#LovingtheLocal with Collective Clothing

If you have a creative sense of style, and you like save money when you shop, you’ll love Collective Clothing. Owners Sondra and Travis Aten, along with two employees, operate twolocations, one in St. Elmo, and one on the North Shore.

St. Elmo location

St. Elmo location

You’ll find…everything at Collective Clothing. Vintage stuff, cool stuff, weird stuff. Clothing, home items, artwork. The Atens work hard to handpick unusual stock for the store. If you need a special outfit, inspiration, or an unusual gift, stop by either location and take a look around! You will not be disappointed.


lion headed dressees

#LovingtheLocal with Clean Sweep

When it comes to parking lot maintenance, street sweeping, pressure washing, along with many other services, Clean Sweep stands out among the rest. Since 1984, Clean Sweep has been keeping area business properties looking neat and professional.

Locally owned and operated, Clean Sweep provides cost-effective maintenance for area churches, apartment complexes, general contractors, homeowners’ associations, and many other businesses and organizations.

Clean sweep

#LovingtheLocal with the 3 Sisters Festival

Usually, we feature a locally owned and operated business in the #LovingtheLocal column. This week were showcasing something different: one of Chattanooga’s favorite music festivals. The 3 Sisters Festival is a FREE, two night music extravaganza. There are food vendors, beautiful views and lots of happy people.

The shows take place on the river front, and are sure to make you tap your toes. The weather is cooler than during Riverbend, and did we mention that it is free? This year, the festival takes place on guitarFriday, October 3 (that’s TONIGHT!) and Saturday, October 4. Eleven different bands will play, filling the area with bluegrass music.

It’s a great event for families. Bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit. Please no coolers or outside food; vendors will be available.

Come on out and experience one of Chattanooga’s favorite festivals!


#LovingtheLocal with the Chattanooga Public Library

How long has it been since you visited the library? Do you remember a slightly weird smell, lots of old ladies, and dusty books? That is not at all what the Chattanooga Public Library is like today! In fact, there are things happening at the library that may seem distinctly un-library-like.

On the 4th floor of the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library, you will find a “public laboratory and educational facility with a focus on information, design, technology, and the

The entrance to the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library and Shush Café.

The entrance to the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library and Shush Café. Photo from the library’s Flickr account. 

applied arts. The more than 12,000 sq foot space hosts equipment, expertise, programs, events, and meetings that work within this scope. While traditional library spaces support the consumption of knowledge by offering access to media, the 4th floor is unique because it supports the production, connection, and sharing of knowledge by offering access to tools and instruction,” according to the library’s website. In other words, there is much more than books being housed in the building!

You will find that the staff of the library is not there to shush you, either. Instead, they want to share the excitement of what is happening in Chattanooga in general, and in the library especially, with everyone who comes through the doors. The folks who work at the library are excited about what’s going on at the library and will gladly tell you about it. The only “Shush” at the downtown library is the café, where you can enjoy a some delicious Sone Cup coffee, brewed by the librarians behind the circulation desk.

Books are still important, too. Their collection includes all the latest and greatest fiction and nonfiction works, plus books about just about any subject you can imagine. There is a great deal of information about local and regional history that would be tough to find anywhere else.

If you haven’t been to the library in awhile, stop by. You’re likely to be surprised!

#LovingtheLocal with The Chatt Inn

If you need a hotel in Chattanooga, but you prefer to do business with locally owned operations rather than chains, you may want to visit The Chatt Inn. Clean rooms, free wifi, a pool, and reasonable rates make this hotel just right for a quick get-away, or for longer-term business travelers. Located 2000 East 23rd Street, staying at The Chatt Inn makes attending events downtown simple and convenient.

Local resident Jeff McFarlane operates the Chatt Inn and takes great pride is providing outstanding service to visitors. The Inn is pet-friendly, and features rooms with full size refrigerators and microwaves. Give them a call the next time you need a place to stay!

the chatt inn

#LovingtheLocal with Northshore/Realty Center Insurance

When you are looking for insurance it helps to have an agent who will be honest and keep your best interests at the forefront of any conversation, and that is exactly what you will get when you deal with the representatives at Northshore/Realty Center Insurance. Protecting your home, business, and family is a big responsibility and one that Vickie Champion and her staff take seriously. If you are looking for home, commercial, or life insurance get in touch with Vickie and her team at Northshore/Realty Center Insurance.

The NorthShore/Realty Center Team Kim Love, Kathy Butcher, Vickie Champion,  Betty Cooper, Rebecca Carpenter

The NorthShore/Realty Center Team
Kim Love, Kathy Butcher, Vickie Champion, Betty Cooper, Rebecca Carpenter

#LovingtheLocal with Natural Affinity Soaps



If you love creamy, good-smelling, natural, hand-crafted soaps you need to visit Natural Affinity Soaps. The shop, physically located at 131 Cherry Street in Dunlap, TN, is owned by Chris and Denisea Mann. Their products are also available online. The couple makes all of their products themselves, using the highest quality ingredients. No matter what scent you like, you’re sure to find it at Natural Affinity. They even make very mild soaps that are safe for those with sensitive skin. In addition to their own products, they carry items made by local artisans.

Denisea says that she especially loves “creating products with pure essential oils because they are so giving.” Whether you choose to browse their products online or take a leisurely drive to visit the shop, give yourself a touch of luxury and enjoy a bar of soap, a bottle of oil, a candle, or another hand-crafted item.



#LovingtheLocal with Alan Neal & Associates


Alan Neal is a professional and good at what he does. He also courteous, punctual, and detail-oriented — all the qualities you want in a CPA. Alan is the owner of Alan Neal & Associates, a financial Business Chartsadvisory, accounting, and tax firm located in Chattanooga. The firm specializes in helping businesses examine how their operating systems impact cash flow.

Small business owners can feel overwhelmed with all the details involved in running a business. Alan and his team can help. They provide a personalized, tailored approach designed specifically for each client’s situation. From policies and procedures to systems and bookkeeping, Alan’s team helps businesses succeed. If you are looking for financial advice, accounting, or tax services, give Alan a call. He’ll be happy to help!

#LovingtheLocal with #RunChattanooga

This week we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Bird, who is at the center of an enthusiastic group of people interested in running, #RunChattanooga. It’s free, it looks like a LOT of fun, and it’s guaranteed to get you moving. Courtney is the executive director of the group and she is serious about inclusiveness and camaraderie. If you are looking for a way to get fit, have fun, and make some new friends — without touching your bank account — keep reading!

The current #RunChattanooga schedule looks like this:run chattanooga group

Monday group run at 5:45pm
Tough Love on Tuesday and Thursday mornings 6:30am
Speed work at the Red Bank High School track on Thursday nights at 8pm (this time will change when the seasons change)
And a Saturday morning group run that we do with the crew at Front Runner Athletics at 7:30am
To find out more about whens and wheres, Courtney encourages everyone to get on the #RunChattanooga email list, and to follow on either Facebook or Twitter: 
Email: http://runchattanooga.org/join-the-club/
If you choose to get involved you can expect encouragement, laughter, and to sweat! Everyone, regardless of level, is invited to join. All workouts can be tailored to fit anyone, so even if you haven’t run since elementary school, you’ll be able to keep up. Several members even bring their kids — who love it! The Tough Love workouts are 30 minute, high intensity workouts that involve pushups, crunches, and always some stair climbing, because, Courtney says, “Climbing stairs is good for your butt!”
Tough - but  fun - love

Tough – but fun – love

Partner work is part of many #RunChattanooga workouts

Partner work is part of many #RunChattanooga workouts

When your workout feels like playing games, it's better!

When your workout feels like playing games, it’s better!




Secrets 2 Staging – A Slight Twist on #LovingtheLocal

Each week, we like to feature an outstanding local business here on theNoogaLife. This week, instead of our usual format, we would like to share a guest post from business owner Theresa Maddox, owner of Secrets


before staging

2 Staging. Theresa helps homeowners and real estate agents ready houses for the market. If you would like to learn more about her business, you can reach her at 423-987-3054, or send her an email at secrets2staging@yahoo.com.

My goal in working with realtors and their clients is to help home buyers to visualize the house as “their home” and guiding sellers in staging their house to show off its best features.

Once a home is put on the market it becomes a house, a marketable product.  The goal is to sell the house as quickly as possible and for the highest price.  Statistically staged homes sell for 10-20 percent more than non-staged homes.  94% of staged homes sell with 33 days compared to non staged homes which sell in 144 days, according to the website stagedhomes.com.

When you go to a play, the scenery on the stage is set to give you information of where you are, or what the actors are doing.  That is the goal in staging a home for potential buyers.  We want to show off the features and focal points of the home, not the personal “stuff” of the home owner.

I like to tell my clients that staging is the first step in packing.  If you can box up thinks that are stuffed in closets, cabinets and drawers, precious breakables and hardly used item you are working your way toward moving.    It’s also a great time to donate items that you are not planning on using in your next house.

The three most important steps in staging a home are de-personnalizing, de-cluttering and cleaning.  Removing paper back books, packing up personnel photos and collectibles gives more space to help potential


after staging

buyers see the architecture of the home and visualize themselves in the home.  We are all attached to our personal things and the memories they create but these things might keep a buyer from seeing potential in the home.  Each room in the home needs to welcome guest into the room so they can mentally want to place their furniture and themselves in the room.

The finished product, is the selling of the home.  I love finding out that the house has sold.  The client is happy, the realtor is happy and so am I.  When working with homeowners, you really get to know a lot about them, their families and their lifestyles.  Everyone has reached the goal and the results are worth the effort.


#LovingtheLocal with Area 61

Area 61 is part of the burgeoning arts scene on the Southside of Chattanooga. Originally, the gallery was going to feature works of art made from wood but it quickly evolved to include all sorts of beautiful, handcrafted art. From jewelry to painting to sculpture to furniture, you’ll find it all — and much, much more! Owners David and Keeli Crewe have done a fantastic job of creating a comfortable atmosphere that is a bit unusual for an art gallery. You’ll probably want to pull up a chair and enjoy the ambiance for awhile when you visit.

On May 5, 2014, Area 61 celebrated their five year anniversary. Having opened during a serious economic downturn, things were touch and go at times, but by finding and showcasing gorgeous work from local artists and craftspeople, as well as by contributing to the community, Area 61 pulled through the most difficult period for most new businesses.

A fun time to visit the gallery is during the Southside Stroll, the last Friday of each month from 5-8pm. (It’s the perfect thing to do just before Nightfall!). Many of the artists are at the gallery during the Strolls. The next Southside Stroll is Friday, June 27, and Area 61 will be featuring a new body of work by local artist Bob Fazio, called Italy Reimagined.

Take a look!

area 61 door, logo

Come on in!



David and Keeli Crewe

David and Keeli Crewe


There's a LOT to see!

There’s a LOT to see!


Every corner is filled with beautiful things.

Every corner is filled with beautiful things.



#LovingtheLocal with Southern Star Restaurant

If you like meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, pork chops, and other delectable southern food, you need to visit the Southern Star. With two SouthernStarlocations — one on the Southside, and one on Signal Mountain — the Southern Star makes it easy for Chattanoogans to get a fix of southern cooked goodness.

Operated by Rick and Nancy Adams, the Southern Star offers up the best kind of comfort food. Menu items are all house-made, and taste like someone’s grandmother is doing the cooking. One of the things that is special about the Southern Star is the carry-out convenience they offer. You can purchase a fully-cooked entree and side items to take home and reheat, in sizes that vary from a single portion to a family-sized serving.

The Broad Street location is a full-service restaurant, with a smaller carry-out section, while the Signal Mountain location is more of a carry-out shop, where you can have items heated if you want to eat in. Both locations offer special orders and catering, whether you want to buy a whole cake, or have a black-tie event catered.

Whichever location you visit, do yourself a favor and have dessert! Cakes, pies, and perfect banana pudding keep customers coming back for more. But, it’s not all sweets and fried foods — the deli cases have plenty of fresh, healthy options. The kale salad, and the quinoa salad are both low in calories but extremely flavorful.