Biz Briefs: Talk to highlight new economy initiatives Sept. 12

IT'S GOOD TO GIVE: United Federal Credit Union donated $5,000 to the Four Seasons Foundation to help support the music therapy programs. Pictured, from left, are Tina Bennett, Paige Wheeler, Loretta Shelton, Millicent Burke-Sinclair, Lee Beason, Lynn Penny and Kelly Rosky. Photo courtesy of United Federal Credit Union

Big Scary Fish Tank

Capping off Asheville Entrepreneurship Week, the Asheville Investment Club will host its inaugural Big Scary Fish Tank, a live pitch event in which four local companies compete for $500,000 from local investors, on Friday, Sept. 6, 6-9 p.m. at the Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway. The event is also a fundraiser to benefit the local financial education nonprofit OnTrack WNC and will include networking, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. According to a press release, “Since its founding in the fall of 2018, Asheville Investment Club has deployed over $1.5 million into locally connected businesses and helped create 50+ jobs.” Tickets are $20; more information at

TEDx returns to Asheville

Sunday, Sept. 8, will mark the 10th appearance of the red TEDx letters on an Asheville stage. This year’s featured speakers are Kat Houghton of Community Roots; Sarah Poet of Embodied Breath; Jen Aly, business coach; Evan Parker of Conserving Carolina; Sara Delaney, social entrepreneur; Daniele Martin, consultant and healer; Tracey Greene-Washington of Indigo Innovation Group and CoThinkk; Daniel Cape, creativity trainer; Astra Coyle, Feldenkrais practitioner; and David Wilcox, musician. Held at the Wortham Center for Performing Arts beginning at 1 p.m., tickets are $45 at Information at

Inspiration from the new economy

Members of the national New Economy Coalition will hold the organization’s annual meeting in Asheville and will present a public talk, “Stories from the New Economy: Building from the Bottom Up” on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the YMI Cultural Center, 20-44 Eagle St. According to a press release, “Each talk will highlight new economy initiatives in the U.S. such as community land trusts, worker cooperatives, community wealth-building and more. The presentations will be followed by a Q&A interchange with the audience.” More information at or

Who’s in, who’s out

  • Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity launched a new ReStore location in Weaverville. 
  • Tech repair brand uBreakiFix opened a new location in Arden.
  • Spartina 449 Asheville opened at 4 Swan St. in Biltmore Village. The women’s speciality retailer offers handbags, accessories, apparel and gifts.
  • Attorney Kevin Mahoney will lead the new Asheville location of The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. The practice will have a particular focus on representing clients involved in complex land use cases, especially as they relate to eminent domain. Mahoney served most recently as the Special Deputy Attorney General in the N.C. Department of Justice’s Asheville office.
  • The Captain’s Bookshelf bookstore announced plans to close its downtown location by early next year. The bookstore, which has done business at 31 Page Ave. for 43 years, plans to continue selling books online and will be holding inventory sales while the store remains open.
  • The historic Richard Sharp Smith residence at 189 E. Chestnut St. that’s been home to Ambiance Interiors for several years is under contract, according to owner and interior designer Kathryn Long. Long announced she will practice from a home office beginning in October.

New gigs

  • Christie Hill, Michele Gould, Erica Kulwicki, Shaun Beals, Ronnie Gentry, Jess Cole, CJ Short and Gene Ettison joined EXIT Realty.
  • Kat Carlton joined United Way of Henderson County as the director of resource development. Sarah Beattie joined the organization as the communications coordinator.
  • Peyton Holland was named executive director of the National Technical Honor Society, which is located in Flat Rock.
  • Marjorie Vestal, Heather Bromley, Ashley North and Lakiesha Lewis of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates completed Fast Track training.
  • Grace Puleo joined The Van Winkle Law Firm as an associate attorney in the firm’s litigation practice group, where she focuses on land use litigation.
  • Glenn Kavanagh was appointed director of mortgage sales at United Federal Credit Union’s Asheville branch at 1441 Patton Ave.

Beauty goes green

Ashes & Steel Studio, located at 347 Depot St., announced it has joined a sustainability initiative with Green Circle Salons. Beginning in July, Green Circle Salons began collecting a wide variety of byproducts from the local studio, including all hair clippings, extensions, excess color, developer, papers, plastics, foils, aerosol cans and color tubes.

The collection effort effectively decreased the salon’s total waste by 85%-95%, according to a press release from Ashes & Steel. “On a daily basis, over 421,206 pounds of waste are being tossed out by hair salons across North America — from 63,180 pounds of hair clippings, 42,122 pounds of hair color, 109,512 pounds of foil and color tubes, to 206,392 pounds of waste paper, salon bottles and plastic items,” the salon wrote.

Local businesses make list

From health care to IT management, small businesses fuel the growth of Asheville’s economy. This year, seven Asheville area businesses made the annual Inc. 5000 list, a national ranking of the fastest-growing privately owned small businesses. Symmetry Financial Group, Benton Roofing, Mind Your Business, Mountain Showcase Group, Aeroflow Healthcare, Millhouse Logistics and Cloud for Good were recognized for their revenue growth 2015-18.



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