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two artists are finalists in martha stewart competition

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:00am
Two local artists are finalists in the national Martha Stewart American Made Awards: Liza Rifkin in the style/jewelry category and Gina DeSantis as a wildcard in the crafts/ceramics, pottery and glass category. Rifkin owns Liza Michelle Jewelry in Ohio City and DeSantis owns Gina DeDantis Ceramics in Lakewood’s Screw Factory. The Martha Stewart American Made Awards recognize makers, creative entrepreneurs and small business owners in crafts, design, food and style.   Liza Rifkin draws inspiration from her natural surroundings. Things like twigs, berries and pinecones she finds in Ohio City end up transformed into original jewelry at her studio and shop on Bridge Avenue. Each of her creations are named after Ohio City streets. Rifkin also makes custom designs and wedding rings.   “I make one-of-a-kind multi-crafted jewelry inspired by nature,” Rifkin explains. “I cast, fabricate and photograph everything in-house. I typically go ‘twigging’ once a week to gather new twigs and such.” A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Rifkin opened Liza Michelle Jewelry in 2010.   Rifkin nominated herself for this year’s competition after hearing that another local designer, Brian Andrew Jasinski of Grey Cardigan, had entered last year’s competition. “A few people suggested I nominate myself for it,” Rifkin recalls. “I decided I was going to do it. With all the support it’s been really great.”   DeSantis also draws her inspiration from nature. But she also is partial to color in her designs. “I don’t do neutrals,” she says. “I’m a child of the ‘80s. I love purple.” DeSantis first went to Lorain County Community College to study graphic design, but never made it to her first class when she discovered the potter’s wheel. She went on to earn her degree in ceramics from Kent State University. DeSantis’ work can be found around town at the Banyan Tree and Urban Orchid, and nationally through Uncommon Goods.    The competition is stiff: 16 judges selected 800 finalists and 200 wild card finalists. The judges will choose nine winners and the public will vote for a tenth winner. Voting opened on Monday and goes through October 13. Fans can vote up to six times a day until voting closes. Readers can vote for both Rifkin, and DeSantis.   The winner will receive $10,000, an opportunity to be featured in Martha Stewart media and a trip to the awards ceremony in New York. Despite the competition, DeSantis and Rifkin are actually friends. "I'm wearing one of her necklaces right now," says DeSantis.

cpt's pandemonium, a visual recap

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:00am
Pandemonium, Cleveland Public Theatre’s annual benefit and art party, is known as one of the wildest, most spectacular events in the city. That description certainly captured the spirit and tone of this year’s festivities. Here is a visual recap courtesy of Fresh Water photographer Bob Perkoski.

western reserve school of cooking extends reach from hudson to downtown cleveland

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 12:00am
The Hudson-based Western Reserve School of Cooking (WRSOC) has been in existence for 42 years. It provides a variety of classes for professionals, amateurs and kids and features a small retail space stocked with kitchen gadgets. Now the institution is expanding to a storefront adjacent to Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen (CCLK), a pay-as-you-go commercial kitchen and food business incubator that is located at 2800 Euclid. The cooking school will open by the end of the year. "It's a complementary relationship, and we're excited for the classes to start," says Carolyn Priemer, one of the founders of CCLK. "Previously, we had food, but we didn't have a space for entertainment and events." Priemer also has hired Carl St. John, co-owner of WRSOC, to manage the CCLK kitchen. The new WRSOC will sell a limited range of kitchen gadgets and offer products created by CCLK's food-based businesses, which include Saucisson butchery, Cleveland Kraut and Red Lotus Foods. CCLK entrepreneurs also will help teach classes, workshops and demonstrations at the new school.  St. John and his wife and partner Catherine are opening the cooking school to tap into a new market in Cleveland and join the city's food scene. They will offer single classes geared towards amateur cooks and use the space for corporate team-building events and other functions. The storefront can fit at least 30 to 40 people for cooking classes, and more for a demonstration. St. John says the event space also will be available for rentals.  WRSOC offers classes in bread making, cake decorating, sushi rolling and more. There are Friday night date night classes and weeklong classes for professionals (these will remain in Hudson). Many are taught by Catherine, an experienced chef, but there are guest instructors as well. St. John says he hopes to partner with PlayhouseSquare and other institutions to offer an evening of entertainment where participants cook their own meal and then see a show. St. John says the classes have grown in popularity. WRSOC is far more affordable than a fully-accredited cooking school, yet offers professionals a chance to break into the industry without the coveted degree. Over the years, the school has seen many of its graduates go on to work in the restaurant industry. "The cooking school [in Hudson] is going great, but space is our biggest issue," says St. John. "We're turning down private events and corporate team-building events because we can only host 12 to 14 people. In our new space, we'll be able to have 30-40 people, and more for demos." 

who went where? a roundup of recently filled positions

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 12:00am
Several Cleveland companies have new faces on their staffs. Here’s a rundown of who’s in new positions.   Ben Faller is the Home Repair Resource Center’s new executive director. Since 2009, Faller has served as a staff attorney and chief housing specialist for the Cleveland Housing Court, working to expand the court’s problem-solving programs and engaging in outreach and policy work on housing and property issues. He previously worked for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland on housing issues and operated his own small business as a general contractor, specializing in residential remodeling. Ben is currently an adjunct professor of law at CWRU and serves as the board chairperson for Larchmere PorchFest. 2005 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Bill Nemeth has signed on to lead JumpStart's Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program after exiting his own company, Mirifex Systems, which was named the fastest-growing IT consulting firm in the United States in the 2005 Inc. 500 list. In his role, Nemeth connects JumpStart’s network of experts with entrepreneurs who need advice and guidance.   Marilyn Mosinski is the new director of business recruitment and development for Slavic Village Development, where she will work with area businesses and recruit new commercial retail and industrial companies to the area. Mosinski joins Slavic Village Development from MidTown Cleveland, where she was manager of planning and development. She is a lifelong Slavic Village resident, and has been active in the neighborhood’s growth and success.   Have a new hire to share? Email Karin with the details and we’ll spread the word!  

making sustainability in cleveland the new business-as-usual

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 12:00am
In the past five years, Cleveland has made significant progress towards becoming a “green city on a blue lake.” This year’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 summit will focus on leveraging those successes. But how sustainable are we? A new report examines key indicators and highlights some of the newest, greenest projects across the city. 

twist creative to relocate, expand in new fairmont creamery offices

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 12:00am
Twist Creative, a small design firm that was founded in Ohio City 15 years ago, is expanding into a larger, custom-designed space at the Fairmont Creamery in Tremont. In part, the move was prompted by the need to consolidate its space, which is spread out over four floors in a building at West 28th and Lorain. Yet the firm also wanted room to grow, as revenues have doubled in recent years and there are plans to hire additional staff. "We definitely wanted to stay downtown or in the surrounding neighborhoods," says founder and design director Connie Ozan. "We have employees and clients on both sides of town. There's a lot of energy here that contributes to our culture." Ozan and her team landed at the Fairmont Creamery thanks to the opportunity to custom build space and be part of a larger project. "We're at the beginning of the revitalization of this area, a new phase of Tremont development," says Ozan. Twist's new offices will be located on one floor, and the space is designed to be more open and collaborative. The interior will have new mechanicals and finishes as well as improved technology features. The design blends old and new, with high ceilings, cement flooring and traditional architectural features like columns. The Creamery's new rooftop garden and deck will be an added bonus. Ozan and her coworkers are looking forward to relaxing with views of downtown Cleveland, and also entertaining clients there. The presence of the Tremont Athletic Club also is a plus as Twist encourages a healthy work-life balance. The entire Fairmont Creamery project is slated to be complete by November. Twist Creative anticipates moving into its new offices sometime in October.  

naturalization ceremony, celebration of diversity on tap at this year's one world fest

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 12:00am
Clevelanders will celebrate its diversity through artistic performance this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13 and 14 at the second annual Cleveland One World Festival. Taking place at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens at Rockefeller Park, the event will feature a variety of arts and activities for all ages, from a parade and performances on a dozen stages to international sporting competitions and art exhibits. Vendors and food trucks will offer authentic ethnic food and drinks.    But for Clara Jaramillo, the One World Festival holds particular significance. She will become a U.S. citizen during the festival’s naturalization ceremony. Jaramillo is one of 25 people participating in the ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday.   “We’re excited about it,” Jaramillo says of becoming a U.S. citizen. “It’s been a long adventure.”   Born in Cali, Colombia, and raised in Medellin since she was eight, Jaramillo moved to San Antonio in 2000 with her husband, Jorge Zapata, for his career as an engineer in the medical field. From San Antonio, Zapata joined Phillips Medical Systems and they moved to San Jose, California, for eight years. They had two sons, Daniel and Nicolas, before they relocated to Cleveland nearly five years ago.   Jaramillo and Zapata settled in Chagrin Falls. “The schools are great, the boys are very happy,” Jaramillo says. “It’s a great place to raise a family. It’s quiet and the quality of life and the schools are much better. We think we’re going to stay here for good.”   Jaramillo is excited about becoming a U.S. citizen. “We’d like to be a part of the system, to be able to vote, to travel the world. As Colombians, we have to apply for visas to go to other countries.”   However, Jaramillo admits she is a bit nervous about the ceremony. “I’m normally very, very shy so it will be interesting,” she says. “It’s nice; it’s going to be a good moment to share with a lot of people.”   Zapata will receive his citizenship in a separate ceremony.

insider's guide to cleveland museums: curators show off their favorite artifacts

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 12:00am
For every well-regarded artifact on display in Cleveland’s world-class museums there are countless more that fly under the radar. Fresh Water tagged along with curators from area museums as they showed off their favorite hidden gems, sharing often untold stories and behind-the-scenes peeks at choice treasures. 

wire-net survey shows manufacturers in cleveland are doing well, optimistic

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 12:00am
In its third quarter manufacturing outlook survey, WIRE-Net, a non-profit economic development organization for the manufacturing industry in Northeast Ohio, found that Cleveland area manufacturers are having a good year and are optimistic that business will continue to be good.   Of the 89 WIRE-Net members who participated in the survey, half of the companies reported they anticipated increased profits in the upcoming year and 31 percent expected profits to equal last year. The majority of the companies were small manufacturers, with fewer than 50 employees and sales under $10 million annually.   In previous years, the top two concerns of WIRE-Net members were around attracting qualified workers and sales and new customers. This year, while respondents still reported that talent attraction was a top concern, other priorities shifted to costs.   “They are now talking materials, the Affordable Care Act and electricity costs,” explains Julie King, WIRE-Net’s vice president of resource development and communications. “Sales and customers must be flowing because it wasn’t a barrier. So that’s how we know companies are doing well.”   Tom Schullman, general manager of E.C. Kitzel and Sons, a tool manufacturer for the automotive, aerospace, small appliance and mining industries, participated in the survey and agrees with the results.   The 30-person company has started to see an increase in business this year. “Toward the end of the second quarter we saw kind of an uptick in business and it’s carried over into the third quarter,” he says.   Schullman describes sales as “brisk,” which bodes well for the overall manufacturing ecosystem. “We sell tooling and that’s considered a commodity -- our customers don’t purchase unless they have a need for it,” he explains. “We’ve added new customers in the last six months. The primary thing is our customers are getting busier and it’s causing them to increase orders to us.”   Among WIRE-Net members, manufacturing accounts for 21,000 jobs and $1 billion in wages in Northeast Ohio, which in turn is the engine behind 13,000 additional non-manufacturing jobs.  

container store: small box cleveland announces first tenants

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 12:00am
Small Box Cleveland, an effort to lure more retailers downtown by converting used shipping containers into small storefronts, will open its first shop on Sunday, September 14th. The Cleveland Browns have signed on to the project, with the team opening a merchandise store just in time for football season. In a few weeks, two additional independent stores, the Banyan Tree and the Wandering Wardrobe, also will open new ventures inside refurbished containers. "This is an exciting time for the city with the growth of downtown, and it's important for us to be part of that," says Brent Stehlik, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for the Browns. "We see this as an opportunity for us to reach fans with a different approach. It's a way to reach new audiences." Small Box is a project of the Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation (HWDDC). The new stores will be located on a parking lot at West 6th and St. Clair owned by Weston Inc., a development company that donated nine parking spaces for the project. Small Box is intended to be a creative solution to the retail conundrum in downtown Cleveland -- that is, residents, visitors and office workers say they want more retail options, yet many retailers are not ready to take the plunge until there's proven demand. On top of that, many downtown spaces are larger or more expensive than retailers want. Tom Starinsky, Associate Director of HWDDC, says that he developed the small box idea after learning about a similar project in Brooklyn. He saw it as a way to seed the viability of new downtown retail, and also to test how feasible it would be to redevelop surface parking lots for new mixed-used development. After a successful crowdfunding campaign -- more than 100 individuals donated a total of $20,000 to the project -- and additional fundraising, Small Box was ready to go. Each container store costs $20,000 to build. Cleveland Container StructuresWolf Maison Architects and 44 Steel designed and fabricated the structures. Tenants are being charged modest rents that help cover HWDDC's costs to run the project. HWDDC also plans to create a small park at the corner of West 6th and St. Clair using recycled materials to build out the space. The concrete will be painted green to imitate grass, benches will be made from pallets upholstered with AstroTurf, and fencing will be made from pieces of shipping containers. It will have a "front lawn feel" with an urban vibe, says Starinsky. The 8’ x 20’ shipping containers front the sidewalk. The contractor cut holes in the fronts of them and installed custom-built storefront window systems. The interiors will have electricity to power lighting, heat and air conditioning. The spaces are insulated with OSB board but have no plumbing. Tenants have the ability to paint their own boxes and add creative signage. Starinsky says the aim was to attract established independent tenants that would add to the downtown area without poaching from other retail districts. He couldn't be happier. "The tenant mix is pretty perfect," he says. "We have a national business, an established small business and an entrepreneurial business." Small Box is hosting special events this fall and during the holiday season, and additional retailers will be invited to special outdoor markets. The shops will be open five days a week initially, and weekends-only during the holidays. Leases run through March 2015, at which point tenants will have the option to renew. Starinsky wants to grow the project and add more container stores to the mix. If the site gets developed by Weston or another investor, the shipping containers can be relocated to another site to seed the next wave of downtown development. Small Box is making it possible for the two smaller retailers to try out new shops downtown. Christie Murdoch of the Banyan Tree says she's thrilled to be opening Banyan Box, a small gift, art and apparel store that will function as a cozier, more selective version of her Tremont location, which has been successful for the past 13 years. "This is such a cool concept, and I'm excited to be part of a surge of retail to go into downtown Cleveland," she says. "There are plenty of great restaurants downtown, but retail is just something that completes a town." Additional support for the Small Box project was provided by Weston Inc., Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Sherwin Williams, Sign-Lite, Enterprise Community Partners, Ohio Savings Bank and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.

SOUP's on: meal-based micro-grant program for creative projects takes root in cleveland

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00am
Based on the dinner-party model, Cleveland SOUP provides financial support for innovative, locally based initiatives that touch on sustainability, public art and diversity. As garnering funds can often be one of the tallest hurdles for independent upstarts, SOUP has helped offset those costs in more than 60 cities.

travel writer discovers 'the quirky side of cleveland'

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00am
In feature titled “Discovering the quirky side of Cleveland,” travel writer Katherine Calos of the Richmond Times-Dispatch focuses on the less conventional side of some Cleveland hotspots.   “You really know a city when you know its quirks. So, let’s get to know Cleveland,” she leads off. “Where else would you find the world’s largest chandelier hanging over a city street, Froot Loops on hot dogs, religious statues lovingly restored by a makeup artist, a leg lamp in the Christmas house that made it famous, a portrait featuring eye protection from whale-oil lamps and a museum that’s enshrined the remains of a disc jockey?” Highlighted for inclusion are: The Happy Dog: “Chili cheese dogs seem a little lame when compared with the Mobile Home-Wrecker, the Sunday Night Special, the 1:45 AM Special and East Meets West -- a few of the suggestions for combining the 50 available toppings for the $5 hot dogs.” The Playhouse Square Chandelier: “The world’s largest outdoor chandelier, according to the Guinness World Records, became the centerpiece of Cleveland’s theater district in May. It’s already become an icon for Playhouse Square.” A Christmas Story House: “If you’ve ever marveled at the supreme tackiness of the leg lamp in the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story,” you’ll love it in its natural setting.” Cleveland Museum of Art: “Put on your coolest shades for a ‘selfie’ with Nathaniel Olds. That’s what he did when he sat for a portrait in 1837. His fashionable green-tinted eyeglasses offered protection from the bright light of Argand lamps, which produced about 10 times as much light as other whale-oil lamps.”   Read the rest right here.

charlotte writer visits home -- superman’s home that is

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00am
In a travel feature titled “At home -- really -- with Superman,” Charlotte Observer writer John Bordsen spends some quality time in the Cleveland home where Superman was born. “Superman, the story goes, was born on the planet Krypton and sent to Earth in a small rocket by his father when that planet was about to explode. He was actually born in 1933 in a two-story bungalow in a scruffy neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland, probably in the attic.” The home, in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood, was the residence of the Siegel family, whose son Jerry created most famous superhero. Jerry wrote the story while his neighborhood friend Joe Shuster drew the cartoon. Superman’s inaugural appearance was in Action Comics’ first issue, published in 1938. “Drawing from Tarzan books and comic strips and Tarzan movie star Johnny Weissmuller, plus Dick Tracy, Buck Rogers and other pop idols, their Superman gradually evolved from a villainous mastermind to a good guy with super powers and a secret identity.”   Read more here.

recently profiled holmes applesauce exceeds fundraising goals, looks ahead

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00am
It’s been a busy month for Ethan Holmes, founder of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce. The 20-year-old took home $500 from Entrovation earlier this summer before moving into the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen (CCLK). He then launched an Indiegogo campaign in hopes of raising $1,500, but raised $2,274. He also received 100 pre-orders and produced 400 jars, or 5,000 ounces, of his original and cinnamon applesauce in two days during his first session at CCLK. “Producing in the kitchen was challenging,” Holmes says. “I had never made such large quantities in such a short period of time.” But with the help of friends and family, Holmes filled his orders, then hand-delivered jars of applesauce in gift bags to all of the local contributors to the campaign.   Holmes plans to sell heavily at local farmers markets this fall and is in talks with area restaurants about some menu collaborations. He also is waiting to hear from some retailers about carrying the applesauce.   Holmes headed back to college last weekend feeling optimistic about the future of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce. “It felt amazing to surpass my goal,” he says. “It was unbelievable to have so much support from family, friends and those interested in my product. I tried crowdfunding a year ago on Kickstarter and failed my goal, so having the strength to try again and actually being successful this time is such a great feeling to have.”

how the arts inspire change in detroit

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00am
In Detroit, art isn’t just something to look at. The city’s rich artistic tradition has been an essential ingredient for cultivating community resilience, engagement and vitality.

reps from prior convention host cities offer tips on how best to leverage the big show

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00am
Tampa Bay successfully hosted the Republicans in 2012, and Denver hosted the Democrats four years before that. Fresh Water decided to reach out to representatives from each city to see if our fair city could glean some best practices on how to pull off a successful -- and inclusive -- convention.

new owners transform winchester music hall into the bevy with live music and food

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00am
The Winchester Music Hall, a classic Lakewood venue that closed late last year after a decades-long run, will soon enjoy a new lease on life as The Bevy in Birdtown, a restaurant and music venue set to open next month. New owners Patty Lim and Beth Scebbi of New Century Builders have completely refreshed the space. The bar area has new flooring, a new ceiling, fresh paint and custom-designed lighting crafted from old wine bottles. There are eight draft beer lines, and a new kitchen will allow for a full-service menu that is scheduled to start sometime in October. "We felt that Madison Avenue is really going to be taking over," says Lim. "Detroit Avenue is at its peak, and this is the next phase of development in Lakewood." County records show that Dially's Investment Group LLC purchased the building for $150,000 in July from previous owner James Mileti. The building needed to be updated, and the new owners are not only renovating the space, but also adding some new touches that will likely make the Bevy a popular destination spot. Lim and Sceibbi have cleaned up the historic sandstone and brick exterior, and they're adding a prominent sign featuring The Bevy's logo (a martini glass with birds flying around it -- how cool is that?). They're also adding a large sidewalk patio to take advantage of the building's deep sidewalk. Next year, they plan to transform a lovely brick nook alongside the building into a second patio area. The Bevy will feature a full lineup of entertainment scheduled to start later this year. Lim plans to hire not only bands playing rock, blues, jazz and other styles, but also comedians. She's not worried about competition from The Music Box, Vosh, Mahall's 20 Lanes or other nearby venues, saying "the more the merrier." The music hall, which is located in a former bowling alley, will become a bit cozier thanks to the addition of a private party room and offices in the rear. The party room will be nicknamed The Winchester, and the owners plan to keep the historic logo that's painted on the wall. The new hall will feature a section with hardwood floors for dancing, upgraded seating, high-top tables and a standing area. Lim, who got her start as manager with Cleveland PM restaurant in Valleyview, is glad to be back in the restaurant and bar business. She sees great opportunity in Lakewood, and points to the businesses that are moving to Lakewood and the renovated Madison Avenue streetscape as signs of the area's revival.

navy pr pop-up vintage clothing shop to open in gordon square

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00am
Fashion industry veteran Mary Peffer road-tripped across the U.S. to source vintage clothing for her new pop-up shop in the Gordon Square Arts District. The Cleveland native, who is a consultant in Los Angeles, sifted through estate sales in Boise, Idaho; rooted around at thrift stores in Portland, Oregon; and hunted in stores in North Carolina and Texas, to name a few. Now, Peffer's unique shop is set to open next week. The NAVY PRoject, which is named after Peffer's communications consulting firm specializing in art, architecture, design, fashion and hospitality, will offer vintage, unisex, ready-to-wear clothing. Examples include vintage Levis, letterman jackets, vintage jackets, CPO jackets ("Chief Petty Officer") and deadstock army t-shirts. Peffer, who has worked for companies like Nanette Lepore and Saint Laurent, says that she was inspired by trends she saw on the runway. As a Cleveland native and lover of the city, she wanted to bring her ideas home. "There's a lot of excitement about these fashion trends, but I think it's nonsense when I hear that everyone can't have access to it," says Peffer, whose store will open Friday, September 5th and remain open through October. "I thought, why not go to the source and give it to people for a different price?" Peffer, who owns NAVY PR with her sister-in-law Melinda Peffer, says she's looking forward to being in Cleveland and spending time with family and friends. Her brother, Stephen Peffer, runs the Hausfrau record store in Gordon Square. Peffer says the NAVY PRoject will launch a series of pop-up shops in emerging markets across the U.S. No details have been announced about future locations. Regarding her fashion road show, Peffer quips, "I thought, 'Well, if everyone just laughs in my face, I'll just keep everything and have this killer wardrobe.'" The NAVY PRoject will be located at 6602 Detroit Avenue and will have regular hours from Wednesday through Sunday. Peffer says it will be a great place to hang out, with curated racks that are easy to browse and art from Brooklyn-based artist Savannah King of Third Eye and Cleveland illustrator Deanna First. The clothing will also be affordable, with everything priced under $100.     

spruce selects borrow rentals for free pr services promotion

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00am
Tom Sarago, owner of Spruce, chose Borrow Rentals as the winning company to receive free marketing and PR services. Sarago, who started his full-service marketing communications firm earlier this summer, offered the services to one company as a way to promote Spruce and help a worthy company. Spruce received about 20 applications for his services. Sarago chose a few finalists before naming Ann King, owner of Borrow Rentals as the winner. Borrow is an eclectic and vintage rental house for furniture and accessories to furnish any event. “I just found Ann intriguing,” says Sarago. “She’s clearly doing so much of a good thing, I can just step in and enhance.”   King, who read about the contest in Fresh Water, applied because she needed the services Spruce provides. “We are such a small boutique company – we don’t have a marketing department and we don’t know how to get in the press,” she says.   Professional photography firm Kalman and Pabst shot promotional photos of King as part of the package. Spruce will provide PR services. “"She needs some assistance in a couple of key areas and we're working to develop a plan on how to build new relationships," Sarago says of what he’ll provide. “She wants to find new audiences and engage her existing ones. We’re helping her with social media, starting a newsletter and we will issue regular press releases.”   Both Sarago and King see this as the start to an ongoing relationship. “He’s awesome,” says King. “He’s so great and I’m so excited to work together and try to promote our brands. Hopefully we can help each other out – mostly to promote Borrow.”   In addition to working with King, Sarago says he enjoyed meeting the other applicants. “It was wonderful to hear about all these companies doing some amazing things,” he says. “Companies I wouldn’t otherwise have met.”  

content marketing world 2014 to draw the top communications pros, kevin spacey

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00am
More than 2,500 people from 50 countries are expected to descend on Cleveland September 8-11 for the Content Marketing World 2014 conference. Professionals in marketing, communications, social media and public relations are coming to learn what’s new in the industry, socialize and network.     “Those people attending are marketers in enterprises that create and distribute content to attract and retain customers,” explains event organizer Joe Pulizzi, founder the Content Marketing Institute. “Over half of the attendees come from the brand side, with the rest of the delegates coming from agencies, media companies and technology providers.”   Representatives from 36 of the Fortune 100 will attend, 10 in the Fortune 15. “The event targets the largest marketers from the leading brands around the world, so we not only attract Fortune 100 companies, but the majority of delegates come from at least the Fortune 5000 size,” says Pulizzi. “CMW is now the largest event in the content marketing industry.”   It makes sense the conference takes place in Cleveland, says Pulizzi. “The talent in the Northeast Ohio region for content creators is amazing,” he says, “Most people don't realize this, but for many decades, this area has been home to some of the best business publishing on the planet, In addition to that, ‘content marketing,’ as a term, might first have been used in Cleveland.”   While the main events, with speakers and workshops, take place at the Cleveland Convention Center, the opening reception on Monday, September 8 is an Ohio City pub crawl. CMW has rented out Market Garden BreweryBar Cento and Great Lakes Brewery. Tuesday night wraps up with ContentFest, a music festival with 10 local food trucks and bands at Jacobs Pavilion.   Pulizzi is excited to host the leaders in content marketing. “The over 175 speakers at the event come from around the world and are truly the leading experts in the field,” he says. “In addition, it's nice to show off Cleveland. In 2013, 75 percent of the attendees had never been to Cleveland.”   The keynote closing speaker is actor Kevin Spacey, currently starting in the Netflix hit, House of Cards. “Mr. Spacey is going to talk about how House of Cards has transformed the content business,” says Pulizzi. “He will share his thoughts on what enterprise marketers need to be doing to make sure their stories are told well, and how they can be found by engaged consumers.”   The economic impact for Cleveland is estimated to be $2.5 million, with a block of 4,000 room nights in downtown hotels already sold. Registration for the conference is still open.