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.
When Bradley Myers decided that buying certain accessories to his business wardrobe were going to mount up the expenses, he decided that making those items would be more cost-effective.
So Bradley, the mastermind behind Hattiesburg’s Professional Beard Oil, called out to the Mother of Invention again. He had already designed the beard oil after growing out his beard to win a local contest – and a trip to Boston – so this was just the next logical step for Myers.
For someone who has always hated public speaking, Brittany Purvis sure spends a great deal of time on stage. The comic does regular open mic shows, in addition to performing with Hattiesburlesque and hosting trivia in the Hub City.
The Wilmer, Ala., native moved to Hattiesburg in 2010 to attend The University of Southern Mississippi. After finishing her degree in psychology, Purvis decided to stick around.
“I met a cool guy, and the town was cool so I had no excuse to leave,” Purvis said.
They say you never like an outfit as much as you do in the dressing room of the store. April Bullock, owner of Eve Marie’s in Hattiesburg and Ivy Boutique in D’Iberville, is working to make sure her stores are stocked with the most unique items that appeal to each and every customer. It’s her dedication to her customers that got her named the winner of the 2017 Best of the Pine Belt Best Women’s Clothing category.
The Biloxi native moved to Hattiesburg in 2000 to begin school at The University of Southern Mississippi. She knew then that she wanted to own a boutique.
At first, Logan Grubbs of Hattiesburg didn’t want to get involved in the “social” part of social media. If anything, he said he could really do without opening up his life on the Internet.
Grubbs was more interested in taking photographs with his iPhone. When Instagram came along about five years ago, he developed a passion for the app.
Many life decisions, especially when it comes to one’s choice of career path, can be pinpointed down to one significant moment. The kind of moment that makes one stop and think, “This is what I want to do – or not do – for the rest of my life.”
For Hattiesburg native Kate Dearman, that moment came in the midst of the chaos and destruction left behind by the EF-4 tornado that tore through the Pine Belt in 2013.