When Ashley Chesnut moved to Birmingham in 2008, she never thought she would stay long-term.
A Georgia native with a background in middle grades education, her plan at the time involved obtaining her Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School then moving wherever God led her to work. But an internship for school led to a part-time job then to a full-time job at The Church at Brook Hills, and Ashley has been in Birmingham, Alabama, ever since. However, she remains a Georgia Bulldog, even in a state filled with Alabama and Auburn fans.
In the nine years that Ashley has called Birmingham “home,” she has seen the city change and revitalization occur downtown, and she has come to love where she lives. Known to friends and co-workers as a local foodie and a resource about Birmingham events, she decided to join the blogosphere and write about the people, places, and things that are local to the Magic City.
Out of a desire to promote this city and to encourage families to visit downtown, Ashley wrote a children’s book called Down in the Ham: A Child’s Guide to Downtown Birmingham. Illustrated by the talented Abby Little, Down in the Ham provides both a kid-friendly history of Birmingham and a visual tour of downtown.
When Ashley is not working at the church, studying (she’s currently back in school working on a counseling certification), or mentoring younger girls, you can probably find her at Pepper Place on Saturdays or trying some new local restaurant. She also blogs about spiritual subjects and emotional issues on the BH Women’s blog and contributes to LifeWay’s Women’s blog.
Abby Little Jessup
Birmingham baby, artist, and art teacher Abby Little Jessup has been a downtown city girl her whole life. Abby has had her fingers moving artistically since childhood, but started being formally trained starting at age 9 when her grandmother started her in a oil painting class.
With now over 16 years invested in art, Abby is the winner of multiple awards and honors including: 2013 Energine Art finalist, the 2010 National Beta Club Convention’s first-place award winner for Acrylic On-site Art, as well as their first-place State Watercolorist.
Abby teaches art to students across Birmingham, and you can find her work locally and internationally in homes, businesses, and shops! You might have spotted her work Lovingham around the city!
On weekends if you don’t find her busy in the studio, at a wedding, or attending and serving at her church, you might find her dining locally, shopping at Pepper Place Market, adventuring across the ocean, or watching I Love Lucy reruns. Abby loves her family, friends, and students dearly and is excited to be part of this project for future generations of children of Birmingham, growing their love for this city.