Shreveport with Derek and Lauren Simmons

Continuing our journey, our next destination was Shreveport, Louisiana. We had reached out to Derek and Lauren prior to our American trip, and their excitement to have us visit was evident. Arriving a day ahead, we spent the time catching up on We Are Makers admin work and podcast backups.

As the evening set in, a brewing storm caused a power outage in Shreveport. The thunderstorms grew in intensity, surpassing even the previous nights in Clinton. Accustomed to more mild weather, we found ourselves in awe of the power of these Southern storms. Prepared for any eventuality, we kept a go-bag handy throughout the night. Luckily, we experienced no complications and kept an eye on the tornado watch and got as much sleep as we could.

The following morning, in need of a strong coffee, we decided to meet Derek and Lauren at their favorite local coffee shop. As we sipped our iced lattes and cold brews, we were also joined by Denver, who handled the socials and administrative side of Derek and Lauren's business. The casual setting allowed us to get to know each other better before visiting their store and sitting down for an authentic and heartfelt podcast recording.

The podcast recording with Derek and Lauren felt like a conversation among old friends. We delved into their lives as crafters and creatives, uncovering their passion and dedication to their respective crafts. Derek's handmade hats and Lauren's artistic pursuits were beautifully complemented by their joint venture, CC Mercantile, a place that curated and repaired antiques. Additionally, their business ArtiFact, which crafted larger-than-life handmade props, exemplified their creativity and innovation. Together, they formed a power couple who lived life on their own terms, while nurturing their family unit with their son.

We were immensely grateful for Derek and Lauren's generosity in shutting their shop for the day to spend time with us. After the podcast, they took us out for a delightful lunch and a beer. During our time together, they expressed their desire to visit Scotland in the near future, and we eagerly anticipated the opportunity to welcome them into our home.

Our visit to Shreveport, Louisiana was short, but we were so delighted to meet with Derek and Lauren. Their genuine friendship, passion for their crafts, and commitment to living life on their own terms served as an inspiration.

As we continued our journey, we carried with us the memories of Shreveport and the friendships we gained. Our encounters with Derek and Lauren reinforced the importance of embracing new experiences, connecting with kindred spirits, and cherishing the bonds that transcend geographical boundaries.