Something to “Ponder”: Make-up, Missions, and Re-Missions

When sitting down with Asheville-native, Lauren Ponder Boggs, it’s hard to believe she’s a person who’s ever faced adversity.  She is fresh, happy, and optimistic.  Some “quality” sort of dances on her like a light she carries around, but completely on accident.  She seems she is unscathed, untouched, and estranged to the things most people blame their scars on …however, this is hardly the case. Lauren was a competitor from day one.   Before she reached the more tumultuous times in her life, childhood prepared her to become a fighter.  She grew up competing in pageants, dance competitions, and cheerleading competitions before moving on to the ultimate competition that landed her a modeling contract with Hawaiian Tropic.  She spent hours in the gym perfecting her talents, determined to blow her adversaries out of the water. Blood, sweat, and tears were minimal effort. Though, often in the limelight, she still had to work with every fiber that created her to be the cream of the crop.  When she explained to me how she knew she wasn’t meant to be average, she blushed a little, as humans are often taught to do for having the heart of a contender.  Though her humility is a breath of fresh air, it becomes clear why her successes were meant to be.  They readied her for the battle of her life. At 24 years old, when most post-college adults are realizing the world awaits them, Lauren’s revelation came in the form of a rare pediatric bone cancer, living as an unwelcomed mass in her chest.  Doctors explained how they’d never seen a case like hers before, and she would be receiving the most aggressive treatment available. From a medical stand-point, her case had a grim outlook.  The prognosis was frightening. Lauren knew her friends and family were in a state of terror, though they tried to remain calm for her.

Fighting with a friend

Fighting with a friend

“I don’t know if I was naïve, or in denial, but I never thought I wouldn’t beat [cancer].  I wasn’t worried,”  Lauren told me casually. I looked back at her, noticing her demeanor hadn’t changed an ounce when our conversation transitioned to her life-threatening illness.  She didn’t look away, didn’t cry, didn’t flinch.  She couldn’t wait to share her story.  She wanted her half-full glass to spill onto others.  And there is water pure and genuine in that cup.  Sitting there, I wondered if I, myself was capable of this level of hope and optimism. Like she knew she would, she beat the cancer, and it hasn’t dared to show it’s face in town again.  Troubles over, right? Without much calm before the next storm, Lauren, now a wife and mother of two is facing a financial crisis.  The bills are stacking up and there are innocent growing mouths to feed.  It’s a struggle to keep the power on, and to have enough gas in the car for a normal daily routine.  Something has to be done fast.  The economy is in the tank, no one is hiring, and the ones that are won’t make a dent in the situation.  Panic time was an hour ago; the storm is here. She has to jump into mud kicking for the second dare-to-be-great situation of her life. It’s been less than a year and a half.  Lauren is currently a Senior Sales Director, and next month will be crowned Executive Senior Sales Director…except the crown is a shiny new BMW.  Like a mother lioness, she looked out unto the savannah, her cubs behind her, and reclaimed her territory with a vengeance gifted to her by nature.  She doesn’t lick her wounds, she doesn’t show off her scars, and she doesn’t wear any medals of honor.  She shares her story. It is simply a story of a woman, a wife, a mother, and a business person who as she put in her own words, “comes from a place of yes.” Lauren would like to use this story to bless others, as she feels Mary Kay is her mission field.  A quarter of any sales she makes as a result of this story will be donated in the purchaser’s name to WNC Cancer Care. For more information on how to donate or to become a part of Mary Kay please contact Lauren Ponder Boggs at or 828-785-9241.  She can’t wait to share in your mission!

Lauren and her gorgeous family

Lauren and her gorgeous family


Mary Kay face!

Mary Kay face!

AskAsheville Expanding Into Six Southeast Cities


Along with the new boutique website for the Asheville North Carolina community, comes more business; and yes expansion. We will be launching premium web presences in the Charlotte NC, Greenville SC, Atlanta GA, Gatlinburg TN, Raleigh NC, Greensboro NC; as well as other neighboring cities and towns such as Weaverville NC, Hendersonville NC, Waynesville NC, Black Mountain NC, Brevard NC, Lake Lure NC, Chimney Rock NC, and Burnsville NC. Boone NC, Charleston SC and Wilmington NC are on the radar as well. Our teams and audiences are already set up in these areas. More locations coming soon as we develop business relationships with new cities and people. If you are interested in talking to us about expanding into your community or teaming up with us, please use the contact form on our website. Thank you.

Asheville Business News August – September 2012

This past month has been wonderful and September is going to be even better. We love being a part of the small and big business community that is based in Asheville NC. People are different. Some have a storefront here, while others have National and Worldwide clientele and audiences. Some have both. The World is much smaller now that online communications and social media has connected us so quickly and easily.

First, we would like to give a Big Shoutout to Pomodoros Cafe, Favilla’s New York Pizza, and Rollin’ Stone Pizza Company for winning 1st place in the recent Asheville Pizza Showdown 2012. Check out all of the Showdown Winners Here. Thanks to Tribe Management for the organization of this event, OX+CO for all of the incredible graphic design work, & Sign-A-Rama for the Banners and Stickers. A new event by their team is about to go public so stay tuned!

I was talking to a business owner today and he mentioned his eyesight problems. I immediately thought of The Optical Shoppe on Patton Ave in West Asheville, and that is where he is going next week. If you are in the market for contacts, eyeglasses etc; go by there and meet George and Jackie. This is where my family is going to start going as well.

Have you checked out Junk Recyclers yet? This is a great business model now based in the North Asheville Woodfin area. The Greenest and Cheapest junk removal service in town. Part of what I love about this place is they have a Regeneration Station also where they recycle and upcycle furniture. My favorite piece was a vintage green and white dining room table. So Sweet!!

I have also been by ReBath of WNC recently and they remodel your bathroom. I have some friends (Cari and Hannah) in the area who used this company and they said that the product and service is wonderful. This is  great option to get your bathroom remodeled quickly and more affordable.

Everybody should have insurance for one thing or another. Sean at Adam’s and Brown Insurance in South Asheville has been in the business for many years and he is pretty sure he could beat most of the quotes out there. Even if you have points on your license or other issues, he has companies that are flexible, affordable and can help.

Are you ladies looking for Curves? Well there is a great location run by Elaine in South Asheville / Arden NC. This is a proven weight loss, diet and exercise program for women of all ages.

A business center provides you with a wide range of tools and resources to help your business. PostNet 141 in South Asheville, right across the street from Five Guys Burgers, is a key stop for several of the businesses we are working with. Not only do they have all printing services, but they also have an in-house designer named Chelsey that is great. Private mailboxes, qr codes and many other services. These guys are a plus for any business.

What about a mechanic? Have you ever been stuck with vehicle problems? We all have. One of the 2 mechanics in the area that we have used for years and can vouch for is Jimmy’s Automotive. You can read more about them on our recent post “North Asheville – Auto Repair & Mechanic Central.” If you are looking to purchase a new or used vehicle in the Asheville and WNC area, please see Rob The Car Guy.

And RelyLocal in Asheville NC is now offering Social Media, Management and SEO services for businesses. If you own a company in the AVL area, you need to check this out! Can you believe some local businesses are paying $750 – $1500 a month for absolutely nothing?! Double the price for minimal work. Do not be another business that gets taken advantage of with friendly talk, little work, and a big bill to pay. Get in touch with Choya and he will show you top results reported each and every month.

Thanks Asheville! And remember to Keep It Funky!!!

Asheville Business News May 2012

Lots of great businesses, large and small, in Asheville North Carolina. Here are a few recent highlights:

Derek at Asheville Diesel & Performance is a full service mechanic in the Woodfin area that works on all makes and models. We have been using this establishment for about a year now and both the preventive and repair work is great. Before heading out of town on a road trip; I usually stop by there for a quick 10 minute check up. An awesome running vehicle and peace of mind is what I get in return.

The Western North Carolina AIDS Project is dedicated to providing HIV related services to the people of WNC through client support, preventive education and outreach activities. Part of their yearly fundraising is an event called “Dining Out for Life” where over 100 Asheville area restaurants give 20% of all proceeds for one day. Pictured above is Peggy from WNCAP and Peggy from Rise N Shine Cafe.

In the market for a new vehicle? Robert Smith from Anderson Nissan is giving great deals and incentives to everyone, but even more to his cyber friends in the social media world. He also supports many local businesses in the Asheville community! You can find Rob Smith on his YouTube Channel, Blog, or on Twitter @RobTheCarGuy.

Asheville Musician Ben Hovey jams on the Trumpet and Keyboard, and at the same time! He is a music technologist and has done wonders for the musical atmosphere of many places in the area including The Marketplace Restaurant, the 151 Boutique Bar & Kitchen, the Grove Park Inn, & 5 Walnut Wine Bar. Also pictured above with Ben is another local music legend Kat Williams.

Bombs Away Cabaret and The Magnetic Field teamed up for a great show and fundraiser for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue recently. The skit was named “High Skirts: Illicitly Yours” and we had such a good time of entertainment and fun. Barbie Angell even did some awesome poetry for us! Thanks to these local businesses for getting involved with the non-profits in the community.

Curio Toy Store in downtown Asheville has lots of creative, wonderful items for children. The are located about 30 feet down from the “Iron” on Wall Street and Battery Park. Right in-between Frock Women’s Boutique and LaZoom Tours.

And… in Beer Business News… The 21st Amendment Brewery which is based in San Francisco California has announced plans to open up a brewery in Asheville North Carolina! MORE BEER FOR US!!! Their 1st tweet about it was “21st Amendment Brewery announces plans to build new production brewing facility in Asheville, NC.” and the next tweet said “I’m sorry that last tweet was suppose to say, the 21A plans to serve watermelon wheat today in their outdoor beer garden. autocorrectfail” so either they announced it prematurely on Twitter or they are teasing us!! Lol

Update: 5/7/12 Tony Kiss from the Asheville Citizen Times just tweeted “21st Ammendment Brewing in San Fran denies that is coming to Asheville after tweeting that they were. #avlbeer #ncbeer”

And talk about teasing… DO NOT MISS ABSFest, the Asheville Burlesque Festival coming May 25-27, 2012. Best entertainment festival of the year!! Pictured above is the Vaudevillian Revue Troupe!

The Asheville Business News Blog post is by Gary.. G Social Media

Asheville’s @FunkyVilleUSA does a “Funky Biz of the Week” shout-out and promotion on Twitter. The businesses chosen for the month of April 2012 were:

1) Tall Garys: @TallGarys is a fun and Funky lil cantina located in the heart of Asheville.. theres fun, food and great entertainment for all.. always some type of drink special going on.. Tall Garys is doing their part to promote and discover new Asheville local musical talent.. get discovered at Tall garys.. 4 College St. #FunkyBizOfTheWeek. 2) Tomato Jam Cafe: @TomatoJamCafe is located near the hospitals in Asheville.. if you havent discovered this little gem of a cafe you need to get busy and find it.. 379 Biltmore… You’ll enjoy getting to know the owners of this cute little place.. Its always nice to be on a first name basis with folks who provide a healthy and delicious lunch or breakfast for you..tell them FunkyVilleUSA highly recommends them for healthy and local food choices..Enjoy!! #FunkyBizOfTheWeek. 3) If you’ve lived in Asheville very long you probably have heard of Hop Ice Cream @HopIceCream .. if you havent you need to get there soon….They are always busy creating new and exciting flavors for their HomeMade Icecreams and desserts.. who’s ever heard of an icecream store with live entertainment???  of course we have one in Asheville…!!  Hop Ice Cream.. 640 Merrimon #FunkyBizOfTheWeek. 4) We are 8 hours away from that famous fishing hole the Atlantic Ocean and yet Blue Water Seafood @BlueH2oSeafood seems to come thru everyday with fresh and exciting new seafood dishes… Asheville’s own lil seafood joint with dishes that are big on flavor.. visit them today .. We know youll enjoy the funtimes and great food… 94 Charlotte St #FunkyBizOfTheWeek