Letter From The Editor – What Do You Love?


:: Brigette Williams ::



t around age four or five, little ones begin exchanging Valentine’s Day cards with classmates. Along with this innocent rite of passage comes the implied expectation to make a public declaration of love to…someone.

As adults, we see family, friends and co-workers await delivery of flowers, balloons and artfully arranged baskets of fruit, on or around the 14th of February. And not being able to predict if the anxiously anticipated delivery will occur at all adds to our level of excitement or, disappointment.

This month, we hope to absolve you of the pressure to publicly unburden your heart. Instead, come explore with us some Arkansas love stories. These folks have already pledged unto each other, so no need to fear a tale of unrequited love.

Sage and Tom Holland are talented artists living “off the grid” in Fox, a quiet town nestled in northern Arkansas’ Boston Mountains. The Hollands’ love of artisan beads led to a love of each other many years ago that continues to inspire their creativity today. Read more in Art Scene by AY contributor Audrey Coleman, pg. 32.

Been to downtown Little Rock lately? A play at the Rep or the Robinson Center and back home doesn’t count. Have you driven or walked through downtown recently? If you haven’t you should. Lots of cool things happening. Shelby Styron’s feature, Small City, Big Ambitions, pg. 24 will let you in on the surprising ways technology is showing promise to raise the city’s profile around and outside of Arkansas. Heard of a used-to-be small city named Austin…as in Texas? Just asking.

I had the pleasure of spending time with the lovely Carmen Portillo, owner of a new central Arkansas confectionery called Coca Belle. As Arkansas’ only certified chocolatier, not only does Carmen make fabulous truffles and chocolate bark, she is a determined woman on track to make her presence known in the world of gourmet chocolates, pg. 44.

And,  AY contributor and relationship therapist Rebecca Ward differentiates between being alone and being lonely, pg. 58. It’s an important distinction to understand, especially during this partner-oriented month.

All of the love stuff too much for you?

Look Who’s Cookin’ pg. 50 features—hmmm—well it is love, but it’s love of the tradition of tradition. Little Rock’s Faded Rose owner Ed David, and General Manager and son Zac share thoughts on their love of family and traditional Creole cooking as they celebrate Mardi Gras. Do listen to their favorite songs on the AY Magazine Channel on Spotify.

So, when you think of Oaklawn what comes to mind? AY art director Jamison Mosley’s photographic essay features employees who love their contribution to the fun time we enjoy at the track. Each one has more than 15 years invested in their careers. Take a look, pg. 36.

AY contributor Autumn Jacob looks at the first Southern Living Idea Home 10 years later, pg. 16 in the Oak Ridge subdivision near Hot Springs. It was featured in AY Magazine 10 years ago. The changes may surprise you.

Lots to see and do around Arkansas this month so get out and experience as much as you can.

Happy Mardi Gras and Happy Valentine’s Day!




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