James + James adds retail location, new surprises

james jamesad 2

Can we start out by saying that we think the world of the owner at James + James?

We first met James Smith when he was shooting video Christmas cards for families and then we recruited him to shoot and edit videos for our brand new (at the time) Doc Talk series with Mercy Health.

Then James (and his friend, James) shifted gears. He noticed there was a need for affordable, quality and real-wood furniture, so he tried his hand at another passion — furniture building. Now his start-up, James+James is one of the fastest growing furniture companies in the country.

James+James products are found in nearly every state from coast to coast. Job creation right here in the U.S. continues to remain a top priority. The company now provides work to over 20 team members and growing.

And just a few months ago, James + James opened a new retail store and it is a furniture showcase that’s filled with amazing home decor, lighting and gift options you don’t see in other places. They are headed to market soon and plan to come back with a HAUL. We can’t wait to see the new surprises in store!

We have to tell you, the retail location (at 4217 S. Thompson St. in Springdale, 1 mile north of the NWA Mall) is beautiful even without all the great furniture and accessories.

Here’s a little peek inside:

james inside store

Here’s a video about their story. In it, James talks about the versatility of their hand-crafted furniture and how it has led them to selling to people living in all but two states in the U.S. (and lots of other  countries) from penthouses in New York City to farmhouses in Illinois.

The retail store and showroom is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm and Sunday from 12 to 5pm. In addition to the amazing tables and chairs, we’re partial to the lighting options at the retail store:

james lighting

CLICK HERE to visit the James + James website. You can order online or stop by their retail store and showroom on “furniture row” in Springdale! Like them on Facebook to stay in the loop about what’s new. They have some surprises coming soon!

Starting a new business? This local attorney can help

winterslawOne of the smartest entrepreneurs we know in Northwest Arkansas, Jeannette Balleza Collins, recommended we call local attorney Debby Winters to help us with a contract recently.

Debby was easy to talk to, responsive and gave us fabulous advice on the contract matter.

We know lots of moms may be starting a new business in the new year and you’ll probably need a good attorney for peace of mind. Debby can help set up a new business, offer advice on IP (intellectual property), as well as advise on patent applications or filing a trademark for your business.

“I can help clients decide what business entity to choose, whether it’s an LLC, corporation or DBA, depending on what their business does,” Debby said. “I can help them set the business up with the Secretary of State and draft all of the documents needed to get them going.”

We know LOTS of you mamas are movers and shakers out there in the world and might need a good attorney sometime for a variety of business reasons.

Call Debby at 479-236-7839 or email her at winterslaw@gmail.com


Mercy Health Foundation accepting donations to pay for NICU baby supplies

nicu mercy

We know lots of families like to to help others — and give back — during the holiday season.

We’d like to suggest a gift to the NICU at the nonprofit health care organization, Mercy Health Foundation. Each year, Mercy provides millions of dollars in charity care in the Northwest Arkansas region through the generosity of people in the community who donate.

Mercy’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where the tiniest patients can be found, is a current focus for The Mercy Foundation. Among the most precious, these little babies are also the most fragile and require a higher level of care.

“There isn’t anything more precious than a little newborn, yet at the same time, there isn’t anything more heart breaking than seeing one sick,” said Clark Ellison, regional vice president of  Mercy Health Foundation. “It’s our privilege as the Foundation to partner with our community to bring the highest level of care to these little patients and their families.”

From pacifiers to diapers and baby hats, there are lots of ways to help Mercy care for these little ones and their families, and each and every cent donated goes into our own community:

Baby hats: $36.94 per case would last 6 months in NICU.

baby_nicu-3-200x133 Baby Shampoo: $63.45 per case would last 6 months in NICU.

Diaper cream: $78.94 per case would last 3 months in NICU.

Pacifiers: $112.60 per case would last 3 months in NICU.

Baby wipes: $132.00 per case would last one month in NICU.

The NICU is a care line that has received even greater resources this past year. Mercy added two new neonatologists, Dr. Kimberly Thornton and Dr. Wayne Stillick, onto the team and is also investing in the latest advanced NICU equipment, including a transport isolette and customized ventilators that provide specialized respiratory support to premature babies.

“We have a genuine partnership with our community sharing the same vision of providing care to all regardless of means,” said Ellison. “It’s a true collaboration, as neither could accomplish that vision without the other.”

For more information on donating to the work of the Mercy Health Foundation, contact Clark Ellison with the Mercy Foundation at 479-338-2990 or click here to give to the NICU online.

Visit Santa at his new house in the NWA Mall + some insider scoop!

NWA Mall, Dec. ad

We lovelovelove the new holiday decor at the Northwest Arkansas Mall.

The new “holiday house” makes for a great background for photos with Santa this year. You’ll find Santa here seven days a week through Christmas Eve (see hours above):

nwa mall, santa's house

nwa mall, santa's house cropped

Photo packages start at $22 and some will include free Shutterfly gift cards. Kids who visit Santa will also receive a free holiday book.

CLICK HERE to jump over to the mall’s website. Like their Facebook page HERE and stay up to date on all the holiday sales going on at the mall during this holiday season. The mall is a great one-stop shop for Christmas gifts.

Insider scoop: Did you know that the Northwest Arkansas Mall has an annual Breakfast with Santa event? This year the mall is supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Fayetteville. Get your tickets early, before they’re all gone. You can buy tickets at the Boys & Girls Club on Rupple Road in Fayetteville.

breakfast with santa

Another insider tip: The mall has an adorable (interactive) “Santa’s Village” feature on the website right now. Kids can dress an elf, make their own holiday e-card, work jigsaw puzzles, play memory games, color picture pages, catch candy in the Candy Shop — and more. Just click on the door of the village shop you want to explore.

santa's villageHere’s a partial list of stores at the NWA Mall that will help you with getting that Christmas list knocked out:

  • See’s Candies
  • Dillard’s
  • Razorback Shop
  • JC Penney
  • Sear’s
  • Melody’s Choices
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Francesca’s
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Bath and Body Works
  • Candy Craze
  • Gap
  • Gymboree
  • Justice

CLICK HERE to see a full list of stores at the NWA Mall.

What’s new at the Amazeum? Here’s the scoop!

amazeum membership

The Amazeum is a new museum in Northwest Arkansas (opening in 2015) for children and families.

Charter memberships went on sale recently and there are lots of benefits. A membership would make an awesome Christmas gift. Here’s what you’ll receive with a charter membership:

amazeum member perks

Everything in the museum will be hands-on for maximum interaction. We asked the Amazeum staff a few questions so you’ll know more about what’s up at this fabulous 44,500-square foot wonder:

Q: When is the Amazeum scheduled to open?

The Amazeum is scheduled to open the second half of 2015.

Q: Can you tell us about charter memberships? How much do they cost?

A charter member is an original member of an organization. Everyone who purchases a membership before or during our opening year will be considered an Amazeum charter member. For those charter members who purchase between now and April 2015, there are extra special opportunities to enjoy prior to opening. (Those benefits are outlined below.) There are several levels of memberships, beginning at $95 for a family of four.

amazeum art

 Q: What are the benefits of being a charter member?

A charter membership represents an opportunity to be at the forefront of something that will amaze, inspire and educate children in our region for generations to come. These exclusive memberships will allow holders to enjoy museum access before it opens to the public.

As long as they renew each year, those who purchase memberships now will be recognized as charter members for the life of their membership.

In addition to charter member benefits, all members enjoy unlimited admission all year, discounts on birthday parties, advance notice and early camp registration, special members-only hours, 10 percent store discount, special pricing for educational programs and camps, free or discounted admission to more than 550 science and children’s museums across the country, and invitation to members-only events and exhibit previews.

The museum is also offering contributing memberships to those who would like to support the museum’s annual fund along with their membership gift. Full details of membership levels are available at www.amazeum.org/.

Q: Where can we buy a membership?

Memberships can be purchased online at Amazeum.org, by calling 479-696-9280 x 202 or emailing membership@amazeum.org.

Q: Can we buy gift memberships?

Absolutely!  These make a great gift that the whole family will enjoy.  When you are purchasing a membership, you are prompted to indicate if it is a gift membership and if you’d like to receive the information or if you’d like us to send it straight to the recipient. If it’s a surprise, we’ll help you keep it that way!

Q: Who can be included in a Family Membership?

Our memberships are designed so that you can include any combination of grandparents, parents and kids.

Q: What age range is the Amazeum best suited for?

The Amazeum exhibits are designed to promote imagination and creative thinking for children and families of all ages. There will be two spaces dedicated for toddlers. The majority of the spaces are designed with children ages 4 to 8 in mind.

Innovation Alley is a series of learning spaces – including the Tinkering Studio, the Art Studio and The Hershey Lab – that offer deeper learning opportunities to be enjoyed by older elementary- and middle school-age students.

The Amazeum will also appeal to audiences other than young children and families. It will feature meeting spaces for businesses and organizations in the region, as well as spaces for corporate team-building exercises that encourage creativity and collaboration. For educators, the Amazeum will offer a variety of professional development workshops.

amazeum exhibit

Doesn’t this look like FUN?!

Q: We hear kids can have birthday parties there. Tell us about that!

Yes, the Amazeum would love to host your child’s birthday party! Party packages will be available when we open. Also, charter members receive discounts on birthday parties. (See above for more details on charter memberships.)

Q: Can you tell us about some of the exhibits/experiences we’ll find at the Amazeum?

You can expect a lot of laughter and active play!

Currently under construction, the first permanent exhibition that has been announced is General Mills Lift, Load & Haul, which focuses on kinetic activity and transferring things from one place to another. The exhibit will allow kids to explore how things work on their own terms while experiencing basic principles of physics, engineering, logistics and problem solving. The multi-faceted exhibition allows kids to roll up their sleeves and work on their own or in cooperation with someone else to lift, move, load and ready a truck for transport.

One of the first things visitors will notice upon approaching this exhibit is the large, accessible cab of a truck inviting them to climb in and pretend to drive. The exhibit is built around an actual truck cab, donated by Walmart Fleet Services.

Other experiences at the Amazeum will include a tinkering studio, climbable tree canopy, indoor caves, an art studio and more. Exhibitions will extend to the museum grounds where approximately one acre of land will provide the background for more learning and fun. The Amazeum will also feature indoor and outdoor event space. For additional details about exhibits as they are finalized, visit http://www.amazeum.org.

Q: Will there be a place to grab snacks?

The Amazeum will offer a café, where you can expect to find a variety of quick and healthy food options.

Q: How long has the Amazeum been on the horizon?

The Amazeum has been a long labor of love. In June 2006, supporters obtained 501c3 nonprofit status, and in November of that year organized and announced the founding board. Currently construction is in full swing, and progress at the site can be viewed in real time on our construction webcam.

Q: Why is it important for kids to visit places like the Amazeum?

amazeum experimentResearch continues to tell us about the growth and development of our children. From birth to age three, social, emotional and intellectual aspects of a child form. From ages three to five, children are like sponges exploring, absorbing and organizing information about the world around them.

Through this early development, children expand their social, sensory, conceptual, language, gross and fine motor skills, and problem-solving abilities. We have come to understand each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially.

In our fast-paced, complicated society where raising a child needs all the positive support possible, the Amazeum will create a haven that stimulates exploration and imagination, cultivates the grasp of information at a pace that suits each child individually, and inspires a love of learning from the beginning.

The Amazeum creates a fun environment where risk taking, imagining, problem solving, discovery, collaboration and exploration bring children and adults together to learn and grow.

CLICK HERE to visit the Amazeum website!

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