MOD Society Magazine - Triad March/April 2023

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Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem’s Curated Lifestyle & Design Magazine March/April MMXXIII

EDITOR from the

Greetings, #marvelouslyMOD readers! I’m thrilled to take you on a tour of our latest issue.

In our home feature, we go inside a sleek, ultra-modern abode in Greensboro. Gina Hicks and Laura Mensch of Vivid Interiors, along with Angela Schlentz of design firm SR Design Group, give us an inside look at the design of this stylish home.

Making homes more stylish figures into Tammy Nagem’s job, as well. The new CEO of the High Point Market Authority shares how the market is evolving and gives us the scoop on some exciting developments to the semi-annual furnishings show.

Elsewhere in High Point, Boxwood Antique Market has big things in store this spring. Boxwood has partnered with local design mavens Madcap Cottage to bring their colorful collections to the shop. Boxwood gives us the details on that development, along with other happenings.

In Winston-Salem, we take you into the kitchen of Shereen Gomaa, founder of Delicious by Shereen, a catering company that employs immigrant women escaping war-torn Syria. Gomaa tells us how through food, she and her employees build community and forge bonds not only among themselves, but with their new neighbors, too.

Our latest Book Club feature highlights contemporary romance novelist Sarah Grunder Ruiz, who has found success writing stories of strong women overcoming adversity and finding love. She gives us insight into her writing process and a sneak peek at her upcoming book, which features neurodiverse characters.

Greensboro physician assistant English Black always knew she wanted to work in health care. That desire to help others led her to found The Curated Aesthetic, a medical spa that helps patients feel better about themselves. She explains why she made the leap into dermatology and how her work improves patients’ confidence.

Points of View columnist Lisa Johnson shares tips on building a well-rounded art collection. And Clothes

Whisperer Maribeth Geraci explains how her mantra of “Fewer, finer things” can transform your closet. Our Triad’s Finest column explains how spring cleaning can refresh your space.

And in Society Sightings, we invite you to the nuptials of a Greensboro couple whose wedding and reception had an elegant, romantic look thanks to the folks at ABBA Design.

This issue is jam-packed with goodies I can’t wait for you to read. With spring finally arriving, I look forward to the new life and bright colors the season offers. See you next time!




Tour an ultra modern Greensboro abode styled by the team at Vivid Interiors. You’ll see how they used furnishings and accessories to add warmth to the sleek space.



With two bestselling contemporary romance novels under her belt, North Carolina author Sarah Grunder Ruiz gives us a sneak peek at her next book featuring neurodivergent characters falling in love.


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A Greensboro couple turns to Otey Construction to transform their backyard into a resort-style escape perfect for entertaining.


Lisa Johnson of Shop on Blair gives us the scoop on how to curate a personal art collection for your home. Her tips will help you choose pieces that reflect your personal style and enhance your home’s beauty.


Shereen Gomaa sees food as a conduit for creating community. That mindset spurred her to create a catering business that allows Syrian women to find their place in the Triad.

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Maribeth Geraci of Dresscode Style explains how her mantra of “Fewer, finer things” can benefit your closet and the environment. She explains how timeless basics give your wardrobe longevity. �� 10


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We take you to Boxwood Antiques in High Point to learn how the owners turned a love of things from the past into a destination for high-end antique furnishings and decor.


We have your invitation to a romantic Greensboro wedding and reception, complete with florals and decor styled by ABBA Design.


As the new CEO of the High Point Market Authority, Tammy Nagem has big ideas for the semi-annual furnishings show. She shares all of the exciting developments coming to market this year.


Save space and avoid clutter with these spring cleaning and organizing tips. And learn how organizing can make your home more attractive to buyers.


As a dermatology physician assistant, English Black saw the power skin treatments had to instill confidence in patients. She puts that into action at her medical spa, A Curated Aesthetic.

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Some homes just stand out. Whether it’s their sheer size, the materials used to build them or how they’re designed, you can’t help but notice some homes.

One such abode sits among the tree-lined streets of an unassuming neighborhood near the border of Greensboro and Summerfield. While the neighborhood boasts many large, stately homes, this house still manages to stand out from the rest with its ultra-sleek modern design.

The look — a towering exterior with angular sloped rooflines and massive panels of glass — was conceived by architect Frank Cheney, who drew the original plans for the home. Frank and Angela Schlentz of SR Design Group worked in tandem to finalize the main living space before he retired and she began the arduous task of detailing each room’s architectural elements.

An architectural designer who specializes in kitchens and baths, Angela took Frank’s initial concept to the next level, building an interior just as impressive as the exterior. The massive wood-and-glass front door opens into the two-story entryway, which is bathed in natural light that floods in via floor-to-ceiling windows. The main living area lies just ahead, an open, expanding space sitting between the home’s two wings, connected on the second floor by an open-air catwalk.

And to the right, the piece de resistance: A stunning curved staircase that gently twists from the first floor to the second. Wooden stairs stretch between smooth painted birch plywood while a stainless steel cable railing provides safety without obstructing the view. This, Angela says, was a feat to create.


“The curve and railings had to meet code and work with the view, so the engineering was probably the most complicated part,” she says. “And then getting the finish smooth on the molded and shaped birch plywood sides of that curve was challenging. It was a team effort — Southern Staircase did the engineering, Frank did the drawings, I did details such as the light fixtures, finishes and railings, with Martha Faw assisting on oversight.”

Angela also oversaw the hanging of the eye-catching light fixture that dangles from the ceiling into the curve of the staircase. Individual glass globes suspended by metal cables at different heights had to be hung separately to create the effect reminiscent of bubbles floating to the top of a glass of Champagne.

A little bubbly feels apropos while gathering around another focal point in the main living area, an expansive, free-floating bar that separates the fireplace-adjacent seating area and the dining space. The bar’s black marble base is topped with slender black iron posts supporting a thin roof expanse that hangs above. Glass shelving in between houses rocks glasses, Champagne flutes and the like, as well as bottles of liquor.

And while the bar’s substantial presence serves to provide some delineation between different areas in the open main room, its design also maximizes sight lines throughout the space.

“That room just lent itself to the bar being more transparent,” Angela says. “And the sight line when you’re standing in the kitchen looking to the center of the fireplace and the center of the dining table just made the bar’s composition visually work so much better.”

To outfit the living spaces in that room, as well as the upstairs bedrooms, the homeowners worked with Gina Hicks and Laura Mensch of Vivid Interiors. The designers came onto the project after the home was built, and they were given a blank slate to create their design.

“We wanted to bring in warmth and pieces that had some history because it did feel so modern,” Gina says. “We felt like it needed that push and pull of modern to the history. We wanted to use layers and textures and add some color, but let it feel organic.”


Along with the warmth, Gina and Laura wanted to create some contrast to all the angles and straight lines of the home’s modern design. They added pieces such as plush, curved chairs and a sofa from High Point manufacturer Verellen. Additional seating from Interlude Home completes the sitting area by the fireplace.

The live-edge table in the dining area from Phillips Collection is a real showstopper. It’s more than 10 feet long and includes a natural swooping curve.

“There are a lot of rectangles in that space, especially if you look from overhead, you see there are two rectangular islands, and then there’s the bar,” Laura says. “We added in that extra-long rectangular table, but it’s got a little softness with the live edge. The curves of the table kind of soften all of those hard edges.”

The Vivid team added additional softness with the custom material on the curved metal-and-wood dining chairs from High Point vendor Mr. Brown Home. The luxurious velvet brings a warmth and sense of comfort to the space. The team also worked with local woodworker John King to create a beautiful roundededge custom console to delineate the living space and to provide a surface area for curated books and objects of interest.

Vivid selected a round, dark organic boulder table that nestles into the white curve of the staircase and offers a juxtaposition to the linear windows and vast ceiling height. “We love the idea of adding curves, a mixture of glass, wood and organic elements that make the home feel more relaxed,” Gina says.

Accessories played an essential role in creating softness amid the hard lines of the home. For instance, Gina and Laura found an antique rug from a vendor in Atlanta that they knew would be perfect for adding an extra touch of comfort to the fireplace seating area.

“We were so excited to Facetime the clients for approval when we found it,” Laura says. “Finding those pieces like that rug add a little bit of history, a little bit of character and warmth. And it’s all those things combined that makes a modern home feel warm and cozy and livable.”


Upstairs, Gina and Laura saw the blank walls lining one end of the catwalk as the perfect spot to create a gallery moment, sourcing five large abstract paintings from Greensboro artist Amy Gordon. And the designers tapped Charlotte artist Windy O’Connor for a colorful abstract portrait of a woman that hangs in an art niche between the kitchen and the wine cooler. Those two areas served as major design points for Angela. Specializing in kitchens, Angela approached the design to meld the sleek stylish look of the home with functionality for a couple who enjoys cooking and entertaining.

To maximize the natural light, Angela opted to put the bulk of the cabinetry and most of the appliances along one wall, allowing the opposite wall to be primarily windows. All the appliances and cabinets along that wall are paneled in a high-gloss lacquered wood with tight reveals to avoid the usual gaps between cabinet doors, maintaining the room’s clean, modern lines. “Whenever you’re working on a kitchen this size and you’re trying to get all the appliances in, it can look really sterile,” Angela says. “That’s why we decided to panel everything.”

Angela incorporated other hidden functionality, such as a range hood flush mounted out of sight. Rather than have outlets obscure the lines of the waterfall kitchen island, Angela built in pop-out outlets that stay hidden when not needed. And to keep the backsplash clean and outlet-free, she installed an apparatus underneath the upper cabinets that offers plenty of places to plug in without being seen.

“When we have a really clean house, outlets can look cluttered on a backsplash,” she says. “Everything in this house was designed for the view — the view of the outside, the view of the room.”

While this home project has taken more than three years and innumerable intricate details to complete, Gina, Laura and Angela say it has been a joy to see this project transform from just an idea to a beloved home.

“Seeing it all come together has been really special,” Gina says. “It has gone from a blank shell to a place where they love to have dinner parties, or just sit and look out the window or look at the fire and read. All of those pieces came together to make it their home.”

Regarding the Home...


DESIGN: SR Design Group

Featured Home Photos

Cover Staircase

Pages 12-13 Living Room

Page 14-15 Living Room

Page 16-17 Upstairs Catwalk

Pages 18 Bar

Page 19 Dining Table (top)

Wine Cooler (bottom)

Page 20 Kitchen

Crystal Staley


Jennifer Bringle

Maribeth Geraci

Kristen Haynes

Lisa Johnson


Jennifer Weaver-Spencer


Aura Marzouk

Megan Travis


Stallard Studio

DIGITAL AGENCY Triad.MODsocietyMagazine #marvelouslyMOD MOD Society Magazine is published six times a year by MSM Media, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. ©2023. For each edition of MOD Society Magazine, trees are planted as part of the PrintReleaf program. ON THE COVER VIVID Interiors & SR Design Group
Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem Vol. 5 No. 2 Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem’s Curated Lifestyle & Design Magazine March/April MMXXIII MODERN APPRECIATION Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem TRIAD CERTIFIED REFORESTED MOD SOCIETY MARCH/APRIL MMXXIII | 21



How do I decide what lines and what price levels to carry for my two stores? Even before sustainability was a thing, I have always had the philosophy that purchasing pieces that are high quality, have a good shelf life and can be used multiple ways in your wardrobe is the best strategy.

So many of our customers come in wearing something and say, “Do you remember this? You sold it to me 10 years ago, and I still love it and pull it out each season.” Music to my ears!

How can a retailer stay in business when their philosophy is not about buying more? We tell our customers that you should always keep the basics in your wardrobe fresh and updated. We believe in buying something each season that gives your wardrobe a lift. You wear your basics the most, and they do get tired-looking after so many wears. Our stores will always have a mix of those modern essentials that need replacing, as well as things that say this season.

Good, better, best — this mantra helps us understand the why behind price points.

Always think about and estimate your cost per wear before saying “no” to an add for your wardrobe. One reason for clothing cost differences is that better fabrics cost more. And when sewing a garment, the more stitches per inch, the higher the cost. Yes, each stitch in a garment adds cost. If you hold up a garment and look at a seam and can see daylight, then your stitches per inch are less than if you can’t see through it. Details in finish work, including seams, special buttons, pattern matching and even certain hems, can add cost.

Our store brand is about quality and bringing you a curated selection of styles that are current, but not trendy. Buy the best you can, and love it to death. Think about the uses for the items you buy, look for things that can be multipurpose and have a long shelf life. Fewer, finer things adds up to a hardworking wardrobe that takes you all the places you need to go.



I’ve just returned from a buying trip to Nashville and New York, and I’ve learned a lot! Hunting and gathering is what I do. And I’m always mindful of the aesthetic of the shop, as well as that of my clients, which tends to be thoughtful. Mixing different periods and styles to make things feel unique and personal is a must.

Most of the finds on this trip were art and accessories — the items most responsible for bringing warmth and a certain je ne sais quoi to a home. I feel more than ever that I’m threefold: An interior designer, a curated shop owner and a dealer of contemporary art that’s both adventurous and appealing. The art world is evolving and changing every day, so my handson experience traveling, collecting and spending time with artists allows me to learn what a textbook cannot offer.

There are many reasons to collect art, from discovering new mediums to supporting rising talents. There are many ways to build a meaningful collection. Buying art is one thing, but collecting is quite another. Collecting has purpose, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated.

I learned a great deal through auctions. This is an interesting method because it’s a two-part process. The browsing stage allows you to be curious and research the work and artist. Part two, the attempted transaction when bids are placed, is a bit more difficult. I consider a slate of purchases beforehand and focus on those items. I always bid late so I can assess other people’s offers and get the lay of the land. I’ve done my research and always know and adhere to the top price I’m willing to pay. After all, I’m working on behalf of my clients to bring them values so they build their collections with me!

A meaningful collection of art should help a home feel more like itself and you. Art plays a very important role in a home — out of everything in a space, it has the most power! And don’t forget to go beyond the wall. Sculptures can be extremely impactful. They’re an opportunity to be bold with three-dimensional objects that make an impression on a space. Layer your art with books, textiles and ceramics — small touches to humanize the artwork.

And most importantly, make sure your artwork speaks to you and reflects your distinctive taste.

Lisa Johnson, Lisa Johnson & Company | LisaJohnsonCo | Shop on Blair
336.209.1862 An Eye for Pattern.



Sarah Grunder Ruiz never intended to be a romance writer. While working on her master of fine arts in creative writing at N.C. State, Sarah wrote a women’s fiction novel for her thesis. The manuscript helped her land a literary agent, but the book never found a publisher.

So, Sarah began working on a new novel that explored a young woman’s family dynamics. As she wrote, Sarah’s best friend — who is a librarian — served as a beta reader and offered feedback on early drafts. Along the way, Sarah’s friend recommended romance novels that reminded her of Sarah’s book. Reading those contemporary romances helped Sarah find the right place for her new novel.

“As I was working on that book, I really struggled with how to categorize it because the romance is just as important as the family dynamics are,” she says. “I actually learned a lot about romance while working on that book.”

That book became Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships, a contemporary romance about yacht stewardess Jo Walker, who attempts to complete a bucket list, of sorts, prior to her 30th birthday. The novel became a big hit, not only among romance readers, but also with the “Bookstagrammers” and “Booktokers”— bookcentric influencers on Instagram and TikTok who can make or break novels with their endorsements.

Romance novels have enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in recent years. In 2021, romance accounted for 18 percent of total book sales, making it the second-highest-selling fiction category. No longer the typical “bodice-rippers,” contemporary romances offer readers more nuanced tales of love with greater diversity and representation of characters.

Following the success of Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships, Sarah published a follow-up last year, Love and Last Resorts. The book tells the story of Nina, a secondary character from Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships, who takes a job on a yacht while she tries to find her footing after a family crisis. Sarah said she felt so drawn to Nina that she wanted to fully explore the character’s arc in a new novel. “Nina is everyone’s favorite character from Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships,” she says. “I didn’t know what the deal was with her and (love interest) Ollie — all I knew was that I was basing them off of Ben and Kate’s dynamic from (Bravo show) ‘Below Deck.’”

Sarah says that as she writes, sometimes her characters surprise her by doing or saying things she hadn’t planned. And that definitely has been the case with the men and women from her first two novels.

“I always think I know what a character’s deal is, or I think I know what a book is about. And as I write it, I figure out I had no idea,” she says. “When you look at it from the other side, when you’ve got it down, and you figure them out, it’s like, ‘How did I even get here?’ It feels like magic.”

Part of that magical process can be attributed to the fact that Sarah has a condition called aphantasia, where the brain has an inability to visualize.

“I can’t see images in my mind — I don’t have a mind’s eye,” she says. “I don’t see things as I’m writing or as I’m reading. For me, the emotional experience is the point of writing, and I just love exploring people.”

Sarah draws on her personal experience for her next novel, Last Call at the Local, due out next year. The book features a character who made a brief appearance in her last novel, and both he and his love interest are neurodivergent — he with obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD) and she with attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sarah was diagnosed with ADHD at age 28, and she says that experience heavily influenced how she shaped her characters in Last Call at the Local

“I wanted to show a different kind of exploration of self and to really help other people who might be like me — newly diagnosed, feeling like they’re lazy and selfish,” she says. “I wanted them to read about a character working through those same things, and show that they’re worthy of being loved. You don’t have to fix all your problems. You don’t have to be better to deserve love and care.”

And though she never set out to become a romance writer, Sarah says the genre has allowed her to find her more authentic self as a writer and reach readers in a way she might not have been able to with another genre.

“I’ve learned so much about romance, kind of fell in love with it,” she says. “I still like that when I moved to Luck and Last Resorts, I had the knowledge to know how to actually write in the genre and the desire to write in it.”


Poolside Paradise 34


When Claudia Harrington and her husband decided to put a pool in their Greensboro backyard, they knew they wanted something a bit more substantial than the standard patio and pool. The Harringtons had purchased a vacant property behind their home, affording them the space to build something special.

“We wanted to create something customized and unique,” Claudia says. “And we knew we had to hire the right builder to help us.”

After doing research and asking around, one name kept coming up: Otey Construction. The Harringtons met with Kevin and Karen Otey to outline their plans for a backyard retreat designed for entertaining. The project included a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest house, a pool and hot tub, a pergola, stone patios and water features, and multiple seating areas.

For the guest house, the Harringtons wanted a space that could fulfill multiple purposes. Otey Construction built the home with an open kitchen area complete with a massive island that seats 12 to provide plenty of space for family and friends to hang out. And the house also includes a gym and an office space.

“My husband and I both work from home now because of the pandemic,” Claudia says. “I think he was tired of working in the same space as me, so we built him an office.”

For the patio and pool area, no ordinary concrete deck would do. Kevin used bluestone to create a patio that enhances the natural surroundings rather than detracting from them. And bonus — because it’s a natural material, the bluestone will stay beautiful for years to come.

“I’m a huge fan of using natural materials,” Kevin says. “It costs a little more, but it’s timeless. When you put bluestone and natural Tennessee fieldstone on walls, it’s there forever and always in style.”

The Harringtons wanted both fire and water elements, so the pool designer worked with the couple to create an elevated spa area with waterfalls and fire bowls. Then, the Otey team expanded an existing pergola to create a centerpiece that sets off the poolscape.

“We went a little higher with the spillover with the spa to have that more dramatic effect with the fire and water bowls,” Claudia says. “And then the custom


work that Otey’s team did on the pergola — it gave the space added dimension.”

Claudia says this project was challenging not only because of its size and scope, but also because it was an addition to an existing home and yard.

“As a homeowner, it’s all about who you choose to go on the journey with for a project like this,” Claudia says. “This was a two-year process for us from planning to completion. Not just because it was so big, but also because my husband and I wanted to make sure we got the planning right, and the Otey team was very patient and just amazing.”

That time spent forged a friendship between builder and client, and when the project was complete, the

Harringtons invited the Oteys to join them for a party to celebrate the new space. For Kevin and Karen, attending the party gave them the rare opportunity to see their work being enjoyed by a client and their loved ones.

“It was such a treat, not only to see it, but to see how it works,” Karen says. “You can build a house, but seeing how people live in it and how their stuff works is special. And this one was especially cool because we weren’t starting with a house, a vacant lot and a pool. We were incorporating what was there with the new, and it transitioned beautifully.”




Shereen Gomaa loves to cook. Combining ingredients, standing over a steaming pot, lovingly assembling a finished meal on the plate — these tiny moments come together as an expression of love for Shereen.

“I love to share my culture through food, by cooking food,” she says. “And when I cook something, I enjoy it with my neighbor. I love cooking, and I also love being around people, communicating and socializing.”

Shereen came to the United States two decades ago with her husband from their home country of Egypt. The couple lived in Pittsburgh for a while but eventually ended up in North Carolina, first in Greensboro and now in Winston-Salem.

In 2016, Shereen began to notice a growing community of refugee women who moved to the Triad with their families after fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria. Seeing these women attempt to assimilate and find community, she understood their struggle to fit into their new surroundings.

“When I moved here, I was lucky to have started my life here with my husband, to have a background in higher education and to know how to communicate,” she says. “But it was still hard for me.” Unfortunately many of the women Shereen met weren’t so lucky.

“When they came here, they were forced to flee from the war and leave everything behind — family, friends, their work, their home. It wasn’t by choice,” she says. “If they hadn’t left, they could be killed or have something bad happen to them. They were afraid and confused. They didn’t know the language, they didn’t know the society, the culture or how everything works. And it was very difficult for them.”

Shereen wanted to do something to help. So she combined her love of cooking and her business administration education to found Delicious by Shereen, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit catering company with a mission to empower refugee and immigrant women through cooking. Shereen enlisted many of the women she’d met in the refugee and immigrant community to lend their culinary skills to the business, which offers private catering, pick-up meals and items such as hummus and baba ghanoush sold at Buie’s Market.

“When we cook, it reminds the ladies of their families in their home countries and how they used to gather the whole family to sit down at one table, eat together and feel connected,” Shereen says. “They feel happy that they can contribute something to the community by sharing the secrets of their food, how to prepare the meal, the spices. This is something they love doing.”

Delicious’ dishes change regularly, but include Middle Eastern and Mediterranean staples such as koshary, falafel and grilled eggplant salad. And in addition to the food they sell, Delicious also provides free meals to organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, homeless shelters and Meals on Wheels. Shereen and her team view their food as more than just a means of making a living — it’s a personal expression of their culture and their love for their new community.

“When they cook, they cook from their heart, and you can taste that in every bite,” she says. “When you get our food, it’s not something people can find anywhere else or at any restaurant, because this is a very authentic, homey, caring meal. And when we prepare a meal or provide a catering service, we don’t treat our customer as a normal customer — we treat them as family members.”

As the organization continues to grow, Shereen hopes to expand her efforts and eventually open a World Kitchen that will allow them to cook on a larger scale, offer cooking classes and demonstrations and establish a community space where people can learn more about the experiences of refugees and immigrants. But until then, she sees the work her team does at Delicious as a powerful tool not only to give the women the business employs an opportunity to support themselves and their families but also to connect members of the refugee community with their Triad neighbors.

“Our mission is to allow everyone in our community to be connected, to feel safe around each other and to know that we aren’t that much different,” she says. “We have more in common than differences as human beings.”

– Jennifer Bringle, editor-in-chief
Our mission is to allow everyone in our community to be connected, to feel safe around each other and to know that we aren’t that much different...

Of An

When Jana Vaughan and Joey Marlowe opened Boxwood Antique Market in High Point a yearand-a-half ago, they had no idea how quickly their business would take off. The duo met three years ago and realized that with Jana’s 30 years in the antiques business and Joey’s design background, they were the perfect match to create a more upscale antique experience.

“From the beginning, it has been magic,” Jana says. “Initially we asked a few of our friends to be vendors, and the rest appeared. Before we knew it, we had a waiting list!”

The 26,000-square-foot building isn’t the only thing that impresses at Boxwood Antique Market. Stepping inside, you enter a wonderland of antique and vintage furnishings, art and decor, as well as items created by local artisans. Walkways meander through space after space, where vignettes take shoppers through time from 18th century France to mid-century America and beyond.

“Joey always said he wanted us to be the Disneyland of antique stores, creating an immersive experience through music of all generations and curated items,” Jana says.

Joey taps into his design background to style seasonal vignettes throughout the store, incorporating pieces from multiple vendors to fit a theme. He and Jana say their curated group of vendors from around the globe are the best, and they also work with new vendors to be the best they can be.

Boxwood has become a go-to for not only antique lovers, but also for interior designers and even production companies.

As the business continues to grow, Jana and Joey have forged partnerships with some pretty major names in furnishings in order to offer more options to their customers. Boxwood has become an official dealer for Schumacher fabric and wallpaper, and they also recently partnered with High Point-based Madcap Cottage. This spring, Madcap owners Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke will sell their boldly colorful furnishings, fabrics, wallpaper, rugs and more at Boxwood.

“We’ve joined forces with other antique stores in the area, such as Twin Brothers, because we want to be supportive of one another,” Joey says. “It’s about community, and we should join our talents together for the best customer experience.”

And even as their business grows by leaps and bounds, Jana and Joey say the most important thing to them and their team is creating a place where lovers of antique and vintage items can feel they’re among friends who understand the love of treasures from the past.

“Service is our number one, and we want everyone to feel like family we haven’t seen in a while,” Joey says. “We want to make everyone feel at home, because home is where it all begins–in every corner of our store is a memory.”



Smith-Bucher Wedding

Caroline Smith and Joel Bucher married on Nov. 5, 2022, at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro. After the church ceremony, the couple enjoyed a reception at Greensboro Country Club, brought to life by ABBA Design’s florals and strategic planning.

The ballroom of the club was transformed into an elegant green-and-white gala filled with fragrant blooms accented by romantic candlelight. The bridal party gathered along a head table lined with an array of floating candles, votives and

repurposed bouquets with large arrangements of roses and peonies framing the newlyweds in the center. On a stage lined with an overflowing greenery installation, live music from Right to Party kept the soiree going. After a fun late-night snack and dancing their hearts out, the couple was sent off in style with sparklers into the Proximity car. The couple agreed it was a night to remember and the perfect celebration of their marriage.

Caroline Bucher
The bride & bridesmaids The happy couple Caroline & Joel Bucher The bridal party
Dancing the night away


In the more than two decades since she first began working with the High Point Market Authority, Tammy Nagem has seen both the city and the furniture show grow exponentially. This year, she took the reins of the Market Authority, stepping into the CEO role after the retirement of Tom Conley.

In 2001, Judy Mendenhall, former mayor of High Point and president of the Chamber of Commerce at the time, was tapped to found the Market Authority. The organization oversees the semi-annual furniture market, providing marketing, programming and other support and services that make the show possible.

Tammy began her career working in youth-serving nonprofits, and through that work she’d met and befriended Judy. Judy asked Tammy to join the Market Authority team at its inception. Tammy accepted and has been with the organization since.

“I love the people, I love the interaction with the community, I love this industry,” she says. “I’ve grown up in furniture. My dad worked for Bassett for 36 years, so I spent my entire childhood coming to High Point with him. All those things contributed to a love of being here.”

Tammy takes the lead at the Market Authority during a time of exciting change both for the market and the city of High Point. As the furniture industry gets back to normal after the pandemic, High Point Market has seen a return to near-pre-pandemic traffic with thousands of buyers coming from around the globe to shop more than 2,000 showrooms. With that in

mind, Tammy says she and her team have many initiatives in the works to improve and expand the market’s reach.

“We’re going to really drill in on new buyer segments who come to market,” she says. “We are doing some work to look at the changing landscape of our industry and make sure we’re staying relevant in recruiting new buyers that are a good fit to shop our exhibitors.”

Making certain those buyers and exhibitors have a good experience at market is key, too. Due to its massive scale, the show can be a bit intimidating for even the most seasoned buyer. However, Tammy and her team are working to improve on-the-ground logistics to make it as easy to shop as possible.

“We’re continuing to improve the guest experience piece, which is near and dear to my heart, as I have been chief operating officer for 11 years,” she says. “My job has been to make sure that we considered guest experiences in everything we do. We do a lot of journey mapping. We do a lot of looking at each piece of where the guest interacts with the things that we put in place. We’re striving to be a frictionless market.”

One of the ways they plan to achieve that is through working closely with the city of High Point. The city and the Market Authority have long been strong partners, and Tammy says she and her team have a vested interest in helping the city revitalize its downtown.


“Anybody who knows me has heard me say, ‘What’s good for High Point is good for market,’” she says. “For years it was sort of an either/or conversation — you can either have a vital, growing downtown or you can have market. And I couldn’t disagree more. I think when you have a downtown that is growing, that is providing retail and restaurant options and nightlife and all those things, those are great for the market guest who’s coming here. Those things give them options. And they become part of our community twice a year.”

The Market Authority has teamed up with High Point x Design — the organization working to make the city a year-round design destination — to help drive outside-of-market traffic to downtown. The groups will host a vacation rental designer summit this spring prior to the April market. The summit serves the dual purpose of bringing interior designers to town earlier while also tapping into a new buyer stream for exhibitors.

“Vacation rentals are a huge sort of new segment, as lots of people are finding a second income with owning an Airbnb or Vrbo,” she says.

“Guest experience is important and the design element of that property is key to that. And so we’re seeing designers who are really specializing in that area.”

Looking ahead to her first year in charge, Tammy says she’s excited for all that’s to come, both for the market and the city of High Point.

“It’s interesting to be sitting in this seat after being at the Market Authority for 21 years,” she says. “I’ve watched great leaders before me, and you always ask yourself the question, ‘If I were sitting in that seat, what would I do?’ So I’m excited to be in a role where I can influence the direction of an organization and an event that’s very close to my heart. I love High Point. I love this community. I love this industry. And I’m excited to be able to play this role.”



Spring is in the air — the sun is shining, flowers are blooming and spring cleaning will commence! Spring is a great time to get your home organized, whether you are presenting a home for sale or preparing to make your home happy and stress-free for yourself.

I follow Marie Kondo’s methods and enjoy her famous quote, “Does it spark joy?” This mantra can serve as a compass to help you simplify your life while unloading unnecessary possessions. Her principles in inventorying items, deciding what items get to stay, and of course her folding methods, are truly inspirational and help keep me motivated and on task.

Start simple and look at each of your spaces individually. Determining how each space can be both pleasing and purposeful will help you take control of your home one small step at a time.

In my own home, I added shelving to a large closet that had unused space. The added shelving has given our family easy access to stockpile house supplies, toys, crafts and holiday decor. Our items are now conveniently in reach, but out of the way.

When sellers are preparing to list their homes, part of our preparation checklist at Triad’s Finest is to recommend they streamline their surfaces.

It’s amazing what a difference uncluttered countertops and surfaces make! This small change increases the appearance of space and draws the eye to the clean lines.

When looking at specific rooms, decide whether you have a space that isn’t used or is seldom used. What would you prefer in your home instead of this space? In my home, we now have a joint office and guest room that is highlighted by built-in shelving with a hidden Murphy Bed so that our home office can easily convert to serve guests.

If you’d like recommendations for professional organizers and decorators, I’m here to help! Contact me today to connect to my trusted and experienced vendors.




English’s mother helped her get a short apprenticeship with a plastic surgeon. As she shadowed him during his consultations with patients, English noticed that he pointed out other flaws, suggesting additional procedures.

“These women would just deflate, and with my 18-year-old spunk, I thought, ‘Who is he to tell people whether they’re pretty or not?’” she says.

Prior to physician assistant school at James Madison University, English worked in dermatology as a medical assistant. Post graduation, she took her first PA job in the ER, shortly followed by an additional job in dermatology. Juggling both, she quickly realized dermatology was her true calling and settled into a full-time career in medical and surgical dermatology with some aesthetic work. Eventually English married, had a baby and moved to Chapel Hill. There, she reached out to a dermatology clinic nearby her home to inquire about job openings. The clinic told her they didn’t need any dermatology providers, but they did have an opening for an injector.

“I thought, ‘I don’t know if I want to do this,’ which is hilarious because people die to get into this specialty,” English says. “But it was close, and it was a dermatology office, and I thought, well, maybe I’ll love it, and if not, then maybe they’ll love me and let me do dermatology.”

After she started administering injections — Botox, fillers and the like — English began to notice something unexpected. Many of her patients were business leaders and academics, women who wanted to be treated equally to their colleagues and not viewed as old or inferior. The realization made her rethink her stance on plastic surgery.

“I thought, ‘Here’s a niche for me. There’s a place for me in this business,’” she says. “There are women who need me. They want to do this and don’t want to look distorted.”

In 2016, English received a job offer that brought her to Greensboro. And while working in dermatology again fit her original career goals, she found herself missing the joy of helping others feel better about themselves that being an injector brought. So she founded The Curated Aesthetic. The clinic offers a variety of facial rejuvenation services, such as Botox, fillers, facials, chemical peels and radiofrequency micro-needling, among other procedures. When potential clients come to The Curated Aesthetic, English sits with them for an hour-long consultation to ensure they’re getting the right service to fit their needs. She approaches these consultations with care, remembering her outrage at the pushy plastic surgeon years ago.

“We don’t want anybody to feel rushed or pressured. There’s no commitment to any purchase or service at a consultation,” she says. “We do not tell people what they need. We let them drive what they think they need and then tell them the best way to get there.”

English says she sees her relationships with her patients as a special bond, and it’s one forged of common feelings because she has also received some of the procedures her clients get from her office. She says that these procedures not only help her feel better about herself, but they also give her a unique perspective on the needs and feelings of her patients.

“If you’ve ever been valued for being attractive at all, the changes that happen with maturity are difficult to experience,” she says. “So it is a personal journey that I’m going on with my patients. It’s been rewarding to watch these women take on a whole new cheerful, confident demeanor, a new pep in their step. And not only do I get to witness that, which makes me feel amazing and driven to do even more, but I feel the same way, myself.”

– Jennifer Bringle, editor-in-chief
As the daughter of a nurse, English Black knew from a pretty young age that she’d likely work in the health care field. But an experience during her high school years turned her off on one particular branch of medicine.

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