Clancy Optical and SPEX

Knoxville’s Trusted Experts in Eyewear Since 1943

Steve Clancy is an optician, native Knoxvillian, and 3rd generation owner of Clancy Optical located in Franklin Square and SPEX located in the Kingston Pike Shopping Center in Bearden. He and his wife, interior designer Paula Clancy, have been married for more than 25 years – both have thriving businesses known for specialized expertise and long-term client relationships. Steve talked to Everything Knoxville about carrying on the tradition of excellent optical care and up-to-date eyeglass choices. 

EK: Wow! 3rd generation? Tell us about Clancy Optical’s beginnings.

Steve: As the very first optical store in Knoxville, my grandfather, Art Clancy, Sr., opened Clancy Optical Company back in 1943. We continue to be one of Knoxville’s oldest and longest standing businesses. During the past 70+ years, many Clancy family members – including sons, daughters, cousins, and in-laws – have worked there. My dad, Art Clancy, Jr., joined the business in 1958 and was with Clancy Optical for more than 50 years. There he served as president, receiving numerous awards and recognition in the optical field on local, state, national, and international levels.

EK: That is quite a legacy – when and how did you become involved in the family business?

Steve: I became a licensed optician and began my career with the company in 1982. I was able to work side-by-side with my grandfather and father, learning skills only they could teach, which I feel sets me apart from others in my field. With more than 38 years of experience, I am proud to carry on the legacy of Clancy Optical.

EK: How has your business grown over the years?

Steve: By providing exceptional customer service, our knowledgeable staff focuses on relationship building that has led to many repeat clients. This has allowed us to successfully carry on and expand. In addition to our original store, we opened SPEX, a division of Clancy Optical, in the Bearden area in 2004. With the Franklin Square location offering classic and more traditional frame lines, SPEX specializes in fashion forward and contemporary eyeglass styles. 

EK: What sets Clancy Optical apart from your competitors?

Steve: My staff and I strive to bring the best possible products and service to our client base through continuing education and by attending optical conventions and trade shows. I am very selective about the brands we sell – always making sure the products are of the very highest quality. Both SPEX and Clancy Optical carry lines exclusive to the company, including Danish line LINDBERG, Götti from Switzerland, French line Anne & Valentin, and Japanese Barton Perreira. SPEX also carries the high-end fashion brand Celine, Tom Ford, and Oliver Peoples. We also hold the largest Maui Jim sunglass inventory in the Knoxville market. 

EK: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

Steve: I really love what I do. I love knowing I am helping someone improve their quality of life. If you are tired of the run-of-the-mill eyewear and lack of personal service found in the big chains, try Clancy Optical and SPEX. We offer exclusive brands that can’t be found anywhere else in town. Our lines are chosen for their craftsmanship, quality, and uniqueness – the best of the best! Call us or stop by one of our stores to see our wide selection of beautiful frames. 

Clancy Optical

9700 Kingston Pike, Suite 15
Knoxville, TN 37922

SPEX Contemporary Eyewear

4620 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919

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Home Organization Includes the Pantry

Fall has arrived and we’ll be celebrating the holidays in a few weeks. If you have plans to entertain this holiday, you may need to whip your pantry into shape.

“While newer houses often have a larger pantry space, the size of your pantry doesn’t matter as much as organization,” said Kathryn Norton, co-owner of Tailored Living of Knoxville. “A well-designed small pantry often provides better, more convenient and functional storage than a poorly designed larger pantry.”

No matter its size, today’s pantry should be: 

Convenient – Located at or near the area where food is prepared. 

Visible – Everything in the pantry can be seen at a glance.

Accessible – Every item can be easily reached and removed without having to move anything else out of the way. Heaviest items, like a mixer, close to the floor and least-used items at the highest point.

When designing the layout of your pantry, Tailored Living believes what works best for the homeowner is a design that fits their lifestyle. Their designers will discuss how you want to utilize your pantry. Some of the questions a designer may ask are:

• What will be in the pantry besides food? Do you want to store dishes, serve ware, table linens, grilling items, or cleaning supplies in the space also?

• Do you entertain a lot and need to store party supplies?

• Do you have a specific design style in mind?  

• If you have the space, do you want a counter top – often called a landing area – to put bags of groceries on or, if there’s an outlet in the pantry, everyday items like a coffee maker?   

Other pantry elements to consider are drawers or pullout baskets. Incorporating baskets makes it easy for kids to see and get the food they like to eat or to store large-bulk items like onions or potatoes. Drawers are perfect for linens, grilling utensils, napkins, or any smaller items. Slide-out spice and wine racks add convenience. How much you’re able to customize depends on the size of your pantry.

Whether your pantry provides a walk-in space or is a reach-in, Tailored Living of Knoxville listens to your individual or family needs to design a space that works well for your lifestyle.  Their job is to design and install a well-organized pantry that brings order to chaos.

Tailored Living
featuring Premier Garage<

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The Lunchbox

Healthy, Quick, and Convenient! 

Looking for a healthy alternative for lunch?

How about a convenient, quiet spot for a small group or client meeting? 

Need dinner for six tomorrow night? 

The Lunchbox is your one-stop shop for delicious homestyle, quality lunches and catering options. Gather for breakfast,lunch, or snacks in their comfortable markets, then take home dinner ready to heat and serve. 

We are celebrating 40 years serving Knoxville, and what keeps customers coming back is simple – 

“The formula hasn’t changed.” We stay true to founder Karen Sproles recipes, which continue to be the heartbeat and foundation of The Lunchbox. The signature chicken salad, soups, fresh sandwiches, and ready-to-go desserts have always been a major draw. Our downtown Market Manager, Josephine, has been with The Lunchbox for too many years to count and has been making these “tried and true” recipes from scratch for more than 20 years. 

Rhonda, our Market Manager at The Atrium, has taken customer service to the next level, greeting customers daily with smiles and gratitude. We continue to offer homestyle, quality foods that people keep coming back to, and our mission is to stay consistent in honoring The Lunchbox legacy. 

Daily menu specials include our fresh made sandwiches and wraps, pimento cheese, chicken enchiladas, pumpkin muffins, chicken gumbo, Italian cream cake, box lunches with a side and dessert, and Knoxville’s favorite chicken salad. 

Our Bearden location also offers Take & Bake Meals – family meals made from scratch, served fresh from your oven. Call us 24 hours in advance and your order will be ready to go! 

Expect friendly, efficient service and the favorites Knoxville has loved for 40 years without sacrificing time and nutrition. Come see us at The Lunchbox!

The Lunchbox

5005 Kingston Pike

607 Market Street
Atrium Office Park
1225 Weisgarber Road

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The New Habit is to Revive the Old Habits

By Brett Cafferty

We have been reflecting on our first year of publishing Everything Knoxville and are thankful for the new relationships and what we have learned in this new venture. We have also come to recognize – perhaps as a result of our brief time of “returning toward normal” over the summer – the difference in the planning, experiences, and, in some ways, the measuring of our days, activities, and priorities. 

After spending 25+ years in the small business world, the effects of the past year and a half (the Ides of March 2020 to present) have resulted in significant differences in the norms of many businesses and simply how to go about it. As an example, we moved to Knoxville to take over a territory for a national manufacturer and I spent the next 10 years building the business; hiring, coaching, and managing day-to-day affairs. Looking back to that period, the daily or weekly priorities were relatively simple to plan and measure; the number of contacts, meetings, proposals, and transactions, which are common across many industries and markets. 

During this past 18 months, it has been radically different. Although technology provides some degree of personal interaction, most salespeople, entrepreneurs, and small business owners need to be out in the market – busy, challenged, and involved with others as it is what makes them “tick.” This is a vital part of maintaining a sense of normalcy, relationships, and the operation of the business. 

The often dreamed statement of “if only I had the time” became real for many. Although some folks did take advantage of the opportunity to pursue new projects or passions, the radical change in routines and lack of connection caused many to slip into fractured patterns of inactivity and losing motivation to do much – as good intention and plans often had to be postponed or canceled since we couldn’t plan anything for next week or even next month!

For those used to planning and doing, the shift of activities, lack of interaction, and making all plans “tentative” is a temporary situation. Let’s not to allow ourselves to accept these new habits as permanent. I recently realized my “intentional behaviors” have taken a back seat this past year and that it’s time to reset and clarify priorities and the specific actions needed. 

I would encourage everyone (myself included) to get out that pad of paper or iPhone note and start a list of activities – whether business or personal – to get in the habit of doing again. Intentions and ideas cannot be tracked, but specific actions leading to a goal can be. 

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Open Chord Music Shop

Your Place for All Things Music™

You are probably already aware that the Open Chord is a great place to see live music, but did you know that the OpenChord Music Shop is also a great place to pick up new guitar strings, find the perfect guitar strap, or try out some of the coolest pedals? 

As the largest Taylor Guitar dealer in our area, Open Chord Music is a full-service music store offering a great selection of all things stringed – electric and acoustic guitars from Taylor, Fender, Gibson, D’Angelico, Cordoba, in addition to electric basses, ukuleles, banjos, mandolins, and more!. 

Open Chord Music Shop is your one-stop shop for All Things Music! The staff are also musicians so they can help answer your questions, direct you towards the best accessories, and even perform repairs – all right in the store! Whether you are looking for a capo, picks, cables, amp tubes, new strings, or a repair, Open Chord Music Store has it. 

Need a gift for the musician or music lover in your life? Open Chord’s knowledgeable staff can help with suggestions and recommendations. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. When you stop by, be sure to check out our selection of Vinyl LPs – from recent releases to classic and rare finds from the 60s and 70s. 

Open Chord Music

8426 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919

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Design Your Garage to Save Money and Time

By Carrie McConkey,

Many of us choose the DIY route when it comes to garage storage and organization. We spend a lot of time looking for just the right components that will fit our space and hold everything, and often we come up short. What if all of your garage needs could be solved at once, saving you money and time? It’s possible, with a professionally designed garage from Knoxville’s own Designer Garages. 

Get Slatwall Savvy

If pegboard is the granddaddy of garage storage systems, slatwall is his in-the-know grandson. Attractive and effective, slatwall offers sleek wall storage with dozens of accessories to hold everything big and small.

Toss the Tool Chest

Quality tool storage cabinets can be costly and take up space. Instead, use custom-designed drawers that will keep your valuable tool collection clean, organized, and close at hand. 

Put Your Workbench to Work

Workbenches are perfect for hobbies, but the DIY version is often too basic. Install custom-designed counter space, power outlets, and task lighting with drawers and cabinets underneath for a useful and enjoyable workspace. 

You can spend days putting up pegboard, shopping for shelves, and buying bins for garage storage and organization. What might save you cash will cost you valuable time, and the results, while practical, may not be perfect. Call or visit the Designer Garages showroom in West Knoxville today, and let Chris McKenry and his team show you the attractive and practical options that will supply your dream garage in no time!

Designer Garages

201 Center Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37922

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3 Things to Do During Medicare Open Enrollment

By Yvonne Marsh, CFP®, CPA 

It’s that time of year again – football, Fall and Medicare Open Enrollment! October 15th is your opportunity to take a fresh look at your Medicare coverage to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Here are 3 things to do:

1. Review Your Part D Prescription Plan: Did you know your plan can change which drugs they cover and how much they reimburse every year? It’s called a formulary change. What might have been a great plan a few years ago might not be so great anymore. Do yourself a favor and check out the Medicare Plan Finder tool that lets you input your medications and see which plan provides the best coverage. One client saved her mom over $700/month on Alzheimer’s medications simply by changing plans.

2. Take a fresh look at Medicare Advantage: Advantage plans come with a lot of… advantages! They have very low or $0 premiums, and most cover dental, vision and hearing, which most Medicare Supplement plans do not. They also include prescription coverage. In an Advantage plan, rather than high monthly premiums, you’re willing to pay a co-pay for doctor and hospital visits. But the co-pays are capped with annual out-of-pocket maximums to protect you from large expenses. And if you don’t like Advantage, you can switch back to traditional Medicare within the first 12 months. 

3. Price shop your Medicare Supplement Plan: while it is true you can do this step year-round, Open Enrollment is still a great time to take a fresh look.  And remember that by law, every insurance company has to offer the same benefits for a specific plan – so a Plan G benefit is the same wherever you go; you’re simply price shopping for the lowest premium with the company that has the strongest renewal rates.  

If this all sounds great, but a little overwhelming, Rick Austin, in our office can help. He is an independent Medicare insurance specialist and has a premium quoting tool that looks across all companies to find the right answer for you. His expertise comes at no cost or obligation – the various insurance companies pay him for his help when you place business through him. So you can take the monthly savings he may find and use it for something fun instead! Call him directly at 865-599-1323.

Marsh Wealth Management, LLC

Fiduciary Registered Investment Advisor
504 Ebenezer Road
Knoxville, TN 37923

Financial Planning & Investment Advisory Services are offered through Marsh Wealth Management, LLC (“MWM”), an independent investment advisor registered with the state of Tennessee. Yvonne Marsh is an Investment Advisor Representative of MWM in the state of Tennessee. Marsh Professional Group, LLC, is a TN registered public accounting firm and a separate legal entity from MWM. For a detailed discussion of MWM and their investment advisory fees, see the firm’s Form ADV on file with the SEC at

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North Hills: An Early Knoxville Automobile Subdivision 

The North Hills neighborhood is located in North Knoxville and is roughly bounded by Washington Pike, Whittle Springs Road, Cecil Avenue, and Prosser Road. The houses in North Hills are mainly one and two story houses that feature brick, stucco, East Tennessee Marble, and Crab Orchard Stone exteriors. The neighborhood is a good example of a suburban middle-class residential district with a strong emphasis on early to mid-twentieth century revival residential architecture. Styles include English Cottage Revival, Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Ranch, and Minimal Traditional. The neighborhood retains its original topography of rolling hills, wide-tree-lined boulevards, and landscaping.

North Hills was developed as an automobile-accessible neighborhood in 1927 under the North Hills Corporation by brothers George, Hugh, and Carl Fielden. George wanted to create a new subdivision of custom-built homes and soon began to buy land and divide it into lots. It is said that George and his mother Florence named the area “North Hills” because it described the rolling hills of North Knoxville. In 1927, George laid out the first section of North Hills Boulevard (the 1900 block) and erected stone gateposts with marble plaques reading “North Hills” on each side of the Washington Pike entrance. The first house was built on a wooded lot on the west side of North Hills Boulevard next to the main entrance. 

When development started in 1927, the neighborhood originally encompassed only 43 acres and three streets: North Hills Boulevard, Fountain Park Boulevard, and Kenilworth Lane. By 1928, more than 40 homes had been built. By 1935, 75 homes had been built and 175 lots were available to build on. 

Restrictive covenants were adopted in 1928 to ensure that North Hills would remain a select neighborhood. The expiration of these covenants is supposed to be in 2027 (99 years from their development date). These guidelines provide interesting insight into the perspective of the developers and original residents regarding the important visual aspects of their neighborhood. In part, these restrictions provide guidance on placement of garages, construction cost, number of rooms, setbacks, exterior wall covering, roof and foundation material, and each house design had to be approved by two officials of the North Hills Corporation. 

The North Hills Garden Club was established in 1935 to promote the beautification of the neighborhood and to foster a community spirt through participation in civic, educational, and social activities. During the first year, the club had 50 members, and today the garden club is still a strong entity that is active in the neighborhood and surrounding community.

North Hills was an up-and-coming, middle-class suburb during the late 1920s, and it attracted many families. Residents included employees of the Tennessee Valley Authority, managers, presidents, or vice-presidents of local companies, business owners, attorneys, doctors, employees of Southern Railway, and professors at the University of Tennessee.

The North Hills Area Association was formed in 2000, and its mission is to promote security, beautification, and safety. The Association includes the historic area of the neighborhood, as well as the Plantation Hills subdivision that was developed in 1959 and spans roughly 75 acres southwest of the original 1927 development. 

The original North Hills development was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008 for its strong association with community planning and residential development in Knoxville and for its rich architectural significance. 

Numerous automobile subdivisions began cropping up during the early twentieth century in Knoxville, and North Hills was one of the first. With the presence of the boulevards, revival-style architecture, and heavy natural topography, the neighborhoods developed a uniform and elegant appearance that remains today. North Hills illustrated the trend that led away from busy downtown living, creating a dependence upon mass streetcar transportation and eventually toward dependence upon the automobile. 

Knox Heritage preserves structures and places of historic or cultural significance for our community. Established in 1974 as a non-profit educational corporation, our organization works to protect and raise awareness of what is beautiful and irreplaceable in East Tennessee.

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The Town Framery & Gifts

Fall Open House

Thursday, Friday & Saturday ~ October 21-23 ~ 10 am to 4 pm

It is time to celebrate fall and anticipate Christmas at the Annual Fall Open House at The Town Framery & Gifts! Thisannual tradition will once again feature fabulous, new everyday and seasonal products, in addition to welcoming back food tastings – sample the latest Captain Rodney’s wonderful products!

New product lines will be displayed throughout the shop, including Michel Design Works bath & body products, Mr. Bird bird feed, and Aspen Mulling Spices & Savory Cracker Mix. The shop will be filled with delightful wreaths, florals, and accents to accessorize your home for the upcoming holiday season. If you are looking for that perfect gift for the holidays, a wedding, house warming, or birthday, the collection of unique items has never been better. From that special event to a simple hostess gift, the shop offers easy one-stop shopping!

The event will be spread over three days to help with social distancing. Masks will not be required, although welcome. If you are unvaccinated, we request a mask be worn while inside.

Sales tax free shopping each day, and don’t forget to pick up a discount framing coupon! The staff and volunteers of The Town Framery & Gifts look forward to serving you at the Fall Open House! THINK BIG… shop small!

The Town Framery & Gifts

12814 Kingston Pike
Farragut, TN 37934

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Shae Design Studio

For more than 16 years, Shae Design Studio has been creating uniquely dynamic interiors tailored to fit their individual clients’ styles and needs. Everything Knoxville caught up with owner Shae Seeber at their new showroom location in Franklin Square to discuss one of their latest epic projects – a deluxe pool house for an area homeowner. Shae shared with us how this project evolved from the first ideas their client had, to the expert planning of the furnishings and accessories, to the beautiful success we see here.

This pool house project began as a collaborative effort between the client, architect, and Shae Design team. Everyone worked through the initial plans together to ensure the final design was exactly as intended for the success of the space and the delight of the client. Furniture layouts were created within the architectural plans, and 3D renderings were “walked through” before the first hammer was ever raised to a nail. Almost every selection was finalized before construction began – from flooring, cabinets, furniture, color palettes, wood stains, light fixtures, countertops, hardware, exterior selections, and even pool finishes. With a cohesive plan set for the entire design, few surprises surfaced during the construction process, allowing the budget to be met, and conception to be realized, to the elation of everyone involved.

The Shae Design team served as project management from beginning to end. Electrical layouts were drawn, lighting plans created, tile installation designed, and furniture layouts planned. SDS facilitated any necessary handholding among the clients, contractors, and subcontractors involved. Most of the furnishings were custom designs by the SDS team, and a multitude of other items were sourced through trusted Shae Design vendors.

From beginning to end, the design team was present throughout every aspect of the design plan, including the final delivery and installation of the project. Furniture was arranged, art was hung, accessories were placed, lamps were illuminated, and pillows were fluffed. Every last detail of the finishing touches convey the message the clients longed to send: “Welcome to our home.”

This project beautifully serves as the ideal relationship between contractor, client, architect, and interior designer.

Interior Design: Pool House Project

Design Selections
Some call it “soup to nuts.” Our Interior Design team collaborated for months with the client and architect to bring a pool house dream to reality. From the architectural details to the electrical plan and decorative finishes, we worked with the contractors to ensure the success of the stunning end result. The beauty of the beams, cabinetry, countertops, custom fixtures, and upholstery make this local pool house the envy of all.

The Furniture
While we’ve seen countless woven and leather elements in design throughout the years, the warmth and dimension these materials bring to a space remains indisputable. We love incorporating a variety of textures in our projects to add interest and set the tone of the overall aesthetics. This particular project is replete with custom textiles, hand-selected fabrics, and unique furniture pieces that were all designed and selected by our team.

The Lighting
Artisan-crafted, expertly placed lighting adds sparkle, interest, dimension, and life to a space. Great lighting has the power to determine the mood, energy, and focus of your most beloved belongings and environments. The delicate balance of light and shade brings undeniable perfection to an interior. The scale required for the vaulted ceilings in this project makes these jewelry pieces breathtaking!

The Textiles
Textiles bring texture, comfort, beauty, and durability to your home. The layering of upholstery, pillows, throws, and rugs can soften the hard architectural details and create a collected, well-lived-in feel to a space. Cool hues and muted tones set the relaxing energy of this luxurious backyard pool retreat, creating vacation vibes mere steps from the client’s backdoor. During a worldwide pandemic, this lucky Knoxville family can escape to paradise without ever leaving home.

The Décor
This design project was all about styling. The most successful décor has a meticulous mix of materials, well-defined color palette, and complementary accents, which ultimately define how a space is experienced. With curated décor, natural elements, art, and finishing touches, this pool house project exceeded client expectations and brought their dream to life. The Shae Design team looks forward to doing the same for your next project.

New arrivals weekly! Come shop local with us!

Shae Design Studio
9700 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37922
Facebook: @TheShaeDesignStudio

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