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Badass Women in AVL what they would tell their 10 year old selves in honor of National Women's History Month

March is National Women's History Month! Our hat's off to all of those female entrepreneur pioneers who paved the way for our Asheville heroes featured here to follow their dreams. Read about their inspiration and what advice they would give to their 10 year old girl selves if they could go back.

Business Women in AVL
Lexi • Hazel Twenty:
"My friends describe me as a mountain goat, which is appropriate because I am a Capricorn.  I always bet on myself and move steadily, (even if slowly at times), towards my goals and passions.  Even though COVID has changed how we do business, relate to one another, and profitability, I've never waivered or allowed my vision to be interrupted.  

I am opening a menswear store this month, Lex Twenty, because I want to keep doing what I love and respond to the needs of my customers and friends.  It's not that I don't have fear and doubt, I've just never let it stop me. 

  My message for my 10 year old self is literally the same I say to my 40 year old self, and happens to be my favorite saying.   'The rising tide raises all ships.' 

Lift yourself and others up, surround yourself with others who lift you up and watch everything around your world flourish."

Learn More about Hazel Twenty
Brandy • Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery
"As a native of Asheville, having a bakery is one of the most joyous blessing for us. We not only get to see and connect with people of our community every day, but we also get to see their smile or their eyes light up with excitement when they bite into one of our delectable cupcakes or creamy ice cream. You may walk into our shop as a customer, but within a short period of time you’ll feel like family!”
Always believe in your dreams!  
Learn More about Small Cakes
Franny • Franny's Farmacy

Franny Tacy is CEO and force behind Franny's Farmacy CBD Dispensaries, known for "seed to shelf, hemp and health."  Franny has made history as the1st female farmer in NC to plant hemp and 1st to deliver a TedX on "Hemp As a Crop" and her farm is visited by thousands of guests from all over the world. 

Franny says her advice to her 10-year old self would be encouraging words to "stay your course sweet human, continue to always trust your gut, always be kind and especially to yourself and take no shit. Your grace and grit will carry you through all sorts of amazing adventures so stay wild and untamable."
Learn More about Franny's Farmacy

Leigh • Claying Around:

"My dream in creating Claying Around was to offer a place where all are welcome to gather and create. Our bright and spacious studio is a paint your own pottery shop that offers much more. Whether you’re an adult or a child, a novice or an expert, we have something for everyone. We have a great selection of fun and unique pottery pieces, ranging in price from $4 to $100 and offer over 60 different colors of underglaze paint and fun specialty glazes. If painting pottery isn't your thing we are currently offering canvas and board painting, hand building with clay, and silver clay pendants. There's also an online store where you can purchase pottery & canvas to paint at home, along with mosaics, ready to go project kits, and more.

I would tell my 10 year old self to relax and have more fun."

Learn More about Claying Around

Gillie  Ware:

"I graduated from App State with a Bachelors of Science degree in Sustainable Development. My goal was to pursue opportunities to make a sustainable lifestyle accessible and attractive to those with the most to leverage, while benefitting those with the least. That was the inspiration of my opening Ware- a bulk refill station, Ware is a bulk refill station, zero-waste store, and all-around sustainable lifestyle resources in Downtown AVL. We carry intentional, ethical, low-waste products for humans and homes, with an emphasis on package-free, reusable, and refillable products.

I would have told 10-year-old Gillie that kindness does as much good for her as it does for the people in her life."
Learn More about Ware

Kirsten • Baked: 

"My plan was to start a new career when I turned 50. Three months after my 50th birthday in 2017, I came up with the concept of Baked Pie Company and opened in South Asheville in April and then opened a second location in Woodfin in December of that same year. My plan was to serve delicious homemade pies in an inviting space reminiscent of grandma’s and have the friendliest customer service in town. If that wasn’t enough to keep me busy, I opened a new café in Fletcher, P B & Jay’s Café five months ago, in the midst of a pandemic. I love an adventure!

If I could go back, I would tell my 10 year old self to take more risks and not be so afraid. I suffered from Agoraphobia since I was 13. I would love to be able to walk along with myself and use the skills I have now to help that young girl get through some incredibly rough times." 

Learn More about Baked

Miranda • Namaste in Nature:

"I was burned out from a successful yet stressful corporate career, ended a toxic long-term relationship and was struggling with an autoimmune disease when I quit my job in 2015.  That same year, I lived out of a backpack while completing my yoga teacher training in India, meditating with Buddhist monks in Thailand/Myanmar and  hiking through the Himalayas, Alps and Andes mountains. After that, I felt drawn to Asheville, NC, which is about an hour from where I grew up. Because I personally experienced so much health, healing and happiness through yoga, meditation and nature, I decided to create a similar experience for others to enjoy. In 2017, I started experimenting by myself with one trail and a handful of adventurous guests. I am so grateful that we have grown to become a team of incredible local yoga teachers that guide hundreds of guests each year to connect with their bodies, minds and with these ancient Appalachian mountains. In fact, Namaste in Nature was named Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Month for March 2021. 

My 10 year old self wanted to go live in Africa and protect lions, leopards and cheetahs from poachers, lol. I would tell her to keep following her curiosity, stay creative and keep learning... But not  just in the academic sense. I don't really have regrets but I would have been a lot more entrepreneurial a lot sooner had I not tried to fit into that traditional path/definition of success: "Get good grades, go to college, get a good job"

Learn More about Namaste in Nature

Leah • Highland Brewery: 

"My father and his crew of brewers in the basement of Barley’s back in 1994 are the spark that ignited the craft beer scene in Asheville making Highland the pioneer in craft beer here. Now in our second generation of family ownership, we are known for the quality of our ever-evolving brews, our deep ties to Asheville and the Southeast, as well as our community focus. Our East Asheville brewery has long been a local destination and we have continued to develop it over the last year with new volleyball courts, unique event spaces, walking trails, and a disc golf course that will be ready this spring.   We are also excited to be returning to where our story started downtown as part of the S&W Market. That Art Deco gem has been lovingly restored and will feature our beer alongside some stellar restaurants that were also born in Asheville.

Keep playing with friends. You're really good at it now, at 10 years old, but you’ll tend to forget when adult life gets really full."

Learn More about Highland Brewing Company

Cassie • AVL Box:

"I launched The AVL Box in late 2020 with the passion and intention of bringing consumers even closer to the products they use and consume daily and the hands that grow or make them. The AVL Box is a hyper-local, über-fresh online delivery platform that focuses solely on products grown, made and produced in WNC. (Imagine all your favorite farmers markets in one place WITH local beer and wine!) In addition to a wide delivery radius, they also have free Pickup Locations in Asheville and surrounding areas, from Black Mountain to Waynesville and growing!

To her 10-year old self, she would say, ‘It may not always look like it, but you’re always on the right path... And Brussels sprouts are delicious!’"

Learn More about The AVL Box

Jamie • Sand Hill Kitchen:

"Sand Hill Kitchen is known for our breakfasts and lunches. We serve the Candler community killer Fried Chicken, huge Reubens (some say the best in town!) and beautiful Bowls of Goodness (with fried grits and homemade sausage) just to name a few things. We are proud to be in our fourth year of business inside the BP gas station on Sand Hill and Sardis Roads. 

If I had something to say to my 10 year old self it would be to remember to be courageous and follow your instincts.  The happiest times in life come when you are willing to take chances and go with the flow."
Learn More about Sand Hill Kitchen

Loretta - Loretta's Cafe
Loretta’s is known for their  house made soups, fresh salads, delicious sandwiches, local craft beer, and freshly baked sweet treats. Literally what Loretta would tell her 10 year old self:  Nothing--because 10 year olds never listen to adults anyway. :)
Learn More about Loretta's Cafe

Congrats to Dig Local co-founder, "Food Person of the Year" winner for her work with Food Connection

Stu Helm Food Fan Awards are out! Stu writes, "Food Connection’s efforts have helped countless people put something on the table, and in their bellies during the gravest economic crisis the country has faced since the Great Depression! During uncertain times, Flori assured many of us that we were not forgotten. Plus, bonus: The food is always f'n good!" Congrats to ALL of the winners! 
"Those little pictures that you doodle in class...Keep doing those. And never stop caring about others." -Flori's advice to her 10 year old self.

See who else won on Ashvegas!
It's beginning to get Springy out their, friends. MASK UP, practice social distancing, have fun, TIP WELL and DIG LOCAL.

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