Julia Sugarbaker, Mary Jo Shively, Charlene Frazier-Stillfield, and Suzanne Sugarbaker are associates at their design firm, Sugarbaker and Associates. Julia is the owner of and is very outspoken and strong-willed. Mary Jo Shively is a divorced single-parent who is just as strong-willed as Julia, but isn't as self-confident. Charlene is a naive and trusting farm girl from Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Suzanne Sugarbaker is a self-centered ex-beauty queen who has a number of wealthy ex-husbands.