Page 1

Complimentary August 2021 page 12





On the Cover


In Business pages 21–27


In The Relationship Building Business page 12








AUGUST 2021 FEATURES 12 • COVER STORY Scenic View Landscapes In The Relationship Building Business 18 • BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Catawba Valley Health System Expanding Emergency and Heart Services For You


WOMEN IN BUSINESS 23 • Grace McLaurin, PAC 24 • RE/MAX Legendary 25 • Jenette T. Swisher, MD 26 • Killians 27 • Courtney Wilson Lyons

IN THIS ISSUE 8 • Welcome To The August Issue

MacAdam Smith Publisher (484) 769-7445

Kathy Wheeler Design & Advertising Sales (828) 238-3224

Sharon Simpson Advertising Director (704) 677-9159

10 • August Events 16 • Joint Custody, It’s More Than A Time Share! 28 • Nip Stress In The Bud!

28 Hickory

LIVING 10225 Hickorywood Hill Ave., Unit A Huntersville, NC 28078 (484) 769-7445 4


34 • Organizing All Our Stuff For Good 36 • What’s Cookin’ Apple And Mandarin Macaroni Salad

Don Forrest Advertising Sales (828) 244-6538

38 • Prioritizing Your World Hickory Living reserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing. Submissions are welcome, but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. Hickory Living assumes no responsibility or liability for the information, services, products, claims, statements, accuracy, or intended or unintended results of any advertiser, editorial contributors, company, professional corporation, business or service provider herein this publication. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristie Darling • Kathy Wheeler Blair E. Cody, III

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Shane Greene Photography



You have a CHOICE for Rehab Ask for Conover Nursing & Rehab! Our goal is to get you back to those you love and the life you love living. You are in good hands at Conover Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. After an illness, surgery or injury, our team is dedicated to your recovery and safe transition back home!

• Rehab Wing with Central Gym and Indoor Track • Results Oriented Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapists In-House • Family Owned & Operated

Conover Nursing & Rehabilitation Center 828.695.8282

920 4th Street SW • Conover, NC 28613





Welcome to the

August Issue By Kathy Wheeler

© | JerryB7



hildren are headed back to school this month. Keep an eye out for those school buses! According to the CDC as of mid-July, face masks are no longer needed for outdoor activity or indoors if you have been vaccinated. The CDC is recommending staying three feet apart in and out of the classroom and face masks for those who haven’t been vaccinated. Vaccines are available for children ages 12 and above. If we have learned anything this past year, it’s how quickly things can change. Stay informed and in communication with your child’s school. Our staff at Hickory Living would like to wish all of our students a successful and safe year!

Our theme this month is Women in Business. We have a lot of lady entrepreneurs in our area and have featured some of these successful women in this month’s magazine starting on page 21. We invite you to read about their businesses, their background, what motivates them, and how they got started. If you’ve been thinking about starting a business of your own, maybe you will find something in their stories to inspire you to take the leap!

With children back in school and back to their after school activities, August is sure to be a busy month! We have some helpful articles on organizing your home, prioritizing your time, and reducing stress—see pages 28, 34, and 38.

Our August cover story features Scenic View Landscapes. Kevin Sipe and his team do beautiful work! They are knowledgeable professionals who can meticulously design, install, and maintain your outdoor spaces. Read their


August is full of outdoor concerts and festivals. Take advantage of all the free events that our area and others offer this month. You will find a list on page 10.

story on page 12 and give them a call for your outdoor makeover today! Catawba Valley Health System is expanding! They are building a larger Emergency Department and a new Heart and Vascular Center. You will find their article on page 18. Local businesses support our local economy, local needs, and many times, local charities. We want to recognize your favorites in our 2021 Best Of The Foothills—Hickory Living’s Readers’ Choice Awards! Please visit us online at or our Facebook page to find a link to vote for your favorite businesses! Show your support and pride in these brave entrepreneurs! Thank you for reading the August issue of Hickory Living. Have a wonderful August!





HICKORY August 21 Bases and Brews at Crawdads LP Frans Stadium 2500 Clement Blvd, Hickory The Hickory Jaycees and the Hickory Crawdads bring you Bases and Brews – A beer festival and baseball. Call for time 828.322.3000 For individual tickets visit: single-game-tickets


August 5, 14, 19, 28 Get Your NewtOn! 2021 Music at the Farm Catawba Farms 400 Technibilt Drive, Newton Bring a lounge chair or blanket. Wine, beer, hard cider, soft drinks, and food available. No outside food or drinks allowed. Music starts at 2PM on Saturdays and 6:30PM on Thursdays. August 5: Andrew Massey & the Midnight Americans August 14: Mama’s Remedy Band August 19: Opal Moon & the Darksides August 28: Paul Corrigan

MORGANTON August 27, 28 Morganton Festival Weekends 10

HICKORY LIVING • A AUGUST ugust 2021 2021

Downtown Morganton on the Square Three back-to-back weekends with entertainment, festival food, and craft vendors. Friday evenings from 6-9PM; Saturdays from 10AM-7PM August 27-28, September 3-4 & 10-11

August 27: TBA September 3: Too Much Sylvia

August 26: Carolina South Band Sept 3: Tuatha Dea Sept 10: ACE Party Band

Music On The Lawn The Inn at Ragged Gardens 203 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock Bring a lawn chair, no coolers, no pets. 5:30PM–8:30PM

VALDESE August 6, 13, 14, 20, 27 46th Annual Historic Valdese Waldensian Festival August 13 & 14 Main Street, Valdese Friday night kickoff with music, classic car show, amusement rides, and special performance of “From This Day Forward.” Saturday features 170 food/art/craft vendors & more.

BLOWING ROCK August 7, 14, 21, 28

August 6: Harris Brothers August 13: Soul Benefactor August 20: Mike Thompson Band August 27: Note Ropers


Friday: 6-8PM Darrell Harwood 9-11PM Dirty Grass Soul

Alive After Five From Courthouse on East Main Street to Poplar Street, Lincolnton Bring lawn chairs. Food and beverage available. 6PM-10PM

Saturday: 3-5:30PM The Tonez 7-10:30PM BlackWater Rhythm & Blues

August 26: Blackwater Rhythm & Blues lincolntonaliveafterfive

Valdese Family Friday Night Concerts held on the football field behind The Old Rock School • Bring a lounge chair • Music starts at 7PM. August 6: 28690 & Friends August 20: The Night Move Band

TAYLORSVILLE August 13 Summer On The Square 29 West Main Ave., Taylorsville Bring lawn chairs. 6PM August 13: Shakedown



on the cover


In the Relationship Building Business By Kristie Darling | Photos by Shane Greene Photography

“We watched the Scenic View Landscapes’ team working at our neighbor’s house and quickly realized that these were the people we wanted to hire for our property, too,” Barbara Calcagne shared. “What impressed us was how the landscapers were always on time, how they kept the jobsite clean and safe—they were clean, uniformed, and knowledgeable—and how pleased 12


our friends were about their entire project, giving us rave reviews. Starting our own job, we knew we’d made the right decision. These guys know their stuff—they’re not just putting plants in the ground—it’s quality, full-service landscaping. They kept us up to date. Going over and above, they met our expectations and then some.” Barbara’s experience is not unusu-

al—Scenic View has built its customer base largely on personal referrals and exceptional online reviews. Current clients dating back 20 years is a testament to a business well done. Owner Kevin Sipe has taken the concept of customer service to the next level. “My goal for clients is that they note a difference in the quality of our products, of course, but most importantly, see a distinguishing level of professional service and workmanship performed by exceptional people,” Kevin says. “To me, providing an enhanced experience is what we’re all about. I like to say, ‘We don’t just offer you the steak, we provide you the sizzle and the smell, as well!’” With a quality control manager and an operations manager, the teams check and double check each job regularly. “We grade ourselves on our work constantly,” Kevin said. “Logistically, we make sure schedules move the teams efficiently. Everyone knows what is happening and what their responsibilities are. Vehicle and equipment maintenance is critical, and we have team members who do just that. We document and analyze challenges, solutions, and changes we need to make. Working closely together, we get better at what we do every day.” BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS ONE PROPERTY AT A TIME Scenic View’s business model was written to be followed, not just placed on a shelf. Scenic View’s team members are trained to stick to these core values: the idea that building relationships with the homeowners who hire them is key to success and going beyond what’s expected is essential. “We strive to exceed peoples’ expectations…going the extra mile toward excellence creates loyal clients.” Kevin says. Scenic View’s clients benefit from a proactive and personable approach, from the initial consultation and design to the installation and finished job. This is true for every landscaping project they undertake. These high standards are not the exception, they’re the expectation at Scenic View. “When we are briefing our teams, we review what the client’s expectations are, what our expectations are, and how to achieve both,” Kevin explained. “Continuing education and the expectation that each team member will produce their best work keeps everyone at the top of their game. We focus on building Scenic View through innovation, quality, and integrity; it’s part of our center focused mission. If we drop the ball, we pay attention and immediately pick it up to create a positive experience. We’re continually improving.”


On the cover: Kevin Sipe, owner of Scenic View Landscapes and lead designer. Opposite page: Scenic View Landscapes’ team and their office. Above: • Pictured, left to right, Wayne Caddell, operations manager; Sean Davis, team leader; Bryson Henry, group manager; and Bunnie Spesert, team leader • Erin Byrd, quality control • Duane and Neill Sipe, shop mechanics. HICKORY LIVING • AUGUST 2021


YOUR VISION MATTERS Your home really is your castle. It reflects the way you enjoy life, and the grounds surrounding it are the first impression you give neighbors and visitors alike. It should be welcoming and expressive. It should be beautiful.


Above, Scenic View Landscapes’ team performs horticultural bed and container garden maintenance.



Scenic View Landscapes is the go-to landscaping team if you do not have the skills, time, or inclination to keep up your property. They design, install, and maintain your property’s lawns, flower gardens, trees, arbors, patios, fireplaces, outdoor spaces for entertaining, relaxing water features, walkways, and even container plantings created to enhance your patio, deck, or front porch. “I spend time listening to our clients talk about what they want, like, and dislike. Some want to be part of the maintenance plan, others prefer we take over keeping it beautiful each season,” Kevin shared. “My goal is to create something that really works for their lifestyle and captures their personal vision for a scenic view they can enjoy for a long time.”

Kevin’s initial design consultation includes asking the right questions to understand what the design target looks like. Gaining clarity of the client’s desires for their new or re-created landscape will start the process off on the right foot toward a successful design and installation process. Kevin at Scenic View Landscapes can help you visualize your outdoor space before it is actually installed. With specialized landscape CAD design and imagery programs, getting on the same page is easy. Many proposals are phased for easy understanding of full or partial installation options to best suit the client’s budget and needs. They take pride in thinking outside the box for landscape solutions on each property they encounter. Clients are kept informed on the progress of their project. The teams work together to keep clients’ properties attractive, comfortable, and seasonal. “We work specifically through each season to perform what’s needed,” Kevin continued. “Different trees and plants require different attention. Our calendar of work aligns with the growing seasons—this way, your plants will always look their best and grow strong to resist damage.” A LEADER IN THE INDUSTRY Having studied with the country’s leading design and horticulture professionals, Kevin’s love of the outdoors has led to his professional dream: directing and managing Catawba Valley’s leading landscape team. His high school days were spent knocking on doors, mowing lawns for friends and neighbors. He had 25 mowing clients when he started at NC State for a degree in Landscape Horticulture. Working with established landscapers, Kevin learned the foundations of the business before venturing out on his own. For 21 years, Kevin has operated this top-quality creative landscaping and design business. People who hire Scenic View Landscapes are looking for the best. “Today, in these challenging times, much of my responsibility is to keep our team members mindful of the blessing that each client relationship is and to provide the best landscape experience we can.” Kevin explains. Start with the best if you’re dreaming of a beautifully landscaped home. “We treasure our team and clients—they’re like family,” Kevin shared. “I love this work and the happiness it creates.”


• Pictured left to right, Kara Sipe, office assistant and Debbie Sipe, office manager • The team is implementing an installation.

Scenic View Landscapes 828.256.2517 HICKORY LIVING •AUGUST 2021


Joint Custody, It’s More Than a Time Share! By Blair E. Cody, III Attorney at Law

sary changes to their work and social schedules to ensure that they are able to meet the requirements of joint custody. For a joint custody arrangement to be successful, each parent is going to have to be involved and active in the day to day needs of their children. While it may not be “your week” or “your day,” there may be an important doctor appointment, ball game, or dance recital that you need to make plans to attend. Just as important as making sure you can be available to meet the needs of your children is your effort to communicate with your As school starts back this fall, many divorced Ex. Sometimes, the circumstances of parents find themselves in a situation where the break-up cause a party to be bitter, they are having to co-parent and work with each other to ensure the needs of their children angry, or hurt. Those emotions get in the way of your ability to effectively are met. Many parents don’t think about all co-parent and can have a negative the ways their lives change after a separation. There are the obvious changes like moving into effect on your ability to participate in your child’s life. For example, your a new home, getting car titles and insurance child may bring homework assignswitched over, etc., but there are also changes ments home that will be completed that need to be made when it comes to your later, while they are with the other duties as a parent. Just some of those changes include knowing: 1. Who is your child’s pedia- parent. It is important that you share that information with the other parent trician and making sure they know you; so that there is not a missed assign2. Who are your child’s teachers, ball coaches, ment or low grade as a result. These etc. and making sure that they know you; efforts to communicate by each parent 3. Your child’s school and extra-curricular schedule so that you can ensure your participa- require more effort when you live in separate homes than it did when you tion in their activities and assignments. shared a home. Keep in mind that good communication doesn’t mean While it is seldom that parents split the that you will always agree on how childrearing responsibilities 50/50 when they to handle a particular matter, but it were together, it is common that they share should ensure that each of you has some of those responsibilities. However, once been able to discuss and be heard on you separate, each parent must make an extra the issue at hand. effort to stay on top of the things they used to rely on the other parent to take care of. Most parents might say they want “joint custody” of Also, keep in mind that in every joint their children, but many don’t make the neces- custody situation there will be times 16


when you will have to deviate from the schedule. There will be work requirements, family obligations, healthcare matters, etc. that will require you to work with your co-parent to ensure that your child’s needs are met. Unlike a situation where a parent has custody a couple of days a month, with a joint custody schedule, the amount of time with each parent ensures that there needs to be some flexibility and working together to accommodate the life events that we all experience that require our attention. In summary, while it is important to be informed and available when it comes to your children’s schedules, it is equally important to have a relationship with your co-parent that allows for effective communication and flexibility when it comes to the custodial schedule.

If I can help you with some answers related to your marriage, please give me a call.

Blair Cody has been practicing Family Law for over 20 years in the Hickory area. For an appointment, call Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC at


Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC

With the merger of law offices, Lyndon R. Helton and Blair E. Cody, III now offer a broader range of law expertise. AREAS OF PRACTICE: • Divorce • Personal Injury • Workers Compensation • Criminal Defense • Traffic Violations • Social Security Disability • DWIs • Wills & Estates • Child Custody and Support


Pictured: Blair E. Cody, III (left) Lyndon R. Helton (right)

828-328-9966 827 Highland Ave. NE Hickory, NC (located near Lenoir-Rhyne University) HICKORY HICKORY LIVING LIVING • AUGUST • APRIL 2021


business spotlight

Expanding Emergency and Heart Services – For You Renderings by Perkins–Eastman. Photos by Shane Greene.

If you or a loved one is facing a medical crisis, having close access to the best possible care is top priority. And when a pandemic shakes our community and our world to the core, safe and efficient healthcare expertise must be available. Those factors have driven Catawba Valley Health System (CVHS) to expand its hospital services to meet a growing demand. This summer, CVHS broke ground on an ambitious and crucial project—an expanded Emergency Department and the creation of a new Heart and Vascular Center set for completion in September

2023. The $31 million effort increases the facility’s square footage for treating patients, and its cutting-edge, modern design will guarantee quicker patient care with treatment areas centrallylocated to enhance how CVHS serves patients and family members. Although the project has been on the drawing board for nearly two years, the COVID-19 pandemic showed the necessity of having additional emergency treatment areas and an infrastructure that more easily allows for the latest advances in safety protocols and technology.

The existing Emergency Department was designed with 34 treatment spaces that can accommodate around 140 patients a day, per industry standards. With 45 treatment spaces planned in the renovation, CVHS will be able to care for an average of 185 patients daily. With the additional space, the hospital can more efficiently meet current volume demands. Additionally, an increase in the number psychiatric patients and those requiring special bariatric accommodations has spurred the need for an updated design. Following a new model for emergency

Photo, above A new heart center and expanded Emergency Department are being constructed adjacent to the main entrance of Catawba Valley Medical Center. 18


treatment, areas will be created for “Vertical Care,” a concept that allows ambulatory patients to be treated without taking a bed from an emergent patient. These rooms require less space than traditional rooms so more patients can be treated in the same space, making wait times much shorter. The creation of a new Heart and Vascular Center as part of the construction is equally important to adapting to Catawba County’s growing needs. Modern advances in technologies to treat heart and vascular disease focus less on invasive surgical treatments and more on heart catheterizations, interventional radiologic and vascular procedures, and other cutting-edge techniques. Because of high demand, however, larger spaces are needed to accommodate growing volumes. With the new design, all heart and vascular services will be located in one area of the hospital with a short transport route from the Emergency Department. Along with increasing capacity, more areas for pre-procedure and post-procedure treatments will be added and placed in closer proximity to where those services are performed. Treatment for a heart or vascular procedure, planned or emergent, will take place in one location, which is beneficial to patients, their families, and the staff. “Catawba Valley Health System’s hallmark has been to deliver compassionate care with innovative technology and processes,” said Eddie Beard, president and CEO of CVHS. “As our community has placed a greater amount of trust in us than ever before to deliver that care, we’ve committed to continually grow in space and technology to provide best practices in every phase of our health system.” He added, “A great deal of research by our leadership, medical staff, emergency personnel, and industry experts revealed a more efficient way to treat patients without sacrificing quality of care. The resulting expansion will reflect how the most efficient organizations operate. Especially in light of lessons learned from the COVID pandemic, we’re proud to adapt and grow as our community needs grow as well.” 810 Fairgrove Church Road SE, Hickory, NC 28602 828.326.3000

Photos, top to bottom: • A modern “Vertical Care” design allows for more patients to be treated and wait times reduced. • Leaders on the emergency and heart/vascular teams include (left to right) Angela Cheek, Dr. Jeff Neal, Robin Cox, Chrissy Stewart, Dr. Pierce Hibma, Ann Moore, and Chuck Scronce • Staff will be able to treat all heart and vascular needs in one area of the hospital in close proximity to the Emergency Department. HICKORY LIVING • AUGUST 2021




successful powerful passionate


Women In Business

© | JLco - Julia Amaral

Hickory Living is proud to celebrate women in business this month. On the following pages, you will meet successful women in our area who are following their passion. They possess an entrepreneurial spirit and the ambition and positive outlook that it takes to grow their businesses. We appreciate all that they contribute to our local economy, and we celebrate their success!





Hydration Therapy For Your Health! If you push yourself to perform, hydration therapy can help you restore your body. • Are you dehydrated? • Do you have jet lag or a hangover? • Does your immune system need a boost? • Are you recovering from the flu or other illness? • Are you tired and feel rundown?

Whether you need vitamins, electrolytes or hydration, intravenous therapy is the quickest delivery to feeling better.


LOCATED AT VITALITY 74 8th Street SE, Suite 112 • Hickory 22


Women in Business

Grace McLaurin is a physician assistant, owner, and partner in Vitality Anti-Aging Center, Vitality Surgical Center, V-Infusion Hydration Center, and owner of Aesthetic Consulting & Training (ACT) in Hickory. The group offers integrative health and non-surgical aesthetics, such as Botox, dermal fillers, Coolsculpting, Cellfina, PRP, plastic surgery, as well as weight management, nutrition, skincare, and more. How did you decide on this career track? I’ve wanted to be in medicine since I was a young child. I pursued a different path earlier in life, getting married and having my children. When I moved to Hickory, I realized I was close enough to Wake Forest to go after my dream, and the PA profession seemed to be the perfect fit. We started in the spring of 2006 with five people, and we’ve seen growth every year since opening. We have an amazing staff who always put patient care, safety, and results as number one. We were blessed six years ago to have the opportunity to move into Moretz Mills and have continued to grow. What achievements have you enjoyed? Over the past year, Vitality has added some amazing new treatments such as CoolPeel, Subnovii, Diamond Glow, and we have added the Canfield Vectra 3-D Full Body Imaging System.

© Shane Greene Photography

Grace McLaurin, PA-C Owner and partner in:

What awards or industry recognition has Vitality received? We have been listed as RealSelf’s Love My Injector, as one of the top 100 injectors in the country. We’re in the top 1% with Allergan, we’ve created our own skin care line, and have spent many hours educating and training others. In addition, I’ve become a Ziglar Legacy speaker and trainer, and a certified Behavior Specialist by Dr. Robert Rohm. What are the latest trends in your field? Body contouring is huge right now. Vitality offers non-surgical options that can help people achieve the body they have always dreamed of. Vitamin Infusion and preventative health are certainly of special interest. In the aesthetics realm, lips and jawlines are huge for both men and women. What are your goals for the future? We are looking at expansion and hope to have another location in 2022.

Where Health and Beauty Meet®

What do you believe sets you apart from others in your field? We are a niche business that offers comprehensive care. We have an option that fits every person who walks through our door. We customize all of our treatments and packages to each individual’s needs. HICKORY LIVING • AUGUST 2021


Women in Business

© Shane Greene Photography

Each Office is independently Owned & Operated

RE/MAX LEGENDARY Realtor/Brokers, pictured from left to right, are:

Wendy Flynn Kristen Knox Kamie Pitts Danielle Stone Amanda Stokes Sandy Dingler Denise Williams (Not Pictured: Sarah Moretz, Claudia Vargas, and Ashley Carmichael) 828.855.1055 3244 Springs Rd NE, Hickory 24


Amanda Stokes and these outstanding Realtors take their real estate name “Legendary” seriously by making every relationship a lasting one. Amanda and the team see their role as doing everything possible to make certain clients walk away from the table totally satisfied. We want your real estate experience to be RE/MAX Legendary.

has been impressive. We now have 17 brokers, and ten are women! Through satisfied clients, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and RE/MAX’s nationwide marketing, our reputation for getting it right is growing. In our second year, we placed in the top four firms for our market area. We want people to know we’re here, and we can help.

How did you decide on this career track? I started working on my own when I was 15—by 17, I was managing my own clothing store. “Real estate is perfect for me because I love working with people, and I love a good challenge. Every client is different, and I like to make certain everything works out perfectly for each one. It’s easy to go to work when you love what you do!

What’s today’s real estate market like? Today’s real estate market is constantly changing and adjusting itself. There is a real need to partner with an experienced broker in this current market. Otherwise, you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table. Having a knowledgeable broker to guide you with the ins and outs is key to making the best deal. Technology is also constantly improving. Our brokers at RE/MAX Legendary are always in training. We bring years of experience and first hand knowledge to each transaction for a successful outcome.

Tell us about the growth of your company: We’re relatively new, and with hard work and extraordinary brokers on board, our growth

Women in Business

In 1975, Jenette Swisher came to the United States as a refugee of the Vietnam War. She knew that in this Land of Opportunity, she could become anything she wanted…if she put in the work. So, she worked. She learned English, graduated Valedictorian, and ultimately, earned her medical degree and became a physician. Her mother was a nurse in Vietnam; she was Jenette’s inspiration. “It’s a great feeling knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life; it feels even better when you’ve saved someone’s life.”

Jenette T. Swisher, MD Physician, business owner, and entrepreneur Swisher Internal Medicine, WAXmd, Swisher Skin and Laser Center

to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Whether through medicine, youthful skin, or beautiful brows, we’re helping people feel better about themselves. I constantly improve techniques, materials, and technology. Our latest device is TempSure, a fabulous skin tightening procedure with NO downtime or pain!

Dr. Swisher has been practicing medicine for over 20 years, opening her own practice, Swisher Internal Medicine, in 2007. “I’ve always known I could do more, and that inspired the birth of my second business, WAXmd and eventually my third, Swisher Skin and Laser Center.”

How have you grown over the years? I’m blessed with amazing support in Hickory. Swisher Internal Medicine started with just me and two employees. Now, our practice has three providers and 10 employees. WAXmd was established four years ago with one esthetician—soon, we’ll have six! Last November, I opened Swisher Skin and Laser Center where we offer non-surgical, medical aesthetics such as Botox, fillers, skin rejuvenation, HydraFacials, and more. Looking forward, I plan to expand services at each business and possibly open a fourth—WAXmd 2!

What services do you offer? Each business shares a common principle:

What’s your life motto? Whatever it is that you do, do it well…



Women in Business

Sharon Killian Radke and Susan Killian Kirby grew up in the family business—they’re third generation and their daughters, Whitney and Jennifer, are fourth generation. The Killian ladies continue doing business holding dear the traditions and values of their father and grandfather, while implementing new innovations to serve future customers. Killians is truly a Hickory institution.

© Shane Greene Photography

Whitney Kirby, Susan Killian Kirby, Sharon Killian Radke, and Jennifer Gott Susan and Sharon are owners of



What are the latest trends in lawn equipment? Battery powered products have become very popular among homeowners with smaller yards. They’re a great value, easy to use, and don’t require maintenance or service. It’s important to buy equipment from a dealer who teaches you how to operate and maintain it properly.

Have you received any industry recognition? The Toro Company awarded us the Master Service Dealer Award, and What is today’s Killians like? we’re a Toro President’s Elite Club memWe sell outdoor power equipment ber. Killians is also a Stihl Gold Service and parts from all major manuDealer and an Echo Signature Elite Dealer. facturers and engine brands, and, of course, we also service them. What are your goals for the future? We offer fully stocked hardware, Killians will always provide the best prodplumbing, and electrical deucts and service at competitive prices. partments and our growth and We’re committed to helping a new genersuccess in every area has always ation of first-time customers understand been customer service. We know that buying outdoor power equipment is our people and community on a a long-term investment—we’re here to personal level. Our knowledgehelp educate and support them.



able staff helps you find exactly what you need.

Women in Business

How did you decide on this career track? It honestly just fell into my lap. There weren’t any boutiques here when I moved back, none that appealed to me and my friends. I needed something new, so I explored work that allowed me to still be creative. I was familiar with boutiques in the Carolina’s larger cities, so I had lots of ideas. On a whim, I headed to Atlanta market and placed orders before I even had a location, and after that, I was on a mission to find a space and fix it up. How have you weathered the pandemic? The past year’s been a rollercoaster. I spent several months working solo to keep my business open. It’s a huge achievement to have survived and thrived last year. Loyal customers supported me by shopping online, setting private appointments, and ordering home delivery. We responded to the pandemic by changing up our selections…exchanging dressy for more casual wear. Ella Blu’s customers looked stylish even while working (or lounging) at home! And, even while putting in lots of overtime, I got remarried on the first of May! I expanded my family from three children to now five! Focusing on the positive aspects of last year, I’ve had amazing professional and personal growth!

Courtney Wilson Lyons Owner and Buyer of:

214 Union Square NW, Downtown Hickory 828.324.9792 •

Tell us about your growth: Ella Blu started as a one woman show. I wore all the hats— buying, sales, and marketing. I had to do all advertising myself with simple newspaper ads. Now, 17 years later, with huge inventory growth—and all-encompassing social media—Ella Blu now employees two fulltime managers, one who is dedicated to social media and the other runs daily tasks. We also have two to four part-time seasonal employees—one is a model for our online postings. As owner, I oversee staff and lead the sales team, plus buying and traveling to regional markets. Today, Ella Blu carries apparel, jewelry, shoes, and accessories for women of all ages. We cater to the individual, and we’re there to help women find the perfect look for any occasion. Our customers also enjoy shopping for gifts including candles, bags, hair accessories, and more. What are your goals going forward? Professionally speaking, I’ve considered opening up other locations in other cities, but the timing has to be just right. It’s not something I am ruling out. Personally, I have met my goals. I’m happier than ever, newly remarried to a wonderful man, and we are working on renovating our forever home. Life is great!

Immediately after receiving her degree in Interior Design from the University of Tennessee, Courtney was a restaurant inte- What’s your motto? rior designer in Charlotte. She moved back to Hickory and Of course, I live by, “Life is short, buy the dress.” And also, opened Ella Blu in 2004. “Style is how to say who you are without speaking.” HICKORY LIVING • AUGUST 2021


Nip Stress In The Bud! By Kristie Darling

© | DragonImages

Stress affects each of us differently, and we’ll all agree that incorporating stressfighting techniques and relaxing activities can be a game-changer. Add a few effective relaxing habits to our everyday routine, and we begin to realize it’s up to us to free ourselves from nervous tension, hassles, and even illness. We can learn how to slow down, calm down, generate positive energy, and find a little peace. To nix the side-effects of tension, anxiety, and worry we need to understand what keeps us stressed-out. Many will say it’s the job—deadlines, the boss, coworkers, rush hour. Financial worries are major stress-makers. Some days we get bad news. Low-level stressors create moodiness, fatigue, headaches, angry outbursts, burn-out, and panic attacks. Constant, long-term stress can cause more serious 28


conditions like heart disease, depression, obesity, weight loss, and immune system disorders. Stress will not stop showing up, but your game plan can get it under control when it shows its ugly head. For most, it takes about four weeks for a new behavior to become a habit, a go-to behavior that’s in our best interest. Make some simple adjustments and incorporate stress-busting habits into your daily life. Your mind and body will thank you! Get moving Stress release doesn’t get any better than when we get up and move around… as strenuously as you are able! Regular physical exercise is hands-down the best stress reducer. Daily walks or bike rides mean fresh air and sunshine—go solo or with friends. Start at your own pace and comfort level, then challenge yourself

with more vigorous workouts a couple times a week. Not into the gym? Try swimming, tennis, golf…pick a sport you enjoy. Yoga, tai chi, Pilates, and martial arts are designed for stress release. Relax, refresh Stress tenses your muscles. Start each day with gentle stretching—you can follow online or make it up as you go. A warm bath loosens you up after an intense day—a long soak with essential oils, a candle in the room? While listening to peaceful music? Massage can work out the kinks—schedule your sessions regularly for on-going bliss. And don’t forget how important a full night’s sleep is—most of us feel best with seven or eight quiet, dark hours each night. Take a nap! Breathe Deeply Deep breathing is always available to you…at home, work, waiting at the

doctor’s office. You don’t need an exotic mantra to reap the benefits. Anytime you feel stress coming on, just stop. Find a quiet place—the bedroom, your car, close your office door. With your hands in your lap, sit still and close your eyes. Now breathe slowly...deeply. Do ten breaths like this and continue until you feel calmer…as long as you need. Visualize peaceful surroundings. This might be a moment for prayer. Breathing techniques are always helpful. Eat Well Don’t let yourself become a stress eater. Stop eating just because you think you’ll feel better after…most likely you’ll just end up feeling full of comfort foods and upset because you pigged out. The stress of that regret can make you eat even more. Stick to a healthy diet—lots of veggies, whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins. Pour a tall glass of water!

Fatty, sugary, salty treats can become crutches to satisfy bad feelings, and you don’t want to go there! Chill out Simplify your life as best you can. Make some changes. Leave home early so you’re not rushed going to work or getting the kids to school. Turn on pleasant music in the car instead of the news. Kick back in the slow lane. Chilling out can begin by saying “NO” when you realize that saying “YES” would just add more stress. You can’t please everyone… not your spouse, boss, friends, kids, or parents. Find things you love to do, and do them for you! Try just sitting with your feet up for a bit. Talk it out Talking about what’s bothering you can calm you. Sharing secrets, concerns, and dreams is cathartic. Listen to good

advice from people you trust—friends, family, your minister. Observe how you feel when you’re self-critical. Gratitude from your inner voice can change you by shouting “It’s wonderful to be alive!” or “I’m happy because I know I am loved.” Talking things out helps bring clarity and perspective to most negative situations. Laugh! We’re not perfect. Don’t beat yourself up. If you screw something up, feel sorry for yourself, or just can’t find the light at the end of the tunnel…pay attention and find something positive. Don’t take yourself so seriously and just do your best—then laugh at everything else! A healthy sense of humor can keep you moving forward. Look for solutions and take one step at a time…you’ll find those steps can get you anywhere you want to go!






2021 Best of the FOOTHILLS

Is there a small business that you have enjoyed shopping with or who offered you great customer service? Let them know by voting for your favorites! 2021’s Best of the Foothills winners will be announced in our December 2021 issue.

CATEGORIES 1. Auto Repair Services 2. Auto Dealer 3. Insurance Company 4. Breakfast 5. Sandwich Shop 6. Dining 7. Golf Course 8. Best Place for Cocktails/Wine 9. Fitness/Gym 10. Aesthetics/Med Spa 11. Weight Loss 30


12. Day Spa/Massage/Facials 13. Hair Salon 14. Women’s Boutique 15. Dentist 16. Orthodontist 17. Chiropractor 18. Veterinarian 19. Pet Groomer 20. Law Firm 21. Hardware Store 22. Home Builder

23. Interior Design 24. Landscaper/Lawn Service 25. Nursery 26. Real Estate Agency 27. Consignment/Thrift Store 28. Wedding Venue 29. Jewelry Store 30. Caterer 31. Art Studio 32. Art Gallery 33. Cosmetic Surgery Center



Visit and









Visit and





Visit and


Us! 2021


For More Information on Best of the Foothills, Contact Kathy Wheeler Or Call 828.238.3224

Let local businesses know you appreciate them by voting! HICKORY LIVING • AUGUST 2021


Organizing All Our Stuff For Good

By Kristie Darling

© | Evgeniia Siiankovskaia

It’s that time of year again when school’s about to start back up. The weather will be changing soon, yet some of us don’t even know where our transitional, cool weather clothes are. And let’s not start in on how that yard sale we were going to make a killing at last spring didn’t even happen. Think of the end of summer, the start of school, autumn’s cool days as your best time of the year to get organized—and guess what? That time is now!

letting anything go. We all need stuff, sure, but how much do we need, and how can we cut back on the items we keep around…for years, and years…so we know where to look when we need that tablecloth that only gets used when company comes or the tulip planting thing-a-ma-jig from Lowe’s that we haven’t used yet, but need it now? Do things land on the bottom step, hoping to get carried upstairs, but really just attract more stuff and create a trip hazard?

With schedules about to become super busy with school activities, it helps to head into the upcoming holidays and end of year festivities organized!

SHOPPING—Are you a value shopper? Value shoppers buy stuff they don’t need simply because, well, “It’s a deal!” You’ll know you are one if you buy things that are on sale with no earthly idea if you can use it, if you need it, what are you going to do with it, and where will it end up in your house. If you’re buying clothes, even though nothing in your wardrobe goes with that amazing red

ORGANIZING—it’s a simple principle, really—a place for everything and everything in its place. Right? The problem is how we tend to over-shop, hang on to too much stuff, and fear 34


leather-trimmed sweater, hey, it’s leather for $22.50! People like this come in both genders and have very good intentions—that orange duffle bag on wheels with a built-in charging port will come in handy in the future, you know, when the family decides to become tent campers. Or that the fabulous Mexican serape on eBay could be transformed into throw pillows before Thanksgiving. They hang onto these things for a year or two and then can’t find them when a good use finally appears—maybe they’ll re-gift the serape at Christmas to Grandma who loves to travel…where is that thing? PURGING—Sentimental feelings take on new life when it comes to many gifts we’ve received. Maybe we’ve heard that collectibles will become worth more than they you can imagine if you just hang on to them long enough—remem-

ber, it was such a deal at that yard sale. Actually, all that stuff just robs you of useful space and keeps you uncomfortably worrying that someday you won’t be able to traverse the hallways. HELP—HGTV’s Hot Mess House, featuring organization expert and coach, Cassandra Aarrssen, helps folks determine their organizational type and style so they can get down and dirty with their own personal hot mess that’s making them crazier by the day. She helps people and families come to grips with their emotional attachment to stuff through a thorough assessment of everyone’s ClutterBug style—easy to determine with her quick online questionnaire. I was impressed with her eBooks: 15 Minute Home Decluttering Guide, The Declutter Challenge, and Organized Success. They build on her theory that we each have a unique ClutterBug style

that can be understood and tamed—either Bees (who need visual, detailed organizing systems); Butterflies (totally overwhelmed with organizing); Ladybugs (requiring a clean, neat, living space, while the hidden side of their home is another matter); and Crickets (who crave simple, logical, and practical organizing methods, like day-planners and closed cabinets). Cassandra explains and recommends specific techniques to help you purge and clear your space of un-needed, un-wanted, and even emotionally crippling stuff. SOLUTIONS—Included in Cassandra’s workshops on de-cluttering and purging are real tools you can download to print and use when you are setting up your file boxes, plastic bins, decorative storage systems, cabinets, drawers, folders, closets, shelves, binders, or hooks. You’ll learn how to accommodate different family members’ styles, overcome obstacles that keep you in chaos and

interfere with your plans, and how daily routines can help everyone stay on top of the potential hot mess that lurks in every pile or drawer. I recommend you tune into HGTV’s Hot Mess House for more sanity-changing ways you and your family can get through the days ahead together—neat, organized, and under control. It could save your life! CLUITTERBUG Online Resources: • For a mini-course and more in-depth information about the four organizing types: https://clutterbug.thinkific. com/courses/what-clutterbug-areyou-mini-course • Rather read a quick E-book? https:// • If you like a good challenge, go to



What's Cooking?! Apple and Mandarin Macaroni Salad

Skip boring dishes and instead dive into a sweet, satisfying macaroni salad that’s perfect for enjoying al fresco. With fresh ingredients and appetizing flavor, this Apple and Mandarin Macaroni Salad is more than just a side – it’s a meal on its own making it an ideal dinner option for summer evenings at home.

Apple and Mandarin Macaroni Salad 36 squares

2 thinly sliced chicken breasts ½ package cream cheese, softened ¼ cup Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot 1 lemon, zest only 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 can (10.7 ounces) mandarin

oranges, drained, juice re

served 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus

additional, to taste, divided

20 turns fresh cracked pepper,

plus additional, to taste,

divided water ½ pound macaroni 1 Envy apple, diced 36



Allow chicken breasts to sit at room temperature 20 minutes. Mash softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, chopped shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons reserved mandarin juice, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside. Preheat grill or saute pan to high heat. Season chicken breasts with drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste. Grill chicken breasts until internal temperature reaches 165 F. If using saute pan, cook 2 minutes on each side then finish in 400 F oven 5-10 minutes. Allow

chicken to cool then dice into small chunks. Bring medium or large pot of salted water to boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain and pour hot noodles into large mixing bowl. Gently stir in cream cheese mixture until noodles are well coated. Let cool slightly. Add diced chicken, apples and mandarin oranges; stir to combine. Serve warm or chill in refrigerator to serve cold. Recipe and photo courtesy of Envy Apples. Visit




Your World By Kristie Darling

© | Deagreez

These days, the comfortable schedules we used to manage may have changed. Our world is working differently. Job routines and locations may have changed—are you working from home now? Perhaps your job and employer are new, your commute longer. Have you been home-schooling or running in-home classes and at-school calendars? Are you ready to get your act together for the coming year? Many factors can cause us to lose track of what’s what…we begin to realize we’re not getting everything done or that our time—a most precious resource—has become so jumbled up, that it’s time to think about how to organize our life. WHAT ARE THE REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS? We’re either way too busy trying to get it all done, or we feel like slugs, mov38


ing too slow. We’re not sure where we should be headed. Either way, setting priorities around the things that matter to you can help. But, before we look at a simple system to help us put direction and order in our to-do list, let’s talk Procrastination—that dirty word that puts a monkey wrench in any best laid plans. PROCRASTINATION BE GONE! Let’s get this straight…having all your ducks in a row isn’t always the answer. Motivating yourself to just move a little can spur enough inspiration to keep going, to get it done. Starting an action, like getting up off your duff and walking into your office or kitchen or garden can spark enough reward for the next step…and the next. Remember, how that works when you decide to get out of bed? Finding a reason for moving yourself one step at a time sets us up for doing more—for beginning and finishing the task at hand. “But I need

motivation to just get up,” you say? Well, that’s the trick, isn’t it? The key is self-talk, the kind that comes from your own experience, not just from a self-help blog. Thinking “I always feel awesome…better…satisfied…relaxed… proud… when I finish a chore…report…item on my list…paying the bills. Your encouraging self-talk can move you to greater things! Practice this whenever you feel you should be doing something you’re not. Talking to yourself in a positive way can help. DEFINE IMPORTANT We know what’s on our list, even if it’s in our head. However, a list is an on paper, written down guide to accomplishing the things you want to do and the things you need to do. Distractions can ruin a perfectly good day when our goal was to feel awesome…better… satisfied…relaxed…proud how we used our time.

You might remember the rocks in a jar story, a metaphor for prioritizing a list of what’s really important. Visualize trying to fit big rocks, pebbles, and sand into an empty jar. If you start with sand first and then pebbles, you won’t have room for big rocks—the top priorities on your list. The pebbles are medium important, and the sand, of course are less critical tasks. Sand might be what’s totally fun and pleasurable—the tasks with the most joy. The lesson? If you don’t put in the big priority rocks first, they’ll never fit in later. THE LIST ITSELF IS REWARDING We stay busy doing different categories of things. The key is becoming intentional doing the most important activities on a regular basis, while not getting distracted with time-wasting energy sappers just because you think those feel better, while still finding time for fun.

Prioritizing is easy— you already have the answers. Divide a sheet of paper into three big boxes (the jar). One jar is filled with eight hours of sleep, so write that in Box One. Box Two is filled with your workload, whatever that is for you—Zoom meetings, school, or volunteer jobs you have—things you must get done each day. Itemize how many hours you need for those responsibilities. In Box Three, write down the time it takes you to do each task you have to do, like showering, commuting, cooking and eating, walking the dog, plus personal satisfaction activities, like family time, reading, exercising, Facebooking, and your current TV series. Put here the things that take time each day but not already in the list. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to do,

© | Anna Pogrebkova

add it here in red so you’ll pay attention. Note if there’s any time left for this. YOUR LIST WORKS FOR YOU Are you happy with what your time is getting you in Box Three? Wish you had more family, active, or relaxing time but TV time is hogging your calendar? You are in charge! Re-prioritize your list and do things different! If you do it right, you can actually add water—the really fun and rewarding stuff, to your jar! Need a vacation? Grab a piece of paper…start prioritizing your boxes!





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Hickory Living August 2021  

Welcome to Hickory Living Magazine online. We invite you to read the August 2021 issue featuring Scenic View Landscapes. Our advertisers mak...

Hickory Living August 2021  

Welcome to Hickory Living Magazine online. We invite you to read the August 2021 issue featuring Scenic View Landscapes. Our advertisers mak...

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