Fort Mill Magazine FALL 2014

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first t friday FORT MILL NOV 7 & DEC 5 f ir st f r i d ay fo r t m i l l . c o m

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15235 John J. Delaney Dr, Ste E, Charlotte, NC 28277 | Ballantyne Commons East Shopping Ctr |


Special Advertiser’s Section: Gold Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry


Smile! It looks good on you.

Led by Dr. Kavi Sagunarthy, DDS, the entire team at Gold Hill Dentistry is involved in guiding patients through their treatment, advising them on a personalized plan that is most appropriate for their dental needs. Dr. Sagunarthy places a strong emphasis on continuing education, so much so, he is currently pursuing a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry. A graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. as well as the University of Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine in Buffalo, NY, Dr. Sagunarthy also completed a General Practice Residency at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York, NY. In addition to his education in general dentistry, he also is


highly trained in implant dentistry, receiving the International Congress of Oral Implantologists Award and recently became a volunteer faculty member for the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program at The Medical University of South Carolina. Joined by Dr. Jennifer Mokris, DMD, the team enjoys treating both children and adults and is dedicated to providing them with excellent dental care. Dr Mokris earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Florida College of Dentistry and is a member of the American Dental Association, the South Carolina Dental Association, the Central District Dental Society, and the Tri-County Dental Society. She is committed to continual learning in the practice of dentistry and enjoys participating in Continuing Dental Education courses to help her stay on the cutting edge of the constant changes in her profession. Gold Hill Dentistry is proud to offer a range of dental services, from family dentistry to implants and cosmetic dentistry. We understand that each patient presents a unique set of dental needs, so we focus on comprehensive care for each member of your family. We offer, asides from routine

preventative dentistry, teeth straightening, teeth whitening, and our high-quality dental implants improve both appearance and function, whether allowing a better fit for dentures or simply enhancing your smile. And with a variety of cosmetic options available, we can provide minimally invasive care with maximum cosmetic results. Whatever your needs, we at Gold Hill are committed to finding the best and most comfortable dental solution for you and your family.

Situated in Fort Mill, Gold Hill Dentistry serves the entire south Charlotte area and is convenient to Rock Hill, Indian Land, and Ballantyne. We are located at 2848 Pleasant Road Suite104, just off 77 at the Gold Hill Road exit. To find out more about our office, staff, and services, please visit us at or call us at 803-547-4466 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to your visit.

803.547.4466 | gold hi l ldent ist r



At Gold Hill Dentistry, we are committed to providing the Fort Mill area with the highest standard of dental care. We strive to optimize the patient experience, not only by offering state-of-the-art equipment and a friendly, highly trained staff, but also by creating a calming, upscale environment. From our plush waiting area to our patient-room entertainment, we deliver a relaxing and comfortable experience from the moment you step through our doors. In doing so, we aim to promote the well-being of not just your mouth, but the mind and body as well.

B i g f i r m e x p e r i e n c e. S m a l l f i r m v a l u e s. At Milazzo Gamble Laws Webb Law Group, PLLC, we offer you the superior service and quality of a big-name firm, but are committed to developing the deeper relationships associated with a smaller one. With our familial atmosphere, client-first philosophy, and experienced attorneys, we offer a unique client experience. We work hand-in-hand with you to fully understand the impact of legal disputes on your business or family, so that we can provide you with a professional — yet personal — resolution. 423 South Sharon Amity Road, Suite B, Charlotte, NC 28211 | 704.464.0460 |




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editor in chief tracey roman

contributing writer william emerson lori macleod lisa mctigue carly williams

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whitley adkins hamlin

Whitley is a wardrobe stylist and fashion writer who’s work has been featured in local and national publications as well as local

lisa mctigue

Lisa writes about travel, technology, mini living, buying local, and social media. She developed film, tv, and new media content for over 10 years in Hollywood.

Fort Mill Magazine is distributed in fine retailers, hotels, real estate offices, Town Hall, the Fort Mill Public Library, and many local restaurants. For home delivery, go to and subscribe. Fort Mill Magazine would like to thank its advertisers for making this publication possible. We would also like to thank the editorial interns, contributing writers, photographers, wardrobe stylist, hair & makeup professionals, and models for their unending talent and creativity. Thank you! ©2014 Fort Mill Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the expess written consent of the copyright owner. Fort Mill Magazine does not necessarily endorse the views and perceptions of contributors or advertisers. Fort Mill Magazine is published by Market Style Media located at 118 Main Street, Fort Mill, SC 29715. Fall 2014 issue.

We are MORE than PRINT. LISTEN to our PODCAST or ENJOY our DIGITAL mag. zach alston

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C CHARACTER’s about you and your family



Special Advertiser’s Section

Dental Implants Text by Michelle Starnes and Dr. Heather Johnson

Yo u r S o l u t i on t o M i ss i n g Te e t h Have you ever wondered if there was a way to restore you natural smile by replacing those missing teeth? How about restoring your chewing ability to what it used to be? There may be a solution to revitalize your smile, function, and overall oral health. While you may have encountered appliances that come in and out of your mouth, dental implants can offer a more permanent solution. What are Dental Implants? Dental implants are for those who are looking to restore or maintain their smile. There are many benefits that go beyond just replacing teeth. For instance, dental implants counteract further bone loss, prevent your remaining teeth from moving, and even promote gingival health. The dental implant is made of titanium, the same type of metal used for hip replacements, which is very compatible with your body. Your bone will integrate around the implant so it will be like a part of your body. A crown, multiple crowns, or a denture is then

secured onto the implant. Whether you are replacing a single tooth with a crown or multiple teeth with a bridge or denture, dental implants can improve your overall sense of well-being. The Treatment Process To determine if you are a candidate for dental implants, visit your dentist and let the process begin. On your first visit, the dentist and dental team will make models of the teeth that are present in your mouth and take x-rays to reveal if you are a good candidate for this treatment. These models and x-rays will ascertain if there is enough bone to support the implant and ultimately establish the specific location of implant placement. If there is not adequate bone in the area of concern, a bone graft may be necessary. The next step will be implant placement. During this appointment the titanium implant is placed, and the healing stage begins. This stage lasts for 4-6 months, depending upon the location of

placement. For the duration of this period your bone is given time to integrate to the implant and stabilize before restoring with a porcelain crown. Once this phase is complete, it’s finally time to deliver the porcelain crown or denture. You’re now on your way to enjoying improved function and health with a beautiful smile. Dental implants are at the forefront of medical and dental technology. They are the new standard of care in dentistry of replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are now more predictable than traditional restorations and appliances. Patients’ overall happiness with treatment results and restoration longevity are higher than ever. Are you ready to get the old you back? At India Hook Dental Care your overall health and happiness are our greatest concerns. We have a caring staff here to meet your needs. Call and make an appointment with us today to begin your journey. We look forward to seeing you!

1144 India Hook Road, Suite E | Rock Hill, SC 29732 | 803-324-7640



Utilizing the most advanced technologies and systems to deliver specific, scientific chiropractic care for you and your loved ones. 803-835-0444 • 3071 Hwy 21, Fort Mill • Next to the Regent Park Café •

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We .BEFORE Me Text By Lisa McTigue

A Wednesday afternoon, the sun was shining, nature was humming, a train barreled down the track; its horn echoed off the buildings. A person crossed Main Street at Confederate and sat down. Yes, right in the middle of the road. Stories circulate from the natives to the new residents about how Fort Mill used to be, about how Main Street used to be. Looking at the papered windows and crumbling brick, it is hard to imagine a time when Main Street bustled and was prosperous. Why is it possible for a person to sit in the middle of Main Street in the middle of the afternoon? Before we start pointing fingers and complaining about this person or that company, consider “when a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself,” Louis Nizer, notable trial lawyer. It doesn’t matter who or what is to blame. Pointing fingers and complaining about this or that doesn’t fix the problem at our doorstep. We should look at the towns that lost everything in the economic collapse and how they are rebuilding their future. What did they do to turn it around? How can their success be reinterpreted for use in Fort Mill? And, what do we want to ensure does and doesn’t happen here? Our future is in the hands of We. General Store circa 1936. Photographed by Walker Evans.





Main Street Fort Mill 2014. Photographed by Lisa McTigue.

FORT MILL’S MAIN STREET From the early days of settlers, American towns grew out of connecting points and trading posts. As early as 1650, European traders used the Catawba’s hunting trail, which later became known as Nation Ford Road, for its natural fords to reliably cross the Catawba River to the southern outpost in Augusta, Georgia. The ford led to the development of several intersecting trading paths and the settlement of “Little York” by Thomas “Kanawha” Spratt in the mid-1700’s. Nearly a century later, plans to modernize the connection between Augusta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina took shape. The train track followed the path of Nation Ford Road and was built upon the natural ford. A train depot was built near Main Street, which help spur the growth of the town, and in 1873 Fort Mill incorporated. The original Main Street began development in 1860, at



124 Main Street and housed Jones Drug Store; The Fort Mill Times recently vacated this building. Within 20 years, Main Street began to grow again with the local textile boom. Over the next 50 years, buildings were added and some were rebuilt due to fire. All the buildings of the historic district are architecturally significant and represent Late 19th and Early 20th Century commercial design typically found in a small town of the South Carolina foothills; even though some owners have changed the facades of their buildings. MAIN STREET USA “When you live in a small town, everybody is family. Everybody has to come together to help each other and just get through life. That’s what it’s all about,” Snellville, Georgia resident on Stories from Main Street, Smithsonian. Until the late 1970s, Main Streets all

across America ruled the commercial roost. As malls replaced Main Streets and Interstates replaced state highways; our town centers became obsolete. Today’s Main Streets only thrive because the community makes a conscious effort to support it. Each Main Street project usually began through the work of activists and preservationists. Main Street once housed the local market, hardware store, barbershop, ice cream parlor, soda shop, and drugstore. Nearly everything one would need to live daily life was available on Main Street. Then, America was forced to choose bigger, better, faster, with more options and more calories. The result is now we are a mass-consumer and commuter country. A place where twelve butter options does not seem crazy, and having a public meltdown over slow service seems justifiable. The life we lived, our parents lived, will never exist again without

Drug Store circa 1905. Photographer unknown.

We try to do everything and be everything living up to the ideal 1950s, while keeping up with the Joneses, and impressing our neighbors, colleagues, and friends. We buy the biggest house our salary can afford, while driving the premium new car, and closets full of clothes that we never wear just because commercials tell us that it makes us a whole, better person, and contributing member of society. The back upon which this country was built, Main Street and small business, has been dismantled by greed, over consumption, and ego. If we want Fort Mill to thrive, we need to make a conscious effort to put “We” before “Me.” Fort Mill is growing. That can’t be stopped. It has changed. If you want Fort Mill to have some semblance of what it used to be, right

Soda Jerk circa 1936. Photographed by Alan Fisher.

conscious effort to change it. Life sped up and greed overtook our desire to be a good neighbor. America became a “What about me?” society. We complain that it is not as safe for our kids as it was for us. We became more concerned about how other parents were not helicopter parents; rather than seeking ways to make the streets safer for all the kids. There was a time that kids were allowed some freedom; a time when the news did not make parents paranoid about the dangers out there, while ignoring the fact that crimes against children are in historic lows. Your child is in more danger with a relative than with a stranger.

Once a country town where orange groves dotted the rolling hills...Clermont, Florida is now filled with fast food chains and big box stores.


now is the time to act. People are moving here from around the country. They don’t know what Fort Mill used to be. However, we can teach them about what Fort Mill needs to be and how we support Fort Mill by supporting Fort Mill businesses and its people. Fort Mill is no longer a town in the country; a crossroads of interstate commerce. However, Fort Mill can stand up and demand that it not loose its charm. Together, we can ensure the town retains its roots and be seen as more than a bedroom community for Charlotte. If we’re not careful, Fort Mill could end up like Clermont, Florida.

when I retired and I loved walking around downtown. My favorite restaurant was in a historic house,” said James Ray of Clermont, Florida a town in a neighboring county and 25 miles west of Orlando.

CLERMONT, FL Clermont is a small town that became a bedroom community for Orlando overrun by chain stores. “I moved here

“How do you know when a town is about to boom? Walmart moves in,” Mr. Ray joked. The once empty state highway is now filled with chain restaurants and


Clermont was a country town where orange groves dotted the rolling hills. Downtown sat just off the state highway and a few miles from the Turnpike. The town welcomed the Orlando commuters, the subdivision developers, and in less than 6 years the population increased 207%, according to the US Census.

fast food franchises, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, car dealerships, and chain furniture stores. Mr. Ray is not too pleased that the country town he chose for retirement has boomed, “it used to be that if you needed to buy something you had to go into town. Now, I can just go across the highway to Target. Most people do. It’s unfortunate because I like the small town life. I like to know that Bob owns the hardware store and Mary always has pumpernickel in her bread baskets on Tuesday. It’s simple. It’s personal.” All of the new subdivisions were built on the orange groves of Clermont creating a dual personality. On the east side, Clermont is a “clone town,” a small town that looks like any other small town dotted with McDonald’s, Walmart,

In less than 6 years, Clermont went from small town to clone town. Target, and TGI Friday’s. On the west side and hidden in the historic district, a cooperative effort between the South Lake County Historical Society and the City of Clermont to save historic sites. During the boom, historic buildings were relocated from the east side and the highway to the historic district where they were renovated, preserved, and repurposed. Businesses still struggle in the historic district because they are in the opposite direction of Orlando. The new residents of Clermont patronize either the chains near their home or drive east to Orlando. Vacant lots were open for business by international conglomerates before the community of Clermont had time to react. Most towns see economic growth over a decade or more. Fort Mill’s Main Street took 80 years to develop, but was gone in less than a decade. Fort Mill’s growth trajectory is greater than Clermont’s. Within two years, Fort Mill will more than double its population without any local commerce to sustain it; leaving great interest and room for international conglomerates, which means more of our money leaving the state to support the lifestyles of billionaires.

CARVER, MA Local can be global. Main Street just outside the center of Carver, Massachusetts is dotted with historic homes, trees and cranberry farms. In Plymouth County, Massachusetts buying Ocean Spray cranberry products is localism. Ocean Spray, headquartered 16-miles away in Lakeville-Middleboro, is a company owned by the farmers; an international brand governed by a cooperative of farmers. “We’re very similar to most other major consumer packaged goods companies– we create, we innovate, we advertise. But, we are very different in that our owners are 750 farmers around North America. They are the only shareholders in the company, and they are the farmers who deliver the fruit that go into the majority of our products,” Randy Papadellis, Ocean Spray’s CEO told Forbes in 2010. The goal of the cooperative is to increase the price of the cranberry in order to support its owners. In 2000, the price of a barrel of cranberries was $12. In



2010, the price of the barrel neared $64 per barrel. They were able to achieve this through innovation and extended product lines like Craisins, a dried cranberry snack. As the dollar per barrel raised, the employment of locals to work on the farmers also grew. The more money that goes back into a community, by the community, creates opportunities and jobs. Lower income wage earners need to spend every dollar they have to make ends meet; so the more money they earn, the more dollars are pumped right back into the local economy. Each harvest, the farms open to tour groups and host community events to greater impact their bottom line, which further benefits the greater community. Localism is not just about buying from the mom and pops, but also the industries headquartered there that employ our neighbors, and treat their employees responsibly. Treating employees with respect, starts with competitive salaries

so that the employee could own a home and support the family. A company doesn’t do the community any service if it forces its workers to collect food stamps to make ends meet, while the owners kick back in their “McMansions.” HOW CAN YOU BE A LOCALIST? Localism is the conscious and discerning act of buying. Over the last few years, bottled water has been a hot topic because of the waste it creates. So, some people started buying personal, reusable bottles. If we were all as concerned about our neighbors as we are about plastic waste; we’d all live in a better community. Buying consciously is asking questions about the product: Is this product made in my town? If no, is this product made in my county? If no, is this product made in my state? If no, is this product made in a neighboring state? If the answer continues to be no, then you have to ask yourself; can I buy this item from someone that sells it locally made?

“Your Pet is the Heart of Our Practice”

Cranberries and Flax Pond Truck 2014. Photographed by Lisa McTigue.

Being discerning about your buying practices is the first place to start. The next level would be to consider the business ownership: Is the company locally owned? Franchises are usually locally owned; however, if the headquarters are in another state, how does that fully benefit the community? All franchises are different, so it’s important to understand how that business works. Ask: What fraction of your dollar stays here? Expect companies to excel on all levels. Supporting a bad business just because they are local doesn’t benefit the community. Being a Localist doesn’t remove Capitalism; it encourages Ethical Capitalism. If a business doesn’t respect its employees, the community, or customer, then they don’t deserve your business. You are purchasing approval of a business with your dollars. Hold businesses to a high standard. Demand that they source locally and pay their employees responsibly. Demand respect and a sense of community. Our dollars and our voice are two of our greatest strengths. Let’s not let Fort Mill became a “clone town” like Clermont, Florida where our dining choices are chain restaurants or drive into the city. Let’s take the lessons from Carver, Massachusetts and create good things right here in Fort Mill, South Carolina - a prosperous small southern American town that encourages neighbors to put We before Me.

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Lisa McTigue writes about travel, technology, mini living, buying local, and social media. She developed film, tv, and new media content for over 10 years in Hollywood.

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B BACKYARD’s what’s happening around this town



The TEAM Approach Spells


Text by Kathryn Miller | Photo by Chris Lemmonds

They say it takes a village to raise a child and, in business, a Team to serve a Client. However, there are still only 24 hours in a day and I simply cannot squeeze in another minute. With the lightning speed and myriad options Buyers and Sellers have in today’s web based world, “quick and accurate top service” is what sets a business head and shoulders above the next. When I am sitting with Sellers reviewing market data, I am not taking your phone call nor following up with the lender for your closing in two weeks. I try – I really do – but, I cannot be in two places at once. So, I do the next best thing: I have a

“Not just any Team – a close knit group of caring experts who understand that we work for you, the Client.”

Team behind me. And, not just any Team – a close knit group of caring experts who understand that we work for you, the Client. You can call the office and speak with a very nice human being who will resolve whatever you need or ensure the right person contacts you. If we are already speaking with someone and you need to leave a message, know this message is immediately converted through Google Voice to an email and sent to our Team to respond to you. If you want to see a house (as of yesterday), one of our Buyer Specialists will show it and ensure you have all possible information on the property and the neighborhood. If you have a question about a neighborhood, our office staff will answer or email you information. If you are thinking about selling your home, or just want some suggestions on what to fix up for selling in the future, a Listing Specialist will visit with you and make cost effective suggestions.

If you need the name of a painter or handyman, visit our website,, and click on our personally recommended vendor list. Be sure you mention our site – there may be a discount waiting for you. If you are closing with us, you are already in close contact with our Closing Coordinator, guardian angel that she is. The entire Team is here for you. If you just want a question answered and no one to follow up and bother you... done! We are very respectful of your privacy. We are here when you need us. Stop by our Market Street office today or visit us at and Kathryn Miller joined the Andy Bovender Team in July of 2013 as a listing partner to better serve her clients.

Special Advertiser’s Section






Fort Mill

MAKING AEthical DIFFERENCE Responsibility Starts HERE Text by William Emerson

In the Maldives, a half a world way, we need to take lessons in business, life, and ethical capitalism. Water sprays out of sprinklers dotting the rolling waves like raindrops, while a man tosses small bait fish to ensure the tuna dart to the surface. Fishermen line the side of the flat, modern fishing vessel armed with a simple pole and line, flinging fish onto the ship. Another man sorts the fish; adults are tossed into the hold for market and adolescents are returned to the Indian Ocean to mature and reproduce. Most fishing vessels use large nets that are depleting the world’s fish supply. When nets are used, it does not matter the age or type of fish they catch. All the fish end up in the same place; down the hold for market. “The Maldivians mainly fish by pole and line. It is a technique that we have used since the old days. And I believe this way of fishing does not affect the stock, which is also why we use this technique. If we were to use nets, it would only last us a short while. Such a method would decrease the fishing day by day which is why I prefer to fish by pole and line,” said Amed Didi, Fishing Master. The Maldivian pole and line boats are a cooperative owned by local fishermen who all equally share the profits of their daily catch. Only local fishermen are allowed by the government to fish the waters in the Maldives. This ensures that all the fish revenue is kept within the country.



“There are about 500 local people working in this plant . . .


elivaru Fisheries Complex is one of the local cannery plants that purchases the local fish. It is a modern cannery that believes its employees are an important part of the company and the local economy.

“There are about 500 local people working in this plant. That means 500 local families are looked after. And for fishermen, we pay cash daily. So, compared to other industries, what we get for the company is very well distributed throughout the community,” said Solah Mohammad, Production Manager. Fish 4 Ever, a UK brand, sells the Maldivian tuna in Europe. Charles Redfern, Managing Director of Organico, the company that owns the Fish 4 Ever brand believes that retailers need to take a firmer stance when it comes to ethical and



sustainable food products. “They just say, ‘This is a buying option.’ And, that’s the wrong way to go because you’re basically saying that these are lifestyle choices; that ethical decisions are lifestyle choices and they’re not. They’re critical choices about how we want our products - our food to be produced. So, I would like to see the retailers be less neutral about this,” said Redfern. With the Pacific fish count dwindling, the Maldivian fish which costs more at market today might come under pressure from foreign fishing companies and their governments wanting to move into Maldivian waters. The people of the Maldives want to protect their second largest industry while promoting sustainability. Sustainability is life or death for this island nation. The country sits near sea level and

with the waters rising around the globe, this country could vanish within the decade. Since the late-1980s, the Maldives have actively changed the way they do business and encourage other countries do the same. The first democratically elected president, Mohamed Nasheed, appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman in April 2012 and stated, “If carbon emissions continue at the rate they are climbing today, my country will be underwater in seven years.” When the bigger countries come wanting to fish, it will be a David vs. Goliath battle seen a million times around the world. But unlike the Biblical tale, in real life, Goliath usually wins. The Maldives make their oldest industry, fishing, a priority. But, they will be reliant on people around the world to take an ethical stand and social responsibility to ensure that David finally beats Goliath in the real world.

. . . that means 500 local families are looked after.”



HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO FORT MILL? If an entire country can dedicate themselves to the well-being of their countrymen, Fort Mill should be able to take a stand for the people of Fort Mill, even if they are “foreigners”. The way life used to be in Fort Mill is not that much different from a small town in Mississippi, Oklahoma, or Idaho. If you want to keep Fort Mill “small town,” then it doesn’t matter the size of its population. It only matters how we, as a town, act and react. Change happens with or without you. Fort Mill is growing; at this point there is no stopping it. However, there is a lot of room for taking a stand for what Fort Mill is and how we react to the growth. Many towns across this great country dug in their heels to avoid the inevitable change. Their streets are now lined with fast food chains and big box stores. Lifelong residents fled for jobs and to find a life they lost in the growth. If you want to stay here and reclaim Fort Mill, then now is the time to act. LOCAL FOLKS MAKING A DIFFERENCE A video by Business Alliance for Local Living Economies states, “The system is broken, but it doesn’t have to be this way. All around us, entrepreneurs, innovators, farmers, investors, and citizens are taking matters into their own hands. Stepping off the crazy train, forging new paths, reinvesting at home, reclaiming their communities, and it just starts with you.” A few people in Fort Mill took this seriously and started a Localist movement that is growing. “Localism is more than buying local. We had a thriving town



when the mill industries were here, but now we have to look to the future. And, the future is right beneath our feet. When you are making purchases, ask yourself or store staff if your money is going elsewhere or is it staying in your backyard. Once you have the answer, adjust your buying habits to help your local economy,” said Martin Kertz, Chairman, Citizens For Historic Preservation’s Event Planning Committee. Mr. Kertz is also the lead for First Friday Fort Mill, a free event held every first Friday of the month in Walter Elisha Park, “The mission of First Friday Fort Mill in a few words is food, music, and fun.” First Friday Fort Mill is a social event that also helps create an economically responsible community. It’s a central event for Carolina residents to actively support local food trucks, local charities, local arts, preserve local history, and impact the local economy through the local marketplace. Every component of the event benefits a group or business in this community and encourages the volunteers working to keep Fort Mill a “small town.” “I believe getting our community together to celebrate the many successful businesses and amazing local talent will keep us focused on supporting each other. Support is a huge part of any community’s success,” added Alicia Robinson, First Friday Fort Mill committee member. Every vendor at First Friday Fort Mill needs to source their products from “The Mill” or the products need to have been “Made In The Mill,” a 50-mile radius of Fort Mill. The thought is that Localism starts at home, then only expands outward

Fort Mill

when the product or service needed can not be found. “Why do we want to have a significant portion of our hard earned money sent to the headquarter cities of big box stores such as Seattle, Chicago, or Los Angeles when we can have that significant portion stay right here in the Carolinas to help our fellow Carolina residents?” asked Mr. Kertz. “The Local Market is a collection of local vendors that make, produce, or grow their products right here in the Carolinas. We require them to be unique and high quality so they can be cherished or given as a gift. Some of the vendors may include soaps and products made from goat’s milk, locally produced honey and hot sauces, personalized candles and metal and wood art, just to name a few,” he continued. Mr. Kertz, the First Friday Fort Mill committee, and Citizens For Historic Preservation share a goal: “to revitalize the downtown area to make it a sought after destination whether someone drives, bikes, or walks.” CITIZENS FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION Reviving Fort Mill’s Main Street isn’t just about historic preservation. It’s about community enrichment, local wealth building, relationship building, and neighbors helping neighbors to build a stronger and deeper community. If we can accomplish a deeper community that is centered on Fort Mill’s history and local businesses, it will not matter what happens elsewhere in the country. Fort Mill will be economically stable and the people moving here will feel compelled to be a part of enriching our community. Alicia Robinson is one of those people,

“We have the drive and the willingness to continue the path to a very successful community.” Citizens For Historic Preservation, a volunteer organization, is always looking for locals to join and help out on one of their several on-going projects. Since launching First Friday Fort Mill, they believe that they will finally be able to achieve their goals. “We have a lot of projects that require help and input from those that are native Fort Mill. We want native Fort Millians to be active in the community as it changes. We know that a lot of people don’t have the time to volunteer or the money to donate, but by coming out and enjoying an evening with friends and family, they are actively participating in returning Fort Mill to Fort Mill. As an added benefit, they are also supporting local business and the local economy. It is a win-win for everyone involved,” said Lisa McTigue, Citizens For Historic Preservation Board member and writer for Fort Mill Magazine. YOUR MOVE RESIDENTS OF FORT MILL Now is the time to take a stand because we are already behind. Fast food chains already are making their move to buy and develop here. Are we going to sit by and allow Fort Mill to become just another suburb of Charlotte? Or, are we going to step up and help David beat Goliath?

William Emerson is a Christian, patriot, and small town boy who enjoys football and everything American. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” - Philippians 2:3



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What keeps you coming back to Dolce Lusso after all of these years? “It is the people of course. Megan and Alana at the front desk are always welcoming and efficient. The front desk is where I look first for service. It is the face of your business – the first impression.” What do you love about Dolce Lusso? “Here again, it’s all about the people and the personal touch. Sure the staff is there to provide a service, but they also genuinely care and want you to love the results. Marcy, Pam, and Denise go above and beyond their jobs to ensure you have a wonderful experience.” What would you say to someone you are referring to Dolce Lusso Salon and Spa? “Dolce is where you want to go if you want excellent service and results from manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, to hair.” What is your favorite thing about Dolce Lusso? “I have to admit my favorite service is a facial from Denise. There is not anywhere

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CUCINELLI HUMANIST ENTERPRISE Text by Lori MacLeod Photos by Zach Alston

From a farmer’s son to the “King of Cashmere,” designer Brunello Cucinelli’s life and success is a study in philosophy, positive thinking, and ultimately, hard work to make one’s dream a reality. His is a rags to riches story of one man’s quest to save a small, deserted village in Italy and transform it into a vibrant community surrounding his thriving business. He accomplished his goal while respecting the beauty, nature, art, and history of the medieval, Umbrian town of Solomeo. In the rural village of Castel Rigone where he grew up, Cucinelli was bullied in school for being the son of a poor tenant farmer. For a time, he lived in a home with no electricity or running water and watched his father give up his farm and work an unfulfilling job in a cement factory without complaint. Cucinelli vowed that one day his chosen career would honor the dignity of mankind. Cucinelli had big dreams. In 1978, after dropping out of engineering school, he began immersing himself in the teachings of great leaders and philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Kant, St Francis, Aristotle, and Alexander the Great, among others. Upon entering Cucinelli’s beautiful website, one is greeted with the quote from Socrates, “Love of knowledge echoes in our hearts and nourishes great thoughts.” Cucinelli cites “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius as the greatest influence on his life. Aurelius says this could be the last day of your life, so be in peace but plan as if you will live forever. Cucinelli believes this is why he was attracted to the timeless appeal of cashmere, something that will be around forever. Cucinelli’s idea to bring color to cashmere would prove to be ingenious. His inspiration came when at the age of 25, he began to



Brunello Cucinelli at his company headquarters in Solomeo. Source: Brunello Cucinelli

Musician Zach Ludlam serenades models Greg Keys and McKenzie Bowers in the Mack Railcar located in historic downtown Fort Mill.



notice woman wearing their husband’s or boyfriend’s oversized, dark colored cashmere sweaters. Benetton was successfully marketing bright colored wool sweaters, but at the time, cashmere only came in neutral colors. He borrowed the Italian equivalent of $550.00 from a friend in town. The friend told him not to worry about the loan, just to pay it back when he made the money. Cucinelli says, “I believe in the life of a small town. The spirit of the small town or village where everyone knows each other and helps each other out.” Cucinelli bought a modest amount of cashmere and manufactured several pastel colored women’s sweaters to market. His first order was small, but he was a one man company. When calls would come in, he would disguise his voice as if he had a receptionist, to give the appearance of a much larger company. Cucinelli’s colorful cashmeres were a big hit and within two years, he was making his mark in the world of high end designer fashion. In the early days, he ran his company in Ellera di Corciano, near Perugia. Now that his orders were getting bigger, so too would his company.

Horn-Bit Driver | Salvatore Ferragamo | $680 | Neiman Marcus Charlotte

In 1985 in an effort to enhance the lives of his employees, he went to the neighboring town of Solomeo, where his childhood sweetheart and now wife Frederica grew up. It was only 10 kilometers from his own hometown. The hilltown had once been known for wheat, olive oil, and wine but over the years villagers began to seek jobs in bigger cities. Without thriving businesses in town, Solomeo was left in ruins. Cucinelli bought the 14th century Castle Solomeo. His vision was to restore the near ruined monument and house his company headquarters surrounded by the stunning history and nature of Solomeo. His vision expanded. First the castle. Next, the entire town! To date, Cucinelli’s vision is almost 30 years in the making with the restoration of many historical and artistic monuments and the building of a theater, a school, and a sports complex. He gives a portion of all profits back to the company with the idea of “reinvesting to improve the lives of workers, to enhance and restore the beauty of the world.” He says, “Our ‘total quality’ is the result of the inner qualities of every employee.” His goal is to give the workforce a nurturing, peaceful surrounding in which to create. He also stresses the importance of family time and a good quality of life outside of work. 90-minute lunches and rest at home with family are daily perks of the job for all of his employees. Cucinelli had the foresight to know that creativity would overflow when you give people a tranquil environment



Metallic Patent Leather Pump | Manolo Blahnik | $595 | Neiman Marcus


Greg is wearing fashion by Brunello Cucinelli. Button Down Shirt | $595 Linen Vest | $795 Cotton Trousers | $525 Wool/Cashmere Jacket | $4095 Available at Neiman Marcus Charlotte.


McKenzie is wearing fashion by Brunello Cucinelli. Cashmere Dress over Cognac Flower Dress | $3,765 Available at Neiman Marcus Charlotte.



and individual freedom. With no time clocks nor hierarchy, Cucinelli’s employees are encouraged to come and go as they please and are valued for their artistic expression. The company honors each individual for their specific craft. The consumer is willing to pay high end prices for such intricate craftsmanship. Cucinelli says, “Work as an expression of human worth is also part of spirituality and pursues the purpose of supreme good.” He places the value of his company in its people, not its profit. He believes in making a profit, but his dream has always been to make a profit with ethics, dignity, and morals which is why his business model is referred to as a “humanist enterprise.” Cucinelli gives back whenever and wherever he can. He sponsored the building of a soccer field in his hometown, he built a daycare center in Malawi, Africa and helped provide the town with well water. He gives to public and private educational institutions and speaks at prestigious colleges and universities hoping to inspire students. His newly established Brunello Cucinelli Foundation “was created to expand and develop the objectives and ideals that have formed over the years and nourished the humanist aspirations born in Solomeo.” He has been honored with too many awards to count. Brunello Cucinelli is now a billion dollar company with over 1000 employees and boutiques in fashion centers all over the world. He has expanded his empire to include menswear and elegant home goods in addition to the luxurious, colorful cashmere sweaters for women that made him famous. In 2012, his company successfully went public. He and his wife, Frederica, have created an idyllic town for their two daughters, Camilla and Carolina, to grow up in and have forged a proud and everlasting legacy. Cucinelli believes he is simply the “custodian of Solomeo,” not the owner and says he ”finds pleasure in working hard to give this town back to its people by beautifully restoring it as a gift for future generations.” When I asked Cucinelli what our American town of Fort Mill, South Carolina could gain from his success he said, “The restoration and growth of Solomeo started with a vision and passion to create beauty, community, and a high quality of life. Vision is critical to fuel longevity and I truly believe that with enough passion and commitment to your goal, anything is possible. Commitment to that vision will inspire others to want to be a part of something bigger, better, and more meaningful to their home and environment.” Which leads me back to a famous quote by Fyodor Dostoyevsky that this farmer turned fashion magnate lives by, “beauty will save the world.” Brunello Cucinelli is doing



just beautiful design, one beautiful philosophy at a time. For this writer’s amazing journey into such an extraordinary visionary’s life, I have only this to say, “Grazie Brunello Cucinelli! Quando si esegue l’opera di Dio, la gente nota. Magnifico! Viva il Re!” Translation: “Thanks Brunello Cucinelli! When you do God’s work, people notice. Magnificent! Long live the King!”

Lori MacLeod is a freelance writer, reporter, and television producer. She is mother to Carly, 18, a Winthrop University freshman studying Mass Communication, twins Ryan and Sarah, 13, both 8th graders at Fort Mill Middle School, and a sweet, white Havanese puppy named Charlie Christmas MacLeod. Special thanks to Brunello Cucinelli for inspiring this article, Zach Alston for his photography, Whitley Hamlin for her wardrobe styling, Greg Keys, McKenzie Bowers, and Zach Ludlam for modeling, Neiman Marcus Charlotte for all the clothing and accessories, Dolce Lusso for hair and makeup, Bayles Mack for the use of his railcar in historic downtown Fort Mill, Torie RobinettePublic Relations Coordinator-Neiman Marcus Charlotte and Francesca Pittaluga-Senior PR and Marketing Manager at Brunello Cucinelli for storyline development and assistance.


Greg is wearing: Oxford Shirt | Brunello Cucinelli | $575 Cashmere Pullover | Brunello Cucinelli | $1095 Puffer Vest | Brunello Cucinelli | $1495 Wool Trousers | Brunello Cucinelli | $785 Horn-Bit Driver | Salvatore Ferragamo | $680 Available at Neiman Marcus Charlotte.


McKenzie is wearing: Tweed Sweater with Layered Tulle | Brunello Cucinelli |$3,065 Legging | Brunello Cucinelli | $695 Feather Leather Fringe Collar | Fox and Rooster | $775 Suede Lace Up Bootie | Joie | $325 Available at Neiman Marcus Charlotte.





Zach Ludlam’s


Text by Carly Williams ◆ Photos by Zach Alston


t’s a beautiful day in Fort Mill, South Carolina. A typical, southern “windows down, music up” kind of day. The sunshine feels warm as it kisses your skin. You flip through to our local country music station, and turn it up as loud as your speakers can endure. A voice wails through the radio waves singing, “I’m proud I’m from an American Town. Thank God I’m one of the chosen crowd.” The words cause you to stop and piece together how truly lucky we are to simply be called “Americans.” Appreciatively, you continue driving, wondering if that light you just went through was really even green. You get the picture.

The talent streaming through your and everyone elses’ radio is 17 year-old singer and local Zach Ludlam who recently released his first single, “American Town.” The song was written by several of country’s most legendary songwriters, however it was perfected



“Smaller towns like these are tight-knit enough where people care and support each other.” by Zach’s southern-twang and Fort Mill based music video. Our developing town is a lot to brag about. We can be a little biased, right? When presented with the opportunity to meet Zach, I did what any journalist would do: research. His website is filled, page after page, with his music, accolades, and upcoming events. As a small-town and continuously rising celebrity, Ludlam holds the great responsibility of keeping the image of our area respectable and family-friendly. After spending several minutes with him, you quickly realize that he not only meets these expectations, but generously exceeds them. We first met in downtown Fort Mill for the Cucinelli fashion photoshoot, in which he was modeling in. Zach’s always positive, and hilarious, personality lit up the historic Mack Railcar and created an environment that made working seamless and easy-going. Thankfully, Zach took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about his career goals and inspirations. CW: How did you first get into music and what instruments do you play? ZL: “As a baby, I was always exposed to different types of music by my parents... everything from 80s rock, pop, and country music. My mom said that at two years old I was already singing and really loving music. When I was about 10, I started singing at Fort Mill Church Of God and then my cousin Justin gave me my first guitar. As soon as I put those two together, I was in love with music and singing and just all of it. I play guitar, piano, drums, mandolin and bass guitar. I also play the ukulele and a few other percussion instruments. I really like all instruments.” CW: What advice would you give



someone that would like to a music career?


CW: How does growing up in a small town influence your music?

ZL: “The advice that I would give to someone wanting to get in the music business would probably be to take chances that you normally wouldn’t take. And, it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone. Be confident. Don’t give up.

ZL: ”My family, friends, and the local media have all gotten behind me. I will always remember that support and I will give it back. That’s why my first video “American Town” was shot in downtown Fort Mill. I want people to see how great life is in this area. I plan to shoot more videos in Fort Mill and Rock Hill, l so that people can see what a great area it is to grow up in.”

Also, if I’ve learned anything, it’s ignore the haters and concentrate on the ones that love you and what you do. Because sadly,there are people that don’t want to see others succeed and there is jealousy involved sometimes, but you just can’t let that bring you down. The people that love you will lift you up and you should in turn lift them up.” CW: What do you think makes Fort Mill unique among other towns? ZL: “In our area of Fort Mill and Rock Hill, there is a sense of community and family. Smaller towns like these are tight-knit enough where people care and support each other. In a small town, you feel like you have “friends” instead of just “neighbors.” CW: When you win your first Grammy or CMA, what will you include in your acceptance speech? ZL: “Wow, I can’t even imagine, but I do hope that it happens one day. I guess if it does, first I would thank God because without him none of this would be possible. And then, I would thank my family for being so supportive through good and bad times. I would also thank my manager, Terry Hudson, and the entire team that has been behind me and been so supportive and helped me make my dreams come true so far. I really hope I get to do that one day because there are so many people that deserve credit, not just myself.”

As citizens of Fort Mill, South Carolina, we are blessed to have access to an amazing educational system, a close proximity to the Charlotte metropolitan area, and a clean, safe environment to live and thrive in. Not only that, but the sense of community that Fort Mill creates is uplifting and encouraging. Zach Ludlam has the strongest of support systems standing behind him during this journey in his life, and with that being said, “I’m proud I’m from an American Town.” To join the #ZachPack and find more information on his upcoming events, visit Carly Williams is a Winthrop University freshman, one of Charlotte Observer’s “Young Achievers,” and a reporter for Teen Kids News, a show airing worldwide educating youth. Special thanks to Zach Ludlam for his particpation, his manager Terry Hudson, Zach Alston for his photography, Whitley Hamlin for her wardrobe styling, Greg Keys and McKenzie Bowers for modeling, Neiman Marcus Charlotte for all the clothing and accessories, Dolce Lusso for hair and makeup, Bayles Mack for the use of his railcar in historic downtown Fort Mill, and Torie Robinette, Public Relations Coordinator for Neiman Marcus Charlotte.

Zach is wearing: Velvet Blazer | Hugo Boss | $645 White Shirt | Ermenegildo Zegna | $325 Black Trousers | Theory | $225 Silk Bow Tie | Burberry London | $150 Pocket Square | Neiman Marcus | $22 Patent Loafer | Salvatore Ferragmo | $640 Available at Neiman Marcus Charlotte.





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Helping YOU Be A Localist Building Real Prosperity

What is a Localist? Being a localist is more than buying local. It is the idea that neighbors come together to ensure the prosperity of their community. connects customers to businesses that are locally owned, rethinking their industries, sourcing locally, and providing local services. When we support our locally owned stores, our hard earned dollars go back into the community. The farmer buys lunch at a local restaurant. The restaurant server pays for her daughter’s dance class. The dance instructor buys clothes from the boutique. The boutique owner buys food

at the farmers market. The farmer reinvests that money to grow more food. The more we spend here; the more stays here. At, we believe: 1. The Mill is full of amazing people wanting to build an amazing community. 2. You will never discover all the amazing things by yourself. 3. You will want to share the amazing things you discover. 4. Everything is more amazing when it comes with a story. We are here to help you share those stories, make discoveries, and connect with businesses you will love.

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TAILGATING Carolina Style Text by William Emerson Photos by Steven Mills

As we walked through the tunnel, the sound of our cleats echoed off the walls; a roaring, thundering, herd of 105 young men ready for battle. Tearing through the paper banners onto the field, lights beaming down on us, and the crowd deafening our arrival. The fans roared with full stomachs and a few too many beverages. Cheering every play, the crowd spent their Saturday with a community of their peers to participate in an American sporting pastime. In all the years I played football, I never had the opportunity to enjoy tailgating. Now, I return to my alma mater for the cherished American tradition of tailgating, football, and comradery. Before the teams bear down on the gridiron, the parking lot is filled with fanatics donning school colors, the company of their friends, food, and drink. A ritual repeated every weekend of a home game. Carrying on with American traditions, I encourage you to bring it lowcountry and piedmont with Carolina-style Tailgating.



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Sweet Potato Pie

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Show team pride and support local small business. Get gameday supplies like plates, cups, koozies, napkins, and more at Crossings On Main.



William Emerson is a former football player who loves to write about food, almost as much as he likes eating it. Special thanks to Steven Mills for his fine photography, the Peach Stand, and local business owners, Mike from 521 BBQ and Cathie from Crossings On Main, for their support and participation.



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LOCALISM It’s Fruitful Text by Tracey Roman ◆ Photo by Louis Roman


ocalism is so much more than just buying local. It’s about building a community that’s sustainable, healthy, and strong. It encourages ownership and accountability with real prosperity as the goal. That’s prosperity for everyone. Equality for all ensures opportunity for all. Let’s face it, we are all better off when in fact we are all better off. We cannot accomplish great things alone. We are in this together. This place we call home matters, too. We want to protect and nurture it. Choosing local resources promotes a natural respect for our people and our environment, as well as our culture and history. Be a localist; it’s fruitful.




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