Compassion and fashion meet at Positively Beautiful Boutique

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a woman standing in front of a sign: Angela Farmer changed the name of her boutique (from First Lady Specialty Shop for Women to Positively Beautiful Boutique and Gifts) and the address (from inside Tennova's North Knoxville Medical Center to 713 E. Emory Road), but still offers the same services — with a few extras.


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Angela Farmer changed the name of her boutique (from First Lady Specialty Shop for Women to Positively Beautiful Boutique and Gifts) and the address (from inside Tennova’s North Knoxville Medical Center to 713 E. Emory Road), but still offers the same services — with a few extras.

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Compassion and fashion meet at Positively Beautiful Boutique

Al Lesar, Shopper News 

Angela Farmer had a vision that forced her to look outside her comfort zone.

What she discovered was the warm, inviting dream she had always wanted.

In her hometown of Somerset, Kentucky, Farmer had a happy place where she would retreat whenever times got tough.

“We had a little boutique in my small hometown where you got personal attention and it just felt special,” Farmer said. “The environment was always happy. If you were having a bad day, it was always going to get better.”

A medical assistant and hospital administrative assistant by trade, when Farmer heard the gift shop at Tennova’s North Knoxville Medical Center was closing more than four years ago, she stepped in and bought First Lady Specialty Shop for Women.

Farmer said 98 percent of her business was insurance billable, dealing with items such as mastectomy bras, wigs and orthotic shoes.

“It was great that I was able to help people, but I wanted more for my boutique,” Farmer said. “I wanted that same atmosphere that I knew growing up.”

Farmer took the leap of faith. She found a much larger storefront (713 E. Emory Road, Suite 101), rebranded her business to Positively Beautiful Boutique & Gifts, and opened her doors on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Feeling positive   

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, foot traffic in the hospital had significantly reduced in recent months. Also, several of the doctors who made the referrals to her items had relocated their offices. Now was as good a time as any to find a new home.

“I plan to continue having the billable items, but I also will be adding a high-quality clothing line that will be stylish but church-appropriate,” Farmer said. “I’ve struggled to find just what I like. It’s modest, but with a very feminine side.

“My goal is to make a woman feel more positive about herself, no matter what it takes. If it’s a wig, we want one that makes a woman feel great. We’ve got a large selection of in-person orthotic shoes that gives a woman a choice.”

Farmer said that while she was working in the administrative area of the hospital, she would volunteer with Compassion in Action, which would help women get through the process of breast cancer. That helped her find her niche.



a store filled with lots of furniture: Versatility in fashion is what Angela Farmer is trying to achieve.


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Versatility in fashion is what Angela Farmer is trying to achieve.

Relationships count     

Being a business owner has had its challenges, but Farmer has never second-guessed the passion that has carried her through more than four years.

“Connecting with my customers can be a humbling experience,” she said. “I have an opportunity to help others. I’m more about the relationships with the ladies than the business side of it. I’ll wear that hat if I have to.

“Recently, it’s been very rewarding to build my vision into reality. One of the greatest rewards I can get is hearing one of the ladies say how much help I was able to give in a difficult time. I’ve been blessed to have a business that offers a positive energy and atmosphere for all of my customers.”



a room filled with lots of furniture: Angela Farmer is trying to re-create the warm, welcoming feel of a boutique that she felt in her hometown.


© Submitted
Angela Farmer is trying to re-create the warm, welcoming feel of a boutique that she felt in her hometown.

Hours of operation will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information call 865-362-5937 or go to www.positivelybeautifulboutique.com.

Community happenings 

  • UT Arboretum Society to hold Annual Fall Plant Sale online through Oct. 10. Vendors are Tennessee Naturescapes, Riverdale Nursery and East Fork Nursery of Sevierville. Log on to https://utas-plant-sale.square.site/ to shop and make payment. All payments must be made by credit card online in advance. No sales on the pick-up days. Upon ordering, a link will be provided to choose a pick-up time for contactless delivery: 1-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, or 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at UT Arboretum, 901 S. Illinois Ave. in Oak Ridge. Info: [email protected]
  • Technical Society of Knoxville ZOOM meeting, 11:55 a.m. Monday, Oct. 12. Speaker: Terrell Hendren P.E. with the Division of Water Resources of the TN Department of Environment & Conservation; topic: safety of low head dams. ZOOM number for meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89947290521; passcode: TSK. Info: https://www.technicalsociety.net.
  • Fall rummage sale for missions, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 16-17, Seymour First Baptist Church gym, 11621 Chapman Highway. Masks required; social distancing encouraged. All proceeds go to the church’s local, domestic and international mission programs. Item donations may be dropped off at the church 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 5-9 and Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 12-14. No clothes accepted. Info/pickup of donations: 865-577-1954.

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WORDS OF FAITH

Human connections offer deliverance

John Tirro, Shopper News columnist

I have a wonderful collection of coffee mugs! What’s special about them is not so much the mugs. It’s not even the coffee. It’s the way they remind me of connections, to people I love.



a close up of a man smiling for the camera: John Tirro


© Michael Patrick/News Sentinel
John Tirro

There’s a cream-colored, thick-handled mug from Claire’s Cornercopia, a New Haven restaurant on the corner of College and Chapel, where I used to meet my mom for lunch. There’s an oversized Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherohala Skyway mug, bought en route to a hike with a friend and our sons. There are several NPR mugs, from annual fund drives, when I was first taking world news seriously and wanted to help reliable reporting happen.

Each morning, as water boils, beans grind, and I open my kitchen cabinet, I’m reminded of connections, to people I love.

These past months, what’s gotten me through — what’s gotten a lot of us through — is connections. I call one member of our church to check on her, and she tells me of another who’s been feeling disconnected. I realize I’d left that person messages but hadn’t heard back. Come to find out, that number was no longer working. I get the right number and call, and the next day I’m on her porch with flowers from our garden. One connection leads to another, which opens yet another.

In Hosea, God remembers leading Israel out of slavery. “When Israel was a child I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son… I taught Ephraim how to walk, I took them up in my arms… I led them with cords of human kindness, with bonds of love.” What led God’s people, from fear to love, was loving connection.

Our choir meets on Wednesdays, by Zoom, to sing together, and even with time delays and digital glitches, to hear their voices feels better to me than any optimized cathedral recording, because it makes the connection, to people I love.

We’re in a moment in our world, when many have forgotten about connection. In the midst of that, God leads us through love: cooking teams making meals for elders, people of all ages making deliveries and porch visits; hot meals provided every Monday and Thursday, to hundreds of people living with homelessness; rainbow-colored freezer pops, given to add that extra bit of love; and Sunday school classes on how we can work, to build a better world.

The parts of Hosea I skipped before show what gets in the way of connection. “The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to Baals, and offering incense to idols… they did not know that I healed them.”

We get distracted and offer ourselves to things that do not heal. It’s important to open the cabinet of our hearts, to remember and renew relationships, and to make new ones!

If you’re feeling disconnected, I encourage you — as I encourage myself — reach out, reaffirm, or make anew, a loving connection. Be part of God’s liberating movement of love.

John Tirro is pastor of music and campus ministry at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Info: sjlcknox.org.

NORTH/EAST

BOO! at the Zoo starts this week

Carol Z. Shane, Shopper News

Things are hopping — and crawling, swimming, climbing and leaping — at Zoo Knoxville.



a woman wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: Dorothy and the Scarecrow pose for a photo during Boo! at the Zoo on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Zoo Knoxville.


© Caitlyn Jordan/News Sentinel
Dorothy and the Scarecrow pose for a photo during Boo! at the Zoo on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Zoo Knoxville.

The nonprofit is world-renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival, and its leadership and staff are locally renowned for their imaginative events, all presented for one reason: to provide financial support for continued care of the animals who live in the 53-acre park.

Thursday, Oct. 1 was the last evening of the family-friendly Craft Bear Nights, featuring the zoo’s own Octoberfest-themed menu of sausage trio, Guinness bratwurst, wienerschnitzel on a stick, three-cheese spätzle, cheeseburgers, and giant Bavarian pretzels. Local brewers including Elst Brewing Company, Alliance Brewing Co., Next Level Brewing Co., Pretentious Beer Co., and food trucks including EnjoyLatinFood and Penne For Your Thoughts were on site throughout the month-long series.

Next up: the fabulous annual BOO! at the Zoo — Knoxville’s largest Halloween event featuring several nights of not-too-scary Halloween fun perfect for preschool- and elementary-age children. 



a small animal in a cage: Georgie, a white-handed gibbon, watches visitors during Boo! at the Zoo on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Zoo Knoxville.


© Caitlyn Jordan/News Sentinel
Georgie, a white-handed gibbon, watches visitors during Boo! at the Zoo on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Zoo Knoxville.

This year’s event features the Baba Yaga Haunted Forest, giant inflatables, magical lighting, fun rides, plenty of entertainment and food, trick-or-treating and — of course — the animals. And you can be assured that your small superheroes, pint-sized princesses, and grade-school goblins, ghouls and ghosts will have not only a fun-filled time, but a safe experience during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s Boo! at the Zoo features Wildly Safe Guidelines. They read as follows:

FOR YOU:

  • Minimize contact
  • Follow ground markings & signs
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Stay 6 feet apart
  • Wear a mask

FOR US:

  • Online ticket purchase
  • Daily sanitization
  • Hand sanitizer stations
  • Safe physical distancing markers



a man wearing a costume: Mickey Mouse gets ready to ride the Scary-Go-Round during Boo! at the Zoo on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Zoo Knoxville.


© Caitlyn Jordan/News Sentinel
Mickey Mouse gets ready to ride the Scary-Go-Round during Boo! at the Zoo on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Zoo Knoxville.

“Attending events like BOO! at the Zoo supports the best care for our animals and the work we do to save them from extinction,” says Tina Rolen, Zoo Knoxville’s director of marketing and communications. “Everything goes back to supporting the animals.”

Zoo Knoxville’s BOO! at the Zoo happens nightly 5:30-8, Thursday through Sunday. Thursday night, Oct. 8, is reserved for Annual Passholders, then the event continues Oct. 9-11, 15-18 and 22-25, at Zoo Knoxville, 3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive. Tickets are $9 for Zoo Knoxville Annual Passholders and $10 per person, children under 4 free.

No weapons or toy weapons of any kind are allowed on Zoo property. That includes either real or toy guns, swords, knives, nunchuks, etc.

For more info, visit zooknoxville.org.

SOUTH

Seymour Volunteer FD expansion could cut 3-county response time

Ali James, Shopper News 

Seymour Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) Station #2 had a ribbon cutting on Sept. 21 to celebrate the long overdue expansion of their facility at 7915 Chapman Highway. It is good news when it comes to 38 square miles of fire and safety protection south in South Knoxville.



a man standing in front of a building: John Linsenbigler, fire chief and executive administrator, in front of the new fire truck bay at Seymour Volunteer Fire Department Station #2 on Sept. 30, 2020.


© Ali James/Shopper News
John Linsenbigler, fire chief and executive administrator, in front of the new fire truck bay at Seymour Volunteer Fire Department Station #2 on Sept. 30, 2020.

A new, spacious fire truck bay was built between two existing buildings to house their vehicles, according to John Linsenbigler, fire chief and executive administrator for SVFD Station #2. “Once we could move the fire truck out, we enclosed the doors on the existing garage area and turned it into living and sleeping quarters for stand-by volunteers,” he said.

The old living quarters had a kitchen, bathroom and the administration offices. “The volunteers slept on a donated couch in the office area,” said Linsenbigler, who has been a member of the SVFD since 1989. “I oversaw the emergency services and was a volunteer until eight years ago and more recently took on the role of fire chief.

“I would come in and there would be two people on call sacked out on the reclining couch. You had to have a good heart for your community to stay in those living conditions. Now it’s much, much nicer with two private bedrooms.”

More importantly, it shaves eight to 10 minutes off the average response time to a fire, crash or medical call. “They can be on the truck and out the door in 1½ minutes,” said Linsenbigler.



a truck is parked on the side of a road: The new spacious bay was built between two original buildings at the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department. Sept. 30, 2020.


© Ali James/Shopper News
The new spacious bay was built between two original buildings at the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department. Sept. 30, 2020.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Seymour was mostly family farms, with few businesses or schools and no stoplights. As the population has boomed, shopping strips and subdivisions have popped up and with the recent widening of the state highway, demand for fire and emergency services has further increased. 

“We have 80-90 calls a month in Knox County,” said Linsenbigler. “A lot are medical responses besides running car accidents and fires. We do a lot of public education and have a certified child car seat program. We install smoke alarms and do home inspections at no charge.”

The department’s board of directors has financed two new trucks that accommodate a five-person crew, have a four-door cab, and can carry 1,000 gallons of water so they have at least 10 minutes of water to fight fires in rural areas.

The first, new-to-them fire truck is a demo model and is currently being outfitted with equipment and radios. “We service three counties so there are three radios,” said Linsenbigler. “This one should be in service by next week, and we have another fire truck that should be here in the next month. And we hope to have that in service by the end of the year.”



a building with a parking lot: The Seymour Volunteer Fire Department Station 2 was established in 1971 before it moved to this location at 7915 Chapman Highway in the 1980s. It was originally a garage. Sept. 30, 2020.


© Ali James/Shopper News
The Seymour Volunteer Fire Department Station 2 was established in 1971 before it moved to this location at 7915 Chapman Highway in the 1980s. It was originally a garage. Sept. 30, 2020.

The trucks will be partially paid for by grants. “The average age of our fleet is 27 years old, there are some NFDA guidelines that after 10 years fire apparatus must be pulled off the front line and then eventually taken out of service,” said Linsenbigler.

The Seymour Volunteer Fire Department is unique in that its district spreads across three Tennessee counties — Blount, Knox and Sevier. That’s a total response area of approximately 118.6 square miles. “We deal with three of everything, including three different emergency services,” said Linsenbigler.  “It can be challenging, but everybody works well together.

“No matter where you live, if you are not in the city, you need to support the fire department that protects your area,” said Linsenbigler. “A minimal amount of property taxes goes to fire protection. We get funding from each county and we rely on grants. And the majority of our income comes from donations — and only 22% of the people donate.”

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NORTH/EAST

High Resolutions & WunderWall — an idea that really ‘sticks’ during the pandemic

Carol Z. Shane, Shopper News 

Last year, well before the coronavirus pandemic, Colin Hoffman and his colleagues at High Resolutions in Happy Holler were looking into a new product. Called WunderWall, it’s an easily customizable type of wallpaper that is offered in four finishes: canvas, smooth, sand and linen. And, unlike traditional wallpaper, it can be installed by homeowners themselves — no crew needed — and removed years later with no residue.



a person standing in a room: WunderWall isn’t just for walls. This stairway is quickly updated with easy-stick panels. 2020.


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WunderWall isn’t just for walls. This stairway is quickly updated with easy-stick panels. 2020.

In business for 25 years, High Resolutions is well known throughout East Tennessee and beyond. The giant historic photos adorning the sides of the Bijou Theatre and the Dwight Kessel Garage, the outdoor trail guide graphics for Ijams Nature Center, the giant map on the wall of Elkmont Exchange — they’re all done by HighRes.

“The vast majority of our work is done business-to-business,” says Hoffman, who is the company’s project manager. “WunderWall was distinctly different. It was a pretty big lift for all the preparation. Business planning, how to approach direct-to-retail customers, questions. ‘Is it going to work? Are we going to get enough traction, enough interest?’”

Hoffman also says he has noticed sometimes that “one thing you don’t even think about turns out to be a benefit for a product or service.” And he was about to make that discovery with the newest product under consideration.

Having recently bought a house, he’d been going to home supply stores back in April and May. “People were, rightfully so, scared out of their minds. But even in the midst of that, people were putting money into their homes because they’re staying home noticing things. ‘Man I haven’t sat still long enough to be looking at all the things I want to do.’



a man wearing a neck tie: WunderWall is easily installed and removed by nonprofessionals, making it a perfect home improvement product during a pandemic — no outside crew needed. 2020.


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WunderWall is easily installed and removed by nonprofessionals, making it a perfect home improvement product during a pandemic — no outside crew needed. 2020.

“They want to dress up their home office; they don’t necessarily want to use those artificial Zoom backgrounds. And not just the office — they’re looking at home improvement projects, and they don’t want to have somebody come in and install it for them. They want to get it in the mail, put it up and install it themselves.”

In other words, for people in the early stages of the pandemic, there was plenty of interest in WunderWall. So HighRes decided to launch the product in June — well ahead of their planned timeline. “It’s just like I said — it’s odd things like that; it ended up being a great product for this time. It just happened that way.”



a bunch of items that are on the counter: High Resolutions isn’t limited to two dimensions: the company makes all sorts of promotional and commemorative products as well. Sept. 28, 2020.


© Carol Z. Shane/Shopper News
High Resolutions isn’t limited to two dimensions: the company makes all sorts of promotional and commemorative products as well. Sept. 28, 2020.

Hoffman and all at HighRes are happy with their decision to push the product on out.

“The market is definitely there,” says Hoffman. “Business has been good, and Knoxville is a great place to do business.”

For more info, visit highresolutions.com or call 865-523-3361.

HALLS/POWELL

Parkview Senior Living opens luxurious retirement facility

Ruth White, Shopper News 

The saying goes, “There’s no place like home.” While this is a true statement, this 55+ adult may have found something that comes pretty close.

Parkview Senior Living cut the ribbon on the newest luxury community at 975 E. Emory Road in the heart of the Halls/Powell area. This newest location, the third senior living community to be opened, is a $15 million investment for the area and employs over 30 individuals. 

The facility features 101 rooms and an array of amenities designed to support an active and healthy lifestyle. Parkview offers chef-prepared dining, a movie/performance theatre, game room, fitness center, library, spa, barbershop and salon, walking trail and storage units. 

Parkview Senior Living was founded in 1999 when owner Jay McBride was searching for a safe place for his father-in-law to live. He developed the community to fit the needs of his family and others looking for a home that provides peace of mind, safety and comfort. 

OPINION

Buttercup struggles in school

Leslie Snow, Shopper News columnist

The first day I took Buttercup to dog training and daycare, she didn’t want to go. She hid between my legs while I waited for the attendant to lead her inside.

“It’s OK, Buttercup,” I said in a soft voice. “You’ll make new friends, have some lunch, and I’ll be back right after naptime.” She looked at me with her big brown eyes and wagged her tail. Then it was her turn to go inside and I went home to get some work done.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I came back later in the day to retrieve my Great Dane puppy. I was relieved when she emerged from the building looking happy and excited to see me.

“She had a great first day,” the trainer said, with a smile. “She’s a fast learner and really sweet.” Then she handed me a slip of paper and Buttercup’s lunch container, and I got in the car to head home.

Before I pulled out of the driveway, I read the note the trainer had given me and laughed aloud. It said, “Buttercup did a good job pottying outside today. And it turns out, she’s a friend to all!”

After that, we started calling doggy daycare our puppy preschool. We didn’t send her every day, but a couple times a week, when we couldn’t let her out regularly, we’d pack her lunch and send her to school.

Over the weeks she grew to love preschool. She’d wait impatiently for the car door to open so she could jump outside to meet her friends. The quiet little puppy who hid between my legs was replaced by a 100-pound ball of muscles pulling on the leash to get inside.



a large brown dog lying on a wooden surface: Leslie Snow's Great Dane puppy, Buttercup. June 2020


© submitted
Leslie Snow’s Great Dane puppy, Buttercup. June 2020

As her demeanor changed, the notes going home changed too. “Buttercup is a friend to all” was replaced with “Buttercup plays really hard.”

“What do you think they mean by ‘plays hard’?” I asked my husband one evening. “I think they mean she loves to play,” he answered matter-of-factly. And I didn’t give those notes another thought.

But last week when I went to pick up Buttercup from preschool, one of her teachers stopped me. “Can I speak with you a minute,” she said, rather sternly.

“Sure,” I said while alarm bells went off in my head. “What’s up?”

“Buttercup has been playing really rough with the other dogs. Today there was an incident when she took hold of Skyler’s collar. And earlier in the day she grabbed Gracie by the ear. We had to separate them.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond, but I managed an “I’m so sorry.” I was about to say, “I’ll talk to her about her behavior,” when I remembered that Buttercup is an 8-month-old puppy and not my child.

I needed the reminder because the next words out of the woman’s mouth were, “We were wondering about her behavior at home.”

I felt myself get a little defensive after that. “She’s fine at home. She listens well and plays gently with Lily.”

“She doesn’t bite or pull her collar?”

“No! I swear!” I said, my voice rising slightly. They promised they would work on correcting her bad behavior and I headed home.

Buttercup was thirsty when we got back to the house, so I gave her a drink from the garden hose. I watched in horror as two spiders poured out of her mouth along with the water.

I called her “wild thing” after that and wondered if my delinquent dog might be headed to juvie next week instead of preschool.

Leslie Snow may be reached at snow [email protected]

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This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Shopper News blog: Compassion and fashion meet at Positively Beautiful Boutique

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