Brrs, Beards and Brews: a Lumberjack Festival

The second annual Lumberjack Festival was held in Old Town, Lansing, on Saturday, Feb. 24. The event featured a series of competitions involving strength, beards and mustaches, as well as a stream of food and merch vendors.

Bringing Lansing to eBay

With the help of online shopping, people from all over the world are able to shop and help support businesses. Now, people from all over the world can shop and help support businesses in the greater Lansing area through eBay. It’s all part of eBay’s Retail Revival program where Lansing entrepreneurs and small business owners get the opportunity to sell their merchandise and goods online. “I’ve sold things just from my website to people across the country, but it’s me promoting it, but it’s nice to have eBay on my side and to help me promote my stuff as well,” said Cori Thackery, Owner of Sweetlees Boutique. Thackery wanted to be a part of the program because she says eBay is a platform she has never really sold on before and she thought she would reach a whole new customer base.

Preuss features animals most people wouldn’t want

People from all over the the United States come to see animals most pet stores wouldn’t have at Preuss Pets in Old Town. Wonder how did the start of Preuss Pets come about? The unique store has a background story. “So it started with my mother wanting to start a fish shop. It was something I grew up with, something that I was just around so much and that I was really interested in,” Rick Preuss, the owner of Preuss Pets, said.

Sponsors and fundraisers support Old Town events

Old Town values its arts community to host events and festivals. However, planning these events bring budget configurations. Old Town events are organized by board member volunteers at The Old Town Commercial Association (OTCA). The community plans year-round events with the goal to raise money and awareness, Jamie Schriner, president of the Old Town Commercial Association and executive director of Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, said over the phone. The Commercial Association holds committee meetings to organize events throughout the year.

Old Town lacks control over assessment dollar use

Old Town needs to be in control of their assessment dollar use in order to fulfill the needs in the community, said Jamie Schriner, president of The Old Town Commercial Association and executive director of Community Economic Development Association of Michigan. Schriner said Downtown Lansing Inc. is not satisfying those financial needs for the community because they do not know the community as well as residents. Old Town turns to Downtown Lansing Inc. for revitalization grants through The Principle Shopping District (PSD). The PSD performs these efforts within its frontier of l-496 in downtown Lansing to Clinton Street in Old Town. It advances businesses through “advocacy, cooperative marketing, special events, urban beautification and economic development,” Mindy Biladeau executive, director and coordinator of Silver Bells in the City and Downtown Lansing Inc., said in an email.

Preuss Pets creates an adventurous and educational experience for customers

Preuss Pets is not an average pet store. With exotic animals including amphibians, lizards, snakes, invertebrates, parrots and more, the store resembles its animals with an adventurous interior design. Owner, Rick Preuss said customers are surprised with the knowledge they need to acquire when owning an animal. With 65 employees, he said they focus their energy on educating and assisting customers’ journey of pet keeping.

Watch Focal Point: CMU shooting, flooding in IM West and more

John Engler has been interim president for less than a month, we take a look at how students think he’s handling his new position. Also, the ‘Bern’ is back. Plus, the Ski Club had to make a tough decision when it came to one of their annual traditions. In sports, we head over to Skandalaris Football Center for the football teams first spring practice.

Record-level flood forces Old Town business to work remotely

Ciesa Design located in Old Town experienced basement flooding Wednesday morning with the water rising 2 inches an hour, said owner Lauren Ciesa. He said he arrived at 7 a.m. with the basement floors still dry, but the water began rising rapidly. “We’re holding back another foot-and-a-half of water. So, we would be (at) about three feet if a window or door broke,” he said. The physical damages caused by the flood will include the kitchen used as a break room.

Understanding demographics help Old Town restaurants succeed

Old Town Lansing has an abundance of local restaurants and owners have to understand the market, owner of Meat Southern BBQ, Sean Johnson said. With 19 restaurants in Old Town, each owner had to start from the beginning in gaining their own customers. Owner of JN Press Juice, Tamiko Richard said she wanted to educate the market about being more health-conscious with what they put in their bodies. “We (her family) want to be healthy ourselves,” Richard said. “You are able to tell more people about it once you start with yourself.”