Southeastern Dermatology

Medical • Surgical • Cosmetic

In this issue of Everything Knoxville, we are especially excited to feature Southeastern Dermatology and their team of compassionate and caring medical professionals. First launched by board certified dermatologist, Dr. Matthew Doppelt, in 2003, Southeastern Dermatology has become one of East Tennessee’s most recognized leaders in the treatment of skin disorders and the enhancement of the skin with their state-of-the-art cosmetic dermatology services. Selected by working physicians in Knoxville’s medical community as one of Cityview Magazine’s Top Docs for 2016, Dr. Doppelt and his highly trained team of conscientious medical caregivers have earned Southeastern Dermatology a reputation for providing a level of care that you might have thought no longer existed in today’s medical marketplace.

Providing patient-focused treatment for all their patients, Southeastern Dermatology offers an extensive array of services in the fields of medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology. To help you become better acquainted with Southeastern Dermatology, we bring you this interview with Dr. Doppelt.

EK: Dr. Doppelt, tell our readers a little bit about your background, education, and training.

Dr. Doppelt: I was born and raised in central Illinois. My father was a pharmacist, which is how I was introduced to the healing power of medicine. I graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s degree in biology. From there, I completed a special masters in physiology program at Georgetown University before earning my doctorate degree at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Prior to my dermatology residency, I completed an internal medicine residency through a major teaching hospital affiliate of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, as well as Nova Southeastern University. It was during my internal medicine residency that I realized my true medical passion was for the practice of dermatology. To pursue this goal, I completed my dermatology residency through NSU and the North Broward Hospital District in Fort Lauderdale, where I had the honor of serving as Chief Resident during my third year.

Because fields of medicine, including dermatology, advance rapidly, I keep up to date with these advances by maintaining an active membership as a Fellow of the American Academy Dermatology and the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, in addition to regular participation in continuing educational seminars and hands-on training classes. I am also frequently accused of “geeking out,” as you are as likely to see me reading a medical journal as you are to see me reading Car and Driver (another passion).

EK: Many of our readers may not know the requirements to become a board certified dermatologist. You completed a three-year residency in dermatology after earning your medical degree, and you were also required to pass a board examination to become a board certified dermatologist. For individuals seeking dermatological treatment, why should your level of expertise be so important to them?

Dr. Doppelt: To become a board certified dermatologist, one must first complete four years of medical school. After medical school there is typically at least one year of a medical internship followed by three additional years of a dermatology residency. After completing an approved residency, a candidate must then sit for a certifying board exam. As you can see, there is extensive training after medical school required to obtain this specialty degree. This is precisely why individuals with dermatologic conditions should seek out a board certified dermatologist.

EK: Your patients repeatedly describe you as a compassionate and caring healthcare provider possessing an excellent “bedside manner.” Tell us about your passion for both medicine and your patients.

Dr. Doppelt: What first attracted me to medicine was the ability to serve people by helping to heal people. The knowledge that you can help relieve suffering or discomfort in patients brings me and my team a great deal of personal satisfaction. The practice of dermatology allows our team to do this while building relationships with each of our patients and their families. In a way, dermatology is unique in that the diseases we treat are often visible for others to see. For instance, it is both gratifying and humbling when you can treat a depressed psoriasis patient who is too embarrassed by their disease to go out in public. Working together with the patient, we help to restore not only their health, but their self-confidence as well, as they can once again enjoy going out in public in shorts and a t-shirt. They say thank you with their smiles. It’s more gratifying than I can express in words. We have instilled a unique culture of excellence at Southeastern Dermatology, where you will never be treated like a mere number, but rather as a member of our extended family.

EK: You recently became an adjunct professor at Lincoln Memorial University – Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. What does that mean for your patients?

Dr. Doppelt: In 1993, I was given the opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming a physician. I credit much of my success to the physicians who dedicated a portion of their time to teaching and mentoring the next generation of physicians. I feel a sense of responsibility to continue this fine tradition. The enthusiasm for learning that the medical students bring to both the classroom and our medical office is contagious. What this means to my patients is that from time to time, a medical student will be shadowing me in our office and the exam rooms. The staff always informs the patients when this is the case and asks for their permission for the student to participate. This offers both our team and our patients the opportunity to invest in the futures of these aspiring medical students. And no, our students are not offended if a patient declines.

EK: There are three distinct areas of dermatology services that Southeastern Dermatology offers – medical, surgical, and cosmetic. Briefly describe each.

Dr. Doppelt: One of the things I love about the practice of dermatology is that I never get bored because of the variety of conditions that I can treat. At Southeastern Dermatology, I have tried to create three centers of excellence – medical, surgical, and cosmetic. The medical center of excellence focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. Conditions may be as common as acne, rosacea, eczema, or hair loss, but they may also be uncommon and require a dermatologist to properly diagnose and treat the ailment. The evaluation of skin lesions for cancer is another important aspect of medical dermatology. The surgical center of excellence focuses on the excision of both cancerous and non-cancerous lesions with skillful reconstruction to minimize the appearance of scars. The cosmetic center of excellence focuses on providing customized treatments using the latest technological advanced treatment devices, procedures, and products. Because no two patients are alike, we avoid the “cookbook” approach to treatment which seldom provides optimal results, choosing instead to develop a treatment plan as unique as the patient.

EK: Let’s examine cosmetic dermatology more closely. What makes the cosmetic services offered at Southeastern Dermatology unique? You appear to be unique in that you are the only cosmetic dermatologist in the Greater Knoxville area. Why is that important, and how does that differentiate you from other practitioners offering cosmetic services?

Dr. Doppelt: Dermatology and plastic surgery are really the only two specialties of medicine that have aesthetics at the core of their training. As a cosmetic dermatologist, I have honed that requisite core training through years of experience, advanced training courses, and being mentored by some of the most respected cosmetic dermatologists and plastic surgeons in the nation. I have also assembled a talented, compassionate aesthetic team to support me in this endeavor. We have a full-time product educator and cosmetic coordinator, as well as a highly capable aesthetician. At Southeastern Dermatology, careful individualized treatment planning, skillful, artful, and precise execution, and continued engagement through followup combine to provide superior results and the greatest patient value.

EK: Is it true that you personally perform all cosmetic injections?

Dr. Doppelt: It may come as a shock to your readers, but there are more than 1,000,000 individuals who could legally perform cosmetic injections in the U.S. The question that individuals should ask is, “Who will be performing my injections?” It is because of my passion for cosmetic dermatology that I personally perform all of the cosmetic injectables in my office. I don’t believe that someone seeking cosmetic injections should select their treatment options based solely on price. In the field of cosmetic medicine, we call this “commoditization.” Looked at another way, we all have access to paint, but it takes an artist to create a masterpiece.

EK: Cosmetic dermatology is an area of medicine that is evolving rapidly. Talk about some of the newest technological advancements and state-of-the-art services and procedures you offer.

Dr. Doppelt: New tools for aesthetic enhancement are continuously being developed and brought to the marketplace. I consider it my responsibility to thoroughly research each of these opportunities and only provide those that I feel offer the greatest value and results to my patients. We now have a large variety of injectables available to our patients, and the understanding of their unique properties and characteristics is essential in recommending the appropriate products to achieve optimal outcomes for each patient. Some of the newest injectable products available include Volbella for fine lines and wrinkles and Kybella, which permanently destroys fat under the chin. Southeastern Dermatology is proud to have been selected as the exclusive provider of the Picosure Laser, which has revolutionized the process of tattoo removal. We are also the preeminent provider of Ultherapy in East Tennessee. This non-invasive procedure utilizes ultrasound to lift, tone, and tighten the skin on the face, neck, and chest. We also offer non-invasive body sculpting in the form of SculpSure, as well as minimally invasive laser assisted liposuction, better known as SmartLipo and SlimLipo. We offer many other medical devices and treatments as well to assist you in addressing any of your cosmetic concerns.

EK: Whether a patient is seeking a medical, surgical, or cosmetic procedure, having all of these service available through a single provider would appear to be in that patient’s best long-term interest.

Dr. Doppelt: I whole heartedly agree. There is considerable overlap between the various facets of dermatology. Many of my medical patients go on to become surgical and cosmetic patients. Conversely, I have had numerous patients come in for a cosmetic procedure and during my assessment discover a skin cancer. I have even found two melanomas on BOTOX® patients. Fortunately, they were both early melanomas, which I was able to excise. We can now joke with the patient that “BOTOX® may have saved their life.”

EK: Provide our readers with some details on your new facility.

Dr. Doppelt: I moved to Knoxville in November 2003 and started my practice on the campus of Baptist Hospital in downtown Knoxville. As Baptist initiated consolidation plans, we elected to move our practice to its current location. I remember moving into the current location thinking that was all the medical space that we would ever need. However, the response from our patients to our unique approach of the practice of dermatology has led to growth that exceeded our most optimistic expectations. The opportunity to build a new office with about twice the square footage of the current office presented itself last year, and we should be able to relocate in to our new home in April 2017. The new office, which is adjacent to our existing facility, will be even more technically advanced, yet remain warm and inviting. We are already making plans to expand our centers of medical, surgical, and cosmetic excellence.

EK: In closing, is there anything you would like to add or say to our readers?

Dr. Doppelt: It is a great privilege to serve the dermatologic needs of the people of Knoxville. The growth of Southeastern Dermatology is really in thanks to our patients. The majority of new patients coming into the office are through personal referral. I often tell patients that the best compliment they can pay our team is to refer a family member or friend. If you have any medical, surgical, or cosmetic dermatology needs, I would like to personally invite you to discover the caring difference we offer at Southeastern Dermatology. Have a happy, healthy New Year!

Southeastern Dermatology
1924 Pinnacle Pointe Way, Suite 300
Knoxville, TN 37922

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Decorating Den Interiors

“Discover” Window Coverings

By Sandy Kozar

Beginning with this issue of Everything Knoxville, I am excited to introduce our new “Discover” series of design-inspired feature articles that we hope will inspire you. In this and future issues, we will explore new and exciting interior design topics. In this issue, we will attempt to answer many of the questions asked by homeowners to design professionals related to window coverings.

What is meant by the term “window coverings?”
Window coverings created by design professionals are custom made blinds, shades, shutters, draperies, sheers, cornices, valances, or any fabric treatment used on and/or surrounding a window that provides not only aesthetic beauty to any room in your home, but also offers other features, including privacy, UV protection, and energy savings.

What do you mean by “custom made?”
Every aspect of the window and the area around it is considered when designing a custom-made window covering. We consider what is above the window: Are there any obstructions? What is the design style of the room? Do you want more light in the room or less? Also, other aspects such as size, how your windows open/close, and if they’re framed or unframed are considered. We combine all of these factors, analyze them, and select the correct fabric weight, style, and color to create the perfect custom window treatment for your home’s windows. Your custom designed window treatment then goes to our professional workroom where it is hand-crafted by experts. Then we professionally install and dress your window.

How do I know which covering is right for my windows?
Our design professional will visit your home to measure, ask if there are any energy related issues, and talk to you about the many other important elements to consider when designing a custom-made window covering. These are important first steps prior to offering our recommendations.

What if I have a beautiful view that I don’t want obstructed?
That’s not a problem. If you enjoy beautiful views, rest assured they will remain! Our years of experience in homes just like yours enables us to recommend the perfect widow covering to both protect and enhance your views. We offer the right products and the expertise that provide needed privacy when closed but that spectacular view when open. The combination of your vision and our expertise come together to create the quality look you have dreamed of.

We hope that you have enjoyed our first series of “Discover” and that it has answered any window covering questions you might have had. If you require additional information, please feel free to give us a call and “Discover” why we are the design professionals! And remember, our in-home consultation is always complimentary!

Join us for a “Discover” class: “Window Coverings” on January 19 at 10:30 am.
Limited Seating – call (865) 982-6368 to reserve your seat. Refreshments served.

Decorating Den Interiors
Sandy Kozar & The Kozar Design Team
Interior Design Professionals

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Exact Tile Inc.

Helping You Discover the Possibilities

Knoxville-based Exact Tile Inc. has helped thousands of area homeowners since 1999 achieve that showcase quality look when using ceramic, porcelain, granite, marble, or stone in their homes. Frustrated at other tile stores, Exact Tile offers an extensive selection from the top manufacturers throughout the world and the United States. What further helps Exact Tile stand out among their peers is their eye for design and their expert craftsmen. Artisans who combine “old world” craftsmanship with many of today’s cutting-edge technologies to create the most stunning kitchens, bathrooms, walls, and floors that you could ever imagine.

The possibilities begin long before the actual work commences. It really all begins at Exact Tile’s Boutique. More than a showroom, their design team helps you discover the potential that exists within your home with their creative designs for kitchens, bathrooms, floors, walls, and fireplace surrounds, which are all designed to inspire you.

Exact Tile’s design team will help you transform your vision into your reality. Their designers, your “dream team,” offer in-home consultations and AutoCad/SketchUp design drawings.

Exact Tile would like to invite all of the readers of Everything Knoxville to visit their showroom located at 108 Hayfield Road in Knoxville. Be prepared to be amazed with their many hand-crafted items that are unavailable anywhere else, in addition to quality brands of tile and stone from Walker Zanger, Encore Ceramics, Bella Vista Tile, Tabarka Studio, Mercury Mosaics, Red Rocks, Metalcoat Tile, and Ticsa America, along with natural stone fireplaces, range hoods, sinks, and heated floors. If you’re considering a large format porcelain tile, Exact Tile not only offers this tile, but their craftsmen are also certified to install it.

Are you ready to discover all of your home’s possibilities? Stop by Exact Tile Inc. today and prepare to be amazed.

Exact Tile Inc.
108 Hayfield Road
Knoxville, TN 37922

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Knoxville Bridge Club

Learn to Play Bridge on January 21st

Knoxville’s Learn Bridge in a Day™ seminars have been a huge success. Everyone always has a fun day of bridge. New friendships and partnerships have been developed as a result of those seminars, and those new players continue to enjoy this fascinating game.

On January 21st, Kevin Wilson will present another Learn Bridge in a Day™ seminar at the Knoxville Bridge Center. Participants will be introduced to the basics of playing and scoring contract bridge. Numerous coaches will be on hand to guide in actual play and to answer any questions.

This program is designed for those who have never played bridge, but it’s also for someone who might have played bridge years ago and would like to be re-introduced to the basics. Most importantly, it’s for anyone looking for an opportunity to meet new people while playing this fun and fascinating card game.

Participation in the one-day seminar will include follow-up beginning lessons during the next two weeks at no additional charge. Beginning with the third lesson, the Knoxville club will charge $5 per person.

“You can’t get any less expensive,” said Kevin. “We have a whole plan for them after the seminar.”

The follow-up bridge lessons will be held every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 or Tuesday evening at 6:00 at the Knoxville Bridge Center beginning January 22nd and 24th.

Pre-registration is not required but highly recommended due to limited seating. Call 865-539-4150 today to reserve your seat, and you can begin playing the best mind game ever on January 21st. The cost is $20. Check-in time is 12:30 pm, and the seminar begins at 1 pm. Your new best friend and partner just might be there waiting to meet you.

The Knoxville Bridge Club is located at 7400 Deane Hill Drive in Knoxville. For a map and additional information, visit

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Heritage Investors

Comprehensive Wealth Planning

A Life’s Lesson I’ll Never Forget

By Justin Goodbread, Certified Financial Planner™

I guess it wasn’t a total surprise when, in 2005, my mom and dad asked me to help them put together a financial plan to help them secure their retirement dreams. After all, I’m a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP).

In my career, it wasn’t unusual to share in the grief of my clients who experienced personal losses, but nothing could prepare me for my father’s (we called him Pops) totally unexpected death on October 20, 2016, at age 62. I still can’t describe the emotional roller coaster I’ve experienced. As the grieving and healing continue, as a family, we are grateful for the foresight that my parents demonstrated, putting into place 12 years ago a plan designed to protect themselves and their loved ones from life’s uncertainties.

I wish I could encourage everyone who reads this article to put a comprehensive plan into place for their family to provide for not only retirement, but life’s unexpected twists and turns as well. Unfortunately, too many people postpone planning. Maybe they think that they’re too young, or perhaps they’re uncomfortable confronting their own mortality. I believe that many people don’t have someone to confide in that they feel they can trust. Regardless of the reason, the lack of a comprehensive financial plan for the future can make life’s uncertainties even more devastating.

At only 59 years old, Mom will likely enjoy many more productive years surrounded by her three children and 11 grandbabies. Fortunately, the decisions Mom and Pops made in 2005 will permit my mom to continue to live comfortably in retirement and will not necessitate having to return to the workplace as so many other spouses have had to do to make ends meet.

I, as I am sure so many of you were, was very moved when a member of the Reagan family shared with all of us the love letters that the former president wrote to his wife, Nancy. My pops’ love letter to Mom and his legacy to his children and grandchildren, and I hope you, too, is to demonstrate our love for our families by carefully providing for their futures. Despite his relatively young age and totally unexpected passing from a massive heart attack, I am confident that Pops achieved the peace of mind that we all search for in life, knowing that we have provided for those we love the most.

Comprehensive wealth planning is not something reserved for the mega-wealthy. That’s a common misconception. Mom and Pops were middle-class Americans. They never owned new automobiles or lived in fancy homes. Their real wealth came from their love for each other and their family. Their goal was to live a life free from the worry of money or the prospect of outliving their retirement nest egg.

My dad’s passing has given me a renewed passion. The comprehensive wealth plans I create for individuals and families are far more than mere forms and spreadsheets. I am confident that what I have experienced firsthand with Pops’ loss provides me with even greater insight to be able to help you and your family navigate life’s uncertainties.

With the beginning of a new year, why not thank the Lord for all of your blessings? As a resolution for 2017, I would like to encourage you to put a comprehensive wealth plan into place to provide for those you care about the most. Please feel free to contact me for assistance. Stop rolling the dice.

Heritage Investors
11470 Parkside Drive, Suite 201
Knoxville, TN 37934

Heritage Investors is an independent firm with securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC. Advisory services offered through Summit Financial Group, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Opinions expressed are that of the author and are not endorsed by the named broker dealer or its affiliates. Although the opinions expressed are based upon assumptions believed to be reliable, there is no guarantee they will come to pass. The information may change at any time due to market or other conditions. Past performance is not an indication of future results.

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Breaking Out in 2017

By Tom Irmen

Small business success does not result from merely being in business. Not a spectator sport, success in small business requires that you be on the playing field, actively engaged in providing a quality product or service and differentiating your business from those that you compete with.

Small business ownership isn’t for the timid as the last decade has proven. And we must all remain vigilant to not allow ourselves to become so pessimistic about the future that we miss what might become a huge growth opportunity.

Although I have spoken about this very subject many times in the past, I feel that it deserves to be repeated once again. Anecdotal evidence is suggesting that a growing number of small business owners are experiencing recent new sales increases beyond their earlier expectations. I’m not offering any political commentary, so whether this renewed economic optimism is the result of the recent election or not, this economic surge might represent the much anticipated catalyst for a long overdue small business recovery. But to benefit from this renewed economic optimism, it’s imperative that you act.

It’s understandable that entrepreneurs are noticeably cautious after experiencing nearly a decade of anemic economic growth; however, you will have no other choice but to play in the game if you are to win the game. It is more important than ever in this current environment to keep your fingers on the pulse of both your customers and competitors, as well as on the local and national economies. The valuable insights that you will discern can guide you in making the well-thought out decisions necessary to take full advantage of any signs of economic recovery.

Success requires action. Do you have a deliberate and comprehensive plan for your small business for 2017? Flying by the seat of your pants or rolling the dice will not likely produce the results you have been hoping for. One year from now, a small number of success-oriented entrepreneurs will be reflecting back on 2017 and viewing it as their breakout year. This success will not be the result of luck, but rather action.

How you will view your small business success for 2017 just one year from today? Will you get down onto the playing field where success awaits you, or will you choose the comfort of the grandstands?

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Sweetwater Flower Shop

Introducing Upstairs at The Mansion

By Jack Wilson, Owner of Sweetwater Flower Shop

Greek philosopher Heraclitus was quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” In December 2012, after our recovery from an earlier devastating fire, The Mansion restaurant opened on our second floor retail space. Owned and operated by chef Lea Watson, The Mansion quickly became a favorite dining spot for so many area residents and visitors to historic downtown Sweetwater.

Lea, who has done an extraordinary job, has decided to pursue other interests. I know that you will all join me in wishing Lea the very best in her future endeavors.

You will be delighted to know, however, that the restaurant will remain open. And, as is only appropriate, we have renamed the restaurant Upstairs at The Mansion.

Upstairs at The Mansion will reopen in early to mid-January after we complete some needed modifications to our kitchen, food preparation, and service areas. It will be managed by chef Josh Russell, who has more than 17 years of experience in the restaurant and food service industry.

Our hours will remain the same during our transition, but Josh is receptive to your ideas to add additional menu items and extending his hours of operation. As we make this transition, we would indulge your patience during this time. Trust me, you’re going to enjoy the new experience.

Follow us on Facebook during the transition to learn about our opening date, hours of operation, and new menu. Be prepared to be amazed by this newest addition to the historic downtown Sweetwater dining experience, Upstairs at The Mansion.

Sweetwater Flower Shop
118 N. West Street
Sweetwater, TN 37874

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Veronica G Boutique

Veronica G Boutique Winter Clearance Sale

Save Up to 75% Off Starting January 10th

At Veronica G Boutique, we are looking forward to a great 2017, and what better way to start it off than with a special thank you to all of our past, present, and future customers with a great sale? After a successful 2016 sales season, we are preparing to make room for our exciting, all-new spring fashion lines that will begin arriving in mid-February. I invite you to take advantage of our best sale prices ever during this huge Winter Clearance Sale, which starts on January 10th.

In preparation for Veronica G Boutique’s biggest sale ever, with up to 75% off all merchandise storewide, we will be closed from December 29th through January 9th. We’ll reopen January 10, when the savings will begin, as we make room for all of our new spring arrivals!

If saving up to 75% during our Winter Clearance Sale wasn’t enough, how about saving 20% off any one item of your choice from our new spring arrivals by simply signing up for our VGB VIP program today? Just text VGB to 56274 to join our rewards club. (Standard messaging and data rates may apply.) This special VIP program will text our VIP customers exclusive monthly savings coupons for new arrivals, VIP birthday club coupons, and more.

During 2017, we will continue to bring our customers the newest fashion looks, trends, quality, and value that you have come to expect from Veronica G Boutique, beginning with our exciting new apparel lines for spring. Watch for our ad and article in the February issues of Everything Knoxville and East Tennessee’s Mountain Views to see what’s in store, or should I say “in boutique,” including our expanded fashion line from the Clara Sun Woo 2017 collection.

Veronica G Boutique
11655 Parkside Drive
Knoxville, TN 37934

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Genuine Amish Excellence from the Heart

Genuine Amish Excellence from the Heart


Although her career as a Human Resource Administrator in the medical field spanned nearly three decades, this Tennessee native turned entrepreneur discovered that her true passion laid elsewhere.

“I was always confident that the positive decisions I made as an HR professional had an impact on the quality of care that the healthcare organizations I represented delivered to our patients,” said Angie Carroll, Amish Excellence owner. “But like so many career professionals, I began to explore that entrepreneurial spirit that seems to exist within so many of us today.”

Angie pursued her inner calling to become a member of Knoxville area’s self-employment community when she launched Amish Excellence, offering the finest Amish, hand-crafted furniture at affordable pricing that surpasses most of her customers’ expectations.

In this issue of Everything Knoxville, we are excited to introduce to you one of East Tennessee’s newest woman entrepreneurs, Angie Carroll, and to help you, our readers, gain a fuller appreciation of just what genuine Amish Excellence furniture is.

EK: Before diving into Amish Excellence, first tell us about your self-employment journey. After nearly three decades in the human resources profession, you no doubt surprised many members of your family and friends.

Angie: My family and friends weren’t surprised at all. They wondered what took me so long to start my own business! Throughout the years, I’ve enjoyed helping friends decorate their homes, sewing window treatments and bedding, making flower arrangements, and decorative painting. I’ve also planned and decorated for several weddings and special events. Using creativity to make things pretty has always been my passion.

EK: Why did you choose Amish Excellence?

Angie: This time last year I was doing a lot of soul searching and praying about how I should spend the rest of my life. The corporate world wasn’t where I found happiness any longer, so I started looking at a number of different business options. None of them inspired me. I sought the advice of my long-time friend, Brad. He introduced me to Guy Irwin, the owner of Amish Excellence in Franklin, Tennessee. After a few visits and several conversations with Guy, I decided that opening an independently owned Amish Excellence retail location in Knoxville was the right thing for me to do.

EK: You’ve had the opportunity to visit many of the Amish craftsmen in their homes and in their workshops. Tell us a little bit about their culture and why their commitment to genuine quality successfully differentiates themselves in the furniture industry.

Angie: Yes, I have met most of our craftsmen and speak with them on a regular basis. Their culture is very different from “the English” culture, as they refer to us. These are people with strong values and firm beliefs. They communicate these values and beliefs not just through words, but through their way of life. The Amish people are not a reminder of what once was, but a clear statement of how a community of people have been successful in creating and maintain a way of life – a way that has proven over time to be right for them. They give the modern world a clear example of how a strong faith can provide in ways the modern world seems to have forgotten. The communities are prosperous and lively, rooted in faith in God, family, tradition, and hard work.

EK: Let’s dispel some rumors. Not all Amish manufactured furniture is created equal.

Angie: That’s right. The furniture available from Amish Excellence is not manufactured in a large, modern facility as with online purchases or “big box” stores. None of the builders we work with are employed in a factory. All shops are guaranteed 100% Amish ownership. These are individual families with shops on their farms where a few other family members build the furniture. We ONLY sell furniture made by Amish craftsmen with American solid hardwood. Each piece comes with a lifetime warranty against any defects in material or workmanship at no additional cost to the customer. Each piece is created when the order is placed and is not part of a large “off the shelf” inventory.

EK: Another misconception is that all Amish made furniture is Shaker or Craftsman in style. What furniture styles are available?

Angie: We do offer these styles, as the clean lines of Shaker and Craftsmen furniture continue to be very popular. Many customers are surprised to find contemporary styles and fresh, new stain colors and finishes available. Our furniture options appeal to anyone who appreciates genuine quality, value, and pieces they won’t have to replace in a few years. Our craftsmen can build furniture that will beautifully complement any home or office space.

EK: All of your Amish Excellence furniture is custom made. Why is that important to your customers?

Angie: Our customers enjoy knowing that they have a piece of furniture that is uniquely theirs. While every piece is beautiful and very well made, the choice of wood species, stain and finish, size, shape, and edge profile makes their furniture special. Our craftsmen aren’t limited by what can be mass produced in a factory. They can customize almost every aspect of the design. The natural beauty of solid hardwood contributes to the warmth, uniqueness, and character of each piece. We don’t offer any furniture that is made of computer-generated images that are laminated, veneers, MDF, pressboard, or cardboard. Additionally, our furniture is sustainable, environmentally-friendly, more durable, and long lasting. These are all important to our customers.

EK: Explain to our readers how you help them design their own custom pieces.

Angie: I try very hard to connect with my customers and understand how they intend to use the furniture. This helps me offer suggestions and designs ideas. There are a variety of furniture pieces in our showroom that shows the craftsmanship, quality, various stain colors, and fabric options. From there, we may browse through several catalogs for design inspiration. I also encourage our customers to bring in pictures of items they like. We may even sketch the design and dimensions on to graph paper. My service also includes in-home consultations that are free of charge.

EK: Perhaps the greatest surprise to your customers is that your higher quality, custom made, 100% Amish hand-crafted furniture is often less than what they would pay for a similar furniture piece in area retail furniture stores. Would you care to comment?

Angie: Yes, it’s important that our furniture be affordable for the majority of our customers. Our showroom is smaller than most furniture stores, and we don’t carry a large inventory. Being a custom furniture maker allows us to do that without a lot of expensive overhead. Because the furniture can be made at any time, some customers choose to start with a few pieces and add to it throughout the year. We’re working with a young couple now that recently purchased a bed and two nightstands, and they plan to add the triple dresser and chest next year.

EK: How can our readers learn more about Amish Excellence?

Angie: Come by the store! We’re open Monday through Saturday and always closed on Sunday. You can also visit us online at

EK: In closing, is there anything you would like to add?

Angie: I believe our service statement best sums up our priorities and the business model for Amish Excellence: Dedicated to Things that Last. God, Family, Integrity, Thrift, and Simplicity.

Amish Excellence
613 N. Campbell Station Road
Knoxville, TN 37934

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Bring Your Kitchen Some Holiday Cheer

Bring Your Kitchen Some Holiday Cheer


If you’ve thought about making a change in your kitchen, you might already be dreading the process of tearing everything out of your space, as well as the time, cost, and inconvenience typically involved. The good news is that trusted remodeling company Kitchen Tune-Up and its local Knoxville franchise owned by Ryan and Michelle Thompson can provide a completely updated kitchen in less than one week – and without the mess or cost of a complete tear-out.

“Our average remodeling project takes between one to five days to complete,” explained Ryan.

Kitchen Tune-Up specializes in cabinet refacing, cabinet redooring (new doors custom ordered to fit your cabinets), custom cabinets and design, and one-day wood reconditioning. Kitchen Tune-Up also offers custom closets, storage solutions, garage cabinets, and a number of accessories. The company’s signature service is a unique, comprehensive, one-day wood reconditioning process called a “Tune-Up,” which restores and repairs wood cabinets.

“It’s important to know that you don’t have to spend a fortune or live in a mess for weeks in order to update your space,” said Ryan. “You can keep your same cabinets and recondition them, or keep the cabinet boxes in place and reface them in a different style or color, or replace them with new cabinets. With any of our services, you can make your space more functional with the addition of roll-out trays and accessories. Whatever you can imagine for your kitchen, we have multiple options and will work within your budget.”

Ryan and Michelle have been Tennessee residents for more than 20 years and have called Knoxville home since 2009. The Kitchen Tune-Up franchise system has consistently been ranked first in their category by Entrepreneur magazine for more than 20 years. For more information or to schedule a no-obligation consultation, call Kitchen Tune-Up today at 865-253-7805 or visit

Kitchen Tune-Up

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