On November 9, Sara McDaniel, a well-known figure in Minden’s home renovation scene, graced the noon Lions Club meeting as the guest speaker. McDaniel, recently featured on Magnolia Network’s “In with the Old” for her renovation of the Fuller-White house, captivated the audience with her journey.
Originally from Springhill, McDaniel, after pursuing a career in education for fifteen years, found herself drawn back to Louisiana. Reflecting on her unexpected path, she shared, “Now I get the incredible privilege of investing in Minden and helping to make our town better.”
In 2014, McDaniel felt a Calling to return to Louisiana, which she initially resisted. However, she was led to a 1929 cottage on McDonald Street in Minden.
“I knew, in that moment, that that house was supposed to be mine,” said McDaniel. It took McDaniel almost two years to persuade the owners to sell her the house.
Documenting the renovation under the name Simply Southern Cottage on social media, McDaniel never anticipated the transformative impact it would have on her life.
The renovation, undertaken after a challenging divorce, became a symbol of rediscovered joy for McDaniel. “The Lord has just redeemed my story in miraculous ways,” she expressed. “I painted my door yellow because I wanted my home to be an outward display of the joy I have in my heart. Now that yellow door has turned into opportunities that I could not have dreamed up.”
McDaniel’s journey gained traction on social media, attracting attention from professional renovation circles, leading to partnerships, advertising offers, and features in prestigious publications.
Her influence even reached HGTV’s Hometown Kickstart, featuring Minden as a highlighted town. Cottages & Bungalows magazine approached McDaniel in 2021, showcasing her Spanish Court apartments project over a year. The exposure brought national and international interest to Minden, with visitors coming to explore the Villas at Spanish Court and Minden.
The most recent of McDaniel’s accomplishments was the Magnolia Network television special showcasing the renovation of the Fuller-White house, now known as the Mysterious Yellow House. The special, featuring other notable figures like Mayor Nick Cox and Councilman Buddy Myles, highlights Minden’s charm.
Throughout her journey, McDaniel credits the collaborative efforts of individuals and companies involved in her projects. “I couldn’t do it without them,” she emphasized.
McDaniel’s love for Minden has deepened with each project, and she expressed a desire for others to share in that sentiment.
“Through all of this, I have fallen deeper and deeper in love with Minden,” said McDaniel. “The longer I live here, the more I love our town and the more I want people to come here. I want every single person to love Minden like I love Minden.”
The Lions Club, located at 119 Pine Street, has interesting speakers every Thursday. This service club, whose motto is “We Serve,” is open to new members who enjoy serving their community.