I’m Nubian Simmons and I am the owner of The Pink Bakery, Inc (TPB). The Pink Bakery is TN’s 1st Big 8 Allergen Free Bakery. We make desserts and mixes for people with food allergies to the Big 8 foods (Eggs, Fin-fish, Milk, Peanuts, Shellfish, Soy, Tree Nuts and Wheat). The desserts are made using only Organic, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Fair-Trade and responsibly sourced ingredients. They are naturally vegan and don’t taste like cardboard. Made in a state inspected dedicated kitchen so you don’t have to worry about cross contamination.
I created this company because I have food allergies to milk and wheat. Throughout my life, I have been excluded from the “dessert part” of meals and activities. Watching others enjoy something as simple as a piece of cake, knowing I couldn’t eat it without having a severe allergic reaction, was unbearable.
After years of this, I decided to learn how to make my own mixes from scratch. Now, I can be a part of activities that involve food and also enjoy delicious desserts without worrying about the reaction I will experience later. No one should feel excluded from celebratory moments due to a food allergy.
We offer the following dessert mix options: our Mama’s Favorite® Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cupcake Mix, Not So Plain Jane® Sugar Cookie & Pie Crust and our No Frownie Brownie® Mix.
I volunteer my time with: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Target House, Food Allergy Research & Education Group and Food Allergy Alliance of the MidSouth.
While Lauren Brook Jewelry was officially founded in 2016, my jewelry career started in 2009 with an idea from my mom. When she said I should start making jewelry as a hobby during a particularly difficult time in my life, like most daughters, I didn’t pay her much attention. Despite that, we took a trip to Hobby Lobby and bought some jewelry creating supplies. I proceeded to fall down the creative rabbit hole and didn’t look back. It wasn’t until just last year that I felt it was time to start taking Lauren Brook from a little hobby to full time job.
While sometimes I feel as though I fell into jewelry design, it wasn’t a completely unexpected career for myself. I was always the girl obsessed with clothes and accessories. Not just for the “pretty” factor, but the way what you wore was an expression of your thoughts and feelings. How clothes and jewelry could be works of art. Not just things one wore out of necessity. I began by creating jewelry I felt was lacking from my own wardrobe and then slowly developed my style and creativity. My focus became metalwork- minimal statement pieces inspired by my favorite art and architecture movements. Art Deco, Prairie School, and Bauhaus just to name a few. Lauren Brook is still growing and expanding. I’m a self-taught jewelry designer and maker. It’s a slow process, especially with complicated metal fabrication techniques, but I prefer to learn and grow at my own speed. I hope for my jewelry line to grow with me and be a tactile representation of my growth as a designer and human being.
A little bit about myself- I was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota. My family moved here to Memphis when I was 9 and I’ve been here ever since. I graduated with a degree in business from the University of Memphis in 2013. Since then, I’ve been working full time with Kitzi Jewelry and now, of course, Lauren Brook. I’m an avid reader and beginner yogi with an insatiable sweet tooth. I’ve got the most perfect rescue pup, Watson, a yorkiepoo.
I have always had a passion for fashion and art for as long as I can remember. I come from a long line of makers and artists. My grandfathers’ made mosaics and shoes; my father was a builder and my mother a painter. She taught me how to knit at a young age.
I LOVE to Re-USE, Re-PURPOSE, Re-NEW…
And I LOVE the idea of the Perfectly Imperfect…
Hallie Charney of Handmade by Hallie is a multi-medium artist, designer and maker of original, one-of-a-kind jewelry, purses, scarves and wine sleeves. I use wool yarn to handknit/felt purses and Re-USE belts for straps. My winesleeves are made from Re-PURPOSED sweater sleeves and the scarves are made from the remaining sweater parts to create something totally Re-NEWED, each one being one-of-a-kind. My jewelry is a marriage of metals that is handmade, unique and constantly changing.
When someone purchases one of my pieces, I feel like they are buying a piece of me…a Work of ART.
I have had a long, frequently interrupted painting career marked by bouts with laziness and lots of bad paintings (my mother thinks they are great!). But, according to the National Council of Painting Authority*, you have to get most of the bad paintings out of your system before you can do any good ones. I think that is good advice.
On a serious note, I have the most experience with watercolor, but I keep experimenting with other mediums. I love sunlit surfaces, reflected light, shadows and contrasts. I also enjoy depicting weathered textures, trees and old structures.
I have won some awards over the years and been accepted into juried shows, but I have mostly neglected this pursuit in favor of raising a family, working a day job and trying to sell paintings.
I definitely like this idea of painting small and painting frequently. It is fun and takes some of the pressure off.
*A taxpayer-funded fictitious organization.
Got any interesting glass bottles or old costume jewelry? That’s what I’m using these days to make my art and I am always looking for interesting pieces to include in my paintings! It’s my version of recycling and it’s so satisfying to re-use these types of materials to make pretty things. I have been making art for the past six or seven years. Not only is it a creative outlet for me, but it’s also the way I raise money to donate to charitable causes. Over the years, I have donated over $15,000 to multiple charities as a result of selling my art. The majority of my donations have gone to St Jude, but I’m always exploring other ways to give back and am currently looking into charitable causes related to education.