Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Home Town, The Pioneer Theater

I stood in line at the Pioneer Theater in downtown Manteo with my 9 year old daughter as Mr. Creef stepped outside and took his place at the door ready to greet everyone as they passed through. He is the owner of the Pioneer Theater, and it has been in his family since 1918, when it was first opened. A line of cars stretched down the street, stopping in front and letting children out. Mr. Creef (H.A. to those who know him) shouted his hellos to parents and at what time the movie would be letting out. I stopped for a minute and looked around me. I smiled to myself, remembering many years ago standing here with my older son and daughter. My son, wearing extremely large bell bottoms, a wild colored shirt, and spiked bleach blonde hair with matching spiked jewelry (a Mother’s nightmare). H.A. came walking down the line greeting everyone as he usually does and stopped at my son. He stood there and looked him over from top to bottom while I held by breath waiting for the “tich tich” for today’s youth. Instead, H.A. smiled broadly, patted my son on the head and said “Don’t change for anyone.” My son grinned from ear to ear and turned to me triumphantly.

My daughter and I settled into our seats and happily chatted with friends and neighbors before the movie began. The light dimmed and everyone quieted down to enjoy the movie.  As we left the movies theater, a line of cars waited outside with parents watching for their kids to exit. Children shouted goodbyes to friends while parents asked H.A. about next week’s movie. I love our small town and the small family businesses like the Pioneer Theater where it is important to be a part of the community and providing a safe family environment for all to enjoy. Should you ever visit the Outer Banks in North Carolina, give yourself a night out at the movies at the Pioneer Theater in Manteo.
The Pioneer Theater has one showing a night at 8 pm and never shows anything higher than PG13. Tickets are $5.00 per person.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Big Mill Bed & Breakfast, a perfect retreat in Williamston NC

Photo by Chloe Tuttle
In desperate need of a retreat and missing the country  farms I grew up around in Virginia, I searched for a spot close to my home on the coast of North Carolina. Big Mill Bed & Breakfast looked to be the perfect spot, only an hour and a half from the Outer Banks. A short trip with the landscape that I was searching for and all the amenities I required.

When I arrived at Big Mill, owner and innkeeper Chloe Tuttle greeted me and showed me into one of the largest and brightest suites I have ever had the pleasure to stay in. I stayed in the Mardi Gras suite and upon entering I found myself in a very large bright filled sitting room with french doors leading to the bedroom. The sitting area with beautiful brick flooring offered a large gas fireplace with two very comfortable sofas, a dining table for two fully dressed and a wet bar. The bedroom was large and comfortable and held both a mahogany queen and twin bed and dressing table. The bedroom was not stuffy or tight but roomy, light and had a touch of whimsy that made me smile. The private bath has a tub and shower but what struck me more then anything was the beautiful stained glass window.

Photo by Chloe Tuttle
The house and grounds may say country farm (and it is a farm) but the guest rooms say "ahhhhh". A beautiful mix of furniture and fixtures keeps the rooms fresh, pleasant and very comfortable. After a relaxing morning over breakfast and catching up on some design work (free WiFi in all the rooms) in my suite, Chloe was kind enough to show me a few of the rooms that were not occupied during my stay. I must say that each suite had its own personality and one was just as inviting as the other. The only thing that trumps the rooms at Big Mill is Chloe herself, she is one of the most fascinating and fun loving people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Not only is she an innkeeper on a busy farm but she is an avid blogger and photographer. Check out Big Mill Bed & Breakfast the next time you are headed towards the coast of North Carolina, until then keep posted on happenings in the area and on the farm by following Chloe at "Chloe's Blog" and "Snapshot of Eastern North Carolina" .

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Perfect Treat for the Winter Blues at Better Body Massage, Outer Banks North Carolina

Winter is on its way and so is the cold damp air of the Outer Banks - not my favorite thing. Lets face it, a lot of us don't like the winter months. The cold and dark days of winter plays havoc on our skin, body and mental alertness. All I want is to be a bear and go hibernate! I went and did the next best thing - I booked a massage with Lori, owner and massage therapist, of Better Body Massage.

I arrived complaining of how the weather was drying my skin and how my hands and feet seemed to be suffering the most (I usually am not a complainer but the cold makes me irritable). Lori suggested I try the Ayurvedic Massage, a massage technique from India. Wow, what a Winter blue's buster massage that was! For those of you not familiar - let me give you a quick run through. First, you get "brushed" to remove all the dry skin, in other words you are exfoliated. Warmed oil is then poured on you during your massage, special attention is given to your feet and hands. I felt hydrated, relaxed and ready to face winter - well, after a nice nap anyway.

Better Body Massage is located on Roanoke Island. Lori, owner and operator of Better Body Massage, is a nationally certified  therapist. Lori specializes in massages, facials and body treatments and has just added a wonderful New Generation Sauna and an ionic foot bath to her services. So if you live on the Outer Banks or if you are visiting, make sure you take time to do a little extra pampering and stop in at Better Body Massage.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Robert Woody, Outer Banks Wedding Officiant

Photo by Kristi Midgette Photography
Quips by Design just finished adding two new pages for Robert Woody, a Wedding Officiant on the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks is one of the top destinations for wedding ceremonies. The beautiful beaches, large rental houses and even the quaint yet beautiful coastal waterfront of Manteo brings brides from near and far. One of the top questions for away brides is "What do we need to bring and how do we get our wedding license!". Now they have the answers right there on his new web page Details and while you are there, check out his Kudos.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our cup of tea, a marketing meeting at The White Doe Inn

I am fortunate to know Chloe Tuttle of Big Mill Bed and Breakfast and Jody Murphy of, two very fun and very smart and busy women when it comes to marketing. I had a wonderful time with them this past week at The White Doe Inn. What a relaxing place to get together and spend time sharing ideas and knowledge of marketing for small businesses - in the now and in the future. The ever changing strategies of internet marketing is quite daunting to the small business owners yet it is a vital part in today's world for a successful business to grow.

Easy starting points:
1. Have a website for internet presence. Your website doesn't have to be huge, you just need to have a place on the internet for future customers to find you.
2. Claim your listing on Google Places, make sure all the information listed is correct.
3. Get help if needed.

Many of the small business owners we work with don't have a lot of time and many do not know how to get started. Websites and simple marketing strategies don't have to be expensive. Contact Quips by Design to see how we can help your small business get started on the world wide web.