Topeka 20 under 40 honoree recognized for work in event industry

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– A Topeka woman is being honored and recognized for the work she is doing when it comes to events in Topeka.

Abbey Brown is the owner of The Brownstone, a wedding and event venue in North Topeka with a lot of history.

“We have original blueprints of the bar,” Brown said. “Kansas State University agriculture students were actually the ones who designed the barn.”

Brown was born and raised in Topeka. She knew she wanted to be a business owner just like her dad, but for that business to be in the event industry was not so much at the top of her list.

“When I graduated from college, weddings were not at my forefront,” Brown said. “I did not graduate with a business plan thinking that I was going to start or run a wedding venue. It all uniquely fell into place.”

When she was getting married, the former Brickyard Barn Inn was up for sale. So abbey had two options.

“I was either going to be a lifer in corporate America,” Brown said. “Or jump ship and try my hand at entrepreneurship.”

She chose the latter, buying the barn and transforming it into The Brownstone, opening in 2017. Giving people the option to have both an indoor and outdoor space, treating guest like family.

“My whole goal and my whole motto is if serving is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you,” Brown said.

She’s one of this year’s Topeka 20 Under 40 honorees. An award honoring people in Topeka and Shawnee County for their commitment and contributions, professionally and personally.

“Even just being nominated was something I was proud of,” Brown said. “But being a part of and named with some of these same names I look up to was a shock and an honor.”

Weddings didn’t start at the top of Abbey Brown’s entrepreneurship list. But now, she works day after day to make sure everyone’s moment at The Brownstone is at the top of their best memory list.

While getting The Brownstone up and running, Brown started getting questions. People wanted to know where they could go to buy local wedding decor and support local vendors. So, she started the Milestone Market. It’s a boutique combining local vendors and wedding decorations in one place. However, this opening had a small hurdle she had to get over.

“That business actually launched five days before the stay at home order,” Brown said. “And that is unique in itself, that we were able to have a physical location up and running for five days, and then quickly be able to go online.”

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