Small Business Spotlight: Local Business Recaps

Since the premier issue of LKN Magazine, we’ve introduced you to some amazing businesses in the area. Here’s a recap of just a few – to entice you back for a visit, a call, or to shop online with them!

LKN Local 

Owners Anne McGraw and Larisa Kamp love that their small business is designed and printed by LKN locals, for LKN locals! Long-time friends with complementary talents (Anne taught technology and Larisa taught art!), the creative duo started the business because they were hard-pressed to find Lake Norman apparel they wanted to wear themselves. “We wanted soft, flattering pieces that were cute and classic,” says Larisa. “We love fabrics that are garment-dyed or vintage/beach washed so they feel soft and lived-in,” says Anne. Larisa, the artist, might sketch out a design idea on paper, then Anne, the graphic designer, will digitize that idea. “We work together on composition and fonts, until we get something that’s just right,” says Larisa. The two want their designs to appeal to anyone who lives around the lake – and loves it as much as they do – and many of their designs are born from customer feedback. It’s been important to keep their operations as local as possible, and they sought out several women-owned businesses in Mooresville and Cornelius who source and screen print for them. The two love living near the lake, and when thinking of a way to give back, they searched for organizations who were committed to protecting the water and wildlife of Lake Norman. The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists were a perfect fit, and both receive a portion of their proceeds. LKN Local apparel, plus their fine art prints, note cards, and ornaments can be purchased via the website,, and at many Lake Norman area retailers. Shipping is always available, along with free local delivery around Lake Norman.


Dena Hall Sews

Having learned a love of sewing from her great-grandmother, Dena Hall turned her hobby into a career when she relocated to the Lake Norman area in 2019 to be closer to her children. Through the years, she moved from crafting pretty doll clothes to making her own clothes, to fashioning the most amazing Halloween costumes for her own children! Now, Dena Hall Sews provides a much-needed resource in the Denver and Lake Norman areas, and Dena has become known as the master of complicated alterations and sewing repairs with a quick turnaround – for women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing alike. As a college student, Dena worked for a fine men’s clothing shop, and trained with their tailor and seamstress – so she’s also comfortable with alterations to men’s jackets and suits, which can often be a challenge. Her lifelong love of sewing also includes quilting and embroidery work, and she often works closely with interior designers to create custom cushions or pillows. She can also hem or lengthen draperies and other window treatments. Thrilled to add the finishing touch to special moments, Dena also specializes in fitting and tailoring for prom dresses, bridal gowns, bridesmaids’ attire, and dresses for mothers of the bride and groom, and she recently worked her magic on her own daughter’s wedding gown! For the finest alterations or tailoring around, or if you’re entertaining a unique costume idea for a dance recital, let Dena make it happen! You can reach Dena Hall Sews at 704-591-6353.


Merle Norman Cosmetics

A Merle Norman Cosmetics devotee herself since the age of 14, Celeste Driscoll first opened her studio in Denver, NC, in 2007, moved it to Huntersville in 2012, and is now proud to serve her valued clients from the new, larger studio she built in Cornelius in 2020. As a personally owned and operated business, Celeste is proud of her beauty consultants who are trained and dedicated to helping women always select the right products. That goal maintains the company’s mission of personal transformation, starting with its inspirational founder. “Merle Norman was a pioneer in franchising and women-owned businesses,” says Celeste. “I am proud to be part of a 92-year-old American company that has done so much for women! Our founder always believed what sets our company apart from others is our ‘Try Before You Buy’ tradition. Our consultants give makeup lessons, foundation shade checks, and consult on color matches, or simply show clients the best products for their skin and coloring.” Celeste’s favorite part of owning her Merle Norman Cosmetics studio has been the relationships she has formed over the past 15 years. “My hands-on business here in the studio is so important for many women who want to try something new. It’s a matter of seeing, feeling, touching, and trying on!” There’s also a 30-day money back guarantee, the Merle Norman assurance of every customer’s complete satisfaction with how each product makes them feel. Merle Norman is located at 21030 Catawba Avenue in Cornelius, NC, 704-896-8222. Hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., closed on Sunday.


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