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Different Voices

Three Northland Women, Three Different Paths

Article by Compiled by Rachel C. Murphy

Photography by Ashley Elwell, Three Three Photography

Originally published in Northland Lifestyle

If there's one thing the last year has reinforced, it is how strong the world's women are. They've adapted, overcome, and lead us into new territory. We caught up with three Northland women from different walks of life to catch a glimpse of what's important to them. Enjoy getting to know them as we did! 

Mary Oyler

Owner of Freckled Lamb Boutique on the Liberty Square 

Who makes up your family? 

My husband, Matt, my son, Ari, and my daughter, Calla, ages 4.5 and 1.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the last year?

To be present and soak up all of the small moments. The past year was so challenging, but so much good came from it. I am so fortunate to have had the flexibility to be home with my children and husband.  We took full advantage and soaked up every single second we could. I can't wait to continue to do that, even as our lives return to normal. 

Why did you choose your profession? 

I have always loved fashion, but even more, I love helping people. Being able to help women find their confidence and feel comfortable in their own skin is so rewarding. It's an indescribable feeling when a woman walks out of that fitting room with a new glow on her face! 

If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Switzerland, overlooking Lake Lucerne and the Swiss Alps.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

Stay true to yourself. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Let your light shine and live your life the way YOU want to live it! 

Adrienne Byard

Equity Partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P. 

Who makes up your family? 

Here at home, we are “three little kittens”: myself, and my two daughters, Nora and Hazel, ages 4 and 3 years old.  We rely a lot on extended family—my godparents, parents, and four brothers and their families—all in the Kansas City-metropolitan area.

What's your favorite way to spend a weekend night? 

Bedtime without drama and then tucking myself in with a British detective novel.  Right now, I am on Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers.  I also have two core groups of girlfriends who I cannot wait to see soon.  I like to have long, slow dinners with lots of courses and sharing.  We are planning on a Tasso’s Wine Dinner in May when everyone is fully vaccinated!

What's the biggest lesson you learned in the last year? 

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the last year? Gratitude.  To have kept my girls healthy and financially secure during a global pandemic puts us among a fortunate few.  I am a good enough mom.

What are you most looking forward to this summer? 

We are drawn to water always and spend a lot of time on the Missouri River Bank at English Landing Park or swimming in our community pools at Riss Lake.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

Everything will be okay.

Amie Francois

Owner/Business Manager at Pediatric Smiles Dentistry

Who makes up your family? 

Ryan, my husband and business partner, Evan, 11, and Ethan, who is 8.  Our rescue dog, Ellie, and our three cats, Lilly and the twins (Frank and Twix).

What's the most important lesson you've learned in the last year? 

Flexibility!  I am a planner to the extreme.  I lived by my schedule before this past year, and then everything changed.  We have learned that a less scheduled life is not necessarily a less full life.

Why did you choose your profession?   I didn’t!  I have my master's in art history and worked in museums and non-profits for several years.  Then my husband, who is a pediatric dentist, decided to open his own practice.  I told him I would help out for a couple of weeks.  Well, it has been almost 4 years now, and I have found my calling.  I love our office, our patients, and our community, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What’s your favorite local cause?

The Northland Early Education Center.  I am honored to be the president of the board of this amazing school.  The Northland Early Education Center provides quality early education and therapy services for children aged birth to five who have special needs and typical needs.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? 

The people who truly love you don’t see all the flaws you see in yourself.  Try to see yourself through their eyes.    

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