What do you think of when you hear the word Y’all? For someone in the south, one might think that it’s a slang, southern word, however in the Metro Little Rock area we know it as a brand, a brand by Hillcrest Waterbugs.
Founded by Jennifer Cox in 2010, Hillcrest Waterbugs specializes in shirts, hats, bags and more. They pride themselves on being a local, eco-friendly, zero-waste retail shop; not to mention they are the first (and only) Zero Waste marketplace in Arkansas. Recently, Cox stated she started the company as a creative, fun outlet, but it’s become obvious to the people of Little Rock that the company has become an important outlet with an important message.
Don’t worry, we’ve made it easy for you. You can check out their inventory here.
Hillcrest Waterbugs have a special place in the hearts of locals because of their positive messaging. “All of our messaging is positive. Never negative!” said Jennifer when asked what made the company special. The company also strives to help non-profits by donating a portion of their profits to causes including those that work with hunger, homelessness, and the environment. The Little Rock Food Bank, The Van, and the Little Rock Zoo are just a few that they support.
“We aren’t better than anyone else. I think there is room for all of us. We offer positive messaging while saving the earth – what could be better than encouraging kindness, acceptance, and caring for each other and our environment?” – Jennifer Cox, Owner
The company is female owned and female driven. The brand is dedicated to creating the highest level of sustainable and fashionable products that embrace positivity and create a communication channel to help talk about saving the earth. They recently just launched the “Little Rock Shopping Bag” that’s sure to be a big hit. What’s a company without good values, right? Hillcrest Waterbugs falls into the category as well. They advocate regularly for human rights, LGBTQ rights, equality, kindness, and saving the Earth.
You can get the Little Rock Shopping Bags here.
If you haven't checked out Hillcrest Waterbugs, you should. Their positive energy and branding is loved all around Arkansas. You can find out more at www.hillcrestwaterbugs.com or by following their Facebook page here.
Phillip Butterfield III, where some of you might know his name for playing quarterback for Arkansas State University or being a Financial Consultant for Stephens Inc., is no stranger to the 501 metro. You recently may have seen Phillip in Arkansas Business's 20 in their 20s with a lengthy accomplishment list.
After graduating with his MBA at Arkansas State, the 28 year old is currently a financial consultant for Stephens Inc. in Little Rock, where he recently was certified as a CFP, or a Certified Financial Planner for us non-financial folks. He's currently been there for 4.5 years, not looking to slow down anytime soon. When asked what his favorite part of his job is, he stated "Building relationships and trust with clients and future clients. Trust is the most important attribute in any setting, professional or social. At Stephens, relationships are built on trust through judgment and integrity. That is what I strive for with my clients and life."
Phillip has received several awards and recognitions. He was named Arkansas State College of Business's Emerging Alumni of the Year back in 2016.
Not being a stranger to the nonprofit world, he is also active with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas as well as the Hat Club, where he works with a group of people to help make lives better for everyone around the metro. Other organizations that Phillip is a part of are Central Arkansas Estate Council and Think Big Little Rock, where he leads the economic development task force.
We wanted to get to know Phillip a little better, so we asked him a few questions about himself.
By: Kody Robinson
October's full of cold weather, spooky houses, and kids going trick-or-treating. In these conditions we can't think of anywhere else we would want to be besides Abbi's porch with a nice cup of Ceylon or Cherry Fig bundled up in our favorite jacket while we wait for the day to begin. This amazing tea shop is located at 2622 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock.
Abbi has always loved tea. For the past 10 years of her successful advertising and marketing career, she has had a tea shelf where she stored her precious pots, cups, and loose leaf teas ready for any afternoon break during the day. In 2017, after taking some time to herself, she finally decided on doing something she had always dreamed of. Yes, you guessed it. She decided to be a business owner and open up her beautiful tea shop in Hillcrest.
"At the end of my sabbatical, my mom challenged me to think about what I really wanted to do. She knew I had been working on a business plan for years, but always as a whimsical dream. She knew what the answer was already, and with some major nudging and big pep talks about taking risks, I did it!"
You can read more about Abbi's amazing mother and sweet sister, which both work at the shop, here.
Like I stated before, my idea of a perfect morning is having a cup of Ceylon or Cherry Fig. Abbi offers more than just those, like black, green, and white teas all the way to lattes. Take a look at her outstanding menu pictured above.
You can check out Abbi's tea shop and learn more about her and her business here.
By: Kody Robinson
Pictured Left/Right: Jason Do, Tyler Strickland, Isaiah Baker, Grayson Fields
When trying to figure out what should be in Be501, we didn't just want to ask those who are in their 20's and currently live here in the Little Rock Metro Region. One of the main drivers for the #Be501 campaign is to make sure future young professionals want to relocate to the area, and what better way than to get them involved from the ground up, right?
Kody Robinson met with Regina Howard, IT Solutions teacher, back in early 2018. They spoke about the upcoming year and what the EXCEL program can offer to Be501 and vice-versa. Before the launch of Be501, Kody met the students that would help change the way the Little Rock Metro got involved within their community.
A main problem that needed to be solved before the official launch of Be501 was the ability to automate the events calendar. We didn't want just any event on the internet to sync to our platform, but we didn't want a manual, copy/paste method, either. The EXCEL students found a way to sync custom events from Facebook, Eventbrite, etc. with a one step process. This was crucial to our success, and future success, with Be501. Thanks to the help of these four, incredibly smart and resourceful students, Be501 can now thrive as the place to go for all your event needs.
After the success of this partnership, Be501 will continue working with the LRSD's EXCEL program to help advance the platform. We are looking forward to seeing what these students bring to the table. Stay tuned!
You can learn more about the LRSD's EXCEL program by clicking the link above.