Many people give up on their dreams as they get older, settle down and have children. For veteran and Hattiesburg resident Ben Compton, this wasn’t an option. He always knew he was interested in comedy, and a few years ago, he finally took his chance and with the support of his wife and children, began his career as a stand-up comic.
Keith Kujath of Hattiesburg has combined two of his passions into one avocation, and now he has found a mentor that provides him the inspiration in both of his endeavors.
Kujath is a music maven, with collections of guitars, albums, recordings and – thanks to his mentor, Dick Waterman – the largest individual collection of Waterman photos. A certified clinical perfusionist by profession, Kujath bundles his love for photography and his knowledge of music, both performing and producing, to capture the essence of a stage or musical performance.
There are many faces and facets to Rachelle Fortenberry Steinhauer of Hattiesburg. She’s an actress, director, crafter, crocheter, attorney, wife, mother, daughter – and the list goes on.
And on any given day, there’s a chance she wears several of those hats.
While Valerie Cagle’s vocation was once hospital administration (she spent 12 years working at the cancer center), her love of the unique has become an avocation and vocation all neatly packaged together.
That has resulted in her newest venture, The Longleaf Market, located on Hwy. 589 south of Sumrall, not quite six miles from Hwy. 98 in West Hattiesburg.
Cagle said she enjoys the business set up in what she describes as “the rural hills at the edge of a pasture.”
“Some have described it as an escape and very peaceful,” she said.
Robert and Christy Amay have spent the majority of their lives in the jewelry business. So, it only seems natural that one day they’d want to design their own piece of jewelry.
“We did not just want to make some meaningless piece,” said Christy. “Whatever we made we wanted to be special and one of a kind.”
That day has come. Enter the Hub City Cuff.
From all outward appearances, Dr. John Wooton sounds like he’s keeping his University of Southern Mississippi steel pan band to himself. The 40-member group meets at night in the basement of the Mannoni Performing Arts Center, plinking on bent pieces of various round metal objects.
Oh, the band has numerous YouTube videos showing them playing on their steel pans. People who know steel pans know that Wooton’s band is outstanding.
For Kat Spangler Kimmel, everyone has a story to tell and she is happy to listen to them. Those stories allow Kimmel to learn more about the storyteller and to become a better person.
The sign over her office door at University Baptist Church in Hattiesburg says, “Kat Spangler, Associate Minister.” She’s been at the church since 2013, but she recently married Tom Kimmel, a nationally-known songwriter and musician.
Now that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are behind them, Bryan and Sarah Carver are working to catch their collective breath and refocus their attention on the second side of Twin Forks Wine + Provisions.
The Carvers have been building their success for the past four years at 408 Hemphill St. in Hattiesburg. The wine store has been doing well for the pair, but the “Provisions” – cheese and special food items – is moving slowly, but steadily.
Now the work begins again on the facilities.
Change is brewing in the Pine Belt, and some of it has to do with the expansion of Java Moe’s, which was voted Best Coffee Shop in 2017 Best of the Pine Belt voting.
Kent McCarty, owner of Java Moe’s, is a graduate of Oak Grove High School and fan of all things coffee.
While a student at Oak Grove, McCarty worked at a coffee shop. When it closed, the opportunity became available for someone else to open one since their previous locations were up for sale.
“Lots of tears, lots of late nights,
lots of hard work.”
This is how Accents Fine Home Interiors and Gifts owner Laura Patterson describes the process of building her business over the past 10 years.
Patterson is a Petal native and graduate of Petal High School. Her husband, Joseph Patterson, is from Oak Grove, where they moved after they married.
Together they have one son, Sam, who is 8 years old.