#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

Neighborhood Spotlight: Ashwood Subdivision

Chattanooga is filled with different types of communities: you can live in an urban environment, out in the country, or somewhere in between. Over the next few months thenoogalife.com is going to spotlight a few of the places ‘Noogans live, and what makes them special.

The community of Ashwood is one of those “in between” places. The ‘burbs have gotten some bad press lately, but in Chattanooga, living in the suburbs doesn’t mean you have an hours’ long commute or that you have less access to grocery stores and pharmacies. In fact, in Ashwood, the opposite is true. Located just off Shallowford Road, there are lots of shopping and dining options nearby, but the neighborhood is still quiet and family-oriented. It takes just minutes to get to Hamilton Place Mall and the surrounding businesses, yet most homes are equipped with inviting yards for dogs and children. Travel is easy too because I-75 is close enough to be convenient, but far enough away that there is no road noise.

Enterprise Park, with miles of walking trails, is minutes away, as is Heritage Park where dogs are welcome. Life in the Ashwood community has much to offer! If being near downtown, having a lawn, being able to get to both shopping and parks easily appeals to you, then a neighborhood like Ashwood may be what you are looking for. The homes are beautiful, too. Take a look at this one, located at 7619 Asherton Drive, which is currently for sale:

Asherton postcard

#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 HooNew

This week’s #lovingthelocal business is HooNew, owned and operated by Evelyn Johnston. Evelyn’s booth is located in Redbriar Antiques in East Ridge, which has been open justHooNew owl over one week. She sells whimsical, funky, fun home decor and furnishings. Some of her items are repurposed, and some are just cool.

Evelyn created her first commissioned art piece at the age of 12. That is to say, she has always enjoyed crafting, creating art, and finding beauty in surprising places. When her daughter got married, she relied on Evelyn’s talents to get the vintage look and feel she wanted for the wedding. Evelyn says they visited thrift stores, estate sales, and yard sales looking for the perfect pieces.

The whole experience gave Evelyn the desire to do more. She first opened a booth in the shop The Green Door, which was located on Georgia Avenue and later moved to the North Shore. Evelyn enjoyed being part of the shop and knew after the store closed she wanted to continue. She feels she has found her place at Red Briar.

Evelyn says that she “loves to do something unconventional” with her work. She likes bold, unusual color combinations, such as aqua and red. “I want my work to be

The HooNew booth at Red Briar

The HooNew booth at Red Briar

inspiring and different — but not different in a weird way,” she jokes.

You can see some of Evelyn’s pieces on her Facebook page, and also on Instagram. Redbriar Antiques is having a huge Mother’s Day celebration on Saturday, May 10, and if you mention seeing this post, Evelyn will offer you 10% off at her booth.


#LovingtheLocal: Change-N-Go

How many times have you put off having your oil changed because you didn’t have time to get it done? A new company in Chattanooga, Change-N-Go, is revolutionizing how Chattanoogans get their oil changed. Change-N-Go comes to YOU. So, while you are at work, and your car is in the parking lot, they will come and change your oil. You don’t waste valuable evening or weekend time change n go 2— and their prices are competitive with other service stations.

Owner James Chapman says that he came up with the idea for his business by “thinking like a consumer.” He said he needed an oil change himself one day but thought, “I hate going to get my oil changed,” and he wished there was some other way to do it. He did a bit of research and found that there are services in other cities that go to customers and do oil changes, but nothing like that existed in Chattanooga.

Encouraged, James continued researching, put together a business plan, got funding, and launched Change-N-Go last October. He says they do one big thing differently than similar services in other places though: “We added some useful technology. For example, we have an app you can download for scheduling.” Makes sense that an oil change company in the Gig City would take advantage of the convenience of technology!

Sometimes, customers ask when Change-N-Go will start offering batteries, air filters, windshield wipers, and other products normally sold at service centers. He says maybe someday. “We don’t ever want our customers to feel pressured. If we do add services, they will be available, but we won’t try to upsell our customers.” For now, Change-N-Go will focus on oil changes and inspections. “All of our technicians are ASE certified, and we do a full inspection with each oil change. If there is something wrong, we will let you know, and make suggestions about where you might want to go to get it fixed. Since we don’t gain anything, our customers know we are telling the truth,” James says.

If you are intrigued and you need your oil changed, make an appointment. You can save $2 on an oil change by mentioning this blog post! You can schedule on the Change-N-Go website, or by calling 423-228-0450.

5 Ideas for Last Minute Local Shopping in Nooga

Sure, you could stop by Wal-Mart and grab some fancy soap, or some other generic gift, but Nooga is full of independent, locally-owned stores and shops that carry interesting, unique items that make great gifts.

Blue Skies on Frazier Avenue offers an abundance of gifts, from hand-crafted cards to frames to jewelry to calendars. There is really something for everyone in this gorgeous shop, making it perfect for gift exchanges where you have no idea who will end up with your gift.

Buying gifts for children can be especially fun. Chattanooga is home to quite a few shops that specialize in interesting things for kids. A Child’s Garden Boutique, Learning Express, and WiggleWorm are all located in North Chattanooga and have beautiful items for play and wear and learning. When you patronize these places you can be sure you won’t be buying a duplicate gift!

Everyone has to eat, and most of us love a good meal, or a perfect dessert. Gift cards are available at most area restaurants. From the higher end and wonderful Alleia to the more casual but delicious Hill City Pizza, you can give the gift of an excellent meal. If dessert is more your style, no problem! The Hot Chocolatier is amazing, as is Julie Darling Donuts.

Shopping for a pet lover in Chattanooga is not too difficult, either. You can find the perfect treat or toy at whimsical Bone Apetite, or for a more traditional pet store experience, check out the Pet Care Warehouse in Hixson.

When it comes to clothes shopping, Chattanooga has a few locally-operated options. Fit for a Queen carries beautiful clothes in plus sizes, while Retail Therapy has everything from party clothes to casual comfort.

There are many more locally owned and operated businesses in Chattanooga. Check out this spreadsheet to see many of them. You are welcome to add your favorite local business to the list as well!

Where to Buy Food in Nooga

We all love to eat out, but for most of us, eating in is necessary – and fun – too. This is a guide to where you can buy food in Chattanooga, plus a couple of places that can help you sharpen up your cooking skills, if that is something you desire to do!

Grocery Stores

As in most cities, there are several grocery store chains represented in Chattanooga. Some are local, some are regional, and some are national.


As a grocer, Wal-Mart has made some progress in the last few years, by making an effort to stock at least some locally grown products. While you could never describe Wal-Mart as gourmet, it would certainly be fair to say the chain is economical. Plus, if you need to purchase other household supplies, Wal-Mart does offer one-stop-shopping appeal.

Food Lion

A regional chain, Food Lion seems to have a shrinking presence in the Chattanooga market. However, there are still a few stores left in the area, in East Ridge, Chickamauga, and Cleveland. Food Lion offers all the benefits of a traditional grocer.


As of this writing, there are three Publix stores in or near Chattanooga: in Hixson, East Brainerd, and Ooltewah. Discussions are underway regarding a new Publix downtown. Publix is sometimes described as a more “upscale” grocer, but they still offer the benefits of a traditional grocer.


Another regional store, several BI-LO stores in Chattanooga have recently been remodeled. BI-LO is probably the chain with the most locations in town with 10 stores within 15 miles of the city.

Pruett’s Signal Mountain Market

At one time there were Pruett’s Foods all over the city, but the chain is now a chain of one. But, it’s a good one. Providing everything you expect in a grocery store, plus a deli, and an impressive beer selection, Pruett’s is convenient for mountain residents.

Greenlife/Whole Foods

Greenlife was a locally owned store for many years, but is now a part of Whole Foods. Besides offering a great selection of local produce, and organic foods, Greenlife has one of the best food bars in town. The balcony is nice, too.

The Fresh Market

If you are looking for a specialty item, then you should visit a specialty store, and that is exactly what The Fresh Market is. You will find a butcher, a fish market, and a bakery, as well as a good selection of natural and specialty items. The only location in Chattanooga currently is on Gunbarrel Road.


Also on Gunbarrel Road, Earthfare is offers an excellent combination of traditional grocer, natural foods, and specialty items. They also sometimes offer fantastic deals and coupons on Twitter and other social media sites.

Warehouse Clubs

If you are looking to buy larger quantities, you will be happy to know that both Sam’s Club and Costco have stores in Chattanooga. So, if you are throwing a party or simply want to stock up, those two might be best for you.

Farmers Markets

If you prefer to spend your food dollars as locally as possible, you are in luck! Chattanooga is a veritable farmers market shopper’s paradise, especially during the spring, summer, and fall. You can find a complete list of local markets at on the Gaining Ground web site, but here are a few of our favorites:

The Chattanooga Market 

Held each Sunday from April until December, this is by far the largest local food market in town, and you will find considerably more than food. Vendors also offer flowers, crafts, art, and entertainment. If you are shopping for food, plan to arrive early. It gets gone pretty quickly!

The Main Street Farmers Market

This is a producers-only market, so when you buy food here, you are buying it from the person who grew it, baked it, or otherwise prepared it. The market is held each Wednesday, from 4-6pm on Main Street. This is where you go if you are interested in joining a CSA program, or you are looking for a herd share for local dairy. The vendors are friendly, knowledgeable, and generally willing to chat and answer questions.

The Brainerd Farmers Market

Each Saturday from 10am to 1pm, the parking lot of the Grace Episcopal Church in Brainerd is transformed into a farmers market. The Brainerd Market operates in summer and fall, and is a fun way to experience a wonderful sense of community spirit.

Of course there are lots of other places that you can get food – from Target to the corner gas station. These are just a few of our favorite places. Let us know where you like to shop in the comments!