Always on the search for new flavors is maybe the thing to know about Alexis Durham Brown.
The daughter of a single mother who spent the first 14 years of life in a very rural and poor part of central Kentucky, Brown focuses on being independent and improving her life.
She moved to Fort Smith at the age of 14 and began working at a snow cone shack.
“I could get there on foot and leave every day with a little cash in my pocket,” she said.
She was 16 years old when the clothing boutique store where she worked closed. She called “Aunt Renee” (Renee Durham, general manager of Harry Robinson Automotive), who gave her a few odd jobs. That morphed into a receptionist opening. Then she “progressed in the business and found my home.”
“Ten years ago, I would have told you I was going to be here to make a little money and then move on to something else, but I’m here,” Brown said, adding that Renee has been a critical mentor “who took me under her wing when I was just 16, and I’ve really tried to learn all I can from her.”
Brown’s independence isn’t limited to money and a career. She and her wife Jasmine, who serves in the Air Force with the 188th Wing in Fort Smith, have built much of the furniture in their home, including their daughter’s bed.
Brown is also self-taught with technology. She is the communications vice president for the Junior League of Fort Smith, where she supports website and graphic design work. She also helps the dealership with graphic design work.
She said part of her push to be independent resulted in a desire to be a part of the community.
“I want to see the dealership grow. I want to see the community grow. … I want to have a small piece to play in helping this community to keep growing and getting better,” Brown said about future goals.
She also said she should be an example to anyone that they can make it in the world.
“I think people see us [Fast 15 honorees] and think we have it made, but we may also be trying to figure things out.”