Want to understand west Fort Worth? These four women embody the best that the Fort has to offer.
No one struggles to describe what makes west Fort Worth special. An entrenched sense of community, combined with a small-town “local” feel, one-of-a-kind businesses, and a general sense of comfort and neighborliness all combine to infuse this historic section of a great city with its own charm.
It’s impossible to select a single person to showcase a community; for west Fort Worth, however, a representative group of women embody the warmth, ingenuity, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit that make our little piece of the world special.
Bringing Beauty to the Bricks
Darla Bettencourt has always known where her heart lay: with flowers, and the joy she could bring to others through her efforts as a florist. What began as an after-school gig has blossomed into a flourishing career — one where beauty sprouts on a daily basis from the storefront at 5023 Camp Bowie Boulevard.
“I had to pay for my first car, and the florist had a sign in the window,” says Darla. “I started there just shy of 18, and now I’m 42, and it’s all I’ve ever done. I managed other florists, and about five years ago decided it was time to open my own.”
The years since Blossoms on the Bricks opened have seen a burst of success. Such was the success of Darla’s bridal offerings, that she recently opened a second space specifically for weddings. Darla can credit her success to a host of factors: painstaking attention to detail, high-quality merchandise, and exceptional customer service. One more contributing factor cannot be denied, however: location, and the support of the west Fort Worth community.
“Being here on the bricks was my number one priority,” says Darla. “I love the history of Camp Bowie, and there’s just something special about west Fort Worth. The customers are just unbelievable.”
All businesses want repeat customers, but few work as hard to earn loyalty as Blossoms on the Bricks. Through detailed records and a genuine personal investment, Darla and her team remember customer preferences and allergies, and strive to keep the service as bright and fresh as the flowers. For Darla, the rewards of this hard work extend far beyond the financial:
“To see someone smile, and their surprise and joy when we deliver, that’s why we want to continue what we’re doing. It just makes our day to see all that happiness.”
A Real Lifesaver
The physicians of Texas Oncology have a straightforward, clearly stated goal: to provide a better, more effective, and more healthful treatment of cancer to the people of Texas. A compassionate approach, combined with evidence-based treatment, not only saves the lives of Texas patients, but contributes to advances that make treatment more effective for everyone.
Texas Breast Specialists of Southwest Fort Worth, a part of Texas Oncology located at 6500 Harris Parkway, counts Jennifer Snow as one of its invaluable team members. A doctor of osteopathic medicine who specializes in breast surgery, Dr. Snow works daily to save the lives and raise the healthful awareness of our mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters. An insidious killer, breast cancer often maximizes its sense of tragedy through the element of surprise.
“Most people don’t realize how common it is,” says Dr. Snow. “Twelve percent of women, or 1 in 8, will get breast cancer. The recommendation is that at the age of 40, you start getting yearly mammograms. Early detection is what makes breast cancer a treatable disease.”
Healthful living also helps discourage the disease. Dr. Snow recommends that all women strive to maintain an ideal body weight, exercise at least 2.5 hours a week, drink fewer than 2.5 alcoholic beverages each week, stay away from cigarettes, and pursue a low-fat diet.
“These are things that decrease breast cancer risk, along with other cancers in general,” says Dr. Snow. “You should also know family history as a risk factor. If you’re at increased risk, you may need screenings at an earlier age.”
Right at Home
If you’ve lived in west Fort Worth for awhile, the entire area can feel like home. For the particulars of an actual residence, however, many of the area’s homeowners have put their faith in Bonnie Pressley’s Decorating Den. One of 300 Decorating Den franchises worldwide, Bonnie’s location has distinguished itself through design expertise, attention to detail, and a comprehensive vision.
“We’re very hands-on,” says Bonnie. “We can do absolutely everything, and have contractors to help with every facet of a remodel or decorating project. We do small projects like window treatments, up to large projects like floors, ceiling, and hardwire lighting.”
While many design firms require a minimum purchase, Decorating Den does not — there is no hourly charge, and the cost of their design expertise gets included in the cost of products. If you’ve ever shied from the necessity of a remodel, or decided to trust your own abilities, Bonnie has some advice:
“In the long-run, a professional service saves money. People will look at magazines or the internet for inspiration, and they’ll make mistakes, wish they hadn’t bought something, etc. If you let us handle it, it’s designed just for you, not copied from a magazine, and is unique in function and beauty.”
As for young ladies who someday want to own a business, Bonnie preaches patience and perseverance.
“Expect a rollercoaster ride. It’s not always easy, but if you focus on the long-term, the wonderful ‘ups’ will outweigh the ‘downs.’ The independence and excitement of taking care of people — that’s what makes you feel like a winner.”
Community of Caring
Jennifer Williams has worked for Morsco, the parent company of Fort Worth’s Morrison Supply and Expressions Home Gallery, for the past 14 years. As the company’s marketing director, Jennifer is constantly looking for ways to engage the area she calls home. One of the most important ways has been through philanthropy — giving back to the community that has helped Morrison Supply and Expressions Home Gallery become leaders in their respective industries.
As a board member for the Greater Fort Worth Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Jennifer works to raise awareness and research funds for a pernicious and chronic disease. This October 15th, you can join Jennifer in the fight against diabetes at the JDRF One Walk at Panther Island Pavilion.
“Morrison Supply Company and Expressions are the presenting sponsors,” says Jennifer. “You can create a team of family and friends and walk in support of a child with diabetes. It’s a great family fun day, with music, free food, face-painting and jump-houses for the kids.”
In addition to philanthropic intent, Jennifer has personal reasons to support diabetes research: she was herself diagnosed with the disease at 15.
“It’s just so common now,” says Jennifer. “People don’t know the symptoms, so it goes undiagnosed until they wind up in the hospital. Most of the time it’s kids that are hospitalized, and JDRF works to raise awareness among children as well.”
A celebration of community, good times at Panther Island Pavilion, and support for children’s diabetes; what better way to spend a day? For more information, or to pre-register your team, visit www.jdrf.org, and click “events.”