Amy Amico

This weeks Charlotte non-profit feature is Pat’s Place. What they are doing here in Charlotte is absolutely essential. Please go here to read my thoughts. It’s beyond important.

Meet Amy of Pat’s Place. I strive to learn something new from everyone. In this case on top of learning all of about Pat’s Place I learned a new word. Wanderlust. She said it. I had to Google it. Now I’m smarter. Thanks Amy. That’s awesome.

Also, ask her about her true feelings on the Charlotte restaurant scene. Quite the critic. I love it.

What is one thing your passionate about?

Cooking and food. I love trying out new places here in Charlotte. The restaurant scene is growing so quick. There’s always something new to experience. {Do you have a favorite place?} I don’t think I have a favorite but I really love Soul. I also cook a lot. I try not to cook the same recipe twice so it forces me to experience new things. I’m not sure I have a favorite thing I cook either because of this. The only thing I really tried hard to perfect at some point was mac n cheese. There’s so many ways to make it and I don’t use recipes so it was pretty hard to duplicate.

How do you think people would describe you?

I think they would describe me as driven and a little bit wanderlust.

Katie asked what’s something you failed at but learned from?

I don’t think it’s necessarily a failure but I was really focused right out of college to be in business. I completed my MBA and started working for a consulting firm and realized that I really had more of a passion for non-profits and human services. It was just a big change in direction more than anything. I guess that would be the lesson as well. Change isn’t bad.

Chef Robert asked if you could learn to cook one thing what would it be?

I would want to learn how to bake. I’m a terrible baker. Any time I bake anything it turns out really bad.

Who do you look up to and why?

I look up to people that I meet on a daily basis that intrigue me. I like to figure out how they are where they are and where they’re going. I try to use lessons from each person to better myself. I don’t think there’s one person that I’ve tried to emulate.

Emily Rester asked if you could mix two animals together what would they be and why?

I think I would mix a bird and a fish so you could go anywhere. You could literally go anywhere if you could fly and swim.

Learn more about Amy and Pat’s Place here.

Laura Tompkins

This weeks Charlotte non-profit feature is Pat’s Place. What they are doing here in Charlotte is absolutely essential. Please go here to read my thoughts. It’s beyond important.

Meet Laura of Pat’s Place. For someone that is a self-proclaimed shy person I thought she was incredibly open, honest and conversational. She also answered the hardest question I have. I loved it. So awesome.

Also, fun fact that I found from Internet digging. She’s a photographer as well. Learn more about Lauren Belle Photography here.

What motivates you or where does your drive come from?

This might sound cheesy but my family and making them happy. If I do something that they’re really proud of or my husband is really proud of that really motivates me to keep doing that thing or get better at that thing.

What frustrates you… Like table flipping frustrating?

I’ve always had this thing where I feel like people don’t listen to me and talk over me. It drives me insane. If I’m talking and somebody just starts talking as if I’m not speaking… Oh my god… my blood just boils. It happens all the time.

What is your least favorite trait about yourself?

I can be painfully shy. When I was a kid I was really really really shy. I would not talk to anybody. I still have a little bit of that in me but it’s gotten a better. It’s something I really struggle with.

Savannah wants to know what are 3 physical things you love about yourself.

Oh lord. Physical? Does it have to be physical? {yes, it’s not my question} I like my eyes. I like my shoulders. I don’t know. I’m afraid to say anything. My arms? That is a really horrible, awful question.

Joanne wants to know if you could be transformed into a food what would it be and why?

A hamburger. Like a big juicy hamburger with mayonnaise and ketchup. Because it’s very American and I’m an all American girl.

Andrew wants to know what is missing from Charlotte for non-profits?

I’m going to look at it from our perspective at Pat’s Place but I’m sure other non-profits feel this way. Just betters ways to educate people on what we do and who we are. A lot of people look at our name and think it’s something different than what it is. I think we’re missing a lot of people just knowing about us and what we do and it’s incredibly important.

Learn more about Laura and Pat’s Place here.

Lauren Levine

Since the beginning of #WeLoveCLT I’ve always told everyone that I love those who are real, the people that act human and be themselves. It’s relatable. It’s awesome.

Hi! Meet Lauren. She’s real and honest. Instead of hiding the dirt and awkward experiences she using them to create conversations. Turns out we’re all going through the same things in life. Lauren gets it. She’s awesome. I asked her 7 questions.

Also please give her blog a read here. Here’s one of the more recent ones that I absolutely love.
Social Butterfly Yet Also Probably Nervous Sweating Right Now: Life as a “Situational Extrovert”

What are you most passionate about?

I’m passionate about writing. I’m passionate about meeting new people and taking the ideas I have in my own mind and translating them in a way that might be universal. Making them make sense for other people. Putting them on my blog and putting them out there in the world and then talking to other people about them. Tweeting a link to a post I just wrote and then having a conversation about it. That’s what I love. Usually I find that if there’s something that I’m thinking about or I’m stressed out about or I think is interesting maybe somebody is experiencing something pretty similar and we can talk about it, bounce ideas of each other and really connect. That’s really cool. That’s what I’m passionate about.

What frustrates you?

What frustrates me? Personally I’m a very impatient individual and that frustrates me about myself. I wish that I could become more patient. In the world I think that people are becoming less and less inclined to listen and more and more inclined to talk or stare at a screen. That does frustrate me but it more so freaks me out. You go out to a restaurant and you see five people sitting supposedly having a conversation when really everyone’s just staring at their phone. I remember when I used to go out to dinner with my family and we all sat and spoke with each other. Now mom and dad are on their phones. Kids are on their tablets. What is happening? No ones talking to each other. I’m scared that this generation of kids, when they grow will not have the skills to have a simple conversation unless it’s 140 characters or less.

Who do you look up to and why?

I look up to a couple people. I look up to Nora Efron because I think she’s a beautiful writer and very real and funny. I look up to Chelsea Handler not so much in the way she lives her life. She lives a very amusing life and does whatever she wants. I think it’s cool that she was a female comedian in late night, a male dominated space and she does did and said what she wanted. She was never worried about what people thought or what’s politically correct. We’re all so concerned about what’s appropriate and whats PC these days and I think it’s great to just see people be who they are.

I look up to my dad because he’s a business owner. He grew up with absolutely no money. He couldn’t finish college because his family had nothing and started a business, employs a bunch of great people and loves what he does every day. He’s super passionate and I think that’s important.

What is your greatest indulgence?

Probably coffee. Drink too much coffee. Buy a lot of coffee. Oh, and going out to dinner. I love to go out to dinner.

If you could back in time 10 years and give yourself one piece advice what would it be?

Be brave and just do it.

Barbara wants to know if you knew you’d be interviewed today?

No. I feel honored though.

Scott Lundgren asked you to describe your perfect day.

I would sleep in. Go to brunch with my friends. Hang out by the pool for a while. Then go back, drink coffee, write for a couple hours. Then get ready, go to dinner with my friends. Come home, write some more. Probably take a nap and then go out. It’s going to be a long night.

You can find Lauren on Twitter at @LifewithLuaren1 or check out her blog here.

Behailu Academy

Hi! Our feature Charlotte nonprofit introduction for this week is Lori Krzeszewski of Behailu Academy.

I had the opportunity to sit down and learn more about who she is and everything she’s doing with Behailu Academy and I’ll tell you now… I’m fanboying hard over here. We share a common passion and that’s education especially for those who are at an age where having someone to guide them can be what makes or breaks their success in life. Lori is definitely awesome.

I highly recommend that everyone takes a moment to learn more about Behailu. These kind of programs are essential to the success of our youth and also our city. I asked her five questions. Joanne Spataro asked one.

What are you most passionate about?

In general I think I’m most passionate about making a difference in the world and making our community be a better place. It’s kind of a social justice thing in making sure that everyone gets a shot at the life they want to live and helping them do that through education and support. Social justice and inequality are really important to the work I do and who I am as a person.

What frustrates you?

What really gets at my core, I would have to say misperception. Maybe stereotypes. Maybe even a better way of saying it is close mindedness when people see our students or they hear what we’re doing. You don’t have to believe the things I believe or think the things I think but when you’re not willing to think about or even entertain anything other than your own point of view makes me insane. Because there’s so much more out there. It makes me insane. It also makes me really sad because you’re just shutting out so much and so many and that’s just infuriating. Unfortunately there’s a lot of close mindedness in the world and it doesn’t get us any further along.

If you had visitors in Charlotte for one day where would you take them?

I love walking. I love going place to place so we’d probably do a little start in Southend and maybe go have a beer and some food at Common Market. Then maybe walk down through Romere Bearden park. If there was a baseball game maybe do that. Watch a soccer game over at Hooligans. I would take them to the small local places that I love. We would definitely walk or bike.

If I gave you $10,000 right now what would you do with it?

I can spend it however I wanted? I would probably put it in a bank account that I couldn’t touch until I had two or three months of time where I could use it to travel abroad and I would probably make that $10,000 stretch. I could probably make that stretch for like a year and half abroad. Yeah, that’s what I would do. My heart is definitely in South East Asia. I’ve spent some time living there and I miss my friends and people back there. I think I would start out there and I would love to backpack around that region and make my way.

What’s missing from Charlotte

I would say in general what’s missing are opportunities are spaces for authentic interactions among groups that are diverse. Whether that’s on the basis of race, gender, socioeconomic status, Charlotte in general is segregated on so many levels. I think that we are definitely evolving but when I moved here from Pittsburgh I was shocked by how segregated we are and it bothers me. That for me is a huge missing piece.

Joanne asked if you could be any food what would you be and why?

I think I’d have to be some kind of spicy curry with lots of vegetables. For some reason I feel like that’s who I am. You have your foundation, the rice that everyone eats that goes with anything. Then you have these different vegetables that you can bring in. That just kind of resonates with me most because I know that I’m not for everyone and I don’t want to be for everyone and I’m ok with that.


You can find Lori making things happen over at Behailu Academy or on Twitter @lorikrzeszewski.

Matt Yarmey

Hi! Meet Matt. You may remember the recorded “A Conversation With” we did way back in the beginning of #WeLoveCLT. You can still listen to that here. Since then I’ve seen Pure Intentions continue to grow and follow it’s mission. To not only be a high quality coffee product here in Charlotte but that it’s used to bring together people of the community and educate them.

I’m regularly floored by Matt’s relentless drive. Pure Intentions is growing as a business and as an initiative to educate Charlotte. I freaking love it. The passion is real. Everyone should strive to have even just a fraction of Matt’s passion. It’s awesome.

Also, here’s two things you should absolutely ask Matt when you see him.

  • Ask him to sing “I’ve got the world on a string” by Frank Sinatra to you.
  • Ask him about his new Jockey Box. It sounds freaking awesome.

I asked him 5 questions. Let’s get to it.

What are you most passionate about?

The thing that really gets my juices flowing is seeing people that are doing different physical things in the community that come together and bring those different things together and create a louder voice. Before I was part of what I would call some of the creative culture of Charlotte I didn’t really have any window into that and really I can pinpoint the time that I first started using coffee to enter into that part of the Charlotte city community. That was when my passion really started growing. So coffee and the act of roasting coffee is really passionate for me because it’s a mixture of art and science but then having that passion elevated by what taking really high quality coffee into a creative community that appreciates it and uses it for things like beer, events and conversation that’s sort of two layers of creating that passion for me.

What frustrates you… Like boils your blood frustrating?

Oh man! I think what boils my blood more than anything else is when people try to take advantage of something they don’t understand because they think it’s going to allow them momentary or a flash in the pan success. I’ve seen it happen in other places and a couple of times here in Charlotte. As we develop this creative culture I think we really need to be cognisant that we’re giving attention and power to the people that are really trying to make a difference and not just for the show of it. For coffee specifically that could be anything from somebody wanting to carry Pure Intentions Coffee because it’s viewed as a high quality brand and not really giving it the attention it deserves in preparation, staff training or in just education about coffee all the way to somebody running an event and trying to leverage the cultural momentum for their own benefit without really understanding what’s behind the peoples message.

What is your greatest indulgence?


What is your least favorite trait about yourself?

I will say it’s probably my self criticism. I don’t allow myself to even when times are really good I don’t allow myself to appreciate that or I don’t congratulate myself when things happen the way that they happen because I’ve worked really hard for them. I’m too overly critical of myself.

If you were a wrestler what would your intro song be?

I’ve got the world on a string by Frank Sinatra. {then Matt sang to me}

If you could add one thing to Charlotte that you’ve seen in another city what would that be?

That’s a great question. Better public transportation. A legitimate subway would be great. The first thing that came to mind was a funky beachside town but that’s not possible because of our geography. Let’s go with a subway. I want the subway. Not the chain sandwich shop. I hate driving in the city so definitely better public transportation.

Tori wants to know who your favorite Ninja Turtle is?

Donatello for suuuurreee!

Dee Lanier wants to know what your favorite moment with your dad is?

People would probably normally say something really lovey dovey, right? My dad and I work together and have worked together on the coffee business since he retired. There was a time which we were not getting along. We weren’t communicating and I was making decisions because it’s my company. I was making buying decisions and decisions for the progress of the company and a lot of them he didn’t agree with. We just weren’t communicating and it was very obvious and it got to the point where we weren’t talking. It was really awkward. Eventually, over a bucket of chicken wings we hashed it out and put all of our cards on the table. It got significantly emotional over chicken wings. After that point we both had epiphanies that we were being total dicks to each other, for no reason. We both understood we had responsibilities but we weren’t letting the other person have the ownership of those responsibilities. In the grand scheme of things it was a legitimate fight but once we got done with it and the dust settled it’s never been better.

You can find Matt… well everywhere. I’ve run into him on more than one occasion delivering freshly roasted coffee to one of the many shops that sell it. Otherwise check him out on Twitter and Instagram.

Holly Rule

I’m trying something different today. Instead of sitting, asking the questions and transcribing the conversation like normal I sent the questions to Holly. I’m going to read/experience them like all of you do it every time. The italic green text that starts with Garrett: under each answer is my thoughts/opinions just for fun.

Hi! Today I am introducing the entire FRESH Boutique team. Meet Emily, Ally, Molly, and Holly.

I asked Holly 6 questions. Let’s get to it.

What is your passion?

I have a passion for fashion! As corny as that sounds, I actually love all things having to do with the fashion world. I would love to pursue a career in the industry doing anything from styling models to taking their pictures. Although I do not fully support the way models are expected to achieve an impossible body image, I love haute couture and the way it can be photographed on a model. I tried to design/make my own clothes early on but eventually decided I am more drawn to creating outfits and taking pictures of them.

Garrett: Not corny at all. Wave whatever flag you want and embrace it. Also, I have no clue what haute couture is… sounds expensive.

What is your least favorite trait about yourself?

This is definitely a tough question for me…but I’m sure its tough for everybody. But I would probably say that my tendency to get over-emotional is my least favorite trait about myself. Seriously, I can cry after watching one of those youtube videos about a boy whose puppy only has three legs and he teaches it to walk and it lives a full life. My family and friends always kid me because I am very easily moved. I get attached to things quickly and easily and find myself getting emotional all the time. I would say its my worst trait because I think I come across as dramatic when I really can’t help it. Oddly enough, my friends and family do say it’s a good trait because it makes people feel loved and it’s nice that I care so deeply about things; it’s flattering to them. But I just see myself as that girl who cried during the first scene of Up. (Have you seen that…it’s very sad, just saying).

Garrett: First, we all have those certain things that tug at the heart strings. Totally acceptable and human. Second, if you don’t cry during the opening scenes of UP then you’re a robot.

Savannah asked what are 3 physical things you love about yourself?

I love my skin, my eyes, and my legs. This makes me feel very vain. First of all, I like my skin because I was lucky enough to get my dad’s olive skin instead of my mom’s fair skin. My mom has had some problems with skin cancer and my two older brothers both have very light skin. But my dad’s side of the family has pretty skin that tans easily and I haven’t gotten many pimples through my teenage years so I’m very thankful! I like my eyes because they are blue and if I use the right amount of eyeliner I can accent them pretty well. That might have sounded weird but I am awful at doing my own makeup except around my eyes so it makes me like them more. Lastly, and mostly because I can’t think of anything else, I like my legs. When I was younger I was really really short (like 4’11 until freshman year) and when I got taller it seemed the thing that actually grew was my legs so I like them.

Garrett: When Savannah threw this into the question pool it quickly become one of my favorite questions. People can easily criticize but ask them to give themselves a compliment and it gets tough.

Where would you move to live the rest of your life?

I would move back to Charlotte after college. It really is the perfect city for a family and a career. Unless I somehow landed a fantastic career in fashion, then I would definitely like to be in New York City.

Garrett: This makes me curious where Charlotte fashion will be in 5 or 10 years. Any potential here?

Beth Mack wants to know what the dorkiest thing you do is?

The dorkiest thing I do is talk to myself. Not in the creepy way like when you pass somebody on the street and think they are a little crazy but just at random moments. For example, before a big test I’ll say “okay you can do this” or during the conference championships for our tennis team this year (which we won) I would say, “Okay deep breath, you will win this match. Just hang in there.” I am hoping that more people do this casually than I realize, but I still think it’s dorky and I would not want anybody to hear me doing that.

Garrett: I play out conversations out loud before they happen all the time. Not weird at all, right?

If you had three hours to take an out of towner around Charlotte where would you take them?

If this person was a girl, I would definitely take her to Beads Inc. on Providence Road. My friends and I are addicted to this place because you can make the exact necklace that you want for half the price, although they always look just as real or expensive as ones sold in boutiques. In case Beads Inc. is an unfamiliar store, you basically go into the shop, walk through two floors of different colored beads, tassels, stones, and chose which ones you like best…then make your own necklace. It is addicting.

Next, if this was a casual afternoon, I would take this person to the Soda Shoppe in the Park Road Shopping Center. I have been going to this place since I was really young and they still never fail to make amazing diner food. The pimento cheeseburger paired with a thick chocolate milkshake changed me forever. Depending on how much time was left, I would take this person to a Panthers game, assuming it is the fall. Panthers games are so much fun and I am actually a big football fan. It is fun to have somebody to root for and cheer on with a bunch of other people, and a Panthers game is always a good idea.

Garrett: You should meet Ally Frazier. She makes custom jewelry and I’m pretty sure the Beads place is one of her favorite spots. We intro’d her months ago in this series. Also, Cheeseburger, yes. Milkshake, yes. Pimento cheese, yes.

You can find her on Instagram at @HollyRule.

Alexandra “but please call me Ally” Gartner

I’m trying something different today. Instead of sitting, asking the questions and transcribing the conversation like normal I sent the questions to Ally. I’m going to read/experience them like all of you do it every time. The italic green text that starts with Garrett: under each answer is my thoughts/opinions just for fun.

Hi! Today I am introducing the entire FRESH Boutique team. Meet Emily, Ally, Molly, and Holly.

I asked Ally 6 questions. Let’s get to it.

What motivates you to get up every day?

Ok, so I read one of my favorite quotes online the other day and this is definitely going to be my response to this question because I think it’s amazing. Someone was making a joke, asking what makes people motivated and energetic. They said they had gotten out of bed once and had been exhausted ever since. Someone replied with “You need to learn to hate life to the point where you want to get revenge on existence itself”. Very dark, but totally hilarious. And I think this is a great motivator because it ties into something I love, which is making people laugh. I don’t think anyone should take life, this quote, or themselves, too seriously. Which might explain why I think this very, very dark quote is a really, really funny way to get yourself motivated about your day ahead.

Garrett: I see you laughing at this quote every morning and that scares me. You do have unrivals energy though. It must be working. I love it.

In one sentence, what advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Oh man. This is rough. I would have been 13… eek. So that would put me in middle school. And everyone hates middle school. I’d tell myself that the issues and problems that I will face then and in the years to come are not world-ending, all-consuming drama bombs like they appear. Does that count as one sentence?

Garrett: Nope. That’s more than a sentence. Also, Drama bombs. Never heard it referred to as that. So awesome.

If I gave you $10,000 right now what would you do with it?

Is it in cash and can I roll around in it? I’d pay my parents back for the car I crashed (sorry mom and dad!) and send them on a nice vacation to Italy. So that would probably leave me with $3000 left… I think? Math isn’t my strong suit. Anyway, $3000 left. Put $1000 in savings, donate $1000, and have fun on the last $1000. I have no idea what “have fun” would entail, but I think $1000 would cover it. OH MAN. Does it cost $1000 to swim with sharks? I’d use the $1000 to go in a shark cage and see great white sharks. Maybe take that other $1000 out of “savings” and bring my friend, Mary. Who is also obsessed with sharks. It’s SHARK WEEK. I bet we could also get matching shark costumes. I don’t think we’d be allowed to go into the cages with them, but that seems like an amazing picture. Two girls in full-body shark costumes in a tank next to real, live sharks in the ocean. Sounds like $10,000 WELL SPENT.

Garrett: If you dressed as Left Shark from the Superbowl and went swimming with sharks… now that’s $10,000 spent right.

Why do you love Charlotte?

I love Charlotte because of the people. I know that’s a very basic answer, but it’s true! I’m very lucky because a large group of my friends from college moved here after college which makes it an even more fun place to be. Or it is it funner? Oh, I always get this wrong! It’s a much more enjoyable place in which I can pass the time with my companions? Anyways. That. Charlotte is an up and coming city with up and coming people. I’ve been able to keep old friends and make new ones, and so far, it’s going really well! I could always use new friends, though. Hello, strangers!

Garrett: People, People, People… well said.

If you could transform into a food what food/dish would it be and why?

OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY. This is so hard. BUT I’VE GOT IT. Ok, so, shameless plug here, I would be a Pig Mac from Papi Queso Food Truck. If you’ve never had one, see you at Fresh on Saturday because you need this in your life. First off, it’s a grilled cheese. YUM. But it gets better. It’s a grilled cheese with pulled pork, caramelized onions, and mac-and-cheese. Holiest of holy grilled cheeses. That, plus an ice cold rootbeer? YESSS. Hands-in-the-air-in-praise emoji. Food touchdown. Why? Well A… I’m hoping that this means Brian, aka Mr. Queso, will give me free grilled cheeses from Papi Queso for life, but also, B… the Pig Mac is something you enjoy, and you enjoy a lot, with friends. You eat it at a food truck with your buds, then after you’ve realized the cheesy goodness that it is, you tell everyone you possibly can so that they too can experience and enjoy this gem. I want people to love me like I love this sandwich and tell their family, friends, strangers, about me so that they want to love me too. Yup, I want to be a grilled cheese because grilled cheese is hot and cheesy and so am I.

Garrett: I love that this is your longest answer. Also, hot and cheesy. LMAO.

Tyler Harding asked what would your last meal be if you could choose?

Glad I got this semi-morbid question. Got to focus on the food part, though. I’m having a hard time deciding! Do YOU know? Is queso and chips and guacamole a meal? Can I make it a multi-course meal? Do I get to invite people to this meal? AHHHHH. Sushi. I’m choosing sushi. From the best restaurant in the United States because I like the westernized version. But the fanciest, most expensive, most delicious sushi restaurant in the United States. That is where I’d like to have my last meal. As many different rolls as I can eat. With as many different friends and family as I can invite. A huge party with my favorite people and food. And sake bombs. Sounds awesome.

Garrett: You had me at queso. Though ALL the sushi rolls and sake bombs sounds like a divine way to spend a last meal. Also, friends and family. Killed it.

You can find Ally on Twitter @AllyGartner though her tweets are protected… they are secret tweets… shhhh. You can check our her Instagram here. This on the other hand is not protected so get on in there!

Molly McGinnis Jarzmik

I’m trying something different today. Instead of sitting, asking the questions and transcribing the conversation like normal I sent the questions to Molly. I’m going to read/experience them like all of you do it every time. The italic green text that starts with Garrett: under each answer is my thoughts/opinions just for fun.

Hi! Today I am introducing the entire FRESH Boutique team. Meet Emily, Ally, Molly, and Holly.

I asked Molly 6 questions. Let’s get to it.

What are you most passionate about?

Making people happy. My whole life I have been a people pleaser- and unless the people around me are happy (especially the people I love most like my husband, family, and close friends), then I am not happy. It’s not that I don’t care about my own happiness because I do- it’s just that I truly enjoy making other people happy!

Garrett: You absolutely care about your own happiness. It comes from bringing joy to others. I feel the same way.

Who do you look up to and why?

My husband. He amazes me everyday. He is smart, funny, and extremely motivated.

Garrett: Awww

What is your greatest indulgence?

Spending money at FRESH and/or Avalilly’s Boutique:)

Garrett: I really hope you get a discount.

What is something you failed up but learned from?

I guess I wouldn’t see this as a failure as much as just a change in plans- but at the time it seemed like a failure. I went to college with the hopes of becoming a doctor- and then I realized this career path was not for me, and I changed my major and career goal. Then, I went to graduate school and got my masters degree in social work- and I soon realized that that profession was not for me either, but I truly admire anyone who is in that profession and am grateful that there are those people in the world:) I can be hard on myself- but one thing I always have to assure myself of is that plans can change, and that’s ok! I guess I am the type of person who really has to experience something before I know if it’s for me or not.

For the past 5 years I have been working for Emily at Avalilly’s and FRESH (part-time through school and then full time as manager since April!) , and that has been something that I have truly enjoyed. I love working with people and helping to style their wardrobes, or even help them pick out a dress for that special occasion! And I thoroughly enjoy the fashion industry and believe that working in a career in fashion is my “calling”. I love the ever changing styles and trends, and even learning about the different designers- both their professional and personal lives.

Garrett: Experience is everything. Better to know then to never try at all. Those two original career paths are also pretty intense. I applaud you even thinking about heading in that direction.

If you could make your own ice cream what would be in it?

Corn- and sugar

Garrett: I get sugar … but corn?

Dee asked What is the greatest moment you had with your dad?

I have so many favorites… my dad is awesome:) But one of my most favorite (and funniest moments) is when we were in Asheville while it was snowing. My dad used to take my three siblings and I to Asheville all the time and it soon became one of my favorite places! (I even got married there:)- Anyways, we were riding in his Rodeo (such a 90’s car) while it was snowing and we were going down a hill. We started to slide, and as it was happening he said, ok everyone make sure you have your seatbelt on. I guess it one of those you had to be there moments- but to me it was hilarious.

Garrett: I love the random memories people have. The “had to be there” ones are the best… you were there. That’s all that matters. Also, Asheville is awesome!

You can find Molly on Instagram here.

Emily Haggart

I’m trying something different today. Instead of sitting, asking the questions and transcribing the conversation like normal I sent the questions to Emily. I’m going to read/experience them like all of you do it every time. The italic green text that starts with Garrett: under each answer is my thoughts/opinions just for fun.

Hi! Today I am introducing the entire FRESH Boutique team. Meet Emily, Ally, Molly, and Holly.

Here’s a little backstory on Emily, FRESH Boutique and AvaLilly’s.

Here are few fun facts and a Storyboard about AvaLilly’s. FRESH has been in the biz 14 and Ava’s 11.

I fell into this concept many moons ago before people knew what E-bay was, so others thought I was a genius! Ha… So that was fun😘. I was working on my Master’s Degree in Education and started selling her overstock designer clothing for a local Boutique near my University on EBay. I Graduated that December and made my not as willing Fiancé leave his Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, all his Pittsburgh teams on a whim to take an end of year out on maternity teaching job ! Our whole families are from there and we lived there our whole lives. They hired me back for the following year and 2 weeks before school started, Meck cut the last 22 teachers hired😱. What SEEMED like the worst thing that ever happened to me turned out to be the BEST thing that ever happened to me.., and we are still married, Ha! It started organically out of survival and desperate measures and turned into what I am supposed to be doing! God works in mysterious ways.

I also taught and lived in Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Mexico City. I did my student teaching in Las Vegas. We got married on a Catamaran in Key West.

I asked Emily 6 questions. Let’s get to it.

What is your greatest indulgence?

I would have to say going to the spa. I wait for an excuse like Birthday, Mother’s Day, Groupons, to get a massage. I justify that I earned it which I also have convinced myself. Good for me.

Garrett: From what I can tell you work hard. No justification needed! Get that massage.

What frustrates you… Like boils your blood frustrating?

Entitlement. Its everywhere you look. It’s definitely not just the young people like everyone says. At the restaurant beside you ordering, on the highway driving, to the person who deserves two parking spaces over our one. Guess we’re not as important as they are? Take it a step further in everything that is going on right now , I guess what frustrates me is anyone who thinks that they or their lives are more important than someone else’s . Ok I’m done.

Garrett: Preach

What’s a perfect day look like for you?

It would be at the beach with my family. We would sleep in late and snuggle then make a big delicious breakfast and sit outside and listen to the waves. Take a barefoot walk collecting shells with the perfect amount of sunshine. Cruise around on a little boat following all the little sea creatures. I could do that until the sun came down. Then meet up with everyone else and go to a fun restaurant and take my son and any kids to fun places like amusement parks, etc. At the end of the night, wind down with the hubby with a glass of champagne listening to the ocean. Then start it all over again!!!!!

Garrett: Family First. Love it.

How do you think people would describe you?

This is always an interesting question? I would probably say funny, sarcastic, fair, business minded, mommy minded, you always know what I am feeling which can I know can be a strength and a weakness, fun, likes to help people, … Not sure lets ask some people… Preferably on my payroll!

Garrett: In the brief time we’ve had together I’d agree with funny and I’m pretty sure I caught a little sarcasm in there. Spot on!

If you could combine two animals, which would they be and why?

A sloth and a groundhog?? A sloth because this is my favorite when I taught in Costa Rica, they hang around minding their own business but, if someone messes with one they with cut ya! And the groundhog because my husband thinks these are the beer drinkers of the animal kingdom so it only make sense to morph these beauties! I have no idea why he thinks that by the way. Ha

Garrett: Fun. Though I really think this might be the least cute animal ever created. Also you just created a drunk sloth hog that cuts people. Scary.

What crime would you commit if it was Legal?

Probably something to do with an elaborate scheme with counting cards in Vegas if I were smart enough! There is a reason I chose to do my student teaching in Las Vegas.

Garrett: I would just rob the casino. Do away with all that math 😬.

You can find Emily on Instagram at @shopfreshboutique.

the ladies of FRESH Boutique

Hi! Have you met Emily, Molly, Ally and Holly of FRESH Boutique?

I met up with the whole team recently for a quick sync up on doing the whole 6 questions thing and something that came across strong was just how much freaking fun it seems they all have working together. I thrive off other peoples energy and for 6:00pm when I should’ve been exhausted they left me feeling energized. It was awesome. They are doing their #ShopLocal event this Saturday. The flyer is below. Also for more information head over to their Facebook Page.

I asked them all 6 questions but I did this a little differently this time. I sent them the questions to answer on their own so I can experience it just like everyone that follows #WeLoveCLT. I followed each answer with a quick thought. My thoughts are italic and in green. Click their pictures below to read each Q&A.

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