Crescent Sun Gallery is a small, fine art gallery located in downtown Lilburn right next to the prestigious 1910 Restaurant and Taproom. We started with just two artists specializing in photography and oil painting, but hope to grow quickly and add additional artists!
Crescent moons are a fairly common occurrence, but a crescent sun comes along only once in a while, during a solar eclipse. Since Brittany Lunsford-Kurz and Kevin Kurz, the founders of the gallery, are avid eclipse chasers, this seemed like the perfect name for the new-found gallery.
Brittany is a world-renowned photographer, with over 20 years of experience. Her photography and post-production work has been exhibited all over the country. An avid eclipse chaser, she's always got her eye on the sun.
Kevin Kurz is a photographer and painter specializing in landscapes with a pop-culture twist.
We're always looking for new artists to spotlight at Crescent Sun Gallery!
You may have noticed the consignment store, Back by Popular Demand (BBPD) on Lawrenceville Hwy close to Main Street. BBPD has been around Lilburn for 41 years. The owner Melissa Baxter began working in consignment at age 15. She purchased BBPD located in Old Town, sight unseen, 19 years ago at the age of 20. She ultimately relocated the business to the building on Lawrenceville Hwy and expanded her Lilburn offerings to cover over 8000 sq ft of space. The clothing and accessory offerings focus on name brands. They also have small furniture and household décor. There is also a Marietta boutique location
Melissa is well known in the consignment world for being forward thinking and an innovator. She founded Atlanta Consignment Stores, a local directory of Atlanta area consignment stores in 2008 which hosts bus tours, is visible around town, and has a community map of local consignment stores. She was an early adopter of LIVE “Online Shopping” on Facebook and has been featured on the front cover of the financials for USA Today in 2017.
In addition to the daily LIVE Facebook offerings, the online store was a platform that really took off during the pandemic. They are always on the lookout for new employees that love clothes and love people. She has employed high school students that worked through their college years gaining valuable business experience. With the growth in the online business they are now looking to hire a shipping manager.
Melissa approaches her personal like with the same vigor as her business life. She is strong in her Christian faith, she has 2 elementary age children (one on the Autistic Spectrum) and she fosters senior dogs, particularly those under hospice care.
LBA congratulates Melissa on her business success which is the result of hard work, risk taking and innovation. A big thank you to Sherise Sherman, store manager of the Lilburn store who did an awesome job representing Melissa and BBPD at the June LBA lunch meeting.
Teresa Ingalls is an Old Town resident and archeologist employed by New South Associates as a Digital Data Manager. These days, much of an archeologists workflow is digital. They may be hired by a developer for above and underground work to fulfill Federal permitting requirements. This can get interesting if the development is near a historically significant site.
Teresa has a side project called Keep It Historic. Here she presents short videos of historical sites that catch her interest. Her Lilburn videos cover the antique shop in old town, Salem Missionary Church and the Wynne-Russell House.
Check out her website and purchase some of her cool merchandise.
Carlos' first experience in the restaurant business was as a dishwasher/busboy where his father worked. This job was supposed to be encouragement for him to improve his school grades. He actually fell in love with the restaurant business and has worked in it his whole life, except for a construction job where he only lasted 2 weeks. It is always good to know what you don’t want to do as a career.
The 3 Agavero restaurant locations each offer a different dining experience. The Midtown location is higher priced and caters to a more affluent crowd, with a taste for high end margaritas and drinks, etc. The Lawrenceville Highway location is more suburban with lower prices but also popular for date night. Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day are always busy at the Lawrenceville Hwy location. The Bus is set up for fast casual dining, with a more limited menu. He wants the Bus to be like a Mexican Chick-fil-A, with fast and friendly service, but saying “My Pleasure” in Spanish, but it did not sound quite right!
The restaurants struggled at the beginning of the pandemic but were able to make it with the support of the community. The Bus was the first location to reopen for business, since they have the open-air patio. Carlos plans to add shade or awning to the top part of the bus, for the sunny summer days.
Important business lesson learned from his grandfather and father was work ethic. His grandfather worked in restaurants 6 days a week. His father, a waiter, helped Carlos learn the importance of being social and to interact with the customers, to keep them happy and want to come back.
We are very happy Carlos has made Agavero Parkside such a wonderful addition to Lilburn City Park.
---- Andrea Alvarez
Joe Goodman was the presenter at our May Breakfast Zoom meeting. Joe's lifelong love of publishing started in junior high in his journalism class, an early career with a large publishing house in NY and continued 19 years ago when he started Up Close & Person in Tucker.
In planning his magazine, Joe decided to use a Biographical/Autobiographical hook, something he had never seen with a publication. He began with a Tucker-focus, but realized the close connection Tucker had with Lilburn. Fourteen years ago he added a Lilburn addition to his offerings.
In 19 years, he has never lacked for an interesting person/story from the target communities for his magazine cover story. His subjects have included astronauts, a ghost writer of well known books, an Olympic athlete, a Freedom Rider and the organist for the Braves. His knowledge of so many interesting local residents has turned Joe into a very interesting person himself!
Every two months, Up Close & Person is mailed to 55,000 homes in the Tucker and Lilburn extended communities . His "pivot" during the pandemic has been to do combined Tucker/Lilburn issues. He has split the cover to show 2 different stories, one from Tucker and one from Lilburn and a group shot of 4 girls (2 from Tucker and 2 from Lilburn) describing their individual community projects.
Up Close & Personal does not have a website or public phone number. The best way to reach out to Joe Goodman is by email at email@example.com and you better put a worthy subject title so he opens it. If you want to market to Tucker and Lilburn, this is a great place for a print ad.
Have you ever thought of getting a business coach. John Davis of Action Coach shared with us 5 key areas for a successful business. Is marketing an expense or an investment? Do you use metrics in your business? What does it cost to acquire a customer? Are you able to generate passive income? Check out John's presentation.
Lanier Ward is our Business Spotlight for May. He spent 13 years as a pastor before becoming a realtor with Century 21. He was born in Atlanta and his wife grew up in Lilburn so relocating here from NC was like coming home. Lanier has a particular passion for working with first time homebuyers. A few years ago, he and his wife purchased their first home. It did not start out as their dream home, but they now appreciate how cosmetic updates can make all the difference. He can help those first time buyers find the perfect home that may start out as an ugly duckling.
Check out his Youtube Channel.
By Sandra Waldrop, Insite To Web, LLC
When you think of your customer vs your business offerings, who is the hero of the story? I hope you said your customer. Your business offerings should be a way for your customer to solve or avoid a problem, much the way in a good story a character finds a mentor to guide them to victory.
Check out my slide presentation on this book:
Link to presentation recording.
If you live in Lilburn and take Arcado Rd to Hwy 29, you have passed Porter Steel many times. We were very fortunate to have the company VP, Cole Porter, as our guest at the February Zoom meeting. The company was started in 1983 by Cole's father Lowe who became interested in working with steel from his father.
The company employs 80-90 people and does about $12 million in projects in a year. About 90% of their orders are for light structural (not supportive) which is used in high end homes and apartments as gates, stairs, etc. They also do medium structural projects such as structural steel for school buildings. They also partner with companies that need a steel component like a support for their primary product such as a pump. Here the company can focus on their primary product and let Porter Steel hand the steel support structure. You can see Porter Steel at the JCB bridge and at the 17th Street bridge at Atlantic Station.
This company sources its steel from the US or from NATO countries. Most US mills tend to specialize in a particular product such as beams of certain size or parts. The price of steel on the world market can fluctuate with the impact of Tariffs. Covid also caused mills to shut down leading to reduced supplies and causing prices to increase by as much as 100%. That can make quotes for projects tricky.
The work force at the company is quite diverse with 23 countries represented and they even have women welders. The jobs at the company include fabricators, welders, logistics, estimators, project managers, machine operators, helpers, CDL drivers, crane operators, CAD, etc. They tap into school programs from Georgia Trade School, Gwinnett Tech and even the Architecture and Construction Academy at Berkmar HS. Much of the work is hard labor but the company provides 100% health benefits, 401K and paid time off.
Film location scouts from No Bull Productions approached the company to use their shop for a fight scene for a Netflix pilot for the show "Verified". While there, they noticed a large 54 ft boat. Construction of this boat had been a project started my owner Lowe Porter in 2003. They were getting ready to finally move the boat to a Knoxville Marina for finishing work. Documentaries are good work for production companies during a pandemic and No Bull saw an opportunity. Thus began "The Ark of Lilburn" documentary chronicling the delicate move of this huge object. There is even some possibility the film will include the boats final journey down rivers to the gulf.
For 38 years, the company obtained customers by word of mouth. In 2019, they hired a marketing firm that has been mostly tasked with telling their story. Thank you Porter for sharing the story of the company as well as your story as you have take on leadership within the company. Cole is also involved with the Gwinnett Chamber and Partnership Gwinnett.
Want to know more. Porter's interview is available to stream online:
LBA Virtual Lunch - Porter Steel
Feb 16, 2021
Access Passcode: MEE.RR?0
LBA Virtual Lunch - Porter Steel
Feb 16, 2021
Access Passcode: MEE.RR?0
Mailing Address: Lilburn Business Association, P.O. Box 1537, Lilburn, GA 30048