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Architecture couple balances out Conway firm

Rik Sowell Architects, Inc. Architects Cody and Emily Ferris are doing something that’s uncommon.

“It’s not unusual to hire new people, but [it is] to hire a husband and wife team,” Rik Sowell said. “I think it’s important that they are both excellent architects, and have each reached certain levels of achievement. I’m very pleased to have them here.”

Emily and Cody have different backgrounds, but have been in each other’s lives for quite some time.

Emily was born and raised in Conway. She graduated from Conway High School in 2003.

Cody was born in Joplin, Missouri, and graduated there in 2003.

They met each other in the school of architecture at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where Emily graduated as valedictorian in 2008.

They both grew up loving playing with Legos and drawing, which helped fuel their desire to be architects.

While at UA, the two worked together on numerous projects and had several classes with each other.

Emily said they were classmates for more than three years when Cody asked her on a date.

After graduating and securing jobs, the two got married in 2010 and bought a house in Rogers, Arkansas.

While working in Northwest Arkansas, Emily worked on educational and commercial projects like retail and office buildings.

During that time, Cody worked on commercial and retail projects.

Sometime in 2013, Emily received a call from a friend asking if she was interested in interviewing for a job in Little Rock.

“I wasn’t sure that it was the right time,” she said. “I went on a leap of faith and for the first two months, I was working out of our home in Rogers and two days a week in Little Rock.”

Later, the couple bought a house in Conway, sold their house in Rogers and Cody got a job all in one week.

“That’s how I knew it was meant to be,” Emily said.

The two began commuting to Little Rock every day but had interests in projects in Conway.

Cody said he attended several meetings in Conway about development and eventually got a call from Sowell.

“I’ve always wanted a say in what Conway built because it’s what I interact with every day,” Cody said. “I have some vested interest since I live here, so not having to commute and being able to do the projects I wanted to do in Conway was an easy fit for me.”

Cody started at Rik Sowell Architects, Inc. on Aug. 1 and Emily has been there for two weeks. Each brings something different to the table.

“We have experience in different sectors of architecture,” Cody said. “We bring a pretty good balance to the table.”

Emily added they have different strengths and specialties, which helps balance things out in the workplace.

Because of the technological changes throughout several industries, architecture is one that uses architecture to show clients renderings.

“I think that is an asset for clients because a lot of people can’t look at a set of plans and envision what it will look like,” Emily said. “Now, you can do a rendering and hold on your phone. You spin it around and look like you’re in the space.”

In addition to working with each other, the couple had great things to say about Sowell, saying he is not just in the community for the business, but he loves helping others.

Cody closed by saying Sowell has the experience in architecture, but he and Emily bring a technological aspect with them.

“We have a lot to offer for Conway and surrounding areas,” he said.

(Staff writer Andy Robertson can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1246. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to Send us your news at

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