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Mom's wardrobe helps launch business venture

Charlene Henderson's homemade outfits caught the eye of friends and strangers.

Charlene Henderson of Waxhaw used to make her playfully designed skirts and shirts just for herself, because she couldn't find what she wanted in stores.

Then fellow moms at her twins' preschool – as well as complete strangers – started coming up to her, asking where she bought her outfits.

The compliments inspired Henderson to launch Sweet Tea Company. The company's motto is “Refreshing Designs for Cool People.”

She sells her clothing through www.sweettea co.etsy.com.

“These designs come from my lifestyle in South Charlotte,” Henderson said via e-mail. “I want to feel cute and feminine but I need to be able to chase after my boys. I am also an optometrist and I want to look professional when it is time to hit the office.”

“My version of the southern woman is confident yet approachable, stylish but comfortable, with a flair for fun and a desire for independence.”

Henderson's spring and summer designs are on the Web site, with skirts ranging from $48-$54. Contact Henderson at sweettea@caroli na.rr.com

The second annual Craftopia arts and crafts show, featuring local arts and crafts vendors, happens 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. at the Promenade on Providence shopping center at Ballantyne Commons Parkway and Providence Road. The event includes handcrafted items for sale, kids' activities and representatives from local community service organizations. It's the last in a series of fundraisers sponsored by Girl Scout Troop 3201 to pay for a June trip to the Girl Scout World Center in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Details: www.charlotte craftopia.com.

Three south Charlotte businesses recently donated 10 percent of a day's proceeds to support a neighborhood team raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Nancy Breslin of Brilliant Sky Toys and Books at Blakeney raised $155; Dan and Deborah Hemmingsen of Cold Stone Creamery in Blakeney raised $120; and Stephen and Denise Simonelli of Lorenzo's Pizza, 16721 Orchard Stone Run in Cedar Walk, raised $350.

The team from the Southampton Commons neighborhood participated in the recent Great Strides Walk in support of Olivia Jones, 2, who has cystic fibrosis.

Contact Celeste at cesmith@charlotteobserver.com.

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