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Area Businesses Support Scholarship Program - Transylvania Times Sept 18, 2017

Courtesy Photo Brandon Holmes

September 18, 2017

According to an unknown author, "You learn, you earn, you return." The local business supporters of the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program are great examples of this adage.

Among these supporters are Blue Ridge Quick Print and Giving Tree Cabinetry, operated by folks who have learned their craft well. Brandon Holmes of Blue Ridge Quick Print (BRQP) and Steve Huter of Giving Tree Cabinetry have chosen to earn their livings in Brevard and they have generously returned to our county by supporting the Scholarship Program.

The relationship between Blue Ridge Quick Print and the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program started with BRQP owner, Carol Mathews, who now lives in South Carolina.

According to Brandon Holmes, press operator and quality control expert at BRQP, Carol insisted that he continue the relationship. However, you could say that Brandon had a relationship with Connestee Falls long before he met Carol.

Born and raised in Brevard, his ancestors included a bootlegger great-grandfather and a half Native American woman. Some of his relatives are buried in the graveyard at Carson Creek Baptist Church on Connestee Trail. As a child, Brandon spent a lot of time out in the woods of Connestee Falls. When his aunt, Diane Holmes, called him the day after he had lost a job and suggested that he come work in printing, Brandon was happy to take her up on it. A new relationship with the community was born.

Today, Brandon will tell you that his customers take care of him. With a smile on his face, he will also say that good employees manage themselves, so between the two he has a good business in spite of his main competitor, the Internet.

When asked specifically about his support of the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program, Brandon said, "They deserve a pat on the back. They should keep doing what they are doing. Knowledge is the best thing you can give someone."

About 20 years ago, Steve Huter started his company, Giving Tree Cabinets, currently located in Cedar Mountain. He and his wife, Susan, had left their jobs in Cleveland, Ohio, to do something completely different. Huter had never been any closer to Brevard than vacationing in the Smoky Mountains, but he knew he didn't want to work in retail all his life. Susan got a job at Camp Greenville. Steve decided he wanted to work with something tangible, so he got an apprenticeship to learn woodworking, which started him on his current career. Eventually, the Connestee Falls Woodworking club heard about his shop and came for a visit. Steve hosted a meeting for them and got to know some Connestee residents. Word of mouth brought Connestee customers to his door.

Courtesy Photo Steve Huter

In 2016, Steve's oldest child, Mathew, was the recipient of a Connestee Falls scholarship, which has brought him closer to his goal of becoming a commercial airline pilot. Steve said that he was extremely impressed with the scholarship program. He has been surprised at how much people at Connestee have been willing to give, "since they don't seem to have any players in the game."

Steve said, "half of getting donors is asking. Thanks for asking me!"

That has been part of the ongoing success of the Connestee Falls Scholarship Program: our business supporters and donors, like Brandon Holmes and Steve Huter, are happy to be asked. They learned new skills, earned a living and are now making a return by supporting the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program.

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