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Women in Business

Before Karen Walston began running her first extermination route 16 years ago, she had no plans to become The Bug Lady of WNC. At the time, she was doing a part-time office job for a bigger pest control company, but when she asked for more hours she got more than she bargained for.

The story of every small business is different and unique, but some follow an economic development narrative being heard more and more in Western North Carolina — an entrepreneur with professional skills decided to open a business in Haywood County because they wanted to be here.

When you’ve done something for as long as Mitzi Cope has, you tend to learn a thing or two — not just about business, but about life.

Heather and Robert Acton have it all figured out. Living on the outskirts of Swain County near the national park boundaries, they have found a perfect balance of business and pleasure.

The book business is rebounding thanks to people like Suzanne Harouff who’ve never given up on it.

Too often patients visit Dr. Linda Sparks as a last resort.

Only after years of not being able to find any answers or relief through traditional medicine, do they turn to an alternative like naturopathic medicine. Sparks has personally seen patients completely heal themselves with naturopathic medicine, which is why she decided to change her entire career to help others see those same health benefits.

Its no surprise that The Smoky Mountain News’ annual Women in Business issue highlights women who are in business, but this year, we decided to focus on something a bit more meta: the daughter of a woman in business who is a woman in the business of getting women into business.

It’s 3 p.m. on a weekday, a time when any restaurant would be well within its rights to be all but empty. But business at Granny’s Kitchen in Cherokee is humming along steadily, the main parking lot about half full and the hostess busily engaged with fielding phone calls, ringing up customers on their way out and welcoming customers on their way in.

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