In this episode, we share the story of Greg Hardy and Rockgeist. Unfortunately, the audio is corrupted so this episode feels more like a book report than an interview.

If you’re not familiar, rock ghost is a bikepacking company. Bikepacking, as you might’ve guessed, is a play on backpacking. The difference is that you wear a backpack on your back and a bike pack on your bike.

In this episode, we interview Sarah Ubertaccio — co-founder of Making It In Asheville — about her new business QB Cucina. Sarah is a life-long Italy enthusiast with a special love for Italian food culture. When the pandemic hit, she dove into past making and quickly realized there was an itch she needed to scratch. Now, she runs the internet’s defacto home for all things pasta tools and Italian (or Italy-inspired) kitchen wares.

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • How, why, and when QB Cucina came to life
  • What lessons Sarah had to learn to start a product business (after years of marketing and service work)
  • What tactics and strategies have worked and not worked so far in her business
  • And what platform is ideal for a new product business

Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with Ashton Zager of Ashton Zager Fiber Arts

Show Notes

About Sarah Ubertaccio

Sarah was born in Atlanta, GA, and got her BA and MBA in Providence, RI. After school, she moved to Italy for 5-years, taught English, and lived the dolce vita. Since returning to the USA in 2017, she’s worked at Eataly in New York, founded Making It Creative (which powers this podcast).

About QB Cucina: From their Website

“q.b. cucina, is a gathering place for Italian food lovers and home cooks across the world. Our dream here at q.b. cucina is to bring you delicious Italian food content (recipes, guides, tips) as well as a curated collection of beautiful, hard-to-find Italian kitchen tools and accessories. Every day, we’re working on creating new and exciting content and sourcing the best Italian-made and Italy-inspired kitchenwares from incredibly talented artisans and producers.”

To learn more about QB Cucina, check out the links below:



  • Gille Roberts – helped Sarah get started buying and selling products online.
  • Garnet Fisher – helped Sarah design the QB Cucina website
  • Jeff Kaplan – was a resource for helping QB Cucina get connected to local business accelerators


  • Shopify
  • WordPress

Music by Commonwealth Choir


In this episode, we interview Meghan Mciver & Lindsey Riley. The owners and all-around vibe curators of the plant disco and store, Palm + Pine in Asheville, NC.

“We want to create a bubble for you to walk into and have a really vibed experience, a really nice time. That’s the goal” – Lindsay and Meghan

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • Different strategies for managing pressure as business owners and most importantly, human beings
  • Expectations vs Agreements- Creating realistic timelines for a project and the importance of giving yourself enough lead way
  • The challenges of stocking a retail space within the living (plant) industry 
  • How the pandemic forced Meghan and Lindsay to crawl instead of run at the start of their business
  • How capital and having a business has allowed them to better address the socioeconomic issues that exist with AVL 
  • Making plants accessible and nonjudgmental


Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with local aesthetic genius and photographer, Nicole McConville.

Show Notes

About Meghan and Lindsay

Originally from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Meghan McIver has lived in Asheville since 2008. She graduated from UNCA in 2012 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a concentration in Human Rights Policy. Her work with plants began in 2013, with an organic farming work-trade and later, a local agricultural non-profit internship. Her interest in tropical plants and environmental design was initiated in 2015 with a heightened intrigue for creating accessible, functional, and inspirational indoor green spaces. Merging her love for tropical plants, design, art, and community, Palm + Pine was created in an effort to offer a safe, welcoming, fun, and vibrant space for the people who live and work in Asheville.

With a background in performance and installation art, Lindsay Riley moved to Asheville in 2017 from Austin, Texas.
Riley’s skills span from illustration to graphic design to fiber arts and fashion design. Her work as a massage therapist for the past 10+ years offered Riley more insight into her artistic practices and vision, eventually leading her to merge a love for visual arts with holistic healing arts. Riley’s current artistic approach lands on creating environments that highlight the relationship between the human body and its immediate surroundings, intending to create safe spaces that promote healing and inspiration.

To learn more about Palm + Pine, check out the links below:

Instagram, where Meghan champions the IG game

palm + pine website



  • Audrey is their first employee and good friend who works at p+p, shoutout to Audrey.
  • Karie and Rob of Shelter Collective are neighbors to P+P. They initially told them about the space opening up next door. (It’s a big deal to find real estate in AVL)
  • Honey of DIFFERENT WRLD and Neng Jr’s are two businesses opening soon that M&L are excited for. In the interview, Meghan and Lindsay mention that they appreciate the role they are playing in the community.


  • Crocodile Wine is where Lindsay and Meghan had their last pop-up shop before opening their retail location.
  • Fifth Season Gardening Co. is P+P’s trusted store that takes gardening to the next level.


Music by Commonwealth Choir

In this episode, we interview Tarleton Walmsley & Seth Connelly, partners and founders of Garden Party.

*Listeners of today’s podcast with Garden Party receive a special discount code. Apply MAKINGIT15 at checkout.*

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • The importance of imagery in creating a captivating website to bring in vibes and sales
  • Knowing when to step away from a career and trust in yourself enough to dive in completely into something new
  • Why it’s important to communicate who you are through your brand
  • Why Tarleton and Seth use intimacy and communicating as their way of advertising when traditional methods can’t be used (due to the stigma around their industry)
  • How Garden Party is committed to equity initiatives and the problematic nature of white supremacy in the cannabis industry
  • How Tarleton’s personal experience with cannabis and hemp has enabled her to communicate with and help customers

Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with the owner of Sauna House and advocate of preventative health, Andrew Nehlig.

Show Notes

About Tarleton and Seth

Garden Party is an aesthetically minded lifestyle brand and retail experience that supports well-being promotes creativity and cultivates meaningful connection through the advocacy and normalization of cannabis. Co-Founders Tarleton Walmsley and Seth Connelly opened Garden Party in the summer of 2018, and bring with them their own unique backgrounds and expertise.

Tarleton grew up in Virginia and moved to Asheville from Atlanta back in 2009. Before launching Garden Party, Tarleton spent the last several years working in B2B sales and operations, but always knew she wanted to open her own shop one day. Tarleton’s role at Garden Party includes marketing and content creation, as well as overall brand management. Seth grew up in the Ozarks of Arkansas and Key West, Florida. While living in Asheville for the past 16 years, Seth’s professional background has included wilderness therapy, business development, and before working full time at Garden Party, he was the COO of a hemp company. Seth is the glue that keeps Garden Party together–he handles all of the operations and financial aspects of the business, as well as product development. When they aren’t Garden Partying, you can find T&S hanging out with their son Finn, taking their canoe out for a ride, or hanging at home with their two cats.


“Community is a verb.”– Seth Connelly

To learn more about Garden Party and see what they’re up to in real-time, check out the links below: is where you can see the best deals and sign up for email and texts
Gardenpartyavl is where you can see Tarleton’s superpower of awesome content creation and branding
For the young folx, you can even find them on Tik Tok at


  • Wyatt Grant designed Garden Party’s logo
  • Carrie and Rob at Shelter Collective are the architects and designers that helped build the beautiful, California-inspired space at 315 Haywood Rd.
  • Ryan at Mountain Bizworks (who has since left) started his own business was a huge support to T&S
  • Jason James is a local photographer who takes product photos for Garden Party

Garden Party Food and Drink Neighbors in East-West Asheville


  • Norby is a new, intimate, and personalized way to reach and connect with people and meeting them where they’re at.


Music by Commonwealth Choir

In this episode, we interview Jacob Ballard, owner of Nature Bound Co. and Asheville Print Shop.

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • How using your personal experiences (and interests) can lead to awesome business ideas
  • How to distinguish between the different types of entrepreneurship
  • Where the inspiration for the +900 designs of Nature Bound Co. came from
  • Why time is the most important asset and the one thing you can’t get more of
  • Tips for focusing when you’re wearing multiple hats in your business

Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with local graphic design artist, Alyssa Phillips.

Show Notes

About Jacob Ballard

Jacob’s story of entrepreneurship starts at age 6, knocking on doors of the apartment complex he and his family lived in. A young Jacob was motivated to raise money for a seat at the movie theater. So much so, that he began washing cars, and soon young Jacob’s piggy bank was busting at the snout. Fast forward to high school and college, where he saw the opportunity and a gap to again create businesses. These ranged from cutting grass, starting a T-shirt company big in the MMA world, and customizing Myspace pages (remember that?).  Now, Jacob Ballard has the successful business Asheville Print Shop where he and his team create a one-stop-shop for printing and all things merchandise.

While completing the TransAmerica Trail, (think Appalachian Trail for off-road vehicles), Jacob became inspired to highlight nature’s greatness. Mixing beautiful designs with a passion to discuss and preserve the land, Nature Bound Co.’s products have expanded to 900 designs, found in places like REI and national parks.




  • “Life is a dance, life is a constant need for improvement” – Jacob discussing leveling up and pursuing multiple avenues in business
  • “If an idea stays in your head, you should go for it” – Jacob referring to the intrinsic itch when a new business idea starts brewing

Where to Find and Follow Asheville Print Shop & Screen Printing and Nature Bound Co.

Asheville Print Shop and Screen Printing is located at two locations in Asheville, NC.

Nature Bound Co.


Music by Commonwealth Choir

In this episode, we interview Jefferson Ellison, the Chief Creative of Jawbreaking.

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • What led to Jefferson’s decision to buy Jawbreaking in 2016 (and his creative way of making an offer)
  • Jawbreaking leaning into the term from the 1960’s “Youth Quake”
  • What Jefferson’s identity means in a city full of White people
  • What led Jefferson to create the “Don’t Ask Your Black Friend” Webinar (…we took this webinar and highly suggest it)
  • How working to create meaningful connections can change your life (or someone else’s)

Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with local photographer & storyteller, Nicole McConville.

Show Notes

About Jefferson Ellison

Born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, Jefferson Ellison has been working in fashion since he was 16. After earning a degree at North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles, Ellison moved to NYC and expanded his body of work to include sales strategy, content creation and public relations. Under Ellison’s creative direction, JAWBREAKING, a digital platform offering interviews and investigative reporting, op-eds, fashion editorials and prose, became known for its irreverent sense of youth and boastful hints of Southern charm. Upon his return to Asheville, Ellison founded Jawbreaking Creative, a creative agency that offers consulting in editorial, advertising, events and influencer outreach as well as data analysis, trend forecasting, brand monitoring and more.



“I’m not a cog in the machine, I am the machine”

To learn more about Jawbreaking, check out the links below:







  • Connie from East Fork and Gillie of Ware – friends that have been on his journey and have given the advice of “stop undervaluing yourself and stop thinking there isn’t money out there”
  • Max Schneider – famous musician that Jawbreaking did project with
  • AVL today– a popular (36,000+ subscribers) newsletter that Jefferson recently did a partnership with
  • Ethan- Jeffersons favorite bartender “who knows his wine taste better than himself”


  • Visit Asheville – Tony & Jefferson all participated in a class there in 2019
  • Bottle Riot is one of his favorite places to drink wine and sit outside, as Jefferson mentions “you can be in a gravel parking lot and have an exclusive bottle of wine”


  • Complex Magazine– media and entertainment company based in New York City for youth culture which led to the magazine created by fashion designer Marc Milecofsky


Music by Commonwealth Choir

In this episode, we interview Emily Copus, Western North Carolina native, owner of Carolina Flowers and Zadie’s Market.

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • How journalism shaped her thinking for business and economics 
  • The defining moment Emily decided to go into the flower business
  • Elemental questions to ask yourself before going into a career
  • Why Emily believes it’s non-negotiable to defend your personal dreams
  • Why Emily thinks it’s important to not replicate other business models or ideas (and you should try your own)
  • Why investing in mistakes is a good idea
  • What prompted Emily to start Zadie’s market to help the community 

Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with restaurateur, local celebrity, friend, and mentor to Emily, John Fleer.

Season Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by Range Urgent Care an Asheville-based clinic that offers affordable healthcare, transparent pricing, and streamlined, friendly service. Learn more about Range Urgent Care.

*Enjoy your first month free of annual membership at Range Urgent Care. Use code ‘makingitinasheville’ at checkout. Offer valid for a limited time only.

Show Notes

About Emily Copus

Emily is the owner of Carolina Flowers and Zadie’s Market.
Her connection to flower farming started generations before she was born. After graduating with her master’s in journalism, Emily worked for a variety of publications before eventually launching Carolina Flowers in 2016. Regenerative farming and creating careers in agriculture are more important to Emily than ever. Carolina Flowers remains committed to agricultural ingenuity in the Blue Ridge Mountains. To further support farmers, Copus launched Zadie’s Market in 2020, where she purchases produce and dry goods from dozens of farmers and makers throughout the Appalachian region as part of its mission to support a robust, local food system.

To learn more about Carolina Flowers and Zadie’s Market, check out the pages:

Carolina Flowers Instagram
Carolina Flowers Facebook

Zadie’s Market Instagram
Zadie’s Market Facebook


  • Carolina Flowers is Emily’s brick and mortar shop, you have to check this out for everything beautiful.
  • Zadie’s Market is the most recent endeavor and business which connects shoppers with local farms and high-quality products.
  • Mountain Bizworks is a local Asheville non-profit that is WNC’s resource for small business success.
  • AB-Tech is the local technical community college in Asheville where Emily shadowed an electrical course. 
  • Native Poppy is a gorgeous neighborhood flower shop in San Diego, CA.
  • Ware, one of our favorite sustainable shops in Asheville, NC.


  • John Fleer, a friend and mentor to Emily. John is an Asheville restaurateur who will make your taste buds say, “hold up!”

Media & Books

Interesting Facts We Learned During our Conversation

  • The United States imports 80% of the flowers they sell. Crazy to think we only grow 20% of the flowers we sell here in the U.S. Carolina Flowers grows most of their own flowers which is out of the norm according to this data. Go Emily!

Preferred Tools & Products

  • Squarespace is the platform that Emily used initially for her website and e-commerce.
  • Shopify is what Emily uses now as her website and e-commerce platform.

In this episode, we interview Carlos Palma and Liz Goyer, the two customer service experts and the team running Textura Rugs.

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • What makes Textura rugs different 
  • Why you should choose the rug first when decorating a home or room
  • Steps they took to open the business
  • How to distinguish certain rugs from others
  • How Carlos and Liz manage different roles in the business
  • Martial arts influence on their life now

Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with local co-owner of East Fork Pottery, Connie Matisse.

Season Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by Range Urgent Care an Asheville-based clinic that offers affordable healthcare, transparent pricing, and streamlined, friendly service. Learn more about Range Urgent Care.

*Enjoy your first month free of annual membership at Range Urgent Care. Use code ‘makingitinasheville’ at checkout. Offer valid for a limited time only.

Episode Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by The Van Winkle Law Firm a full-service law firm serving North Carolina since 1907. Making It In Asheville listeners enjoy their first business law consultation for free. Mention ‘Making It In Asheville’ to receive the offer.

Show Notes

About Carlos Palma and Elizabeth Goyer

Carlos Palma is the owner of Textura. He has 20 years of experience in the rug industry and has lived in the Asheville area for even longer. He is the go-to rug person for many interior designers both locally and out-of-state. When he isn’t working at Textura, Carlos enjoys running, hiking, and traveling during his free time. As a business owner, he stays heavily involved in all parts of the company and his core values are integrity and courtesy.

Liz Goyer is Textura’s store and web manager. She is a UNC Asheville alum and has a diverse professional background that includes both customer service and fitness instruction (the perfect combo for rug slinging!). Her other interests include vegan cooking and world history. Liz has been working in rugs for almost 3 years and enjoys the fun and dynamic client-oriented environment at Textura.

Visit to learn more. You can also find them on Instagram @texturarugsnc


  • Sun Soo – An Asheville Tae Kwon Do and Martial Arts Studio where Liz was an instructor and met Carlos



In this episode, we interview Justin & Amanda James, the modern shoemakers & married business duo of Opie Way in Asheville, NC.

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • Where the name Opie Way came from
  • How they got into the sneaker shoe business
  • How Justin made his first sneaker
  • Marketing tactics plus what their initial sales process was like
  • Coronavirus impact on their business
  • What things to look for when buying sneakers
  • Working together as a couple and how they divvy up their roles

Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with local sustainability & design expert, owner of Ware, Gillie Roberts.

Season Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by Range Urgent Care an Asheville-based clinic that offers affordable healthcare, transparent pricing, and streamlined, friendly service. Learn more about Range Urgent Care.

*Enjoy your first month free of annual membership at Range Urgent Care. Use code ‘makingitinasheville’ at checkout. Offer valid for a limited time only.

Show Notes

About Justin & Amanda James

Justin and Amanda James are high school sweethearts turned badass business couple who launched their handcrafted shoe line, Opie Way, in 2019. After both graduating from App State and living in Charlotte for a while, the young couple decided to move back to Asheville to be closer to family. While working on their own business ventures, an opportunity presented itself for Justin and Amanda to buy the machinery to start their own micro-shoe factory. In 2019, they launched their handcrafted shoe line, Opie Way. Fast forward to the fall of 2020, where we learn about their experience and how they have managed to stay afloat during COVID-19.

Visit Opie Way to learn more.


  • East Bay Magazine is the go-to shoe resource for pro-grade gear, casual styles, and expert training tips for athletes who care about winning.
  • This epic video of a shoe being sliced in half on Youtube.
  • Abstract is a Netflix show all about diving into the mind of design. Trust us, it’s worth the watch.
  • SLAM is an American basketball magazine.
  • Shoe Dog is the memoir of Nike creator, Phil Knight.
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte – this work was created in 1847 and the themes all still ring true.


  • Tinker Hatfield, the Nike designer who was named as one of the most 100 influential designers of the century in 1988.
  • Jon Jones is the president and CEO of Anthroware, Anthroware is a mashup of anthropologists, designers, data-driven consultants, and technology builders that help solve problems for clients. Located in Asheville, NC.
  • Victor Lytvinenko is one of the founders of Raleigh Denim, a handcrafted denim company based in Raleigh, NC.


  • Diamond Brand Gear is the outdoor gear company Opie Way shares factory space with.
  • North Menswear is a clothing store in Laguna Beach that is a wholesale client of Opie Way.

Thought that all shoemakers are cobblers? Let us blow your mind with some shoe lingo:

  • Justin & Amanda teach us a lesson in shoe terminology. A cobbler is someone who fixes shoes, whereas a cordwainer is someone who actually creates the shoes.


  • If you want money, ask for advice. If you want advice, ask for money.” – unknown

During this episode, Nicole and Claire tell us all about how and why they started this business and the steps they took to get it where it is today.

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • The story of how Moonlight Makers began (hint: the business looks VERY different from when it first started)
  • How Nicole and Claire knew it was time to start hiring employees
  • What Nicole and Claire do when they disagree about something
  • Why they decided NOT to outsource their production overseas
  • And many other hilarious (and serendipitous) stories from their journey

Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with Gillie Roberts, founder of Ware.

Show Notes

This episode is brought to you by Range Urgent Care, an Asheville-based clinic that offers affordable healthcare, transparent pricing, and streamlined, friendly service. Learn more about Range Urgent Care.

*Enjoy your first month free of annual membership at Range Urgent Care. Use code ‘makingitinasheville’ at checkout. Offer valid for a limited time only.

Moonlight Makers a T-shirt and gift shop based in Asheville, North Carolina. They make silly, often punny T-shirts, totes, dish towels, mugs, and more. In addition to their brick and mortar store located in downtown Asheville, Moonlight Makers is an Amazon Handmade member.

Salvage Station is an outdoor venue featuring live music, a bar, and small bites. During festivals, Moonlight Makers used to park their bus here and sell products.

Leaf Festival is an annual community arts festival that takes place on the site of the old Historic Black Mountain College. This is one of the many festivals that Moonlight Makers attends.

Tag Gun = the one tool that changed Moonlight Makers forever. For a long time, Nicole and Claire were tagging their T-Shirts by hand using safety pins. When they discovered this tag gun, it drastically improved their production time!

Venture Asheville grows Asheville’s startup community and connects high-growth entrepreneurs to talent, mentors, and investors through unique programming and events. Moonlight Makers if a part of the Elevate Mentorship program. They also ranked #13 in the Venture 15 awards for the fastest-growing startups in Asheville.

Jeff Kaplan is the Director of Venture Asheville and a mentor to Moonlight Makers.

Taco Billy was mentioned during this episode because Claire has a small collection of their taco stickers.

The accounting and finance software, QuickBooks, featured Moonlight Makers is in a special series of video commercials featuring small business. You can watch their episode with Moonlight Makers here.

Amazon Handmade is a brand of Amazon that features unique, genuinely handcrafted products created by artisans around the world. Moonlight Makers is a member.

Derren Brown is an English illusionist and author. During this episode, we talk about his experiment on “The Secret of Luck

Music by Commonwealth Choir

Curious to learn more about what we do?

Making It in Asheville is a podcast where we go behind the scenes with artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs in Asheville. We learn about what they’re making and how they’re making it in Asheville.

Making It in Asheville is powered by Making It Creative, our boutique marketing and business consulting agency. We help passionate small business owners build and improve their sales and communication strategies. Learn more here.

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