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Business Pulse: 9-28-14
Crossfit action
Carbide Crossfit has opened at 58 Hillside Lane for a type of athletic training unique to this area. Shellie Duncan, front, does a dead lift as part of her interval training Thursday night. The gym offers classes seven days a week.

Ever since I was a child, people have always told me I should pursue a modeling career. OK, so no one has actually told me that, but I have imagined them telling me that. Just play along.
If you have ever dreamed of a modeling or acting career for yourself or your child, but didn’t know where to start, I have the answer. Logan Taylor and Kayla Smith have teamed together to open Strange Crew, a company focused on developing modeling and acting talent in this area.
If Logan seems familiar, it’s because he grew up in Warren County. His father is Greg Taylor and his grandfather is former sheriff Kenny Taylor. Kayla grew up in Nashville among a family of musicians who helped shape her unique personality.
The two have plans to open an office on Main Street, although they have a wide coverage area which also includes Cookeville.
“This is the best way to get started in my opinion,” said Logan. “I’ve probably spent $15,000 for modeling and acting classes and for getting pictures made for my portfolio. These are all things we do for much, much cheaper. We can develop your portfolio and then send it to the proper folks in hopes of furthering your career. We work with two agents in Nashville, two in Atlanta, one agent in Dallas, and one in Miami.”
Strange Crew will work with boys and girls, men and women. The business is currently working with clients as young as 3 and as old as 35. Logan said they made the decision to concentrate on Warren County because he’s from this area and because there’s a big market for downhome folks at this time.
Logan is the photographer and he also offers the acting and modeling lessons. Kayla is the makeup artist and stylist who works to make the person look their best. The photos, makeup and lessons are all included in the package.
“It’s important to feel confident in your style,” said Kayla. “I think anyone can pull off anything as long as they do it with confidence. And if you’re unique, it draws more attention than if you follow the crowd.”
When it comes to models, Kayla said not everyone is 5-foot-10 and very slim. That’s why she’s glad to see the use of more models that she says look like regular women.
Strange Crew was formed about a month ago and its website has been up for three weeks. Kayla says in those three weeks, the website has received 3,000 hits.
“We’re overwhelmed with how this has taken off,” she said. “We have received so much positive feedback.”
If you’d like to start working on your portfolio to see if you might have a career in modeling or acting, you can get in touch with Strange Crew through its website,

Carbide Crossfit up and running

Warren County has its first crossfit gym with the opening of Carbide Crossfit on Hillside Lane. Brandon Eckel and his wife, Cassandra, have opened the gym to give local residents a chance to experience this unique type of high-intensity interval training.
“This is the only crossfit gym within a one-hour drive in any direction,” said Brandon, who worked in special operations as a member of the Marines. “This is all about improving the quality of your life. It’s about gaining strength and improving flexibility while protecting the joints. It’s also great for losing weight. We’ve been open for two months and we’ve already had people go down in pant size.”
First and foremost, Brandon believes working out should be a social event that’s enjoyable. He said if people don’t enjoy what they’re doing, they won’t stick with it.
“I believe working out shouldn’t be dreaded, or done alone zoned out with ear buds in,” said Brandon. “High-quality workouts should be stress relieving, fun, and geared toward helping people reach their fitness goals.”
I’ve been exercising for most of my life and haven’t seen a routine that’s quite like crossfit training. Participants exert a great amount of energy in short bursts, which Brandon says improves metabolic conditioning and helps you burn calories faster.
“People always ask if this is for beginners and yes it is absolutely for beginners,” said Brandon. “You can push yourself as much as you want, as hard as you want. We talk about nutrition and concentrate on stretching every class.”
Nutrition is an emphasis because Brandon says what you put in your body is as important as what you lift. He uses an analogy of a Ferrari sports car and says you wouldn’t put 87-octane gasoline in such a high-performance machine. By the same token, you shouldn’t put junk food in your body and expect it to perform the way you want.
Brandon also said correct form is a crucial part of crossfit training. He said he frequently sees people lifting weights the wrong way and that can be disastorous.
“You only get one set of joints in your body so you need to protect them,” said Brandon. “This teaches people to move more fluidly so they won’t get injured by common movements. People all the time get back injuries when they bend over and lift something. It’s not because the object was too heavy. It’s because they don’t bend right.”
Carbide Crossfit is open seven days a week with classes to fit every schedule. This includes classes at 5 a.m. Monday thru Friday, and three classes a night beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There are also classes Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.
Membership to Carbide Crossfit is on a month-to-month basis with no contract. The cost depends on how many days you plan to use the gym. It's located next to Paris Café at 58 Hillside Lane and can be reached at 474-1888 or 607-1888.

Industrial snapshot

Folks are always eager for Middle Tennessee job news and there was a big announcement Wednesday in Spring Hill, which is home to a General Motors plant.
Comprehensive Logistics announced plans to build a new facility in Spring Hill that will manufacture components for the GM plant. Comprehensive Logistics says it will invest $30 million in the new facility and create more than 200 new jobs. The facility will assemble headliners, tires, wheels and rear suspensions. It’s scheduled to be operational next year.
This is more great news for Tennessee as our automotive industry continues to strengthen and our state continues to add jobs. The good news is Tennessee is the new Michigan. The bad news is we’ll be left like Michigan if the automotive industry ever decides to leave.

The cost of recruiting jobs

Sansin Manufacturing is now operational at its new building at Mt. View Industrial Park in Morrison. According to Sansin general manager Steve Tilton, the company has right at 20 employees. Sansin is also leasing space at its new facility to Yorozu and Steve tells me Yorozu is working about 20 employees there too.
Steve tells me Sansin has one of its big presses on the premises and is in a sort of holding pattern as it works through the beginning stages of production.
The Sansin project has actually gone very smoothly when compared to some other projects that have experienced a number of delays. If you recall, Sansin signed a 20-year lease to occupy Spec Building 3, which was constructed by the Industrial Development Board. The building is 62,500 square feet.
Constructing such a building in the name of recruiting jobs is by no means cheap or easy. When all is said and done, the Industrial Development Board will have invested $4.35 million in Spec Building 3, if my calculations are correct.
Former IDB director George Burke has spent a great deal of time working on the Sansin lease agreement. I can tell it’s been a source of aggravation for George as he admitted at the IDB meeting earlier this month that he is certainly not a banker.
The way these lease agreements work, Sansin will have to repay the IDB the entire $4.35 million before it can take ownership of the building after 20 years. It’s sort of like a home mortgage only a lot more complicated because government money and TVA loans are involved.
So if you’ve ever wondered what Warren County is doing to recruit industry, the IDB has been constructing a massive building in order to land a blossoming company like Sansin. A similar procedure was followed to land Miniature Precision Components, which is currently hiring and has close to 70 employees.
Everybody wants jobs, but it can often take a whole lot of money to land those jobs.

Larry Bryant back in practice

The last we heard about Larry Bryant on the local law scene, he was riding into the sunset after retiring in February 2012. Since that time, Larry has done some vacationing and made the cross-country drive down Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif.
Larry enjoyed retirement, but he was also eager to reopen his practice. So he has done exactly that and reopened his law practice with an office on Main Street.
“We’re not the type to sit around and do nothing so I figured I might as well be practicing law,” said Larry, who has enjoyed a 31-year law career. “I’m not in a big rush to have hundreds of clients, but I consider that a plus. I will be able to devote more time to the clients I do have.”
Larry’s wife Diane, a longtime educator, is on board as administrative assistant. They will maintain office hours Monday thru Friday and be available by phone at 507-7755 for McMinnville residents and 686-8070 for Van Buren County residents.
“It says on the answering machine we will return all calls by the end of the day and we mean that,” said Larry. “Nothing will get a client more upset than feeling they are being ignored by their lawyer so we will return all calls.”
Larry will specialize in criminal law, family law, and elder law, which is unique to this area. Larry says he can help people deal with end-of-life issues, which is a difficult topic to address but a topic all of us will face.
“You need to prepare for being in the state when you’re unable to handle your own affairs,” said Larry. “I will offer a package that includes a will, a living will, and power of attorney. People have different opinions about what they want to have done and it all comes down to personal choice. Some people will say don’t hook me up to anything. Others will say hook me up, they may find a cure. It all comes down to personal choice and you need to make those decisions while you’re competent.”

Southern Charm has new home

Southern Charm Boutique and Gifts has moved from Main Street to the back corner of Plaza Shopping Center in what owner Patsy Pool hopes will be a prosperous location.
“We’re getting new stuff every day and building up our inventory,” said Patsy, who indicated they have a wide selection of name-brand clothing. “What we need is for people to realize we are back here. Some people know about us and we’re trying our best to get the word out.”
The store is located in the back corner just past Stewart Pharmacy.
It specializes in girls clothing, fashion jewelry, handmade crafts, boot socks, and other decorative items. The store offers monogramming and also has a number of designer bags and backpacks in stock.
“I will start art classes the second Thursday in October at 6:30 p.m.,” said Patsy. “There have been a lot of people who have expressed interest in the art classes.”
Patsy’s husband Michael is helping with the business and also has plans for his own business called McMinnville Jewelry Exchange. The jewelry business is in its infancy, but Michael has already received his business license and is getting started slowly but surely.
“We’ll buy gold and used jewelry,” said Michael. “We figure this will be a good pairing to have a jewelry store together with a craft store because we think women will be the main customers of both.”
Southern Charm Boutique can be reached at 808-3090.

That’s all folks

In between preparing for my new modeling career, I will also be collecting business news. Give me a call at 473-2191 or send me an email at