Fresh springs in the mountains of North Carolina feed the Catawba River Chain, a network of 11 lakes that wind through woodlands verdant in the spring and ablaze with color come autumn. Bash Outdoors launches visitors into this system at nine locations. Four of those are along Lake Wylie, whose calm waters lap against 325 miles of shoreline with vacation homes and sandy coves emerging from dense forest and a thick layer of whipped cream. The Bash Outdoors crew curates a collection of rental and retail standup paddleboards from brands such as Ron House and their own signature line, Riviera. Single and tandem kayaks from Perception are also available for guided trips and unsupervised excursions on the lake. Bash Outdoors' bus shuttles kayakers to five additional outlets along the Catawba River, including the Fort Mill Dam and a waterway reserved exclusively for Olympic hopefuls.
Signature service: Gallery, Gift Shop and Ceramic Studio
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Pro Tip: Be ready to get dirty. and bring your choice of beverage and snacks for creativity breaks.
Sometimes it's all about the little things in life. What supplemental courtesies do you include with your main services to leave clients with a smile on their face?
Olive's makes sure that every piece made is as successfully as possible. The instructor provides individual attention as much as possible, giving the customer the confidence to complete a piece of artwork they will be proud of.
What's one tip for first-time customers that will make them feel like regulars?
Wear comfortable clothing that you do not care about. The products wash out, but black really shows the clay dust. You may be standing while working, so wear comfortable shoes.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
I worked in advertising and graphic arts since the age of 18, soon moving towards the printing industry as a color specialist. Becoming a mom pushed me more in fine arts, first painting, then the past 15 years working in ceramics. It started with a weekly class to unwind from dealing with my wonderful children. It turns out that working with clay is natural for me. I enjoy three dimensional works, but I also enjoy painting from time to time.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
You may think that your are not artistic or creative, but Olive's is here to show you that you are. Everyone has the ability to create in "the puddle" at Olive's.
Some people are born with a misplaced overabundance of self-confidence, as the popularity of karaoke bars can attest, but most develop the trait by accomplishing feats they never believed they were capable of. The black-belt-wearing, championship-winning instructors that helm ATA Karate’s 6 locations seek to foster that self-confidence by teaching students the art of self-defense in its many forms, including tae kwon do and Krav Maga. With a client base ranging from toddlers to adults, the ATA staff keeps people empowered and fit by demonstrating effective ways to properly punch, kick, and look cool in slow motion. In addition to teaching martial arts, instructors host leadership programs that show kids how to avoid the perils of peer pressure and adults how to maintain order in their lives. They also cover topics such as dealing with bullies and eliminating child abductions in a series of regular workshops.
Dreamed up by the author and illustrator of its namesake children's book series, Baxter's Bunch Playhouse entertains kids with healthy, fitness-minded activities. Originally developed in 2006, the educational tomes' main characters, each a different sports ball, emphasize important values such as why sharing is good, how teamwork benefits everyone, and why mushing twinkies into the shape of a carrot still doesn't count as eating a vegetable. The books' creators aim to carry the same principles over to Baxter's Bunch Playhouse, where little ones can bounce in a forest of inflatable playgrounds and expel energy in kid-friendly fitness programs. Parents are encouraged to join their children during playtime, but adult spectators can observe from a lounge area replete with computers, WiFi, a flat-screen TV, and poetry made solely from stock-market symbols.
Before opening Carolina Karate & Fitness Center, Shihan White garnered a slew of achievements in martial arts. He became an inductee to the National Sport Karate Hall of Fame—an honor his son and co-instructor Matthew also obtained—earned a 7th degree black belt, and clinched a Doctorate in Martial Arts Philosophies and Martial Arts Sciences. Like his father, Matthew's martial arts accomplishments could fill a breakable board, including being ranked 5th in the world as a junior black belt. Shihan and Matthew bestow their wisdom on students during adult karate classes and self-defense courses. They also oversee weapons classes where students wield wooden swords, meld yoga and karate, and round out fitness programs with boot camp, body sculpting, and other classes.
Performers feed off the energy of their audience, and when there is no audience, there is no energy. To stop this problem before it starts, venues turn to FillASeat, a business that supplies its members with tickets to events that still have seats to fill. Members enjoy a year of entry to popular shows, sporting events, and concerts, bulking up the audience more suitably than a litter of chihuahuas dressed in tuxedoes. Upon joining FillASeat, members receive access to a list of upcoming events, which range from concerts, comedy, sports, and dance to theater, symphonic- and classical-music performances, expos, and miscellaneous events.