3 Things We Believe:

Everyone is creative… yes, even you!

Creativity teaches us things like courage, patience, and self-acceptance.

Creativity gives us shared experience, giving strangers the chance to become friends.

Life is bound to give us some lemons...

So what do we do? We get creative!

We turn those sour lemons into a big pitcher of sweet lemonade, then we pour a few glasses to share.

Sometime, the best we can shoot for is to “make do” with whatever lousy situation life hands us. But choosing creativity helps transform our attitude so we can Make.Do. with hope and purpose.

No matter our current circumstances, we’ve all had our fair share of lemons. We ALL have something to offer when it comes to making lemonade. Our stories are relevant. Our creativity can benefit those around us. And our glasses can, indeed, always be (create)FULL!

Jo Ellis | Founder & Executive Director

Jo graduated from Harding University with a degree in Interior Design. Not knowing what she wanted to do with the rest of her life, she continued her education and received an MBA in International Business. Still unsure of her forever-purpose, Jo tucked her degrees away and started collecting random work experience instead. She has been a barista at Starbucks, an apparel manager for an outdoor outfitter, a swim coach, and a Les Mills BodyPump instructor. In 2010, she added “missionary” to the list when she joined a team bound for Ireland. During her three years in Dublin, Jo participated in house church and Bible study, worked at a summer youth camp, and attended the Irish Bible Institute, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Theology. She also had several opportunities to begin sharing her creativity with others. Whether it was leading crafts with teen girls, teaching sewing to a group of women affected by prostitution, or hosting craft-days for local churches, Jo witnessed the positive impact creative activity was having on these women and the vision for Make.Do. was born. For the first time ever, Jo’s seemingly unconnected education and work experience began to meld into a single purpose: the development of a craft-based ministry.

Madison Hale | Kids Program Director

Madison’s first dream was to become a pop singer. After discovering that this required some singing talent as well as the charisma to rock a stage costume, she followed her second dream and became a teacher. Madison graduated from Harding University with a teaching degree and began working as a substitute teacher. She enjoys getting to know students in new classrooms each day.
Madison has been sewing for 15 years. She began with hand sewing and now designs and creates clothing and costumes. She has a special place in her heart for vintage dresses. Madison believes that each person has a creative spark and that it mirrors the essence of the Creator. She strives to encourage others to uncover that spark and let it shine.Madison has been sewing for 15 years. She began with hand sewing and now designs and creates clothing and costumes. She has a special place in her heart for vintage dresses. 

Meet our Board of Directors

Casey McLeod is co-owner and pharmacist at Medical Center Pharmacy in Searcy. Although creativity has always had its place in Casey’s life, it was not until her thirties that she discovered her talent in painting. Much of her motivation in growing as an artist is seeing God’s hand in her own creative process and sharing creativity in community.

Casey McLeod | Board Chair

Kristi has been in banking marketing for 21 years and is the vice president of marketing at First Security Bank. Years before Kristi’s mother passed away, she asked Kristi to sew with her. Unfortunately, she was not interested at the time, and the opportunity was missed. An upcoming quilting class drew Kristi to Make.Do., where she learned to sew and how to heal from the loss of her mother. The sense of accomplishment Kristi felt with her finished quilt, coupled with her new-found peace, drives Kristi to enthusiastically support the mission of Make.Do. for others seeking emotional healing through creativity.

Kristi Thurmon | Board Treasurer

Jes Mason is a Family Nurse Practitioner with a heart and passion for pediatrics. Like the mission of Make.Do, Jes believes genuine compassion and connection is the cornerstone for unleashing each child’s full potential. Jes’ creativity can best be explained in two words… glitter explosion.

Jes Mason | Board Secretary

Amy Cox is the director of the Interior Design program at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. Prior to her 15 years of teaching, she worked in design, sales, and facilities management. Having spent her career in a creative profession she believes strongly in the transformative power of the creative process in society and in individuals’ lives. Recognizing God as a creative being who values beauty has always inspired her and she loves to share those values with others.

Amy Cox | Board Member