Tapping into the future: Nicole Dexter of Innovation Brewing

wib innovationIt’s nearing lunchtime in downtown Sylva. The noonday traffic passes by a small building that houses Innovation Brewing. Inside, Nicole Dexter is checking equipment, hauling bags of hops and malt, all the while ready to take on another day amid her dream.

“Things have been going really great,” the 28-year-old said. “Our numbers are much better than we projected or anticipated.” 

Moonlit magic in Balsam

wib teasleyThe first time Merrily Teasley saw the Balsam Mountain Inn was somewhat dreamlike. It was during a full moon hike that would reroute her life. 

“There was no illumination except for the moon,” Teasley recalled. “It just looked like magic. It was gorgeous.”

Women in Business: Profiles

The disappearing glass ceiling: Women-run entities rise in importance, numbers

coverLisa Leatherman wasn’t trying to prove a point when she joined Nantahala Power and Light in 1987, the company’s third-ever female meter reader. She wasn’t trying to make a statement by moving up through the ranks as a powerhouse operator, engineer, vegetation management worker, relicensing agent or, as of January 2013, district manager for Duke Energy. 

“I didn’t accept the job wanting to blaze some trail because I was a woman,” she said. “It was a job to do. I’ve generally always approached any job like that. I try to do it my absolute best.”

New management at Cherokee golf course

fr golfSequoyah National Golf Club has come out in the red every year since it first opened in 2009, but the Cherokee golf course’s new general manager Kenny Cashwell, of Sequoia Golf Management, thinks that’s a norm that can be reversed. 

“Absolutely,” he said of the club’s potential to turn a profit. “We anticipate being close year one. It’s very possible we may get there.”

The local deal: Small businesses look for their share of holiday shoppers

coverThere are a few time-honored traditions on Thanksgiving. Like turkey and stuffing, or football and napping. 

Or, increasingly more over the years, shopping. With retailers rabidly encouraging shoppers to get an early jump on the Christmas season gift-buying frenzy, the day after Thanksgiving has emerged as America’s celebration of shopping.

The day even has a rather ominous sounding name: Black Friday. 

Casting further: New fly fishing stores open, thrive in WNC

out frWord on the river is that more and more people are getting into fly fishing, spurring a push for fly-focused tourism and marketing – and the opening of a pair of new fly shops. 

“‘A River Runs Through It’ with Brad Pitt brought a lot of attention to the sport,” said Bob Bennett, who co-owns Tuckaseegee Fly Shop in Bryson City with Dale Collins. “Just in the recent five years or so, things have just really taken off, and I think part of it is bringing awareness to access. This is not a sport that you have to go to Montana for, or Alaska. You can bring it right here in Western North Carolina in the thousands of miles of stream we have.”

Just let the music play

art frIf Norman Rockwell were alive today, he might have painted a record store.

It’s as American and iconic as children playing outside until the streetlights came on or a young couple sharing a milkshake at a soda fountain. The record store is a place of congregation, of discovery, and of communicating the universal language — music.

Crafting a community: Dillsboro celebrates its artistic roots

travel potteryJoe Frank McKee knows what Dillsboro is capable of. “It’s a fighting town,” he said. “There are more craftsmen involved here these days, which means if you’re making your product and selling your product, you have more of a reason to fight.”

Co-owner of Tree House Pottery on Front Street in downtown Dillsboro, McKee and his business partner, Travis Berning, have spent the last 11 years setting down roots and investing in what has become one of the premier pottery establishments in Southern Appalachia. And as the town itself celebrates its 125th birthday, many businesses within the community are reflecting on a storied past, an uncertain present, and a hopeful future.

Shakeup on Main Street: Franklin aims for Main Street Program makeover

fr franklinThe Franklin Main Street Program has been soaking up some criticism lately, and the issues came to a head at an Aug. 19 meeting of Franklin residents, town administrators, business owners and board members. The verdict: Shape up by January, or lose town funding.

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