Fresh out of college, Suzannah Ledford had an idea of what her career and future would look like. Graduating with a degree in accounting from The University of during the course of a few years she would be headed in a complete different direction.
Ledford, a Petal native, is now the owner of Oh Suzannah’s, a children’s boutique, which features children’s clothing, embroidered items and gifts.
She got her start in embroidery about five years ago.
“It kind of came out of nowhere,” she said. “But it’s going well.”
An opportunity to do a little modeling doesn’t come one’s way often, but when it does it’s a chance not to be passed up. Just ask Sandy Nourse Carter.
Carter has lived in Hattiesburg since 1992, but grew up in the Bronx of New York City. It was while in the Big Apple that the now 70-year-old Carter had a taste of what the modeling life was all about, even if it only lasted a couple of years.
Carter explained she and a friend, Gwen Woodbury, both had good jobs at the Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan. It was there that both women would eventually meet their husbands.
Community planner, idea generator, small business leash-holder, volunteer for every occasion and my ride-or-die best friend. That’s quite a list of job descriptions – but those reasons and many more are why I’d like to spend this month telling you more about Staci Cox.
Albert Schweitzer, French-German philosopher, once said, “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful to those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
On Friday nights in April and October, many Hattiesburg residents can be found downtown setting up their chairs or blankets and settling in for a night of music and fun at Live @ Five.
Sarah Newton, former president of the Downtown Association, is the creator of the Hattiesburg concert series, which was named Best Local Music Festival in 2016 Best of the Pine Belt voting. (Finalists in the 2017 voting are named on Pages 32-35 and voting in the next round begins March 1).
Michael Simeon of Lumberton, who earned instant fame in 2014 when he danced with Jennifer Lopez during his audition for “American Idol,” is still staying involved with his music.
However, his attention is laser-focused on Saturday, May 13, when he graduates from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering.
So, how does the same singer/songwriter/producer go from being a Top 12 male finisher on “American Idol” to a bookworm with electrical engineering on his mind? For Simeon, the answer is actually simple.
Tori Banks and her husband, Nathan, are planning to make a couple of additions to their business and their family. The Bankses own The Barn at Bridlewood, which was voted the Best Venue in 2016 Best of the Pine Belt voting (The nomination process is underway for the 2017 competition. It ends on Feb. 15. Visit festivalsouth.org).
With the success of the local event site at 32 Railroad Road in Hattiesburg, they are working to open a second venue in the Jackson area.
Bridget Berry, an Oak Grove native, is working to make sure every woman or man who enters her store leaves with exactly what they wanted and certain that it makes them look as good as possible.
Berry is the owner of Alterations and Formals by Bridget in Oak Grove, where she sells wedding gowns, alters clothing and creates her own custom pieces.
Watching her mother and grandmother, Berry learned to sew as a child. She made her first dress at age 7, which she said had cap sleeves and four buttons. Berry was one of four girls.
Ireland, the birthplace of writer Oscar Wilde and Guinness beer, is also home to a local chef who has made his home in Hattiesburg. Originally from Ireland, Eoin Redmond came to the United States years ago, but it was quite a while before he moved to the Hub City. Redmond is the director of Food and Beverage Operations for the Hattiesburg Convention Commission.
However, before he claimed that title, he was a chef living in New York working at a restaurant called Oceana.
Growing up, the two young girls looked up to their father, a local business owner. When they made it to college, the duo pursued the dream of owning a business of their own and graduated from William Carey University with degrees in business administration.
Hattiesburg residents Stephanie Messina and Heather Bickham are the owners of the Breadsmith Hattiesburg location on Hardy Street. Breadsmith was voted Best Bread in 2016 Best of the Pine Belt voting. Voting begins for the 2017 competition on Jan. 14 (See story on Page 33 of this issue.)