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Community Lifestyle

Iris Festival Creates Revenue and Exposure For Small Businesses

Iris Festival Creates Revenue and Exposure For Small Businesses from Ashley Coffey on Vimeo.

Artisans from all over the United States gathered together for the Iris Festival in downtown Greeneville, Tennessee on May 22, 2016 to display their handmade designs in anticipation of promoting their small businesses. There were more than 160 vendors that showed up for the two-day festival. Artists participate in drawing crowds to their tables and are active in giving their information out to those who are interested in buying and learning about their crafts. Business cards are handed out at each table even after the festival is over so that buyers can keep up with new and improved products through social media, such as Etsy.

Cyndi Gorskey is from Florida. She etches designs and has painted wine glasses that she has turned into candleholders. Gorskey is familiar with attending festivals and being involved in them herself. The Iris Festival is the first festival she has been to in Tennessee, “It’s a beautiful little town, well organized.” She says she hopes to return to the Iris Festival next year.

Businesses like David Cornett and his wife who started “Just Herbs” have been participating in the Iris Festival for many years. When his wife told him that she couldn’t have any more salt, so he came up with a blend to season their vegetables and everything else. It’s been 30 years since they started their business. They have created over 300 different types of spices and combinations of herbs to cook with. They have sold their spices all over the world.

The Iris Festival shines a light on small businesses and exposes them to a lot of people. The festival gives artisans a chance on making profits off of their dreams, dedication, and hard work.

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3 Methods for Utilizing Meditation: Office Edition

“If you’re still looking for a business case to justify spending time meditating, try this one: Mediation makes you more productive… Meditation gives you practice having power over your urges so you can make intentional choices about which to follow and which to let pass.”

Peter Bergman, Harvard Business Review
Corporate America is jumping on the bandwagon. Employees are costing businesses major bucks due to work related stress. It is estimated that there is a loss of about 3.2 workdays along with a whopping $10.11 billon as the annual cost of having stressed out employees. It does not pay to have employees who are not mentally capable of doing tasks at hand. Corporations are noticing the impact stress has on workers financially and health wise. Both of these areas are important to observe and maintain personnel wellbeing in order for company production to designate at its highest peak. Healthy workers make healthful rewards for corporations, so it is in the best interest of employers to ensure that employees are learning techniques to enhance their mental health. It is quite simple to utilize meditative techniques within the walls of an office building. Incorporating these 3 methods of meditation (mentioned below) into a daily office routine will greatly increase productive work from employees.
Triangle Breathing

“Take a deep breath” is a common demand that is meant to calm an individual during a moment of felt or visual stress. While this is a great suggestion, taking it a step further and augmenting breathing performance will elevate the breathing performance. The practice of triangle breathing is simple. It is a technique that can be practiced while in a meeting or while being seated at an office desk. Following a natural inhale and exhale, the following inhale will be counted then proceeded by a hold of the same count, then finalized with an exhale of the same count. An inhale of 5 seconds will be held for 5 seconds and exhaled for 5 seconds. This creates an imagined triangle for a visual effect. This concentrated breathing technique can be repeated for 3 to 5 minutes.

Time Tap
Connecting physical actions with mental phrases and steady deep breathing is another meditative technique. While both hands are positioned on thighs, start from the pinky fingers, and tap each finger along with the syllable of a five-word phrase like, “I always have enough time”.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

The body has a way of holding in stress when the mind is overwhelmed. Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that brings physical awareness to tension located within the muscles. This technique brings focus to muscle groups by tensing muscles and slowly releasing the muscle and while noticing the tension leaving the body. It can be in a sequence from head to toe tensing and relaxing or toe to head. Once this technique is practiced multiple times the benefits increase like all other forms of meditation practices.
All three of these forms of meditation can be practiced while at work. After practicing these techniques, over a period of time, work productivity will increase and stress levels of employees will decrease. Happy employees are more productive and willing to expand their creative minds in the better interest for the business’s for which they work. Utilizing meditation in the workplace has the best interest for both the employees and the employers.



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Kris Carlson plays live music for local nonprofit coffee shop

It felt like a big sing along with a bunch of friends.” – Angela Bride


January 22nd, 2016 – Kris Carlson is the worship leader at First Christian Church in Greeneville, Tennessee. Carlson said, “…I kind of ran from ministry, but in the end, God reached into my heart. I decided to use my gifts for worship ministry.” He was recently inspired to create an event where people from the community could come together to fellowship and enjoy live music. His mission for the event was to create an atmosphere where people would enjoy their Friday evening with friends and family. Attendees would also have the opportunity to indulge in freshly brewed coffee and scrumptious deserts provided by the nonprofit establishment started by First Christian Church, Catalyst Coffee Company. Attendees were invited to put in their own musical requests.


Catalyst Coffee Company is where Carlson performed his live musical appearance. He has done multiple performances at Catalyst. This time, he took requests from the people who came to listen, which built an atmosphere of connectivity between Carlson and his audience. An attendee, Angela Bride said, “A lot of the songs he had never performed before. He performed them on the spot. He is a musical genius when it comes to that kind of stuff.” In total, which Carlson blames mostly on the snowy conditions, 14 people were in attendance to see his performance. “I’ve been to a lot of concerts before at Catalyst but this one was very different because of the snow… We didn’t have a lot of people, but we eventually ended up with quite a few people there.” Carlson said, “The thing about Catalyst is that it is a ministry of our church, and the reason I did that [performance] the other night is because I knew there wasn’t a lot going on in town, people were snowed in… So, I took requests for two hours.” Not only did his performance distract people from the snowy weather, his music also boosted business for the café.


“All of it was cotemporary. He sang Billy Joel, James Taylor, basically anything anybody requested… He did a Michael Buble song. We would just come up with artists,” said Bride.

Photos by: Kris Carlson