published Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Ree Drummond cook charms crowd at She: An Expo for Women in Chattanooga

People shop for clothes at a vendor booth at the She Expo on Saturday at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
People shop for clothes at a vendor booth at the She Expo on Saturday at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
Photo by Doug Strickland.
  • photo
    Angelica Holmes applies makeup to Janet Mahaffey at a booth at the She Expo at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
    Photo by Doug Strickland.
    enlarge photo

  • photo
    Breast cancer survivor Darlene Smith, one of the Chattanooga "Fab 15," walks the runway for the Susan G. Komen Survivor fashion show at the She Expo.
    Photo by Doug Strickland.
    enlarge photo


What: She: An Expo for Women

Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, noon-6 p.m.

Admission: $15 at door


* 1 p.m. -- Southern Charm fashion show, Dazzling Divas stage

* 2 p.m. -- Susan G. Komen survivor fashion show, Dazzling Divas stage

* 2-3 p.m. -- "Property Brothers" fan photos

* 3 p.m. -- Southern Streak fashion show, Dazzling Divas stage

* 3:30 p.m. -- "Property Brothers" Drew and Jonathan Scott on Memorial Stage

Southern women of all ages filled the Chattanooga Convention Center on Saturday to attend She: An Expo for Women.

The annual expo, produced by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, provided a Saturday full of activity. Women browsed and shopped at more than 150 booths, ate food, saw a fashion show by Susan G. Komen cancer survivors and watched celebrity guest Ree Drummond cook.

Ree Drummond, known to many as the "Pioneer Woman" of blog and Food Network fame, met with local fans and did her first-ever live cooking demonstration.

"I can get nervous," Drummond said, laughing, in an interview before her appearance. "I hope I remember how to cook this afternoon."

She said the meals she would cooked were inspired from her life on her family's ranch in Oklahoma. "One dish is for the cowgirl crowd and the other will please the cowboys."

Before the expo, Drummond met with women who work at the Mary Ellen Locher Breast Center at Memorial Hospital, where her mother, Jerre Schwert, also works. She toured the facility and continually thanked the employees for the work they do.

"I want women in Chattanooga to know that you never know where your life will take you," Drummond said. "My life is an example. I thought I was just going to settle down and have babies and never thought I would be a celebrity."

Lyndsi Lane, marketing manager at the Times Free Press, said the crowd was big and enthusiastic.

"We're very pleased with the first day of She Expo," Lane said. "Ree Drummond's fans packed the house."

One such fan, Melissa Haydock, traveled all the way from South Carolina to meet Drummond and see her cook.

"I follow her blog regularly," Haydock said.

Others attended the Expo for the booths, which offered everything from a pampering pavilion to local boutiques, medical screenings and information, shopping and fitness.

"I come every year because it's a way for me to see everything, all the booths are in one place, and I love the specialty stuff that can be found here," Joanna Leach said.

The expo continues today from noon to 6 p.m. Celebrity guests are brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott from HGTV's show "Property Brothers" and "Brother vs. Brother."

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at or at 423-757-6592.

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