213 Jamaica Drive
521 South Front Street
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Check back often for updates and please contact us with any questions or comments.
Wilmington is pretty rich with artistic and multi-faceted people. So, when Tara and Shannon Gilmore arrived here 13 and 21 years ago consecutively, they fit right in. They’ve since established lives together here full of friends, a long list of clients and employees, and an intense love for this town.
When it was time for them to find the home of their dreams together, after attempting to go it alone, they called long-time friend and Coastal Select Properties agent, Angie Greer.
Once we caught wind of their colorful back story and looked through their extensive portfolio, we knew we had to know more...so we could pass it on.
Read the interview below to find out more about one of Wilmington’s coolest couples and the beautiful work and lifestyle they've created together.
CSP: When did you move to Wilmington and why?
Tara: I moved to Wilmington 13 years ago to get out of the New Jersey metropolitan hustle and to enjoy warmer weather near the beach. Wilmington seemed like a big, small city that could support my business. It also felt diverse enough to eliminate the risk of culture shock.
Shannon moved to Wilmington 21 years ago from Topsail Island. Wilmington better suited Shannon’s social and economic needs. He has always worked in construction and Wilmington was seriously on the rise at that time. Shannon also loves to surf. And, the surf at Wrightsville Beach and on Masonboro Island is far superior to Topsail.
CSP: Can you give us a little history about your business?
Tara: Of The Essence Designs was created in New Jersey over 15 years ago. We started as a
decorative painting company, creating unique faux finishes for restaurants, businesses and homes in New Jersey and NYC. When I moved from NJ, starting a business from scratch was not easy. I attended builders association meetings and met with many interior designers to make connections. The business community in Wilmington embraced our work and I found my place in the design/building community. Shannon and I joined forces over 5 years ago and with Shannon’s background in all building trades, we expanded Of The Essence Designs to what it is today. We now don’t only offer faux finishing but remodeling, interior and exterior painting, custom carpentry and cabinet/furniture refinishing. We have grown exponentially since joining forces. Wilmington is a wonderful community that more than supports what we offer.
CSP: What do you love about Wilmington architecture, design, culture, etc?
Tara: Well, Shannon and I love the beach and surfing. Downtown is historic and we absolutely love the architecture and history the city holds. There is a diverse culture in Wilmington, and an eclectic mix of different foods, music, and activities. It feels like a big city without being a big city.
CSP: Why did you choose Coastal Select?
Tara: We chose Coastal select because of Angie Greer. Angie knows us very well but, aside from our friendship, she is a great listener and an extremely motivated and driven person. Angie knew our very unique needs for a home and we knew, without a doubt, that she would find us what we needed. And, of course, she did. We couldn’t be happier with the home we chose.
CSP: Why did you choose your home?
Tara: Our home is EXACTLY what we needed. We were looking for an expansive piece of property in the heart of Wilmington that could support our business as well as our love of entertaining. We now have plenty of room for vehicles to park and a significant amount of open space where we plan to build workshops for the business. There is a pool with a deck off the back of the house to accommodate friends, family, and parties. Our dogs, Clyde and Penny, couldnt be happier with all the room they have to run around! The house is large enough for us host guests comfortably.
We also love the "old house" charm as it was built in 1936. We have a dreamy claw foot tub and architecturally stunning details throughout the house. Oh, and the kitchen is huge, which is a must as we love to cook. The light that filters in through all of the beautiful windows brings us nothing but joy, and the sun porch, complete with its own separate entrance, acts as our office. It’s absolutely perfect!
CSP: Given your background, did you try searching for a home on your own?
Tara: Yes, inadvertently. Shannon and I had been working on a home doing repair work for a friend on Peachtree Avenue after Hurricane Florence. In the midst of the project, she decided to to sell and buy a larger home for herself and her family. Her house was on a pretty large piece of property but the home itself was very small. Shannon and I made an offer and decided to buy the property from her. Our plans were to renovate - to build an addition and workshops in the back. But, after purchasing the property, we realized that the house was not going to meet our needs for our business or our lifestyle. So, we decided to turn it into a rental property. That’s when we decided to call Angie, trusting that she could help us find exactly what we wanted.
CSP: How has your business grown and developed since you’ve been here?
Tara: The business has grown leaps and bounds over the last five years. When Shannon and I became partners five years ago, we added a wealth of services to the business. We were no longer just a faux finish and interior painting company. We became a full remodeling company - interior and exterior painting, and custom carpentry - along with decorative painting and faux finishes. We have become known as a the best choice for home renovation specialty services. People call us when they have unique design ideas or design hurdles. They know we can help them find a solution and bring their ideas to life. We have also recently added cleaning services to the business and this division of the company has taken off. We do a lot of post construction cleans for builders in Wilmington and also have residential clients. We service many Air BnB rentals on a regular basis.
CSP: Can you tell me about the relationships and friendships you’ve established as a result of being here and running a business here?
Tara: We have come to know so many people in Wilmington as a result of running a business here. We truly believe that relationships are the foundation of our success. Shannon and I are committed to being of service to others. First, we love to help people bring their visions to life. Being a part of others dreams for their homes or businesses brings us great joy. Second, we are committed to our employees and love to teach our trade to younger generations so they can carry on our mission of making dreams a reality for others. Because of our own experiences and hardships in life during our younger years, this aspect of the business brings significant meaning into our lives. We believe that passing along the help that was once given to us is what life is all about.
Many of our employees have come to us with no trade skills and difficult pasts and we have had the opportunity to teach them and watch them learn and grow. It is an amazing experience to do what we love for a living, and at the same time to be useful to others on such a profound level. Things don’t always work out the way we hope and plan but we find so much gratitude in building relationships and providing opportunities for those who didn’t think they would get another chance to repair their lives. It’s such a gift that we have been blessed with to be in position to be of consistent service to God and others.
CSP: What does the near future look like for you and your business?
Tara: The winter looks fruitful. We are booked with projects for the foreseeable winter. We are very appreciative for the trust our clients bestow on us and all of the referrals they grace us with. Because of the friendships we have built with our employees, we take vacations together. Work hard and play hard…always. So, we have a vacation planned for after the new year to a much warmer place! We are headed to Puerto Rico for a quick surf and relaxation trip. We need to recharge our batteries from time to time. We try to do this at least once a year. We find that when we treat our employees as equals and fiends, work isn’t so much a chore but a place where we come together and enjoy what we do and work as a team.
CSP: What do you and Shannon love to do in your free time?
Tara: Shannon has surfed for most of his life. The water is where he finds his peace. Shannon is also a drummer for the band Blank Hands. Blank Hands is an up and coming alternative indie rock band. They have recently made their way to streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. They have recorded and released a 4 song EP. and have recently recorded and mastered 5 more singles that will be released very soon. They are having a blast making music and 3 of the 4 members of the band work for Of The Essence Designs. Shannon also plays guitar and sings for fun outside of Blank Hands. Often times after a hard days work, he will serenade me and the puppies! We both have great love for the outdoors, music and animals. I practice hot yoga regularly at Wilmington Yoga center. This is were I find my center and get fulfillment, balance, and creative energy. I also combines my love of art with my work and am always trying to find new mediums to work with in decorative painting. We really love to travel. Seeing and experiencing new places and cultures fills our hearts and spirits. We do it as much as our work schedule will allow. We find that traveling brings a richness to our work and creativity on the job.
CSP: Do you and Shannon consider yourselves artists?
Tara: Shannon and I are very much artists. I would say that we live artistically in almost everything that we do. We see art in all things and in all of our experiences . We are very fortunate that we get to express it in our work and in personal lives.
For more information about Of the Essence Designs, visit oftheessence.net or give Tara a call at 973-951-6588.
The fair has come to town! The almost two week long event includes livestock exhibits and competitions, acrobats, horticultural contest, rides, activities, food and live entertainment.
November 2nd @ 11- 5
St. Stanislaus Catholic Church
Enjoy authentic polish food at the 21st Annual Polish Festival. What's on the menu? All of the polish favorites: kielbasa, pierogi, and golagki, plus drinks and an array of sweets. See polka dancing, visit craft venders, and a variety of entertainment for kids. Domestic and imported beers available including St. Stan's Baltic Porter, brewed especially for the Polish Festival by Front Street Brewery.
*Cucalorus Screenprints, 1994-2018
October 25, 2019 to November 18, 2019
Aces Gallery downtown, Wilmington, showcases the original screenprints made by the Cucalorus Festival’s artists and staff. See all the posters from 1994 all the way up to last years.
*Carolina Pines Fest
November 8th- 10th
This weekend festival features music and arts of all forms.
*Cucalorus Film Festival
The 25th Annual Cucalorus Festival in showcases over 150 films from all over the world. The festival includes global cinema, indie hits performances and so much more.
*Listen Up Brunswick County Concert
November 16th at 7:00pm
Odell Williamson Auditorium, Brunswick Community College
Listen Up Brunswick CountyNikki Talley and Jason Sharp. Opening is Lockwood River Trio.
*Wilmington Symphony Orchestra Concert
November 16th @ 7:30 PM
Latin Soul comes to the Wilson Center featuring the return of the Austin Piazzolla Quintet in a concert and features El Amor Brujo by De Falla with its familiar "Ritual Fire Dance."
*7th Annual Taste of Wrightsville Beach
November 16th to
Join this outdoor tent event that celebrates the area's diverse tastings with more than 35 local food, beer and wine tasting booths. Proceeds support the Weekend Meals on Wheels program, which provides nutritious meals and social contact to senior and disabled persons in New Hanover County.
*Wine & Beer Walk
November 16th at to
Participate in a sampling tour of some of the island's finest!
*2nd Annual German Christmas Market
November 23rd at to
The 2nd Annual German Christmas Market will feature live music by the Harbour Towne Fest Band, German food and beverages, gifts and crafts, local vendors and service providers, and 50/50 raffle.
*Tidewater Camellia Club Fall Show & Sale
November 23rd at to
Come see hundreds of prize-winning blooms grown by club members and local residents, plus camellia care displays and demonstrations, tours of the Arboretum's camellia garden, and an interactive Children's Corner.
*10th Annual Womanless Beauty Pageant
November 23rd at
Join the 10th Annual Womanless Beauty Pageant just like any other beauty pageant featuring an Evening Gown Competition, Talent Competition, and Interview -- except all of the contestants are men.
*Island of Lights: Lighting at the Lake
November 29th at
Tis the season! Join in on the Carolina Beach tradition of Lighting at the Lake. This event features an opening ceremony with the President of the Island of Lights Committee, Pleasure Island elected officials, and musical entertainment. Santa makes an appearance and free refreshments are available.
*Battleship Ho Ho Ho
November 29th to
Battleship Ho Ho Ho features a chance to fly an American flag with Santa, plus compose a retro e-card by posing in the ship's Happy Huladays banner; type a Christmas wish list on a vintage typewriter using genuine radio message paper; call the North Pole from the Battleship’s main radio room; and track Santa’s journey in the Combat Information Center.
*Tree Lighting and Visit with Santa
November 29th at
Join Santa and the Wrightsville Beach community in their annual holiday Tree Lighting.
*Downtown Wilmington Tree Lighting
November 29th to
Another Tree Lighting but this time, it's in Downtown, Wilmington! Event will have live entertainment, a countdown to tree lighting, hot cocoa, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Clause.
*North Carolina Holiday Flotilla Festival in the Park
November 30th at to
The NC Holiday Flotilla Festival in the Park features arts and crafts booths, and an antique car show, fun activities for kids, festival food, and more. AND AFTER THIS IS THE...
*34th Annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla
November 30th at
This highly anticipated event attracts more than 50,000 people to the area. It begins with fireworks followed by a procession of colorfully lighted boats filling Banks Channel. A traditional fireworks display follows the Boat Parade.
Victoria and Tamal Dodge have brought their yogi fame and expertise, a clean palate, and more good vibes to the place we love.
Living and working in Wilmington, NC were both dreams and goals for Victoria and Tamal Dodge, owners of Yoga Salt (in LA and now Wilmington) for many years. Visions of raising their son here were tucked away in the background of growing their business and nurturing a family in Los Angeles, CA.
Tamal Dodge has made a name for himself both as a yogi and as a yoga teacher training instructor. Born and raised in Hawaii, he grew up in and around his family’s yoga ashram, so practicing yoga was akin to the instinct to walk for him.
He took a deep dive into training and teaching early on and has become renowned worldwide as a result of both.
Tamal founded Yoga Salt in Los Angeles, one of the most popular and well-known yoga studios in LA, and hosts yoga teacher trainings around the world.
Tamal and Victoria discovered Wilmington nearly ten years ago when Tamal was invited to lead a yoga teacher training at the Wilmington Yoga Center. And, it was love at first sight.
“We instantly felt very at home here,” Victoria said. “We fell in love with Wrightsville Beach. The people here are just so friendly and welcoming. There’s a close-knit, community feel but also a progressive, health-conscious vibe.”
Being a small-ish town, she says, with all the right ingredients, made it ripe for what she and Tamal have to offer.
And, since they’ve arrived in Wilmington, their dreams have flourished. Their son Kanai, now ten years old, gets to run around their sound-side neighborhood with friends and attend a nearby school they love, their new downtown studio has attracted a community of Vinyassa-lovers and has grown a mindful mix of followers and practitioners; and Victoria’s new cookbook, The Yoga Plate, a user-friendly, plant-based approach to food prep, has reached thousands.
“We bought rental property in Wilmington a few years ago so we could sort of put down roots,” Victoria said. “Then, we waited for the right time. And, everything just fell sort of fell into place when it needed to.”
And, when the right time came, they called Coastal Select Properties Realtor®/Broker, Teresa Krebs.
“We love Teresa,” Victoria said. “Like we LOVE Teresa,” she reiterated. “I recommend her to literally everyone.”
The Yoga Plate
Just as Victoria and Tamal were instantly smitten with Wilmington, when they arrived, the community seemed to mirror that affection. Yoga Salt immediately took off, with 8-25 students in every class almost off the bat, The Wilmington Parade of Homes jumped at the chance to feature their gorgeous new home near the water, and Wilmington connections inspired Victoria and Tamal to write and publish their now coveted cookbook, The Yoga Plate.
While Tamal grew up homeschooled in an ashram, Victoria’s life before meeting Tamal was quite a bit different. She had been raised in Wisconsin on a meat and potatoes diet and was a single mom when she met Tamal, of now 23-year-old daughter, Savannah, currently a fashion designer in LA. So, Victoria is able to appreciate the need for ease, simplicity, and accessibility in an approach to a plant-based diet, making her book more palatable (in more ways than one) for the masses. With 108 easy-to-follow and stock-for recipes, The Yoga Plate makes food prep less daunting and healthy living more fun for health and wellness seekers in Wilmington and far beyond.
You can find The Yoga Plate online at theyogaplate.com or at Barnes & Noble right here in Wilmington.
Whatever you’re doing to improve your health and well-being, we highly recommend wrapping in a little love from Yoga Salt and/or The Yoga Plate to expand on your endeavors. The space alone at Yoga Salt has been known to inspire visitors and yoga practitioners to start or dive deeper into their practice. Visit yogasalt.com to book a class, or simply stop by for a visit.
Namaste to all you yoga and Wilmington lovers alike. We’ll see you on the mat…in our new favorite studio.
Welcome to one of Wilmington's most desirable areas! Situated on a quiet cul de sac this home is sure to please. Enjoy the rocking chair front porch and large private lot that features a large salt water in-ground pool. The kitchen has been updated with many custom features such as a large window seat with storage, an over-sized island, and extra cabinets...Read more here.
4 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms
OPEN HOUSE this Saturday
October 12th, 10:00am-1:00pm
Please contact Jordyn Rice for details.
Investors Alert! Fantastic contemporary home on desirable Edgewater Club in Porter's Neck Plantation. Sale includes 2 lots with over 2 acres, circular drive leads up to brick home with porte cochere, modern design, lots of natural light hard to find basement, two indoor fireplaces and amazing outdoor fireplace. This home was damaged in Florence but now has brand new roof and walls are opened up - waiting for your personal updates and touch... Read more here.
OPEN HOUSE this Saturday
October 12th 10:30am - 12:30pm
Please contact Steve Swart for details.
Rachel and Randy Fox might be two of our favorite people in the Wilmington business community. One - the menu and atmosphere that they've created are unique, satisfying, and feed both the body and the spirt; two - almost every business decision that the Foxes make somehow incorporates and/or benefits the greater community in some way; and three - their goals both in life and in business involve lifting people up...in every way possible.
What's not to love, right?
These are the people and business owners that we want to support, those who support others and work to fortify the community we love. So, when we heard that Rachel and Randy were incorporating a non-profit into The Foxes Boxes mix, we immediately decided to make The TFB Externship Academy our 3rd quarter nonprofit partner.
Why the TFB Externship Academy? Largely because of its mission and unique value proposition.
The goal of the Externship?
"...to inspire and empower individuals with employment barriers by providing innovative on-the-job training, building leadership, communications, and job skills that lead to self-sufficiency, professional fulfillment, and a confident value-added workforce for the always growing hospitality and service industry."
We see The TFB Externship Academy as the missing link for many young people in our community. So, we were honored to deliver our 3rd quarter giving check to Rachel and Randy Fox earlier this month. And, we were thrilled to get to spend some time together as a team, surrounded by good food and good people - two of the components we deem to be the main ingredients in a happy life.
We all had a few questions about the TFB Externship Academy, and Rachel was kind enough to fill us in. Check out our interview with Rachel below for more information:
CSP: Did you for see that The Foxes Boxes would eventually need nonprofit status?
Rachel: The original idea was to become an LLC b-corporation (for-profit, social enterprise). We are recognized by our customer base as a social enterprise, however that alone does not permit donations to be tax-deductible. Many of our supporters have asked that we pursue 501c3 to open more funding options in order to grow our job-training program.
CSP: Why did you choose nonprofit over social enterprise in the end?
Rachel: We are both a nonprofit and social enterprise. Many (most) social enterprises are nonprofits, but not all. For our situation,The Foxes Boxesis the “enterprise” or for-profit entity, and theTFB Externship Academyis the 501c3. Because our training program takes place inside a restaurant, there are many ways the two are able to support one another. The restaurant can host fundraisers for the nonprofit, contract out the externs for corporate catering opportunities, and on the flip side the nonprofit can rent the space of the restaurant for training.
CSP: Describe the evolution - i.e.: When and how did all of this come about? The restaurant, the mission, nonprofit application, etc.?
Rachel: We have always been a family of ideas. Randy has worked over 30 years in the service industry, so that world has always been part of our conversations. My passions have always focused on social and economic justice (equity). My first degree in nursing provided me opportunities to work at the VA Hospital with chronic psychiatric patients living independently, as a high school nurse for a large high school in the suburbs of Indianapolis, and work from home after having kids, as an after-hours telephone triage nurse.
When we moved to Wilmington I was fortunate to connect with the ONE Campaign, an anti-poverty advocacy organization founded by Bono and others to address the issues of extreme poverty across the globe. I became a volunteer Congressional District Leader and later a founding member of the ONE Moms Advisory Council where I attended a trip to Kenya with ABC World News to visit programs that are saving millions of lives.
These experiences led me to sit on local boards, public speak locally and beyond, and finally back to graduate school to obtain my MPA (Master’s in Public Administration), with a public policy concentration. While in graduate school the idea for The Foxes Boxes began forming. I found a business counselor at SBTDC to support me along the way. I graduated on Thursday, December 1, 2016 and opened the restaurant on Saturday, December 3, 2016. It was a whirlwind of a yearJ
CSP: Are your family/children involved? Excited?
Rachel: This is definitely a family endeavor. When Randy and I get tired and want to quit—our kids lift us up and tell us to keep moving forward. Nothing about this (ad)venture has been easy. All three of our kids have worked in the restaurant and all of the brainstorming we do is the five of us together. Our daughter’s boyfriend in NYC has even helped with some graphic design.
CSP: What segment of the population will benefit from the work you do?
Rachel: Our entire community benefits from the work we do! We have had 22 externs in our program since opening and all have either transitioned into work, school, or both upon completing their externship. The majority of our externs are 16-25 years old with a variety of employment barriers. Most come from families experiencing generational poverty and lack of opportunities. Some have criminal backgrounds, others have literacy struggles, and all have very limited work experience. Together with our community partners we can provide the externs with as much support as they are willing to receive.
When we as an entire community lift up any one person we are making our economy stronger, our streets safer, and ALL of our citizens feel worthy of an equal opportunity.
CSP: What kind of support will your nonprofit need/want from the community?
Rachel: Eat with us. Have patient with our externs. Support our fundraising efforts. Donate uniforms. Donate computers, ink cartridges, training materials, etc. Join us as a star volunteer. Follow us on social media, and spread the word.
CSP: Where does the desire to dedicate your life to helping others come from?
Rachel: I don’t know…..I guess I am naïve enough to think that we are all together in this world and should help lift each other up always!
CSP: What fuels you to keep moving toward this goal every day?
Rachel: Somedays I feel really tired and question if what we are doing is making a difference, then one of our past externs will walk through the door. Whether it is with good news or they need some support, it tells me that this space is important enough for them to share what is going on in their lives. Our young adults are often left to navigate transitioning to adulthood with little to no guidance. We have to be that stable place…..they need to know that we are not going anywhere, so that thought keeps me going.
CSP: What defines a happy life for you?
Rachel: Tough question! Finding balance is important. I think I am still working on that. The struggle is real to work 70 hours/week and not have a paycheck. I am told by my mentors to hang in there…5 years is a turning point when you start your own business. I do look forward to every evening going home, turning off the phone, and finding a binge worthy tv series that one of my kids will watch too.
CSP: Who is (or are) your “right-hand(s)” in all of this and how does that change things?
Rachel: Oh my, do I ever have the BEST humans lifting me up!! ...Tricia, and Fred (Ireland) being some of them!! When I went to ask for board members, I created a list of about 30 people who have been eating with us and supporting us since we opened our doors. My thought was maybe I would get 8-10 people to say “yes”…….not a single person said “no”, so the first 12 people who I saw to ask are my first round of board members. They are an incredible, diverse group of professionals that motivate me and remind me that I can lean on them. Something several of the board members said at the first meeting that meant so much was that they saw my vision for theTFB Externship Academyand that was why they wanted to be involved. I sometimes think my ideas are unattainable and this group as told me otherwise.
I am blessed!
CSP: Why do you do it?
Rachel: Why not? I have always felt that if you know something is not right and have an idea of how to make it better, then take action. Also, don’t think too long about it. You will be able to adjust things as you go, but at least get the ball rolling.
Meet Amy Jones-Yerdon! She is a Wilmington native, and proud of it. And...she's the newest member of the Coastal Select Properties team!
Growing up in Wilmington and attending public schools in New Hanover County. She says she has loved watching the home she adores grow into one of the most coveted places to live in the southeast. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington earning a bachelor’s degree in Communication and returning to graduate school earning a master’s degree in Elementary Education. There was no question when she graduated, she says, where she would end up. She was already home.
She began her real estate career in 2007. While keeping her license up to date she continued to stay closely tuned into the local market condition, trends and the needs of clients, family and friends that were actively pursuing property in the Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach areas.
“I am very excited to be able to grow my real estate career with Coastal Select Properties.” - Amy
Amy's husband, Derek, is a native New Yorker, and they stay busy raising four beautiful children. They all love spending time outdoors and traveling. The six of them can usually be found on the beach or on their boat. The family splits their time between their two homes near Wrightsville Beach and on Carolina Beach.
Why did you choose real estate?
Amy: I love helping people and their families find home.
What's your favorite thing to do?
Amy: I enjoy spending time with my family and being outside enjoying nature, whether is being poolside, on our boat or sitting on the beach.
Why did you choose to stay in Wilmington?
Amy: I grew up in Wilmington and attended UNCW. I earned my undergraduate degree in Communications and my master’s degree in Elementary Education. And, when I graduated, I honestly just didn't want to be anywhere else. I feel so fortunate to be able to raise my kids in a coastal town.
Why did you choose Coastal Select Properties?
Amy: The uniqueness that Coastal Select offers its clients and the support of local charities in the community puts CSP in a league of its own. I'm super-proud to be part of this team.
Favorite thing to do in Wilmington?
Amy: Anything outdoors
What motivates you to do what you do every day?
Amy: My children. Being a good example for them and being supportive of their daily, changing needs.
What do you hope your work will accomplish?
Amy: I hope to establish a legacy for my children while showing them how investing in real estate and working in real estate is a rewarding career. Helping people find the perfect home for them is a quite a privilege.