Small Business Saturday - Thought Design

Small Business Saturday - Thought Design

Good evening, friends! We hope you had the most wonderful of weekends and are enjoying your night before the week kicks off again.

We wanted to come on here and chat real quick about a super cool business we were able to learn about this week in Rockford.

rockford michigan thought design

Thought Design is a place where you can go to experience innovative, brain science-centered learning opportunities. Which is perfect for teams, groups, or individuals looking for ways to grow and develop either personally or professionally.

rockford michigan thought design

The space sure allows for a wonderfully calm and thought producing environment, being set right next to the river with large windows allowing beautiful natural light to sweep through the rooms as you learn and build! You can even rent out spaces here for your own events!

rockford michigan thought design

One great point Thought Design brings up is how the brain is the most powerful muscle a human has and that we must treat it like all the rest. In order for it to work at full potential and continue to grow, we must give it a workout and condition it to improve as we grow older.

rockford michigan thought design

At Thought Design, they believe there are 5 main pillars of a healthy brain:

  • exercise

  • nutrition

  • learning

  • social connection

  • sleep

Using these 5 pillars, they create experiences and opportunities that will challenge you to rethink how you learn!

rockford michigan thought design

Some ways this is done are by going through the different programs which include team building, introducing your Thinking Toolbox, and a workshop for educational professionals. You will want to read more about the opportunities available by clicking HERE.


If you are interested in heading over to Thought Design and checking out a workshop, click HERE for a list of what’s coming up!

rockford michigan thought design

Thank you so much to Denise, who created Thought Design in 2013, for allowing us to check out your beautiful space!


Small Business Saturday - Rosa's Closet

Hello, friends of Grand Rapids! We hope you are enjoying your Saturday so far and thank you for tuning in for another Small Business Saturday!

This week Molly and I explored Gaslight Village to find some awesome businesses we could spotlight and we were not disappointed. Among the treats, food, and decor we stepped into the cutest upscale resale boutique, Rosa’s Closet.

east grand rapids michigan boutique style fashion consignment shop

Now, disclaimer, I have known the owner’s of this cute shop for a while! Lisa and Andy Fredricks were my neighbors growing up! The kids in our neighborhood used to gather at their house for fun game nights and fires, the time spent with them was always fun and filled with laughter. So, naturally, I knew about the boutique they had bought but had never had the chance to shop around at it. Que the perfect opportunity to spend time at the boutique and see what they had built. And guys, I was blown away at the number of cute clothes I found right away. They have collected items from many brands creating a beautiful display of a variety of clothing and accessories.

One of the many great things about this boutique is the wide range of clothing types. You can find everything from high-end luxury items to your everyday classics, and all at an affordable cost! To give an example, we put some outfits together from the store.

east grand rapids michigan boutique style fashion consignment shop

In this first photo, we paired together this beautiful black lace top with these baby pink pointed toe heels. Also available were these adorable colored bracelets that gave the outfit an additional pop of color!

east grand rapids michigan boutique style fashion consignment shop

Here Molly paired this cute cream blouse with a perfect black blazer. For the bottom half, she added a striped high-waisted skirt and a pair of black pointed heels to pull it all together.

east grand rapids michigan boutique style fashion consignment shop

Although I fell in love with each outfit we put together, this combo was my personal favorite! This wonderfully flowy shirt was the perfect match to these leopard print heels. The floral bracelet added the right accent piece and was the cherry on top of it all!

east grand rapids michigan boutique style fashion consignment shop

Lastly, we put together this ADORABLE outfit for a comfy feel! This subtle pink jacket paired amazingly with the color of these soft green pants. The white shirt underneath was a classic must have in anyone's closet.

east grand rapids michigan boutique style fashion consignment shop

We were able to do our shopping on Monday so we can’t be sure as to what items we are posting are still available. I would suggest you run, NOT WALK if you like any of these items to claim them as your own!

east grand rapids michigan boutique style fashion consignment shop

Now, let's chat about other opportunities this boutique has to offer. If you are looking to have a night out with your friends, you can even host private shopping parties which are the perfect night for a birthday babe, bachelorette bride, or brilliant bash! (ok - that last one was a stretch but let’s just go with it) Read more about the opportunity to host your private event HERE.

You may also want to learn more about the owner’s who have some great causes to support and why they have chosen them. Read more about their stories HERE.

Thanks so much for having us and allowing us to play dress-up in your boutique! I will most definitely be a repeat customer and will be stopping by anytime I am in the Gaslight Village neighborhood.


Small Business Saturday - Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club

If you are one of the following, you should be thoroughly ecstatic for this Small Business Saturday:

  1. New to town and looking for a cool way to meet new people.

  2. Not new to town but still looking for a cool way to meet new people.

  3. Interested in sports.

  4. Like food and drink specials at your local bar.

And really, I think that most of you can consider at least one of those options to be you! If not, you should still read what we have to say about the Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club because you might be surprised.


So, what is the Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club (GRSSC) you might ask? It’s pretty much what it sounds like! By joining this awesome club, you have the opportunity to get up, get out, and socialize.

Get up: stand up, exercise, get moving!

Get out: the chance to leave your house!

Socialize: meet new people and spend time with your friends!

Mental health is just as important as physical health and this is why the social aspect is a huge part of this club.


The physical activities available stretch from flag football to holding a deck of cards, so really, there is something for everyone! Kickball, softball, capture the flag, and the list keeps going! GRSSC is even responsible for Human Hungry Hungry Hippo on Ice at Rosa Parks Circle. There is truly fun for everyone when joining!

flag football.jpg

While so many parks in this city sit empty, the GRSSC is working on filling them! As they play and hang out on the field, families gather to watch and appreciate the games. Not only has this been a fun thing for the players, but also for kids wandering by with their parents. The atmosphere of these local parks becomes a hustle and bustle of laughing and running around and FUN.


When the playing is done, GRSSC has partnered with some local bars including The Log Cabin and Quinn & Tuite’s Irish Pub to gather. Instead of spending half an hour trying to find a place to hang out, the location is chosen for you so you can spend more time actually socializing. Not only that, but the venues offer special deals for the GRSSC those nights! If you own a bar and are interested in joining the team, click HERE for more details.


And guess what? Registration begins on MONDAY! That’s right, it’s time to get yourself moving and sign up for some awesome activities. This first week you will save $10 as part of the early bird special. *insert dancing emoji* You can register as a team or alone, it’s easy! Click HERE to read more information and create a profile while you wait for registration to open. Your buy-in will get you 7 weeks in your league, a shirt, into the afterparty, and into the awards party at the end!

When creating a profile you are creating a visible profile to show off your achievements. There are badges you can earn by completing different tasks. Some of these achievements will even come with real-life prizes, too! Which is always a bonus.


Last but most certainly not least, we want to thank GRSSC for allowing us to chat and learn more about all that they do! This program sounds like a blast and we hope our readers get to understand!

And readers, you should probably go over to the team page and check out the amazing staff at GRSSC. Not only are they really fun people, but their achievements and life stories will blow you away. Make sure to read about the mysterious Godfather at the end, too. You won’t regret it. Click HERE to check it out.

Small Business Saturday - The Comedy Project

Good morning IheartGR friends!

We have a very fun business to introduce to you today as part of our Small Business Saturday series. Located on Leonard with an entrance and parking lot on Quarry, The Comedy Project is adding to the wonderful West Side business.


Yep, that is correct. Sitting just across the street from Long Road Distillery and The Mitten Brewing and next to Two Scotts Barbecue, the odds are in your favor for a beautiful night out! They will also serve Two Scotts Barbecue in the venue so you can enjoy their much-loved delicacies as the entertainment rolls in!

Along with wonderful food, this venue also features a bar and will serve your beloved beverages to keep the good times coming.


Shows are set to go on every Monday, Friday, and Saturday night with some other dates sprinkled in the mix as well! Check out their full schedule by clicking HERE. You won’t want to miss out on the many possibilities of entertainment! Between sketches, improv, and various other acts, they have the right show for you.


The fun doesn’t stop there, though. If you have any interest in comedy whether it be acting, writing, or the art of improvisation, they host classes! To read more about the options available, click HERE.

This is also a great venue for a special event! The space holds 80-90 guests and is perfect for holding a meeting, a holiday party, or just a company outing! Want to learn more or send an inquiry? Click HERE.


The Comedy Project truly is a one-stop shop for a night of fun. This is the perfect venue for a night out with friends or a unique date night! In fact, while touring the venue I couldn’t help but think of all the friends I want to introduce to The Comedy Project!

Thanks for having us!


Small Business Saturday - Happy Cat Cafe

Happy happy Saturday, friends!

We hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far. What might make your weekend better you may ask? There are so many amazing and fun things to do in Grand Rapids and today we want to talk to you about Happy Cat Cafe!


Happy Cat Cafe opened its doors on August 17, 2017 thanks to some very generous Kickstarter backers who raised $26,821 to turn this dream into a reality! And if all goes to plan, this is just the beginning with hopes to have a full-service coffee bar.


So what’s the idea behind this beautiful place? It’s to help find homes for the most adorable, loving cats! These cats are brought from Carol’s Ferals to spend time interacting with people and bask in the sun, enjoying their days with around 11 other cats. In late summer during kitten season, you can see up to 25 kittens hanging out, an actual dream.


Happy Cat Cafe has helped to triple the adoption rate since working with Carol’s Ferals, and have adopted out about 175 cats since opening.


As they continue to add to that number, you can visit by the hour or half hour. When you pay to spend time with these beautiful animals you will also receive complimentary coffee and other beverages.

Along with the option of a relaxed visit, they also accommodate for events such as wine and canvas classes with the cats, seasonal events like egg painting, yoga with cats, and private parties.


Check out their website HERE to learn more about the adventures happening at the Happy Cat Cafe or to inquire about booking a private event.


Make sure to give the cats a pet for us when you go to visit, we already miss their sweet faces!


Small Business Saturday - Treadstone Mortgage

Happy Saturday iheartGR followers!

We hope you’re having a wonderful weekend and enjoying the weather beginning to warm up a bit here.

This week we are in the wonderful neighborhood of Heartside and there is so much to discover! Between the restaurants, shops, and other businesses, there is so much to choose from when picking which business to spotlight.


For Small Business Saturday this week, we have decided to talk about Treadstone Mortgage and for a few good reasons:


Reason one: Locality

Treadstone is a local business and you all know how much we LOVE to support our local entrepreneurs. Treadstone was founded in 2003 by Brendan O’Driscoll and Kevin Polakovich and has committed to hiring ethical business people, practicing common sense lending, and creating an environment where people work hard and play hard. This is a kind of business we love to see!


Reason two: Business

You all know we have a great appreciation for everything Grand Rapids and this includes the stunning homes from old to new. We recently introduced our passion for real estate and our wonderfully talented real estate professional, Molly Craft, on the iheartGR social platforms. Most of our team has been working in real estate for a bit now ranging from a year to over a decade. In this time we have worked with Treadstone personally and can tell you from an insiders perspective that this is a great company. We are continuously impressed with their customer service and open communication throughout transactions and appreciate their way of business.

Rooftop Deck.jpg

Reason three: Customer Care

When we sat down with some of the great people who work for Treadstone, they let us know of a great motto they like to keep in the workplace, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.” What an amazing way to work?! The world, and specifically the business place, needs great leaders and a one who appreciates their employees is well respected.


Reason four: Dogs

Yep. That’s a perfectly logical reason to like a business. Upon sitting in the relaxing lounge area and chewing on a complimentary mint mentos, the cutest puppy named, wait for it… OTIS! Yes. The cutest pup with the cutest name came strutting in to say hello and greet us with the most wonderful of enthusiasm.

Also, if you head over to the Treadstone Instagram (click here) you will see that Mabel, a beautiful golden retriever, is the star of the show. Making both employees and clients happy as can be. A dog-friendly workplace is a very happy workplace.


There are so many things that make Treadstone a great place to help you along your home buying journey. While these are just a few things that make Treadstone wonderful, we know that when you work with them, you will find many more!

“Our mission is to help people buy homes with less hassle and more enjoyment by developing genuine relationships, applying a team-based approach to customer care, and providing sound advice.” -Treadstone Mortgage

Visit their website for more information by clicking HERE.

Small Business Saturday - Grand Rapids Symphony

Good afternoon Grand Rapidians! I hope you are all having a great weekend.

This has been a very exciting week at IHEARTGR as we have been exploring the many amazing businesses in the Medical Mile neighborhood!


I am so excited to announce our Small Business Saturday this week, your Grand Rapids Symphony!

Established in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony has been a huge part of our community for nearly 90 years! Between shows at the Devos Performance Hall to various community events and programs, the Symphony presents more than 400 performances each year. Some 200,000 people will experience the greatness that is the Grand Rapids Symphony and nearly half of them are reached through their amazing community service programs!

These programs include Symphony Scorecard holders which reach members of the community receiving financial assistance from the State of Michigan as well as Active, Guard, and Reserve Military households. Students also receive discounted tickets to certain shows getting them in for only $5!


Now, to give you a little insight on the types of shows the Grand Rapids Symphony puts on we are going to break it down into two types: Hall and Community.


Hall shows include classical and pop performances in which you can purchase tickets or subscriptions. There are over 40 shows under this category which include the Picnic Pops concert put on at Canonsburg each year!

The classical performances include concerts such as Beethoven - The Five Piano and Mahler’s “Resurrection.” You will also find special classical events like “Symphonie Fantastique” with Itzhak Perlman!

For a more family oriented option, the pop performances include movies like “Up,” “Home Alone,” and “Ghost Busters.” Movies are projected on a screen while our Tier 2 Orchestra performs live! Pops also include the annual Wolverine Worldwide Holiday Pops and the D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops.

To find out which shows you might be interested in, you can click HERE for a full list!


Now let’s move on to Community shows. Community shows can be put into four separate categories which include: School Programs, Young Musicians, Adults, and Children, Youth & Families. Each category serving a different purpose and reaching nearly 87,000 people total of various ages, diverse ethnicities, and economic backgrounds. Read more about these education and enrichment programs HERE.


Your Grand Rapids Symphony works so hard to bring these amazing performances to life, and while tickets do cover parts of the cost, they also rely on donations and volunteers to continue growing. If you have any interest in making a monetary donation, you can click HERE for more information. Or, if you would like to volunteer your time you can click HERE to learn more about those opportunities.

Make sure to keep an eye on our stories for more about your Grand Rapids Symphony! We plan on attending shows and concerts and we will make sure to share the fun on our social media pages!


Thank you so much to the Grand Rapids Symphony for taking time to talk with us and show us how much there is to what you do! There are so many great opportunities and performances they present to us. West Michigan is blessed to have you!

Small Business Saturday - Chamber of Commerce

Welcome to the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.

Welcome to the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.

Happy Saturday! This week has been a strange one with it SNOWING on the FIRST DAY OF SPRING! What in the world, Michigan?! While we await for the weather to actually feel like spring, we are going to continue uncovering the wonders (big and small) of the Medical Mile! In this, we have decided for our blog post today to be all about the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce! Woot woot!

Work space available.

Work space available.

If you are like me and have little knowledge of what the Chamber of Commerce is, I am going to explain it to you how Laura Traxler, Director of Membership, explained it to me. To do this, we are going to break it down into three main groups: Business Services, Advocacy, and Talent Development.

Create great wall.

Create great wall.

First, let’s jump into Business Services!

The Chamber has some awesome resources and tools to help you run your business successfully. When joining, your company is assigned an Ambassador to work with as a business consultant. This person will help you with a business plan, guide you to your goals, and expand your visibility to the Grand Rapids area. You can rely on your partner at the Chamber for help as part of your membership perks!

As well as relying on your Ambassador, there are also over 2,400 other businesses making up a massive network of fellow leaders and entrepreneurs for you to connect with. Whether you need a vendor, partner, or someone to bounce ideas off of, the resources are endless. The Chamber of Commerce hosts many events and programs to help connect you. Check out more about the Business Services available HERE.

Work space available.

Work space available.

Next, we want to address the topic of Advocacy.

While this is a great time and place to do business, we still need to make sure we focus some of our time on rules, requirements, paperwork, and permits. With help from the Chamber, the process becomes a little less stressful and you can trust that your business is being taken care of. They will make sure your voice is heard and work hard to shape policies, ideas, and opportunities to improve your experience.

The Chamber also works to provide events making your time with people and policymakers valuable. This includes events like “Breakfast with Legislators” or “Politics and Pints.” You can find out more about events and advocacy HERE.

Two of the board rooms without divider to make a larger room.

Two of the board rooms without divider to make a larger room.

The third and last group is Talent Development.

The Chamber of Commerce understands the importance of each person’s talents. The growth of our community is largely impacted by the diverse skills and workforce all around us. Focusing on developing our talents and creating a strong set of leaders will contribute to continuing prosperity among our community.

Many opportunities arise with the Chamber when one becomes a member including one-on-one consulting, leadership programs, and many networking events! Check our more on Talent Development and events involved HERE.

View from one of the board rooms.

View from one of the board rooms.

Becoming a member, you have many options and levels to choose from to ensure you get the right attention and package for you and your business. Levels are listed and explained HERE. With these packages, you will receive many perks including the use of their facilities to work in! Being only about a year old, this working space has a fresh and uplifting feel with plenty of space. Depending on your package, you will also have access to 3 different meeting rooms and the board room.

One of the smaller meeting rooms available.

One of the smaller meeting rooms available.

As you can see, the Chamber of Commerce provides many opportunities to better your business and the experiences you have that come along with it. To check out more events you may be interested in, click HERE. You will find events that help you launch your business, ways to network, workshops, and so much more.

They serve Ferris coffee in the work spaces!

They serve Ferris coffee in the work spaces!

The Chamber of Commerce is a great organization to be part of if you are looking to expand your business or knowledge! There are so many opportunities that come with a membership. I am personally thrilled to have the working space available to me! As someone who doesn’t work out of the office full time, this is a great space to be productive while still getting out of the house and into the world.

A huge thanks to Laura for sitting down with me to explain what the Chamber believes and offers!