Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Column: Antioch woman finds creative life even with lupus

Juanita Cousins • THE TENNESSEAN • November 2, 2010 An Antioch woman with lupus is balancing her full-time employment with a home-based business, school and writing. Stephanie Ricks, who works in the Tennessee State University records office, tells that story of success in her book Finding Me Through Lupus. The self-published book details how Ricks has balanced her health issues with school, work and launching Variety House, an event and wedding consultation business she operates from her living room. “It all started when I was 5 years old and a flower girl in my aunt’s wedding,” said Ricks, 28. “I started to love everything about weddings, bridesmaid dresses, colors, flowers and all the detail that it takes to put a wedding together. Then I decided I might as well work in my passion.” Ricks is now working on her second graduate degree, an online master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Amridge University (based in Montgomery, Ala.) and a professional development program from the Association of Bridal Consultants. Her goal is also to be able to provide premarital counseling for couples as she plans their weddings. She offers packages, ranging from $700 to $1,500, depending on the help and planning necessary. “I make sure they stick within their budget and give them outlines on everything I will do,” she said. “Piecing together a wedding by yourself can be very hectic. What I try to do at Variety House is make everything smooth and calm.” Ricks also works as a local publicist for Nashville artists and authors and plans corporate picnics, holiday parties, reunions and birthday parties. Contact Juanita Cousins at 615-259-8287, or

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