As anyone who has started a company knows, connecting with other business owners, or networking, is imperative to one’s success. This blog will begin a series called Local Light; Our Friends in Business. I will turn the “local light” onto new business owners and entrepreneurs who are out there hustling just like you, making those networking events, offering our community something new and different, or just plain needed. Here are four bright, local entrepreneurs who are starting out on their professional journeys.

The truth behind helping out friends in business is that helping others helps ourselves too, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That is how it works, and beyond the innate necessity of it all, it feels good too.



Kelly GIf you’ve ever fantasized about having time to do the work you love, all while getting visible online, attracting your dream clients, and scaling up your business then it may be time for you to consider growing your team with a virtual assistant.

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur looking to uplevel your team, a one-woman-army ready to finally get support to grow your business, or a newbie wanting to make a strong first impression online, local virtual assistant Kelly Goins may hold the golden key to your success.

Kelly is a Business Strategist + Virtual Assistant. She helps heart-centered entrepreneurs implement online marketing strategy for their businesses. Since taking a break from her career, back in 2012, to become a stay-at-home-mom she spent every free second learning and sharpening her tech/online marketing skills. She wanted to return to the workforce but was looking for a flexible opportunity the she couldn’t seem to find in a traditional work setting. This quest led her down the path starting her own virtual assistant business.

The past year, Kelly entered the virtual assistance world as a part-time business venture. In less than four months, she got so many referrals until she decided to go full-time as an online entrepreneur. Now she’s living her dream of helping women transform their businesses into online empires, while enjoying the freedom of working from her home office in Asheville and spending time with her husband and son.

Her favorite aspect of her business is that she gets to work with clients right here in Asheville and all over the world because of its virtual nature. In fact, her clientele spans distances as far as the United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia.

You may be wondering what a virtual assistant actually does.

A virtual assistant can wear many hats and specialize in just about any field. Kelly leverages her experience as a past corporate level project/marketing manager and brings that expertise to the clients that she supports in her business.

To give you an idea, when businesses work with Kelly she hits the ground running to take their online marketing projects and tasks off of their plates. She helps them generate leads with Facebook ads and grow their email lists. Kelly specializes in writing web copy and creating engaging email autoresponders to build sales funnels that feel valuable to customers, not too pushy or salesy. She’ll also repurpose — or expand businesses content marketing efforts by maximizing their blog posts, audios, and videos and transforming them into multimedia or evergreen content so they can be everywhere on social and get seen and heard by their target audience. If a business is launching a webinar, masterclass, or online course she can support them with full-cycle project assistance, from collaborating to develop an actionable plan to executing an effortless digital launch.

Her clients often say that when they work with her, they feel like they’ve cloned themselves because they get much more accomplished in their online business!

When Kelly isn’t serving her clients she’s active in the Asheville community serving as a newly appointed Board Member for WNC Girls On The Run, a Development Assistant for a youth mentoring program My Daddy Taught Me That/My Sistah Taught Me That, and she volunteers with several local grassroots initiatives aimed at raising awareness about racial, educational, and economic equity.



Melissa CMelissa moved to the Asheville area in 2004. She gained weight steadily till She reached her highest ever in August 2009 at just under 220. At that point she had nothing to left, except the weight, so she joined The Rush and got a trainer, meal plan and worked her way down to 109 in 2011. Then she faced a new dilemma….how to gain weight back. She worked with a trainer to re-adjust. Interesting to see both sides of that coin. She worked hard to bring her weight back up to 118 over 3 years.

In February 2012 Mel, as she likes to be called, got hired in as a Fitness Coach at the club she lost her weight at. She worked there until October 2014 when Gold’s Gym bought out that club. Taking an office job to stay employed, she quickly gained 20 lbs in about 10 months. During that same time, she was notified that she couldn’t take pill supplements anymore. What to do, right?

In September 2015, Melissa took her life back and became a Beachbody Coach, because she was able to drink Shakeology, quit the full time job she had and went back to waiting tables so she could start taking care of clients again during the days, which she deeply missed! Happiness abound!

Melissa recently got offered an opportunity at Vitality Fitness in Asheville, as well, so she is working toward finally completing her national certified personal trainer certification as well.

“With a “don’t quit” attitude, Melissa been helping clients with health and wellness for 5 years.”

web: | IG & Snapchat: fitmelc1 | Facebook: Melissa Costabile



Michael JI help my clients visualize the personal, professional, and financial futures they wish for themselves, for their families, and for their businesses. We work together to build comprehensive financial plans and list the actionable steps needed to reach their goals. Northwestern Mutual provides the insurance and diverse investment resources to safeguard these plans against market failures or in the event my clients live longer or die sooner than anticipated or lose their income due to illness or injury.

I work in a sales and service position. However, I have chosen to work with one of highest rated financial firms in the country because our goals align as such:

I promise to keep my clients’ best interests at heart. I will not be pushy or transactional. Rather, I enjoy building relationships with other professionals in our community, and I hope everyone I meet will know I am a resource to help them better understand and control their future.

Michael Józefowicz | Financial Representative | | (828) 210-3827



MindyI’m Mindy Burnette, 35 years old, a single mom to a beautiful and spunky 18 month old girl named Kai. I’ve worn many hats but being a mother has certainly filled my heart!!

Before motherhood I was a promotional brand ambassador, model and actress.  I also have a degree in fitness and nutrition.  After having Kai I realized I had no idea what I wanted to do anymore except stay home with her.  Being on a movie set or photo shoot for 12+ hours a day no longer appealed to me and I certainly didn’t want to make minimum wage just to give my check to daycare.  I began looking for work from home opportunities when I stumbled upon a health and wellness company called It Works.

I followed a couple of girls on Instagram for months and I would pray for God to lead me to the right job for me. I researched the company and its products. I felt like I was given confirmation to join It Works after a good friend and former co-worker messaged me and said she had joined.  About a month later I joined under her.  The freedom these ladies had while doing this amazing adventure really pulled me in.  I wanted to stay home with my child, help people and make money.

I am now able to do that thanks to this wonderful company!!  Helping people reach health goals has always been a goal of mine. I can’t wait to show other moms, especially single moms, that this can be done!!  I’m looking forward to seeing where It Works takes me because I have Black Diamond on my mind!!!

Mindy Burnette | | 828-559-5176