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Meet the Merchant: Lora Abate' with Team Shear Obsession

June 21, 2017

This week's "Meet the Merchant" featuring Historic Downtown Bristol business: Team Shear Obsession!

Team Shear Obsession
529 State Street
Bristol, VA 24201

How did Team Shear Obsession come about?
I first opened my salon in downtown Big Stone Gap in 1999 after being a stay at home mom to our 3 children. My business grew rather quickly by hard work and continued education in our industry to be the best we could be. My passion and new ideas kept me going yet always wanting more...In January of 2015 we opened our salon on State Street after leaving our Big Stone Gap location in great hands.

Are you a Bristol native? If not, what brought you to Bristol?
Although not a native of Bristol, I fell in love with it when our oldest son attended and graduated from Virginia Intermont. Fast forward to a beautiful August day in 2014 with unforeseen circumstance I took a wrong turn leaving a business that changed my life and put me on State Street, I was in love , so much so I called a dear friend who urged me to turn around and enjoy the day there. I had my epiphany while enjoying a bagel and coffee at a little place called Manna Bagel. State Street was everything I thought a downtown should be and where at that very moment I knew I should be. I took a huge gamble and great leap of faith and started looking for the perfect spot and an amazing lady who owned it and believed in me. I left my business of 16 years in great hands and with my talented daughter by my side and some amazing support from my dear clientele from BSG we took on Bristol by storm and have been humbled by the welcome we've received from the natives. The music alone makes the atmosphere contagious and I'm blessed to be a small part of the merchants downtown.

Tell us about your family! Kids? Dogs? Cats?
My husband and I have raised three wonderful children. Our oldest son Aaron works in accounting at UNC and resides in Hillsborough with our granddaughter Zoey who is 3.
Our middle son Dominick currently attends King University in Bristol and graduates in December with a degree in political science. He also works at the old farm and Quaker steak and Lube with an internship at the YWCA.
Our youngest Kristen is my right hand and has grown into an amazing hair stylist and is a national educator for John Paul Mitchell Systems, educating fellow stylists in surrounding states.
My husband is retired from the hotel, food & beverage industry with background in owning and operating his own cafe' in downtown BSG complete with local musicians in an unplugged atmosphere. We have two dogs Tootles and Carolina.

Outside of your business, what are your other passions?
My passion outside of work is good food great music and family get togethers. Playing with our granddaughter is my fave!

Bristol Favorites
Favorite Bristol Restaurant: Whiskey Rebellion
Outdoor/recreation spot: my favorite thing to do outdoors is to simply sit at any restaurant on State with outdoor tables and take it all in. Bristol is a great place to just be
Lunch spot: Eatz and Bank Street. Although you can't go wrong with any of the great food on State!
Sweet Tooth: My sweet tooth is always satisfied with Southern Churn and Blackbird.