By Shannon Smith, Teknovation Assistant Editor, PYA
Here’s your weekly roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region.
If you have any business news or updates you’d like to feature in Teknovation Weekend, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knoxville Area Urban League receives $1.5 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott
Knox News reports that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $1.5 million to the Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL), which is the largest single donation in KAUL’s history.
Scott, the billionaire ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated to 25 of the 90 Urban Leagues that exist across the U.S. This endowment to KAUL will help the group continue its mission of racial inclusion, social justice, and economic equity.
“We get to stay focused on our mission,” outgoing KAUL Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Nichols told Knox News. “We’re empowered. This allows the Urban League to self-actualize what we’re trying for the community to be, an empowered community. This helps to empower the Urban League.”
Mood Ring Vintage takes the place of Knox Selfie Lab
A brand new business opened on Sevier Avenue in South Knoxville on Tuesday. Mood Ring Vintage is now open at 906 Sevier Avenue, Unit 112.
Operating online since 2020, this is the vintage shop’s first brick-and-mortar location. Several local vendors have sections in the shop, which was originally home to Knox Selfie Lab. What once were small rooms decorated to be different themed photo backdrops are now small shops that make one big vintage market.
Mood Ring Vintage is open daily from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Altar’d State parent company launches new activewear brand
Stand Out For Good, Inc., the parent company of Maryville-based popular women’s fashion brand Altar’d State, announces the opening of an activewear brand and welcomes Jonathan Mugler as brand president.
The company’s newest brand, AS Revival, is devoted to women on the journey of physical, mental, and spiritual growth. AS Revival is created for movement of all kinds like a walk on the beach, a trip to the local market, a morning yoga class, or a casual day of running errands.
Mugler brings more than 20 years of fashion retail experience driving in-store and digital growth, elevating the customer experience, and delivering industry-leading results for a variety of well-known brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, and Victoria’s Secret.
AS Revival will soon open its first brick-and-mortar locations in Colorado, Tennessee, South Dakota, and North Carolina.
New Knoxville hotel featured in Forbes
Forbes Magazine was granted the exclusive first look at Knoxville’s newest boutique hotel, Hotel Cleo, which is set to open this December.
Located on Gay Street in the building that Sapphire most recently called home, the 16-room boutique hotel will also house a French restaurant called Lilou, developed and managed by the former owners of Sapphire, who are the current owners of Brother Wolf and Osteria Stella in the Old City.
You can read the article and see photos here.
PetWellClinic to open five new locations in South Florida
Knoxville-headquartered PetWellClinic, one of America’s fastest-growing pet-wellness franchise brands, is preparing to expand its South Florida presence, specifically in Ft. Meyers, with the signing of its newest five-unit franchise agreement.
The clinics will provide convenient preventative care for pets including general check-ups, vaccinations, and treatment of minor ailments and chronic conditions in a walk-in environment. PetWellClinic said it offers an affordable, easily accessible healthcare experience for pets and pet owners versus traditional veterinary clinics or pet hospitals.
PetWellClinic recently began franchising after the success of its company-owned operations in East Tennessee, and currently has over 100 units in development.
Contractor chosen for $18 million facility upgrade at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Philadelphia-based Day & Zimmermann (D&Z)’s Maintenance and Construction Division has been awarded an $18 million contract for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX) Facilities Enhancement Project.
D&Z will serve as the general contractor for the project, which will include facility upgrades, modernization, and modifications on two buildings that will house the MPEX device — a tool for fusion reactor materials development — and its support system/utilities.
“Our combined technical knowledge, construction capabilities, and strong relationships and experience with the Knoxville Building Trades make D&Z a perfect partner for this project,” said Jason Dunaway, President of Day & Zimmermann’s union operations. “We’re excited to lend our expertise to these essential MPEX facility upgrades and for the opportunity to support both UT-Battelle and ORNL as they explore how plasma interacts long-term with the components of future fusion reactors.”