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American Faces No. 46

With the current state of things, the subjects of my next two American Faces will be my youngest daughter and my only son.

I suppose you could say this American Faces is sixteen years in the making. My daughter Bethany is a talented vocalist and an incredibly natural musician. She has felt music deep in her soul since she was a baby. Music is truly her happy place. As she said, “It gives me a sense of freedom from the thoughts that are in my brain.” She added, “Music is a way that I can freely express myself." That expression is heard in the sunny stairwell of our home, through the heat ducts of our old farmhouse, or just about any place that doesn’t have sound restrictions. It’s like having a free concert nearly everyday.

It seemed relevant for today to ask her about her dreams. Bethany shared, she wants to have many adventures, travel, try new things, and own a coffee shop. She told me her coffee shop would have an open mic all the time. How apropos that seems, for this young woman who cannot help but sing even in the hardest of times.

As our time in the studio ended, I asked her to say something to the next who walks on a similar path. She shared this, “Fields of wildflowers always come back and bloom. No matter what they go through they keep coming back. No matter what you go through it’s shaping you into someone stronger."

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American Faces No. 45

I met my subject for this American Faces installment back in 2001.  Sarah Hanley is a wonderfully talented graphic designer who, when I first met her, was certain her career would track towards a large, cutting edge advertising agency.  But the road of life often has twists and turns and changes in directions we cannot see when we first set out on our adult journey.  Sarah’s road had stops along the way at a small food-focused ad agency, a large hospital marketing department, and other freelance gigs.  Her road of life has also had a husband and two children join her in her journey.  Family has a way of changing the direction we first set out on.  Sarah now is a published author, something she had no “ah-hah” moment for when she was in school dreaming about Ad Agency life.  However, this additional creative skill was there, and has blossomed into a wonderful world of artistic expression.

Sarah shared with me that doing what you love doesn’t always look like what you built it up to be.  She started as a graphic designer and now adds to that talented resume the title author.

To those that read this. Keep dreaming!  This world needs the future version of you.

Now is a great time to read a book or two (or seventeen).

Check out her book on Amazon:

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American Faces - No. 44

The story of Big Bore Barbecue and Chad Brink is one of those classic American dream kind of stories. The story begins with Chad Brink giving himself to the service of our country for 8 years as he was a part of the Army National Guard. Chad’s service forged a strength for logistics, process and drive. That drive is what helped Big Bore Barbecue rise out of the ashes (so to speak) in a space that was once the eyesore of the Hanover, Minnesota community.

Big Bore has an incredible warmth to it that you feel before you even come through the door with the glorious smoke rising from the smokers. The inviting atmosphere shines through as you see the carefully planned decor and are warmly greeted by the incredible staff. You’re invited to slow down, take it easy and soak in Minnesota’s version of Texas Barbecue. Maybe that’s a nod to the slow cooked meats that make you drool as you see the orders of others pass as you await others.

The welcoming atmosphere of Big Bore Barbecue

As I spoke to Chad, I lost count of the number of times that he mentioned how much community means to him as he was opening this Texas Style BBQ. He lives in the very community that Big Bore calls home and is so thankful for the friends and neighbors who are helping him live out this awesome American Dream with him. He knows without a loyal community of people, Big Bore could not be the success that it is.

Neon is Awesome!

Big Bore Barbecue is a reality because as Chad Brink said in closing “Don’t give up”.

Those last three words are something that we each need to hear from time to time.

Art directed by: Schnell Designs