Business Buzz: 5/24/23

May 24, 2023


The Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s New Heights neighborhood is home to an award-winning house design. “The Deerfield” is a single-level Aging in Place (AIP) townhome specifically designed for adults age 55+. Recently awarded Best in Accessibility in Habitat for Humanity International’s nationwide house design contest, The Deerfield is also Asheville Habitat’s only house model to earn the Gold level of Green Built certification. The Aging in Place one-level townhomes include a full bath, kitchen, laundry, living space, 1-bedroom, and a bonus living space in the front of the home that if needed, could be closed off in the future for an in-home caregiver. The units are at-grade (zero steps), boast wide exterior and interior doorframes, and a bathroom that will accommodate a wheelchair within a 5’ radius circle. Grab bars are part of the bathroom installation, and lever door handles instead of traditional knob styles make it easier for aging hands to grasp. Read more.


  • Leah & the Rabbit:  A 30 minute piece of puppetry originally created by Mikayla Wilson in collaboration with the Vance Birthplace Historical Site staff for the Juneteenth program at the Vance Birthplace Historical Site, Leah & the Rabbit is making a journey throughout Buncombe Country in partnership with Buncombe County libraries and the Vance Birthplace Historical Site with the support of ArtsAVL and the Mountain History and Culture Group. After its origin last Juneteenth at the Vance birthplace, Leah and the Rabbit has played as part of the City of Asheville’s Art in the Heart, the Asheville Fringe Festival, and the Asheville Amadeus Festival.  This June, with the support of the ArtsAVL Grassroots Grant, the show will tour across the county, bringing this powerful story to more audiences than ever.  Ms. Wilson says, “The show talks about the forgotten stories of the enslaved people owned by the Vance family. Leah Erwin is one of twenty-seven known enslaved people that were owned by and lived with the Vance family. Leah’s story is paired with the tales of Br’er Rabbit, a popular folk story character that was passed down by enslaved people but appropriated by white storytellers with racial bias. Many Black people were brought to Asheville for cheap or enslaved labor to support the tourist industry in the antebellum period. Now, Black people must compete with systems that favor the wealthy or privileged. This story is meant to question the people who are being removed from Asheville and who can afford to stay.”  AMC Curator Aaron Snook says, “We couldn’t be more excited that this new American Myth has a chance to grow and find new audiences.  We’re extremely grateful to ArtsAVL and the Mountain History and Culture Group for the support.” Learn more.
  • Carolina Spark Magazine has announced its very first women’s empowerment seminar, Ignite the Spark!: Spark Your Inspiration and Empower Your Soul 2023. The event will take place at the Davis Event Center in Fletcher, N.C. during the weekend of October 13-14th. This inspiring two-day, interactive seminar will bring together women of Western North Carolina to discover new opportunities, make connections, and find inspiration and encouragement to Ignite the spark within themselves and the women around them. Whether you are a corporate executive, a stay-at-home mom, a college graduate, or are embarking on a new business venture, Ignite the Spark! will leave you inspired, empowered and equipped to go after your dreams. “We want women to have the support and be provided the tools to go after their dreams, no matter where they are in life,” says publisher and owner of Carolina Spark Magazine, Crystal Pressley. Get tickets.


  • Until May 26, Kudzu Brands, Asheville’s best branding and digital marketing agency for growing businesses, encourages Western North Carolina minority-owned businesses and nonprofit organizations to apply for this year’s $10K Brand Giveaway. Kudzu Brands’ $10K donation includes brand story development, logo creation, and marketing collateral development. Past winners include Literacy Together and More To Love Consignment.The contest timeline, rules, details, and updates are on Kudzu’s website, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The application, rules, and complete list of WNC counties permitted for entry are published on the agency’s website, too. Kudzu’s $10K Brand Giveaway relies on the influence of social media to determine the winner. Once finalists are announced on June 7, they will need to use their social platforms to engage followers to vote them into the winner’s circle.