Cookeville’s Most Influential People – Lisa & David Uhrik
What if I told you a love story with more magic than any Nicholas Sparks novel exists right around the corner?
While known for their nonprofits Plenty Downtown Bookshop and Franklin Fixtures, Lisa and David Uhrik are, at their core, two people deeply in love.
You can see it in shared glances, hear it in their voices, and even watch it play out publicly as they work together to make the world around them a better place.
“I respected her before I fell in love with her,” David gushed.
With a relationship built on their shared commitment to bettering others, empowering those less fortunate, and creating environments of literacy, creativity, recovery, and healing, Lisa and David Uhrik are exerting influence through the most beautiful tool available, service.
The road to employing more than 85 employees and curating one of the finest bookstores in Tennessee hasn’t always been easy. Major health scares, lean seasons, their own romantic failure (delay) to launch, and even the loss of both means of income haven’t stopped the couple from giving back. Instead, they’ve faced suffering together, using it to strengthen the bonds between them.
“When circumstances led to both of us being unemployed days before our wedding, we felt a strong sense of ‘NOW,’” David recalled. “We were unemployed and went to Barcelona for our honeymoon, as one does.”
Lisa continued, “On this trip, we went to Sagrada Familia. This incredible church began as an idea by a single architect who wanted to create a structure that would serve as a community center and connecting point for the people around it. We wanted to create something similar for our community here.”
Anyone who browses the rows of books that line the shelves (yes, they are the same ones from “You’ve Got Mail”) of Plenty, attends a literacy workshop hosted by Lisa, joins a warm, informed conversation with David, or sees the incredible Franklin Fixtures team at work, knows the pair have succeeded in creating their own Sagrada Familia.
Together, they’ve built places of healing, togetherness, servanthood, and hope.
From rescuing businesses to revolutionizing lives, David and Lisa Uhrik are influential people of the highest order, and though this brief article offers but a glimpse into the lives of these beautiful leaders, we’re honored to share even a small piece of their story with you.
It’s amazing what people in love can do.
– by Andrew Buckner, photo by Cris Stroud