Monday, September 28, 2015

Ruston Fashion Week: Taking Small-Town Style to the Next Level

Written By Tori Ward, CVB Marketing/PR Assistant

image courtesy of Ruston Fashion Week
In an effort to showcase creativity and highlight the diverse selection of retail products available in Ruston, La., 25 local business have come together for a week of fun, fashionable events. 

Ruston Fashion Week, taking place Oct. 5-10, is a week-long series of events that are happening at local boutiques and shops all around Ruston. With 25 businesses participating, there is a wide selection of events that cater to all interests.

Take your pick from more than 25 events, including custom t-shirt printing, spa services, an artist meet and greet, special sales, trunk shows and more. Seeing as that this week is centered around highlighting local designers, artists and boutiques, there will also be several fashion shows at various locations featuring live music,
food, beverages and this season's hottest looks. 

Ruston Fashion Week event schedule
click to enlarge
The Fashion Week finale on Oct. 10 will be "Fashion and Football," where everyone is invited to Railroad Park for a tailgate atmosphere and refreshments with downtown merchants all afternoon. Louisiana Tech Cheerleaders and the Regal Blues will lead a pre-game pep rally at 5 p.m. to get everyone excited for the LA Tech football away game, where the Bulldogs will take on the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

It's undeniable that when people work together, great things happen. This week-long sequence of unique events will bring the local retail community together in all new ways, and we know that incredible things will come from the first-ever Ruston Fashion Week. 

The businesses participating are: All That Jazz/Little Bit Gypsy, Amberley's Salon, Baldwin's Jewelers, Beau Monde Boutique, Beehive Outlet, Chartreuse Pear, Chessy's, The Children's Shoppe, Cotton Top Print Shop, Embellishments, Erin's Attic, The Fashion of Ruston, Inspired A Salon, Jan's Optical, Kelly Moore Bag, Lagniappe Embroidery and Gifts, Mainstreet Exchange, Martha's Boutique, Merle Norman, Official, Patton's Downtown, Penny Perfect, Rodéo Boutique, Ruston Florist and Boutique, and Sue Paperie. 

For more information and event details, follow Ruston Fashion Week on Facebook and Instagram

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is an LSU alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Squire Creek to Host 2015 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur

Lincoln Parish is soon to welcome championship golf to the area!

The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship will be held at Squire Creek in Choudrant, La. starting Oct. 3. This is the second USGA-staged championship in the state in the past 50 years, so it's a sporting event you definitely don't want to miss. 

Practice rounds will be Oct. 1-2. The competition starts at 8 a.m. each day beginning Saturday, Oct. 3, and concludes with the championship match Thursday, Oct. 8. The finals will begin that Thursday at 9 a.m. and the prize presentation should take place at approximately 1 p.m.

132 of the world’s best female golfers ages 25 and older will be competing for what is the USGA’s second-most-prestigious women’s amateur title.

Everyone is invited to come out and watch the event at no charge. There will also be free parking at the event, and food and beverages will be available for credit card purchase.

Squire Creek hosted U.S. Open Championship local qualifying in 2008 and 2009. The club has hosted the Louisiana Golf Association Mid-Amateur and was the site of the 2013 Louisiana Women’s Golf Association State Amateur. Squire Creek is also the home course for the Louisiana Tech University men’s golf team and hosted the 2005 Western Athletic Conference Championship

For more information, call Squire Creek at (318) 768-7000 or visit Thank you to Teddy Allen for providing the information and photos for this post. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ruston Fall Fashion Guide

Written By Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

Fall is a time for football, cool weather and all-things pumpkin. But for all the fashionistas out there, this cozy season means a whole new set of stylish clothing options. To kick off autumn, we’ve put together a fall 2015 fashion guide complete with the latest fall fashion trends and where they can be found in Ruston, La. After visiting three local boutiques and getting their expert fashion insight, it was easy to see this season’s trending colors, styles, materials, shoes and accessories.

Colors/Patterns: Autumn is known for its warm colors, and that is something that definitely translates into fall fashion. Rodéo Boutique, The Fashion of Ruston and Beau Monde Boutique all agree that olive green, deep shades of red (maroon, Bordeaux, etc.) and plaid are going to be the big colors and patterns for fall 2015. Rodéo and Beau Monde also anticipate that tye-dye will be a continuing trend into the fall, and The Fashion has navy picked as a prominent color for the season. Stripes and fall florals will also be great go-to looks this autumn.

Fall floral dress
Rodéo Boutique 
Maroon dress with faux leather jacket
Rodéo Boutique

"There are a lot of trends this fall, so I'm excited to mix and match," said Abbey Bamburg, manager of The Fashion of Ruston. 

Styles/Materials: When it comes to fall styles, there are plenty of trendy options this season. The Fashion and Beau Monde are seeing a big shift toward bell-bottom jeans, although ripped jeans are still a great, stylish option. Not a fan of denim? Have no fear. Everyone agrees that the super-comfy, legging-type pant is still very much in style, especially when paired with a poncho, over-sized sweater or long tunic. 

Black leggings with black&white poncho and booties
The Fashion of Ruston
Plaid shirt with ripped jeans and booties
The Fashion of Ruston

"I love fall fashion! I'm all about some over-sized sweaters and layering," said Katie Bonnette, co-owner of Rodéo Boutique. 

The style trends don't end there. The mock turtleneck is also on the rise, appearing on sweaters, dresses and tops. Another style that everyone agrees is here to stay this season is fringe. Fringe on jackets, fringe on shirts, fringe on shoes; It's everywhere! Fringe is definitely a fall favorite this season. 

Striped mock turtleneck dress
Beau Monde Boutique
Black fringe crossbody bag
The Fashion of Ruston

Rodéo noted another big style trend emerging that has a distinct 90s grunge feel. Harness your inner Alanis Morissette and tie your plaid shirt around your waste, the fashion world has given it the green light once again. 

Casual gray shift dress with plaid shirt
Rodéo Boutique

Two trendy materials that you'll see this season are suede and crêpe (which is a silky-like material). While suede jackets and pants are super-stylish, they can get rather warm. If you're dealing with Louisiana heat and still trying to rock fall styles, try a pair of suede shorts. 

Black crêpe top with suede shorts and booties
Beau Monde Boutique

Shoes: The stylish shoe for this season was a pretty easy pick because there was a complete consensus from all our fashion experts. BOOTIES WITH EVERYTHING. Everyone agrees that booties are ideal because you can pair them with pretty much any fall look. Don't be surprised if you see a trendy trifecta of suede, fringe booties; they're very in right now. Rodéo has also noticed that socks are sweeping the fashion world. It's super cute and trendy to have fun socks peeking out of the top of your boots, even when wearing shorter boots. 

Black lace-up booties
The Fashion of Ruston
Cream fringe booties
The Fashion of Ruston

"Honestly, I'm not a huge fall fashion person. But with this year's trends, it's the first time I've been excited about it," said Whitney Hovey, owner of Beau Monde Boutique. 

Accessories: All girls know that accessories can make or break an outfit. Bulky jewelry is out and delicate, dainty jewelry is in. Long necklaces with leather tassels or a simple natural stone at the end are taking over. Also, layering a few delicate necklaces of varying lengths is a big look right now. For a more chic look, go for gunmetal and rose gold jewelry. As far as handbags, stick to over-sized bags in neutral colors. 

Ruffled-top socks
Rodéo Boutique
Navy accessories, Kendra Scott jewelry
The Fashion of Ruston

We want to thank Rodéo BoutiqueThe Fashion of Ruston and Beau Monde Boutique for their expert fashion advice. All three of these local boutiques will be participating in the upcoming Ruston Fashion Week on Oct. 5-10. Check back on the blog next week for more information about all the fun, fashionable events happening during Ruston Fashion Week. 

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is an LSU alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dawg House: The Spot for LA Tech Football & More

Written By Tori Ward, CVB Marketing/PR Assistant 

The Dawg House Sports Grill is a Ruston, La. landmark, famous for its mouth-watering burgers and loved by locals for its laid-back, collegiate atmosphere. The Dawg House is conveniently located within walking distance of the Louisiana Tech campus, which makes it a prime location on football game days. 

In Ruston, we can't get enough LA Tech football. Thankfully, the Dawg House understands our sports needs and serves as the hub for LA Tech football happenings. You can catch head football coach Skip Holtz there every Monday during football season at 6 p.m. for "Inside Bulldog Football," a one-hour radio show discussing the latest LA Tech football news. Holtz even takes questions live from Bulldog fans that are present at the Dawg House, so make sure you get over there for tasty food and LA Tech football news on Monday nights.

Photo via LA Tech Athletics 

Are you a Bulldog fan that can't make it to the away games, but don't want to miss out on the excitement of game day? No worries, the Dawg House has you covered. They serve as the official watch party location for away games, and they make sure to maintain the game day spirit in the restaurant all day long. Enjoy a burger, some cheese fries and a cold beer while you watch the Bulldogs play on one of Dawg House's many TVs placed all around the bar and restaurant.

The Dawg House Sports Grill
photo via

Dawg House isn't just the go-to spot to eat and hang out on game days in Ruston. They serve up their famous burgers, voted best in the Delta and best in Ruston, and other tasty dishes all day long from 11 a.m. - 12 a.m. Additionally, Dawg House has a fully-stocked bar, pool tables and dart boards available to everyone. So whether you’re looking for a great local dive or a place to celebrate a Bulldog victory, the Dawg House is the place to go.  

Claude's Burger at Dawg House
Need a food suggestion? Locals rave about Claude's Burger, which comes complete with pepper jack cheese, bacon and jalapenos. The fried pickles, cheese fries and quesadillas are also top picks among diners. Check out Dawg House's full menu here

For more information on LA Tech football game days, check out our tailgating guide. We hope to see everyone at the Dawg House all year round, but especially this football season to tailgate and watch the upcoming away games!

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is an LSU alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tori’s Travels: Big Things Happening in a Small Town

Written By Tori Ward, CVB PR/Marketing Assistant

Hello all! It’s been a few weeks since I shared about my travels in Ruston, La., so I have lots to catch you up on! In the past few weeks, I’ve discovered  amazing shops, had fun nights out on the town, took a road trip out of state and got to experience an incredibly unique event here in Ruston.

Acorn Creek Antiques
Shopping: I stumbled upon Alexander’s Acorn Creek Antiques Shop, which is located right off I-20, earlier this month and was shocked when I walked into the store. Seriously, my mouth fell open a little. This place is HUGE and has an incredible selection of antique goodies. They have everything from books to furniture to dishes and knick-knacks galore. I spent close to two hours just browsing and seeing everything they had to offer, and I found some great little antique accents for my apartment. If you’re an antique lover or just like looking at pretty things, then definitely stop by this unique shop!

Eating/Drinking. As some of you have probably discovered, I love going out to eat and I love a good bargain.  So when delicious food meets great prices, I’m in a state of total bliss. I found myself in this state when I heard that Portico Bar and Grill has a Girls Night Out special on Thursdays that includes select appetizers and drinks for only $5. Yes, you read that right, FIVE DOLLARS. We sat on their adorable patio, shared a few of their tasty appetizers and tried the red wine sangria (yumminess in a glass). For great atmosphere, delicious food, refreshing drinks and killer prices, you can’t beat Portico’s Girls Night Out. I actually went back the next night because I loved this place that much!

Enjoying sangria at Portico's Girls Night Out
Shrimp Massey Appetizer at Portico

Traveling. On Labor Day Weekend I traveled to San Antonio, Tx. to visit some of my family. You might be wondering, why is she talking about San Antonio when she’s supposed to be discussing her travels in Ruston? Well, oddly enough, there was something in San Antonio that reminded me of Ruston and why I’ve fallen in love with this little piece of Louisiana heaven. I’m not a huge fan of the San Antonio traffic, but I adore driving through the hills in and around the city. Louisiana is a pretty flat state, but Ruston and Lincoln Parish are somewhat of an exception. I love just driving in Ruston down near the peach orchard and winding around through the trees and over the hills. It’s a sight that I never once saw in Shreveport or Baton Rouge, and it makes me love Ruston that much more.

One maker prints t-shirts on site at RMF
Discovering. There’s no doubt that there are BIG things happening in this small town. The first annual Ruston Makers Fair was hosted this past weekend in downtown, and it was an event like nothing I’ve experienced before. There were more than 50 vendors from North Louisiana who all came together to celebrate the arts in Ruston. I was so impressed by the talent hidden in this town and the turnout and support of the community. The makers and artists had a huge variety of products ranging from custom calligraphy work to handmade jewelry to all-natural bath products. There was even live music, a food truck, face painting and a pottery wheel demonstration. This event definitely fulfilled its purpose to bring the community together to celebrate the arts in a new, unique way. I’m already excited for the next Ruston Makers Fair!

That wraps up my travels of the last few weeks. There’s A TON of stuff happening in Ruston in the upcoming months, so be sure to check our calendar of events frequently! Keep following along with my travels, and I’ll see y’all around town!

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is an LSU alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sunday Brunching at Beau Vines

Written By Tori Ward,  CVB Marketing/PR Assistant

Whether you wake up early to go to church or use your Sundays for sleeping in, we all know that Sundays are the “lazy day” of the week. Sundays are a time for relaxing, spending time with family and afternoon naps. But in Louisiana, Sundays are also for brunch. And if you’re going to brunch, you might as well do it right.

Benedict Beau Vines
Beau Vines Steakhouse in Ruston, La. serves up a gourmet brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday. Don’t let your preconceived notions of “gourmet” keep you away, because this brunch is not only delicious, but quite affordable. At Beau Vines, they’ve perfected their Sunday brunch to make it an all-around enjoyable experience. Sit back, relax and enjoy a mimosa or Bloody Mary to start your meal. Fun fact: Bottomless mimosas are only $8, and they are quite tasty.

The brunch menu is a single page long, but offers classic brunch dishes, some of which have a signature Beau Vines twist. You can choose from two mouthwatering appetizers and five savory entrees that each offers their own unique flavor. Try the Benedict Beau Vines for their spin on Eggs Benedict, or indulge in the crème brûlée French toast. They even offer chicken and waffles, a southern tradition that brings two favorites together in one tasty dish. Every dish is cooked to perfection and has flavor for days. 

Brunch menu (click to enlarge)
Aside from truly delicious food and wonderful service, Beau Vines provides a relaxing atmosphere that’s perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Let the week’s worries melt away as you unwind while listening to some classic jazz in this dimly-lit atmosphere. I dare you to not enjoy yourself.

Make sure you go experience Beau Vines' brunch for yourself because if you haven’t, then you’re missing out on one of the best meals Ruston has to offer. The ideal atmosphere, quick service and incredible food will keep you coming back weekly for this unbeatable Sunday brunch.

For more information on Beau Vines' Sunday brunch, visit their website

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ruston Makers Fair: Celebrating the Arts in North Louisiana

Written By Tori Ward, CVB Marketing/PR Assistant

The first Ruston Makers Fair will bring makers, music, food and fun to Downtown Ruston, La. on September 12!

Nomad Naturals soap made by Rachel Johnston
Inspired by the local makers and artists, Joshua Mitchell wanted to bring an event to Ruston that would encourage creativity and showcase the immense talent located here in North Louisiana. Mitchell, who was born and raised in Ruston, recognizes and admires the unique arts culture of his hometown and hopes to support this culture through the Ruston Makers Fair. 

"I was surprised by how many super-talented people there are around here, and doing events like this only encourages and brings that talent out even more," said Mitchell. 

With this in mind, Mitchell began plans for the first Ruston Makers Fair in early June, and the response has been incredible. He has secured more than 50 makers, artists and craftsman to participate in this unique event highlighting the work of modern-day makers. 

gourd piece by maker Anne Harris
"The makers in Ruston are real makers. They're so passionate about it, it's more of a lifestyle for them," said Victoria Smith, event coordinator of the Ruston Makers Fair. 

"I've only seen that [passion] in Ruston," said Mitchell.

The Ruston Makers Fair will be a free, family event located in Downtown Ruston at the public parking lot on the corner of Louisiana Avenue and Monroe Avenue. The fair will be from 11am - 6pm and is a come-and-go event. Mitchell hopes that hosting the event downtown will encourage people to visit, eat and hangout in Downtown Ruston during the day. 

Along with booths set up to display the artwork and products of each maker/artist, there will also be activities, food, interactive displays, giveaways and music at the event. Local singer Bethany Raybourn will be performing live from 1:00-3:30 pm. Additionally, there will be a pottery wheel throwing display by Chene Clay Company, artists doing live painting and a chalkboard wall where anyone can write and doodle. 

Shirt designed by maker Rosalynne Love
The list of makers and artists that will be participating in the Ruston Makers Fair is extremely diverse. People will be able to purchase artwork, woodwork, jewelry, t-shirts, word art, soaps, tea, coffee, honey and other locally-made items. The full list of vendors is below. 

Belle Vie Belle Maison, Martha Hartwell, Viola’s Kitchen Jubilee, Hart Originals, A Garden Rocks, Miramar Glass and Metal, Cajun Cottage Crafters, Railway Coffee, Mista J and Harley’s Uniquely Upcycled Designs, Allison Vestal & Hillary Clary, Vessel Vintage, Rosalynne Love, Brandiland Apparel, Anne Harris Gourd Artist, X and O Designs, Forge Golem, Young Living Essential Oils, Liz Zanca, Pastry Moon, Audie’s Wooden Bowls, Alice Morgan, Megan Lyn Ceramics, Kate Tedeton, Mystic Moonrise Art & Apparel, Kreative Kreations by Marquita, Adrianna Speer, Rabbet Run, Knox Knitting and Crochet & Haute Mess Designs, Stacy Medaries, Sapphire Moments, Tammy Ainsworth, Lana Langston Johnson, Whootails, Jodami Design, Southern Smith, Nomad Naturals , Cottontop Print Shop, Cee Bee Ink, Trese’ Jewelry, Red Earth Wildcrafted, Ali & MJ, Jake Dugard, Amanda Roe, Chandler Nelson, Jennings Apiaries, Robin’s Nest, Paperglaze Calligraphy, Everything Artsy Events, Phoebe Thomas, Realm of Possibility,Tess Stickney and Chene Clay Company. 

Succulent planters by maker/artist Katie Tedeton
Checks and cards will be accepted by most vendors, but you may want to stick to cash just to be on the safe side! 

In the future, Mitchell hopes to host another Ruston Makers Fair in a larger location with even more local makers and artists. He also hopes that this event will serve as a platform for local makers to network and build partnerships. 

For more information on the Ruston Makers Fair, visit the event's Facebook page or contact Joshua Mitchell at