Treasure Hunting on LaSalle Avenue

By Lauren Paczynski

Are you looking to redecorate, or just prowling for that perfect statement piece for your home? Are traditional furniture stores not really your style? Then this post is for you— the shabby-chic shoppers, the junk junkies, and the antique aficionados. Whether you’re looking for vintage finds, antique treasures, or “junque,” there are tons of local shops for you to explore. In this blog post, I’ll be giving you a rundown of five of them— all located along LaSalle Avenue.

Shades of Shabby — Refurbished Home Goods and Farmhouse Chic

Shades of Shabby is a cute and cozy little furniture store that specializes in refurbished and found furniture. Before you head inside, take a peek at the side of the building— there’s an adorable little mural there reading “Dear Waco, we love you!” (A perfect spot to snap a quick selfie!)

When you first walk in the door, you will be greeted by the scent of gently glowing magnolia candles and the sight of cotton bouquets and old, distressed wood. Among the items available when I last visited were vintage-style floral dishware, woodsy-industrial light fixtures, and made-to-order farmhouse style tables. Many of the pieces here are, as I said, refurbished— old wood has been painted or white-washed and gently distressed, giving it that much loved “shabby-chic” look. If that’s your thing, definitely pay them a visit! Shades of Shabby has a wonderful selection of beautifully crafted pieces. If, however, you prefer that old wood before it’s been repainted— read on!

Hours: 10am-5pm Tuesday through Saturday

Junque in the Trunk — Rustic and Quirky

Next on our list is Junque in the Trunk— while they carry some similar pieces to Shades of Shabby, there’s a bit more in the way of rustic and quirky furniture here. You’ll still find some great repainted pieces here (great for those of you who love that vintage style but prefer a cleaner look), but there are also plenty of mostly-intact found pieces, as well as decorations and furniture with a more industrial flair.

Among my favorite finds when I visited were light fixtures crafted from old brass pipes, a pair of vintage roller skates, and a variety of old typewriters. You’ll find no shortage of conversation starters and statement pieces here! Aside from decorative items, the shop also offers made-to-order farm tables, as well as miscellaneous items like hand-crafted soaps and candles and raw local honey.

Hours: 10am-5pm Thursday through Saturday, 12-5pm Sunday

Riverside Relics — Retro, Vintage, and Collectibles

Riverside Relics is a treasure trove of retro and collectible items— walking a winding path through shelves and tables full of knick-knacks and vintage goods, I discovered stacks of old magazines, vinyl, and baseball cards. Aside from the collectables, I also spotted a retro TV (probably from the late 50s or 60s) in good condition, an old 8-track player, and an assortment of cash registers.

The shop also carries a variety of furniture items, and there’s a whole yard out back full of old bird cages and salvaged wood. I’ll also say that, although the staff at every shop I visited were perfectly helpful and friendly, the staff at Riverside Relics were probably the warmest and most interested in having a conversation. So, if you’re looking for somewhere where you can have both a great shopping experience and an engaging conversation, I recommend paying Riverside Relics a visit!

Hours: 10am-5pm Thursday through Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday

Junky Monkey — Clothes, Knick-Knacks, and DIY Supplies

When you first walk in the door, Junky Monkey seems like less of a furniture shop and more of a place to snag some smaller decorative items or unique clothing pieces. Which is well and good, but don’t let that fool you. Make sure to go up the stairs through the door at the back— there’s a whole other section of the shop back there, full of old appliances waiting to be gutted and reused, fantastic found furniture and decorative items.

Now for my favorite part— past that second area, back out in the open air, is a yard crammed full of DIY supplies. Countless old doors, ladders, windows, scraps of salvaged wood and metal, and much more. There are tons of places to look for vintage and shabby furniture, but if what you’re really looking for is the materials to craft your own, this is where you want to be.

Hours: 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday

LaSalle Shoppes — True Antique Market

Last but most certainly not least is LaSalle Shoppes. What might at first look like a row of separate stores, this pink building is actually home to one gigantic antique shop, stocked by over 70 individual vendors. As someone who absolutely loves wandering the halls of antique malls and sorting through vintage salt-shakers, old velvet armchairs, and iridescent glassware, this was my personal favorite of the shops I visited.

This is the only shop on the list that I would title a “true antique market.” While most of the LaSalle vintage shops are more like small boutiques (tending towards that shabby-chic, Magnolia-style aesthetic) LaSalle shops has the quirky, warm, slightly dusty atmosphere I’ve come to expect when I think of antique stores. Among the treasures I uncovered here were two very old carousel horses, baskets full of stray baby doll limbs, vintage clothing and furs, a case full of costume jewelry, and a plethora of toys and collectibles. They also had the largest selection of vinyl of any of the shops I visited.

If, like me, you’re more interested in shuffling through shelves of oddities than hunting for specific furniture items, this is definitely where I’d start. And make sure to set a little time aside— there’s a lot to look at!

Hours: 10am-6pm Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm Saturday & Sunday


This Act Locally Waco Blog post was written by Lauren Paczynski. Lauren is a Senior at Baylor University, studying Professional Writing. A Virginia native, she moved to Texas in 2014 to attend Baylor and intends to stay here (at least for a while). After graduation, she hopes to work in editing & publishing. The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

Read Locally Waco: The Bad Friends

Read Locally Waco is a project to promote literacy in Waco.  Throughout the semester we will post stories that use sight words our children are learning in Waco ISD.  You can print these stories and lists of words to use with your children or with other children in your life.  This week’s story uses words from the First Grade Sight Word List.  For a printable version of this story and word list, click here:  The Bad Friends.

The Bad Friends

All of my friends came over to play.
We made a big mess. Then they all ran away.

My mom saw the mess, and it made her laugh.
“If one person would help, then your work would be half!”

This mess was no joke. I worked hard to clean it.
I have to have help the next time, and I mean it!

“I need some new friends!” I thought to myself.
“I want some good friends who will stay here and help!”

“I want friends who will help with the messes we make!”
“I want friends who will pick up a broom for my sake!”

Now, where can I find some good friends today?
Are you that good friend? Do you want to come play?


Sight Words used in this story (From the First Grade Sight Word List)

  • all
  • big
  • away
  • back
  • her
  • over
  • this
  • want
  • who
  • with
  • came
  • have
  • help
  • next
  • now
  • are
  • some
  • then

 


This Act Locally Waco blog post is by Ashley Bean Thornton, she has lived in Waco almost 20 years now. Far longer than she ever lived anywhere else. She likes to walk. If you see her out walking, honk and wave and say “hi!”

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

Gardening Waco Part 1: What does it take to “be a gardener?”

(For the other parts of this series, click here: Gardening Waco. — ALW)

By Aime Sommerfeld-Lillard

Let’s talk about gardens. I’ve had a lot of conversations about gardens lately. Backyard gardens, producing gardens, school gardens or community gardens… all kinds of gardens.

Hold on to your seats for this part. Imagine: to some people a garden isn’t food or rows of vegetables!

That realization was a bit hard for me to swallow. I’ll never forget walking along the Texas A&M campus one day with my niece Grace when she said, “Oh, look at that garden!” I saw a 4×4 planting of stoic pansies marching in obedient lines in the middle of a sea of concrete, but she saw a garden. Life changing realization from a 6-year-old! I grew up harvesting vegetables from the garden with my Nonna and taking them to the house for lunch.  Grace grew up watching her mom work with roses when her mom had time to spare. To me gardens were (still mostly are) food, and roses are a lot of work for something you can’t even eat. But this experience did make me realize that I was missing a large piece of what it meant to “be a gardener.”

As a researcher studying gardeners, this led me to stretch my thinking. I was curious what it meant to different individuals to be a gardener, or even what images came to mind when someone heard the word “garden.” Were they the same for similar age groups? Did rural vs urban make a difference? This led me down the rabbit hole of attempting a qualitative study looking at reasons people may garden at different stages of their lives. Somewhere along the way that project morphed into hearing stories of some lifelong gardeners and the role gardening played in their lives.

As fascinating as this was (and I sincerely hope I still have those transcripts), it was difficult research to craft a thesis around. So, I moved on to a different study that found adults over the age of 50 who reported themselves to be gardeners, also reported statistically higher quality of life measures. As a researcher this is great!

As I looked closely at the data, there were some interesting trends. Shockingly (to me), once again, these self-selected gardeners were not saying they grew food to eat. Several did grow herbs, but occasionally I would see that a “gardener” simply engaged in what I would call “yard work.” What this highlighted to me is that what a person considers to be “gardening” is highly dependent upon a person’s state of mind or personal perception.

Without looking back at original data from these studies, what I mostly remember is a question asking about earliest memories of a garden. Responses were very family centered, “I was with my mom…”; “I used to help my grandpa…”; “We would always…” The first garden memory was typically a social interaction in the garden, typically a positive memory, there was often learning involved, pride, and there were always details.

I’ve been working with the Carver Neighborhood Family Garden recently.  I just love the name they’ve chosen because I feel like it appropriately describes their goal as a garden. A family or group of families is gardening for the neighborhood with the intent to share what they grow with those around them. This group is creating an opportunity for others based on their knowledge, skills, and belief that something like gardening is important. Important enough to spend their own time, funds, and energy to provide a demonstration for others.

Gardening can be a state of mind. It doesn’t really matter what you are producing or the process you are using to achieve your goals. It is most important to have goals, believe in them, share your stories, and – every once in a while – get your hands a little dirty. Assuming the quote is properly attributed I think there is a profound wisdom and a lesson for all in Audrey Hepburn’s statement, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”

Take a moment. Think back and recall some of your earliest memories. Think of some of your fondest memories. Take note of how nature plays a part in the details or the setting of some of your fondest memories.

If you recall natural settings or gardens as some of your fondest memories, compare the nature surrounding you at that time with what is available today. Available to ourselves, but also to our children, our parents, our grandparents. How do we as a society provide these important interactions, lessons, and opportunities for growth with those around us and those who depend on us to teach them?


Dr. Aime Sommerfeld Lillard has cultivated a love for nature and gardening through multiple outlets. Dr. Lillard is a Texas A&M graduate with a B.S. in Agricultural Leadership and Development and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Horticulture with a focus on human issues in horticulture. Currently, Dr. Lillard contracts with the Urban Gardening Coalition (UGC) for the Waco Health District’s Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant. She works in the Waco area through the vision of UGC to “strengthen local food production, improve access to healthy food, and empower folks to “grow their own” by creating a coalition that can impact a variety of horticultural education and grow through strategic partnerships.

The nature of being neighborly

By Craig Nash

One of my favorite pastimes as a Wacoan is talking about Waco. Of the small handful of places I have lived in my life, none have been as self-reflective as this community. This has been the case at least since I moved here in the summer of 2000, and has reached new levels of intensity over the past few years as cameras have been rolling and downtown booming. In those early days all our talking was about potential. “If only” type conversations. We still talk about potential a lot, but enough “If onlys” have occurred that we have allowed those conversations to happen less frequently.

But as much as I love talking about and reflecting on the life of this city, I enjoy more the times spent on my block full of individuals and families who aren’t expending a lot of energy thinking and talking about Waco, its potential, past or current status. I live in Sanger Heights, but within seven blocks of my house are the Brook Oaks, North Waco, Dean Highland, Brookview and Heart of Texas Neighborhoods. It’s the nexus of the Waco solar system, really, and it contains multitudes. As far as I can tell, no one on my block are close friends with anyone else on the block. We don’t have neighborhood parties or borrow sugar and eggs from each other. But we are neighborly.

For the first 2-3 years I lived in my current house, there was a lot of transition on the block and, perhaps connected, a lot of crime. My immediate neighbors to the north had lawn mowers and air units stolen. There were gunshots regularly.  I had 7 break-ins within a three year span. I can’t be sure if they stopped because I finally got a home alarm system or word just got around that I owned nothing of value, but overall it has become a quiet, peaceful neighborhood.

I’ve seen kids grow up in the neighborhood. Luis, who was eight when I first moved in, is now a senior at Waco High. I once bought him a new soccer ball because my dog destroyed one he accidently kicked into my back yard. Ever since, he has rolled my trash bin back to the house from the curb in the evening about once a month. I’m not saying this is a deliberate long-term exchange of kindness on his part, but I like to think it is. Every time I am seen doing work on the exterior of my house, (which, as anyone who has seen my house knows, isn’t that often,) Luis’ dad, Miguel, asks me if I am moving. He is always relieved when I tell him I have no plans to move anytime soon. In his broken English he tells me how much he likes the current stability of the neighborhood. He doesn’t use those words, of course, but just says, “I’m afraid of new people moving in all the time.”

There is a new family in the neighborhood, though, that has changed things for us. Jayden acts and talks like an 11 year old, because he is 11 years old, but looks like a 15 or 16 year old. He’s brightened the place up.  He knocks on every door in the block asking if any of us have work for him, but really he just likes to talk. When he first arrived he offered to mow my yard for $2. Still under the impression that he was older than what he is, I obliged, and SHOCKED him when I told him I’d pay him THREE TIMES what he was offering. When I looked out and saw that he didn’t really know what he was doing, (mowing in squiggly lines and circles,) I asked if he’d ever mowed a yard before. He said, “Yeah, I just mowed YOUR yard.” Containing my laughter I asked and discovered his real age. Not only did I get a cheap lawn service that day, I also got an opportunity to teach an 11 year old how to mow a lawn, as my dad had taught me when I was a kid.

I should mention that I am the only white person on my block. It’s not the first “majority minority” neighborhood I’ve ever lived in, but it is the first time where the disparity has been so prominent. I think this has given me a small sliver of understanding of how people of color have to exist in the “white people” world every minute of every day. It has made me more understanding, but mostly I enjoy the birthday parties where I am awakened from my slumber to look out the window to see a real-live mariachi band. Like the hip-hop music occasionally blaring from the speakers of my other neighbors, I don’t complain, and no one has ever called the cops on me for listening to the Grand Ole Opry too loud on Saturday nights.

We’ve all come to a silent understanding that we are neighbors. We’ll look out for each other if we need to. We’ll avert our eyes from time to time when we need to. But mostly, we will create a community simply by existing peacefully with each other in the same place. This is our Waco, the one we love, and we’re ok not talking about it with each other.


Craig Nash has lived in Waco since 2000. Since then he has worked at Baylor, been a seminary student, managed a hotel restaurant, been the “Barnes and Noble guy,” pastored a church and once again works for Baylor through the Texas Hunger Initiative. He lives with his dog Jane, religiously re-watches the same 4 series on Netflix over and over again, and considers himself an amateur country music historian.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

2018 Greatest Hits #3: What is “Co-working space?” and Why does Waco need it?

(During these last few weeks of December we will be reprising the Top 10 Most Opened Blog Posts for 2018 from the Act Locally Waco blog. I couldn’t possibly pick my favorites – so I used the simple (cop out?)  approach of pulling up the 10 blog posts that got the most “opens” according to our Google Analytics.  It is an intriguing collection that gives at least a little insight into the interests and concerns of Act Locally Waco readers. I hope this “Top 10” idea inspires you to go back and re-read your personal favorites.  There have been so many terrific ones… If you would like to see the Top 10 according to Google Analytics, here’s the link: Top 10 Most Opened Blog Posts of 2018.  Merry Christmas! — ABT)

By Caroline Thornton

After graduating from Baylor in 2016, I decided to make Waco my home.  I sensed an entrepreneurial movement growing in Waco. I began to see many of my friends –  young professionals – were choosing to stay in town. They were staying not just for grad school, but because they saw what this town offered and they saw opportunities to give to the city through their personal and professional lives. This excited every fiber within me! I had always seen what Waco has to offer when you dive head first into involvement in the city.

I decided to join the movement by starting my own business. I started a company called “Second Me.” We offered services to help people do their “to do” lists. I hired college students to work for me and began managing lots of schedules! As it grew I saw the potential it had to become something big. The bigger it got the more I was confident I did not want to be the one to drive it to become a national business. After two years of my company, I felt at peace to find the next thing in my career.

When I decided to put my business to rest, little did I know I would get to be an integral part of making co-working space in Waco a reality.

A little over a year ago I heard a podcast from the founders of a national co-working space company called, WeWork. I immediately felt this concept could be a part of taking the entrepreneur movement in Waco to the next level.

Since graduating I had noticed groups of creative, entrepreneurial people who were enthusiastic about all things Waco. I started immersing myself in several of them. I also noticed that these groups of people didn’t really have a place to call “home” for work. Many are freelancers, have start-up businesses, or work remotely. Being a business owner myself, I noticed how we were all working all over town at different places, but no place existed that allowed us to truly root ourselves and our work.

After making my decision to leave Second Me,  I took on a babysitting job and discovered that  the dad of the kids I was watching and his business partners were developers in the city. I began talking about our need for a co-working space. I shared articles, podcasts, books, and statistics of what co-working is and why we need it.  They agreed.  We needed that kind of space in Waco. Coincidentally they, Duelge Holdings, had just purchased their second building downtown on Columbus and 6th street (the first being Mary Avenue Market).  They asked me if I would help develop the idea and educate the community on the concept of “co-working,” and then help run the space once it was open.

I eagerly said, “YES!” And, with that, started the most fun part, so far, of my professional journey.

What exactly is “co-working?”

By 2020, 40% of the workforce will be freelancers, independent contractors, and solopreneurs. Collaboration and sharing are growing all around us, partly due to the possibilities created by new technologies and partly due to changes in the current work and corporate structures. Companies are getting smaller, but at the same time more productive and competitive. People are making their work places more collaborative within their companies, and are also breaking the borders by joining other companies.  All this is an effort not only to reduce expenses, but to create a more dynamic, creative, and happy workplaces. This is the heart of co-working – to share expenses, but also to be a part of a community that networks and collaborates so everyone benefits from it.

Is this a trend? Will it pass? I don’t think so.  Co-working responds to a deep need. The structures of work in our society are changing and with them the needs of workers, namely freelancers and entrepreneurs. Co-working responds to these fundamental changes and will keep growing in cities around the globe – and here in Waco.

Our team has been dreaming together about how to make our space, WACOWORK,  the best possible space for helping the entrepreneurial spirit take root in Waco. To us at WACOWORK, it’s creating a collaborative work environment for startups, freelancers, small companies, and remote employees to share resources and ideas as one working community. Our vision for WACOWORK is to see connections, relationships, and opportunities form through our space. We aim for the community within WACOWORK to be dynamic and innovative, exemplifying the power that happens when professionals with all different kinds of businesses work alongside one another. The aesthetics of the WACOWORK space reflects the connectivity, creativity, and productivity we hope to stimulate — its a bit quirky to help make every day at the office a memorable one.

WACOWORK is going to be a place for taking big risks and doing things that are a little off-kilter. We aim to house members that are bold, innovative, and welcoming.  Waco is a city ripe with opportunity, and I cannot wait to unearth all of the exciting things to come through Waco’s first coworking space, WACOWORK.

If this sounds like something you think would work well for your entrepreneurial venture, feel free to contact me at 254.304.9368.  Hit me up, let’s get coffee, I want to meet you!


After graduation from Baylor in 2012, Caroline Thornton decided to stay in Waco.  Seeing the opportunity for some creative endeavors, she first opened “Second Me” a company that aimed to do peoples’ to do lists – from running errands to tasks around the house.  Here next venture it to help manage the “WacoWork” coworking space at 600 Columbus Avenue Suite 106. She encourages everyone she meets to take a chance – be a creator in Waco, not just a consumer!

 

What’s Your -Er…?

(Tami Nutall Jefferson, a married mother and grandmother, is going back to school and she has invited us all along to enjoy the ride.  For more posts in this series, click here: Tami’s Big Do Over.  –  ALW)

By Tami Nutall Jefferson

Everyone has one – the famous, the infamous, the invisible ones. I struggled with my -Er all last year. I committed myself to many things that ended up falling through my over-committed cracks. Things that sounded good, fun, or offered certain opportunities, but weren’t true to my -Er; even though I hadn’t defined that yet. And then, on Black Friday, the Universe turned off the little switch that makes my motor run non-stop. The depression was as overwhelming as the desire to do nothing. But I didn’t have that luxury because I started working in the most soul-sucking job ever on Cyber Monday. Going to that desolate place every day birthed an intense desire and drive within me to truly discover my -Er, because that was not it.

Really Tami?

What truly is my -Er? What am I going to school for? What am I volunteering for? What am I doing any of this for? But my biggest question after completing my first semester was “now that I’ve attained the ONE thing that I’ve always (getting into Texas A&M) and I’ve done the ONE job I’ve always wanted to do (designing buildings), what if my -Er is starting to change? You know, that feeling you have inside when you feel like “maybe I want something different now” but you can’t really quantify it and you feel like a total nimrod at the thought of changing it. And that other shoulder-sitter is saying “Really? Now?? You want to change NOW?” That was me.

And So The Journey Begins

One thing the Holy Spirit had been softly saying to me is that everybody has an -Er and I needed to find mine. So, I set out on my journey to find my -Er. I began to look around and see what that looked like in other people’s lives. I came across an article in Fast Company and noticed an -Er pattern. While I’m going to college to do an -Er job, I noticed the -Ers of highly successful people seem to stem from their core missions, not their job titles or functions. Cases in point:

  • Denise Morrison – CEO of Campbell’s Soup / Lead-er
  • Joel Manby – CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment / Lov-er
  • Oprah – CEO of OWN / Teach-er
  • Richard Branson – Founder of The Virgin Group / Encourag-er
  • Amanda Steinberg – Founder of DailyWorth.com / Cultivat-or

Most of us know some of these people and what their -Er jobs are, but their  true -Ers are actually the baseline for their careers, lifestyles, their hobbies, activism…their everything – it’s the string that connects all the dots. Looking closer at Oprah, she states that “she wanted to be a teacher, but…never imagined it would be on TV.” Whether, it’s her talk shows, her school for girls, her magazine – the one foundational principle of Oprah, is that she’s teaching (or making it possible for others to teach) something to her audience.

Richard Branson is my role model. If you follow his blog or social media or press, you notice that he’s famous for two things – fun and encouragement. He’s mixed the two to create an empire of over 150 companies. Dig deeper and you find out that those companies are not companies he’s started or led, but they’re companies created with ‘normal’ entrepreneurs who he believes in and encourages to pursue their dreams as part of the Virgin network with Virgin cash, while business is always focused on happiness and people.

For the people on my list, their -Ers are actually their vehicles for fulfilling their purposes and missions. When you know your purpose and mission in life – or even for that year – you’re able to better and quickly define what your -Ers are, and what you say yes and no to.

Those Little Voices

For the last 6 months, in the back of my mind I’ve heard Katt Williams’ voice screaming “you got to be in tune with your star player.” I decided to make this my personal and professional mission for 2018 – to get in tune with my star player. But, again, that brings me back to my life’s mission. If your star player is the person that makes that life mission happen, then they need to know what the mission is.

And that brings me to the words of one of my favorite teachers, Dr. Myles Munroe and his “Recognize Your Vision & Dream” lesson (available on YouTube). After much listening, deliberation, self-assessment, lifestyle design, I finally settled on a mission that I believe will carry me through life, help me fulfill my purpose, and frame my -Ers for decades to come. It simply is “To be a person of value, wealth, and influence, so I can create the things that people need, want, and love” Sprinkle that with my Psalm 37:4 heart-desires (real estate and fun), and it circles right back to where I am in this season in my life. So, although, my -Ers may change in the near future, I can happily rest in that they will all fit in the grand scheme of things. And that my current -Er of “older undergrad student” is but for a moment.

The Price of College

I chose a major with an emphasis in Urban Planning – but I know that I do not want to work with the City for life in the planning department. My dream is to be a modern space builder & developer in Waco (no small feat). This semester I have three classes – two in urban planning and one in modern architecture. So, when my professors asked last week what I hope to get out of class, my honest answer was to learn from the basics of each subject and how I fit in the industry as a developer – considering my minors are tourism and event planning.

On day 1, in one of my urban planning classes, I watched the 17 minute ‘What is a City’ lecture video where my professor explained the connection between physical and social landscapes of cities. I had to immediately email him and tell him about my “fit” struggle, but how he in a matter of 10 minutes, managed to bring it all together and connect the dots for me and prove to me that I don’t have business-ADD — all in the first lecture. For the first time in life, I could clearly see the connection between the physical spaces and the social interactions that I long to create for people and how they connect in the real world – not just my mind. And now, I know that it does make sense, and it is possible. I can be a real estate developer, fun-maker, and place-maker all in one day!

I learned that day that the price of college is not how much you pay for it, but rather how much you lose in life – time and money and hope and fear – because of not being in the room with people having those conversations that feed your dreams, desires, knowledge, purpose, and mission. It’s too high of a price to pay.


Tami Nutall Jefferson is an older, non-traditional student with a professional real estate background. Tami begins her first academic year at Texas A&M University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Planning and Land Development while commuting between Waco and College Station. Her hope that every Wacoan – from all corners – can engage in and contribute to the growth and success of the city. You can connect with Tami at taminutall@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tami.nutall1