at @LovelyAllenArt and Instagram at @lovelyallenart.

Growing up, art was her passion; Tomisha loved to draw. She regularly flipped through fashion magazines and drew the people inside. While she never took any art classes in school, she managed to work art into any and every class project she could. Towards the end of high school, when it came time to decide what to do after, Tomisha discussed her options with her school counselor. She told her counselor she wanted to go to college. When asked what for, Tomisha expressed a desire to pursue art or fashion design. “You don’t want to be a starving artist,” her counselor replied. Knowing that she was good with numbers, the counselor recommended becoming an accountant. When Tomisha enrolled at NKU, she did so as an accounting major.

Tomisha Lovely-Allen: wall of paintings
Tomisha Lovely-Allen: two paintings

After graduating, Tomisha became a licensed CPA. Working for a year as a public accountant, she later transitioned into corporate accounting. Even as she started her career in accounting, got married, and started a family, Tomisha held on to her passion for art. When time allowed, usually at night after her kids went to bed, she would work on her art. Up until her this point, Tomisha had never ventured into painting. It was while she was pregnant with her first child that she bought some watercolors, acrylics, and oil paints and began to experiment. She found watercolors difficult to use for her work and acrylic dried too fast; oil paints suited her best. She even attended a six-week oil painting course through LVA. During this time, Tomisha also took on a few commissions. Once life aligned in a way that allowed her to do so, Tomisha stepped away from her accounting job. While she doesn’t regret studying accounting and enjoyed her job, she wanted to shift her focus to learning, developing, exploring, and creating art.

Tomisha Lovely-Allen: two paintings on wall
Tomisha Lovely-Allen: six paintings on wall

Much of Tomisha’s existing work are photo-realistic representational realist portraits capturing a moment of daily life, focusing on human subjects set against a blur of colors. Each piece started with a reference photo. As she worked from that photo, Tomisha played with color in these paintings, adding life and vibrance as she went. Having further progressed in her art, Tomisha now experiments with more conceptual paintings, still beginning with reference photos and human subjects as the focus. Unlike previous work, which captured moments in daily life, the recent pieces are commentary on the experience of Black Americans, protest, and what civil rights mean, juxtaposing images from the past behind images from the present. Looking to the future, Tomisha is currently working on brand new paintings to display in our Pigment Gallery at joint show next year with another Mellwood artist, Sandra Charles. To see more of Tomisha’s work or to inquire about commissions, visit her site at lovelyallenart.com. You can also find her on Facebook at @LovelyAllenArt and Instagram at @lovelyallenart.

Business Spotlight: Carrot Cottage Market

Business Spotlight: Carrot Cottage Market

While last year’s quarantines were difficult, they provided many of us time to try out and learn new things. For most, this was a way to pass the time. For a lucky handful, these news skills transformed into something more than a passing interest or new hobby, they became new small businesses. Torie of Carrot Cottage Market is one of those lucky few.

Carrot Cottage: pillow

Prior to COVID, Torie worked as a freelance writer. But after 12 years, interest was waning. Regularly covering topics which were of little to no interested to her took its toll; she knew it was time to find something new. When COVID hit and the quarantine started, she took it as an opportunity to learn a new skill: candle making. After reading about it in a magazine, Torie thought it would be fun to try. She made her candles out of a soy-based wax and poured them into antique mason jars. She enjoyed it some much she soon amassed an inventory and took to Etsy to sell them under the name Farmhouse Market. They sold well, but it wasn’t long until the market became too saturated. Soon, materials to make more candles were hard to come by – and expensive when you could find them.

Carrot Cottage: blanket

Torie knew it was time to shift gears and transitioned into sewing. At first, she made small throw pillows. As those sold well, she expanded to travel pillows and blankets of varying sizes. She also expanded her offerings to include keychains, bracelets with stone or glass beads, room sprays, and tote bags. As she diversified, Torie saw the name Farmhouse Market no longer fit and changed it to Carrot Cottage Market. With this growth, came the need for more space; it got to the point where Torie could no longer work from home and needed a dedicated workspace. Two months ago, she found it here at Mellwood.

Carrot Cottage: bracelet

Torie has sold her wares at various farmers markets, flea markets, and other similar events. Torie nearly sold the remaining Carrot Cottage’s inventory at the recent Market on Mellwood Fall Festival. As a result, everything is currently made to order. Torie plans to rebuild her inventory at the start of the new year. She also plans to further expand her offerings to include rag dolls, collage art/shadowboxes, and handmade costume jewelry. For more information or to make a purchase, visit Carrot Cottage’s website at carrotcottagemarket.com. You can also find Carrot Cottage on Facebook and Instagram at @carrotcottagemarket.

While last year’s quarantines were difficult, they provided many of us time to try out and learn new things. For most, this was a way to pass the time. For a lucky handful, these news skills transformed into something more than a passing interest or new hobby, they became new small businesses. Torie of Carrot Cottage Market is one of those lucky few.

Carrot Cottage: pillow
Carrot Cottage: blanket
Carrot Cottage: bracelet

Prior to COVID, Torie worked as a freelance writer. But after 12 years, interest was waning. Regularly covering topics which were of little to no interested to her took its toll; she knew it was time to find something new. When COVID hit and the quarantine started, she took it as an opportunity to learn a new skill: candle making. After reading about it in a magazine, Torie thought it would be fun to try. She made her candles out of a soy-based wax and poured them into antique mason jars. She enjoyed it some much she soon amassed an inventory and took to Etsy to sell them under the name Farmhouse Market. They sold well, but it wasn’t long until the market became too saturated. Soon, materials to make more candles were hard to come by – and expensive when you could find them.

Torie knew it was time to shift gears and transitioned into sewing. At first, she made small throw pillows. As those sold well, she expanded to travel pillows and blankets of varying sizes. She also expanded her offerings to include keychains, bracelets with stone or glass beads, room sprays, and tote bags. As she diversified, Torie saw the name Farmhouse Market no longer fit and changed it to Carrot Cottage Market. With this growth, came the need for more space; it got to the point where Torie could no longer work from home and needed a dedicated workspace. Two months ago, she found it here at Mellwood.

Carrot Cottage: bookmarks
Carrot Cottage: shadowbox
Carrot Cottage: keychains on display

Torie has sold her wares at various farmers markets, flea markets, and other similar events. Torie nearly sold the remaining Carrot Cottage’s inventory at the recent Market on Mellwood Fall Festival. As a result, everything is currently made to order. Torie plans to rebuild her inventory at the start of the new year. She also plans to further expand her offerings to include rag dolls, collage art/shadowboxes, and handmade costume jewelry. For more information or to make a purchase, visit Carrot Cottage’s website at carrotcottagemarket.com. You can also find Carrot Cottage on Facebook and Instagram at @carrotcottagemarket.

Business Spotlight: HypeVision Studios

Business Spotlight: HypeVision Studios

Life is equal parts planned and unplanned. For every conscious choice we make that shapes our lives, there’s a fateful encounter or occurrence just as impactful. In the confluence of choice and chance exists HypeVision Studios.

HypeVision Studios: logo on wall

Started by Rodney Cox and Darryl Stephens, the foundations for HypeVision began with the draft of a script. Known around town for his DJ-ing, Darryl worked on a movie script in his spare time. In discussing his script with a friend, Darryl was referred to Rodney. At the urging of their mutual friend, Rodney agreed to meet with Darryl and review his script. While Rodney saw potential in the script, he told Darryl it needed to be reworked. When Darryl returned with a revised script, Rodney knew they had something good on their hands. This revised script was the basis for their first movie, Frat House. First released in 2018, the movie is a comedy about two college friends who encounter a dangerous fraternity brother while on their way to an epic campus party. Prior to producing this movie, Rodney already had a film company, Rizm Vision, and initially urged Darryl to form one of his own, Hype Man Studios. The two eventually merged their companies together, forming HypeVision Studios.

HypeVision Studios: Frat House movie poster

Today, HypeVision has expanded their staff to include Line Producer Kerry Stallworth and Sales Manager Joe Tapper. They have since produced two short movies, Facemask and Black Koffee. Both movies have been selected for various film festivals, including the Florence Film Festival, the Mumbai International Film Festival, and Uruvatti International Film Festival. Additionally, Facemask has won Best Comedy at the Chicago Indie Film Awards, Best Picture at the Mumbai International Film Festival, and the Special Jury Award at the Uruvatti International Film Festival. Outside of their films, HypeVision has also produced the web series Techniqolor, a music mix show which won Best Web Series at the Hip Hop Film Festival in New York in 2020. They recently started work on a new movie, Savage, and are currently auditioning for the lead roles. For more information about HypeVision Studios, their past films, or their current projects, check out their Facebook at @HypeVisionStudios or their Instagram at @hypevisionstudios. You can also find them on YouTube at youtube.com/channel/UCbE7IWhSYlep5Kl0897rXkg.

Life is equal parts planned and unplanned. For every conscious choice we make that shapes our lives, there’s a fateful encounter or occurrence just as impactful. In the confluence of choice and chance exists HypeVision Studios.

Started by Rodney Cox and Darryl Stephens, the foundations for HypeVision began with the draft of a script. Known around town for his DJ-ing, Darryl worked on a movie script in his spare time. In discussing his script with a friend, Darryl was referred to Rodney. At the urging of their mutual friend, Rodney agreed to meet with Darryl and review his script. While Rodney saw potential in the script, he told Darryl it needed to be reworked. When Darryl returned with a revised script, Rodney knew they had something good on their hands. This revised script was the basis for their first movie, Frat House. First released in 2018, the movie is a comedy about two college friends who encounter a dangerous fraternity brother while on their way to an epic campus party. Prior to producing this movie, Rodney already had a film company, Rizm Vision, and initially urged Darryl to form one of his own, Hype Man Studios. The two eventually merged their companies together, forming HypeVision Studios.

HypeVision Studios: logo on wall
HypeVision Studios: Frat House movie poster

Today, HypeVision has expanded their staff to include Line Producer Kerry Stallworth and Sales Manager Joe Tapper. They have since produced two short movies, Facemask and Black Koffee. Both movies have been selected for various film festivals, including the Florence Film Festival, the Mumbai International Film Festival, and Uruvatti International Film Festival. Additionally, Facemask has won Best Comedy at the Chicago Indie Film Awards, Best Picture at the Mumbai International Film Festival, and the Special Jury Award at the Uruvatti International Film Festival. Outside of their films, HypeVision has also produced the web series Techniqolor, a music mix show which won Best Web Series at the Hip Hop Film Festival in New York in 2020. They recently started work on a new movie, Savage, and are currently auditioning for the lead roles. For more information about HypeVision Studios, their past films, or their current projects, check out their Facebook at @HypeVisionStudios or their Instagram at @hypevisionstudios. You can also find them on YouTube at youtube.com/channel/UCbE7IWhSYlep5Kl0897rXkg.

Business Spotlight: IMME Waistbeads

Business Spotlight: IMME Waistbeads

Sometimes the inspiration for a business can find you unexpectedly. For Toni from IMME Waist Beads, this was her experience. And although she wasn’t actively looking to start her own business, Toni’s past experience and connections prepared her to recognize and seize the opportunity when it presented itself.

After graduating from Murray State University with a major in public relations and a minor in marketing and advertising, Toni worked as a trade marketing representative. She also the marketing director for the Kentuckiana Minority Business Council, worked with Leadership Louisville, and made Louisville Business First’s 40 Under 40. She wanted to see and do more, which led her to Washington, DC and then Ohio.

It was while in Ohio that one of Toni’s daughters struggled with anxiety. To help curb this, Toni and her daughter took up beading, making bracelets and necklaces together. It was a calming, meditative activity which refocused her daughter’s mind on creativity rather than her anxieties. Reconnecting her daughters to their father’s African roots, Toni acquired beads made in Ghana to work with. In helping her daughter, she also saw a chance to help the bead makers in Ghana. After finding her first vendor, things began to fall into place and Toni opened IMME Waist Beads in her hometown of Louisville.

The name IMME is a combination of the words “I’m me.” It celebrates individuality and being one’s authentic self. In the beginning, Toni sold handmade beaded goods — bracelets, necklaces, and waist beads — imported from Ghana. Today, about 50% of IMME’s handmade goods are imported; the other 50% is made by Toni and includes bracelets and candles. IMME has also expanded their inventory to include goods from Uganda, Kenya, Madagascar, India, and Tibet. Along with the beaded goods, you’ll find crystals, journals, incense and incense holders, oils, and even singing bowls.

Through IMME’s Bead the Change program, Toni donates at least 10% of IMME’s quarterly profits to two organizations in Ghana, the Osu Children’s Home and the KBC Women’s Entrepreneurial Program.

In honor of IMME’s one-year anniversary on November 22nd, there will be having a belated ribbon cutting ceremony at IMME with representation from the St. Matthews Chamber of Commerce present. For more information about IMME, visit their site at immewaistbead.com. You can also find IMME on Facebook and Instagram at @immewaistbead.

Sometimes the inspiration for a business can find you unexpectedly. For Toni from IMME Waist Beads, this was her experience. And although she wasn’t actively looking to start her own business, Toni’s past experience and connections prepared her to recognize and seize the opportunity when it presented itself.

After graduating from Murray State University with a major in public relations and a minor in marketing and advertising, Toni worked as a trade marketing representative. She also the marketing director for the Kentuckiana Minority Business Council, worked with Leadership Louisville, and made Louisville Business First’s 40 Under 40. She wanted to see and do more, which led her to Washington, DC and then Ohio.

It was while in Ohio that one of Toni’s daughters struggled with anxiety. To help curb this, Toni and her daughter took up beading, making bracelets and necklaces together. It was a calming, meditative activity which refocused her daughter’s mind on creativity rather than her anxieties. Reconnecting her daughters to their father’s African roots, Toni acquired beads made in Ghana to work with. In helping her daughter, she also saw a chance to help the bead makers in Ghana. After finding her first vendor, things began to fall into place and Toni opened IMME Waist Beads in her hometown of Louisville.

The name IMME is a combination of the words “I’m me.” It celebrates individuality and being one’s authentic self. In the beginning, Toni sold handmade beaded goods — bracelets, necklaces, and waist beads — imported from Ghana. Today, about 50% of IMME’s handmade goods are imported; the other 50% is made by Toni and includes bracelets and candles. IMME has also expanded their inventory to include goods from Uganda, Kenya, Madagascar, India, and Tibet. Along with the beaded goods, you’ll find crystals, journals, incense and incense holders, oils, and even singing bowls.

Through IMME’s Bead the Change program, Toni donates at least 10% of IMME’s quarterly profits to two organizations in Ghana, the Osu Children’s Home and the KBC Women’s Entrepreneurial Program.

In honor of IMME’s one-year anniversary on November 22nd, there will be having a belated ribbon cutting ceremony at IMME with representation from the St. Matthews Chamber of Commerce present. For more information about IMME, visit their site at immewaistbead.com. You can also find IMME on Facebook and Instagram at @immewaistbead.