BACK TO SCHOOL

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by my college advisor from the University of Arkansas. I am still local, and I regularly reach out to her on behalf of my job for part-time help. But this time was different. She was asking me for something.

A huge part of hospitality, and working towards a degree in it, is actual experience. Accountants can be taught formulas and how to use QuickBooks in class, lawyers have to study the history and teachings of law before they can practice on their own, and doctors and nurses have to study anatomy and physiology before they can actually begin to intern and practice. Hospitality is learned or just naturally there. Experience builds on hospitality. It is hard to teach, and the times it is taught – is not nearly enough.

PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS

Have you ever had inspiration to do something completely out of your normal? I had that today. I’ve been wanting to kick off this blog (and a little bit of photography) for quite some time. But I didn’t know where to start, or where I wanted this to go. I have a pretty good eye for a good photo, but my editing skills were lacking. I barely know how to use my super fancy Nikon.

FAYETTEVILLE FRIENDS IN THE FALL

Fayetteville, Arkansas is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the Ozark mountains. It is a tourist destination, home to the Arkansas Razorbacks, and is consistently named as one of the “Best Places to Live” (No. 3 in 2016, No. 5 in 2017, No. 5 in 2018, and No. 4 in 2019). It’s also a place where I have met some of my best friends.

This fall, I didn’t just meet new friends, I gained a Fayetteville family, and I am so grateful. I experienced some of the most memorable fall experiences that happen in Northwest Arkansas, with friends I will treasure for the rest of my life.

FAYETTEVILLE ROOTS FESTIVAL

For about 4 days in August every year, Fayetteville Town Center serves as MainStage for an intimate, urban music and food festival. Fayetteville Roots Festival features over 10 music stages, several culinary stages, and events throughout the week of the event, pairing national and local, undiscovered talent. From Folk, to Blues, to Bluegrass, to Jazz, to Country, and more, Fayetteville Roots Festival showcases diverse musical styles. Supporting local farmers, chefs, and restaurants is another focus of the festival. Its name intentionally is used to pay tribute to what makes where Northwest Arkansas lies in the Ozarks region unique.

UPSIDE DOWN ROSES

I love what I do. As the Event Services Manager at Fayetteville Town Center, I get to work with varying clients in the event world – from corporate to non-profits, University of Arkansas events to weddings. With respect to each individual client, my involvement varies. With corporate clients, I usually handle everything from audio/visual to catering. Weddings and non-profit galas on the other hand, can involve vendors in production, photobooths and photography, catering (cake included), serveware and décor rentals, etc. and they all must adhere to a strict timeline. A timeline that was created by the external event planner that specializes in weddings, one who also organized all of the other vendors.

DALLAS WEDDING

Five years ago, a good friend of mine asked to borrow my guitar. I said that he could borrow it on one condition – he had to play a few songs for my roommates. So he came over to the townhouse that I shared with two of my college best friends, and played a few songs for us. Not to my surprise, he hit it off with one of my roommates.

My friends continued their relationship as I took time off from school, and moved back home. But I could tell their relationship was something special and that their love was growing. By the time that I moved back to finish my last year of school, my friends had all graduated and moved. We all reunited at my other roommate’s destination wedding (floral button-ups and captains hats were involved), and I knew that they were going to be together for ever.