Women and Men Who Mean Business (August 2012)

Luanne Pigford, The Pink Cabana

Luanne Pigford, The Pink Cabana

Luanne Pigford

The Pink Cabana
5900 North Kings Hwy.
Myrtle Beach, SC
Main: 843-839-3571

Luanne Pigford, owner of The Pink Cabana, enjoys having friends over for dinner and just hanging out. When asked what was special about close friends, Luanne said, “I think the comfort level you have with close friends makes it easy and fun with no stress.” Luanne and her best friend, Laurie, met when they were four years old. “We did everything together,” Luanne remembers, “school, shopping and even vacations. Laurie lives in Texas, so we don’t see each other as much as we would like, but when we can get together it’s like we’ve never been apart.” When asked how she meets new people, Luanne laughed and said, “I work all the time it seems, so I meet most new people through work!”

When asked her preferred method of communication, Luanne said, “I text, e-mail and talk on the phone, but I prefer using the phone with close friends since it’s more personal. I do like being able to say a quick hello through a text if I have time constraints and e-mail is great in the business world.” An iPhone user, Luanne admits she never turns her electronic devices off.

There are lots of new and exciting happenings at The Pink Cabana. Luanne is excited about adding more things for men and introducing new fall lines for men and women.

“Customer service is important to us,” said Luanne. “We have an amazing staff that is friendly and attentive to all of our customers—we give honest opinions, too. We want everyone to feel welcome and enjoy their experience.”

Nicole Engblom, Artzfolk & Co.

Nicole Engblom, Artzfolk & Co.

Nicole Engblom

Artzfolk & Co., Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach, SC

Nicole Engblom, owner of Artzfolk, likes having her closest friends over and enjoys cooking for them. “We often talk until the wee hours of the morning when we get going!” She went on to say, “My friends know my stories, but my closest friends live them with me.” Growing up, Nicole had a few best friends that she is still in touch with today. “Each one is different and unique in her own way—we did everything together. We still visit each other frequently, and it’s like we were never apart.” Outgoing Nicole can meet new people anywhere. “I am always smiling and talking to people. I LOVE people, they are all interesting.”

When asked her preferred method of communication, Nicole said, “I don’t like to talk on the phone, and I hate texting, but it is easy. E-mail is good because I can answer on my own time. I like to talk to people in person best of all, because I like to look into a person’s eyes and see how they react.” Nicole checks her messages in the morning while drinking her coffee, and said, “After that, I just let my phone sit there and beep and ding and sing songs to me—it’s like an electronic pet. Then, when I have finished what I need to do for the day, I will look everything over and respond.”

“My business is in full swing this month,” Nicole began. “It is my busy time with summer and fall orders, then Christmas will come, and I won’t stop until Feb. I sell wholesale, retail, and I also make prototypes for large department stores. What makes me unique is that while each line is similar and obviously my ‘style’ every line is different so they don’t compete with each other. Artzfolk has great customer service, and our ever changing styles keep customers coming back.”

Todd Gruenemeier, The Barefoot Cottage

Todd Gruenemeier, The Barefoot Cottage

Todd Gruenemeier

The Barefoot Cottage
2201-4 Hwy. 17 S.
North Myrtle Beach, SC
Main: 843-307-3856

Todd Gruenemeier, owner of The Barefoot Cottage, enjoys relaxing with his closest friends, but says, “Most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend, Donna. I’m fortunate to have her, she helps me so much with the store, and we enjoy spending time together.” Growing up, Todd and his best friend were always at football or baseball practice, but still managed to have some mischievous moments. “You know it is a close friend when you still communicate 30 years after high school graduation!” A Jacksonville, Florida, native, Todd enjoys meeting new people—usually through his shop or through Donna.

When asked about today’s instant communication, Todd said, “I prefer face-to-face communication, but if I can’t have that, I use the phone, but don’t expect me to talk long! Of course, I have two children, so I’m well versed in texting—LOL!” Todd went on to say that today’s electronic way of staying in touch is necessary for him to stay in touch with his children, but he doesn’t really like it. “Even though I know I should disconnect occasionally, I’m always wired—old habits are hard to break from the corporate world.” Todd uses an iPhone, iPad and a laptop—all three are always on!

This is an exciting month at Barefoot Cottage. “In August we’ll be starting a drive in support of Juvenile Diabetes, donating a portion of our monthly earnings to the JDRF. Why diabetes? My beautiful 18 year-old daughter was diagnosed at 8 years old with Type 1 Diabetes. Also, we’ll run weekly specials on MudPie, Corkys Footwear, Southern Tide, Coast Apparel and Big Buddha handbags.” Todd went on to tell me, “The uniqueness of a collective boutique, the beautiful decor, and both men and women’s clothing keeps our customers coming back. Everyone has been so kind with many great things to say about The Barefoot Cottage.”

Kathy Besse & Buffy Patterson, breathe~pieces of the soul

Kathy Besse & Buffy Patterson, breathe~pieces of the soul

Kathy Besse & Buffy Patterson

breathe~pieces of the soul
9674 Ocean Hwy.
Pawleys Island, SC
Main: 843-314-3320

Buffy Patterson and Kathy Besse are the co-owners of breathe~pieces of the soul, a boutique and artist collective in Pawleys Island. Kathy loves spending time with her closest friends participating in outdoor activities. “My friends and I mostly do activities like paddleboarding, surfing or spending time at the river. Being with them is comfortable; they accept me for who I am.” Buffy and her best friend met in junior high. “We got into some trouble, but we turned out well,” she laughed. “We did everything together and even if we don’t talk for months, we pick right back up where we left off. “Buffy went on to say, “Kathy and I work together and meet new people through our business. We’re both also real estate brokers and met a few years ago working for the same brokerage firm. I left when my mother developed Alzheimer’s. Kathy’s dad also had Alzheimer’s, and this bonded us. We kept in touch, and about five months ago, the two of us got together and created breathe.”

Kathy said she really prefers writing letters, but because of her work schedule she communicates more through phone calls and texting. Both Kathy and Buffy are always “wired, wired, wired!”

“We just had our grand opening celebration,” said Kathy. “The excitement and response was overwhelming and exceeded our expectations.” Buffy went on to say, “We had over 500 people here that night. We’re really blessed. Both of us were trying to make a living, and we came together and created this entity that has turned into an amazing thing. We’re in the process of adding a warm and inviting café with a light food and beverage offering. We hope to have it open in September.” Kathy said breathe’s diverse inventory, unique atmosphere and genuine appreciation of their clientele keeps customers coming back.

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