Fabulous Female Friday - Jackie Hartis

Fabulous Female Friday celebrates the extraordinary, ordinary, powerful, passionate and fabulous female!

Anyone who knows Jackie Hartis, knows that she is smart, funny, powerful, fearless and a wonderful loyal friend. I know this well because we have been friends for more than 25 years. Jackie moved to Kansas City when we were in high school and we became fast friends on the tennis team. Lots of fun memories are flooding back as I think of it now… (Jackie let’s go play tennis some time soon!)

Then we both went to the University of Kansas and joined the same sorority - more good times ensued! Now I always knew Jackie was super smart, but not until we lived together while she was in law school, did I fully realize just how ambitious, driven and brilliant the really is. She worked so hard and studied all the time (perhaps I should have been more inspired to do the same?!). So it was no surprise when she graduated and started her successful career in law. But it was a bit of a surprise when she took over her law firm at such a young age - we’re totally young, right?

Now, a few years later we are still great friends, even if we don’t get to see each other as often as we would like. Jackie continues to impress me with her hard work, both for her law firm and for her family. Especially her fierce determination to find answers for Hannah’s medical issues. Jackie and Brian’s daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with a Glucose processing disorder when she was a baby. Even when doctors didn’t have answers, Jackie fought hard to find out what was happening with Hannah. I’m pretty convinced that Jackie’s unwillingness to give up or settle lead her to the right doctors and to the diagnosis that have helped Hannah grown into the darling girl that she is today. I’m also pretty sure that their older daughter, Allie, is following in her awesome mom’s footsteps as a funny, smart, beautiful girl destined to be a great person and friend.

Jackie, you’re an inspiration in all that you do and I’m lucky to have been your friend for so many years!


Let’s get to know her a little better:

1. Tell me about your family.

  I am the youngest of 8 kids – 3 boys and 5 girls.

 My family – I am married to Brian Hartis and have 2 girls – Allie, 11, and Hanna, 8.  They go to Briarwood Elementary.    Allie plays lots of sports but focuses on soccer and basketball.  Hanna loves being silly and is my girly girl – loves dolls, etc.


2. Tell me about your job...

 I have been a lawyer for 18 years (can you even believe that?). I have my degree in environmental science and have practiced environmental law since I graduated from law school.  I used to be a litigator (for around 9 years) and have been focusing on transactional work ever since.  I purchased my firm where I am the Managing Shareholder on January 1, 2018.  The official name is McRoberts & Hartis, P.C.

I manage environmental due diligence during transactions.   I basically help either the Buyer or the Seller of property (almost entirely commercial) manage risks associated with environmental liabilities.   I help negotiate environmental provisions of contracts, indemnities, etc., I order and oversee investigations, and if there is a problem I help the client work towards closure of the environmental problem.   We also serve as third party environmental risk managers for various lenders regionally and nationally.


3. How did you get interested in environmental law?

My dad was a chemist and managed the environmental department of the Phillips Refinery plant in Borger, TX, where I grew up.  I always thought his work was interesting so I majored in environmental science in college.  I actually went to law school to be an environmental lobbyist, but decided to practice environmental law instead. 

4. What are the hardest and most rewarding parts of your job, life?  

My job is very time consuming so it is hard to balance that with family life.  It is rewarding when my clients refer me based on their satisfaction with our services, and to see the firm grow under my leadership.  The most rewarding part of life would be my kids.   Hanna has special needs and is such a resilient child who always has a great attitude, despite having to be on a very regimented diet.  I am always so proud of Allie and what a great big sister she is and how kind and empathetic she is – as Hanna’s needs can sometimes take a lot of my time and some time away from Allie. It is rewarding to see how she handles and recognizes that and is still kind (most of the time;)) and how she lets Hanna play with her and her friends. She has set such a good example and expectations of others as to how Hanna or other kids with special needs should be treated.  


5. If you had a magic wand and could fix one issue what would it be?

 Personally  – I would like to be able to find a cure for Glut 1 Transporter Deficiency Syndrome.  It’s a genetic mutation so I guess broader scale – I hope for large successes and progress on gene therapies.  

To learn more about Glut1 deficiency syndrome:


To get involved and to donate:



6. Some fun stuff:

Favorite TV show:  I don’t watch TV much but if I ever have time I am a sucker for basically any movie on the Hallmark channel

Favorite Restaurant:   Locally – Le Fou Frog

Favorite thing to do with the kids:  Go adventuring – finding fun places around Kansas City (or within a couple of hours) to explore

Dream Vacation:   Italy or Australia

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Fabulous Female Friday - Hannah Luetke-Stahlman

Fabulous Female Friday celebrates the extraordinary, ordinary, powerful, passionate and fabulous female!

Happy International Women’s Day! I can’t think of a better day to feature Hannah Luetke-Stahlman! She is smart, she is committed to so many causes that make the world a better place, she is dedicated to improving end-of-life care and creating a space to discuss death and aging, and she’s an awesome mom, wonderful friend and all-around fabulous female!


Let’s get to know her a little better…

Q&A with Hannah

Tell me about your family.

I have a 3 year old son, Tripp, an amazing partner, Rick, and a rescue dog, Tarzan. My dad lives about 2 minutes down the road from us and my mom is in Seattle (we love visiting her in the summer!). I have three sisters who live with their families in Lawrence, KS; Denton, TX and Tucson, AZ. 

Tell me about what you do at Cerner and why you love it. Hannah is a Senior Strategist in Population Health 

I've been at Cerner for about 5 1/2 years and have always been in Population Health strategy. Shortly after starting, I had a really wonderful executive, Dr. Hugh Ryan, who assigned me the project of developing a technology solution for Palliative Care clinicians. Despite knowing little about Cerner solutions or the Palliative Care field, I leaned in to the challenge and immediately fell in love. For those unfamiliar with the specialty, Palliative Care is patient and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Palliative Care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs while facilitating patient autonomy, access to information and choice. It is appropriate at any age, at any stage of a serious illness and you can receive curative treatment alongside it. The solution I designed with my team identifies patients who could benefit from Palliative Care services with an electronic algorithm running in the background and then provides clinicians with a variety of tools and analytics to help them care for these patients and their families. Internally, I do a lot of education and advocacy within Cerner to promote the importance of Palliative Care and patient-centered care, as well as external education to the healthcare industry, stakeholders and clients on Cerner's strategy and solutions. I really love what I do because of all the incredible people I get to work with. I'm a connector and truly enjoy hearing people's stories - and believe me, when it comes to healthcare, everyone has one. Knowing that the innovations I help create can directly impact the lives of my family and my friends' families is what keeps me going. 

Tell me about your fellowship and how it ties in to your work.

This past year I was selected as a 2018-2019 Health & Aging Policy Fellow. This program provides a unique opportunity for professionals in health and aging to gain the experience and skills necessary to make a positive contribution to the development and implementation of health policies that affect older Americans. It's a 12-month program that began in October with a 6-week orientation in Washington DC, at which time we interviewed with different congressional offices, committees and executive branch federal agencies. We are then placed with one of them for the remainder of our fellowship year to support them on their policy priorities related to health and/or aging issues. I am excited to announce I recently accepted a placement offer with Congresswoman Sharice Davids who represents the Third Congressional District of Kansas and my hometown of Olathe, KS. I am extremely fortunate to have a very supportive and creative Vice President who approved my unconventional idea of applying to the fellowship program and agreed to have it be a portion of my job responsibilities and role for the year. Upon completion of the program, I will have a better understanding of our country's policy-making process and know how to advocate for my field, as well as patients and families, at a local, state and national level. 

If you had a magic wand and could fix one issue in your field, what would it be?

If I had a magic wand, I would create a culture and society that embraced and celebrated death more. It's a funny thing, we all know it's going to happen to us and the ones we love - many of us have already experienced a loss that has profoundly impacted our lives forever - but we don't talk about it. Do you know what your loved ones wishes are at the end of life? Do you know what yours are? Have you communicated them to anyone or documented them in any way? In healthcare, we focus on preventative medicine and curative treatment at every cost and rarely take a look at how it is impacting the quality of life and care that patients receive. With my magic wand, I would want to normalize the conversation around death and dying in an effort to help us all live our lives here on earth to the absolute fullest. 

For fun: 

Favorite TV show: The Office, we've probably watched the entire series at least 10 times 

Favorite Podcast: Oprah's Super Soul Sunday 

Favorite Restaurant in KC or anywhere: You can't take the BBQ out of the Kansas City girl - Q39 for sure! 

Favorite Place to shop: I'm pretty hooked on my Le Tote subscription, but when in DC love checking out The Outrage

Any fun trips on the horizon? Really looking forward to the Canadian Parliament Exchange program we're doing in May as part of the fellowship program. Never expected to check out Ottawa, Canada! 

Told you she was smart!!! Thanks for playing along, Hannah! The world is a better place with you in it :)


Fearless Female Friday - Angela Schweller

Meet Angela Schweller…

To say I admire Angela would be an understatement. I’ve always admired the way she cares for her family and friends, the way she brings out the best giggles from babies and little kids, her love for animals and her killer sense of humor - she’s hilarious! Then she upped the admiration level last year when she ran for the Kansas legislature as a State Representative for her district in Olathe - all while keeping up her real estate business. She took the passion a lot of people felt surrounding the last election and turned it into action. She worked so hard, learned so much and committed so much of her time and energy to doing what she believes in. Although the election didn’t go her way, I know this is the beginning of a life-long journey of improving and working hard for the people of Kansas. So proud of you, Angela!!

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Let’s get to know her a little better…

Q & A with Angela Schweller

Tell me about your family…

My husband JT and I are raising 2 kids—Ada age 10, and Evan age 8. Even though I know we are done having kids, I can’t help my love for babies and the curiosity of “what if we had one more”? Instead it’s slowly turning into accumulating more dogs. We currently have two, Mattie and Maisie, but you never know when I might come home with another!


Tell me about what lead up to you running for Kansas state legislature.

Our state legislature (much like the federal one) is out of balance, with women only holding a little over a ¼ of the seats. The only way to solve that problem is for more women to run. It makes it a lot easier to make that decision when you realize your legislator doesn’t listen to the people he represents. Too often women second guess their qualifications, and it’s time we feel confident in what we can accomplish, and take our seats at the table.


If you had a magic wand and could fix one problem/issue what would it be? 

Well, if you know me, I hate picking a favorite or top item, but for the sake of this question let’s just focus on something current and fixable by the KS state legislature, and that’s the expansion of Medicaid (or KanCare). We continually turn away our own federal tax dollars (over $3 billion now), which were designed in the ACA to be reinvested back into our state. This money would give the citizens of KS who fall in the healthcare gap access to healthcare. My magic wand would get this passed immediately, so we can keep our rural hospitals open, get our citizens healthy, decrease infant mortality rates, and create job growth while doing it.


How are you staying involved in the political scene now? 

I created a group after the Women’s March 2017 called “March Forward KS”. We meet monthly to discuss the pressing issues both locally and nationally, and figure out the best actions to take. As well, I have recently met with members of the governmental affairs committee for KCRAR (Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors). I am planning to get more involved with this so I can combine my two passions of real estate and politics.


What else are you up to?

 My candidacy for KS State Representative was an amazing experience, where I learned so much and pushed myself beyond anything I thought I was capable of doing. While the end results were not the win we had hoped for, it’s been nice settling back into my routine of family and work. I love my job as a Realtor, where I get the opportunity to work with people through one of the most important and emotional transitions of their life. I feel honored when people entrust me with that responsibility, and do everything in my power to make sure they are satisfied with the end results. (She helped us buy and sell our homes 5 years ago and did a fantastic job!!)

 Here’s her facebook page, phone number: 913-710-1146, and email: angela@angelaschweller.com if you would like more info about listing or buying a home with her.

Anything important that I've forgotten to ask you?

Can’t think of anything, but I’m also responding to this at my son’s basketball practice and can barely hear myself think—Hope my answers make sense - LOL

Here are some photos we did for her campaign materials…

Fearless Female Friday - Julie Cohen

Meet Julie Cohen…

Julie Cohen, of Julia Devon Art, is insanely talented! Every time I see her art pop up on Instagram, I freak out! From her intricate felt flowers to her sweet family portraits to her incredible floral mural to her wonderful home paintings - I love it all! And she also happens to be super smart and incredibly nice - oh and she’s beautiful, too :) So Julie, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and for letting me snap a few pics of you working in your studio.

Photo from my September 2018 Headshot Party

Photo from my September 2018 Headshot Party

Let’s get to know her a little better…

Q & A with Julie Cohen

Tell me about your family.

We are a loving family of 6...5 humans and 1 dog. 4 out of 6 of us are inordinately hyper, strong-willed and constantly hungry. We play, we create, we go crazy and then I lock myself in my studio to recharge.

How would you describe your art?

I love making beautiful things. Flowers are often my subject matter, I will make them out of paper or felt, paint them on canvas or even on walls. When I feel the need for a creative shift, I dive into the details of a house portrait or hand embroidery.

How did you get started?

I was the kid in high school who loved spending lunch in the art room. I had an amazing teacher who introduced us to all different forms of art and I couldn’t be more grateful. I went on to study Communication Design at Carnegie Mellon and spent a few years as a print/graphic designer. When I moved to KC, I worked at Hallmark as a motion graphics designer and art director. Most of my work was done on the computer and I longed to work with my hands. After having three kids, I decided to take the leap and leave my job to stay home. I quickly discovered that I needed a creative outlet to stay sane, so when the baby was old enough to move out of the crib, I sent her upstairs and turned the nursery into my home studio. Good friends pushed and encouraged me to share my art and I began taking commissions and here I am!

What is your favorite project so far?

Last summer, I painted a dining room mural...that’s four walls of fabulous flowers! Working at that scale was so exciting and terrifying, but I’m so happy with the results and I would love to take on more projects like that in the future.

Photo from Julie’s website - not by me

Photo from Julie’s website - not by me

Do you have a dream project that you have made or want to make?

My goal this year is to utilize all of my skills together. With my background in design and motion graphics, I would love to see how I could incorporate that with my love of the handmade. Not sure what that will produce yet, but that’s the exciting part!

Do you do commissioned artwork? If so, what types?

More than half of my work is commissioned. I create custom house portraits, felt flower bouquets/wreaths, paper flower bouquets, murals, and paintings.  

Here are some examples of Julie’s creations - photos by me…

How do people contact you? And can people buy your work?

You can follow my art journey via Instagram @juliadevonart or see some of my past work at www.juliadevonart.com. My email address is julia@juliadevonart.com. People can contact me directly to commission a project and I hope to have an etsy site set up soon to sell some felt creations and prints.

Thank you for playing along and I am excited to see what you create next!!

Fearless Female Friday - women who are killing it!

Meet Amy Thurston

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Amy Thurston is one cool chick! She’s funny, kind, strong, determined and an uber talented interior designer! You may have seen her work on her instagram feed Amy’s Instagram or her website www.amy-thurston.com, and if you haven’t you should check it out.

Here are some examples of her amazing designs. Photos by me…

Let’s get to know her a little better:

Q & A with Amy Thurston

Tell me about your family…

My husband Curtis and I have two kids, 7 and 9, and they both surprise me every day with their funny charm and curiosity. My husband and I have been together 17 years,  married 11. We travelled extensively prior to settling down which is a great way to get to know someone. We have two mutts, Winston and Milo.

When and how did you get started in interior design?

I have memories of rearranging my rooms as young as junior high, and I painted a bookshelf rainbow colors once, which strikes me as funny now because I arrange books as rainbows all the time. I started Amy Thurston Interiors and Creative Direction six years ago as a way to work from home and pursue my passion for interior design.

How would you describe your style?

I appreciate elements of so many styles. I try to incorporate the comfort that comes from traditional interiors with the lines of modern interiors. For me it’s about  merging those uniquely in each project.  That helps me achieve my ultimate goals of not repeating looks in people’s homes and staying curious and fresh.

What is a dream project for you?

I like projects that present new challenges and get out of my comfort zone. We just completed a project with a full atrium and designing that was HEAVEN. It helped to have amazing clients who just went with it, and allowed the ideas to flow.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Getting to know people and their stories, then translating that into their home.

Any tips for quick, simple interior design upgrades people can do on their own?

Paint and lighting work wonders to change things up, and finish it off with framed art.  

Favorite home stores, websites, paint colors, brands etc?

I shop everywhere, high and low and old and new. The West Bottoms or antique shops  for good pieces with character. Online  Chairish  and 1stDibs are gold mines. Coveted Home and Golden & Pine both offer great furniture lines as well as staying current. Spruce, right around the corner is so handy for a quick refresh vase or pillow.  West Elm has some great pieces to work in and accessorize with, plus their customer service is so good. We’re so lucky here in KC!
Farrow and Ball have my favorite paint decks, and Benjamin Moore has my foundation colors. 

What are some signature Amy Thurston design elements?

I love styling book shelves, incorporating texture, rich colors in dining rooms and layering.

What is your contact info: email: amy@amy-thurston.com, instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amytkc/

Anything that is important to you that I forgot to ask?

Don’t rush paint color selection and have fun!!

Thanks for playing along Amy - keep on killing it!

Fashion shoot for Cabi Clothing Stylists

What a blast doing this fashion shoot for two beautiful, smart, fun Cabi stylists! These ladies definitely know how to put together a look - from coffee and shopping to a special event!


We explored the Crossroads District, popped in at The Roasterie and stopped by The Kauffman Center! My studio is in the Crossroads at the Bauer Building and it is the perfect spot for cool indoor shots and is close to tons of awesome outdoor and urban options!


Are you a small business owner or a Cabi or Stella and Dot stylist? If so, take your business to the next level with professional images! Contact me to set up a consultation to discuss using photography to brand your business and capture your style. 

Corie English Photography

I love headshots!

My love for headshots started in high school. I was a photographer for my high school yearbook and my favorite assignment was headshots. I loved getting people to laugh and capturing their real smile. I guess some things never change, because headshots are still one of my favorite things to shoot! 

I know that it can be stressful even thinking about getting updated headshots, but I promise to make it quick, easy and fun! You can come to my awesome studio in the Crossroads District or we can pick a location that is convenient for you and your busy schedule. It usually only takes about 30 minutes, and you can bring multiple outfits if you'd like.

Call, text or email me to set up your session. I have discounted rates for groups of 2 or more.


Here are some of my recent favorites...


Looking back on 2017 and forward to 2018...

Now that I have some time to sit and think, I decided its time to reflect on 2017... 

It was a big year for me professionally! After 8 great years with Peep Toe Photography, I decided to make the leap launching my own business. I was nervous... would I still have clients, would I miss being in a partnership, how would I run my own business? Thankfully, I didn't let the fear stop me because it ended up being my best year yet! 

I am so lucky to have such amazing, loyal clients who keep coming back to me and send their friends to me, too! Thank you! Looking forward to lots of fun shoots in 2018!!

Save the Date for Unicorn Pics on May 5th from 8:00 - 10:00 am...

Here are some photos from the fall. Better late than never!



The adventure begins...

After 7 awesome years of building our business, Peep Toe Photography, my wonderful photo partner and friend, Emily Penke and I have decided to head off on different paths. I am so excited to launch Corie English Photography and I can't wait to see all my amazing, loyal clients and meet lots of new ones!

Follow along with me on this journey and be the first to know about upcoming mini sessions and other special events!




Please share this with your friends!


Here is a little sample of what I've been working on lately...

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