Business Briefs

Shippee rejoins Shear Designs

BRATTLEBORO >> Shear Designs Hair Studio and Tanning recently announced the return of Kalea Shippee, who has been a hairstylist in the industry for over 10 years. Specializing in colors, cut, styles, etc., she is creative everyday in all aspects of her life and is very excited to be working with some old friends and some new ones, too.

Shear Designs Hair Studio has been known as the "Best Little Hair House In Town" for over 20 years. With many loyal customers and a talented staff, it is easy to see why they continue to be a popular full-service salon within the Brattleboro area. To make an appointment, stop by 735 Putney Rd. or call 802-257-5030; walk ins are always welcome. Find Shear Designs on Facebook or at

Berkley & Veller holds annual awards breakfast

BRATTLEBORO >> Tami Purcell, owner and General Manager of Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors, hosted the company's annual awards breakfast on March 2 at Peter Haven's restaurant.

Purcell told the attendees that Berkley & Veller was once again the largest independent real estate agency in Windham County for sales volume and number of closed transactions, as it has been for over 20 years. She handed out awards to the agents for their 2015 sales performances: John McPherson, Jessie Heller and Thom Dahlin were in the $3-plus million bracket; John Hatton, Bill Murray, and Dan Normandeau all achieved over $4 million in sales; Heidi Bernier achieved $5.4 million; and Robert Doyle was the agency's top salesperson with sales of $7.6 million. Purcell told the group that she is looking forward to another great year for 2016.

Tanglebloom included in list of leaders of the seasonal flower movement

BROOKLINE >> Often alongside the eponymous pastel colored Peeps and plastic eggs seen everywhere this time of year are pots of Easter lilies. A symbol of life and re-birth, the trumpet-shaped flowers are considered by many to be a symbol of spring.

But it is the arrival of lesser-known spring beauties such as anemones, pink and purple pussy willows, heirloom narcissus, flowering quince, hyacinth, and hellebores that really excite seasonal flower lovers.

Masters of Tanglebloom, a flower farm and studio florist located in Brookline, is part of a small, but rapidly growing, group of flower farmers and floral designers focused on flowers that are available seasonally and locally. A new directory, "Floret's Farmer-Florist Collective," lists some of seasonal flower "superstars," including Tanglebloom.

From frilly French tulips in the spring to dramatic dahlias in the fall, this coalition of farmers and florists are eager to showcase the best of what each season has to offer. And collectively, they are starting to change the way flowers are grown and consumed in this country.

The popularity of local, seasonal flowers has been fueled, in part, by the popularity of the local foods and farm-to-table movement. It has also been influenced by Floret — a Seattle-area microfarm that created the Collective and whose blog, social media presence and sold-out workshops have reached a global audience of flower lovers, farmers, designers and "dreamers."

"I couldn't keep up with demand for our flowers," states Erin Benzakein, the founder of Floret. "But rather than getting bigger and growing more flowers to ship across the country, I've instead focused on training others in the fine art of small-scale, high intensity flower production and natural floral design techniques utilizing seasonal blooms. This approach is more consistent with what we'd been saying for years: that the freshest, most beautiful flowers are ones that are grown in season, in your region."

Tanglebloom will be participating in a "Meet the Farmers" event along with Up the Road Farm of Guilford at Hermit Thrush Brewery during Gallery Walk on April 1. The farms will be offering information and sign-ups for their summer CSA programs, which can be collected weekly at the brewery.

Tanglebloom will be offering spring flowers for Mother's Day, and will post purchasing information on their website, To view the Farmer-Florist Collective, go to

Four Columns is now open for lunch

NEWFANE >> The Artisan Tavern at the Four Columns is now open for lunch, Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call 802-365-7723 for more information or take out. Four Columns is also open for brunch on Sundays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner Tuesday through Sunday nights starting at 5.

Four Columns has added three raised beds in the garden to grow its own greens, expand its herb garden and further commit to fresh ingredients from its own backyard. Four Columns is also looking for some local Vermont pullets. For more information, call 802-365-7723.

Free tax filing available

BRATTLEBORO >> Every taxpayer with a 2015 Adjusted Gross Income of $62,000 or less may visit to prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost. Freestate return options are also available. In addition, Free File provides basic online e-filing services, called Free File Fillable Forms, to all taxpayers regardless of income. Free File can also be used to e-file an extension for free.Free File also helps taxpayers with the new health care requirements. Using Free File, most taxpayers will simply have to check a box to report health care coverage for the entire year.

The Free File program has provided almost $1.4 billion in free tax software over the last 13 years. Free File is the one place where taxpayers can choose from a variety of the industry's most innovative and secure tax software. It's all free, and it's all online at

Free File Alliance member companies have continually worked with the IRS to strengthen the Free File program, and taxpayers have consistently reported that it is user-friendly and efficient. Responding to a 2009 IRS survey, 96 percent of users said they found Free File easy to use, while 98 percent said they would recommend the program to others.

For more information, visit


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