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After a flat August, this North Carolina toy store is already looking forward to the holidays

Sep 14, 2023
For this toy store owner, the biggest challenge right now is prepping for the holidays.
"We are selling a lot of Halloween products right now," said Irene Kesselman, owner of Ali Cat Toys in Carrboro, NC. "And certainly we'll move into the Christmas season shortly thereafter."
Ariel Jackson

Removing a dam, reconnecting communities

Apr 7, 2023
Dismantling a century-old barrier in North Carolina would reopen a river, restore species and benefit Indian land. But will it be funded?
Joey Owle of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians helped bring partners together in the effort to remove the Ela Dam — if the project gets federal funding.
David Boraks/WFAE

Weathering the economic storm, this small-business owner remains optimistic

Feb 6, 2023
Like other retail businesspeople, Amelia Freeman-Lynde of Durham, North Carolina, has grappled with supply chain and staffing issues.
Amelia Freeman-Lynde owns Freeman's Creative, a craft shop in Durham, North Carolina. "Not only is it year over year been a really different business, but every month,” she says.
Jade Wilson/Courtesy Freeman-Lynde

In this North Carolina toy shop, business is up — including back orders

Jul 9, 2021
Irene Kesselman, owner of Ali Cat Toys, describes how back orders are taking up more of her time.
Ali Cat Toys is a much busier place than it was in 2020.
Courtesy Irene Kesselman

Apple will spend more than $1 billion on new campus in North Carolina's Triangle

Apr 26, 2021
The move's all about attracting talent — a lot of it.
Apple's North Carolina branch may attract workers who don't want to live in San Francisco or New York City.
Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Craft store, rooted in hands-on learning, pivots online to survive

Amelia Freeman-Lynde wanted to show people the joys of handcraft in person. The pandemic forced her to transition to e-commerce.
Amelia Freeman-Lynde owns Freeman's Creative in Durham, North Carolina. "So much of running a small business is trying to anticipate what's coming next," she says. "And we can't do that right now."
Chika Gujarathi / Courtesy of Amelia Freeman-Lynde

What the story of Soul City, N.C., can teach us about fixing systemic economic racism

Aug 19, 2020
Civil rights leader Floyd McKissick set out to create a town, aided by government funding, that would showcase Black capitalism. Professor Devin Fergus explains why the story is relevant today.
Civil rights leaders including Floyd McKissick, second from left, at the White House with President John Kennedy in 1963. McKissick led the Congress of Racial Equality and later founded Soul City.
AFP/Getty Images

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Rebranding a Southern city with food to the fore

Apr 26, 2019
Charlotte, North Carolina, wants visitors and potential residents to see it as a culinary capital.
A group of chefs from Charlotte, NC, cooked at the James Beard House in New York as part of a rebranding campaign for the city.
Clay Williams, courtesy of the James Beard Foundation
Health improvements can lead to economic improvements.
iStock via Getty Images Plus

Hurricane means fewer North Carolina sweet potatoes

Nov 22, 2018
The state provides most of the nation's fresh supply; Florence wiped out 20 percent of the crop.
Jimmy Burch, owner of Burch Farms in North Carolina, said he lost about a third of this year's sweet potato crop because of rain from Hurricane Florence.
Andy Uhler/Marketplace