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Sarah McNally
Entrepreneur and founder, McNally Jackson
Bookseller McNally founded independent bookshop McNally Jackson in New York in 2004 after working as an editor in the publishing industry. She now owns and operates McNally Jackson Books (with five locations in New York), Goods for the Study (with two locations) and a publishing house, McNally Editions.


Connie and Alex Matisse
Co-founders of East Fork Pottery
In 2013, Alex Matisse founded ceramics company East Fork Pottery with his wife, Connie, and their friend John Vigeland. It now employs 125 people and ships its dishware – designed and made in Asheville, North Carolina – across the US.


Katie Button
Co-founder and CEO, Katie Button Restaurants
Nominated four times for the James Beard Award, Button is the executive chef of Katie Button Restaurants, a successful restaurant group in Asheville. Her Spanish restaurant Cúrate opened in 2011 and is a firm fixture in the city’s culinary scene.


Mia Hall
Executive director, Penland School of Craft
Mia Hall joined North Carolina’s Penland School of Craft as executive director in 2017. The largest school of its kind in the US, Penland offers more than 130 workshops a year, as well as residency programmes.


Ashleigh Shanti
Chef and restaurateur
Asheville-based Shanti was named one of “16 Black Chefs Changing Food in America” by The New York Times. In 2022, she competed on the TV series Top Chef: Houston. She is currently in the process of opening her first restaurant, Good Hot Fish, a quick-service fish-fry concept in Asheville.


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