Capital from the crowd: Artists, entrepreneurs go online for a financial head start

coverA soda bottling operation. An original children’s book. A new music album. A mural downtown. Pallets and pallets of Mason jars, and fresh jam to fill them. 

They’re all good things, but they all require money to become reality. And when you’re talking arts and niche business start-ups, money can be a rare commodity. More and more, artists and entrepreneurs in Western North Carolina have been turning to a recently emerged source for sponsoring dreams — crowdfunding. 

Mad Batter to reopen in Sylva

From the ashes of a recent fire, Mad Batter Bakery & Café will reopen. But, instead of returning to the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee where it was located for 15 years, the beloved establishment will set up shop in downtown Sylva.

Tossing fate into the air

art frWhat started as a backyard game one afternoon has turned into a passionate career for Nathan Lowe.

“I just got addicted to playing cornhole,” the 28-year-old chuckled.

Lowe was at his sister’s college graduation party at North Carolina State in Raleigh. He got teamed up with his father, Randy, to play in a casual cornhole tournament. Though the duo had never tossed previously, they ended up beating everyone that day.

Change in business fee structure a windfall for Waynesville

A new formula for business license fees will mean a six-fold increase in collections for the town of Waynesville this fiscal year, bringing in a projected $128,000 compared to $20,000 last year.

Barking up the right tree

fr barkcladBy Paul Clark • Correspondent

Harvesting poplar bark to make bark shingles is never easy, but this summer Danny Heatherly and his crew had a short season shortened even further by all the rain that fell.

Closing of Vance Hardware is an end to an era

fr vanceOn the first day of Vance Hardware’s going-out-of-business sale, someone bought the key machine. “I think that hurt him worse than anything,” Willetta Vance said.

Cullowhee businesses reflect on past, look ahead after WCU fire

coverDark clouds hung above Cullowhee last Friday morning. And as the rain fell on the mountain community, tears slid down the face of Suzanne Stone.

“I’m numb,” she said. “I rotate between crying and disbelief. It’s like losing your home.”

Waynesville says no to blow-up gorillas: Off-the-beaten path businesses seek signage answers

fr signsWaynesville leaders last week voted to loosen the town’s sign rules at the behest of some business owners, but stopped short of allowing giant, blow-up inflatable characters.

Elementary school’s old cafeteria helps new breed of entrepreneurs

fr finescreekBy Colby Dunn • Correspondent

On a recent sunny afternoon, Deb Shalosky is standing in the kitchen pantry at the Fines Creek Community Center, a little autumnal sun glinting off the neatly labeled octagonal jar in her outstretched hand. 

All in the family — Sunburst Trout Farm

coverA crisp wind blows through Haywood County. Gazing upward, dark clouds slowly take over the sky while a few ominous raindrops are felt. For many, it may seem to be the official death knell to summer. But for Sally Eason, it’s a sign of great things to come. 

“We love this weather, and we’re probably the only people around here that do,” she chuckled. 

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