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Storytellers, Hairstylists and Musicians Join Forces for Another United We Style

The biggest hair and the best tales are what it’s all about.

The sixth annual United We Style, an elevated hair show and storytelling event, is scheduled for Thursday, June 20, at The Walnut House, located at 116 N. Walnut St.

“Go Big” is all about how people have gone big with their service to our community. The Dolly Parton backdrop fits the bill.

“Dolly is also a philanthropist and she says ‘the higher the hair, the closer to God,’” says storyteller Mark Lamb, who will tell his award-winning story “A Boy and his Dolly” at the show.

Dolly certainly thinks big.

“I really wish that y’all could have seen the look on my lawyer’s face 24 years ago when I told him I wanted to start a theme park and call it Dollywood,” Parton said in 2009 at the University of Tennessee.

Tangerine Salon and Spa, in partnership with other area spas, is presenting the United We Style show, which benefits the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. The featured stylists are Melissa Kanaley and Connie Lopez of Tangerine, Lindsey Grider and Stevie Beech of L. Grinder Salon, Kheanne Fontaine and Haley Gann of Roosters Grooming, Alicia Beckett and Emily Webb of Urban Image, and Emily Robertson of The Social Chair.


United We Style 2018

“This is my third year and I am probably going to do a big old up-do,” Kanaley said. “I am excited. It’s pretty cool with the storytellers and music playing while we hang out in the crowd doing hair.”

Local musician Jonny Gowow will perform and provide music for the show.

“We’re planning on doing some Dolly Parton, and we’re working with the storytellers to come up with songs that support their work,” he said.

Everything will be woven together for a great night, Kemp said.

“This year I am the MC and I am working on surprises and interactive fun for our guests,” said Kemp, who is an actress and general manager at Tangerine. “The show will carry you through like a roller coaster. There is some humor. There will be some real poignant stories.”


Kara Kemp

This year’s featured storytellers are Kemp; Jim McCarrall, owner and stylist at Tangerine Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa; Diane Thurman, MTSU associate athletic director; Ronnie Martin, Murfreesboro city councilman; Jason Scales, pastor at Believers Faith Fellowship; and, Robin Seay, agent for Bob Parks Realty.

“We have some great tellers this year,” Kemp said. “Councilman Ronnie Martin. Diane Thurman is a real firecracker and an inspirational go-getter. We have a fellow named Jason Scales who is the pastor out at Believers Faith Fellowship Christian church, then Jim McCarrall, our owner, who we have finally convinced should tell his story because he has a really fabulous story. Robin Spade, she is a mover and a shaker. And then last but definitely not least, Mark Lamb will be back, returning from his national win at Jonesborough last year.”


Diane Thurman

Lamb, of New York City, is coaching all of the storytellers. He has won several awards for his storytelling including the 2018 Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival Slam Winner.

“These are their true stories,” Kemp said. “Mark has worked with them by phone to coach them and when he gets in town he’ll coach them again one on one. He is helping them develop their own personal stories about how they have gone big for the community. We chose people who pour their hearts into our town and asked them to do a story on how they do that. It is fun.”

Lamb’s story “A Boy and his Dolly” has been sanctioned by Dolly Parton herself and is an official part of the Dollywood Foundation.

“I’m thrilled I can tell my story here as a fundraiser for United Way,” Lamb said.

“And, I really love the layering in this show.”

A VIP party will start at 5:30 p.m. It will be catered by the Alley on Main and there will be drinks from local craft brewer, The Brewsters, who won the Battle of the Brews this year. Cedar Glade Brews will have samples, and there will also be some sangria. The show will start at 6:30 p.m.

Everything goes back to the United Way,” Kemp said “We have also tried to choose people to speak who have either been involved in the United Way or have somehow benefited from the United Way—and who are brave enough to tell their story.”


Jim McCarrall

Kemp says the best way to purchase tickets is online at the United Way website yourlocaluw.org. Tickets are also available at The Alley on Main, 223 W. Main St. General admission tickets to the show are $15. Tickets including the VIP PreShow Party and special seating are $40.

“This show is always fun and being a part of the community is important,” said Tangerine owner Jim McCarrall. “Kara does a good job setting up this event. Come on out and see it. It is a great event—never a disappointment.”

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