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Meet the Cast: Suzanne Nahay

by brigid on March 25, 2015


Suzanne Nahay is a farm-raised, city girl at heart with a lifelong case of wanderlust. She’s the oldest of nine and mother of two who believes in the power of prayer, the power of the pen, and the power of AND. Relishing a life marked by paradox, Suzanne loves college football and Joan Didion, cheap beer and expensive perfume, Louis C.K. and C.S. Lewis, and classic red polish at the tips of her callused weightlifting hands.

As a strategist and copywriter at Delevante Creative, Suzanne also stands firm in her belief that branding and advertising can be about truth-telling and difference-making, sharing stories and shaping lives for the better.

Storytelling, fiction or non-, has been her life’s calling, first given a boost of confidence at age 12 when she won a local Young Author’s contest. Others’ words fed her passion through the years, from her Aunt Eileen’s letters written in an Austrian convent to the postcards her father composed in Cairo while teaching at university. In middle school, she consumed Sweet Valley High and Danielle Steel during her first (volunteer) gig at her hometown library.

Today, she prefers Mary Karr memoirs and hand-me-down issues of Vogue after a day at the office or an evening with the husband she loves madly, the children who amaze her daily, and the dog she, well, wishes would stop eating her shoes.


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Meet the Cast: Mignon Francois

by brigid on March 23, 2015

Mignon Francois headshot

“Entrepreneurship is the ability to believe in a dream big enough to follow it and start wherever you are each day until the dream is not only a reality but perfection.”–Mignon Francois

When the Francois’ were in the depths of their debt, Mignon Francois knew what she had to do to save her family. In 2007, after many sleepless nights she began the groundwork to answer her life’s calling. Never mind that it called her to make cupcakes, at a time when the mother of six couldn’t make a proper cake from a boxed mix. And never mind the amount of sacrifice it would require from her children. Mignon knew her calling was much greater. She would serve as a lighthouse for others–showing people the way out of a dark space.

As unpredictable as the future was, Francois went full speed ahead with her growing desire to launch a business. She was able to combine her love for entrepreneurship and the opportunity to share joy by way of homemade, straight-from- your-grandma’s-kitchen-tasting cupcakes. Countless back-and-forth calls with her favorite baker, her grandmother Virginia “Jenny” Matthews, and her college studies in Chemistry laid the foundation for the art of baking. Followed by numerous taste tests and honest feedback from her family, it was right there in her family’s living room that The Cupcake Collection was born.

Since its opening in 2008, the bakery, located in Nashville’s Historic Germantown, has won over the taste buds of the entire city, hailed as “Best Bakery,” “Best Cupcake,” “Best Dessert Food Truck” and “Best Roving Food Truck In Nashville.” But its sweet influence spreads far beyond city lines: The Cupcake Collection recently gained national attention by appearing on ABC’s The Chew and ranked Number 10 in the Best Dessert Food Truck in the U.S. national ranking. Francois’ business savvy has also been recognized, earning the owner and founder the titles of “Emerging Business Leader of the Year” and “Woman of Legend and Merit” by Tennessee State University.

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Meet the Cast: Jessica Bliss

March 20, 2015

Jessica Bliss once stood at the foot of football hero Steve McNair’s grave in remote Mississippi just hours after his family buried him. She squealed after seeing rocker Lenny Kravitz’s tweet of her front-page news story about the CMT Awards. And she relished every sip of tea while sitting in a Green Hills coffee shop with author Ann Patchett. Jessica is a columnist at The Tennessean (but, she promises, she isn’t a serial name dropper). Hired by The Tennessean in 2002, Jessica spent six years as a sports reporter before joining the lifestyles team. Now, as a storytelling columnist her focus is to bring voice, perspective and emotion to our community’s most compelling human interest stories. She believes that the more people feel connected to each other – either through words or experiences – the more they will feel connected to their city and inspired to take part in making it a better […]

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Meet the Cast: Jordan Elam

March 19, 2015

Jordan Elam is an artist, writer, and yoga instructor. She is a seamstress, leather-worker, and photographer. She is also a full-time mother and wife. She’s fluent in Spanish and is currently teaching herself French. And she’s pretty good at guitar and piano, but she wouldn’t ever tell you that. She’s what Chesterton would have called a “Jill of all trades.” Jordan was raised on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Her parents are paragons of the middle-class work ethic, a perfect mixture of intelligent, hard-working, and crazy. She has three brothers – one artist, one welder, one athlete. Jordan has lived and traveled all over the world. When she lived in Costa Rica she taught literature by day and Latin dance by night. When she lived in Peru, she worked as an interpreter and (unrelated) caught an owl with her bare hands. In France, she began her first novel but got sidetracked by Pastis and the pastoral allure of the French mountain towns. […]

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Meet the Cast: Autumn Jones

March 18, 2015

  Autumn Jones is a recovering only child raising two wild boys with her husband, Jeff. Her love of writing began in the fifth grade when she received her first journal: blue velvet with an embossed silver unicorn on the cover. Since then, Autumn’s skills have evolved from making lists of cute boys to making lists about groceries and errands. To keep her sanity and pay a few bills, she also writes and blogs about everything from parenting to failed middle school auditions for the Mickey Mouse Club at fun life * happy life. Autumn is a Myers Briggs ENFP and an Enneagram #7 which means she is likely to speak way too loudly, redecorate her house every year, overpay for t shirts, daydream excessively, overanalyze lunch choices and pout when she doesn’t get her way. She also overanalyzes why she does all these things and makes a list about how to be […]

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