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The first full week in March was stylin’ in Bentonville, Arkansas! The third-annual NWA Fashion Week showcased many of northwest Arkansas’ top designers, boutiques and some amazing and much-needed nonprofits. I went to #NWAFW as a representative of #CollectiveBias at one of my old stomping grounds, the Benton County Daily Record. I cannot tell you how different the building looks from when it was a newspaper office just five years ago! But somehow, they managed to transfer that building into a fabulous runway.
I went to the Boutique Runway on March 7, where boutiques like She Said Yes Bridal, By Request, Chic, Blue Moon Market, Maven, Ropa, Klothe, Reflection of Beauty + Fauxever Yours, SOHO, Skye on the Town and Coed Co-Op were featured.
But the main stars of this entire event were the charities for which it was held. One particular charity close to my heart is Ozark Guidance. I have been a patient at Ozark Guidance since 2006, when troubles with panic, depression and anxiety left me helpless and in need of affordable behavioral health care.
The treatment I’ve received at Ozark Guidance has helped me get through many traumatic issues, perhaps most significantly the post-traumatic stress disorder I was diagnosed with following a sexual assault in 2008. Since being a patient at Ozark Guidance, I have pleaded with my representatives in Congress to begin a dialogue in Washington to focus on affordable access to behavioral health care for low-income individuals. Ozark Guidance’s philosophy is that no one in northwest Arkansas should be without access to behavioral health care. I truly believe Ozark Guidance has saved me in many, many ways. But I also know that Ozark Guidance struggles with having the resources to care for every person who needs it, so this event was a great help for them.
Often, organizations such as Ozark Guidance would go without recognition were it not for large galas like NWA Fashion Week. These events raise awareness among those who may not need services from these organizations – and manage to combine lots of glam and entertainment with some great causes.
It’s not often that I get to doll up for a night on the town, but I was so proud to be part of such a wonderful event. I am very proud of the fashion community in northwest Arkansas for putting on such an amazing show.