Inviting Arkansas Interview with Missy Lipps
Photography by Meredith Melody | Hair and makeup by Desirae Soto with Just Blow – A Blowout Bar
Whether it’s a vintage accessory or a fabulously funky party dress, eco-friendly fashion designer and stylist Missy Lipps brings authenticity to every project. She’s a jewelry designer to boot. And speaking of boots, it’s fun to see how she pairs lace-up knee-highs with a dainty dress for a one-of-a-kind look. Down-to-earth and compassionate, Missy supports organizations that empower people. It’s artists like her and their unique creations of aprons that make the Tie One On fundraiser a hit year after year. Proceeds benefit Our House, a shelter for the working homeless. The aprons represent the 100,000 nutritious meals Our House serves each year. This year, the theme is expanding to include other “ties” – neckties to represent the 400-plus full-time jobs secured by the organization’s homeless and near-homeless clients, and bibs to represent the 150 children whose lives are enriched by Our House programs every day.
Homeless in her teens, the mission of Our House resonates with Missy. Several years ago, she was asked to make an apron for the event. After meeting Executive Director Georgia Mjartan and learning more about the organization, she’s an ardent supporter for its important work in the community. “The feelings that land and fly when you don’t have a place to go – no home, no safe ground when it gets dark outside or when you want a shower or a nap – the worry can be oppressive. I’m so moved by the people who call Our House their home; they are living proof that it’s not how you fall, it’s how you get up and stand.”
In addition to Tie One On, Missy participates with Our House after-school programs for children and teens and supports the organization in any way possible. She also volunteers with Arkansas Children’s Hospital and with an after-school program at Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library. She’s been a featured speaker for the Clinton Foundation about going for your dreams. “It’s about being of service – helping the sick and poor, talking to college students about believing in each other and themselves. To share anything I have with anybody – time, love, compassion, my hands, my courage – I’m all there.”
Her creative spirit has always been present. “I was born on the creative side of the street, no question. I realized the other girls were busy for hours playing dolls while I was still decorating my doll’s space and getting her wardrobe together – with a possible haircut.”
Her artistic inspiration comes from people, nature, reading, learning, traveling, trying, failing, color and art. “Where I look for it and where I least expect it.”
This year’s apron for Tie One On is inspired by “something you might wear if entertaining in the 1940s for a New Year’s Eve party.”