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Mobile Bartending Business ‘Accidentally’ Expands

Friends and business partners Misty Willbanks and Stacy Drilling started their entrepreneurial journey together in 2021 when they launched Southern Sippery Mobile Bar.

Previously, Willbanks worked with her local Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center on a different idea that didn’t materialize. But when the mobile bar idea came along, things fell into place.

Southern Sippery Mobile Bar

“We recognized an opportunity. We saw a similar business in another state and knew that there was not currently anything like it in Arkansas. So, we jumped,” she said. “The ASBTDC helped us prioritize the most immediate needs for a successful start.”

After they started booking events in October 2021, news of their traveling cocktail bar and bartending service spread quickly. Working from their homes in Morrilton, Ark., the friends set out with their repurposed vintage horse trailer, lovingly named Jolene.

Since then, Southern Sippery Mobile Bar has been featured in the publications, Only in Arkansas and Say, “I Do.”

As their business grew, Misty and Stacy started searching for a space to store their trailer and supplies.

“We happened upon a garage with a building attached that had open space and a beautiful vaulted ceiling. A light bulb went off, and we thought we might be able to supplement our garage rental by renting out the space,” said Willbanks.

The partners returned to the ASBTDC at Arkansas Tech University, where their consultant, Ronda Hawkins, advised them how to best finance the next phase of their business.


“It was an accidental business expansion. Since our first venture was in the event and wedding category, an event space was familiar, and we already had many of the tools in place to move forward,” Misty explained.

They converted the property at 313 East Commerce in Morrilton, a former car dealership built in 1926, into OrenWood Hall and Southern Social. OrenWood Hall is available for special events, while Southern Social is a collaborative women’s co-working space.

Both opened in May 2023.

When asked how the ASBTDC was most helpful, Misty remarked, “Definitely anything to do with money! We are both creatives, and the ASBTDC’s assistance with numbers and projections have been a huge help.”

Mobile Bartending Business ‘Accidentally’ Expands – A Success Story Click To Tweet

As for business ownership, Misty says, “It’s harder than it looks. You have to be able to sacrifice your time, energy, money, family, and mental health – ha! But, it’s also so rewarding to know that we built this business from scratch, and the support from our community and state has been overwhelming.” 

Learn more about Southern Sippery Mobile Bar at and
OrenWood Hall/Southern Social at

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