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ST. ALBANS –– Craig Cowan’s years-long hobby and de-stressor from full-time work has turned into a part-time business.

SWANTON VILLAGE –– Creative as she is, Dawn Marie Thurston could have conjured any number of snazzy names for her Swanton Village shop. Even “A Seamstress on Merchants Row” has an historic, small-town ring to it.

ST. ALBANS –– Chasworth Farm is a downtown retail store, stocked and influenced by products from the owners’ farm.

ST. ALBANS –– Dr. Jennifer Hull discovered early in her career that being a veterinarian is more than just about loving animals.

ST. ALBANS –– In late August, college freshman Alyssa Wieland officially launched her business, Lillybelle Bakes, at Local Fare, a new, year-round farmers market on St. Albans City’s Main Street.

SWANTON VILLAGE –– For Erin McKechnie, owner of Kiddie Garden childcare in Swanton, spending the day with a small group of worry-free humans is wonderful therapy.

ST. ALBANS –– When Jon Tenney launched his home-based photography business here in 2009 he wanted a unique name for it.

ST. ALBANS –– Jason Lowell’s business, Auto Creations, is easy to find – and he’s worth finding, if you need his services.

ST. ALBANS –– A striking photo of Dr. Molly Keefe hangs under the light switch near the entrance of her office.

ST. ALBANS CITY –– Roger Rixon describes home inspectors as “the CSI of the buying and selling industry.” They “look for the clues,” he says.

SWANTON –– Hip hop, jazz, ballet, modern and contemporary dance are just some of the offerings that a pair of familiar faces to dance students are teaching at a new studio for children and adults.

SWANTON –– In the 17 years that Mike Swim has been club pro at Champlain Country Club, he has come to know all aspects of the 18-hole course.

ST. ALBANS CITY –– If you enjoy good conversation, especially good conversation about movies and video games – of all types, from all eras – meet Dan Bathalon.

ST. ALBANS –– Rick Lapan was 10 when he started his life in grease, tearing apart lawnmowers and tinkering on cars with his dad.

SWANTON –– From a young age, Chase Cota always knew he wanted to own an automotive shop, so at a young age, he opened one.

SWANTON –– Corey Bertrand is a master electrician, and he wears the designation proudly.

ST. ALBANS –– James Guilmette is a big, friendly guy with a big, friendly business motto: “No job is too small.”

ST. ALBANS CITY –– With its high ceilings, marvelous checkerboard floors, and tall windows that let in tons of natural light, it’s no wonder Robin Lebel has operated her salon out of an historic railroad building in St. Albans for most of her career.

ST. ALBANS –– As an artist, Kim Dostaler has right-brained tendencies toward graphic design and left-brained tendencies toward painting.

ST. ALBANS CITY –– Keeli Garceau’s Farrar Street residence is where she launched her business, Cakes By Keeli, in March 2013.

ST. ALBANS CITY –– When Ruel McLamb originally opened Reboot Computers in 2011 he had 150 square feet of space above the Subway shop here, on Main Street.

ST. ALBANS –– Mike Mashtare has a long row of three-ring binders sitting on a shelf above his desk at BFA-St. Albans; they are the annual results of his cross country teams – more than 30 years of BFA runners and records dating back to the 1980s.

ST. ALBANS –– Mark Skelding worked in the education field for 30 years, and now he’s working in the field that has been his passion since high school.

SWANTON VILLAGE –– This time of year is always busy for any tax office, and Tax Pros is no exception.

ST. ALBANS –– Luke Reilly capitalized on the warm weather of Feb. 24 to tackle projects in Stowe and Swanton. The next day, he was in Hardwick.

ST. ALBANS –– St. Albans natives Mitch Durfee, a war veteran, and Matt Swann, a St. Albans City fireman, have been friends since high school.

ST. ALBANS –– When local author J.P. Choquette moved to a new home in the area with her family in the summer of 2011, her husband noticed an absence of people outside throughout their neighborhood.

ST. ALBANS –– The free-roaming black cats in the Franklin County Humane Society (FCHS) lobby were having a lazy Saturday morning when a young woman in a red shirt entered and announced, “I’m looking for a friend for Teddy.”

ST. ALBANS CITY –– Brandie Shilling wanted to open a day spa before she turned 30.

ST. ALBANS CITY –– Instead of making a cake for her young daughter’s birthday parties, Christina Howe has always opted for cupcakes – “because they’re easier to hand to kids,” she says – but her cupcakes have never been boilerplate.

ST. ALBANS TOWN –– Not only is Julie Cowles the only sewing machine dealer in Franklin County, she is the only New England dealer of the Holy Grail of equipment for quilters: the long-arm machine.

ST. ALBANS CITY – As more and more businesses work toward becoming paperless, they still find a need to shred paper, especially when it comes to medical records, legal documents, and similar forms of red tape that require careful handling and privacy.

ST. ALBANS – To understand why Gillian Ireland does what she does – outside of raising a family and cultivating her creative side as a photographer – consider her childhood home on a back road, in northern Franklin County.

GEORGIA – Justin Holmes carved his niche among Franklin County civil engineers by keeping small projects affordable, and helping clients find cost-effective and time saving ways to navigate Vermont’s regulatory process.