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“Innovation is change that unlocks new value.” ~ JAMIE NOTTER

Dear Readers, Community, Friends,

When the world is flipped upside down in so many ways, it is sometimes best to turn to the joys of absurdity, whimsy and wonder. Art is a wonderful gateway to this, and here is one of my all-time favorite collaborations. Finnish-Norwegian artist duo Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth venture out to interesting landscapes, and invite people they meet along the way to participate in a temporary art installation, where these new friends are the focal point! Most of their collaborators are elderly. The delightful part for me is knowing how willing the participants are to sit in one posture (sometimes for hours) while being sculpted upon with natural substances (sticks, pine needles, moss, even seaweed!). There is so much to learn, even from the expression of wisdom and light-heartedness from their faces. Click below to discover more, wonderful images!

Pre-buy their book (ships free to anywhere in the world Spring 2021). 


Eyes as Big as Plates # Agnes II (Norway 2011) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen


Eyes as Big as Plates # Bengt II (Norway 2011) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

So, in the year just ahead, allow yourself to try on something new, step outside your comfort zone, or just do something that makes you happy. You never know where it will take you.


We love our clients. They represent a full spectrum: from business services, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality, to artisan food, marketing, and more. Take a minute to get to know and support them this holiday season and beyond!

ALL SEASONS HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING  |  We service residential customers in Buncombe and Henderson Counties, fulfilling their indoor air quality and comfort needs all year long!

AMERICAN FOLK ART & FRAMING  |  Contemporary Folk Art, including painting, pottery & wood carving. Specializing in Southern Face Jugs and regional wood-fired, functional pottery. Providing innovative custom picture framing for the preservation and presentation of your fine art.

ASHEVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE  |  For more than 120 years, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce has been the catalyst for economic vitality in our community. The Asheville Chamber connects member businesses to valuable resources such as economic development and research, business education, marketing opportunities and advocacy. 

ASHEVILLE KOMBUCHA MAMAS, LLC aka BUCHI KOMBUCHA  |  We believe a drink can be more than a drink – that healthy guts lead to happy hearts and open minds. That’s why we created a family of delicious, living, nutrient-dense drinks – for you including Kombucha and Kefir Soda. Our purpose is to craft delicious, high-quality, nutrient-dense living foods; invest in the regeneration of our planet; and use business as a conduit for positive social impact.

ASHEVILLE SALT CAVE  |  We are a full circle wellness center located just outside of downtown. We specialize in salt therapy, Hammam steam room and massage therapy. 16 North Liberty Street, Asheville, NC 28801

BIG ADVENTURES, LLC  |  BIG Adventures is a kayak manufacturer in Fletcher. We manufacture 3 brands of kayaks – Native Watercraft, liquidlogic Kayaks and Bonafide Kayaks.

BLACK MOUNTAIN FAMILY EYECARE  |  Comprehensive eye care services and in-demand lenses and frames.

BROTHER WOLF ANIMAL RESCUE  |  Brother Wolf Animal Rescue believes in enhancing the lives of companion animals and the people who love them. Through adoption and pet retention programs, two low-cost mobile spay and neuter clinics, lifesaving shelter transfer partnerships, extensive volunteer and foster networks, and a trap-neuter-return program for community cats, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue impacts the lives of thousands of animals each year in the Western North Carolina region.

CREEKSIDE TAPHOUSE  |  Nestled in the beautiful Haw Creek neighborhood on over 2 acres, a flowing creek provides a peaceful dining experience outside. We source locally and proudly serve Hickory Nut Gap products and specialize in burgers, wings and brews! Creekside features over 20 craft brews on draft with lots of local brewers. We also offer one of the largest outdoor seating areas where dogs are welcomed and loved!

DARBY COMMUNICATIONS  | A PR and digital marketing agency representing outdoor, wellness and fitness companies.

DYNAMITE ROASTING CO.  |  Artisan roaster of Fair Trade and Organic Certified coffees

GRIMES TEICH ANDERSON LLP  |  We are injury and disability lawyers representing Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

HENDERSONVILLE OB-GYN ASSOCIATES, P.A. |  We are a small privately owned OB-GYN practice. 27 Doctors Dr., Hendersonville, NC 28792 

INTEGRATED LANDSCAPING OF ASHEVILLE, LLC |  Residential landscape design and installation including patios, walkways, stairways, retaining walls, plantings of all kinds including large trees and screen trees, cottage gardens, edible gardens, rustic firepits, outdoor fireplaces and kitchens, and Asheville’s most expert drainage and grading.

JIMMY’S AUTOMOTIVE CENTER  | Complete automotive repair center, focused on customer service. We do oil changes to engine and transmissions, check engine lights, brakes, and alignments. Our repair staff is A.S.E. certified. We have a fleet of loaner vehicles for our Customers. 33 years of service.

JOEL HELMS ARCHITECTURE  |  Joel Helms Architecture is focused on designing Wellness Driven commercial projects ranging from 1,000 sq ft renovations to 12,000 sq ft new buildings. We strongly support commercial clients who want to reuse and renovate existing buildings and tenant spaces. Together, our team will push for sustainable and value-driven design strategies throughout the design and construction process.

MCM WIRING INC  |  Electrical contracting services for residential new construction, renovations and remodels. Licensed and Insured. 828.348.9819

MONITTO CHIROPRACTIC  |  FB: @monittochiro  |  IG: @monittochiropractic  |  YouTube: Dr Paul Monitto D.C.  Specializing in the Y-strap spinal decompression adjustment. Affordable Family Chiropractic Care.

MOUNTAIN DIABETES & ENDOCRINE CENTER  |  Mountain Diabetes & Endocrine Center - Located in south Asheville, MDEC has 3 physicians and 2 nurse practitioners, providing personalized general endocrine and diabetes care, along with cutting-edge clinical research.

PHYSIO PHYSICAL THERAPY AND WELLNESS  |  Most people suffering from ongoing pain, injury or weakness worry they will never feel like themselves again. We identify the root cause and design a personalized unique experience you will enjoy so that you can return to the activities you are passionate about and live your active lifestyle again.

RANGE URGENT CARE  |  Range Urgent Care provides treatment for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses as well as a full suite of employer services and hydration therapy. Our mission is to disrupt the status quo in healthcare by providing a transparent, simplified and respectful healthcare experience for every patient we see.

REDBUD PROPERTY MANAGEMENT  |  Property management services for short and long term; as well as vacation rentals.

ROCKYS HOT CHICKEN SHACK  |  We sell deliriously good Nashville style Fried Chicken and Southern Soul Food.

SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN WILDERNESS STEWARDS  |  Founded in 2010, the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) is a conservation non-profit organization dedicated to educating, cultivating, and empowering an engaged public and the next generation in the stewardship of public lands in our backyard. At SAWS, we believe that taking care of our public lands and connecting them to the next generation matters.

STAR DINER  Fine dining in a unique setting in Marshall NC. We’re offering outdoor dining and carry out for dinner Wednesday - Saturday with Sunday brunch! 

STEPAMGAR KENNELS INC.  |  Boarding kennel for dogs and cats. Dog grooming. PH: 828-681-8767  101 Sunnybrook Ln., Fletcher NC 28732

WestBase COWORKING  |  WestBase Coworking, situated on Beacham’s Curve in West Asheville, provides a one-of-a-kind coworking experience for locals. We offer a variety of memberships to suit your working needs in a beautiful modern space meticulously designed with comfort and productivity in mind.


Michael224x224Reflecting on this year has me filled with many emotions. With the extreme challenges and upheaval, we could choose to look at 2020 as a year soon to be tossed aside. But a strong takeaway for me is the resilience and connection I experienced with our clients and the community as a whole.

I am incredibly grateful for the support and collaboration from all who participated in our COVID webinars: Sabrina Presnell Rockoff & Murphy Horne Fletcher from McGuire Wood & Bissette; and Sandra Dennison from the SBTDC. Thank you for your dedication to help our community.

And to our guest speakers: Lockhart Taylor, Assistant Secretary of the NC Division of Employment Security; Ken Kaplan, Kaplan CFO Solutions; Matthew Groome, Colton Groome & Company; Timothy Love, Buncombe County; Clark Duncan, Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for contributing your knowledge and expertise in such a complex and ever-changing time.

Remember the powerful impact you have now when you support local businesses, and know we are here to serve you. 

Warm regards and blessings for the New Year,


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