ScriptureArt Gifts kiosk open in Cary

mcornatzer@newsobserver.comNovember 29, 2012 

Kelly Shiley has opened a ScriptureArt Gifts kiosk at Cary Towne Center.

The kiosk, which is near Things Remembered and the food court, sells “Promise Packs” – a collection of four different verses each grouped around a common theme such as healing, encouragement, faith or strength – that stick to any smooth surface and can be repositioned and removed without residue. The kiosk also sells laptop covers, calendars, whiteboards, kids room décor, and other gift products with Scripture verses in each design.

Shiley, a mother of three who lives in Holly Springs, started the business last year. She said she struggled with post-partum depression after her third child was born, and to get through it turned to Scripture. With three children, she didn’t have time to sit and read every day, so she wrote verses on index cards and placed them around the downstairs of her home. That still wasn’t enough.

“I wanted to have a way to have them where I could see them while drying my hair or nursing the baby,” she said. “So I went online to order some on clingy material that I could move around with me.”

She couldn’t find any. Rather than give up, Shiley spent six months researching patents.

She found Fathead, which sells wall graphics for sports fans, and cold-called the company and told them what she wanted to do.

“The president called back and flew down from Ohio to meet with me. He said, ‘I’ve known that there is a gap in the market.’ … I asked him, ‘If it’s such a great idea, why haven’t you done it?’ and he said ‘I’m not a Christian, I don’t know what Christians would want.’

“He took me under his wing and taught me about vinyls and adhesives.”

After that she found a manufacturer and started selling online. ScriptureArt products are sold in some Christian retail stores.

A real estate agent by profession, Shiley said the entire process took her out of her comfort zone, and still does.

But Shiley said she wanted to do the kiosk to get a chance to talk to customers and show them the product. A small store of her own is a goal.

The kiosk opened before Thanksgiving, and while she said there hasn’t been a lot of foot traffic, “We get people coming in just to see us.”

The store is there to do more than sell, Shiley said. If people want to stop and talk or pray with her, they’re welcome to do so. “Not everyone wants to,” she said, “but a lot of people do. Some people just want a hug.”

The kiosk will be open at the Cary mall through the end of the year.

Get fit in 30 minutes is the premise behind Koko FitClub, a gym that offers customized workouts through technology that guides you through your training.

The area’s first club opened this past summer in Cary.

Now Neil and Luana Deans, who have the Raleigh franchise, are opening two clubs – in Stonehenge Market on Creedmoor Road and in Leesville Towne Centre at Leesville and Strickland roads – on Saturday. The couple plan to open three more clubs in Raleigh by the end of 2013, including one inside the beltline.

The way it works: The gyms offer a “Smartraining” system that guides members through workouts. At your initial session, a “fit coach” has you do four exercises for a fit test to determine your strength level. That information along with your fitness goals helps your coach determine your workout plan. The plan is loaded onto a USB drive called Koko Keys. When you go to the gym, plug the key into an automated strength training machine, and you’re guided through the workout with on-screen feedback. Your progress and workout data are stored on the keys as well as on your personal Web page, said Luana Deans.

Deans said every 12 workouts, you’ll repeat the fit test to gauge your progress.

A workout is timed to 30 minutes because the personalized plan allows you to rest one set of muscles while working another, and by staying on one machine, no time is lost moving between machines or having to wait for a machine to open up.

Membership costs $79 per month if you sign up for a year’s contract. If you prefer month-to-month, the cost is $99 a month. Sign up before Dec. 15, and the month of December is free and the gym waives the enrollment fee. There also is a $50 charge for a door access card for unstaffed hours.

While the training is automated, Deans said, coaches are nearby.

“The smart machines have a touch screen, and it’s pretty straightforward, but with any new device there is a learning curve,” she said. “The fit coaches are there to make sure you’re doing the exercises properly and provide guidance.”

The Stonehenge location will have an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. The Leesville location’s open house will be in January, Deans said.

Tuesday Morning has signed a lease at Plantation Point Shopping Center, across from Triangle Town Center Mall at Capital Boulevard and Interstate 540 in Raleigh. The store sells name-brand closeout merchandise.

Baja Shack has opened at Northgate Mall in Durham. Baja Shack is the latest venture – and the first in Durham – for Joel Ibarra, original owner of the Triangle’s El Rodeo chain, and current owner of the area’s four La Rancherita Mexican restaurants. Baja Shack’s menu will reflect the Baja-style street food found around the beaches and resorts of Mexico and Los Angeles.

Staff writers Mary Cornatzer and Amy Rue

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