Franzi Charen Asheville Grown Business Alliance – Owner
Franzi has been an independent business owner in Asheville, North Carolina for nineteen years. She is the founder of the Asheville Grown Business Alliance and the creative director of the Love Asheville, Go Local campaign. Her team organizes over 540 small business members to advocate for a strong and healthy local economy. She also co-owns a vintage-inspired clothing shop in downtown called Hip Replacements Clothing. A first generation American, she grew up in a textile family in the South and experienced the devastation of mill towns with the loss of a core heritage industry. Franzi joined the team part-time at Project Equity because she is passionate about employee ownership and its potential to deepen the local movement by democratizing wealth, growing good jobs and reshoring manufacturing. She enjoys street photography and jogs and hikes in the mountains.