In 2007, Williamston was introduced to an uncommon kind of art. Fireworks Glass Studios brought the craft of original and customizable glass sculpting to the community, along with love and compassion for its neighbors. Owner, Dave Porter, opened his studio in 2007, getting into the glass blowing business just after retirement. The studio creates various pieces every day, ranging from seasonal glass such as Christmas ornaments and glass pumpkin pieces, to everyday home objects like vases and wall mountings. “I love this job because it’s so much different than the normal office job,” employee Doug Waggott said.
You can’t put a price on fun, unless you’re talking about an unlimited service/access of entertainment under $10. Streaming services of entertainment such a Netflix, HBO GO, Spotify, Tidal and more are dominating people’s screens and monthly bank accounts transactions. Music and film lovers such as Audrey Matusz are not afraid to drop cash for streaming services. “I stay on the go, but don’t want to have to miss my favorite show like Insecure, or miss new music albums drop. Plus, I am barely ever home to watch TV or chill on my laptop.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A local gymnastics gym, Grand Traverse Bay Gymnastics, has been leaping with success. The gym separated from the YMCA three years ago and has been home to over 2,300 gymnasts in the past year. Jennifer Van Deinse, who has been the head coach for 10 years, says, “I believe that the success of Grand Traverse Bay Gymnastics can be attributed to our love for the sport and our desire to help each individual who attends our program reach their highest potential. We strive for excellence every day and teach our athletes to do the same.”
Owner Betsy Van Deinse says, “I love to watch our gymnasts grow and work hard to achieve their dreams. Gymnastics takes a great deal of mental and physical fortitude, so to witness how these young athletes train and fight to reach their goals is incredibly gratifying and awe-inspiring.”
Laurence Chalip, professor and head of recreation at University of Illinois, says, “In terms of the benefits the gym gained while being on it’s own, it really depends on the value of it’s autonomy.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Looking around Traverse City it’s hard not to notice the large quantity of stores looking for more employees in this northwest Michigan beach town. Diane Kimmel, who taught general business at Northwestern Michigan College, says “summer is Traverse City’s tourism time, so early summer and spring are big times for hiring. Traverse City Area Public Schools is one of the biggest employers and so is Munson (hospital). If you think about those two places, the public schools have to hire during the summer and the hospital is pretty much ongoing.”
Kimmel says the most successful way for Traverse City businesses to reach a larger audience of potential employees is by either newspaper ads or employment websites: “If you’re a local person you probably know about the email that comes out every week or every day called The Ticker.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Edwin G. Thirlby, founder of Thirlby Automotive in 1958, and a car trunk have evolved into 11 Thirlby Automotive locations in Northern Michigan that serve over 1,200 accounts and many additional daily walk-up customers. Edwin W. Thirlby (the present owner and Edwin. G. Thirlby’s son) explains, “In the late 1950s my father was working at a marina and a guy came along selling wax. He told him he was retiring.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Traverse City in northwestern Michigan is home to many entrepreneurs. The town has a supportive food scene, excellent tourism, a strong Chamber of Commerce, and many citizens with amazing stories to tell. If you walk through Downtown Traverse City, you may come across Ben Phillips, owner and founder of Ben’s Boards, a company that rents paddle boards on Grand Traverse Bay. Scroll through social media and it’s likely you’ll see Sean Murray, founder of Green Light Podcast.
The Old Chicago restaurant chain has been around since 1976 and has catered to families in Michigan from its three different locations: Southgate, Trenton, Portage and Okemos. “The Okemos location has been here since 2004,” said service manager Cassie Sanderson, “I’ve been working here for 12 years and the environment and everything, it feels just like a family.”
Old Chicago features specialty pizzas such as the spaghetti pie. The pizza has spaghetti tossed in Alfredo sauce and baked with Romano and Provolone cheeses then topped with Alfredo sauce. “The Spaghetti Pie is my favorite thing on the menu,” said Sanderson. “It sounds gross
because it’s hard to explain but it’s so good.”
With a welcoming atmosphere the restaurant has a small arcade area, as well as a large bar which allows it to cater to just about everyone in the family.
Two new hotels and a potential apartment complex coming to Eastwood Towne Center could be the foundation of economic growth for the area, as the lifestyle center on the northwest side of Lansing Township continues plans for expansion. Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said last month that a Holiday Inn and a Hilton Homewood Suites would be constructed behind the NCG Eastwood Cinema. The new plans would already add to the two hotels currently located in the Eastwood complex: a Hyatt Place, which opened last May, and a Fairfield Inn & Suites expected to open later this spring. The Hilton Homewood Suites, part of an Eastwood expansion plan sponsored by the township known as The Heights, has already been under construction since late 2016 will accommodate travelers staying for extended periods of time. According to Hayes, the Holiday Inn will break ground later this spring and will be located west of the Hyatt Place and the Fairfield, kitty-corner to the NCG.