puremichigan

Small Business Saturday - Spring Sweet

I am going to start this blog post off by saying this was one of my favorite businesses to spotlight, and here is why:

As a young girl, I certainly put a lot of thought into marriage. What it would be like, how beautiful my wedding day would be, what kind of boy I would end up with, and of course, what my wedding dress would look like.

I mean, who doesn’t want to feel like a princess on their wedding day?! Ok, maybe some don’t, but I feel like I may be in the majority here. I feel like many of you maybe researched what you wanted your dress to look like on Pinterest or maybe you spent hours watching “Say Yes to the Dress.” Maybe you even sketched out your dream on scrap paper or notebooks you were meant to take… well… actual notes in!

 
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Maybe you are like me, the hopeless romantic who spent hours thinking of the kind of bride I wanted to be on my wedding day. The kind of bride that best fit how I felt inside!

 
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In order to do that, it might be best to find a really awesome wedding dress shop that carries a variety of options so you can rule out all the wrong dresses. Narrowing down the options slowly, dress by dress until you find THE ONE. The dress that makes you tear up because you KNOW that’s the dress you will walk down the aisle toward your handsome other half (who may or may not also be in tears).

 
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AND GUYS! I did the difficult part and found that “really awesome wedding dress shop that carries a variety of options so you can rule out all the wrong dresses” for you! No need to thank me, I can FEEL your appreciation as I write this. ;)

AND NOW - FINALLY - WHAT YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR (except the people who read the title and know exactly what shop I am already talking about): SPRING SWEET! The absolute cutest, most beautiful shop!

 
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Now, I have to warn you, before you can even get up to the dress shop on the second floor, you will have to bypass rows and rows of super adorable clothes. Contain yourself as you walk past the candles and books and cute plants. DO NOT STOP as the most wonderful fresh flower walk in! Unless that is, you have plenty of time and self-control. Then do whatever you want!

 
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If you are like me, however, and have none of that self-control I just mentioned - head straight upstairs and be prepared to catch your jaw. (I am so serious, ask Tiffany or Molly, my mouth just about dropped to the floor!) The rows of dresses, rows of different textures, patterns, colors, and fabrics are STUNNING.

 
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Our adventure did not stop there though... the brilliantly kind employees allowed us to try on dresses. Yep. We were blessed with living in a dream for the next hour, trying different styles of dresses one after another until our little hearts could barely handle it anymore. There was laughter, there were tears, there was a giddy excitement I am personally glad you don’t get to witness because it was slightly embarrassing. The most you will get to see of my embarrassing self is the photo below that I look like I am just about sobbing in.

 
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All I have left to say is this: If you are looking to find a gorgeous wedding dress AND have an amazing experience while you do, go to Spring Sweet. You won’t regret it.

http://www.springsweet.com/

Aubrey

Small Business Saturday - Steenstra's Royal Dutch Bakery

So, last week we explored Rockford, which is the town I grew up in. This week we are talking about Grandville, which happens to be the first city I moved to after marrying my husband! I was so sad to leave Rockford because that is what I knew! I knew a super cute downtown scene filled with staples of what made it so great!

Moving to Grandville, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into! I lived right down the street from the mall we went to when we didn’t mind a longer drive and a ton of restaurants I never really knew. Now I have been living on the SW side of Grand Rapids for nearly 4 years and I have a lot of places that are unique and fun that I can’t get anywhere else.

 
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One of which, we are going to be talking about for Small Business Saturday! And guys, if you need to know one thing about me… Baked goods (especially donuts) are my ultimate weakness. Which brings us to a much loved, family favorite in Grandville: Steenstra’s Royal Dutch Bakery! Ah, yep, just thinking about the smells and beautiful rows of baked goods makes me want to get in my car and drive there now, no stops in between!

 
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Steenstra’s Royal Dutch Bakery has been creating homemade, preservative-free baked goods since 1953 by recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. What a true blessing it is to see a bakery that has had love poured into it throughout the years.

 
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There is also something to be said about a bakery that creates tradition. Among the many raving reviews online, you will find that some of the Grandville residents have been visiting this location for their entire lives. Whether they are purchasing cookies, cakes, or one of the gorgeous pecan rolls, there is always a reason to go back. Maybe for a midday snack or to bring goodies in for your coworkers! You can even have your wedding cake made here!

 
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The next time you are in Grandville, make sure to take time to visit Steenstra’s! All you need to do is follow the phenomenal smells to their adorable location on 30th St. You can also visit their website HERE to learn more!

 
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Small Business Saturday - The Corner Bar

Hello hello!

As you may know, we have been in the Rockford area for the past two weeks exploring downtown and chatting with the phenomenal business owners. They have so much love for Rockford, which I fully understand since I grew up in the Rockford community as well! There is so much to love and appreciate from the cutest shops to the yummy food.

There is a lovely charm and sense of community downtown brings. Whether that be from the events or even just the random pedestrian stopping you to chat about life.

The town holds tradition to many families with a modern twist.

 
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This brings us to our Small Business Spotlight - The Corner Bar. Which, in my opinion, holds so much tradition. And with the recent remodel (which we will get back to) they’ve brought a modern twist to this beloved classic.

 
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The Corner Bar is well known for its Wall of Fame which started in 1968! The challenge is to eat, at minimum, 12 hot dogs including dog, bun, and chili. You can choose to put more toppings, but I would suggest you not if you want to get anywhere near the record of 43 dogs. There are nearly 6000 names on the wall from all over the world with new contestants being added regularly, because who wouldn’t want to be part of this history?!

 
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While they are known for their hot dogs, The Corner Bar also offers a variety of other delicious foods including their Turkey Pretzel Club. This sandwich consists of turkey, bacon, and swiss on a warm pretzel roll with honey mustard for dipping! I personally cannot resist pretzels of any sorts and this sandwich is on my list of things to try when heading back to town.

 
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Now we get back to the recent remodel: As I am sure some of you know, The Corner Bar experienced a tragic fire in August of 2017. Unfortunately, this left a huge project for them to rebuild and redesign much of the restaurant. Although this was an intensely sad thing to happen to our beloved Corner Bar, the community in Rockford brought about so much hope and love.

 
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Local businesses held fundraisers bringing in money to The Corner Bar and also for their staff members who lost jobs out of the blue. There were even some businesses that made room to bring in some of the staff as the rebuild was in action so that they had a source of income during this rough time.

 
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The Corner Bar stated that the support during AND after the fire was truly awe-inspiring. They were given so many words of encouragement, grief, love, and stories shared that day and in weeks to follow. During a tragic time, the community gave back in actions and in words to create an environment that would help build up morale as they built back the building.

We love The Corner Bar, thanks for having us!

-Aubrey

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.

 
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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.

 
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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!

 
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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.

 
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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!

 
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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.

 
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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!

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

-Aubrey

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.

 
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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.

 
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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!

 
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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.

 
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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!

 
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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.

 
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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!

 
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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.


-Aubrey

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.

 
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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.

 
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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!

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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!

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

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

 
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