Photo | Stevye Murry
Maybe it’s a sign of Mobile’s status as “the biggest small town you’ll ever see.” Maybe it’s coincidence. Or maybe it’s just a sign of achievement that so many members of one family were finalists in this year’s Nappie Awards.
“Basically it’s all my sisters, my niece, nephew, son and me,” Courtney “CoCo” Matthews said. “No big get-together to celebrate. We just all talked to each other about it. It was cool to talk about even if none of us won.”
If you know Matthews then you’re aware of her infectious positivity and upbeat personality. The makeup artist and entrepreneur who ran a wide-ranging curio shop named Lunatix and Company at the juncture of Springhill Avenue and Dauphin Street also birthed the multimedia creative event Neu Dawn in the last few years.
The list of CoCo’s family finalists is as follows:
-Matthews herself was a finalist as Best Makeup Artist
-Her sister Tara Ridenoure, son Ashton Dreher and nephew Jacob Ridenoure work for Carpe Diem coffee house, a finalist for Best Coffeehouse
-Her sister Kacie Hardman is a Fairhope Elementary teacher, a finalist for Coolest Elementary School Teacher
-Her sister Lauren Dreher owns Precision Dance, a finalist for Best Dance Studio
-Her niece Macy Ridenoure was a finalist for Best Dancer
“Out of all of us, we thought Carpe Diem would likely win something. The rest of us thought to even be on there was awesome,” Matthews said.
She seemed proudest of the dance contingent, noting overseas accolades.
“Lauren is a coach for the American dance company that will go to Poland again this year. They actually placed in medals there before, which is amazing,” Matthews said.
She bragged on her niece Macy, noting her resolve against stiff competition.
“There’s like kid groups and her group, the adult group is like 16- to 35-year-olds. She was the youngest in that group last year and placed seventh in the world,” Matthews said.
As far as her own category, Matthews seems to take it all in stride. She said she’s never won and came closest by placing second about a decade ago.
“It was the year Jessica Price won. She brought me up on stage with her because she was ticked I didn’t win since she wasn’t even known for makeup at that point, just for hair,” Matthews said.
She comes across as more than merely a good sport. Her strident support for all things irritated when the crowd thins out [during the ceremony] because no one is there to cheer them on. “There’s always a group of us that stay and try to hoot and holler,” Matthews said.
That might be kind of hard this year. Matthews is pairing her first Nappies absence with another new experience.
“I’m going to surprise my friend in [Los Angeles] who’s lived out there 18 years. We’ll be there five days. I’ve never been farther west than Baton Rouge, so I’m looking forward to it,” Matthews said.
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