From Weddings to Pup Portraits: Gahanna Photographer Finds Success

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In response to the large number of inquiries from brides, Visit Gahanna (Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau) started marketing to brides and grooms in 2016–establishing a VIP Vendor List featuring local professionals, venues, caterers, photographers, musicians and wedding planning experts that we’ve worked with through our many community events and workshops. (The VIP Vendor List is available at no charge to any bride, groom or event planner requesting it, at VisitGahanna.com.) One of the professional photographers on our VIP Vendor List not only excels in the Weddings Market, but is well-versed in portrait and pet photography … offering great options for visitors (or locals) who want to capture their Gahanna memories!  Meet Amanda Muschlitz of Muschlitz Photography… 

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Q: When did you start your photography business?

My photography journey began back in 2005 when I start working for a local camera store in Gahanna.  In 2006 I started freelance photography for the local newspaper. Over the years it’s evolved into obtaining a bachelors degree in photojournalism, working at a few newspapers in the Midwest and South, all while photographing weddings and portraits on the side. In 2012, I decided to make wedding and portrait photography my main focus and officially formed Muschlitz Photography LLC.

I fell in love with how my camera and my passion for people would allow me to connect with those I photographed. But instead of just photographing someone once for a news story, Muschlitz Photography has allowed me to stay in touch with my clients, continuing to capture their story as their families grow and lives change. Its been such an honor to capture their journeys!

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Q: What kinds of photography do you specialize in?

At Muschlitz Photography we’re there for all of life’s milestones and everything in between. From weddings to babies, families to pets, and even your business head-shots, we’re there to capture it for all time. We specialize in helping you wrap yourself in life’s little moments, so that you can relive them every time you look at the photographs.

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Q:  What do you think sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

When it comes to weddings, we specialize in helping couples enjoy less time posing and more time celebrating on their big day. Your wedding day is one of the best days of your life, but it passes by in the blink of an eye.

We believe that you deserve more time to wrap yourself in all the moments and happiness of your wedding day. We’ll capture the big beautiful moments that you’d expect, and the little moments and embraces happening around you as well. We’ve perfected our processes and work closely with every couple to help put together a timeline that will get you back to the party sooner and maximize your time with your loved ones.

Wedding planning can be overwhelming, so I love being able to assist couples in building a timeline so they get an idea of just how long different logistics will take, as well as helping to take the guesswork out of the family portrait list to make sure we don’t miss anyone. Having a plan for the day not only helps a wedding go smoothly, but it helps couples to relax on their wedding day and makes for better photographs.

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Q: What are some of your favorite spots for taking portrait photos in Gahanna?

With its winding paths, creek views, and beautiful architecture in the plaza, Creekside Park and Plaza is a popular choice for portraits many in the Gahanna area. While beautiful and a great location for photographs, I also love visiting the other local parks in the area too. A couple of my favorites are Hannah Park and Gahanna Woods State Nature Preserve. Hannah Park is absolutely gorgeous in the fall with leaves changing and offers a lot of great backdrop options including a beautiful shelter house that looks like a barn. Gahanna Woods State Nature Preserve is another favorite location – the tall grasses and wildflowers there give the park a look that you won’t easily find other places. Friendship Park and the Gahanna Historical Society section of town are also very unique for those who want to feature some of Gahanna’s history.

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Q: What advice would you offer to brides who are selecting a wedding photographer?

With something as big your wedding day, it’s important to find someone you can trust and who cares about you, your day, and your images as much as you do. You only have one chance to capture your wedding day and to have it captured how you want it. The secret is to work with someone that is a perfect fit for you. After the wedding, you should be thrilled with both your images and your experience!

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There are 3 things you should pay close attention to when selecting a wedding photographer:

1) Photographic Style of Wedding Photography

When choosing your photographer, make sure that you love their photographic style. These are images that you are going to be looking at for the rest of your lives and for generations to come. Before you make a decision, look at a photographer’s work and understand their shooting style. Make sure that their style is exactly what you’re looking for, because those are the types of images that you can expect to receive.

2) Trust a Professional Wedding Photographer

Choose someone that you trust wholeheartedly and who is a professional. Your wedding day is a one-time event. There are no re-shoots. With an event as important and as sacred as a wedding, you should trust someone who has extensive experience in wedding photography and a proven track record of success.  Weddings require a lot more thought and planning and a true pro will be able to:

  • Know how to best cover all of the wedding day events
  • Be able to make recommendations for logistics, portrait locations, posing, etc.
  • Provide guidance with posing to ensure you are looking your best
  • Organize and master the family portraits
  • Provide you with a quality, finished product

3) Select a Photographer You Know You’ll Love Being Around

This is one of the most important tips. When selecting a photographer, you should make sure that it’s someone you and your fiancé get along well with and enjoy being around. Wedding photographers spend the majority of your wedding day with you and is also one of the few vendors that you’ll be in contact with after your wedding day to receive your wedding photos or albums. The entire photo experience should be a positive one from start to finish, so you might as well work with someone you like!

After the party is over, and the wedding guests have left, your wedding photos are one of the few things you’ll have to look back on to remember your day. You should LOVE your wedding photos. I want you to be ecstatic about them! The secret to wedding photography that you will LOVE begins with choosing a photographer who is a perfect fit for you.

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Q: You are part of Visit Gahanna’s VIP Wedding Vendor List. What do you offer couples who mention the “Visit Gahanna” promo code?

Any couples who book their wedding photography services and mention the “Visit Gahanna” promo code, will receive a 16″x 20″ Metal Print of their favorite wedding photo! ($475 Value). These are beautiful metal prints with a thin acrylic coating that gives them a glossy finish. They are the perfect keepsake from your wedding day and are great to display in the hall or above the couch.

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Q:  What social media platforms can people find you on? 

Facebook: @muschlitzphoto
Instagram: @muschlitzphoto

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To learn more about what Gahanna, Ohio offers for weddings and event planners, visit the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau website.  or call 614/418-9114. Be sure to request your copy of the Gahanna, Ohio VIP Wedding Vendor List. 

Gahanna Girl Meets Thrive Massage and Wellness

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Visit Gahanna (Gahanna Ohio Convention & Visitors Bureau) sent Emily, our  Communications Assistant, out to investigate Thrive Massage and Wellness, a new local business. She returned later that afternoon looking relaxed, feeling rested, smelling of floral notes and causing the rest of us to immediately go book appointments. (“I’ll have what she’s having.”) As one of the most recent additions to Gahanna’s Herbal Trail, Thrive offers Amita Herbal Body Wraps, Lavender Sugar Scrubs, Body Creams and Bath Salts. (Pssst… mention this post and pay only the disounted member rate for your first experience.)  Here’s Emily’s account of her first (“but definitely not the last”) visit to Thrive …

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Take care of yourself: the most challenging piece of advice I’ve ever been given. In today’s 24/7 world, it’s hard to find time to take even a 5 minute break, let alone time to take care of your body. In days filled with stressful meetings, rush hour traffic, and questionable food (I’m looking at you, Chicken Chalupa), personal wellness seems more like fantasy than reality—because let’s be honest, at the end of a long day, the last thing any of us want to do is go to the gym.

D2522E99-C4B1-4C1B-B01E-C43AA21B0F4EThis was the mindset I had when I first walked into Thrive Massage & Wellness to interview Susan Reiser, CEO. Of course, I had read about Thrive’s Sunlighten® saunas prior to our discussion, but I hadn’t fully understood how it worked. She explained their saunas offer full spectrum infrared heat to warm up your body’s core to a cellular level, which both detoxifies and stimulates metabolic activity.

If that confuses you like it did me, think about it this way: when you are sick, your body reacts by going into a fever condition. The fever causes a hotter body, which kills unwanted intruders and stimulates the release of toxins, helping you to feel better faster. Essentially, these saunas are recreating the same condition by raising your core body temperature, making you feel better from the inside-out.

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Intrigued, I listened more to what Susan had to share, until she stopped to ask, “Want to give it a try?” (Cue flashbacks to the gym that I joined a while back, and the awkward experiences with fellow gym-goers who were a little too free in the steam sauna, if you know what I mean.) Understandably, I was a little nervous. Yet, I had been struggling with a cough and cold for most of the week, so perhaps this was just what I needed!

This is Not Your Average Sauna

I slipped into my spa ensemble (white robe and flip flops) and headed back out to my personal, pre-heated sauna—no uncomfortable gym experiences here. As I stepped into the wood-lined room, Susan showed me the settings on the wall.

She had selected Detoxification as my program, though there were several more to choose from, including Cardio, Pain Relief, Relaxation, Weight-loss, Skin Health, as well as a Custom option. She showed me the stereo system in the sauna, which could be adjusted to suit my own musical tastes (there was even smooth jazz—my favorite!), as well as the unique lights that utilize chromotherapy.

Chromotherapy is the science of using colors to adjust body vibrations to frequencies, balancing the 7 color spectrum that our bodies need to live.

Susan set my color to “Strong Blue,” a color that lubricates joints and articulations, addresses infections, stress and nervous tension. Moments later, I was ready to melt away into blissfulness.

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The screen in my sauna displayed a countdown clock, informing me how much time I had left in my session. It read, “37 minutes,” and I began to worry. Am I going to be able to sit here that long? I usually only last 10 minutes in the steam sauna at the gym! A few minutes later, I realized I had nothing to worry about. After all, this was not your average sauna.

I was the epitome of coziness as I leaned up against the black, mesh-covered heaters. I hardly noticed that the temperature had risen to a balmy 132 degrees. 25 minutes into my session, I finally began to feel sweat beading up across my forehead and my body. I looked again at the clock. I had 12 minutes left to enjoy the relaxation in my own little paradise and that was exactly what I intended to do. I rested my head back against the nook of the corner, and restfully shut my eyes.

A Massage that Fixed Problems I Never Knew I Had

Following my sauna, I met with Tammy Brady, my massage therapist for the afternoon. Before getting started, she asked whether I had any areas that were causing me trouble. Moments later, after a few more questions and a brief description of her style, we got started.

Tammy skillfully worked from head to toe, deftly finding knots and pains and alleviating any remaining tightness. The sauna, which had warmed and relaxed all of my muscles and joints, had perfectly primed me for this massage. I was completely “zenned-out.” I may have even dosed off once or twice. Because my muscles were so well heated, Tammy was able to work more deeply into the tissue, reaching and relieving tension I didn’t even know I had.

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I didn’t want my time at Thrive Massage & Wellness to end, but reality awaited me. As I headed back into the locker room to freshen up, I felt more than just relaxed—I felt centered, balanced, and calm. My time both in the sauna and on the massage table had given a feeling that I hadn’t had in a long time: renewal.

As I headed out into the lobby, I reminded myself of the piece of advice I’d frequently been given: take care of yourself. At Thrive, I was able to do just that. My trip was certainly more than just a spa treatment; it was a step towards finally living a healthy life—without the crowded gym workout or scaring locker room experiences. I had done something that was beneficial for my personal wellness, and it felt sooo good. So the next time that I realize I’m not taking care of myself the way I should be? You can bet that I’ll be scheduling in Thrive time on my calendar, and I can’t wait to go back.

To learn more about Gahanna’s Herbal Trail, many attractions, restaurants, hotels, parks and events, check out VisitGahanna.com

 

Kindred Artisan Ales Brings Belgian Brewing (and a cool Tasting Room) to Gahanna

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Just six months into their opening in Gahanna, Kindred Artisan Ales has already established a strong reputation for its craft beers and (really) cool tasting room. We caught up with KAA’s Head Brewer, Max Lachowyn, to find out what’s on tap for fall.  

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Q: When & how was Kindred Artisan Ales established?

We were established in the fall of 2014 and opened our brewery and Tasting Room in April 2016

Q:  What inspired you to start Kindred?

Kindred was a collaboration between myself, a local investor group and Patrick Gangwer who manages our sour barrel-aging program.

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Q: Why did you choose Gahanna as the home for Kindred Artisan Ales? 

Gahanna had the real estate required for our operation as well as a vibrant community of folks who we are proud to serve our beer to. The citizens and City Hall have been very supportive of our mission since day one.

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Q: What sets your ales apart? 

We brew many different types of ales at Kindred but what we bring to the area that is a little different is a focus on Belgian brewing tradition and mixed fermentation ales. The latter are typically aged in wine barrels through a secondary fermentation from wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria. These beers offer a pleasing tartness and complexity and are often refermented with fruit and spices. The various barrels come together as a unique blend, much like wine, before going through a natural carbonation process in the bottle. This process can take anywhere from 6 months to a few years but we hope to release a small number of bottles by the end of 2016.

Aside from these specialty ales, we produce a plethora of different beers in our production brewery such as our Kindred Wit, Farmhouse Pale Ale and Salvage Porter. We have just started filling six packs, so keep an eye out for Kindred on store shelves in the coming weeks.

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Q: Any recommended chews to go with those brews?

We believe that good beer should always go well with food so we strive to create balanced and refreshing beers at all costs. Our Kindred Wit pairs especially well with lighter fare like greens, fish and chicken. Farmhouse Pale Ale, or “FPA” as we affectionately call it, has a lot of floral and citrusy hop character that pairs nicely with spicy food. Our Salvage Porter pairs well with smoked meats, chocolate and crisp fall weather.

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Q: Since Kindred is located in “Ohio’s Herb Capital,” have you created any ales or cocktails that celebrate this designation w/ herb infusions?

For special occasions we have infused some of our beers with various herbs like thyme and basil. This tends to work well with our Belgian-style beers that already possess nice spicy characteristics from our yeast. We have talked pretty seriously about brewing an herb-centric beer next summer to commemorate Gahanna as our state’s herb capital.

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Q:  What’s on tap for fall?

Salvage Porter has just been released in kegs around Columbus with six-packs right around the corner. This dark ale is brewed with three types of English roasted malts to create a subtle earthy bitterness with flavors of dark chocolate and burnt caramel. Right now at the Tasting Room we have some coffee infusions on tap with plenty more variations to come. Salvage is a fun beer for us to play around with.

Q: What’s YOUR favorite Kindred ale?

My personal favorite is the Kindred Wit. It’s a very refreshing and bright beer. As I mentioned earlier, I feel it goes well with many different food dishes. It is brewed with coriander, orange peel and chamomile and possesses balanced flavor and soft mouthfeel.

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Q: Where else can people find Kindred Artisan Ales? 

Visit KindredAles.com for more information about us and our beer. Also, wee are active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And Kindred will soon be sending six packs of Kindred Wit, Salvage Porter and Farmhouse Pale Ale to bottle shops and grocery stores in the central Columbus area.

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Visit Kindred Artisan Ales:
505 Morrison Rd, Gahanna, OH 43230
(614) 528-1227

Hours:
Tuesday – Friday: 4pm-12am
Saturday: 12 noon-12 midnight
Sunday: 12 noon-10pm
(Happy Hour Everyday from 4- 7pm)

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To learn more about the breweries, restaurants, eateries and attractions in Gahanna, Ohio, go to VisitGahanna.com 

 

 

Blank Slate Coffee’s “Art at the Airstream” Celebrates Local

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If you’ve driven through Gahanna Ohio’s Creekside District any time during the past several months, you’ve likely noticed the large shiny Airstream trailer that sits in front of 167 Mill St. It’s the home of locally owned and operated Blank Slate Coffee … a small haven filled with great coffee, good people and inspiration. The business is taking the next step in its mission to build community by hosting “Art at the Airstream” on September 17. We chatted with owner Matthew Robertson, to learn more.

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Artist: @yeeah_me/ photographer: @dir.nathanwilliam 


What’s your basic business philosophy? 

As residents of Gahanna, my wife and I believe in the importance of community.  We ascribe to the philosophy that, “A rising tide lifts all boats” and working to build up our community will be beneficial to all.  We use coffee to build community.

Tell us about your upcoming event, “Art at the Airstream.” 
Art at the Airstream (7-9 pm, Saturday, September 17th) will feature local visual artists as well as live musicians from the Greater Columbus area.  Several of the artists are current Gahanna residents.  Attendees are encouraged to view the work from each artist, enjoy the live music and consider supporting our growing art community by purchasing from a local artist.

 

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What inspired you to offer this event? 
We were inspired by the glimpses of incredible local talent we were seeing, and motivated by the fact that currently there is not a solid, grassroots platform to allow those artists to be more visible.  We see the value in highlighting that aspect of our community and are happy to make the investment.

Where should people park during the event? 
Blank Slate Coffee is just a short walk from the Creekside parking garage, and there are a couple of small parking lots available next to and across the street from the event.

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Is there an admission charge?
There is no charge. Attendees are encouraged to support the artists and musicians in whatever way they are able.

Where can people go to learn more?

Our Facebook page is a good source of information.

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To learn more about Gahanna, check out VisitGahanna.com – the official website of the Gahanna OH Convention & Visitors Bureau.

 

Gahanna Amplified: Join the Conversation (and be heard)

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Do you know someone who can’t seem to put his or her phone down?  You know the type … they’re always on Facebook, always posting about what they are eating or what they did, or what they are happy – or angry – about.  Are you that person?  Well, they – or you – are not alone.

Did you know that the internet has 3.17 billion users and an estimated 2.3 billion active social media users? According to a recent study by Brandwatch, 1 million new active mobile social users are added every day. That’s 12 new users each second!  Google averages 40,000 search queries a second.  And Facebook?  With 500,000 new users added per day …that’s 5 new profiles per second!

Think about the number of messages we see/receive on any given day.  As a business owner or community stakeholder, how can you be sure your message is being seen and heard … especially by those you are most interested in reaching?

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In Gahanna alone, on Facebook, there are MANY community pages competing for attention. These include, Visit Gahanna, City of Gahanna, Gahanna Park & Recreation, Creekside Gahanna, Gahanna Chamber of Commerce, Take Back Gahanna, Unite Gahanna, Gahanna Business Connection, We Are Gahanna, Gahanna-A Great Hometown, Gahanna Community Group, Creative Solutions for a Sustainable City – Gahanna, and many others.

The Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau recognized the need for community business owners, stakeholders, residents and anyone who loves/works/plays in Gahanna to learn more about how we can unify our messages regarding ALL that our city offers to those who are invested here—AND how we can attract visitors, potential new residents, and new business owners.

To that end, the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau will offer a free community workshop entitled, Gahanna Amplified: Creating Clarity + Promoting Community from 8:30-10 am on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at La Navona (154 N. Hamilton Rd. Gahanna). Breakfast is included. RSVPs are required, and seating is limited.

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The workshop will begin with a presentation by Bryan Haviland, President & CEO/ Frazier Heiby PR.  Recently named by Columbus Business First as “Someone You Should Know,” Bryan is a strategic leader, creative marketer and career communications professional, with more than 30 years of experience in all practices of public relations, integrated marketing, communications, operations and team management.  He has worked with both Fortune 100 corporations and in agency settings … and he has worked with community and civic leaders to help them create effective approaches to communications. He will present an overview of the power of unified messaging, presenting case studies from other communities.

The second part of the program will feature Betsy Decillis, President & Chief Content Officer at Betsy A. Decillis (BAD) Consulting. Betsy is a seasoned social media expert who works with cities, destinations and individual businesses to help increase their presence and build brand recognition on social media. She will discuss recent social media trends, share tactics and tools, and offer simple hands-on strategies that can be useful to social media users of all levels.

We invite you to join us on the morning of September 15.  We’re confident that you’ll walk away with some great information about the power of strong communications in building both business and community. #VisitGahanna

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RSVPs required; seating limited.  There is no cost to attend, and a continental breakfast will be served.  (To reserve your seat, contact Mary Szymkowiak at the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau at:  MSzymko@VisitGahanna.com or ask for Mary at 614/418-9114.

 

 

Gahanna Artist’s “Rustic” Creations Garner International Attention

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Using cast-off license plates in unique ways, Gahanna Ohio resident and artist Floyd Appleman has created a thriving business called Rustic Apple Art that is capturing international attention. As fans of his work (after he participated in our Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau events including the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival and Holiday Lights Celebration) we chatted with Floyd to learn more about his journey … 

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What is Rustic Apple Art and when was it established?
We create and sell license plate signs, art, and other rustic pieces.  I created it in early 2015 and we have grown a lot in a short time.

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What inspired you to start creating this kind of art?
My mom was an avid crafter and decorator when I was growing up (and she still is).  She decorated our house, at first for every holiday, and has moved into a theme for every month. (June features cows for national dairy month.)  My dad LOVES cars and I have been to many car shows with him over the years (’56 Chevy Bel Aire is his favorite).  The combination of my hobbies through the years and my mom and dad’s influences helped inspire me to create Rustic Apple Art.

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What is your background?  
I have degree in Finance from The Ohio State University and a “masters” in enjoying colors, travel, and people, which go along nicely with collecting and creating with license plates.  I enjoy creating pieces for people when they bring me their plates.  To hear the stories of a family’s travels and life experiences when they had those plates along for the ride makes the art piece—made with those plates—mean so much more to my customers. I love being able to help customers create a nostalgic art piece out of something that was previously stored in a box in the garage or basement. For customers who don’t have their old plates tucked away somewhere, I have plenty of plates to create something that will be meaningful for them.

How do you find your materials?
I have been a license plate collector for years and after running out of room to store them, I started creating pieces to sell to support my habit. Flea markets, eBay, Craigslist, and donations have helped me build my collection of plates.  I love the nostalgia that goes with each of my creations.  I think it’s pretty cool knowing that an old Ohio plate, say from 1966, once traveled and was destined to be put in my hands to create a custom Ohio sign for someone.

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What inspires your designs?  
How I live my life inspires my designs.  I’m a very positive person and that leads to many license plate signs that have a positive message such as “Dream Big” and “Be Epic.” My love of World War II aviation history has led to plane designs and my love of animals led me to “FIN,” my 6 foot long license plate shark, plus the cardinal–which is my wife’s favorite piece.

What’s the most unusual piece you’ve ever created? 
I often do customized pieces in which I add a family name or phrase by request. Occasionally I take on more complex commissioned work.  A piece I just completed was the Pathfinder badge for a military family.  It was a little outside my comfort zone design-wise, but I like to take on projects like this every once in a while, to help me grow as an artist.

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How has your business grown over the past few years? 
My brother and I started out in a few flea markets and really received great feedback from customers.  Columbus has a strong Made Local community and we were fortunate enough to get accepted in several local retailers specializing in locally made products.  We are now in 9 locations around Ohio and continue to do festivals and Ohio arts and crafts shows. Country Living magazine even contacted us recently and featured one of our pieces in the July/ August issue. That really increased our online and social media presence.

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What makes Gahanna a good place for your business?  
Gahanna festivals have been getting bigger and bigger every year.  We moved to Gahanna 14 years ago and are so happy to be raising our family here.  The Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival in 2015 was our first big show and the Visit Gahanna team that put on the show could not have been any more supportive. We had the pleasure of participating in the festival again this summer, as well as the Holiday Lights Celebration last November. I love sharing my work with the community that I call home!  I buy a lot of my supplies locally from Gahanna Hardware.  Twyla and the staff there are amazing. They have assisted me with supplies for my business and many home improvement projects. They even started telling customers they can drop off license plate donations for us, which makes for a great example of Gahanna businesses supporting each other.

 What’s the furthest your art has ever “traveled” to find a new home? (As far as you know.) 
I sold a piece to couple from Norway who were visiting Ohio, and I have shipped a sign to a pub owner in England.  The pub owner ended up emailing me and wanted to know what state each letter was from so he could tell his patrons when they asked.

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Where can people find your art?   

Online:  RusticAppleArt.com  or my Etsy shop: RusticAppleArt.Etsy.com

Social Media: Rustic Apple Art on Facebook, @RusticAppleArt on Instagram and Twitter

Retail Stores:

  • Celebrate Local at Easton and Liberty Center (Cincinnati)
  • Simply Vague at Tuttle Crossing and Polaris malls
  • Wholly Craft on High Street
  • Ohio Made in Pickerington
  • Urban Emporium in Bexley
  • Heart & Soul in Lancaster

Anything advice for those who are looking for follow their creative passion? 
I love passionate people and I want to reassure people that they really can achieve anything they want in life with hard work.  One of my favorite quotes is from Denzel Washington: “Dreams without goals remain dreams.” (There’s a great YouTube video also). Write your goals down, then read them every day and go after them with discipline and consistent action.  My current success is due to others giving me this same message that nothing is impossible and you don’t fail unless you give up.  Never give up!

Haulin’ Out the Holly in August: Gahanna Style

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It’s hot, hot, hot!  But at the Visit Gahanna office (Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau), we’re thinking winter … when the air is cooler, visitors are bundled up and sipping hot chocolate, and Santa is on his way!

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The Visit Gahanna team, along with the Holiday Lights Planning Committee, is immersed in preparations for the upcoming holidays.  As we plan and program this year’s Holiday Lights Celebration, one thing is vital for the success of the event… YOUR participation!

Presented by Visit Gahanna, the Holiday Lights Celebration – Gahanna’s beloved annual holiday kickoff – will be held from 2-7 pm on Sunday, November 20. Like magic, the city’s Creekside District becomes illuminated with thousands of tiny lights and visitors taking part in activities that include a live reindeer petting zoo, horse-drawn carriage rides, crafts, games, bands and a host of dazzling surprises. The appearance of Santa signals the countdown to the lighting of Gahanna’s community tree. The Holiday Lights Celebration attracts 10,000+ people to Gahanna each year, and the event has become an annual family tradition for thousands of Central Ohio residents and visitors.

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And this is just the beginning of the holiday season in Gahanna!  Other fun Holiday Lights events include …

Planning these awesome community events (and hosting a holiday party for thousands!) isn’t possible without sponsor and volunteer support.  By getting involved, you’ll become a part of a treasured community tradition (and you’ll deepen your own sense of happiness and philanthropy).  It isn’t a question of investing large donations of time and money.  We all tend to think, “Go big or go home.”  But that’s not true.  Even investing small increments of time and sponsorship funding can make a significant impact on our community.

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Here’s how you can help:

  1. Become a Sponsor! This is the perfect event to create a community partnership for your business that will generate visibility for your brand AND show your support to Gahanna residents and visitors.
  2. Volunteer.  Whether you are helping with set-up, greeting attendees, or providing visitor information, you’ll have fun meeting new people and supporting your community.
  3. Start a New Holiday Tradition by Volunteering as a Family. Planting the seeds of volunteerism in the youngest of individuals creates a lifelong mission of purpose and service that is vital to every community, and it provides great personal satisfaction, too!
  4. Become a Retail Vendor. Booth space is available at the Holiday Lights Celebration to show-off your creative side and market your retail products to visitors.  (Vendors must complete and submit a vendor Application—available at VisitGahanna.com by August 31. Spaces are limited.)
  5. Involve Your Church or Favorite Non-Profit Organization.  Sign up for a booth, involve your members, and offer a fun family-centered activity where you can interact with attendees and create awareness for your mission.  (Must complete and submit a Vendor Application.)
  6. Provide Holiday Music and Entertainment.  Are you part of a performance group that sings, dances or entertainment?  Share your talents and help us to create a warm holiday spirit for everyone!  (To inquire about participating, send an email to info@visitgahanna.com, with the subject line:  Holiday Lights Entertainment)

breakfastNow is the time for you to feel “cool” by making a positive impact on your neighborhood and community.  Visit Gahanna recognizes that every individual and every business has different approaches of investing in this memorable holiday event.  Contact Susan Peters at speters@visitgahanna.com or call the Visit Gahanna office (614/418-9114) to find out more information about the many options and opportunities for you to be a part of the Holiday Lights Celebration!

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~Post by Susan Peters, Business & Events Manager at the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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The Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (GCVB) mission is to promote Gahanna as a vibrant destination. The GCVB also plans and programs signature events including the annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival (June) and the Holiday Lights Celebration (November-December).  These family-friendly Gahanna events earn significant media attention in print, radio, television, and on-line social media impressions, create awareness so that these events continue to grow in both popularity and national awareness creating additional valued benefits to our partners, sponsors, and community. To learn more, call 614/418-9114.