At Flower Cart they wholeheartedly believe that you get what you pay for. From a full service floral store to unique gifts for all ages, they offer the best. From the day the seed hits the earth to the moment you receive your bouquet, your flowers have been in the best hands. Because all of their customers are important, their professional staff is dedicated to making your experience a pleasant one.

By Marla Caligaris

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Flower Cart shares the common goal of maintaining and developing long-standing happy relationships with both their clients and vendors. They pride themselves on their positive atmosphere and the friendly energy they extend to all their Phenix City and Columbus neighbors. SVM spoke with Debbie White, Flower Cart owner about what she loves about the flower business, her favorite flower arrangements and what makes Flower Cart different from the rest.

How did you get into the flower business and what do you love best about being a florist? I started working at a floral shop while in high school and quickly found I had a natural talent for floral design. Designing arrangements for Valentine’s Day, weddings, the birth of a baby, anniversaries, graduations, funerals, etc. allow me to be a part of so many people’s lives.

What distinguishes you from other businesses in your category? The Flower Cart is more than just a florist. We also sell gifts which can be delivered along with a floral arrangement or just by itself. Our newest expansion is the Boutique by Flower Cart which carries trendy clothing, jewelry and accessories.

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Is Flower Cart’s focus more retail or do you also do weddings and events? We do a lot of retail, however we specialize in corporate events and weddings. We do lots of outdoor wedding venues in the surrounding area and specialize in vintage and southern theme events. Each wedding is custom designed to each bride. We feel your wedding is a special day and should be unique to you.

According to your experience, how does Valentine’s Day compare to other holidays for the flower business? Valentine’s Day is the busiest single day holiday while Mother’s Day is the biggest. Everyone has a mother somewhere be it alive or deceased but not everyone has a sweetheart.

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Because we absolutely have to ask, what's your favorite floral arrangement? I really like a real simple vase of hydrangea, garden roses and peonies if I had to pick. This arrangement is very simple and understated. The garden roses smell amazing.

Which flower varieties are you really excited about for the upcoming season? I love peonies, viburnum and lilacs when they are in season.

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How would you describe Flower Cart’s design style? Flower Cart's design style is basically European. However to stay a trendy and current flower shop your style has to be forever evolving and changing as styles and trends change. Our customers want what’s new and therefore we try to stay ahead of the trend as much as possible.


What other products do you feature at your store besides flowers? Will you deliver? We carry jewelry, boutique clothes from small to 3x, an array of scented candles and gift items for all ages. At the Flower Cart Boutique we feel it’s important for all ages to stay on trend. Everyone, young and old alike, need trendy age appropriate styles which make you feel good. And yes, we deliver! SVM

SVM Southern Views Magazine- All Rights reserved. ©

SVM Southern Views Magazine- All Rights reserved. ©



At Triangle Beverages /J&L Ventures, LLC they work every day to be the best beverage distribution company in Georgia. Thanks to their dedicated leaders and tireless team of hardworking associates, they know that they have the capacity to succeed in the marketplace.

J&L Ventures, LLC is headquartered in Columbus, Georgia, and they have operations in Albany, GA, Athens, Ga, Augusta, GA, Columbus, GA, Griffin, GA, LaGrange, GA, Macon, GA, Rome, GA, Valdosta, GA, and West Columbia, SC, offering the finest selection of domestic, import, and craft beers, as well as energy drinks, water, and soft drinks.


J&L Ventures, LLC are members of:

  • Brewers Association

  • Georgia Association of Convenience Stores (GACS)

  • Georgia Beer Wholesalers Association (GBWA)

  • Georgia Food Industry Association (GFIA)

  • National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA)

  • South Carolina Beer Wholesalers Association (SCBWA)



J. Lee Jackson, President & Co-Owner
Mr. Jackson has owned and successfully operated beer distributorships for over 30 years. As well as his current duties of President of J&L, he also runs the day to day business at Triangle Wholesalers in Columbus, Ga. Mr. Jackson is a past member of the Georgia Beer Wholesalers Association board of directors and has been the recipient of numerous supplier awards throughout the years.

Donald M. Leebern, III, Chairman & Co-Owner
Mr. Leebern has been in the beverage industry for over 25 years. He is the President and Owner of Georgia Crown, Alabama Crown, and Tennessee Crown Distributing Companies. He is well respected within the industry, holding board positions on several industry associations. Mr. Leebern is a past member of Georgia Beer Wholesalers Association board of directors.

Ross D. Smith, Sr. Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Mr. Smith spent the first 23 years of his career with Miller Brewing Company in various positions in operations, marketing, and field sales. He joined J&L in April 2003, shortly after the formation of the company. Mr. Smith is a past member of the Georgia Beer Wholesalers Association board of directors.


Jean Stanley, Sr. Vice President of Finance
Ms. Stanley has been affiliated with the beer industry for the past 20+ years. Prior to joining J&L, Ms. Stanley was the Vice President of Finance for North Georgia Distributing Company, which was purchased by J&L in 2003. Ms. Stanley is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of several professional financial societies.

Tony L. Mays, Vice President of National Accounts & Market Development
Mr. Mays is responsible for the administration of our local and national chain retail accounts. He also oversees local market development efforts and is responsible for sales training for the company. He has 30+ years of beer, wine and spirits sales experience. He started in direct sales in Montgomery, AL. in 1980. In 1997 he accepted a sales position with the Coors Brewing Co., holding many roles, including Co-Facilitator for the Coors Sales Management System (SMS). Prior to joining J&L, Mr. Mays was a MillerCoors Chain Sales Manager, responsible for Walmart/Sam’s Club.

Brad Genners, Vice President/General Manager
Mr. Genners is the Vice President and General Manager of Beverage South of Aiken/Columbia. Starting in his family’s beer distributorships, Brad experienced all aspects of each distributor position before progressing to a larger organization. Over the next several years he served in the roles of Branch Manager, General Manager, VP Sales/Marketing, and President of Distributorships in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. His career has given him extensive experience in market consolidations, acquisitions, and reorganizations as the industry evolved over many years. With this background, as well as experience in non-alcohol and wine/spirits, he possesses the knowledge and expertise to lead the team in the ever changing beer market.


David Moody, Senior Manager – North Georgia
Mr. Moody oversees J&L wholesalers, North Georgia Distributing Company, Classic City Beverages, and Beverage South of Augusta. Mr. Moody has been in the beverage industry for over 30 years. Mr. Moody began his career with J&L as the General Manager of the Albany operation (Better Brands of South Georgia). In 2005, he transferred to Classic City Beverages. During his time in Athens, Mr. Moody enjoyed three straight years of solid growth and was awarded two Coors’ Presidents Award, as well as the Founders Award for 2006.

Michael Whitley, NA Sales Manager
Mr. Whitley oversees the J&L portfolio of non-alcoholic brands (sodas, juices, energy drinks, water and milk). He began his career with Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1999 as a District Sales Manager in Atlanta GA and joined J&L in 2006 as the Red Bull Brand Manager. Mr. Whitley has been the NA Sales Manager since 2009.

Scott Allen, Business Development Manager
Mr. Allen joined J&L Ventures in the spring of 2014 to focus on Market Development. His duties include launching new brands, go to market strategies, and gap closing initiatives along with special projects. He started his career in Atlanta at a beer distributor in 1995. He joined Coors Brewing Company in 2000 and held numerous sales roles in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Prior to joining the J&L team, he spent 4 years on the MillerCoors National Account Walmart team in the Southeast.

Robert Thomas, Manager of Logistics and Inventory
Mr. Thomas oversees the efficiencies and inventory levels of J&L wholesalers.

Rick Bentley, Controller
Mr. Bentley oversees the financial and accounting departments at J&L wholesalers.


SVM. Southern Views Magazine.©


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If you’ve got moving needs, owner Will Dillon and his moving team at the Columbus branch of Two Men and a Truck have got your covered. With over 300 locations in the US, Canada, and the UK, this Michigan based moving company assists people around the world by providing 5 star relocation services.

Moving is no easy feat, but with a little help –or a whole lot of help– from the right people, the process becomes much, much easier. Focused on customer service that ensures satisfaction, the moving company Two Men and a Truck, which is led by branch owner Will Dillon, is the ‘right people.’ TMT has been rated A-plus by the Better Business Bureau, and has received over twelve-hundred 5 star reviews. SVM sat down with the Columbus branch of TMT’s owner Will Dillon to learn more about the story and success of the company.

What’s the history behind Two Men and a Truck? TMT is a family-owned moving franchise out of Lansing, Michigan. The first franchise was opened in Atlanta in 1985 and was opened by Melanie Burgeron, daughter of the founder. Today, there are nearly 300 franchise locations in the US, Canada and the UK.

Why did you choose this particular franchise? Just out of college, I began working for TMT in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I quickly realized how stressful moving was for individuals, families, and businesses. I loved how TMT emphasized “service, service, service.” The focus is to eliminate the stress of the actual “move” so families and organizations can worry about everything else that is going one during a relocation. The core values of the system matched up with my personal core values, and the long term vision of the corporate office gelled with my professional and business growth goals. Everything about TMT spoke to me.

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TMT has been serving the Columbus community and surrounding area for over a decade. To what do you attribute your branch’s success and longevity? Happy employees and happy customers. We emphasize a positive and disciplined business culture that focuses on creating a warm work environment and fulfilled employees. I think this, in turn, helps our employees buy into our customer service focus. Ultimately providing a great customer experience has been our biggest accomplishment.

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What kind of overall services does your company provide? We do literally anything that relates to moving: local and long distance moves, residential and commercial moves, internal and load-only moving, packing services, boxes and packing supply sales and delivery, warehouse receiving and delivery services, and even move consulting.

The Better Business Bureau has given your branch an A-plus rating, and your website boasts over twelve-hundred 5 Star reviews. How are you able to maintain that quality of service? Hiring, training, and customer follow-up. We put a strong emphasis on the caliber of people that we hire and have a dedicated training program that all employees complete once hired. Our training consists of in-house orientation, online learning classes, warehouse “move” training, a customer service course, and on-the-job training with move trainers. We also emphasize customer communication, which allows us to learn what our customers do and don’t like. We understand that our customers provide the best feedback for our continued improvement.

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TMT prides itself on giving back to the community through donations, partnerships, and charitable work. How does your branch give back to Columbus and the surrounding area? Community service is a huge deal for us. We want to give back to the community that we live and work in. We are partners with United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley (Stuff the Bus), Keep Columbus Beautiful (Shoe Drive), The Alzheimer's Association, Damascus Way, Valley Rescue Mission, and Open Door Community House.

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise? There have been a million unexpected challenges, but our biggest challenge is learning how to constantly improve. We offer a great service, but we know we must continue to get better in how we operate and in how we serve our customers. We are definitely up for the challenge.

What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday when you are not working? Hanging out with my family while drinking Fountain City Coffee and watching the University of North Carolina play basketball. Go Heels! SVM

© 2019 Southern Views Magazine and its licensors. All rights reserved.

The Bottle Shop

 Boasting itself as the largest liquor store in town, The Bottle Shop has one of the most impressive arrays of beer, wine and liquor in Columbus. Owners Miles Jordan and Boo Miller strove for excellence in planning their latest venture.

Located off Bradley Park Drive, The Bottle Shop has rows and rows of premium alcoholic beverages. From fine wines to craft beers, The Bottle Shop seems to offer something for everyone. With the goal of a friendly staff and upscale shopping experience, Miles Jordan and Boo Miller wanted to fill a void they saw in the Columbus market. The pair sat down with SVM to tell us more about their unique package store.

What sets The Bottle Shop apart from the many other liquor stores in town?

The Bottle Shop’s plan from the beginning was to be something special, something Columbus was missing. We wanted to make sure that our business plan and vision would set us apart from any other liquor store in the area. The phrase “that’s how it’s always been done” was not allowed during planning and design. With that vision in mind, we reached out to Dutsch Roberts with UDR Wood Creations for the store’s all custom wood shelving. Important elements of the design concept were to have no boxes on the floor, wide shoppable aisles, and a clean and friendly retail focused environment which is very different than your traditional liquor store. Dutsch understood and bought in right away. He literally built the store for us from scratch and exceeded our expectations. We visited other stores to figure out the dimensions needed for the shelves, and we wanted to make sure to offer wide shoppable aisles. We are very excited with the final product and feel like we have created something special for the Columbus area.”

What is your go-to drink?
Miles: Typically, I enjoy a craft beer or a crown and ginger ale.
Boo: I like a John Daly.

With one of the largest selections of alcohol in town, what brands of hard to find beverages do you carry?

This could be a very long answer if we listed them all plus the answer will change often.cIf we don’t have it, it’s back ordered. We have a 35-door beer cooler, about 5,000-square-feet of spirits and about 6,000-square-feet of wine. We pride ourselves on having a wide selection and being able to help customers find products that are often hard to find.

 Summer is known for it’s fun and fruity drinks. Winter, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have as many exciting options. What drink do you recommend for a cold winter’s night?
Miles: I’d recommend a good bourbon neat.
Boo: I like a single malt in the winter time.

What little known alcoholic beverage do you wish more people knew about?

Miles: I really enjoy a nice, chilled glass of limoncello after dinner and not many people seem to know about them.
Boo: My new favorite wine is Cain Cuvee. It’s a very close second for my go to drink.

Your huge selection could be intimidating to some shoppers with little knowledge on alcohol. How will you and your staff help customers who could feel a little lost?

We have gone to great lengths to lay out the store in a way that’s easy to shop with chalkboard signs directing you to the different sections of the store. We plan to pride ourselves on great customer service, and there will be plenty of associates to guide and assist you if you can’t find your way.




When it comes to securing your home, everyone naturally wants quality and reliability, but good value is an important factor too, especially because the cost of these systems can add up over time. There are a lot of home and business security companies out there, but A-COM is one of the largest family owned security and home and business automation companies in Georgia. With over 40 years of business experience, they are the leaders in the safety and fire protection industry in Columbus. 


Although purchasing a home security system doesn’t guarantee that determined burglars won’t try to break into your home, it can scare them off and offer you some protection. A home security system can alert and summon firefighters or police in case of an emergency, and save you between 8 and 15 percent on your home insurance premium. SVM had the chance to speak with ACOM's CEO, Wayne Beck, about how he got involved in the home and security business, how technology is affecting the business, and the services A-COM provides. 

Can you provide some background on how A-COM got started in the Home Security industry? A-COM started in business in 1973 selling fire alarm systems. We started getting requests for security and installed the first system in May of 1973. 

What do you feel has been the biggest change in the industry since your company was founded? The speed of communication between our customers' locations and our central station. Because we have our own central monitoring station and our average response time is 17 seconds, this gives our customers peace of mind . 

What’s the best way to prevent break-ins? To install an alarm system and use it all the time. Even when you're just running to the grocery store. 

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Thinking of your consumers (current and prospective), what, if any, home security concerns keep you up at night? The do-it-yourself customers. They pay for an alarm system then install it themselves, and when something goes wrong, they don’t know how to fix it so they quit using the system. When you buy a gadget from a TV or radio ad. you normally get a gadget. A-COM spends thousands of dollars every year on technical training to make sure we can fix the problems that are always going to come up. 

How have the increases in mobility and technology among homeowners changed the landscape of A-COM’s offering over the years?Most of the systems sold today use wireless technology, so the systems can be moved if needed, and because they are wireless, they can be installed quicker. With apps, you can control much of your home like door locks, arming and disarming your system, and many other benefits while you are away from your home or business. 

What about A-COM’s offerings makes you stand out from your competitors? A-COM sells, installs, monitors, and services all of our customers. We do not use 3rd party monitoring companies or subcontractors. Plus, I think our employees make the biggest difference. 

The home security industry has become a high-tech, dynamic world to operate in. What new and exciting things can we expect to see over the next decade from the industry and ACOM that can help consumers protect their homes? In my opinion, what we will see is more reliability, better integration with automation products, and cameras, and better communications between the customers location and our central station. For example A-COM will be introducing a new app later this year that when an alarm signal is received at our central station, we will be able to broadcast out a text message to everyone on the contact list that we have received a signal, and they will be able to communicate between each other on the text notification. This new app will help reduce false alarms and give better communications for our customers. I am very excited about the future of the Security Industry. SVM 

Morten's at Old Town

Coming in October to Old Town is Morten’s Restaurant, owned by Morten Wulff, a Danish chef who hopes to put a European twist on traditional American cuisine and fine dining.


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As a former country and dining club chef, Morten Wulff is no stranger to fine dining and elegant cuisine. With the launch of his new enterprise, Morten’s Restaurant at Old Town, Wulff hopes to bring some of that elegance to the wider Columbus public. We sat down with Morten Wulff himself to talk about his new place, set to open in October.

How long have you been a chef? What made you decide that you wanted to work in this industry? I attended culinary school in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1985 after knowing I was meant to be a chef while taking a home economics class in high school. I loved the aromas and sights that developed from taking individual ingredients and turning them into tasty culinary creations. I had a passion for cooking and creating and knew that I could take this passion and travel the country doing what I love. I traveled for several years, acquiring new skills in all types of venues including hotels, private clubs, and restaurants until I made Columbus, Georgia my permanent home.

Why did you choose Old Town as the location to open your new restaurant? The newly developing community of Old Town is the perfect spot for the restaurant. My partner, Peter Lampert, and I knew at once that the beautifully landscaped Southern living community was the right fit for us. I feel that this is an up-and-coming area where the restaurant will thrive. Our mission is to create a relaxed, fun atmosphere where patrons can relax and enjoy fine dining with old and new friends.

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What makes Morten’s different from other restaurants in Columbus? Morten’s at Old Town will offer both indoor and outdoor dining. There is an open kitchen. Diners will be able to see into the kitchen and I feel that this will improve the overall dining experience as it creates a connection between the chef and the customer. We will offer a chef’s table facing the kitchen for those who want a more personal dining experience. Chef table guests can expect to be served a themed tasting menu prepared and served by the chef. The restaurant’s features will be changed out anywhere from weekly to bi-weekly to keep the selections new and exciting.  

How would you describe the menu and the cuisine at Morten’s? I will be using a combination of European and classic American cooking methods. Everything will be made from scratch using as many local fresh and flavorful products as possible. I put no boundaries on the types of dishes I create. I do what inspires me at the time. I am always looking to broaden my horizons to make truly special creations that keep the customers wanting to come back. I believe in both taste and presentation. I take pride in knowing that the dishes I prepare awaken the customer’s sense of smell, sight, and taste. That is my goal for each dish that I prepare.  

What will the hours of operation be, and will you be serving lunch, dinner, and brunch? Our hours of operation will be Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner. Sunday hours are 5:30 to 9 p.m. Closed on Mondays.  

What is a favorite comfort dish that reminds you of home? Comfort food for me is the Christmas dinner that I grew up with in Denmark. It includes roasted crispy pork loin with braised red cabbage and caramelized potatoes.  This is the meal what reminds me of home, family, and childhood. svm

Dr. Moore Family Medicine

For more than a decade, Columbus native Linda “Jill” Kosobucki Moore, M.D., has served the Columbus area’s medical needs with attentive and thorough care.



In an effort to keep up with the changing times in healthcare – in which doctors are having to see more patients every day, resulting in longer wait times with shorter visits – and try to provide the best possible care for patients, Dr. Moore decided it was time to make a big change in her personal practice. With her new membership-based model, she is able to bring the focus back to patient centered care and provide overall wellness planning that emphasizes early detection of disease and preventative healthcare. 

What is your training background as a Family Medicine physician? I’m a board-certified family medicine practitioner here in Columbus. I earned my medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and completed my residency at Self Regional Healthcare in Greenwood, South Carolina. I recently transitioned my practice from a traditional model to a membership model. With this type of healthcare model, I’m able to provide office visits that are less hurried, same or next day appointments that start on time, increased communication, more direct connection and support for your diet, nutrition, fitness, and other healthcare goals. Being part of a smaller group of patients definitely has its benefits!

What type of medical problems do you see in your practice? Being a family medicine physician, I see everything under the sun, from heart issues and diabetes to sleep issues and osteoporosis. I treat patients age 5 and up.  But because I’m also concierge physician, it’s as much about the overall care of the whole patient as it is prescribing medication if they are sick. I’m able to take the time to establish a relationship with a patient and learn in depth about their overall health background as well as their family’s health history. This allows me and the patient to work together to look at any areas of possible concern and keep those issue from becoming a real problem. This type of personalized, preventative care is crucial for people who want to get ahead of their health and take it into their own hands, rather than just leaving things to chance. 

Is there one bad health habit you wish people would quit? Why? How about one good habit you’d like to see more people start? People are not being proactive with their health. They only see a doctor when they are sick. Often whatever is causing them to feel ill could have been prevented had they taken steps to create an overall wellness plan. That could include everything from incorporating more exercise into their lifestyle or getting more sleep. I’d like to see more people decide to take their health into their hands and be proactive with their health. That is the benefit of being a member of a concierge medicine practice. I get the opportunity to spend more time with my patients and in that time, we pinpoint what any health issues might be and discuss what can be done to fix that issue early.

Are you seeing that the shifting world of medical insurance of what’s being accepted and what’s not has impacted your patients? There is a lot of confusion about insurance right now – and as a whole, it is definitely affecting patient care. Because of how physicians are reimbursed, they have to see as many patients in a day as possible to afford even the basic overhead of running a practice. That cuts down on the time a doctor can spend with each patient. The average time a physician spends in an exam room is 7-9 minutes. It’s really hard to get to know your patients and address all their issues when they are 1 of 30 patients the doctor will see that day. I was constantly running behind when I had my traditional practice and I know my patients used to get incredibly frustrated. The benefit of membership is that appointment times are 30 minutes, we run on time, and you can almost always get in and see me the same day! There is incredible peace of mind knowing that you essentially have a doctor ‘on call’ when you can be seen as needed and calls get addressed and returned promptly.

What is your favorite part of the Columbus community? My husband David and I are fortunate that our families all live in the Columbus area.  Much of our family life now revolves around our children. We are quite pleased that David’s oldest daughter is now married and they are staying in the area.  His son is entering his senior year at Columbus High School. We have been very involved with our younger daughters’ dancing at Prodigy Dance Centre and competition team. We’re also active in events at St. Luke School year-round with our younger daughters. We adore our dance families and St. Luke families apart from those scheduled events. SVM

Four Seasons Sunrooms & Windows

By Alessio Caligaris

A sunroom is the perfect addition – a modern improvement on yesterday’s porch - allowing you to relax in the outdoors without being at the mercy of the elements. With Four Seasons sunrooms and windows, you can enjoy natural light and panoramic views all year-round.

When deciding to build a new addition on your home, one is often confronted with difficult decisions about what the room will be used for, and the daunting costs associated with construction. Four Seasons provides a low-cost and versatile solution to this problem. Your new sunroom will instantly become your favorite room in your home as you get all the perks of natural light and outdoor views, without being exposed to the discomfort of the elements. As summer days get longer and brighter, SVM sat down with Ed Kennedy from Four Seasons Sunrooms to explain the process and benefits of adding a sunroom to your home.

What are some of the advantages of having a sunroom in your home? Every homeowner that I talk to wants to find a way to bring more natural light into their home. Having a sunroom allows natural light to permeate through your home and instantly make it feel more inviting and welcoming. You simply can’t get the same results by artificial means. Your sunroom is also the most versatile room in the house. It could be a sitting room, a game room, a dining area, an indoor garden, or a hot-tub room. Whatever you choose to make of it, you will find yourself spending as much time as possible in your sunroom.

Why should people choose a sunroom over a standard room addition? A sunroom can be built in a fraction of the time and cost as a standard addition, and you will find yourself loving it even more than a traditional room. You can also get a lot more mileage from a sunroom due to its endless versatility.

What’s different or better about the design of the sunrooms you’re making today? Four Seasons is an industry leader in sunroom construction. We are constantly coming up with new and innovative products for homeowners. The latest product, Life Room, incorporates motorized screens that can raise and lower at the push of a button. We also have over 20 styles to easily match the architecture of your home. Four Seasons has an exclusive patent on energy efficient glass to keep the cost of ownership as low as possible.

Do you provide sun shades for windows, doors and sunrooms? We can install shades per request, however, they are not needed, as the glass is designed to keep the harsh Southern heat out. We can install shades as a matter of privacy, if you so choose.

One question many people ask is: “Do I need to obtain a building permit for my sunroom?” In general, yes, a building permit is required. We take care of that by obtaining the proper permits and helping with neighborhood HOA approvals. You also need to make sure you hire a state licensed General Contractor who carries Liability and Workman’s Comp insurances. We are licensed in Georgia and Alabama. 

What do you like most about having a business in Columbus? We enjoy being able to serve the Chattahoochee Valley residents by offering quality home improvement products that they can enjoy for years.

Bare Roots Farmacy

By Alessio Caligaris | Photos by S. Saxon

Giving Columbus access to quality and healthy food is something that the owners at Bare Roots Farmacy take very seriously, and are honored to be involved in. Besides, their food is local, thoughtful, and, most importantly, delicious.


It would be tempting to call farm-to-table and clean eating a trend. What we have seen is that there is a thriving industry of like-minded entrepreneurs who have proven that this is a revolution in how we think about food. With the abundance of drive-troughs, and the tendency to make food as quick and cheap as possible, we are conditioned to think of food as a mere commodity. Olivia Amos and Brandi Whitney of Bare Roots Farmacy want to fundamentally change our relationship with food. To them, food is medicine that is vital to nourishment and growth. They are committed to provide “medicine” in the form of responsibly sourced and organic food that is just as tasty as it is good for you. SVM sat down with Olivia and Brandi to discuss their newest restaurant venture and their interesting perspective on food and nutrition.

How did you personally get into the health-conscious restaurant world? Olivia: I have always been known as the “health nut” by my friends and family. Healthy cooking using fresh ingredients was the way I grew up. My grandparents, aunt and my parents were instrumental in teaching us that eating healthy is a lifestyle not a fad diet. My mom did not allow soda or processed food in our home, we were eating organic before it became the trend.  After I graduated from high school, I worked my way through college in the restaurant industry and moved to Atlanta after I finished school. Eatzi’s was my favorite restaurant in the Atlanta area. I loved that you could get fresh, healthy selections in a bustling market atmosphere that was convenient. I traveled a lot for work and would always seek out the restaurant/market concept during my travels. Healthy and convenient with a cool vibe has always been sort of an obsession of mine and a concept I wanted to bring to Columbus when I moved back home seven years ago. I threw the idea around with different people over the years but until I met Brandi, no one had the same vision and philosophy on food being medicine.


Brandi: I grew up in a household where my parents focused on a healthy diet. It became a passion of mine to live a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise. When I enrolled in culinary school, I knew I wanted to focus on simply, locally based ingredients and making healthy food delicious.  When I graduated from culinary school it was natural for me to seek out a health based women’s facility in Vermont to do my apprenticeship. I worked hand in hand with dieticians and nutritionists who further fueled my desire to focus my career on making healthy food delicious. Fast forward to moving back to Columbus in 2013, and I saw a need in the CrossFit market for a delivery service based on the Paleo and Whole30 meal plans. I found my niche and started Bare Roots Paleo in June of 2014. Liv and I met through CrossFit and quickly our families became friends. After a few months of talking and a failed attempt with another potential partner, she and I embarked on the journey of Bare Roots Farmacy.


How did you come up with the name, Bare Roots Farmacy? Brandi’s company was named Bare Roots Paleo prior to her and I partnering. We did not want to be pigeon holed in the Paleo lifestyle so she came up with the word Farmacy which fit perfectly with our message of Food is Medicine.


What makes Bare Roots Farmacy different than other healthy restaurants? First of all, I believe it is Brandi’s passion and commitment to quality and consistency. We both believe being true to our message and brand is of utmost importance as well. Bare Roots is truly farm to table and we focus on supporting all of our local farms as much as we possibly can. There is also an educational piece to what we do. We want our customers to understand and become knowledgeable for themselves so they can understand the reasoning behind the ingredients we use and how they can benefit our bodies and our health.

Since Bare Roots Farmacy is focused on providing farm-to-table fresh foods, what challenges does that present? Obviously, during the growing season, the challenges are minimal because we have so many great farms in our area. If one has an issue with a crop, we can normally lean on another one for that same ingredient. In saying that though, supply is still the biggest challenge we face. There may be a day or two we have to take a dish off the menu because we are not able to source it. That has definitely been something we are having to educate our customers on. You hate to tell them we are out of something but we are out because we are doing our absolute best to stay true to supporting our farmers.

Image Source : Bare Roots Farmacy on Facebook

Image Source : Bare Roots Farmacy on Facebook

How do you balance your desire to be as sustainable as possible with the fundamental expenses of running a business at scale? We would love to say we are 100% organic 100% of the time but as a small business owner, that is just not possible. We would have to price ourselves out of the market in order to do that. I feel confident in saying we are 90% organic 100% of the time. We are 100% non-GMO and that is something that we will always be committed to.


What are your personal favorite menu items? Olivia: The Grilled Green Tomato Stack. I love fried green tomatoes, so this dish satisfies my craving for the southern staple but it is healthy at the same time. I don’t feel bad after I eat it like I would eating the fried version.

Brandi: The sweet potato hash. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day so this dish is not only satisfying but it gives me the fuel I need to make it through a long day in the kitchen.

If you could give readers one piece of advice for how they can improve their relationships with food, what would that be? Less is more. Less ingredients, smaller portions, use only fresh ingredients and make eating healthy a lifestyle not something you do for 30 days at a time.

For the years to come, what do you want your restaurant to be known for? Helping the community realize that eating healthy can be delicious and convenient. We live in such a fast paced society that we tend to think we don’t have time to eat healthy.

Image Source : Bare Roots Farmacy on Facebook

Image Source : Bare Roots Farmacy on Facebook

The Bottle Shop

 Boasting itself as the largest liquor store in town, The Bottle Shop has one of the most impressive arrays of beer, wine and liquor in Columbus. Owners Miles Jordan and Boo Miller strove for excellence in planning their latest venture.

Located off Bradley Park Drive, The Bottle Shop has rows and rows of premium alcoholic beverages. From fine wines to craft beers, The Bottle Shop seems to offer something for everyone. With the goal of a friendly staff and upscale shopping experience, Miles Jordan and Boo Miller wanted to fill a void they saw in the Columbus market. The pair sat down with SVM to tell us more about their unique package store.

What sets The Bottle Shop apart from the many other liquor stores in town?

The Bottle Shop’s plan from the beginning was to be something special, something Columbus was missing. We wanted to make sure that our business plan and vision would set us apart from any other liquor store in the area. The phrase “that’s how it’s always been done” was not allowed during planning and design. With that vision in mind, we reached out to Dutsch Roberts with UDR Wood Creations for the store’s all custom wood shelving. Important elements of the design concept were to have no boxes on the floor, wide shoppable aisles, and a clean and friendly retail focused environment which is very different than your traditional liquor store. Dutsch understood and bought in right away. He literally built the store for us from scratch and exceeded our expectations. We visited other stores to figure out the dimensions needed for the shelves, and we wanted to make sure to offer wide shoppable aisles. We are very excited with the final product and feel like we have created something special for the Columbus area.”

What is your go-to drink?
Miles: Typically, I enjoy a craft beer or a crown and ginger ale.
Boo: I like a John Daly.

With one of the largest selections of alcohol in town, what brands of hard to find beverages do you carry?

This could be a very long answer if we listed them all plus the answer will change often.cIf we don’t have it, it’s back ordered. We have a 35-door beer cooler, about 5,000-square-feet of spirits and about 6,000-square-feet of wine. We pride ourselves on having a wide selection and being able to help customers find products that are often hard to find.

 Summer is known for it’s fun and fruity drinks. Winter, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have as many exciting options. What drink do you recommend for a cold winter’s night?
Miles: I’d recommend a good bourbon neat.
Boo: I like a single malt in the winter time.

What little known alcoholic beverage do you wish more people knew about?

Miles: I really enjoy a nice, chilled glass of limoncello after dinner and not many people seem to know about them.
Boo: My new favorite wine is Cain Cuvee. It’s a very close second for my go to drink.

Your huge selection could be intimidating to some shoppers with little knowledge on alcohol. How will you and your staff help customers who could feel a little lost?

We have gone to great lengths to lay out the store in a way that’s easy to shop with chalkboard signs directing you to the different sections of the store. We plan to pride ourselves on great customer service, and there will be plenty of associates to guide and assist you if you can’t find your way.



Striffler-Hamby provides a wide range of funeral services to meet your family’s unique needs. Whether you prefer a traditional funeral, memorial service, immediate burial or cremation, or if you simply want to make preneed arrangements, your family can depend on ours in your time of need.

Striffler-Hamby has been the premier funeral service provider in Columbus since 1923. With staff skilled in grief counseling and the latest technical services necessary for a respectful and meaningful service, Striffler-Hamby does its best to help families through this difficult time. Alta Ploeger at Striffler-Hamby sat down with SVM to tell us more about the work Striffler-Hamby is doing in our community.  

Dealing with the passing of a loved one is difficult, what does Striffler-Hamby do to help?
When a death occurs, a family’s world has just changed forever.  We consider it an honor when families choose us to assist them at such a delicate time.  We take their loved one into our care with dignity and respect, and will guide them step by step in planning a fitting and unique memorial.  We will meet with the family at the funeral home, or in the privacy of their own home.  The entire staff of Striffler-Hamby and Parkhill Cemetery gives every family the courtesy and care we would want for our own family.

Through Dignity Memorial, Striffler-Hamby has a special relationship with the Veteran Community in Columbus. Can you tell us more about that?
Our veterans and public servant programs are designed to acknowledge and honor the brave individuals who have selflessly served our country and community. Striffler-Hamby at Parkhill Cemetery is grateful for their contribution. The Homeless Veterans Burial Program provides funeral services for eligible homeless and indigent veterans to ensure they receive the honors in death that their service in life merited.  We are also offer benefits to members of the VFW and American Legions.  

The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., stands 240 feet long and eight feet high, and is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 Americans who died or are missing in Vietnam.  The Dignity Memorial® Vietnam Wall has traveled the U.S. in memory of those who have given their lives for freedom. After more than 20 years in circulation around the country, the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall is now on display at The Infantry Museum in Fort Benning, Ga.  Unveiled on March 21, 2014, it continues to provide healing for the hundreds of thousands of people who will visit the memorial.
Recognizing the courage and selflessness of those who serve the public, Dignity Memorial® funeral, cremation and cemetery providers created the Public Servants Program for emergency service personnel. This benefit provides dignified and honorable tributes, at no cost, for career and volunteer law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel who fall in the line of duty.

Funeral services are often expensive. What advice can you give to families who are trying to balance a respectful service with a smaller budget?
Whether a family chooses to honor a loved one with a traditional service, an elaborate tribute, receive guests and family during a memorial reception, or desire a simple laid-back gathering, we work closely with them to ensure their loved one receives a suitable and respectable memorial designed just for them within their budget.  

Alta Ploeger

Alta Ploeger

Beyond the expense, services are often emotionally draining for all of those involved. What services does Striffler-Hamby provide to help alleviate some of that pain?
Our team of licensed funeral directors and professional staff are trained and experienced in dealing with all stages of grief. Continuing education is a requirement for our staff and guarantees we stay up to day on the latest trends and demands of the funeral business. In addition, our Compassion Helpline is available at no cost to families or anyone wanting to talk with professional counselors. The Compassion Helpline is a valuable resource that offers support and guidance from professionally-trained grief counselors through a toll-free number. As a provider benefit, family members can call the number 24 hours a day, seven days a week for up to 13 months after a loved one’s service. Attendees at the service can utilize the helpline for up to three months following the service.

Teddy Price

Teddy Price

What steps can a family take to ensure that a service is personal and memorable?
There is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to telling one’s life story. Every individual is as distinctive as his or her fingerprints. Providing a personalized celebration of a loved one’s life creates a memory that a family can look back on and know their loved one was celebrated in a way that was unique to them. A themed service or visitation is a perfect way to feature one’s life story. Displaying hobbies, combining passions, and exhibiting lifetime accomplishments are some of the things we incorporate in planning and designing a unique tribute. Our onsite event planner is available to assist families in planning a fitting and personalized tribute.
We were recently honored to receive the overall Grand Prize and 1st Place Award given by the International Cemetery and Cremation Association (ICCFA) for “Best In Personalization”. The KIP Awards (Keeping It Personal) has several competitive categories, and is awarded yearly a funeral homes located in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  
Pre-planning arrangements can be made with our Family Service Counselors to guarantee a person’s wishes and personalization desires at their own memorial.   

The Striffler-Hamby company has had a long history in Columbus. How will it continue to be part of the community for years to come?
Taking care of each other is what community is all about. Striffler-Hamby will continue to offer the finest funeral care and meet the essentials and desires of families during their time of need. Personalization, catered receptions, up-to-date technology, newly renovated building and interior furnishings, and offering more than funerals will continue to serve our community with refinement and dignity. Even though the funeral industry continues to change, our compassion for serving others does not.


Permanent Cosmetics by Wendy

Permanent Cosmetics by Wendy has been serving the Columbus area since 2006. With a decade of experience under her belt, owner Wendy Irvin believes a plethora of people could benefit from permanent cosmetics.

Wouldn't it be nice to wake up in the morning and be able to dress and run off to work? With permanent makeup this has been made possible. Whether it is eyeliner, eyebrows or lip shading permanent makeup by Wendy may be the solution for you.

Wendy Irvin, proprietor of Permanent Cosmetics by Wendy, has dedicated her life’s work to ensuring that people are comfortable in their own skin. After receiving her technical training from the International Institute of Permanent Cosmetics in California, Wendy opened her own business right here in Columbus. Serving the area for ten years, Permanent Cosmetics by Wendy offers a multitude of treatments, ranging from standard cosmetic tattoos to paramedical tattooing. Wendy sat down with SVM to discuss the latest industry trends and to give advice about how to know if permanent cosmetics are right for you.

What are some of the benefits of permanent cosmetics?
Most can benefit from them by creating an easier morning routine by waking up with more color and a brighter appearance. Athletic women can enjoy carefree and sweat-proof makeup. With permanent cosmetics, you can enjoy makeup while swimming, exercising or vacationing, all while feeling your best. Permanent Cosmetics can also help those that have trouble applying makeup due to shaky hands or poor vision. It can help bring back natural color to your face that tends to fade over time (sparse eyebrows, eyelashes and loss of lip color or thinning lips).  Men and women with thyroid issues, alopecia or trichotillomania can greatly benefit from an eyebrow procedure to replace the look of their natural hair that has thinned or disappeared.

Who is a good candidate for Permanent Cosmetics?
Just about anyone that wants to add more color to their face naturally is a good candidate.

What are the different types of permanent cosmetics you offer?
Natural looking hair stroke eyebrows, eyeliner and lip color are the main services we offer. Paramedical tattooing of the nipple/areola complex after a mastectomy due to breast cancer is another service offered. Microblading is another form of hair stroke eyebrows, and it the newest addition to my service menu.     

Will you explain the latest trend in permanent cosmetics, microblading?
Microblading is a term new to permanent cosmetics. It is also known as Microstroking, Eyebrow Feathering, 3D Eyebrows or Eyebrow Embroidery. This technique uses a hand tool with multiple needles attached and pigment to make fine incisions in the skin. It is known for producing hyper realistic hair strokes. The term Microblading originated in Europe, where it is referred to as Semi-Permanent Cosmetics, but the technique of making fine incisions in the skin in tattooing has been around for hundreds of years.

Will my permanent makeup fade?
Yes, all natural-looking permanent cosmetics will fade over time. There are many factors that attribute to the fading process, such as oily vs. dry skin, skin products used, metabolism, lifestyle and pigments used [in the tattoo process]. Tattoo inks that are used in body art would last many, many years, but they should not be used on the face. Only pigments specifically manufactured for the face should be used. Maintenance is necessary, but this is the only way to guarantee a natural look.

How long do permanent cosmetics normally last?
Each area has different fading results. Eyebrows generally fade the soonest, with 1 1/2-2 years being the average time. Eyeliner typically needs maintenance every 2-3 years. Lip color generally lasts the longest, needing maintenance every 3-5 years. Keep in mind every person is different. Those with oily skin or higher metabolism may need maintenance more often. Microblading will need maintenance sooner due to the small amount of color placed in each hair stroke. These are average maintenance times, but I have had clients come back to see me after 5 years with their makeup still looking good.

What criteria should someone use when choosing an artist for their permanent makeup?

You want to be sure to find a well-trained and certified artist. The skin is a living canvas and experience aids in understanding how the color and instrument used will react in someone's skin. Certification should come from an independent, non-profit organization. Photos of the artist's work is an excellent indicator as well. Be sure photos viewed include healed work. A consultation is a great way to get your questions answered and to view their portfolio.



Columbus’ new sports bar The Office offers an experience of casual meets upscale. Including the all the favorites of great food, great drinks and sports, The Office provides a more comfortable setting and quality that is perfect for an after work meet-up. SVM spoke with The Office’s owner to find out how the new sports bar and atmosphere came about.

How did the name “The Office” come about for this sports bar and grill?
Friday afternoons have always been a great time to reflect on the week, go over reports, and promote team building.  We have often found a place to do this over a beverage, which became known as our bi-weekly beverage meeting.  Several companies have already started meeting here in the afternoons and they can still accept calls from clients and tell them they are still at “The Office.”

Jodi Sears and Darren Phillips

Jodi Sears and Darren Phillips

Is there anything that sets The Office apart from any other sports bar and grill?
We noticed a need for a upscale sports bar- one that provided the great sports bar atmosphere, but with more comfortable seating, a better selection of top shelf alcohol, and USB chargers along each wall.  Most importantly, we wanted a better quality of food and more upscale choices of food in combination with the sports theme.

Do you have any food and/or drink specials that will sure to be a favorite among people?
The happy hour has quickly become a favorite to many with $5 appetizers, $4 Craft of the day, $3 Jack drinks, and $2 Domestics.  However the 12oz smoked pork chop and the Office Bird has quickly become a favorite of the regulars.

What is the atmosphere like at The Office?
Many people are shocked when they walk into The Office.  We used brick and pallets to create an older “warehouse” feel inside of a new building.  We have also used a lot of different lighting and a 16ft fan to compliment all of the TV’s to create a great feel.

Do you have any nights dedicated or planned to karaoke, trivia, or special events for major sporting events?
Football currently occupies most nights.  On Wednesdays and Fridays we have live entertainment – a laid back solo act playing on the patio or inside depending on the weather. After football season we may venture out to other types of entertainment.

Tell us about your career path. How did you get your start? How and why did you open The Office?
We own the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites next door to The Office.  With us and two other limited service hotels next door, we wanted to provide a place transient hotel guests could walk to and mix and mingle with the locals while enjoying great food and beverages.

How will you separate yourself from other eateries?
On Monday through Friday we offer a southern style lunch offered in a much nicer setting than most eateries offering this type of home style cooking.  At 4 in the evenings, we start our dinner menu with some of the best appetizers and entrees you will find in an upscale sports bar setting.



(706) 221-1822


2979 Northlake PKWY
Suite 800
Columbus, GA 31909


M-Th 11:30 am - 1:30 pm & 4 pm - 11 pm
F 11:30 am - 1:30 pm & 4 pm - Until
Sa & Su 11:30 am - Until



Stephanie McPherson suffers from celiac disease – an autoimmune disorder that does not allow her body to process gluten. Her diagnosis was also her liberation; gluten is a toxin that can be easily banished. Her delicious solutions are welcome at any table.
By Stephanie Reeves

Doctors were confused by Stephanie symptoms and she sat through many scary and frustrating doctors’ appointments over the course of a year before a doctor finally connected her health problems to gluten. When diagnosed, she experienced many different emotions.  She felt relief that she didn’t have a life threatening disease, nor would she need to take medication the rest of her life. Having to eliminate gluten from her diet, Stephanie decided to take her health situation and turn it into something positive, and tasty!

The Gluten Girl Bakery is open for customers to order bakery items that are just as delicious as the ones with gluten.  SVM spoke with the owner and creator, Stephanie, about why she had to go gluten free, and how the transition isn’t so easy, but it can be done. She shares that meals can be just as simple and taste great gluten-free.

Why have so many people decide to take gluten out of their diet?
Reasons for going gluten-free vary for a lot of people. For myself, I was diagnosed with Celiacs – an autoimmune disorder that does not allow my body to process gluten, and causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is consumed. Some individuals are gluten sensitive and find they feel bloated and have digestive issues when they consume gluten. There is also a direct link between gluten containing products and ADHD and Autism. Many diabetics are advised to go gluten-free as well. Some people say they just feel better on a gluten-free diet.

When did you decide to make a business out of your gluten-free treats?
A friend suggested I start doing something with my knowledge around Celiacs and gluten-free eating last December. I kind of shrugged off the idea, but couldn’t get it out of my head. I have been frustrated with the lack of good, quality and gluten-free food for years. I kind of got used to not being able to eat sweets or partake in a “normal” meal with friends. So, in January of 2015, I decided to start The Gluten Girl – the name of the company is the nickname my husband gave me when we first learned of my disorder in 2010.

What are some of the most popular treats people like to order?
I don’t know where to start; they are all so good! The Monster Mint Cookies are a crowd favorite; two crunchy chocolate cookies with a peppermint filling, and coated in chocolate. Chocolate Dreams Brownie Bites are a big seller as well. They have a fudge-like consistency, with a crunchy, sugary shell. Sugar cookies are always fun because they can be customized and personalized too. The one product I can’t keep on the shelf is my Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Hands down, the best banana bread you will ever eat. One promise I make to myself, and my clients, is if it tastes gluten-free, I won’t make it. I refuse to waste my calories on a brick of cardboard, and I won’t ask anyone else to do so either.

What advice would you give to someone who is trying to remove gluten from his or her diet all-together?
Be patient. Going gluten-free can be an overwhelming task, especially in the beginning. I’ll never forget my first trip to the grocery store after I received my diagnosis – it seemed like every single item I picked up had some form of gluten! Shop the outer aisles of the grocery store until you can familiarize yourself with safe, gluten-free products. Tell everyone you know you’re gluten-free. I was embarrassed about my disease for a long time. It felt so high maintenance and impossible. I used to eat before going to a friend’s house, or just starve until I got home and could eat everything in the fridge. Don’t do that. Educate your friends and family so they can learn how to properly sterilize their kitchen – tell them not to use wooden utensils or prepare food on porous surfaces as cross contamination can occur. If you have a kitchen that needs to serve both gluten, and gluten-free family members, store your gluten free products on a shelf above those with gluten. While traveling, let your airline, hotels, and travel agents know about your special dietary needs as they can accommodate you if they know ahead of time. The people in your life want you to eat. Let them feed you – safely.

Do you have a certain meal or dessert that is your favorite since going gluten free?
We make a lot of taco salad, or variations of tacos, like stuffed bell peppers. I love spicy food, and being able to incorporate fresh veggies into our meals. My favorite dessert is probably my Chocolate Cupcake recipe. I have cravings for them. And, since I use zucchini as a primary ingredient, I don’t feel guilty having one for breakfast every now and then.

Where can people find out more about The Gluten Girl Bakery?
My website: www.theglutengirl.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stephtheglutengirl
Instagram: @theglutengirlbakery
Email: Stephanie@theglutengirl.com Phone: (706) 681-7460

Salon Bleu

By Stephanie Reeves
With a vibrant location in North Columbus, Salon Bleu has established itself as one of the region’s leading salons. Under the direction of owner Desiree Brown, the staff of Salon Bleu keeps their focus squarely on the client, applying a variety of expert custom color, cut, and unique hairtechniques to achieve the desired look.

With the ever-changing trends in hair and fashion, Salon Bleu is here to give clients a unique, modern experience. The salon features a color bar, which is the largest in the area, and a team of talented stylists who can help you reach your desired look in a healthy way. SVM spoke with Salon Bleu’s owner, Desiree Brown, about opening up her own salon and the inspiration behind her design.

Did you always know you wanted to get into the hair business? Yes. As a child I always enjoyed going to the salon with my mom. I would even help her stylist with things while there. From the beginning I’ve been intrigued by hair color and the process it involves. When I was in cosmetology school I knew I would one day own my own salon. Fourteen years, I made it a

Your days sound pretty full, but I’ll bet they are rewarding in a way that running your own business can be. When did you decide it was time to set up on your own, and how did you know it was the right time? I knew it was the right time when I was asked to become a L’ANZA educator, but staying completely booked and having a family hindered me from traveling, so I felt the next step was to open my own business. What do you consider to be the most important quality in business owners, entrepreneurs and business-women? Strength, determination and commitment are my top qualities.

What are some of the services Salon Bleu offers that are different from the rest? With our wide variety of fashion colors and on going education we can create beautiful healthy styles that keep you updated with the current trends. We also offer several individualized hair treatments that are not only all natural, they are also proven to maintain or improve the integrity

of all hair types. What’s your most popular hairstyle request? Trending now for the ladies
is the cute, short pixie undercut. As for the male clientele, the retro hairstyles of the early 1900s are making a strong revival.

What makes you feel most rewarded about being a hairstylist? Interacting with clients, helping them forget about everyday stress. I love seeing them smile and laugh knowing they feel beautiful lets me know I’m doing my job.

Who are your clientele? Our clientele ranges from busy professionals to the stay-at-home mom, and high fashion models. Your color bar is the salon’s landmark and the biggest in the area.

What are some of the advantages of having it? Not only is it personalized seeing every step of the color experience, it also has a social aspect connecting people in a way that doesn’t involve a cell phone.

Describe your artist and their specialties. Each of our artists are very unique and individually talented. They offer services anywhere from a weekly blowout to formal makeup and style for any special occasion. For a more individualized approach visit www.sbleu.com.

What was the inspiration for your design? I really wanted to bring more of a European flair to Columbus. I love a modern loft style with clean lines and contemporary elements. Basically, I want my clients to feel like they are stepping out of Columbus when they walk through the door. svm

IN living COLOR

Wife, mother, interior designer and owner of Colordrunk, Jenna Buck-Gross has a lot on her plate,but despite being constantly on the run, she’s still found the time to work with the nonprofit organization, Sunshine on a Ranney Day that helps support children with lifelong illnesses.
Jenna talked with SVM about her business, her passion for design and her newest project with Sunshine on a Ranney Day.

How did you get started in Interior Design?
I didn’t really mean to get started in Interior Design. It happened almost by accident. Three years ago my husband and I renovated an old house here in Decatur. Through that process I learned a lot - mostly because our contractor wasn’t a very big help. I was frustrated at the time, but now looking back, I am grateful. Not too long after we completed it, our home was featured on a TLC show, Four Houses. After it aired people, at first friends and acquaintances, began calling me to help them with their own homes and Colordrunk Designs was born.

I think people thought it was refreshing to see a little color and a lot of folks were tired of the grey and neutral trend. I was quickly having to find childcare and run this little business out of a spare room in my house. It all happened so quickly and I am thankful for the clients who have taken a chance on me. I am still blown away at how fast my little business has grown. I love to decorate. I’ve always been a creative person. I majored in Fashion Merchandising and studied art history in college, and later went to work for Marc Jacobs, a fashion designer, in New York. While I have always been a creative person, I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up, but I am so glad I landed here! I love fashion, but the scale of interior design, “dressing” an entire room, is just so much fun!

A lot of your designs give off an exuberant, cheerful vibe. Where does your passion for bright and vibrant colors come from?
I am a big believer that your surroundings effect the way you feel. Color makes people happy. Maybe it’s a bright yellow or maybe its subtle blue. It’s different for everyone and its my job to find that out.

You were recently nominated for HGTV”s Fresh Faces of Design Awards. What was that experience like?
Being nominated for HGTV’s Fresh Faces of Design Awards was a huge surprise. It was so nice and validating for someone, especially HGTV, to recognize the hard work I’ve been putting in these last two years. It made me feel good that they liked my work. I was up against some very fabulous designers and that was huge for me!

If you could design your ideal room, what colors and patterns would you use?
If I had to design my ideal room it would be much like our family room. The primary fabric in the room is my favorite fabric, Schumacher’s Chiang Mai. That fabric is on floor to ceiling drapes and several throw pillows. I will never get tired of this fabric, it has a ton of vibrant colors and interesting objects. The sofas and carpet are neutral and so I really played up the fabrics and objects on our bookshelves to balance things out. I also added a chocolate colored wallpaper in the backs of the bookshelves so the colorful objects and art would really stand out. I also have one of my favorite pieces of art by Columbus’s own, Lulie Wallace, hanging above our fireplace. It’s a very funky room, but it’s comfortable and able to handle some wear and tear from our two small children and two dogs.

Vintage has made a strong comeback in the past few years and its popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Have you found yourself consumed by the vintage and repurposing bug like many other designers?
Growing up, my grandmother, Violet Buck, had a home full of antique and Chinoiserie furniture and items that she and my grandfather, Thomas, had collected on trips throughout Asia. I always admired her home and collection greatly. I had never seen another home like hers. So vintage Chinoiserie style furniture and decor holds a special place in my heart for that reason. If I buy vintage items, they are usually Chinoiserie or Asian inspired items. I incorporate those items into my designs whenever I have the chance. I also love to use midcentury furniture because of the clean lines. With all the color and pattern I use midcentury pieces usually create a great way to break up and balance the vibrancy of my designs.

One of your latest projects has involved working with the nonprofit organization, Sunshine on a Ranney Day. How did you get involved with that?
I was so thrilled to be connected with Sunshine on a Ranney day. The Ranneys have created a wonderful non-profit organization for kids with long term illnesses. They work with designers like me to bring joy and hope to these kids. Raynel was a perfectly healthy little boy until the age of four when he caught an upper respiratory infection, which later led to meningitis, and his slipping into a coma for 4 months. When he woke up he was paralyzed and unable to see, hear or speak. It is hard for me, as a mother of two young girls, to even fathom the daily challenges these families face.

They installed a wheelchair lift on his stairs, we ripped up the carpet in his room so he can get around better in his wheelchair, we gave him much more storage for all of his equipment and equally of importance, we gave him a room that makes him happy.
There is no better feeling than doing something for someone else and seeing the joy on Raynel’s face the first time he entered his room was the most rewarding experience of my design career. You can check out SunshineonaRanneyday.com to make donations. svm

Nail Tek

How did you get started in this profession? I got started in this profession through my family. I got started at a young and fell in love with nails.

What is the best way to keep your nails looking great, even on unpolished days? The best way to keep your nails looking great is to always moisturize even on unpolished day you can push back your cuticle when you don't have time to stop and get a manicure. While getting a manicure we recommend not cutting your cuticle unless it is necessary.

What makes a gel manicure better than traditional polish? A gel manicure is better than traditional polish because it can last up to
two weeks, it stays shiny, and the best part is that you do not have to wait for it to dry.

What’s the best fix for thin, brittle nails? To fix thin brittle nails we recommend getting manicures regularly and getting your nails polished with a nail hardener.

If I could only buy one product for my everyday use, what would you recommend? We would recommend buying a cuticle oil or cream to use daily. Moisturizing is the best you can do for your nails.

What trends are you seeing now? Some of the trends we see on social media are stiletto nails, ombré, and matte nails. In our salon the gel polish is the most popular

Spring and summer are around the corner, what we services would you recommend to make my feet sandal ready? We would recommend our Aromatic pedicure which includes sugar scrub, a moisturizing mask, a massage, and a paraffin wax. The Aromatic pedicure also comes in six great smelling scents you can choose from.

Dear Stella

 Sometimes all we need is the backing of our family to make our dreams come true. This certainly rings true for Mary Margaret Culpepper and her family at Dear Stella Boutique.

How did you get involved in this business? I have always had a love for beautiful clothes but I had not previously thought about opening a clothing boutique. I began toying with the idea of opening a boutique during my last semester of college. I researched the business for months before I felt comfortable pitching the idea to my parents.  I will never forget the nerves and excitement of the day I first spoke to them about it.  Not only were my parents 100% on board, but they were eager to help and full of creative ideas. Together as a family, we took a giant leap of faith and it has been the best decision we could have made.

How did you come up with the name for your boutique? Growing up, we always had an old family Bible that sat on our living room coffee table. On the inside of the Bible was a love letter from my great grandfather to the love of his life, Stella. I always thought about that and when it came time to choose a name for the store, I immediately thought about the beginning of the letter. “Dear Stella” is the love of my life as the beautiful Stella was to my great grandfather.

Describe what kind of clothes you carry and the woman that you are targeting.
When my family and I opened Dear Stella Boutique, I wanted to cater to not just the young woman, but to the mothers and grandmothers as well. We wanted to set ourselves apart from the typical boutique stereotype and carry clothes that a woman well into her 50’s could wear and feel beautiful in. You will find a wide variety of clothes in the store from bright, colorful and trendy pieces to classic styles appropriate for many occasions.

What is it about Dear Stella Boutique that makes it stand out in Columbus? Besides being the newest boutique in town, our store is in a gorgeous historic building nestled in downtown Columbus. We are off the beaten path, but once you walk in our doors you are greeted with warm smiles and a vibrant atmosphere.

What spring trends are you most looking forward to?  Color! I am obsessed with color and every year after winter I cannot wait to get into bright and colorful outfits for Spring.  Florals are also going to be big this year which is really exciting because what girl doesn’t love flowers?

What brands do you carry at your store?  We carry many different brands in the store and we are always searching for the best new designers. We go on buying trips frequently to find the hottest and newest trends to bring back to the store. There is always a new line making its way through our doors.

You spend most of your time in the store, but what do you enjoy doing in your free time?  I love spending my free time with family and friends. They are my biggest supporters through this whole process of opening Dear Stella Boutique and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.  

Riverside Dermatology & Aesthetic Center

Clear, healthy skin is coveted by everyone. Dr. J. Nicole Flandry Fussell and her staff at Riverside Dermatology & Aesthetic Center can help you reach any and all of your skincare goals.

What attracted you to Dermatology? I have wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember. During my first year of medical school, I found dermatology appealing for a number of reasons. I initially thought I would be a surgeon, but it seemed that often times the doctor/patient relationship was short-lived.

In dermatology, I often see patients on a regular basis and have the opportunity to see their family members as well. You really develop a relationship with your patients. Not to mention I do perform excisions which satisfies the surgeon in me.
My days vary drastically from seeing patients with potentially life threatening melanoma skin cancers to those wanting to freshen up with a cosmetic procedure, such as Botox or a laser treatment. There is never a dull moment at Riverside Dermatology!

What are your most popular procedures? What are the procedures you recommend most? Fractional resurfacing, laser hair removal, photofacials, and injectibles (i.e. Botox and fillers such as Juvederm and Radiesse) are our most popular appointments.
Our Palomar Icon System addresses a variety of common skin concerns including age spots, wrinkles, skin tone and texture, surgical and acne scars, and is also the only FDA approved device for improving the appearance of stretch marks.

Fillers help to restore volume and give a more youthful appearance to an aging face. Botox/Xeomin injections can soften wrinkles and even prevent the formation of some deep set wrinkles. Many patients report that they look refreshed after these services.


Columbus gets very hot during the summer, what is your overall advice for sun safety? Find a sunscreen you like and WEAR IT! It is unrealistic to expect people to stay out of the sun completely, especially in the South.

With as many skin cancers as I see, especially in young patients, I always recommend that people be smart about sun protection. Wearing sun protective clothing, reapplying sunscreen every few hours, and seeking shade during peak hours are a few ways to keep your skin healthy, not to mention wrinkle free in the future! Sunscreen is definitely one of the most important parts of any anti-aging regimen.
Riverside Dermatology carries several different sunscreens/sunblocks that are non-irritating, non-greasy, and safe for children and patients with sensitive skin.

Is there a way to reverse skin damage from the sun? Damage from the sun is cumulative in nature.  Many problems caused by the sun do not show up for many years after the damage has already been done.  We can treat some of the effects of sun damage to the skin.  Laser treatments can help improve the appearance of wrinkles, broken blood vessels, and brown spots caused by the sun.  There are some topical medications that can help with fine lines and improve texture of the skin as well, but they work slowly. 

 Though treatments can improve the appearance of the skin, the risk for skin cancer is still present. The best option is to prevent the damage before it occurs by using an SPF of 30 or more on a daily basis. It is never too late to be smart about sun protection! I recommend sunscreen to the face, neck, and back of the hands daily to all of my patients. We are all exposed to more sun than we think driving in our cars or sitting by windows.

We’ve been told about the dangers of tanning beds for decades. Help us set the record straight: are tanning beds safe or should they be avoided? There is no question tanning beds should be avoided completely.  Tanning beds often emit ultraviolet A (UVA) light which is more carcinogenic (cancer-causing) than ultraviolet B (UVB). Not only are you increasing your risk of skin cancer in tanning beds but also are prematurely aging your skin.  People who use tanning beds often have increased wrinkles and sometimes an undesirable leathery appearance to the skin.

Apart from skin cancer I have also treated several skin infections that came from tanning bed use when the beds were not cleaned properly. There are some skin conditions that do benefit from ultraviolet light, but these treatments should only be done under the supervision of a doctor and preferably in a medical grade device that has narrow band UVB light.  If you want that healthy glow, I highly recommend self-tanners or spray tanning. There are several places in town that offer these services, not to mention a variety of self-tanners that can be applied in your own home.

What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday when you are not working? I am thrilled to be back in Columbus. I have really enjoyed spending time my son, Jackson, reconnecting with old friends, and discovering the new and exciting things Columbus has to offer. There are so many new restaurants, shows at the theater, and outdoor activities on the river to take advantage of… it’s wonderful!

Posh Peach

When Erin and Leah opened the Posh Peach online in 2012, their goal was to bring a new sense of fashion to Columbus. In June 2014 they opened their charming Uptown location. They strive to appeal to the tastes of women regardless of their career, style or preference.

Erin Widick and Leah Perry talked with SVM about keeping up with latest trends, what they wish to offer Columbus, and how they plan to do so in the future years to come. BY ANDREA HAYES • PHOTOS BY S. SAXON

Please, tell us the story behind The Posh Peach. How did it all start? Our company began in 2012 with a love for shopping and a dream of owning our own business in our own hometown. Our company is personal because we are family. We are different individuals with different prior career backgrounds, styles and tastes, etc. For us, it made sense to partner in this venture, because we each bring something different, yet wonderful,to the table. We decided on opening a women’s clothing boutique because one thing we do have in common is we enjoy the latest trends and styles as they come and go. We both love fashion and the ability to use it as a way to help other women feel beautiful.

How can someone who tends to dress really “safe” break out of their comfort zone and dress more creatively? Start with accessories. Add different accessory options such as different necklace lengths, stack bracelets, or a belt to an outfit. Play with pairing colors like wearing a different color bottom with a top that you wouldn’t normally do. Bold color pairings are very “in” right now. Prints and pieces with lace or crochet are also very trendy. Wearing a printed top or a top with lace accents is an easy way to incorporate some of the latest styles in to your “safe” wardrobe.

What are some of your favorite items currently in the boutique? We love something about each and every item we have! We have several maxis that are really popular right now, rompers, colored skinnies, mini skirts, lace tops, and accessories that we can add to play all of these up. Plus so much more!

What and who influences you when buying for your store? We pay attention to the young trends of our culture as they change. When we are buying items for our store, we look for what our customers are interested in and looking for. We focus on the style of the everyday women – casual, work week, and dressier options. We have customers as young as 11-12, to women in their late 50s-60s who are looking for more trendy styles.

Finding good sales people is key and you mentioned it being a priority. How do you go about making sure that your customer service delivers? We want to provide superior customer service to every person that comes in to The Posh Peach store or who shops on our website. From the time you walk through the door and are greeted with an inviting “Hello” to a “personal shopping” experience with help from a friendly, trained and knowledgeable sales associate, our hope is for everyone to have an experience that makes them feel good while they’re there and that they’ll remember. svm