April/May 2023: The Women’s Issue

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This is my favorite issue, year after year. Pretty sure I’ve written that in this letter before, but it’s worth repeating. Reading the stories of the amazing women in our community provides the extra boost of inspiration I often find myself craving come April. We’re a third of the way through 2023, and yet I can’t quite recall where the time went. But here we are.

Much like I can feel that I’ve written this letter before, I’ve also found myself more frequently overwhelmed with this same deluge of thoughts: There’s so much to do – balancing being a partner, a mentor, a sister, a daughter, a boss – that I can’t quite focus on one particular task or moment at hand, and instead just try to accomplish all I can simultaneously. Imposter syndrome soon kicks in, and I find myself at a standstill until I can push my way past the negative emotions and anxiety.

If there’s one thing that’s different about this note, this year, it’s that I now recognize that I’m not the only one caught in this cycle. It stems from a desire to be “everything, everywhere, all at once” (my main takeaway from watching this year’s Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards). Be present with the task at hand or the person in front of you, or you’ll miss something.

That’s why it’s important to tell these stories of hard work, persistence and triumph, which begin on page 56. The collective successes of those featured this year, and in years past, are a part of our shared experience, and it’s worth celebrating those who are putting in the work to lift us all.

“From the withered tree, a flower blooms.” That was the proverb my planner listed on the day I wrote this letter. As we come out of a dormant winter and realize the potential of spring, not just within ourselves, but externally, we look for ways to freshen our surroundings – our home & garden features that start on page 88 provide plenty of ideas to do just that. – Executive Editor Amanda MacLaren


58 Swati Khimesra
President and CEO, Surface 678

60 Anna Gibala
Owner and founder, Moonbelly Meat Co.

62 Daisy Magnus-Aryitey
Co-founder and co-executive director, Code the Dream

64 Gerri Houlihan
Faculty, American Dance Festival;
Artistic director, Big Red Dance Project

66 Sen. Natalie Murdock
Senator, North Carolina District 20;
Principal, Murdock Anderson Consulting

70 Brittni Winslow
Practice owner and executive director, Emerge Pediatric Therapy

72 Dr. Lisa Amaya-Jackson
Co-founder, Center for Child & Family Health;
Co-director, UCLA-Duke National Center for Childhood Traumatic Stress;
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine

76 Nina King
Vice president, director of athletics and adjunct professor of business administration, Duke University

78 Constanza Gómez-Joines
Executive director, Center for the Global Learner; and Special Assistant for Hispanic Community Engagement, Office of Equity and Inclusion, Durham Technical Community College

80 Mavis Gragg
Co-founder, Pop Box Gallery;
CEO, Heirshares

80 Laura Ritchie
Co-founder, Pop Box Gallery;
Independent curator and arts organizer

82 Kristine Wylie
President and store manager, Jewelsmith

84 Julie Homen
Co-founder, Persnickety
Content director, StitchedIn


88 Love It, Part Two
These homeowners turned to a familiar design team to complete their dream home in the woods

102 Flower Power
Esteemed florists show off beautiful spring bouquets

106 Modern Luxury
An exclusive look inside two Durham houses on the eight-home, sold-out NCModernist Modapalooza spring tour

110 Welcome to the Neighborhood
Visit this hospitable downtown speakeasy with swanky living room vibes


8 Letter from the Editor

10 Go.See.Do.
Spring’s top events

28 Pedal Pusher: Why Your Next Car Should Be a Bike
Bike Durham board member Justin Laidlaw takes us on a tour of bikeable Durham

32 Noted
What we’ve heard around our city …

40 A Patchwork Durham
Influential members of our community share their visions for the city’s future in this new column

42 Our Top Dentists

126 Engagement & Wedding


21 The Big Give
Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved


116 Biz Briefs

122 Rising Tides
Women empowering women in the workforce


14 Durham Public Schools and DPS Foundation’s An Evening to Shine

15 Book Harvest’s Dream Big Book Drive

16  Meals on Wheels Durham’s Feed the Need Gala

17  Hill Learning Center’s Reading Achievement Program Acquisition Celebration

18 Caring House’s A Night Among the Stars Gala

20 Youth Mentoring Collaborative’s Champions of Mentoring Awards Ceremony

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