Keeping tabs on the island’s business pulse


Experience leads to own venture

After becoming interested in hairdressing while still at high school and then working in the profession for the past nine years, Marco Islander Julie Stoller recently opened her own salon.

She’s called it Strands by Julie, and after just a few months at the salon – neatly tucked away at 2 Marco Lake Drive (next to Island Dance Academy) – is building her clientele. Some followed her from here previous salon (Modern Nails Spa) where she rented a “hair chair,” and others are coming in by word of mouth and recommendation.

“I decided it was the next step in my career,” said Stoller, who employs hairdressers Kim Dorris, Mary Rando (formerly of the Marriot Hair & Spa) and Kristine Hegerty, as well as assistant Sally Dubala on staff. “I wanted to have my own employees,” Stoller said. “I love it.”

Men and children are welcome.

Stoller refurbished the interior of the salon, which offers all kinds of hair services as well as waxing, and also a retail section of hair care products.

Hours are 9-5 Monday through Saturday; and also late or early by appointment. Call 970-0885.

Local author to sign book copies

Marco author Roseanne Pawelec will be at Mango’s Dockside Shoppe at the Esplanade, on February 21 from 10 a.m.-12 noon, to sign copies of her book, “Ollie Finds a New Home, the Story of a Burrowing Owl on Marco Island.”

The book addresses the trauma of moving and life lessons about change. $1 of every copy sold is donated to the Burrowing Owl Protection Fund of Marco Island to be used for fencing and signage to protect the burrows.

Bank welcomes loan officer

Wendy Atkinson recently joined Centennial Bank as a mortgage loan officer, with her main focus on developing residential mortgage opportunities in and around the Marco area.

Mortgage division senior vice president Kevin Klimek said Atkinson is “a very highly respected member of the Marco Island community,” and that the bank is privileged to have her on the team.

Atkinson has more than 40 years of financial experience, and most recently served as a Mortgage Loan Officer at IberiaBank. She and husband Jim have been residents for 12 years. The bank is at 615 East Elkcam Circle.

Attorney adds to service expertise

Attorney Samantha Morris of the law firm of William G. Morris, recently completed the 2016 marital and family law certification review course in Orlando.

The course is an intensive review of virtually all aspects of marital and family law, including divorce, equitable distribution, alimony, child support and timesharing. Instructors included a who’s who of top family lawyers in Florida.

Morris received her Juris Doctor degree with honors from Ave Maria School of Law, where she was also a senior editor on Law Review. She also practices in general litigation and real estate related matters.

Quick deals and closings

Kim Escarra recently joined Nations Reliable Lending (NRL) Mortgage, bringing more than 30 years’ experience with her. She said she knows how to put deals together and close them quickly, and places emphasis on open communication with clients.

NRL is a direct lender and was named in INC 500 as one of America’s fastest growing private Companies in 2015.

Call Escarra at 244-9080 or e-mail her at She serves all of Florida.

Let it ‘be’

Marco yoga instructor Barb Rosenblum is offering early evening classes Tuesdays and Thursdays with the objective of “teaching in a safe, happy and non-judgmental environment.”

Venues are the Island Montessori Academy (579 E. Elkcam Circle, Tuesdays) and on Thursdays at Peaceful Escapes Therapeutic Massage at 601 E. Elkcam Circle. Cost is $10 per class.

Rosenblum’s specialty is vinyasa (flow), incorporating a moderately paced class with a focus on building strength, flexibility and awareness of breathing and posture.

“Yoga,” she says, “is not about achieving a perfect body. It is about your only and only unique body on your mat, your way. Through mindful breathing and various poses, we can take the time to quiet our minds, slow down and just be.”

Call 571-8685, or e-mail her at

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