Leila S. Case: Moving it up downtown

Published 4:44 pm Monday, November 30, 2015

There is a story around every corner — all you need to do is keep your ears open. Last summer, a friend told me about a couple that had recently moved to Americus to manufacture activewear, apparel with flexibility — it bends and stretches like you do at the gym or for running or walking.
Well, I heard their story and my ears perked up immediately. Sounded interesting and it is. However, I was busy and didn’t investigate immediately but kept it in the back of my mind. Several months later, their business venture was mentioned again so I decided to go see for myself.
Bruce and I were on the way home from an appointment when I suggested we stop by and see what it was all about. So we parked in front of the building at 120 N. Dudley St., went inside and were met by a charming couple who gave us a tour and showed us the activewear that I immediately liked.
The business is Tepuy Activewear and operated by Elena Carné, a talented fashion designer and magna cum laude graduate of The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, and her husband, Rene Uzcatetui, who moved here last summer with their three young children from Miami at the suggestion of Bill Harris Jr. to establish their business. They accepted his offer, set up the operation and it is off and running. I can’t wait to tell you more about their story and how they came to Americus and their product, but for now go visit Elena and Rene and see for yourself — the active-wear is fabulous — and if you are into any kind of exercise program or just want to plain be stylish during downtime you will want to buy each style.
Meanwhile, what was once the Greyhound Bus Station is being renovated and repurposed as retail space. Charles (Chuck) Wells, and Phil Vinson, both artists and accomplished glassblowers with the Department of Visual Arts at Georgia Southwestern State University, will open a retail glass studio featuring colorful hand-blown glass mobiles (perfect Christmas gifts). The space behind the retail studio is where they manufacture units for glass blowing that they ship worldwide.
Then in the heart of the historic business district Café Campesino opens soon at a new location on the corner of Lamar and Jackson streets, directly across from The Kinnebrew Co., a leader in the business community since 1949, specializing in men’s and women’s wear.
What’s up is downtown.
Arts abound from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Calvary Episcopal Church, 308 S. Lee St., at an art show and sale and everyone is invited. Carey Wooten, Joni Woolf and Betty Levins, organizers, say the exhibit features the work of artists Shawn Bland, Sissy Jarrell, Betty Levins, Mary Beth Rogers, Gatewood Dudley, Sissy Ledbetter, Reba Hunter, Eveline Jarrett, Debbie Walker, Bruce Case and several others. An extensive pottery collection belonging to Lucy and Bill Parsons, whose sister was the founder and owner of the popular Mark of the Potter in North Georgia, will be exhibited. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served and attendees are encouraged to bring an item for the Harvest of Hope Food Pantry. There is no admission charge.
Out and About: Smile and say “hello” and welcome Everett Reid Shivers, infant son of Aaron and Brook Raper Shivers of Leesburg. He is the grandson of Andy and Lori Case Shivers and the first boy born in their family since Andy. And if you see some Californians shopping  in town this weekend they are Paula and Ed Bosza and daughters Lindsey and Ashley Bosza, my husband Bruce’s nieces and Lori Shiver’s cousins! Many college students are visiting, including grandson, Beau Barrett, graduate student at Georgia Southern, Statesboro, and Kyle Crew, Jackson Hayes, Dallas Nesmith and others from Georgia Southern and other universities. Having an exciting week in New York City is Ellen Hanson and her daughter Quinn Hanson of Leslie and Ellen’s long-time friend Georgeanne Cook of Sandersville. They saw two Broadway shows, “Jersey Boys” and “Phantom of the Opera” as well as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Elsewhere, Karen Austin, Genie Powell, Jarrett Hooks, Jerry Crisp, Janet Kinnebrew, Elaine Thomas, Linda Lee Purvis, Julie Greene and Peggy Minor toured Farmdale, the home of author/interior decorator James Farmer in Perry last Saturday that they exclaimed is “over the top” wonderful. Rene and Angela Smith’s daughters, Sara and Kate Westra, and Kate’s fiancé Kev Jackson of Savannah were here this week and on Saturday the Smiths and their son, Chance Westra, and granddaughters Cameran Cruz and Bailey Cook cheered for Auburn at the AU/Idaho game in Auburn. Incidentally, Kate graduates from Valdosta State University this month. Mary and Murph Ledbetter’s Thanksgiving visitors are Laura Williams and children Hannah and Brendan of Birmingham; and please welcome Mike and Andrea Perry Powell to town from Leslie. They recently moved into the stately Victorian house at 201 Taylor St. that for many years was the home of Charles and Elizabeth Lanier. Meda Krenson is recuperating at home  and Harriett Peak celebrated a birthday.
And don’t forget to cheer for the UGA Bulldogs when they meet longtime rival Georgia Tech’s Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, at noon today!

Leila S. Case lives in Americus.