Mandy Sitzlar and her sister, Laura Lockwood, manage their family’s business, the Butterfly Gap Retreat. Running a business with a sibling is fun, Mandy says, because she and Laura have a lot in common, but they also have their differences.
“She’s my best friend. She’s super organized, computer savvy and knows the business side. I go to events and talk to people about the business. I do artwork for the retreat, and I’m a little more unorganized and artsy,” Sitzlar said. “We know how each other tick. It’s pretty easy to run a business with your best friend.”
• What was your first paying job?
“Painting and cleaning rental houses for my parents.”
• If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
“Buy a place in New York City so Johnathan and I could live there and in Maryville. We love both big city life and the small town charm of Maryville.”
• What’s your favorite television or movie quote?
“Anything from ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’ I quote, ‘Eat your food Tina,’ way too much.”
• What are you guilty of?
“I watch too much HGTV.”
• What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
“Take a couple months off and take a cross-country camping trip with my husband.”
• What is your favorite material possession?
“My wedding pictures. I just think pictures in general are irreplaceable. You can replace pretty much all the other things but those kinds of things.”
• What are you reading currently?
“‘Middlesex,’ by Jeffrey Eugenides.”
• What was your most embarrassing moment?
“I really probably embarrass myself every day. I have stabbed a groom at our wedding place and made him bleed before his wedding while putting on his boutonnière. It was awful.”
• What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“I asked a few people and they all said ‘creative.’ I do interior design, artwork, sew, and make some of my own jewelry. I don’t want to be like everyone else or have what everyone else has, so I try to have a unique flair.”
• When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“An artist. I’m always taking classes since I was that old, and I’ve always been into that kind of thing.”
• If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I wish I had more energy. My mom has always been high energy, and I always joked I didn’t get that gene.”
• With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My great-grandmother on my mom’s side. She died when I was 5. I always heard I loved her but I didn’t get to know her. I always hear stories about her. As an adult it would be great to grasp what I didn’t’ get to know about her in person.”
• What is your passion?
“Nature, music and art.”
• What do you hate?
“Clutter. I’m a very clean lines, simple and into interior design and that does not match with it. It drives me crazy. I would rather my house be a little dusty than have stuff everywhere.”
• What is your all-time favorite movie?
“‘Garden State.’ There are so many parts that are weird, but there were so many references toward home and coming back. I was born and raised here and moved away. I watched that movie when I didn’t live here, and I loved the whole concept of coming back to your roots. The soundtrack was awesome.”
• What is the best book you’ve ever read?
“I loved ‘Bridge to Teribithia,’ when I was in school.”
• Would you travel in space if given the opportunity?
“Yeah I would try it, I’m pretty adventurous.”
• If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“Maybe when the West was being discovered to experience the newness of the unknown.”
• What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“My engagement ring. I have never been given anything that nice. I was scared to touch it at first.”
• What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Treat everyone with respect. I don’t care if you are the garbage man, the plumber or the president, she would invite you over for dinner. There is nothing worse to me than people who look down on other people.”
• Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?
“No, I was never paddled in my life.”
• Who is your hero?
“My mom. She is the only woman I know who can run a construction crew, drive a bulldozer, cook a full meal from scratch, and knit a scarf all in one day.”
• What was your first car?
“A brownish Toyota Camry with the nickname ‘Doody.’”
• Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
“My life is amazing, I love my husband, my job, my family and friends. I have to say my glass is totally full.”