I thought that you might like to know a little about the owner/administrator of Rhythm & Rhymes.  I am a preacher’s kid by birth, a master’s prepared registered nurse by education, and achild at heart. Somewhere in my family, there was an entrepreneurial spirit in our blood line.  I have fallen victim to that inheritance on more than one occasion.  I credit my parents for teaching me the value of hard work, my tenacity to shoot for the stars because they told me that  I could do anything and be anything  I set my mind to, and especially, the importance of family.

My first entrepreneurial experience was at the age of eight.  My brother and I were partners in the sales of Cheerful House Greeting cards.  Like any child of that age, after the initial thrill wore off, I was ready to move on to something new and more exciting.  My mother would not hear of it.  We had established a base of customers.  At the time, I am sure that I did not appreciate the lesson she was trying to teach me.  Finally when I was twelve, Dad was transferred to Lebanon First United Methodist Church. Thankfully we left behind all of our repeat card customers.  I thought, “Whew, what a relief!!!”
Little did I know, my next life lesson awaited me in Lebanon, Tennessee.  My father had partnered with a young man to co-own and operate a KOA campground. It just happened to be where the Bishop transferred my father.  By the time we moved to Lebanon, the partner had decided that he no longer wanted to be in the campground business.   What was meant to be a silent investment of my father, now became a family owned and operated business.   I was fortunate to escape the school year but when summers arrived my days started early and ended late into the night.  It was here that I learned many skills and lessons  that I carry with me today.  I learned the customer is always right and the value of hard work.: I had many roles at the  campground which included meeting and greeting each guest, cleaning the restrooms, mowing the grass, picking up trash, and chauffeuring and conducting sightseeing tours of Nashville.   Once again, Mom was there teaching me the lessons of hard work and team work.  Most importantly I learned that work can be fun.  We did not see much of Dad in this family business because being a minister is a full time job.  Mom’s work outside of the campground was a Director of a kindergarten program at one of the local churches.  My brother worked year round at the campground.  I only escaped the school year because I had basketball practice most every day after school.    The life lesson was that one’s work is never done. There is always room for improvement.,  I can still hear Mom say, “…if you have nothing else to do, the windows always need cleaning so find the Windex bottle and rag and Get busy!!!”

That is why I am so excited about this new venture.  I cannot wait to experience the joys of working hard, shooting for the stars, and expanding my family yet again.  What excites me the most is that maybe I am able get to give your children just a taste of what my parents gave me.  When we build a team: you, the parents’ love and encouragement, my parents’ life’s lessons, and the talents of our staff leading your child via the work of the Arts, our outcome will be some pretty amazing kids.

As I was leaving high school and entering Vanderbilt University School of Nursing my Dad partnered with another friend and opened a skating rink.  I call these my Roller Derby Queen years.  I always found it interesting that Dad was always getting us into yet another family business when his job did not allow him to participate but a few hours a week.  With this experience brought new lessons and skills.

I was raised during the era that most females from my community considered nursing or education as their career.  Nursing won out for me.  I attended Vanderbilt University and received my Baccalaureate in Nursing.  I later attended Emory University for a Master’s in Nursing Administration.  I quickly learned that I was allergic to hospitals and did not want to spend my years within those walls. That infusion of entrepreneurial spirit was rising.  It was not long after graduating from my master’s in nursing administration that I was working toward my first business.   I birthed Kids & Nurses in 1987.  Kids & Nurses was a day care facility for medically fragile chronically ill children.  For 10 years, I continued to raise my baby until there were four locations spread across Tennessee and three in Florida.   I was privileged to work with excellent nurses, therapists, and social workers who worked to make differences in the lives of these special children and their families.  The advent of TennCare sadly brought an end to this most rewarding journey in my life.

I had come full circle.  The teachings of my parents so many years prior, was what I was living out in my life at Kids & Nurses.  My hard work provided me the opportunity to shoot for the stars and watch miracles happen.  Now, my family not only included my cherished immediate family but expanded to encompass the staff, the parents, and all the children. I have dabbled with other ventures from that point until now.  Furniture reupholstery, Jamaican Sensations (sells Jamaican products, sight-seeing boat tours /fishing, and assisting with lodging), calabash purse embellishing, timeshare rentals, and art collecting were some of time consuming activities.  I realized it was time to put my efforts into a project that utilized my life lessons.  To do some serious work that impacts the lives of the population that matters most to me, children.

That is why I am so excited about this new venture.  I cannot wait to experience the joys of working hard, shooting for the stars, and expanding my family yet again.  What excites me the most is that maybe I am able get to give your children just a taste of what my parents gave me.  When we build a team: you, the parents’ love and encouragement, my parents’ life’s lessons, and the talents of our staff leading your child via the work of the Arts, our outcome will be some pretty amazing kids.
There is nothing that can lift my spirits higher than the laughter of a child. Nothing that brings such joy to my heart as a choir of children singing. And nothing that brings a smile from ear to ear and laughter to my soul as when playing and dancing with children.   I hope you will join me in witnessing the miracles as our children’s  dreams come true.

Thank you for sharing your piece of heaven with my Rhythm and Rhymes family.

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