Jan 2022 WILMA

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Life Imitating Art Modernist-inspired style

Pint-Sized Picassos Art programs for kids

She’s Crafty

Traditional crafts, new spins




WILMA’S LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE gives UP-AND-COMING LEADERS a unique opportunity to LEARN FROM TOP LEADERS in the region, visit a range of local companies and serve as each others’ PERSONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

Individuals can apply themselves, and companies are encouraged to nominate high-potential leaders in their organizations.


The program starts April 2022 and meets once a month for nine months.

WILMALeadership .com




january 2022



46 SCENE: Drawing on fashion

10 HEALTH: Designing better patient wear

47 TAKE 5: Ulku Clark on cybersecurity

12 TASTE: Business is hopping

48 MEN'S ROOM: Getting fit for 2022

14 STYLE: Inspired by O’Keeffe

Check out WILMA magazine here:






14 23 NEW CLASSICS: Traditional crafts get edgy 33 Y OUNG CREATIVES: Programs to fuel imagination 36 H OME SUBJECTS: Lori Watson’s neighborhood work 39 G OOD BONES: A renovation goes social


It’s the annual Arts Issue, so grab your pastels, watercolors, popsicle sticks, Apple Pencil, oils – whatever your medium of choice or convenience. Sure, it’s January, and the motivation is running high on New Year’s resolutions. Oftentimes, that means focusing on self-improvement – we’re going to eat better, exercise more, drink gallons of water, get eight hours of sleep. But what if we ditch the idea of a first-week total reboot and just make an effort to be more creative throughout 2022. It can be as small as doodling on the pages inside this issue or big as painting a building mural. It can go beyond visual arts and include writing a short story or learning two chords on the ukulele. It can involve pipe cleaners, pom poms, and white school glue that leaves a trail behind your kid’s refrigerator masterpiece. Your pick. Pantone recently announced its Color of the Year. It’s called Very Peri, and it’s the first new addition to Pantone’s color library to be elevated to the annual shade status in the program’s history. So, if Pantone can invent a whole new color, surely we can also stretch our creative muscles this year into the wide periwinkle yonder. Wherever you find your inspiration (from the women featured in this month’s issue, perhaps?), we hope 2022 is your muse. W




JENNY CALLISON is a former Greater

Wilmington Business Journal reporter who continues as a freelancer with the Business Journal and WILMA. Before moving to Wilmington in 2011, she was a university communications director and a freelance reporter covering a variety of beats. Callison details Wilmington Brewing Company’s expansion for this month’s Taste feature on page 12 and checks in with Ulku Clark, director of UNCW’s Center for Cyber Defense Education, for Take 5 on page 47.


director for the Los Angeles Business Journal and style intro writer for WILMA magazine. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she was previously co-editor/art director of WILMA and art director for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and is happy to still be part of the WILMA team, even while on the opposite coast. Bays Cournoyer finds inspiration from artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s works and this month’s arts-inspired style spread on page 14.

MELISSA HEBERT is a Wilmington-

based photographer who has had her work featured in national campaigns and magazines, including WILMA. Hebert studied photography at the Cleveland Institute of Art and specializes in editorial, portrait, and wedding photography. Hebert photographed the cover and style feature on page 14. melissahebertphoto.com

Publisher Rob Kaiser rkaiser@wilmingtonbiz.com President Robert Preville rpreville@wilmingtonbiz.com Editor Vicky Janowski vjanowski@wilmingtonbiz.com Senior Account Executives Maggi Apel mapel@wilmingtonbiz.com Craig Snow csnow@wilmingtonbiz.com Account Executives Courtney Barden cbarden@wilmingtonbiz.com Sydney Zomer szomer@wilmingtonbiz.com Marian Welsh mwelsh@wilmingtonbiz.com Office & Audience Development Manager Sandy Johnson sjohnson@wilmingtonbiz.com Events Director Elizabeth Stelzenmuller events@wilmingtonbiz.com Events & Digital Assistant Jamie Kleinman jkleinman@wilmingtonbiz.com Design & Media Coordinator Molly Jacques production@wilmingtonbiz.com Contributing Designer Suzi Drake art@wilmingtonbiz.com

LYNDA VAN KUREN, a transplant from the

D.C.-metro area, is a freelance writer and content marketer whose work has appeared in national as well as regional publications. She loves connecting with others, whether through writing, ballet, or training her dogs for agility competitions. She talks with several local artists putting their modern twists on traditional crafts on page 23.

TERAH HOOBLER is a Wilmington-based

freelance photojournalist with over sixteen years’ experience in photography and art. She is a mom of three, an artist, and an avid coffee drinker. Her passion is to capture everyday moments in a way that reveals the extravagance of life! Hoobler photographed Wilmington Brewing Company’s owners on page 12; embroidery artist Amanda Neely and macrame artist Elise Siegel for new traditional crafting on page 23, and UNCW’s Ulku Clark for Take 5’s Q&A on page 47. terahhoobler.com




Digital Editor Johanna Cano jcano@wilmingtonbiz.com Fashion Stylist Drewe Smith Contributors Tim Bass, Jenny Callison, Johanna Cano, Nina Bays Cournoyer, Sherri Crawford, Beth A. Klahre, Samantha Kupiainen, Michelle Saxton, Lynda Van Kuren Contributing Photographers Daria Amato, Madeline Gray, Aris Harding, Melissa Hebert, Terah Hoobler Founder Joy Allen Subscribe For a one-year subscription, please send $26.00 (check or money order) to: WILMA, 219 Station Rd., Ste. 202, Wilmington, NC 28405, or call 343-8600 x201 www.WILMAmag.com




“I love how a new year allows us to reset our intentions, priorities, and

Alexis Hunter Community Liaison Wilmington Health


mindsets. As I ponder my goals for the new year, I consider the ladies who inspire me to do more, learn more, and lean in more. As you consider resolutions this year, I hope you’ll consider your impact in the community. At Wilmington Health, we align our goals in the same way. We will continue to strengthen partnerships with other organizations and local employers. We will be ready and available to provide high quality healthcare at a reasonable cost. And we will never stop learning new and innovative ways to keep people healthy while expanding access to care. Happy New Year!




photo by Madeline Gray

APPLY FOR THE WILMA’S LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE: 2021 closed out with the graduation of WILMA’s Leadership Institute. The ceremony for this year’s cohort took place at Landfall Country Club on December 15 (shown above). The class, which included women from a variety of fields and roles, invited colleagues, supervisors, and family members to the event. Throughout the year’s program, they heard from business community leaders on skills such as motivating teams, negotiating techniques, strategic thinking, and more. Applications for the 2022 WILMA’s Leadership Institute are now open through the end of January. The Institute, part of our Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, gives women a unique opportunity to learn from top leaders in the region and serve as each other’s personal board of directors. The nine-month program starts in April and meets once a month. Next year’s class will be selected from an application and interview process with our advisory board. Up to thirty-two women will be selected for next year. The cost for the nine-month program is $2,300, and there are some scholarships, underwritten by our sponsors, for those who work in the nonprofit field or own a small business in the area, based on need. To apply, go to WILMALeadership.com. For more info about the program, go to WILMAmag.com/women-to-watch/wilmas-leadership-institute.

- Vicky Janowski and Maggi Apel, Co-directors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative W2W@WILMAmag.com




The Women to Watch logo: When you see this throughout WILMA’s pages, it means this is a woman on the rise to know, an experienced leader to learn from, or a local program worth checking out. W

10 CHEMO COMFORTERS: From idea to helping patients 36 RENDERING LINES: Lois Watson's architectural watercolors 45 THE BUZZ: Wilmington artist leads CAMS’ fashion illustration workshop


women’s professional groups Besides WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, there are a number of local groups to help women grow professionally. Here is just a sampling of some of them.

Cape Fear CREW Year Founded: 2010 Description: “Cape Fear CREW is the leading organization for commercial real estate in the Cape Fear region in North Carolina … Members represent every aspect of the commercial real estate industry, including, but not limited to, law, leasing, brokerage, property management, finance, acquisitions, and engineering.” Info: capefearcrew.org or info@capefearcrew.org

Cape Fear Women in Tech Year Founded: 2014 Description: “Our vision is to make the Cape Fear Region the No. 1 employer of women in technology careers per capita in the country. We do this by championing opportunities for women in technology, empowering women to strive for these competitive positions, and inspiring women to lead in those roles.” Info: cfwit.com or capefearwomenintech@ gmail.com


Coastal Women Attorneys

The Junior League of Wilmington

(N.C. Association of Women Attorneys) Year Founded: 2013 Description: “CWA was formed to serve women attorneys in Southeastern North Carolina in the Fourth, Fifth and 13th judicial districts, which includes New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick, Columbus, Bladen, Duplin, Onslow, Sampson, and Jones counties. CWA is committed to increasing the participation of women attorneys in the legal profession, protecting the rights of women under the law and promoting, and improving the administration of justice.” Info: ncawa.org/cwa or cwa@ncawa.org

Year Founded: 1952 Description: “The Junior League of Wilmington is a women’s organization designed to empower women and to improve the community through the leadership of women as trained volunteers.” Info: jlwnc.org or info@jlwnc.org

The Inspiration Lab Year Founded: 2015 Description: “The Inspiration Lab was built for working women passionate about personal and professional development. We offer teachings and tools to improve your skills, productivity, creativity, emotional intelligence, and well-being. We also provide opportunities for networking and connection. We represent a variety of backgrounds and careers, but we’re all like-minded in being serious about success, maintaining a manageable work-life balance, and supporting one another’s growth.” Info: theinspirationlab.co

Women’s Impact Network of New Hanover County Year Founded: 2011 Description: “WIN is a collective philanthropy nonprofit that makes yearly grants to nonprofits within the county. The focus of these grants rotates annually among four areas: education, health and wellness, the environment, and arts and culture.” Info: winofnhc.org

YWCA Lower Cape Fear Founded: 1914 Description: “The YWCA Lower Cape Fear is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.” Economic advancement programs focus on educational assistance, job training, and short-term and long-term planning skills. Info: ywca-lowercapefear.org




photo by Madeline Gray





The annual WilmingtonBiz 100 list, published by WILMA sister publication Greater Wilmington Business Journal, includes the year’s Power Players, Influencers, Innovators, Connectors, and Rising Stars. Released in December, it features those working in a variety of fields and projects. Wilmington Downtown Inc. President and CEO HOLLY CHILDS (from left), Genesis Block CoFounder TRACEY NEWKIRK, and Wilmington Chamber of Commerce President and CEO NATALIE ENGLISH were featured in the cover story about new economic development focuses. Info: WilmingtonBizMagazine.com


James Beard Award-winning chef ASHLEY CHRISTENSEN will head up an all-female team of chefs for GLOW’s foundation fundraiser this month. The seventh annual Celebrity Chef Events are scheduled for January 20 and 21, including a limited-seating dinner at a private residence and a luncheon at Country Club of Landfall. Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington, or GLOW, has a history of having celebrity chefs visit for fundraisers because of industry ties from the school’s founder JUDY GIRARD, former president of the Food Network. The school, the state’s only single-gender public charter school, opened in 2016 with a focus to work with girls from underserved communities. This year’s culinary team, lead by Christensen, includes Garland owner/ chef CHEETIE KUMAR from Raleigh; Aragosta owner/chef DEVIN FINIGAN from Deer Isle, Maine; and Monteverde partner/chef SARAH GRUENEBERG from Chicago. The James Beard Foundation named Christensen Best Chef in the Southeast in 2014 and Most Outstanding Chef in 2019.



Wilmington Health recently welcomed SHAWNA BOYLE, board-certified urologist; CATHERINE DUNCAN, pelvic floor therapist; cardiac vascular nurse JOLENE BEAUMONT; and nurse practitioner KARA MARKER. Boyle graduated from the University of Calgary’s Medical Degree Program in Alberta, Canada. She completed her urology residency at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. She did her fellowship in urologic oncology at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Duncan, who also joined Wilmington Health’s urology department, graduated from East Carolina University with a doctorate in physical therapy. Beaumont is now part of the cardiology team. Beaumont has served on the Nursing Leadership Counsel representing the cardiac unit and cardiac cath lab and has been a Women’s Health Expo presenter educating women on heart attack and stroke prevention tactics. And Marker joined Wilmington Health’s Transitions in Care department, where she plays a key role in chronic care management.

ant more WILMA? Check out our daily emails, which include even more profiles and stories for Wilmington’s successful women. To sign up for the free emails, go to WILMAmag.com


Plantation Village, a nonprofit Life Plan Community in Porters Neck, hired JOLYNN WHITTEN as its new executive director. Whitten replaces Zane Bennett, who had served in the role since 2015 and was recently promoted to director of business development for Life Care Services, Plantation Village’s management company. Plantation Village is home to 300 residents who live independently in apartments and villas and have priority access to the health care services of the nearby Davis community. Whitten has served as an executive director or administrator for many skilled nursing, assisting living, and Life Plan Communities in Maryland, Florida, and New Hampshire in her career. As Plantation Village’s executive director she is responsible for overall operations of the community, including occupancy, finances, regulatory compliance, and resident and employee satisfaction. Whitten began her new position full time on December 1, the same day the community broke ground on a three-phase expansion. “Prior to Plantation Village, I was executive director at Hillside Village, a brand-new Continuing Care Retirement Community in Keene, New Hampshire,” Whitten says. “Here, I oversaw all aspects of the startup, from construction to hiring to sales. This ground-up experience will serve me well as we head into our expansion program at Plantation Village.”

Have a suggestion for a local woman or group to spotlight? Email us: wilma@WILMAmag.com WILMAmag.com








hen registered nurse COURTNEY WILSON moved from working in an in-patient to an out-patient oncology setting, she found herself front and center at a busy chemotherapy infusion room. There she saw a need, and soon after Wilmington-based company ComfyChemo was born. ComfyChemo produces apparel with a specific use in mind – to make cancer treatment sessions more comfortable. The distinctive zippered shirts are a win-win for patients and nurses. “Our shirts not only make treatment sessions easier for the patient who is wearing the shirt, but they also make accessing the patient’s port easier for the nurse as well,” Wilson says. At the center where Wilson began




working, patients received cancer drug treatments through “venous access devices,” or ports, that are surgically implanted in a person’s upper arm or chest. Wilson noticed that when accessing a patient’s port – through a sterile technique – a patient’s clothing could pose a problem. That’s when the seed for ComfyChemo clothing was planted. “Patients would end up with stretchedout collars from having to pull their shirts down, shirts needing to be removed completely or partially in order to gain access to the port area, and sometimes even left people feeling overexposed in our wideopen infusion room,” Wilson explains. “I started noticing a few patients who would come in wearing shirts in which they had taken scissors and made cuts or even large holes in order to make getting to their port easier.” That sparked Wilson’s idea: create unique shirts that made accessing a patient’s port less stressful – a “treatment-day uniform,” so to speak. The goal was to improve patient dignity and comfort, ultimately refining the IV treatment process. After mentioning the idea to a friend, oncology pharmacist GREG DOWLESS, the two did some research and found that no such type of shirt truly existed. That’s when Dowless encouraged Wilson to bring her idea to life. Determined, Wilson went to work. She spent countless hours sewing, cutting, and experimenting on shirt designs – until, Wilson says, she finally found the solution. “A zipper strategically sewn into the chest at a 45-degree angle beginning at the collar opens the chest area up exactly as it should for sterilizing and accessing the port with ease while maintaining privacy and comfort.” Wilson perfected her zipper-sewing skills, and from there, she and Dowless co-created the brand ComfyChemo. In May 2010 the company’s website went live (comfychemo.com). Wilson says she’ll never forget the first ComfyChemo apparel order, five shirts she made by hand, thoughtfully gift-packaged, and shipped to a woman in Pennsylvania. The customer wrote a letter back thanking Wilson, with words of appreciation and support. “(Her) words have stuck with me all these years,” says Wilson. “(She) had no

idea she was our very first order, and she will never know just how much her belief in me and my idea impacted me – another prime example of the amazing love found in this special patient population.” As awareness of ComfyChemo shirts grew, so did the company’s number of orders. Due to demand, hand-making the shirts was no longer feasible, so Wilson decided to find a manufacturer. The challenge, she says, wasn’t an easy one. Many of the samples she and Dowless received from manufacturers didn’t meet their standards. “We were blessed to find our amazing manufacturer who we still work with today and has worked closely with us through the years to optimize our design and ultimately has allowed us to provide a line of apparel that we can wholeheartedly stand behind for its excellent quality, comfort, and affordability,” Wilson says. Today, ComfyChemo shirts are mass-produced and are worn by patients nationwide, Wilson says. They’re also available in a number of larger cancer centers including Duke University Medical Center – a long way from “a pair of scissors and a vision,” she adds. To make kiddos’ cancer treatment days a bit brighter, a children’s line is also available. It’s also important to the company to give back. “We also work closely with several nonprofit organizations across the country in a multitude of ways, including fundraisers that provide shirts to children at no cost,” Wilson says. An expansion is also on the horizon. The company will partner with an e-commerce distributor to bring its chemo-wear apparel to those in Canada, too. What’s more, ComfyChemo will be offering more options for chemotherapy patients whose ports are in their upper arm, instead of their chest. Wilson is also looking forward to the launch of a sister line called ComfyHemo, designed for those undergoing hemodialysis. “Day by day and patient by patient,” she says, “we will always strive to provide a little extra comfort and sunshine on treatment days and continue towards our long term goal of ‘making each treatment day Brighter’ for every patient bravely taking on whatever battle they are facing.”W WILMAmag.com


02-26-22 Wilmington Convention Center Celebrate the American Heart Assocation’s mission to be a rentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives by joining us for an unforgettable evening featuring dinner, auctions, music, and dancing at the Wilmington Convention Center for the 2022 Cape Fear Heart Ball. FOR MORE INFORMATION: ashley.miller@heart.org 910.538.9270 • capefearheartball.heart.org


EVENT CHAIR: Rick Goldbach, EVP, Director of the Carolinas, TowneBank Mortgage PRESENTING SPONSOR:











t’s been a three-year journey, but Wilmington Brewing Company’s new event space at 800 South Kerr Avenue recently opened for business. Owners JOHN and MICHELLE SAVARD held a soft opening in mid-November in the roughly 5,000-square-foot space that opens on one side to a deck running the length of the building. Seating on this porch overlooks a wooded area with a stream. The 3-acre lot is adjacent to the brewery and taproom’s existing location at 842 South Kerr Avenue. The Venue’s sleek interior contains a bar stocked with fifteen of the company’s brews and a small shop with company-branded merchandise.

Patrons can sit at tables or in a corner conversation area furnished with sofas and chairs. Shuffle bowling and foosball games are available. The Venue, as it’s called, can accommodate more than 200 people, according to Michelle Savard. The new parking lot has 56 spaces. There are plans for food trucks to stop at The Venue each week from Wednesday through Sunday. Dogwood Architecture designed the space, and Christopher Building Company was the general contractor. The Coastal Manifest worked on all The Venue’s interior design. While The Venue is designed for special events, it will serve an additional purpose for the next year or so, Michelle Savard says. “We’re going to use it as our taproom while our old taproom next door is renovated,” she says. “This will give us a chance to love on our old business space.” Michelle Savard says she wasn’t sure exactly how long those renovations would take, but it could be “hopefully give or take one year, so we will operate Venue as taproom until renovations are complete.” The planned renovation at Wilmington Brewing Company’s space will include adding fermentation space, allowing the brewery to can and keg more beer. “The canning operation has really grown and is going great,” Michelle Savard says. The Savards launched their operations in 2012. It opened originally in the space at 4405A Wrightsville Avenue that’s now occupied by Hey! Beer Bottle Shop before moving to its current location. During Wilmington’s early days of the brewery boom – before there were multiple sprawling taprooms and a buffet of locally canned options – the couple started out catering to homebrewing aficionados. At the Wrightsville Avenue shop – less than a mile from their growing campus now – the Wilmington natives stocked the ingredients, equipment, and kits to cater to homebrewers, from

novices to those with experience. Before they moved back to Wilmington, the couple both lived in Beer City USA while attending the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Home at the time to already established Highland Brewing Company and Catawba Valley Brewing Company, Asheville’s brewing scene was quickly exploding. A few years later, the activity would draw the attention of Sierra Nevada Brewing, which announced in 2012 that it planned to build its East Coast brewing, bottling, and distribution at a $100 million-plus facility outside Asheville. While in Asheville, the couple started homebrewing. John Savard worked at a packaging brewery and then later at a homebrew supply store. That knowledge and community building were things they brought here when they opened Wilmington Homebrew Supply. In the summer of 2014, the couple moved the supplies store to their larger, current digs on Kerr Avenue. The 11,000-square-foot building housed not only the retail shop but marked their move into being able to brew, serve, and sell their own beer as well. The taproom became a spot for newcomers, regulars, and families at the outdoor beer garden space. As the Savards continue to spread out physically with The Venue and expand their brewing activity through the upcoming renovation, one aspect of their early days in business nearly a decade ago won’t be moving forward with them. “After ten great years, we will no longer be selling homebrewing supplies,” Michelle Savard says. “We will utilize the shop space as well as our old taproom to renovate and create one larger taproom for our brewery at 824 South Kerr Avenue. “We are forever grateful to our start as a homebrew supply store, but we are pivoting our business model,” she adds, “and we know we need a bigger taproom to create a fun community environment just as The Venue is doing now.” W This feature appeared in the latest edition of WilmingtonBiz Magazine, from WILMA’s sister publication, the Greater Wilmington Business Journal. To read more, go to WilmingtonBizMagazine.com. WILMAmag.com

Find your

SEXY at Luxe

219 S. Water St.


Downtown Wilmington




Paint the


t’s easy to pigeon-hole yourself into a “style.” But just because you see yourself as more of a flower print princess doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dabble in neon vixen once in a while. Take a page from Georgia O’Keeffe. Seminal artist and pioneer of American modernism, O’Keeffe is mostly known for her large-format flower paintings. But while those might be her widely recognized works, they weren’t her sole artistic focus. O’Keeffe’s sources of inspiration were vast, and varied from the New York City skyline to the Peruvian landscape to the view from her airplane seat. She experimented with a variety of media – charcoal, watercolor, oils, and clay. It was this intense exploration of muses and materials that enabled her to grow as an artist and truly define her “style,” not to mention helped to cement her place in the art world. Think of it this way: You are your own canvas. Though you may gravitate towards a certain aesthetic, keep exploring what defines your personal style. Triumphant debut or fashion fail – the beauty of clothes is that they can easily be changed. W photos BY MELISSA HEBERT STYLING by drewe SMITH intro by nina bays cournoyer












Jamie DRESS in polka dot bow, Ace lace-up BOOTS, both available at Oliver Clothing





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Hours Lunch: Tues-Fri 11 AM-2 PM Dinner: Thurs 5-8 PM Brunch: Sat & Sun 10 AM-2 PM CAMCafe.org 3201 S 17th St Wilmington, NC 28412 (910) 777-2363




Hyacinth DRESS in California poppy peony, Irene SUNGLASSES in brown, Sawyer BRACELET, Seeing Heart Charm NECKLACE, and Party Harty EARRINGS by Hart, all available from Oliver Clothing; stylist's own SHOES










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10/15/21 4:25 PM





L ynda V an K uren

TECHNIQUES There’s a revival going on in the arts and crafts world. Artisans are using new techniques, materials, and technology to give their works a modern twist; and buyers, perhaps trying to escape the ubiquity and impermanence of the digital age, are looking for unique, custommade artifacts. Here are three local craftswomen whose work exemplifies the new levels of artistry and innovation that are hallmarks of today’s arts and crafts revival.





T erah H oobler photos by

C rewel G houl Amanda Neely : Embroidery Artist





MANDA NEELY learned embroidery as a child, but her work today bears little resemblance to the simpler floral patterns and cross-stitching she did with her grandmother.


Neely creates modern embroidery pieces that often replicate a picture or resemble a painting. Her work includes pet portraits, landscapes, and nature images. Neely’s embroidery has a deep, textured look, which she achieves with a technique called thread painting (also known as needle painting or silk shading). With thread painting, the embroiderer uses stitches of different lengths and various hues of floss to create the look of brush strokes. “My style is more realistic,” Neely says. “Depending on the image, the embroidery looks more three-dimensional.” Though Neely occasionally creates works that conform to current trends or fads, she prefers making classic pieces that are timeless. That’s why she uses antiques, vintage postcards, and old-school tattoo designs as her inspiration. Then, she adds her own spin to the images. “I use the image for a ref-

erence,” Neely says. “I’m more inspired by the style than the actual image.” Neely also teaches embroidery. Her online platform, crewelghoul.com, provides a mix of free and paid resources. In addition to embroidery tutorials, it also has video classes, an instructional blog, and Neely’s original patterns and embroidery kits. Her embroidery products can be found on Etsy at etsy.com/ people/amandaxn.




T erah H oobler photos by

S ea T ide G oods Elise Siegel : Macrame Artist





LISE SIEGEL started doing macrame just three years ago, but she’s already made her mark as a fiber artist. In addition to plant hangers and wall hangings, Siegel also creates a number of atypical macrame pieces such as earrings, coasters, and Christmas ornaments. Nature serves as Siegel’s inspiration. An avid hiker and beach lover, she often looks to the outdoors for ideas. “To me, the ocean has tons of texture and color,” she says. “I try to incorporate that feeling into my pieces. They have a lot of movement.” Siegel’s work is representative of the new direction macrame has taken. It is WILMAmag.com

highly textured and contains multiple layers. Also, rather than jute or twine, with which macrame was made in the past, Siegal uses natural materials such as rope that is recycled from textile industry wastes. Materials that are now available for macrame include recycled cotton, raw silk, chiffon, and wool. In the future, Siegel plans to use some of these other materials in her larger works; and she will expand her product line, available at etsy.com/ shop/seatiedgoods, to include other items customers are asking for such as dog collars, leashes, and yoga mat straps. Siegel would also like to teach a workshop on macrame. “It’s such a fun, meditative craft,” she says. “It’s important to keep the traditional crafts alive.”




A ris H arding photos by




S alty C eramics Meghan Harper : Ceramic Artist


few classes in ceramics was all it took to make MEGHAN HARPER a ceramics artist. She opted to specialize in functional ceramics, and her work includes mugs, soap dispensers, spoon rests, sake sets, bowls, and other pieces people can use. “I like art you can use daily versus something that creates dust,” Harper says. Pop culture, the beach, and nature all inspire Harper, and her work reflects that. Elaborately detailed images of Baby Yodas, seahorses, jellyfish, WILMAmag.com

leaves, feathers, and other natural phenomena adorn her pieces. Harper’s work is bright and cheerful. She uses brush and dip glazes, many of which she makes, to color her pieces. Harper also makes some pieces in funky, fun shapes. The combination gives her pottery a modern edge. Harper uses a variety of techniques to create her ceramics. She may carve an image, such as a seahorse, into the pottery; make the image and attach it to the pottery; or use preprinted images to serve as a base upon which to build her own unique designs. Harper sells her work at her studio at the ArtWorks and her website, saltyceramics.com. In the future, Harper hopes to open her own pottery school. “I’d like to share my passion with everyone else who is interested,” she says. JANUARY 2022



keep it local WILMA’S



If your New Year’s resolution is to get healthy in 2022, MyPeriodPal can help. MyPeriodPal uses reflexology to naturally relieve period pain, reducing and even eliminating the need for pain medicine, which is harmful to your health. MyPeriodPal come in pairs and are drug-free, provide immediate relief, are portable, 100% safe, vegan (unlike pain medicine), a one-time purchase, NC-owned and womanowned. Visit www.myperiodpal.com to read our testimonials, learn more and get healthier - one period at a time.


Benefits may include, Anti-Anxiety, Anti-Depressive, Anti-Inflammatory and may assist with detoxing from addictive substances. Ie. Smoking, alcohol and opioids. Visit Liv CBD in downtown Wilmington at 320 Castle Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 and consult with our Certified CBD specialist, or visit their website at LivCBDnc.com


Give personality to your wardrobe with statement jewelry and clothing from Madie’s Finds. This curiosity shop is bound to have items for every savvy and fashionable shopper. True quality antiques, art and more can be found at Madie’s Finds, located at 2825 Castle Hayne Road, Unit 6 in Wilmington or visit their Facebook @MadiesFinds for more info.





Find one of a kind coastal décor at Port City Peddler.Their multi-vendor store is located at 6213 Market Street, and open 7 days a week. They have a large selection of vintage and upcycled furniture, art, collectables, decor and more. Visit their website at www.PortCityPeddler.com.


DefenAge® is a beauty brand that formulates a range of anti-aging skincare products that harness peptides to boost your skin’s natural rejuvenation power. Defensin molecules visibly rejuvenate the skin in a short period of time, resulting in a brighter-looking skin tone, an improvement in the appearance of dark spots, pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and preserving skin moisture.Sold at Biosymmetry. 265 Racine Drive Wilmington, NC 28409. Mention this ad for 20% off.


Find curated, organic beauty products that are ocean friendly and sustainable at Wilmington’s newest Eco-luxe boutique, Lala & Elm. A proudly mother and daughter owned boutique, come see what clean beauty is all about! Visit Lala & Elm at 1437 Military Cutoff Road, Suite 105, Wilmington, NC or visit their website at LalaandElm.com.


At Code Ninjas, Kids learn to code in a fun, safe, and inspiring learning environment, with a gamebased curriculum that they love. Developed with video games at its core to make learning to code fun for kids. Added bonus, STEM activities are included! Mention this ad for 10% OFF your first month! Visit Code Ninjas at 1982 Eastwood Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 or learn more about our programs online at codeninjas.com.






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rom paints, glitter, and nature to clay, fabrics, and musical instruments – there is unlimited potential for children of all ages to express their creativity. That’s the mission of two arts programs in downtown Wilmington.

The Creative Child Studio is a new art studio designed for children, and the DREAMS Center for Arts Education is a longtime multidisciplinary program for youth development. ANGELA CREASY opened The Creative Child Studio (thecreativechildstudio.com) this past fall at theArt-


Works on Willard Street in an area that once held the Block Shirt Factory. Her voice is full of warmth as she describes current classes and future project ideas. “It’s always been my dream to someday have my own art studio for children,” Creasy says. The Creative Child Studio offers preschool, after-school, and homeschool classes, as well as sessions with toddlers and caregivers, holiday-themed events, and one-day workshops. Creasy focuses on the process and experience of creating, and her programs are geared toward younger children from about ages two to twelve. She hopes to inspire confidence as children paint pictures, work with clay, make outdoor nature crafts, create felt stuffed animals, build fairy gardens and snow globes, and do other projects. “All children are artists,” Creasy says. “The way that




they create and do things is so cool looking. They don’t get in their heads so much. They’re just having fun.” At DREAMS, children ages eight to seventeen may enroll for after-school, summer, and homeschool classes. The nonprofit, founded in 1997, is located on Fanning Street in a historic former municipal garage. Interim Executive Director AMY JEFFREY began working with DREAMS in 2018. She gently beams while touring rooms alive with colors, art pieces, and possibilities. “It’s anybody’s dream come true in here,” Jeffrey says in a music studio with pianos, guitars, drums, and other instruments. DREAMS also has a gallery, perfor-




mance venue, learning kitchen, digital arts studio, dance studio, photography darkroom, fine arts room, multimedia room, and pottery room. A sea-themed mural, metal fish, and fabric sculptures were among items planned for an exhibit at the North Carolina Aquarium in Fort Fisher. Various teaching artists work with DREAMS, and Jeffrey says they connect other topics with art lessons. “Music teachers talk about math; fine arts teachers talk about geography and reading,” Jeffrey says. “They bring in other academic subjects and strengthen those pathways in the brain through art.” “What art does – it necessarily challenges and makes your right brain operate with your left brain,” theArtWorks

Managing Director JIM KNOWLES says. “It lets the creative side interact with the analytical side.” Knowles has created an alter ego mascot for the art village – an art cricket named Art E Bug – who may visit some classes to tell stories or help with art lessons. “Art E Bug’s tagline is, ‘If you want a great nation, it demands a great education, and it all starts with the arts,’” Knowles says. Both The Creative Child Studio and DREAMS aim to be a positive presence in children’s lives. “I want to create a message of kindness and loving yourself, believing in yourself, helping others,” Creasy says. “It’s just really important for kids


Here is a sampling of other area programs for budding artists.

Cameron Ar t Museum cameronartmuseum.org CAM has extensive programming for pint-sized Picassos to talented teens, including Kids@CAM events, Art Explorers for the infant-to-toddler age group, and Youth Studio classes at its Museum School.

Sprout Yoga & Ar t sproutyoga.net

that age to have a safe outlet and a place to be and something to do – other than sit there on their phones – and be around like-minded people and peers that see them for who they are and appreciate them,” says DREAMS Program Coordinator MAGGIE JEFFREY. Classes at The Creative Child Studio are about $15 to $25. Projects have included painting winter handprint cardinals and making gratitude journals with watercolors and beads. Creasy also recently held a Paint for a Purpose event where each child made two paintings – one to keep and the other to donate for a gallery sale with proceeds to help DREAMS. DREAMS (givetodreams.org) is funded through grants and individual contributions, which allows the nonprofit to offer classes tuition-free. WILMAmag.com

“Youth are our community members, and they’re our future,” says DREAMS Program Director LIZZ WELLS. “Investing in them and setting them up for success – especially those who might not find themselves in life experiences where that is a given – is just really powerful.” Most families served are at or below the New Hanover County poverty line, Wells says. “It’s so inclusive,” Amy Jeffrey adds. “Kids from the very highest echelon of socioeconomics come in here and they interact with everybody else in a very equal and friendly way, and so does everybody else. There’s so little judgment. All these kids are so supportive of each other and so kind to each other, and they get excited about what each other’s doing. The relationships are really beautiful to watch.” W JANUARY 2022

This Wrightsville Beach children’s studio combines movement and visual arts activities. Owner Shannon Agee focuses on Process Art, which is child-directed and focused on the act of making.

Community Ar ts Center wilmingtoncommunityarts.org

The center at Hannah Block Historic USO Building in downtown Wilmington is one of many organizations that offer summer arts camps, as well as events throughout the year. Camps range in focus from visual to performing arts.






Rendering Lines by

B eth A. K lahre |

photo by

D aria A mato


OIS WATSON, owner of Watson Illustrating, was sketching as far back as she can remember. “I loved to draw,” she says. “My parents always provided sketch pads and paper, and everyone said that I would be an artist one day.” Watson is an architectural renderer who specializes in drawing houses for builders, architects, and designers. Her extensive


portfolio includes illustrations of marinas, churches, business parks, movie studios, condominium complexes, parks, neighborhood amenities, and clubhouses in both streetscape and bird’s-eye views. Her renderings have been published nationwide

in Southern Living magazine and Southern Living House Plans. Watson also prepared renderings for Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association Parade of Homes for seven years. She has also made her mark in the local fine arts

scene as a paper collage artist. Her work is currently being shown at Gallery Citrine on Second Street and WATER + COLOR GALLERY, both in Wilmington. Watson is a self-taught artist. As a senior in high school, she turned down a full college scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York. “I have no regrets. I think my high school art teacher would be proud,” she says with a smile. A Jersey girl, Watson grew up in a town where there was a lot of corporate influence. Over the years, she worked for F. Schumacher & Co., IBM, Dow Jones & Company Inc., and Sperry Univac, now Sperry Corporation. Watson thinks that all of




her corporate roles prepared her for her career in art. “Every job gave me a piece of the puzzle for what I am doing today,” she says. That included the business side of being an artist: bookkeeping, self-promotion, marketing, and networking. At Sperry Univac, Watson was a switchboard operator. After meeting the art director who discovered her artistic talent, she was hired into the graphics art department where she worked for two years. Here she learned about schematic drawings. “My boss was one of my early mentors. He taught me how to use art in a corporate environment,” Watson says. “I was getting paid for doing something that came naturally to me, and I realized that I could make a career out of it.” Watson still uses the drawing instruments that she first acquired at Sperry. At Dow Jones, Watson



started in customer service, eventually transitioned into the marketing department where she was responsible for writing and producing user guides. “It was a creative role. I worked with the art department and went on photo shoots. I loved that part of the job, but it was a lot of technical writing,” she says. It was also Watson’s first

role as part of a team. In 1986, Watson and her husband, John, moved to Wilmington for her husband’s job opportunity in management. Watson took a position with now-defunct Training Systems, developing training materials for the pulp and paper industry. “I learned how to read blueprints, an important part of my job now,” she says.

Working at Training Systems, she yearned for something more creative. In 1995, her brother Scott Sullivan needed a renderer for his new business designing residential coastal homes in Wrightsville Beach. “Give me a house plan and let me try,” Watson says. “I ripped open Southern Living magazine, saw the pen and ink illustrations, and tore them all out. And I got out my pen and ink. With a little coaching from my brother, I began illustrating for a few of his projects, and I picked up a few of my own clients. Then I got a sixty-house project.” By April 1996, Watson resigned from her tech writing job and began illustrating for Parade of Homes, and by 2001 she was rendering for Southern Living. In 2021, Watson celebrated twenty-six years as an artist-illustrator. “I feel really blessed. This is not something I could have ever dreamed for myself,” Watson says. “I love bringing a builder’s vision to life through my renderings and seeing his face when I deliver the illustrations. It’s the perfect career for me.” W

Art and the Bloom | January 7-9 Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach In January, Watson, a member of the Art League of Leland and the Wilmington Art Association, will conduct a workshop for Art and the Bloom. She will teach paper collage painting with little pieces of layered papers creating a floral paper collage, and attendees will take home their pieces. Art and the Bloom is the New Hanover Garden Club’s floral design exhibition and competition in which floral


designers create a floral interpretation inspired by fine art. Proceeds from the event, co-sponsored by the Harbor Island Garden Club, go toward area scholarships and community projects. Other events, besides Watson’s session, include demonstrations and workshops in floral design, afternoon teas with fashion shows, art sales gallery, and vendors. Info: artandthebloom.eventbrite.com


Keep up with WILMA all month long, through our website, daily emails, and social media.

Sign up for WILMA’s new daily emails at wilmamag.com/email-newsletter. Here’s the weekly lineup: MONDAY IS WILMA LEADERSHIP with profiles on the region’s leading women, their business, personal, and career advice, as well as highlights on women who are making moves. TUESDAY IS WILMA ROUNDUP, a focus on stories published on our monthly print issues and a look behindthe-scenes at the magazine. WEDNESDAY IS WILMA WELLNESS where you can read about the latest fitness and health trends, as well as profiles on women in the wellness industry and get recipes and workouts from chefs and trainers in the community. THURSDAY IS KEEP IT LOCAL, a collection of shopping finds from local retailers, sponsors’ content brought to you by the WILMA marketing team.

FRIDAY IS WILMA DOWNTIME, where we give you a backstage pass to upcoming shows and events in the community. You can also expect profiles and Q&As with local artists and highlights on the latest entertainment and leisure activities around town to get ready for the weekend.


Learn about KIMBERLY LUPO’s new pharmaceutical company




MARCIA’S DANCE JOURNEY helps people stay in shape through dance


Her LOVE FOR VINTAGE inspired an outdoor market, online store









Our 1917 Farmhouse shares a house’s journey


ld homes have a special place in ASHLEY DUSING’s heart, which is why when she became a homeowner, she set her eye on a hundred-yearold historic home 20 minutes outside of Wilmington in Riegelwood. And through her social media page, Our 1917 Farmhouse, which journeyed her home’s renovation, she discovered that a large following also appreciated the charm and uniqueness that comes with historic homes. “Before moving to Wilmington, I had always lived in an old home. I believe the ‘newest’ home I had lived in was from 1940. I just cannot picture myself in a newer build. Old dwellings come with character. That’s not something that can easily – or at least affordably – be replicated in new construction,” Dusing says. “Old homes have history. They have a certain smell, look, quality building materials, decades or even centuries of past families.” Dusing, who lived in Peru, Indiana, and northern Illinois growing up, lived in Wilmington with her husband until 2017 when they purchased a farmhouse in Riegelwood on its one-hundredth birthday. The Dusings became the second family to own the home, having purchased it from the granddaughters of the original owners. In January 2017, the couple started slowly renovating and preserving the farmhouse, and Dusing decided to document the journey through an Instagram account mostly for herself and the previous homeowners. “The day we closed, we started tearing into the house, and I started uploading photos little by little. I wanted a platform just solely to photo document our renovation and preservation journey,” she says. “There have been periods where my account was private because I just needed somewhere to throw photos, to document the journey for myself; my Instagram account was not really intended for outsiders – except for the family we WILMAmag.com

purchased the house from.” Fast forward to today, and Our 1917 Farmhouse’s Instagram page (@our1917farmhouse) has definitely grown beyond its initial following, garnering more than 59,000 followers. And Dusing’s renovation efforts have been spotlighted in Flea Market Home & Living magazine. While the Dusings started this journey with zero renovating experience, learning from YouTube videos as they went along and hiring professionals when needed, they knew the number one goal was to maintain the characteristics that come along with an old home. “One of my biggest pet peeves is when an old home is purchased and then completely gutted, and it looks like a new build inside. Old homes and buildings are disappearing every day,” Dusing says. “Once they are torn down and gutted of their character, they are gone. They deserve to be preserved when they can.” To avoid replacing original fixtures, windows, doors, and more with lesser quality material, Dusing has found Legacy Salvage in Wilmington a great spot to hunt for old house parts. “All this to say, modern amenities are not at all a bad thing,” she adds. “We have plenty in our home that is not ‘period correct’ such a smart thermostats, modern indoor toilets, and air conditioning. However, we have our original floors, doors, and as far as we know, windows.” From the home’s bathroom lined with subway tiles and a 1930s clawfoot bathtub to the kitchen’s wooden island that came out of the garage of the 1915 farmhouse she grew up in, Dusing says

her favorite spot is the library. “That space is my dream come true. I clearly have an antique book buying problem, and when house hunting I needed a room to accommodate my ever-growing old book collection,” she says. “This room has developed and transformed beyond anything I could have ever imagined.” Besides tons of followers that appreciate its design style, Our 1917 Farmhouse also brought a bundle of joy to the Dusings. In 2020, the couple welcomed their son, Theodore, via an “unplanned” adoption when one of their Instagram followers asked to adopt her unborn child. Of the adoption, Dusing, who was adopted herself, says “You cannot make this stuff up.” Theodore is now the star of some of the home’s photos. Dusing says she is still shocked at the following she garnered on social media and the fact that she is able to make a living through the platforms. “I was sharing about our good reno days and our bad reno days, slithering critters that have made their way in the farmhouse, freshly delivered appliances that came in so severely damaged that I actually couldn’t be mad – all I could do was laugh until I cried – all of which I shared with my growing audience and people started catching on,” she says. “I get to do what I love while staying home with my son while connecting with people from all over! It does not get any better than that.” W This profile appeared in a recent WILMA Downtime email newsletter. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com.







he thought of losing a spouse or loved one is something that most people want to avoid. Accidents can happen and the only certainty in life is change, however, so it is worthwhile to plan for the worst and prepare for the future. Having to make a decision about what a loved one or spouse’s desires for memorialization might have been is only going to increase the amount of stress experienced by the survivors. Setting aside the necessary time to make a few simple choices can help to alleviate some of this stress and ensure that your loved one’s final wishes are met. It is a little hard to believe, but many widows report their spouse did not have any sort of plan established for what they would want if they were to pass away. A few examples of some of the decisions that

will need to be made to preplan effectively include: · Cremation ceremony or traditional burial · Metal or wooden casket · Placement of burial plot, memorial space or cremation niche · Favorite hymn, song, organist or band Of course, it is also a good idea to plan for the disbursement of assets. This involves a host of key decisions, and there are many legal/estate considerations to make when preparing for a death. Having an attorney assist with ensuring important documents are in order and up to date before a death occurs can eliminate the burden of making difficult choices during an emotional time. Creating a list of contacts to be used after a death has occurred is another good idea.

Identifying a cadre of close friends and family to reach out to first is a top priority. If your loved one is employed, making plans to contact their employer should be next. Some people choose to assign one person on the list to contact the remainder of the listed individuals. This individual can also send funeral arrangement schedules through email and post on social media on the family’s behalf. Having a loved one or spouse write down passwords to social media and/or financial accounts is also very important. Some financial institutions may not allow access to funds without account numbers and/ or passwords. It is also very depressing for survivors to view social media accounts after an individual has passed, and in many cases it isn’t possible to modify or delete these accounts without having necessary information or

910.799.1686 | DIGNITYMEMORIAL.COM 42



passwords. Whether you are dealing with the loss of a loved one or just interested in being proactive about pre-planning as a means of ensuring their final wishes are understood and carried out, the team at Dignity Memorial can help guide you through the process and assist with any questions you have along the way. Michael Higgins is Sales Manager for Dignity Memorial®, which cares for more than 300,000 families each year through its network of more than 2,000 providers throughout North America. Learn more at www.dignitymemorial.com, or call Greenlawn Memorial Park, Oleander Memorial Gardens and Coble Funeral and Cremation Services at Greenlawn Memorial Park, (910) 799-1686.




ould you like to add some additional space to your existing floor plan, but aren’t quite ready for the commitment of a home addition? Consider bringing the indoors out by focusing on your outdoor area. More and more homeowners are using and designing their outdoor space for living, gathering, cooking, and just plain enjoying. With our mild climate here in southeastern North Carolina, adding a design plan to your outdoor space is an investment you can use all year long. Here are a few outdoor design ideas that would make the most of all your living space. Outdoor living rooms are becoming a popular way to take advantage of minimally used outdoor space. Adding comfortable furniture that stands up to the elements with

ample places for food, drinks, and books is the perfect way to spread out and relax. These outdoor living rooms can include an outdoor fireplace with a mantle that looks to be perfectly suited inside or out. Many homeowners also decide to add an outdoor television, light fixtures, and ceiling fans to their outdoor living rooms for an extra level of comfort. What would provide an excellent complement to your outdoor living room? Adding an outdoor kitchen adds to the convenience and flexibility of your outdoor space, whether for relaxing or entertaining. Weatherproof cabinets can be installed to store everything you’d need for a built-in gas grill and food prep area. Countertops made of granite and quartz stand up to outdoor weather all while making your

space look inviting and fresh. But your imagination is the limit - outdoor kitchens can be outfitted with refrigerators, gas stoves, sinks, wine refrigerators, and more! Think about the things that you use most frequently in your indoor kitchen and take them to your outdoor kitchen design plan. If a whole outdoor kitchen isn’t something that you would make use of in your design plan, consider the addition of an outdoor wet bar. This might be just the thing to add next to your pool or existing fireplace area. A wet bar includes a sink, open countertop areas, and ample space for seating. Outdoor cabinets also often prove a useful addition to a wet bar, but the main thing to consider here is providing ample seating for you, your family, and guests. Enjoying food and drinks

fireside doesn’t just have to be when you go on a fancy vacation – you can have it all in your own backyard. Take advantage of our region’s year-round beautiful weather and invest in your outdoor area. A member of Markraft’s talented design team is ready to help you get started with your design plan today. Give them a call at 910-793-0202 or schedule an appointment to visit their showroom to start the process. President and General Manager Cee Edwards and his team of talented designers invites you to visit Markraft’s Design Studio, 2705 Castle Creek Lane, just off Castle Hayne Road. Markraft’s professional kitchen and bath designers consult by appointment.

910.793.0202 | MARKRAFT.COM

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f you have become frustrated trying to find a new home in this crazy real estate market, you are not alone. A number of factors have combined to create the “perfect storm” seller’s market leaving homebuyers scrambling to submit bids on the shrinking available inventory of homes for sale. New Construction With less than two months’ supply of available homes on the market, many homebuyers are looking at new construction as an alternative to pre-owned homes. Homebuilders are constantly developing new communities and homesites, and putting new homes on the market, adding to the available inventory of homes. Between the unpredictable price of materials and land coupled with supply-chain issues caused by the pandemic, many homebuilders are taking homes off the market, or not

listing them until their homes are far enough along that the builder’s cost can be accurately assessed. This has led to even more homebuyer frustration with buyers scrambling to find new homes in the areas they want to live. Solutions For Homebuyers To help meet the increasing demand for new homes and help their buyers meet their closing date, many homebuilders are temporarily changing how they do business. Homes and homesites in new communities are under limitedrelease restrictions as builders can’t accurately predict how much the homes will cost them to build a few months down the road. To solve some of these common issues, McKee Homes is starting to choose specific floorplans, options and upgrades for each available homesite in most of our new and upcoming communities

and phases. That way the materials can be ordered far enough in advance to get the home completed without major delays. This allows our homebuyers to feel confident they can close and move into their new homes according to the preset dates and schedules set when the contract is signed. Find A New Home McKee Homes has quick move-in home inventory in select communities in their Raleigh, Wilmington, Pinehurst and Fayetteville area markets. With new communities and phases in existing communities opening soon, we are doing our best to help our homebuyers find the home of their dreams in this crazy housing market. Our award-winning designs are built with quality in mind and backed by our 2-10 homeowner’s warranty. Our warranty includes 10 YEARS of structural warranty, 2 YEARS of distribution systems such as

910.672.7296 | MCKEEHOMESNC.COM 44



electrical, HVAC and plumbing, and 1 YEAR workmanship and materials defects. Financing Your New Home In the current real estate market, being able to quickly get prequalified and know you can obtain a mortgage by a certain date can be the difference between owning a new home or missing out on the home of your dreams. Our in-house lender, Vision Lending Services, was created to do all that and more for McKee Homes’ homebuyers. The Vision Lending team is available seven days a week and makes sure that every step of the home buying process is simple, easy to understand and as transparent as possible. Brenna started working for McKee Homes back in 2016 as a New Home Sales Consultant and was recently promoted to the Wilmington Area Sales Manager!




f you are currently pregnant or are thinking about having a baby, vein health should be on your mind. Why? Well, during pregnancy the body undergoes a number of changes, including hormonal fluctuations and weight gain. Both of these factors can contribute to the development of varicose veins and vein disease. This is especially the case if there is a family history of the condition. Why Do Pregnant Women Get Varicose Veins? As pregnancy progresses, the growing fetus and uterus put pressure on the inferior vena cava, which is a major blood vessel that is responsible for helping return the blood toward the heart. Stress on blood vessels increases as blood volume expands by 45%, on average, as the blood flow rate in the pelvis region continues to decrease. This makes it challenging for the blood in the legs to return toward the heart. When this occurs, vein valves may become faulty and blood

can start to pool in the veins and weaken the wall of the affected blood vessels. This causes vein stretching, sagging, and swelling, which may manifest as prominent spider veins and varicose veins. Vascular changes can also cause swelling and pain in the legs and feet. Varicose veins may improve after childbirth, but they won't go away completely. Treating your veins between pregnancy can help alleviate symptoms like leg pain and swelling. Can You Prevent Varicose Veins While Pregnant? Preventative measures for varicose veins and vein disease include: · Avoiding sitting or standing for long periods · Sleeping on your left side decrease excessive pressure on the inferior vena cava · Elevating your legs · Exercising to improve your blood circulation · Wearing compression stockings to help prevent the blood from pooling in your legs Should Vein Screenings Be Part of Prenatal Healthcare?

Dr. Kamran Goudarzi believes so. He has witnessed the connection between changes in vascular health and pregnancy in many patients. Patients with poor venous health who become pregnant are at risk for developing vein-related complications. With treatment, patients with venous insufficiency have overcome swollen, painful legs and varicose veins and reduced their risk for more serious complications like venous ulcers and blood clots. How Effective Is Vein Disease Treatment? In part one of this two-part episode of the Nice Living with Dr. Kamran Podcast, a young mother shares her story of how she overcame a severe case of vein disease with the help of modern vein treatment at Scarless Vein Care by Dr. Kamran. Katie discusses her symptoms, initial frustrations finding help, and discovering relief and results beyond what she imagined. In part two of this podcast episode, Dr. Kamran further explains the connection between venous

insufficiency and varicose veins during pregnancy and how vein disease is more common in young people than many realize. Are You Concerned About Your Vein Health? Whether you are currently expecting or have already welcomed your little one/s into the world, our team at Scarless Vein Care by Dr. Kamran is here for you. Call our office to learn about a complimentary consultation and learn more about treatment options at our state-of-the-art vein centers in Wilmington, NC and Leland, NC. Internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of phlebology and vascular surgery, Dr. Kamran has been providing general, thoracic, vascular, laparoscopic, and both upper and lower endoscopic surgeries for more than 40 years. As one of the first physicians and centers in the state of North Carolina to offer intravascular laser ablation for the treatment of varicose veins, Dr. Kamran is known for outstanding patient outcomes and satisfaction rates.


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or nearly ten years, local artist JENNIFER LOVE GIRONDA has created a new piece of artwork every single day. What started as a realization that she wasn’t producing nearly enough artwork as she’d like to, exploded into a decade-long endeavor of her making more than 3,600 pieces and counting. On January 27, the Cameron Art Museum community will have the opportunity to make their own artwork with Gironda when she hosts the museum’s monthly Art Buzz event titled Mixed Media Fashion Illustrations. During the two-and-a-half-hour event, the Wilmington-based artist and art teacher will lead participants through a fashion sketching session featuring mixed media collage materials, working from various images from fashion magazines. They’ll


also learn how to make a croquis and add garments using a variety of 2D collage materials. Assorted papers and adhesives will be provided, but participants are welcome to bring any scrap papers, magazines, or other materials to complete their looks. “I’m going to do a quick demonstration and tutorial on how to do a fashion figure,” Gironda says. “It’s your standard figure that you use to do all your fashions on. What makes mine pretty unique is I love recycled art and recycled fashion. So, I’m going to have a bunch of trash.” Art Buzz was conceived in 2019 when the museum had the idea to give folks an opportunity to learn a new skill while enjoying a drink with new or old pals, combining a social hangout with an art focus. It’s hosted on a monthly basis, either on Thursday evening or Saturday morning, when the museum cafe is open. The event hosts a new artist each month, with the medium varying by creator. For this session, it’ll focus heavily on mixed media and fashion illustration, for which Gironda will utilize her undergraduate and graduate degrees in textiles from East Carolina University. “A lot of times, you’ll get people that haven’t done any art or don’t feel confident in their skills,” Gironda says. “So, I’m hoping that way I’ll do a quick tutorial and then just the aspect of being able to play with those materials. I think that’ll take some of the anxiety out of doing an art piece. Also, I’m sure the wine will help as well.” The event is open to both museum members and nonmembers, and art enthusiasts and amateurs. “Art Buzz is an opportunity for friends to get together at an event,” says SEPTEMBER KRUEGER, director of lifelong learning at the Cameron Art Museum. “It’s for all ages. I’ve seen a wide range of people coming out to try their hand at something. You don’t have to be experienced in the medium; you just have to have a spirit of trying.” W




Tickets: $45 for museum members $50 for nonmembers $50. Tickets are available online at cameronartmuseum.org.




ULKU CLARK, a professor of management information systems in UNCW’s Cameron School of Business, is a cyber defense warrior. Educated both in her native Turkey and in the U.S., she has studied information technology and management information systems. She was instrumental in establishing University of North Carolina Wilmington as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, a designation that will help students compete for federal and private cyber security jobs. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE INTERCONNECTEDNESS OF MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND CYBERSECURITY? “Where MIS is focused on how people, technology, and organizations interact and interrelate, cybersecurity in the MIS context is concerned with having people … trained to choose good passwords, recognize phishing emails, understand how to report cybersecurity incidents, etc. It’s also about ensuring that technology is correctly emplaced, configured, maintained, etc.; and that organizations have sound policies and procedures related to the securing of information systems and the secure use of those systems by people.” WHAT IS UNCW DOING TO HELP GROW CYBERSECURITY? “There is a fairly universally recognized gap of about 600,000 between the size of the current cybersecurity workforce and what’s needed. To help grow the cybersecurity workforce, UNCW has been increasing the number of education path offerings over the past few years and they now stand at five: an Information Technology major with Cybersecurity Concentration – this curriculum path is related to UNCW’s designation by NSA/DHS as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense; a Computer Science major with Security Concentration; a Cybersecurity minor – open to all UNCW majors; an MBA with Cybersecurity Specialization; and a Cybersecurity major (that begins next fall).” THE CYBERSECURITY PROGRAM PULLS FROM BOTH UNCW’S COMPUTER SCIENCE AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS CURRICULA. HOW DOES THIS CROSS-DISCIPLINARY APPROACH WORK IN PRACTICE IN THIS PROGRAM? “We have a number of hybrid programs offered by CS and Information Systems (IS) faculty. In the undergraduate level IT and cybersecurity majors, and in the graduate level MSCSIS programs are examples of the CS and IS faculty collaboration. In these programs, the courses taught by CS faculty focus on technical aspects while the courses taught by IS faculty focus on managerial aspects.” WHAT TRENDS IN THE CYBERSECURITY INDUSTRY ARE YOU SEEING? “Ransomware has been a major issue for small- and medium-sized businesses in the past years, and unfortunately continues to be a big threat. The increased adoption of cloud (technology) will lead to more attacks towards the cloud. More than 98% of U.S. businesses are small and medium sized. With limited or no security measures, they are easy targets for attackers. Through the breaches of these businesses, there will be more supply chain attacks. With the increased population of smart cars, we expect more attacks towards the automotive industry.” WHAT ARE MISTAKES INDIVIDUALS AND/OR BUSINESSES MAKE WITH REGARD TO KEEPING THEIR DATA SECURE? “The most important mistake might be approaching the operation of a digital device too casually; everyone really needs to develop a security mindset. Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible; do not reuse the same username/password combination across multiple accounts. Understand and apply the guidance of length equals strength when it comes to passwords. Every clickable link presents risk – don’t click unless you know where it goes.”W ULKU CLARK’s full profile will appear in an upcoming WILMA Roundup email. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com.







by TIM BASS illustration by MARK WEBER


Tim Bass is coordinator of UNCW’s bachelor of fine arts program in creative writing.

January 1. Good-bye, garlic knots and double-fudgebrownie ice cream. Hello, Resolution 1: Get in shape. Work off the weight. Flatten the flab. I hear you. So, come on over to the gym with me. Grab a motivating mantra on the way in: No pain, no gain. Go hard or go home. Less cheesecake, more beefcake. Welcome to my corner of Hades. Though it doesn’t show, I’ve been a member of this gym for ten years. Multiple times a week, I push my belly in here like a shopping cart and take my spot in a “group exercise” room with a moldy ceiling, an inefficient dehumidifier, enough weights to break a forklift, and giant mirrors – so many mirrors, all of them mocking me for that fourth garlic knot. Newcomers, our class is called Body Pump. It’s synchronized weightlifting to dance music, a combination of my worst physical activities: lifting weights and dancing. We’ll be in here with two guys who look like they’re shaking off hangovers and at least fifteen women, all in perfect shape and in no need of a gym. Our instructors are Lindsay and Jan, both ultra-fit and oozing positive energy. They believe in my chances of getting into shape far more than I do. For the next hour, they’ll crank up the music to 11 and drive us to do the impossible. “Roll your shoulders back and down!” “Brace your core!” “Soften the knees! Tuck the tail!” “Squeeeeeeeeeze your belly button!” When these two mention dips, they don’t mean honey




mustard. When they refer to hams, they don’t mean pork. When they talk about glutes, well, they really do mean glutes – yours, mine, everybody’s. It gets personal in here. Prepare for ten routines, each designed to isolate and torture one body part for five-ish minutes that will seem like five eternities. The first is the warmup, and after it, I’m already exhausted and daydreaming about knots and double fudge. There’s an “ab track,” during which we’re expected to crunch our abdominal muscles while a promiscuous diva sings, “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?” I don’t recommend looking around. You’ll only see your classmates holding expert plank poses, counting off flawless pushups, and squatting low enough to impress an orthopedic surgeon. My self-confidence can’t lift that much psychic weight. “There’s the burn!” Lindsay and Jan will shout, thrilled over our suffering. “Are you feeling it? You’ve got this!” We’ll endure an hour of unpleasantness. Then we’ll drag our weights away, sweep up the shards of our shattered egos, and head out, tails tucked. We’ll barely be able to walk, stand, sit, or stay still because of all the pain we’ve gained. It’s what we do to ourselves in pursuit of the new us. The calendar flips to January, and we go in search of rejuvenated bodies and fresh possibilities. We draw in hopeful breaths of sharp winter air, and we exhale the carbon monoxide of the defeatist past. We’re feeling it. Happy new year, and congrats on surviving Day 1 of the Big Resolution. It’s all uphill from here. Brace your core. You’ve got this.


Emerging artist Randall Goosby and Broadway legend Linda Lavin!

BRUCH'S VIOLIN CONCERTO January 23, 2022 | 6pm

This concert is sponsored by Ronald Sachs Violins


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Buy tickets through Wilson Center at (910) 362-7999 or visit WilmingtonSymphony.org

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50th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT February 20, 2022 | 6pm Additional tickets to Soirée are still available!

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