The Music Of Nature Is The Nature Of Music

greenlabelorganics-43Yes it is, and it all comes together right here in Floyd County! A visit to Floyd is the perfect way to enjoy the best of nature and great local music too. If you’re into hiking, biking, pickin’ or paddling, it all happens right here.

At Green Label Organic we pay tribute to all of these joyous endeavors. We feature organic cotton clothing Made in America. Our graphic designs celebrate the great outdoors and the heartfelt connections we share in mother nature. Around here, we think that beautiful music played on wooden instruments is simply the natural
extension of who we are. Small wonder this region is the birth place of bluegrass music.

As you wander about town you will feel that special spirit and sense of authenticity. It’s captured in each event and in every shop. The Friday Night Jamboree and our Saturday morning farmers market are among the most obvious examples but there is so much more to Floyd. As you speak with townspeople and visit our shops, you will feel the pride in the growth of our local economy with artists and artisan galleries, a “real” American hardware store, a new local hotel that is LEED certified, and so many interesting shops to explore. Grab a local tourist map and venture beyond downtown, you’ll find so much more to see all within easy walking distance!

Our company Green Label Organic: Sustainable Threads was born here in Floyd and we have taken our inspiration from this authentic American place and the surrounding majestic Blue Ridge Mountains with its soulful vibe. Our clothing is designed to honor the connections of outdoor activity and the joyful sounds of wooden music. In fact, we have grown to a nationally recognized clothing brand built on these ideals. Our green and sustainable business model is based on supporting the local economy as well as our commitment to the triple bottom line concept of… People the planet and profits. Our products can be found at large retailers such as REI and Whole Foods Markets, as well as hundreds of small outdoor and giftware shops throughout the US and Canada.

While you’re here visiting Floyd please come by and see the all new and expanded Green Label Outlet Store. Not only will you find fantastic deals on our Green Label premium quality organic clothing for men, women and children but you will also find a unique array of green, organic, Made in America or Fair Trade gifts, cards, clothing, and a rtisan crafts. Story by Rain and George Lipson. They design, merchandise and own Green Label Organic: Sustainable Threads, based in Floyd, their Made in USA clothing can be found at better outdoor and organic clothing retailers nationally and at the Outlet Store on Oxford St.

Green Label Organic
PO Box 457
Floyd, VA 24091

Builderscrete is an Environmentally Sustainable Building Material

Builderscrete Logo

Welcome to Builderscrete

Builderscrete is an award-winning, hand-crafted, environmentally sustainable building material that is simply better…

Whether used as bricks, blocks, panels or pavers, its comprehensive performance and benefits to the environment are impressive. This unique product is available in a vast range of sizes, shapes, colors and textures. It is used in residential, commercial, and industrial construction, as well as in landscaping and a range of other applications.

The ground-breaking innovation is an Australian invention, now proudly made in the USA by locally owned and operated companies. It has international patents (PCT) and trademark protection granted or pending in 28 countries; making a difference throughout the world one brick at a time.

Please visit our website and browse the galleries, testimonials, and technical information on this amazing product. Discover for yourself how Builderscrete stands out from the rest of the products on the market.

Builderscrete Home

In 2004, Bill and Carla McGuire opened the first Builderscrete® manufacturing plant in the U.S., right here in Floyd, Virginia.  Over the years, there has been steady growth and increasing interest in the product, both for building and for landscaping. Bill has hired additional help and continues to strive for customer satisfaction and manufacturing excellence.

What is Builderscrete? The Proof is in the Matrix

Builderscrete is a unique, cellulose-based building product that can be used as bricks, blocks, panels, or pavers.  From its raw ingredients to its construction to its everyday use, Builderscrete is exceptionally environmentally friendly. Its main ingredient is recycled timber waste (cellulose), so no tree will ever be cut down specifically to make Builderscrete. The bricks are air dried, which is vastly more energy efficient than the conventional kiln dried process for clay bricks.

builderscreteIncredibly, Builderscrete greatly reduces your carbon footprint by actually trapping the carbon that would normally end up as greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. In addition to all this, its fantastic insulation qualities mean Builderscrete homes are energy efficient throughout the year.

History and Growth

Originally, the manufacturing facility in Floyd, VA produced an 8” cobblestone series that has now expanded into three lines, of cobblestone, super-insulated blocks, dry stacks, tri-brick veneer series, castle face veneer, stick brick series, and now a full range of Hardscape products including retaining walls, a variety of pavers, and garden edging products.

The Builderscrete team has continued research and development on insulated panel systems for new construction and retrofit for existing homes and buildings.

The Vision

To develop, manufacture and market
the most sustainable product available.
To develop four regional centers in strategic areas in the U.S.
To sell licenses for multiple manufacturing plants throughout the U.S.
To build America and create local jobs by selling licenses to regions throughout the nation.
To encourage regional licensees to pursue fulfilling LEED criteria for accreditation.
To serve southwestern Virginia from flagship factory in Floyd County Virginia.

What we are doing…

Product Line Development

House blocks for harsher climates

Hardscape materials offering unique properties; green, half the weight of concrete, easy to fabricate, cool in the sun, softer on the eyes and skin Veneer products; “Castleface”, “Insul-Panels”, interior flooring; “Carpenter Tiles”

Introduced to the U.S. in 2010, the first super insulated house was constructed in Copper Hill, Virginia for Tom and Pam Dunlap. Tom told us,

“We have received many compliments on this house in just the short time it has been here and we are looking forward to many years of low maintenance living in this solid and beautiful home. Bill took a very personal interest in this project from the beginning and I had constant conversations with him throughout the multitude of complexities that always occur in a construction project. He was always available to listen to concerns and work through construction issues. It was an excellent working relationship during the construction project and it remains a great friendship in the aftermath. He has a great product that should be much in demand in these energy conscious days. And we have a home that we will love for many years.”

Builderscrete HardscapeHardscape Division-
Builderscrete Fossilscape

“Fossilizing our carbon footprint”

…With the slow of the housing market

Benefits of the matrix carry over and continue to show themselves. In January of 2011, Bill brought in Greg Zielske to help develop and grow the landscape line.  Not only to create a product line, but to introduce it to distributors such as Landscape Supply in Roanoke, and even directly to the user by designing Hardscapes for current Builderscrete homeowners and those looking to create an outdoor living space that is formed out of sustainable materials. First Fossilscape patio was for Susan M. in Blacksburg, Virginia. Susan told us, “I was interested in adding an outdoor living space to my backyard when I came upon the Builderscrete display at the Christiansburg Home Show.  Their Fossilscape pavers were the perfect product for my patio.  Not only are they eco-friendly and child friendly, but they are attractive and easy to maintain.  My project manager, Greg, worked with me from design to installation and the end result is the product of his attention to detail and creativity. An adjoining flower bed outlined by their Castle-garden edging blocks makes this a space I will enjoy and am very proud of.”

Bigger Picture of Builderscrete

Bill is Master Licensor for the U.S. patent of Builderscrete and is building the corporate structure for Builderscrete National.
Building Teams is Bill’s approach to growing, always looking for the right candidates to invest themselves.

Educating the Public about the product, the advantages of this sustainable product, even to building and landscape markets, showing them how to properly compare Builderscrete to the respective industrial products.

After six and a half years of developing Builderscrete in Floyd, in January of 2011, Bill negotiated the rights to sell licensing opportunities throughout the United States.  He is in the process of creating the foundation for a corporate model, in order to revolutionize the industry with American-made products that are truly green.

If you are interested in learning more about joining the Builderscrete team, whether as a salesman, distributor, or a licensed manufacturer, please contact Builderscrete – Bill and Carla McGuire- by phone at 540-745-5562 and/or email at
Address: 177 Gracie Lane Floyd, VA 24091

Why Choose Builderscrete?

Striking Appearance

The first thing you notice about Builderscrete is its uniquely beautiful appearance. Each brick and block has been carefully handcrafted, adding character and elegance. With unheard of versatility, Builderscrete allows you to design your own brick, so that you choose the size, color, texture and shape. Builderscrete homes attract admiration from both friends and passers-by, and boast a great resale value.

Amazing Performance

Living in a Builderscrete home is an absolute pleasure with its impressive sound absorption qualities and up to six times the thermal insulation of conventional bricks. This means your home can be a peaceful and ever comfortable sanctuary, while it is helping you save both money and the environment. Builderscrete’s unique composition gives you all the benefits of bricks, yet allows you to nail or screw into it like timber. It also has less accumulative shrinkage and expansion than concrete and clay bricks—which means you can avoid nasty cracks and other problems. Maintenance is easy with the single skin range, because you never have to patch, clean, wallpaper or repaint fragile internal walls.

As a landscaping product it is wonderfully easy and forgiving to place. With the ability to design your own blocks, its versatility allows you to be as creative as you like.

Builderscrete makes a fantastic paving product because it does not become slippery and because it does not radiate as much infrared heat. It stays cooler than traditional pavers even on the hottest summer day.

Wonderful Durability

The good news is Builderscrete is designed to last for generations. Independent tests in Australia prove Builderscrete has the highest possible fire resistance rating for building materials. It is impervious to termites and rot, and even bullet-proof! The color will not fade and the bricks, blocks, panels and pavers will not wear away when exposed to extreme weather conditions. It even has superior bracing values for those in earthquake prone or hurricane areas.

Saves the Environment & Saves You Money

From its raw ingredients to its construction to its everyday use, Builderscrete is exceptionally environmentally friendly.  You may utilize Builderscrete as flooring in semi-permanent homes, yurts, and tepees.  It’s better than earthen floors, and still green!  Along with its other advantages, you might expect these handcrafted bricks to cost you a fortune.  However, Builderscrete is cost effective from start to finish.

Because these bricks, blocks and panels are typically larger and lighter than common construction materials, they are easier to lay which reduces costs and increases the speed of construction.

Additionally, if you choose the single skin range, you don’t need insulation, drywall, acid cleaning (a standard procedure for clay fired bricks), paint and much more. Finally, as a Builderscrete homeowner, you will save money on heating and cooling year in and year out.

“Our product is very unique”, says Bill, “and we meet all the objections”.  People are generally pleasantly surprised when they learn about Builderscrete and make the comparisons. • (540) 745-5562

Written By: Bill and Carla McGuire



David & Gaynell Larsen, Ad Sales & Edits
Dee Wallace, Senior Editor • Storywriter
Melissa Thompson, Rina van Blerk Compilation
Luis Garcia, Amber Ingram Graphic Design
Rob Cluxton, Distribution

Welcome Visitors!

MAPS AVAILABLE at Floyd Professional Center

Village Gree Suites 8 & 9

For Help & Information, Call 540-808-2880

“Make the Most of Your FLOYD VIRGINIA Visit”

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© 2011 FLOYD VIRGINIA publication. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part, without written permission from FLOYD VIRGINIA is prohibited. Every attempt has been made to verify the information contained in this publication.  We assume no responsibility for incorrect, omitted or outdated information contained herein. We publish ads and stories without any implied endorsement of organizations, the views they express or the products/services they offer.

Nichols Brothers Exhaust, LLC – Floyd Virginia

Just got back from getting my Virginia state inspection sticker. The boys at Nichols Brothers Exhaust took me in without an appointment like always. These guys are great and always busy. Today Tuff was working on a fancy red street racer. He was installing a custom exhaust system, the second one today. Tuff told me that people come from the surrounding counties to get their custom work done right here in Floyd. He said that they trust he will do an excellent job. While I was there a guy was delivering some new pipe. Duane said he comes every Friday. I was surprised how thick the pipes were. Duane said they use heavy gauge for all their customers. As I had fun taking these pictures and video my Chrysler was check and new sticker put in. The Nichols Brothers are well known in town and highly respected and trusted. Go by and see for yourself.

Exhaust, Tires, Struts and Shocks, Brakes, Tune-Ups Oil Change & Lubrication Services – Automotive, Auto, Service, Repair, Car, Brake, Domestic, Foreign, Floyd, Christiansburg, Roanoke, 24091, 24060- Tuff and Duane Nichols Owners/Operators (540) 745-4611

145 Parkview Drive, Floyd Virginia, 24091

New Business in Floyd Virginia – Woolly Jumper Yarns

There’s a new business in town called Woolly Jumper Yarns. The proprietors Jackie Crenshaw and Michele Morris launched the business after their knitting group, which meets every Thursday, out grew their location at the Country Store. Jackie explained that a dear friend, Cheryl Sweeney, who was part of the knitting group gave her the inspiration to open Woolly Jumper Yarns. Cheryl suggested a local place where Floydians could by yarns. Cheryl has since pass away.

You will find a wide variety of high quality yarns including yarns from Cascade, Brown Sheep, Rowan, Fame Trend, Debbie Bliss, Amy Butler, Be Sweet, Elsebeth Lavold, Araucania, Manos de Uraguay and Louisa Harding packed into our store. The assortment includes a fair number of organically produced, naturally colored and recycled yarns. Also, on the shelves you can find some unique local spun yarns. Jackie pulled out a yarn made of 65% wool and 35% metal from a box she just received.

The goal is to have fun and to pass along the craft to others. Bring your project every Thursday from 6-8pm and join in on Yarn Night! Floyd Virginia is rich with crafters and they showcase some work at the store.

The store is located at:
202 South Locust Street
Floyd, Virginia 24091

Phone: 540 745 5648 (KNIT)

Michele Morris
Jackie Crenshaw

JOE KENNY – CNC Machined Products

Joe Kenny is self-employed in Floyd County Virginia, near the Blue Ridge Parkway.  He owns a machine shop:  CNC Machined Products, which manufactures specialty parts, especially for European motorcycles.  Whether for replacement or custom-made, Joe makes parts for a number of dealers, and serves the customer through his website, or directly.

Joe is a motorcycle enthusiast and names the Parkway as one of his favorite rides.  He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology, and is good with computers.  He designs his parts, programs the CNC (computer numerical control) machine, and produces a variety of products.  He sells worldwide with the help of the internet and eBay, and fills a niche for the cycling community and hobbyists.  He participates in rides and rallies with owners and clubs; since 1968, he has covered 49 of the 50 states on his bike, including Alaska, Newfoundland and most of Canada.

“The Blue Ridge has always been one of my favorite motorcycle rides. So I moved from Pennsylvania to the Floyd area ten years ago to work for myself – after working in manufacturing for twenty years I was ready to set up my own shop. CNC Machined Products is located in part of the old Donnkenny building behind Food Lion in Floyd.

After getting my degree and serving a four year Machinist apprenticeship with Texas Instruments in Dallas, I worked in TI’s Process Automation Center of the Semi Conductor Division making the parts for the specialized equipment they use to make semi conductor chips.

I got fed up with the big company and big city, so I worked in a variety of machine shops in Florida and Pennsylvania making everything from tooling and fixtures for the manufacture of mining equipment to plastic injection molds.

I have been riding for many years, and I also like to restore classic European motorcycles. I started making parts that I knew people needed for their restorations. I make stainless steel and Aluminum parts to replace pieces that were originally plastic.

You can buy most any accessory for Harleys and Hondas but the lesser known European bikes like Moto Guzzi (an Italian bike that has been made since 1921), parts manufacturers think it’s not a big enough market to justify getting into. For me, making parts for these bikes is a nice niche market.

Now, with the help of the internet and eBay, I sell a line of motorcycle accessories worldwide. To places like Australia, New Zealand, all over the world.  There are dealers in Holland and Japan that sell my parts too.

I’ve been working with Euro Motoelectrics, a Colorado company that sells electrical components and I figure how to adapt them to the older bikes. I’ve been making parts to adapt to modern charging systems and electronic ignition systems for BMW and Moto Guzzi motorcycles.

My business is totally dependent on the computer. I use computers/technology to design my ads and web pages, business cards, mailing labels, etc.  And for designing my parts in a CAD (computer aided design) program and programming my parts in a CAM (computer aided manufacturer) program that generates the code the CNC (computer numerical control) machine uses… I couldn’t have run this business 15 or 20 years ago.”

When I queried Joe about certain aspects of his unique business, this is what he had to say:

Q: How do most people find you on the Internet, and what about other ways?

A: My typical customer is a guy who bought a Guzzi and joined the club and checks out the websites looking for something unique for his bike, or maybe he wants to update his old bike with a modern charging and electronic ignition system. I advertise in the Moto Guzzi newsletter which guides readers to my website ( – my products are shown there. I have an eBay store also and I use PayPal to accept payment for eBay sales and most other sales.  Most of the dealers who sell Moto Guzzi parts have links on their websites so we are linked internationally. This really works well; I get customers all over the world who found my link on a dealer’s site or on the site of a local club.

Q: You said you knew you would have to be “self-employed” when coming to Floyd.  Explain, please?

A: I wanted to be self employed when I came here because I knew this was not an area for manufacturing, generally. I think I have the only CNC machines in Floyd County, so who would I work for?  I’d been planning on getting my own shop together for a long time – when I came here, it was the time to do it.  I met with Woody Crenshaw and started handling his CNC machine work.  He was happy to keep the business local rather than sending it to Christiansburg.   His guys could email me a drawing of a part they needed, I’d open it in my CAM software, generate a program of machine code, send it to the computer on the machine that controls the machine movements and makes the parts.  I made all the top Finials for the street lights Woody put up around town.

Q: What are the challenges and/or victories related to being your own boss?

A: There is a lot of freedom and creativity in the work I do.  Some dealers come to me with ideas for a part and I draw it up and make some parts for them to test.  Then, after the testing, I’ll make a quantity of them, just for them, to sell. People like different items, different accessories, that few other people have, to go on their bikes.  I don’t patent anything; if someone wants to copy my parts, then I’ll make something else better and get it on the market fast. There is no middle man:  I’m the Designer, Engineer, Programmer, Machinist and Shipper.  I do all the work, but I’m very flexible and can get things done.

Q: If someone wanted to become a “Parkway Rider”, how should he or she get started?   Are there club meetings, rides or rallies locally, and are you involved in those?

A: There are BMW and Moto Guzzi motorcycle owners clubs and they have weekend camp-out rallies all over the country and up and down the Parkway. I’ve been going to these for years.  The Parkway is a popular destination for motorcyclists; it is the first trip for a lot of new riders since people dream of getting a bike and riding the Parkway. I am happy to encourage anyone in this.

JOE KENNY – CNC Machined Products
P.O. Box 605 Floyd, VA 24091 •

This story was published in Floyd Magazine Spring/Summer 2011 ~Dee Wallace

Sustain Floyd Serves the Community

In the fall of 2008, a group of Floyd County residents met informally to discuss Floyd’s future. The group wondered how our county would thrive economically in the face of recession, corporate conglomeration, and a faltering job market. And, they wondered how we could move forward and still maintain the ideals which Floyd holds dear.  Emergent from the conversation was the dream of resiliency and economic independence, which developed into the idea that one day Floyd County might be self-reliant; able to provide jobs, food, education, and even energy to all of its citizens.

From that meeting, the organization now called SustainFloyd was born. SustainFloyd is intent upon fostering the financial and ecological health of our county through initiatives in agriculture, forestry, art, energy, and food processing.

In April 2010, SustainFloyd hired former lawyer and farmer, Mike Burton, as the organization’s first Director. Within his first year of service, Mike has been instrumental in helping SustainFloyd grow by helping the organization to 501(c)3 non-profit status, by developing a Farm-to-School program, overseeing the Farmers Market, and garnering two major grants in the arena of food processing.

SustainFloyd’s dream of serving the community as it creates sustainable, local economic growth is now becoming reality.

Currently, the organization is comprised of a Board of Directors and several committees, including a Development Committee responsible for fundraising, the Internet, the website, and public relations; a Programs Committee for conceiving, vetting, and developing projects; and a Stewardship Committee, which sets guidelines for the organization which are referred to when selecting community advisors and board members. The Board of Directors is made up of fourteen community members who are dedicated to the dream of creating a localized economy within Floyd where jobs, dollars, and families stay in Floyd through sustainable means.

Need Volunteers!

SustainFloyd strives to be an organization dedicated to service in our community. If you would like to learn more about SustainFloyd, or if you are interested in volunteering , please contact Mike Burton at (540) 250-0111 or

The new timber frame Community Market Pavilion in downtown Floyd was completed in the fall of 2009 and is managed by SustainFloyd. The Pavilion is host to the Saturday morning Floyd Farmers Market, the Friday evening Floyd Artisans Market, and several special events throughout the year. The Markets help to increase local profits, foster the creative economy, develop community and promote a health conscious lifestyle. After the first full season in 2010, Mike Burton gives this update:

“Regarding the Farmers Market, it is a robust market to be so rural. We felt very supported by the community, and we were pleased with the atmosphere within the heart of Floyd. That being said, we need a larger percentage of our population to make the Market part of their Saturday routines.”

In November, after season’s end, SustainFloyd invited consumers to participate in a survey which asked questions pertaining to perceptions of the market. The survey was administered by a team of students at Virginia Tech, and responses were kept anonymous. According to Mike, the responses to the survey were largely positive. Now, the focus will be to utilize the information gleaned from the surveys, and to attract those who currently are not coming to market. SustainFloyd hopes that readers and market-goers will help to spread the word.  They are also looking for additional volunteers to help with program operations and to expand the services of the market.  While the Farmers Market averaged 8-10 vendors per week last year, they are hoping for 10 each week and live music to be played each week (in the upcoming season). Local musicians have been playing (about a ¼ of the time last season) for a beautiful supply of fresh foods from the market.

“The Artisan Market was very successful at the peak of last season. It was supported by locals, and the market benefited from visits by out-of-towners and Jamboree guests.  This market seems to be more dependent on good weather to keep the pedestrian traffic coming on Friday nights. We are expecting another full slate of artists from the area for the 2011 season.”

Farm to School

As part of Sustain Floyd’s commitment to developing a resilient local economy while promoting a healthy lifestyle, a Farm-to-School agriculture program has been initiated, which seeks to supply produce from local farmers to the Floyd County school system. Pictured here are children from a local school digging potatoes at Five Penny Organic Farm to be eaten the following week by children at Floyd Elementary. There is an educational component to the program; “it is great that kids can be taught where their food comes from”.


SustainFloyd is currently working on several major projects to increase local revenue and create jobs.

SustainFloyd has received a grant to study the possibility of building a food-processing plant in Floyd County, which would collect and process local produce from area farms to be distributed as part of the local food system.  This study will commence this summer, and is meant to compile information for a top-notch business plan to attract investors.

SustainFloyd has also received funds to study the benefits of a value-added dairy processing plant, which could turn local milk into cheese, ice cream, yogurt and other value-added dairy products.

SustainFloyd is trying to ensure that the Floyd Farmers Market is a vital part of our community by working to place an EBT (food stamp) machine at the market, and by offering Double-Value savings where the consumer receives a double amount in value of fresh market goods.  SF, as part of the Floyd County Multidisciplinary Team, is working with a Childhood Obesity Prevention Specialist to promote the consumption of local fruits and vegetables. They are collaborating to develop events and marketing strategies to increase participation by children, so they may live healthier, more active, and longer lives.

SustainFloyd is currently working on a countywide energy use inventory, compiling data on public and private energy use in all forms, including electricity and natural gas. This information will provide a baseline for our energy consumption by which to measure future energy initiatives.

SustainFloyd recently secured a grant to develop an Artisan’s Trail Tour through the County, (see advertisment on left) which currently has around 40 studios and artists along the route.  While SF is not a marketing group for tourism, per se, the Trail supports our local creative economy.

Luis A Garcia
Proprietor / Graphic Designer
FLOYD VIRGINIA publication
(540) 320 1045 –

This story was published in Floyd Magazine Spring/Summer 2011 ~Senior Editor Dee Wallace