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Women in charge: A look at some of the Upstate businesses owned by women



We all know the Upstate is a dynamic, supportive and creative ecosystem of businesses across a wide variety of industries. When we put the call out to specifically feature women-owned businesses in this issue, we weren’t quite sure what  to expect. But we were delighted to hear from so many of you. Here are 67 businesses that are making a difference, providing valuable skills, products and services, and making the Upstate a great place to do business.


Dwell Greenville

Maggie Laterza, founder

  • A home renovation and real estate services business
  • Opened: September 2015
  • 864-243-7424

Health in Hand Juice & Smoothie Bar

Emily Vargo, owner

  • Spartanburg-based juice and smoothie shop
  • Opened: January 2015
  • 864-707-2692

Transportation Nanny LLC

Ravii Glover, owner and CEO

  • A professional provider of door-to-door child transportation services
  • Opened: August 2016
  • 864-901-7689

Essie Yvonne; Timeless Beauty

Essie Taylor, founder and makeup artist

  • Focuses on natural beauty enhancement and beauty education
  • Opened: April 2018
  • 864-380-2683

The Learning Edge

Essie Taylor, virtual learning coach

Pink Mama’s Ice Cream

Jessica Randall, owner

  • Locations in Travelers Rest and on Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville, as well as ice cream trucks. The business will also open a location at the Easley Silos.
  • Opened: February 2008
  • 864-905-4849

Hartwell Marketing

Adriane Willis, owner and director

  • A full-service marketing and events agency serving the Clemson area
  • Opened: December 2015
  • 864-256-4475

DP3 Architects Ltd.

Meg Terry, principal

  • Architecture and interior design firm
  • Opened: May 1985
  • 864-232-8200

Pure Romance by Meghan

Meghan Meier, senior director

  • A women’s sexual health expert and relationship paramedic
  • Opened: May 2011
  • prbymeghan.comcom
  • 919-608-3480

Planting Faith

Faith DuBow, owner

  • An online-based indoor plant sales shop
  • Opened: September 2020
  • 732-887-6629

MerMac Consulting

Pam Merritt, president

Revealing Purpose Life Coaching Services LLC

Tiffany Boyd, CEO

  • Provides life purpose and transitional life coaching services
  • Opened: September 2018
  • 803-445-6618

Southern Culture Hospitality Group

Renee Boyett, managing partner

  • Owns and operates Southern Culture, LTO Burger Bar and The Habitap
  • Opened: September 2013
  • 864-373-3693

Perfect Pitch Productions LLC

Amanda Harley Allen, owner and founder

Marian Pouch Art

Marian Pouch, artist and owner

  • A local artist specializing in custom wall murals and works on canvas
  • Opened: August 2017
  • 864-313-5708

Bobby’s BBQ

Sarah Nelson, owner

  • Texas-style barbecue restaurant in Fountain Inn
  • Opened: October 2018
  • 864-409-2379

Clothes Mentor

Sadie Cherney, owner

Launch Something

Sims Bouwmeester, president

  • A creative marketing agency serving up brand stories, design and digital strategies
  • Opened: August 2005
  • 864-580-2350

Dance Without Limits

Beth Bradley, owner and director

  • An inclusive and family-friendly dance studio serving children aged 18 months to 18 years
  • Opened: July 2016
  • 864-412-7788

Comfort Keepers

Erin Couchell, owner

  • An in-home care service for seniors and adults
  • Opened: October 2006
  • 864-573-2353

Pearce B Designs

Pearce Butcher, owner and principal designer

The Frosting Fairy

Regan Booths, owner

  • The bakery specializes in sugar cookies as well as making cakes and cupcakes
  • Opened: November 2018
  • 864-434-0309

OASE Day Spa

Karen Weaver, owner

  • An in-town day spa specializing in nontoxic skin, body and nail care
  • Opened: August 2020
  • 864-293-6412

HMF Yoga Studio

Lindsey Breitwieser, founder and owner

Arrowhead Design Co.

Lanie Whitaker, president

  • A full-service marketing agency
  • Opened: May 2016
  • 864-558-7609

Horton Consulting LLC

Judy Horton, president

  • Provides assessments, career coaching specializing in assisting military veterans
  • Opened: June 2019
  • 864-680-9385


Taryn Scher, the sparkle boss

  • A boutique public relations firm specializing in the travel and hospitality industries
  • Opened: January 2008
  • 864-469-7488

Todem Brands

Rhem Galloway, owner and chief brand leader

  • A branding company leveraging every aspect of who you are
  • Opened: September 2018
  • 864-448-0600

Blue Moon Specialty Foods

Molly Cashman, owner

  • Restaurant, caterer, gourmet food producer and market
  • Opened: May 2006
  • 864-586-2344

The Art of Megs

Megan Diamaduros, artist

  • Local artist painting subjects including weddings, pets and houses
  • Opened: January 2019
  • 910-603-7365

Wilson Associates Real Estate

Sharon Wilson, president, CEO and broker in charge

  • Locally-owned, boutique real estate company serving all of Upstate South Carolina
  • Opened: July 2014
  • 864-640-8700

CrossFit Potentia

Krista Mayberry, co-owner

  • Crossfit and personal training business
  • Opened: July 2015
  • 864-475-7099

Kidding Around Greenville

Bethany Winston, owner and editor

  • Family website which serves as an Upstate resource for families to find activities to do together
  • Opened: September 2012
  • 864-238-3472

Siren Salon

Aliceson Waller, co-owner, esthetician and educator

Sexton Design and Development, LLC

Natasha Sexton, president

  • Provides landscape architecture and general contracting
  • Opened: June 2017
  • 864-412-7712

Novus Advisors

Jennifer Belshe, co-founder and principal

  • An independent SEC registered investment advisor
  • Opened: March 2011
  • 864-272-3579

The Pole Academy LLC

Jax Spencer, owner and master instructor

  • Offers pole dance and fitness classes in Greenville
  • Opened: June 2014
  • 864-520-2834

Sharp Brain Consulting

TEDxGreenville 2018: express.
Greenville, SC, U.S.A.
Ian Curcio.
iancurcio, LLC
Jessica Sharp “The Brain on Poverty”

Jessica Sharp, founder and CEO

Soulful Beginnings Academy

Alanda Posey, CEO

Home at Last Inc

CJ McAuley, president

  • Upscale consignment furniture store
  • Opened: February 2001
  • 864-787-9050

My Pleasure: The Unofficial Chick-fil-A Podcast

Alison Storm, founder and host

  • A weekly podcast and online shop for Chick-fil-A fans
  • Opened: March 2020
  • 239-292-7343

Paris Mountain Marketing

Jackie Blackwell, owner

English for Life Academy

Kim Carroll, CEO

  • Offers intercultural training and certification to teach English overseas
  • Opened: January 2004
  • 864-280-9865

Lynne D. Jones CPA LLC

Lynne Jones, owner

Jeter Hrubala Wealth Strategies LLC

Beth Jeter Hrubala, president and owner

  • Personal financial planning and investment management services
  • Opened: August 2014
  • 864-764-1789

Defenders For Children

Toni Clark, CEO

  • Implements programs that stop child abuse, trafficking and child pornography
  • Opened: October 2000
  • 864-787-5681

Greenville Sleep Clinic

Navina Mehta, owner and medical director

The Dressing Room South

Amelia Horr, owner

Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery

Mary Walsh and Jacqueline Oliver, co-owners

  • Café and grocery store dedicated to serving local farmers and food makers
  • Opened: September 2011
  • 646-202-3202

Intellectual Capitol

Traci Newkirk, president

  • Staffing, software and consulting company
  • Opened: June 2003
  • 864-616-4154

Cindy Crick Law LLC

Cindy Crick, owner and attorney

  • A law firm focused on handling Title IX matters and criminal work
  • Opened: June 2020
  • 864-775-5788

Thornton-Hall Travel LLC

Lisa Hall, president

High Spirits Hospitality

Tammy Johnson, CEO

Sylvan Learning of the Upstate

Amy Gardner, owner


Jessica Heckman and Kelsey Osteen, owners

Details Public Relations

Photo by Cox Photography

Kara Dullea, president

  • Public relations consultant
  • Opened: July 2008
  • 864-275-3331

Rail Training & Consulting Inc.

Sarah Lynne Howie, director of operations and vice president

  • Provide rail safety training and compliance software for rail operations
  • Opened: March 1997
  • 864-501-0808

Sash Clothes

Marclee McDaniel and Blair Brading, co-owners

  • Online boutique servicing busy, budget-conscious women
  • Opened: June 2019
  • 864-770-5638

Greenville Cheese Girl

Lauren Davis, owner

D.W.D Financial

Wykina Warner, owner and operator

  • Offers tax preparation, insurance options, credit repair and notary services
  • Opened: July 2020
  • 864-409-7926

M2 Philanthropy

Maggie Morton, owner and founder

  • Offers philanthropy, fundraising, and nonprofit consultancy services
  • Opened: May 2019
  • 843-290-6300

Pod Farms LLC

Toni Sperry, president

  • Designs, builds and sells home hydroponic gardens
  • Opened: April 2017
  • 864-671-0879

C. Taylor Interiors Inc.

Carey Taylor, president

  • Interior design firm with an interiors retail shop
  • Opened: January 1999
  • 864-254-6395

Brittany Jones Nutrition Group

Brittany Jones, CEO

  • Registered dietitians provide nutrition counseling
  • Opened: July 2017
  • 864-729-3321

Two Men and a Truck

Rebecca Feldman, owner

LifeEaze Virtual Assistant

Javion Woods, president

  • Provides virtual administrative services to small business owners
  • Opened: October 2016
  • 864-982-7831

Liz Tew Interiors

Liz Tew, founder

  • Residential and commercial services ranging from refreshes to full installs
  • Opened: October 2020
  • 864-414-9463

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?



When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances



Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit



Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.



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