Member Spotlight: Stephanie Buckley
Posted on July 28th, 2020
Prior to owning the Petit Jean Coffeehouse, Stephanie Buckley of Petit Jean Mountain found success in the blogging world as “The Park Wife” aptly named because she is the wife of Petit Jean Park Superintendent, Joe Buckley. She is also the mother of two teenage boys, Finn, aged 17 and Hays, aged 14.
Stephanie and her family have lived on First Electric service lines for 14 years and opened the Petit Jean Coffeehouse on Petit Jean Mountain earlier this year.
How did you go from a successful blogger to starting a coffeehouse?
“I founded Arkansas Women Bloggers over 10 years ago which became The Women Bloggers, a social media community that paired bloggers/influencers with brands. In 2018, I knew it was time to slow down so The Women Bloggers, the company I built with blood, sweat, love and yes, some tears, joined forces with a company that I was partnered with from their inception. As I looked ahead, dreamed and prayed, I knew I wanted to continue my heart for hospitality, to love on people and do what I could to help make life a bit better for them, but in real, every day, face-to-face life. Most of all, I wanted to make sure all of this is beneficial to my family. I had fought hard over the years while building an influencer business, in the midst of busyness and chaos, to be front and center and present in the lives of our children and to keep my marriage on the forefront. And in this dream, of course, there had to be coffee so we built Petit Jean Coffeehouse that opened Valentine’s Day 2020.”
What is a typical day like for you?
“Early morning baking, visiting with people on the Coffeehouse porch, spending time with my family and putting in beautiful flowers at my house that I will eventually neglect and kill, but they are pretty while they last. Dinner every night with my family, trying daily to live a great story, loving on people, sipping on coffee and letting Jesus do the rest.”
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
“I am honored to be known as The Park Wife, not only as a former blogger/influencer, but mainly as the wife of Park Superintendent Joe Buckley. In addition, I am proud to be Finn and Hays’s mom, I hope that they will know that unconditional love does exist because I was their mom and that strength and love came from the Lord.”
What’s one thing you wish other people knew about you?
“I believe everyone has a story and I am always interested in learning more about people through theirs. An extrovert who was a well-known blogger turned coffeehouse owner, I am an open book that many have already read and looking forward to the next chapters. I just am thankful for all the people who have been and will be part of my story. Oh, and I can’t stand black crows and armadillos.”
How has the Petit Jean community been supportive of your business?
“I am so blessed to be surrounded by the Petit Jean Mountain community, most who have been with me since the birth of Finn. The majority is encourag-ing, kind and truly live out ‘Love thy neighbor’.”
What three words describe you most?
“Organized chaos coordinator, charismatic, community builder (and wordy evidently because that is way more than three words).”
Who in your life has been a role model and why?
“My mother, Sue Franklin, who never told me I could not be anything I wanted to be, who taught me that true Southern charm is putting on a brave face, carrying on, and believing with all your heart that this world could be a better place and that I could be an instrument in making it that way.”
If you could host a fantasy dinner party with four people living or dead, whom would you invite?
“Dolly Parton (obviously), Joe’s Ma-maw that raised him that I never got to meet, Laura Bush and Julia Child, so she could help make the food and learn all her tips and secrets. My very own YaYa Sisterhood and we would all be wearing pearls.”