44: Meet Macy Madison

Fayetteville transplant Macy Madison has taken her love of all things handmade and turned it into a downtown storefront that sells the wares of many local artisans.

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1.  Name, occupation, years in LR, neighborhood: Macy Madison; small-business owner and student, my gift shop is Paper, Scissors, Little Rock. I’m also taking nine hours in the art/applied design department at UALR. I have lived in Little Rock exactly five years. I was born and raised in Fayetteville. My Little Rock neighborhood shuffle began when, first, I moved to WLR. Downtown was next, in late 2009. That’s when my boo, Chris, moved in. He comes with part-time identical twin boys, Ethan and Emerson, now 5--they are pretty much the most awesome things he’s got going. Then we all moved to SOMA, then Stifft Station/Hillcrest. Now we are in WLR again, for the rest of THIS lease. I really loved the feel of living downtown and in SOMA.

2. What inspired you to start a small business in LR? When I wanted to open a store, downtown and SOMA were pretty much the only places I looked for a space. Paper, Scissors, Little Rock is a gift shop that sells local artists’ amazing wares. After two middle-management careers, and MBA classes at UALR, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. At the time, I was noticing the beauty and talent of the sort of “indie craft movement” that was becoming more and more popular. I had joined the Etsy Little Rock team, and saw the amazingness that is created right here in Central Arkansas. I had just completed Real Estate school when I was presented with an amazing opportunity. Kiva.org was doing a city-wide campaign to crowd-fund microloans to local small businesses. I received a crowd-sourced loan of $7,500 in April through Kiva, that allows me to pay the money back, interest-free, over three years.

I love having the store. I don’t have any other employees, yet--it’s just me and my shopdog, Lulu (she is pretty famous and has a really good work ethic). The best part of the store--besides getting to bring my dog to work--is meeting the different vendors. I started with ten different lines, and as of December I have 34! It’s crazy--everything and everyone is absolutely, positively unique. It’s amazing to be a tiny part of the resurgence of downtown Little Rock.

3.  What is, hands down, your favorite meal you can only get in Little Rock?  I don’t have to go far from work for good food. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I love the fried chicken at South on Main. Everyone that comes to visit me and my shop, gets a trip to Brown Sugar Bakeshop…the turtle cheesecake…I die. This week, my favorite meal that I can only get in Little Rock, is the Pesto Turkey Burger at Big Orange. Ask me again next week.

4. What have been your three favorite recent style finds in LR? My favorite personal style find is my jorts which I find at The Goodwill (I call it Willy’s when I wanna feel fancy). Seriously, though, I’m on a budget--like, a pork and beans budget. Thrift stores are an awesome treasure hunt. FYI…don’t trick yourself into thinking the WLR Willy’s will have the best designer finds; it doesn’t, usually. East Ninth Vintage, Mid-Towne Antique Mall, and Sweet Home Furnishings have the most amazing, and unique, home décor.

Another aspect of my personal style is the workouts offered at Zenspin. It’s my favorite because, in my 32 years, I have never successfully found a workout regimen to stick with. I think, Zenspin owner, Camden, had to teach me to do a lunge--seriously. But, I love everything about this fitness boutique. Spinning my legs away to the loud dance music with Camden...well, I don’t dread it. I also like to get to the ballet bar with Donna, she’s awesome and looks amazing. If you find a workout you like, with instructors you like, DO IT.

5. Where do you make sure to take out-of-town guests when they visit? When I have out-of-town guests, I take them right on down to my shop, that’s the only must. Sometimes I feel like a concierge shopgirl, because my store is next to a hotel. People probably don’t know that I have more out-of-town shoppers than in-town shoppers. My recommendation list for different crowds is getting better and better. My very favorite is to tell every single woman to go to the ESSE Purse Museum and to go see Hillary’s childhood journals at the Clinton Library. I love Little Rock.

Swing in and say hello to Macy and Lulu at their shop, located at 300 River Market Ave #105.