Category: Featured

Start-Up Story: AvaBella Day Spa

DeeDee Helbig, owner of AvaBella Day Spa

Flake & Kelley Commercial is proud to introduce a new series called, Start-Up Stories. We meet a lot of great people in our business and we want to share the entrepreneurial stories of people who love what they do. DeeDee Helbig leased space in Westchase Plaza fifteen years ago to open AvaBella Day Spa. AvaBella has grown to include a wide range of award-winning services and now employs 16 people. Thank you, DeeDee for sharing your inspiring story!

Growing up, I always dreamed of owning my own business. My dad owned a construction company and my aunt owned her own salon. So, I suppose you could say the entrepreneurial spirit is in my blood.

I received my esthetician (skincare therapist) license in 2000 and worked at a couple of day spas before I decided I was ready to open my own. I’m slightly hard-headed and like to do things my own way. So, I thought I should give it a shot, and I took the plunge in 2004. The moment I walked into the location in Westchase Plaza, I fell in love! I knew this was the right place for my day spa.

I started with just three employees, but the business took off so well that we expanded in 2010, despite the recession that was going on at the time. This was a huge honor for me because I know my business survives on customers having disposable income, which is typically scarce during economic recessions

A lot has changed over the years since I began working in this industry. When I first opened, the internet was in its infancy, iPhones and apps hadn’t launched yet, plastic credit card gift cards weren’t common, and online shopping was almost completely unheard of. Ava Bella was one of only three day spas in the central Arkansas area and now I believe there are more than 20! The industry is growing fast and getting stronger and stronger every year.

We are in our fifteenth year of business and have 16 incredible employees! I credit a lot of my success to how I treat my staff. I have always believed and tried to show by example that if my employees are happy, the clients will be happy, and when clients are happy, business is good. This simple idea has become a mantra by which I run my business and it has definitely paid off!

If I could give any advice to someone who is thinking of starting their own business I would say, first, be financially and physically prepared to work a lot of hours for very little money. I didn’t have a steady paycheck for the first two or three years! Second, never ever spend beyond your means. Most businesses go under because they can’t pay their bills. Last, and most important, treat your staff well. They are the backbone of your business. It’s kind of like a marriage, if they’re happy, you’re happy.

Cheers to 15 more years!

DeeDee Helbig, Owner

Ava Bella Day Spa

Cheers indeed, DeeDee! It’s people like you that make our state such a great place to live and do business. Flake & Kelley is honored to have played a small role in your success!

Flake & Kelley Commercial Elects New Shareholder Partners

Little Rock, AR (December 21, 2018) – Flake & Kelley Commercial is pleased to announce the election of four new shareholder partners. Nicholas Kelley, Cynthia Lu, Kevin Pledger, and Eric Varner have earned shareholder status in the company to join existing partners John Flake, Hank Kelley, Daryl Peeples, Cheryl White, Maggie Hogan, Kathy Groce, James Harkins, Bill Pendergist, and Brooke Miller. With the addition of these new shareholders, Flake & Kelley now has partners across every department, including: brokerage, property management, accounting, human resources, and maintenance.

Hank Kelley, CEO of Flake & Kelley Commercial, commented: “Our new shareholders are an important part of our future as they demonstrate a high degree of knowledge and care for our clients.”

John Flake, Chairman, joined Mr. Kelley in congratulating the new partners: “Our new shareholders represent the finest in professional services. We are delighted to recognize their many contributions to Flake & Kelley.”

Nicholas Kelley joined Flake & Kelley in 2017 and serves as Executive Vice President for the company. He is also a member of Flake & Kelley’s Executive Committee. Nicholas is a member of the company’s brokerage/leasing team, representing such clients as Arthur’s Steakhouse/Ocean’s at Arthur’s and Riverside Properties and properties including Two Financial Centre and the Blandford Building. He also provides guidance to Flake & Kelley’s team on a variety of complex legal matters.

Nicholas is a graduate of the University of Georgia (BBA, Real Estate and Finance) and the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University (JD). Mr. Kelley received The American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law and the Bureau of National Affairs Award for excellence in the study of labor and employment law. Prior to joining Flake & Kelley, Nicholas practiced as a commercial real estate attorney with the Little Rock firm of Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull, PLLC and most recently with a large Am Law 100 firm in Atlanta, Georgia (McGuire Woods LLP). Nicholas is recently completed the Arkansas Business Executive Leadership Academy.

Cynthia Lu joined Flake & Kelley in 2013. As a member of the company’s transactional team, Cynthia is responsible for traditional brokerage, leasing, and tenant representation. She represents national, regional, and local retailers such as AT&T, Firebirds Restaurants, Mattress Firm, PetSmart, Signet Jewelers, and Taco Bueno. Cynthia is also a leasing agent for a number of retail centers, including Westchase Plaza, Markham Square, The Village Shopping Center, and Lewis Crossing in Conway.

Cynthia is a summa cum laude graduate of Rice University (BA) and earned a master’s degree from Georgia Tech University in Building Construction & Facility Management. Cynthia was one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professionals. She is a member of ChainLinks Retail Advisors and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Cynthia was recognized as one of Little Rock Soiree Magazine’s “Women to Watch” in 2017. Cynthia has recently been selected to participate in the Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXXIV.

Kevin Pledger joined Flake & Kelley in 2014 and serves as Director of Facilities. He is responsible for directing all activities for the facilities department including the repair, maintenance and construction of all Flake & Kelley managed properties.

Kevin is a member of the American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), the Arkansas Association for Healthcare Engineering (AAHE), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American Society for Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Prior to joining Flake & Kelley, Kevin served as the Operations Manager for the Arkansas Building Authority.

Eric Varner joined Flake & Kelley in 2013. As a member of the company’s property management team, Eric oversees the management of some of Central Arkansas’ premier office buildings, medical buildings, and retail centers, including Two Financial Centre, The Village at Pleasant Valley, Westchase Plaza, and Shackleford Crossings.

Eric is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University (BA – Business Administration). Eric was recently awarded the designation of Certified Property Manager® – CPMs are recognized as experts in real estate management and they are at the top of the profession. Eric is also active in Park Hill Baptist Church, Urban Promise, and FORE Ouachita.

For further information, please contact:

Paula Guajardo, Director of Marketing

Flake & Kelley Commercial

501.244.7540 (direct)

501.960.3693 (mobile)

pguajardo@flakeandkelley.com

Flake & Kelley’s Thomas Schmidt Recognized as One of Arkansas Business’ “20 in their 20s”

We are pleased to announce that Flake & Kelley agent, Thomas Schmidt, has been recognized by Arkansas Business as one of their “20 in their 20s.”  We’re proud of Thomas and all that he has accomplished, and we’re very glad that he’s on our team.

https://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/123939/the-new-influentials-20-in-their-20s-seem-to-get-younger-every-year

The New Influentials: 20 In Their 20s Seem to Get Younger Every Year

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018 12:00 am   2 min read

Arkansas Business has recognized young business and community leaders with a feature called 40 Under 40 since 1994, and since 2010 we have also introduced even younger notables, The New Influentials.

These “20 in Their 20s” have risen to our attention through nominations, generally by employers who are mighty proud to have been able to attract such promising talent. When you read about them, you are going to understand why.

This year’s honorees are almost evenly divided between men and women, and they represent different parts of our state — although you might not realize that in the first several profiles of faces from central Arkansas. It’s not my fault that the ones from JonesboroEl PasoSpringdale and Dardanelle have names that fall in the last half of the alphabet.

Similarly, the work at which they have distinguished themselves is also all over the map. As usual, they come from banking, law and construction. But they are also doing medical research and mission work. Anna Tayloris blending for-profit and nonprofit work between Little Rock and Kenya. Danielle Hoefer is in on the ground floor of a new industry in our state: In January, she became the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division medical marijuana staff attorney.

When we interview the 20s, we often ask about influences on their professional lives, and their responses reveal just how vital mentoring has been. Sometimes that comes in the form of a parent in the business, sometimes through internships, sometimes through formal mentor relationships. If you were hoping to be mentored in the real estate industry by the legendary John Flake, you may be out of luck. It looks like Thomas Schmidt is the last mentee he’s planning to take on.

 

Thomas Schmidt

Account Executive

Flake & Kelley Commercial

Little Rock

Age: 27

Thomas Schmidt

Thomas Schmidt certainly didn’t break into the real estate business in a low-key manner.

Schmidt was having lunch with John Flake, the chairman of Flake & Kelley Commercial in Little Rock, when Flake told the young Ole Miss graduate that he wanted Schmidt to join the firm under his wing. Schmidt, whose family are longtime friends of the Flakes, has an older brother, Philip, who works out of the company’s northwest Arkansas office.

“John Flake approached me about joining him and being his last mentorship,” Schmidt said. “We ate lunch one day at Whole Hog, and he told me, ‘I have one more mentorship in me, and I want it to be you.’

“I said, ‘I’m ready.’ He just knew my work ethic.”

Schmidt works “A to Z” in the brokerage department, handling real estate deals from development to investments and everything in between. He joined the firm in January 2016 at the age of 24 and was elected to the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce board of directors two months later.

“All the knowledge and insight in the business that John has is substantially educating me as his right-hand man,” Schmidt said. “I’ve been able to learn it from him and go out and do it myself.”

New Dairy Queen Coming to Hurricane Creek Village in Benton

Flake & Kelley Commercial is proud to announce the closing of a 1-acre purchase by You Scream Properties Benton, LLC, who intends to construct a new freestanding Dairy Queen restaurant with drive-thru at Hurricane Creek Village Shopping Center in Benton. This location will be the fourth Dairy Queen location planned by the buyer / franchisee.

“We appreciate the opportunity to have represented the seller and developer of the Hurricane Creek Village shopping center, Dallas-based Connected Development Services, for this future Dairy Queen location in Benton,” stated Hank Kelley, CEO of Flake & Kelley Commercial.  “This sale represents another step in the process of Hurricane Creek Village being the go-to destination for daily needs shopping and dining in the City of Benton.”

Benton’s Mayor, David Mattingly, is also pleased that Dairy Queen is coming to Hurricane Creek Village, stating: “We have always been big fans of the Dairy Queen!  Great burgers, chocolate shakes, French fries, and a place to see your friends.  It was always a special treat to enjoy a Dilly Bar.  Welcome home Dairy Queen, we’ve missed you!”

Hurricane Creek Village was developed by Connected Development Services, a division of The Retail Connection. The retail center is anchored by a very successful Kroger Marketplace and Academy Sports. Other businesses in the immediate area include Tacos 4 Life, Slim Chickens, T-Mobile, Pie Five Pizza, Poke Café, Super Cuts, City Nails, and Monarch Dental.

Hurricane Creek Village worked with the Buyer agent, Ben Lester of Orion Capital Partners, and the Seller agent, Brooke Miller of Flake & Kelley, to complete the sale. The future Dairy Queen site is located East of Alcoa Road, fronting Highway 5.

Dairy Queen has over 4,400 domestic locations and 6,800 locations worldwide. Flake & Kelley is pleased to be able to represent the Seller and help bring the Dairy Queen brand to this premier location in the heart of the most popular retail and dining district in Saline County.

https://bentoncourier.com/content/official-dairy-queen-coming-saline-county

Flake & Kelley Commercial Welcomes Grub’s Bar & Grille to Little Rock

Flake & Kelley Commercial is pleased to announce that Grub’s Bar and Grille is coming to Little Rock.  The restaurant chain, which has three locations in northwest Arkansas, plans to open a new location in the Chili’s location at The Village at Pleasant Valley, which is located at 10700 North Rodney Parham Road. The lease for the 6,120 RSF space was finalized in early August.

According to the Grub’s ownership team, “Grub’s Bar and Grille has spent years looking for the perfect location in Central Arkansas and we are thrilled to finally be able to open a family friendly restaurant in Little Rock!”

Nicholas Kelley, Brooke Miller, and Eric Varner of Flake & Kelley Commercial represented the building’s owners.  Matt Strom and Thomas Schmidt of Flake & Kelley Commercial represented Grub’s.   Hank Kelley, CEO of Flake & Kelley Commercial and part of The Village at Pleasant Valley ownership, stated: “We are thrilled to help Grub’s locate in the Village at Pleasant Valley. The Grub’s location is front and center to a reemerging retail and restaurant neighborhood named West Village.  The food and drink options will be fun and popular and create an exciting addition to our property.”

Read the article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette