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Investing in West

Lindsey and Chris Culver met in their Sunday school class post-college and got married just 9 months later. Chris was starting his career in IT while Lindsey, a natural creative with an eye for design, worked as a banker. Lindsey knew she wanted to get back to her creative roots and find a more flexible career once she and Chris started a family, so she began working as a photographer on the side. It didn’t take long before her photography business blossomed, and she opened a studio in Avondale. Five years after its opening, she moved her studio to downtown Homewood just after their family moved to West Homewood.

Chris wasn’t originally sold on the idea of moving to Homewood simply based on

home sizes being a bit (or maybe a lot) smaller than he was used to. Lindsey convinced him, however, and they have enjoyed living in their house on Redfern Dr. ever since. Homewood reminds them both of their childhood homes with its small town feel and the opportunity for kids to safely hop on their bikes and go! Neither grew up in places with a lot of diversity, and that change is an aspect of West Homewood that they both very much cherish for themselves and their kids Smith and Roland. Their home boasts one of the best backyards on the street, and they have created a welcoming oasis for neighbors to enjoy, complete with a trampoline and zipline for the kids and a hot tub for the adults. Thanks to quarantine in 2020, an addition to their backyard includes chickens, three of which are named after the Schyler sisters in Hamilton: Angelica, Eliza, & Peggy. Now, the Culvers’ neighbors enjoy fresh eggs!

The Culvers love many things about Homewood and couldn’t see doing life anywhere else. “We love our church family at Homewood Community Church, which has brought us more into the community of Homewood and has allowed us to be more involved in local service. I lead my daughter Smith’s girl scout troop through Hall Kent, which has been really fun. We have grown to love the Homewood traditions, such as We love Homewood Day, the StreetFest, and the Christmas Parade. Our favorite part of being in West Homewood is Hall Kent. Our kids walk to the park every day after school and always have friends there. We’ve had such a good experience at school and have built great relationships with our teachers. Hall Kent is untouchable when it comes to supporting kids with special needs. Both of our kids were peer helpers in preschool, and we love that they have grown up around all different types of kids who are supported and poured into by their teachers who honor their individuality.”

Lindsey also volunteers at the WellHouse, a local organization that serves as a haven for female victims of human trafficking. It is her work with WellHouse that has sparked a personal journey towards advocating for social justice. She believes that social justice and embracing diversity work together. “I care a lot about social justice issues, and I don’t feel you can be an advocate for social justice if you don’t embrace diversity in your home community. I didn’t grow up in a super diverse place, nor did my husband Chris. We wanted a different life for our kids. I believe that advocating for outreach and being open and intentional about helping people in our own community is a way to start to see change. Exposing our kids to different people who have different religions and life experiences is also important to us, and we are thankful we can do that in our community.”

Now a photographer for over 12 years, Lindsey made another intentional decision to move her studio to West Homewood in September of 2020. “It made sense to move my studio here since it’s closer to my kids, and it allows me to invest in the community I love.” As a popular newborn and baby’s first year photographer, Lindsey’s business changed a lot due to Covid, but she felt that the studio relocation was the perfect move. Her new studio is located on Citation Court, and she has renovated the space into something spectacular. Not only does it house her photography studio, but she has transformed part of the building into an event space called WestHouse that is perfect for intimate gatherings and dinners up to 40 people. She has also recently started offering upscale white bounce houses for events and weddings, and it has become a hit with people all over Birmingham. “It is a no-brainer to invest my business in West Homewood. We moved here for the schools, diversity, and sense of community. We don’t ever see ourselves leaving this place, so it’s an honor to be able to now own a business here.”

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