Best Styling Cache for Your Magnificent ’Stache
Beard Tree Oils and Herbs owner Jayvein Brooks created his first products out of frustration at not being able to find satisfying products on the market for his own beard. But after a little bit of research, Jayvein was able to develop a line of all-natural beard-care products (because as Jayvein says, “It ain’t about having a big beard; it’s about having a healthy beard”) including beard mist, detox, wash, balm, oil and conditioner. To be honest, we didn’t even know so many facial-hair-care options existed. But thanks to Jayvein, we’ve never looked better.
Best, Most Cuddliest River, Ever
Most maps, being made of either paper or pixels, aren’t exactly what you might call “cozy.” However, the aptly named Buffalo River Quilt, embroidered with place names from Boxley Bridge to Hasty, and designed by Hillfolk (page 40) in collaboration with Brooklyn-based Haptic Lab, is perfect for snugging. Although this hand-stitched quilt doesn’t quite stretch the 150 miles covered by the Buffalo—it’s a little closer to, say, 5 feet by 6 feet—there’s something truly soothing in being able to wrap every undammed inch of the nation’s first national river close around you. Achieve super-meta status by taking this quilt to the Buffalo itself, then following your journey, stitch by stitch.
Best Style Export
You might not be familiar with the name Mark Monroe, but you’ve undoubtedly seen his work. As a stylist for Lizzo—aka our favorite soul songstress, funky flautist and body positivity kween—the native Arkansan has helped craft all the singer’s most stunning fashion moments, from the iconic custom silver thong bodysuit with matching cape that she debuted at Coachella back in April, to her decadent hot-pink, feathery, bedazzled, sequined Old Hollywood look from this year’s Met Gala. And with a lineup of clients that’s included the likes of Miley Cyrus and art photographer Nadia Lee Cohen, there can be no doubt: Mark’s not just tuned into this moment—he’s defining it.
Best Time Machine to 1967
Remember when Fayetteville’s Chancellor Hotel got a reno a few years back? That was fun. But it was nowhere near as fun as the news that the Chancellor would become one of the newest projects by Graduate Hotels, a university-town chain of cheeky boutique accommodations boasting a ’60s aesthetic straight out of, well, The Graduate. Opened in time to kick off the 2019 football season, the Graduate makes us want to dig out Dad’s scratchy UA cardigan and order a whiskey sour pregame—or just forget the game and while away the afternoon playing Benjamin Braddock by the hotel pool or Instagramming lobby vignettes.
Best Reason to be Oh-Sew Proud
On an afternoon in late August, Oklahoma artist Marilyn Artus sat before a Singer sewing machine in the governor’s chambers at the Arkansas capitol, stitching a new stripe to an ever-growing flag. Some 5 1/2 feet by nearly 14 feet, with 11 red- and pink-tinted stripes already sewn together, it was part of the Her Flag project, a nationwide collaborative art project in which artists from the 36 states that ratified the 19th amendment—thereby giving women the right to vote—were invited to create a stripe. Not to get all starry-eyed, but as Little Rock artist Virmarie DePoyster’s stripe became the 12th one added, we were reminded a flag is a living thing—and that we all stand beneath it.
Best New Digs for a Stamped Collection
For the past few years, it seems we’ve been seeing Bang-Up Betty—aka Stacey Bowers of Little Rock—hammer out a name for herself most everywhere. Featured in glowing write-ups from nationwide publications, (Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, just to name few). Her pins and stamped jewelry photographed on the likes of Janelle Mon and Julianne Moore. Even recently, among the 13-plus-thousand folks who attended the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s talk at Verizon Arena, we spotted more than a few of her “Smash the Patriarchy” shirts. But one place we’re especially thrilled to see her? A new shared retail space in Stifft Station Gifts and Sundries.
Best Chance to Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
For half a decade, Conway native Katie McGowan has been charming tattoo aficionados on screen and IRL: Her girly art (cats in space, anyone?) and her bombastic personality earned her entry into the cult favorite reality television show Ink Master not once, but twice. These days, Katie is more in demand than ever. Serving as a mentor in the newest incarnation of the show—Ink Master: Battle of the Sexes—Katie is pushing a team to win under her tutelage, and she’s somehow found the time to open her own shop—Love Spell Tattoo—in Stifft Station in Little Rock with her partner, Jesse Perez.