30: Meet Emily Laughlin Cobb

Artist and lifelong local Emily Laughlin Cobb loves Little Rock's big city options and small town charm.


1. Name, occupation, years in LR, neighborhood: Emily Laughlin Cobb, Mom, Wife, daughter, sister, friend, Artist & VP of Cleanco, lived in Little Rock 32 years, recent WLR convert…still adjusting after being a lifelong Hillcrest/midtown gal. Never thought I’d cave and move “out west,” but having kids and the lure of giant closets and a huge bathtub finally won out over our dollhouse bungalow (which I still miss terribly).

2. What is, hands down, your favorite meal you can only get in Little Rock? Now this is a tough one...If it was the last meal I could ever eat here, it would be a home cooked meal by my mom. My go-to favorite meal by her includes sweet tea, salmon patties, mashed potatoes, black-eyed peas, fried okra, sweet corn, coleslaw, blue berry muffins followed by a slice of her homemade chocolate pie…I’m salivating just thinking about it! 

For lunch, a US Pizza Salad Supreme, tilapia tacos from Flying Fish or a Leo’s Greek salad. If it were a fancy date night, it would have to be on the patio of Brave New. A bottle of Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio would be a requirement. I would have the avocado shrimp appetizer (the most delicious appetizer in town), then follow it up with their pan- roasted scallops. Once dinner was over and I had soaked up the scenery of the beautiful Arkansas river and the downtown city scape in the distance, I would move on to Ciao Baci for some porch swinging/sitting people watching. I probably would have to indulge in some chocolate creme brûlée (hands down, the best in in town) and wine or whatever the festive cocktail of the week is that particular night. For a casual date night. I’d want Local Lime for margaritas, a salsa trio (mango, zucchini and one choice for the hubs), some Queso Blanca, then grilled chili shrill tacos with lime rice and black beans. If I'm feeling like a really good girl, I might have their 3 Rum Tres Leches (to die for). 

This night would prob be followed up by a skip and an hop over to the IMAX or to watch some type of sporting event at the tavern or it might include a stroll around many of the fab shops in the Chenal Promenade. See this West Little Rock thing is growing on me. 

3. What have been your favorite recent shopping finds? I am an artist so I'm pretty obsessed with my new brushes, brush organizer, and paints from Art Outfitters.

Georgia James Creative owner Heather Owens has a real knack for pulling together beautiful neutral palettes and mixing with fun/edgy/ funky art, pillows, lamps and accessories. She is like a creative fairy angel. She gave me and my art our first break. She has been selling it in her store and I have had more business in the past 6 weeks then I ever could have imagined! I have been completely humbled by the response I have received. It feels somewhat out of body. The Pleasant Ridge location (inside Scarlett) is awesome, too. Scarlett is a one-stop-shop: you can get your hair did, dress yourself and gussy up your house up all in one visit. 

Clothing-wise, I’m obsessed with my vegan fur from Scarlett. It's one of those things you kinda just want to live in…like, roll around in naked because it feels so good. 

I’m also a big fan of Ember and E. Leigh’s--they are in my regular rotation. I can always find a great staple or trendy piece a snaz up my wardrobe at reasonable price points. Plus, it's always nice to go in somewhere where people remember you and make you feel like your business is important to them. Both of these shops have aced this.

If I need a quick gift, I can always find something unique and fabulous at Cynthia East and the Full Moon.

4. What kinds of activities do you and your family like to do together? If it is a slow work day, you might find us hitting some golf balls at PVCC or working on the antiques booth that I share with my mom at Midtown Antiques. Other free time is almost always spent in my kitchen (AKA my art studio) slinging some paint around.

If it's a weekend and it's cold out, we are big fans of hanging out at home, cooking out and watching movies. We might hit the Museum of Discovery or The Wonder Place with our son, Jack. Or I could always spend hours strolling the halls of the Arkansas Arts Center

If it's warmer, you might find us playing at one of the many fabulous parks, walking the Big Dam Bridge, at the zoo, watching the ponies race at Oaklawn or enjoying a nice dip in the waters of our neighborhood pool or Lake Hamilton. A soon as there is any sign of warmth, I come out of my shell and my hands can't get enough of the dirt. I love love love anything to do with digging, planting, potting and gardening. 

5. How would you describe LR to someone who has never been here? Small town feel with a lot to offer. I think best sums it up. Little rock has a little bit of everything to offer. We were built on and around rolling hills, mature landscaping, breathtaking river views, sprawling parks, charming neighborhoods and eclectic people. The possibilities are quite endless when it comes to Little Rock. It may seem small, but we have some big city flavor and tons of heart. The people here will make sure you feel right at home.

Check out Emily's Facebook page to see some of Emily’s work or buy original pieces at Georgia James Creative. Beginning September 1, IO Metro will carry a large-scale reproduction of one of her paintings as part of their fall line.