Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SAC Hosts Empowering Women’s Lunch

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Student Activities Council(SAC) hosted Laurie Everett and Jessica Hill at the Women’s Luncheon in the University Center for Women’s History Month on March 6. Hill and Everett encouraged students to be successful by sharing their trials and tribulations as professional women in today’s society.

Everett owns and operates Annie Laurie’s and the Indie House in downtown Cape, and Hill directs and operates the Safe House for Women. SAC invited both women to speak at the free luncheon to inspire students. Everett and Hill spoke about their college experiences and how they came to be in positions of authority,

Everett is a Cape Girardeau native. She graduated from SEMO, joined the Army, earned a master’s from the University of Oklahoma and fell in love with rehabilitating historic buildings.

“You’re going to have to have some supplemental income because you won’t see a return on your investment immediately,” Everett said. “If I have to work three jobs for three years to make it happen, I’m going to do it.”

After selling her home to purchase and revive Annie Laurie’s, which was formerly the Brinkopf-Howell Funeral Home, Everett committed to rehabilitating historic buildings in Cape Girardeau. She bought and renovated what was Broadway Books and Roasting Co. and flipped it into the Indie House, which houses Mother Earth by Annie Laurie’s, Brickwood Boutique, Free Spirit Studio and High Street Station. Everett has purchased another historic building she wants to fill with counseling, massage therapy and perhaps another studio, she said.

“I buy these kinds of places because I care about Cape Girardeau and I want our downtown area to have a certain vibe,” Everett said.

Hill spoke about how she ended up directing Cape Girardeau’s Safe House for Women, which is equipped to accommodate 17 women and children and serves Scott, Bollinger, and Cape Girardeau County. Hill is in the middle of opening a new shelter, which will be able to house up to 40 people. She expressed the need for good communication skills in a professional environment.

“After my first job right out of college, I have never had to apply for a job. Every job I had came from networking,” Hill said.

Attendees were encouraged to ask them questions after each speaker finished. When she was asked about the significance of the Women’s Lunch events, Everett said it was important to hear from people who have paved the way for others.

The Safe House for Women in Cape Girardeau can be contacted in emergencies by using their 24/7 hotline (573) 651-1614.