Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Uptown Westerville is a Place to Care

The Staff at Otterbein College are getting involved in the 12th annual Relay For Life of Westerville, Friday, June 25 – Saturday, June 26, 2010 at Westerville Central High School.

And, this Saturday, January 23rd is the Kick-off Party at Westerville Central! Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and the presentation begins at 11 a.m.

Want more information? www.relayforlife.org/westerville
Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Uptown Westerville is a Place to Lock Up

WPD's Crime Prevention Specialist Carrie Ryan tells us:

We've seen an increase in thefts from vehicles throughout the city in the last month. The thefts have occurred in neighborhoods and busy parking lots. The Westerville Community Center has been the most common area recently for thefts in parking lots.

Please remember to lock your vehicles, do not leave valuables in plain sight (several purses have been stolen lately) and report any suspicious activity to 614.882.7444.

Thank you!

Update Jan. 18th: Thieves are hitting vehicles (including breaking windows) parked in church parking lots during services throughout the week. Be smart. Be safe.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Uptown Westerville is a Place For Some Sweet News

Amy Robinson and Lisa Herrmann of It's All In the Name, 13 E. College, have some news!


It's All In The Name is making room for That's So Sweet candy shop!!

We now have the entire store 20-50% off.

Effective March 1st, That's So Sweet, owned by Jennifer and Juli will be selling retail candy as well as holding birthday parties at 13 E. College Ave.

They also go out on location for parties, showers and weddings, making creative candy bouquets, buffets and favors!

Of course, It's All In The Name will still have some of their unique childrens gifts and hand painted wine glasses and other glassware. Stop in and check out the great deals It's All In The Name is offering during their "making room" sale. You won't want to miss it!

Lisa and Amy
owners, It's All In The Name

Uptown Westerville is a Place to Commemorate

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for others?" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

As Martin Luther King Day approaches, please join the community to honor...

The Otterbein College Convocation, Tuesday, January 12th at 3 p.m. at Cowan Hall. Click here for more information. Keynote speaker, John S. Hill.

The 5th Annual Westerville Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Celebration, Monday, January 18th at Villa Milano, 1630 Schrock Rd., doors open at 7:30 a.m.; the program hosted by Channel 10 News' Angela An begins at 8 a.m. The keynote speaker is Tuskeegee Airman, Robert Peeples. Tickets are $20 per adult and $10 per student. Reserved tables available. Click here for details, including registration info.

Uptown Westerville is a Place for Brides

Now Open! Bella Laccio Bridal, 46 N. State, featuring...

▪ Alfred Sung
▪ Matthew Christopher

Exclusively at Bella Laccio...
▪ Robert Bullock Bride
▪ Simone Carvalli.

For Bridesmaids
▪ After 6

For Flowergirls
▪ US Angels.

Veils & Accessories
▪ Malis Henderson
▪ Laura Jayne.

Along with personal service, Bella Laccio Bridal features fitting parites and digital memory boards.

Trunk Shows coming up...

January 16th - 23rd: Laura Jayne Bridal
February 26th - 28th: Matthew Christopher

Contact Jen Romey at 614.735.1165,
info@bellalacciobridal.com, Open Monday - Thursday 11 a - 7 p, Friday and Saturday by Appointment. Appointments preferred to best serve.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Uptown Westerville is a Place for Nostalgia

Uptown Westerville Throwback!

Enjoy this 1970 Pepsi commercial that features... Uptown Westerville!

(No product endorsements implied.)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Uptown Westerville is a Place for Wintry Travel News

Westerville City Schools are closed today. Stay Warm. Stay Safe.

Looking to check road conditions:

If you're on twitter check out the City of Westerville at: www.twitter.com/tellwesterville

24.7 Road conditions online are easily accessible and can be "tweeted."

Paving the Way: http://www.pavingtheway.org/
Sign up for regular email updates of changing road conditions from construction to accidents.
Follow Paving the way on twitter: http://twitter.com/pavingthewayOh

ODOT: http://www.buckeyetraffic.org/
The map is cool -- click on the section of the map you want and it'll zoom in, with each click, right to your street!

"KNO B4 U GO" Follow ODOT locally on twitter: http://twitter.com/ODOT_Columbus
(ODOT has twitter accounts for all the Ohio majors: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/services/pages/twitter.aspx)

For weather:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Uptown Westerville is a Place to Reschedule!

The January 7, 2010 Westerville Uptown Merchants Association monthly meeting has been rescheduled due to weather to:

January 14th at 6:15 p.m. at Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau, 20 W. Main.

Be Warm. Be Safe.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Uptown Westerville is a Place for All Creatures Great and Small

DJ's Feed Store is featured in this week's ThisWeek Westerville!

Feed store supplies 'nostalgic feel'

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 2:14 PM
ThisWeek Staff Writer

Editor's note: This is the final story in a five-part series examining what makes Uptown Westerville unique and highlighting selected businesses there.

Nestled among galleries, boutiques, niche stores and antiques dealers, the proprietors of DJ's Feed Store, 41 N. State St., know they're a bit of an oddity in Uptown Westerville.

"It almost seems out of place," manager Bill Rohrbaugh said. "We're an old type of store, and it just has kind of a nostalgic feel to it."

But he said operating a business that's slightly out of the norm has its advantages, often attracting intrigued passersby into the 28-year-old business.

While those people might not be in the market for horse feed, dog food or birdseed, they may find a handmade bird house, homemade dog treats or other specialty items in the store.

"We try to get things that are unique, that you can't find anywhere," Rohrbaugh said.

The store also offers advantages over large national stores that offer similar products, said owner David Chapman. DJ's Feed Store provides customers with one-on-one attention and an extensive knowledge of animals and how to care for them, he said.

"As long as you stand there, we're going to talk about your rabbit, your hamster, your horse," Chapman said. "You go into a box store, and you get a 20-year-old who only knows what he's been taught."

Chapman and his wife, Kathy, purchased DJ's Feed Store nearly two years ago. Kathy was a regular customer at the store and noticed the for-sale sign on the counter one day.

Though both were working full-time jobs, Chapman said they were led to buy the store because of their passion for animals.

"My wife and I have always loved animals," he said. "We just have a passion for animals."

That passion has become part of the business culture at the store.

DJ's works with Central Ohio Greyhound Rescue, providing people with opportunities to meet adoptable, rescued greyhounds and to talk with the people who own them.

They also offer classes for pit bulls and help rescued animals find homes -- and more than one dog has found its way home with the Chapmans.

Since the Chapmans took over the store, they've seen business grow.

When Chapman lost his job a year ago, he began making stops to see people who owned horses in order to drum up business. DJ's also began offering same-day deliveries and now has customers from as far away as Johnstown.

With that success, Chapman said he and his wife have been blessed, despite the reservations they had when making the transition from working full-time jobs elsewhere to focusing on DJ's full time.

"It's been a blessing in disguise. We were both scared," Chapman said. "This place is so fun, I don't even consider it a job."

That passion for the work, which is shared by the store's two employees, is what has made the store a mainstay in Uptown, both Chapman and Rohrbaugh said.

"It's not just ringing the register. It's the camaraderie or the bond we create with our customers," Rohrbaugh said. "When we see the satisfaction from the customer, it makes us feel good."


Uptown Westerville is a Place for Community Art

ThisWeek Westerville's Uptown Westerville series continues...

Uptown gallery is not defined by its space

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 2:39 PM

ThisWeek Staff Writer

Editor's note : This story is the fourth in a five-part series examining what makes Uptown Westerville unique and highlighting selected businesses there

Gallery 202, found on the second floor of 38 N. State St., isn't bound by its four walls, said Renee Kropat, owner of the nonprofit gallery and art center.

"I enjoy doing community art. I enjoy being out in the community," Kropat said. "For art, it isn't the space you're in; it's the whole community."

Because of Kropat's mission to be a community art initiative, Gallery 202 has worked to be part of Westerville in many ways.

Gallery 202 artists have painted banners to line poles on State Street. Kropat has led the painting of several murals around the city, which involve her outlining an image and allowing any interested community members to join in to paint and finish the final work.

One of the gallery's projects, Wild Women Wander Westerville, partners with Uptown businesses to take a group of women on a tour of those stores. The women then socialize in the gallery during a silent auction to benefit the gallery.

Kropat also founded the Saturday Uptown Market, featuring arts, crafts and fresh farm products, in 2009 and plans to continue it next summer.

She opened Gallery 202 in 2005, about a year after she founded the nonprofit Partners in Art Inc.

Previously, she operated a for-profit gallery in Uptown, which she closed in 2001 after a seven-year run.

Kropat said she opened another gallery on the urging of people she knew, but she refused to return to a for-profit operation.

"A for-profit gallery is a lot of hard work. I had kind of given up the gallery thing," Kropat said.

In addition to going out into the community, she aims to pull the community into her gallery, offering art camps for children, classes for adults, team-building workshops for businesses, classes for Girl Scouts, special contests and rental space for events, among other things.

Throughout the year, Gallery 202 also offers special events and contests

Works by local artists of all types, including those in classes in Westerville schools, are displayed in the space. A gift shop also offers items made by local artists.

"It's important that we're not just a lone gallery, that we work with the schools, that we work with the community," Kropat said. "It's much more fun that way."

And all of the programs Kropat offers are aimed at making sure participants have fun and to teach people the importance of all levels of art.

"I think too often, art is considered elitist," Kropat said. "I think there's a continuum. I think it's important that people realize that refrigerator art is just as important as the high-end, million-dollar art."

Above all, she said, her goal with the gallery is to get people to appreciate and participate in art, regardless of their levels of experience.

"We all think we have a standard we need to reach," Kropat said. "We need to tell our own stories. If we don't tell them, who will?"

Click here to read Jennifer Nesbitt's story online.

Read Part 3 in this series, Pasquale's Pizza and Pasta House, 14 N. State, click here.

Read Part 2 in this series, Encircle, 30 & 34 N. State, click here.

Read Part 1 in this series, Amish Originals Furniture Co., 8 & 38 N. State, click here.

Uptown Westerville is a Place to Unveil a New Business

Uptown Westerville's newest bridal shop is in the news in ThisWeek Westerville!

Bella Laccio Bridal
New shop to focus on personal experience

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 2:13 PM
ThisWeek Staff Writer

To Jen Romey, the owner of the newly opened Bella Laccio Bridal in Uptown, shopping for a wedding dress is all part of a bride's experience.

With her new shop, which opened earlier this week at 46 N. State St., Romey said she will strive to make that experience special for each bride.

That means the store will operate primarily on individual appointments, providing each bride with a chance to look at and try on dresses while receiving individual attention.

"It's such a small boutique that I want the bride to feel like it's her day, like it's part of her experience," Romey said. "So many places brides go, there are other brides trying on dresses."

The individual attention also will help each bride find her ideal dress, Romey said.

"A lot of time, they don't know what they want in a gown, or what they look best in," she said, which can lead to a bride feeling overwhelmed. "I want the whole experience to be relaxing."

Brides can enhance their wedding-preparation experience by scheduling a fitting party, during which the bride and bridal party can come back at one time to have their fittings done while enjoying refreshments.

Romey said opening a small wedding boutique is something she has long dreamed about, and Uptown Westerville seemed like the ideal place to the Otterbein College graduate.

"This is a childhood dream of mine. I always wanted to open a bridal boutique," she said.

Romey has spent the last two months remodeling the interior of her Uptown storefront, which previously housed Lola Belle Boutique, a lingerie store.

Bella Laccio offers couture wedding dresses ranging in price from $600 to $3,000, along with bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. In selecting styles for the store, Romey said she'll focus on silhouettes and the latest bridal fashions.

All of the designers carried in the store are based in New York, and the dresses will be constructed of higher-end fabrics, she said.

Because Bella Laccio is a small boutique, Romey said brides will be able to work with designers to alter dresses to fit their needs.

As her business grows, Romey said she hopes to capitalize on her background in event planning by offering wedding planning services.


Click here to read Jennifer Nesbitt's story online.

Vist Bella Laccio Bridal online.

Visit Bella Laccio Bridal at the Columbus Bride magazine Show at Vets Memorial, January 9th and 10th.

Uptown Westerville is a Place for News Stories

Uptown Westerville in the news in ThisWeek Westerville!

Local leaders planning to continue Uptown growth

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 2:07 PM
ThisWeek Staff Writer

Uptown Westerville has undergone a transformation in recent years as new retailers bring in an eclectic mix of businesses.

To capture Uptown's new feel, local leaders said they are working to change Uptown's reputation as an antiques-store haven and to bring more foot traffic to Westerville's historic district.

"We're still somewhat of a hidden treasure here," said Kriss Rogers, owner of Outside Envy and president of the Westerville Uptown Merchants Association (WUMA).

Some of that work to spread the word about Uptown business already has begun, as the Westerville Visitors and Convention Bureau teams up with the WUMA each summer on events such as the Fourth Friday Celebrations, which offer themed parties in Uptown's streets once a month.

Westerville Visitors and Convention Bureau executive director Jeff Hartnell said when he took over his role three years ago, events thrown by the group brought in fewer than 1,000 people.

Now, they bring in more than 6,000, but Hartnell said there is more work to be done to attract more and more traffic.

"I'm going to stay here until there are 10,000 people down here every Fourth Friday," he said.

The monthly summertime events, along with seasonal events organized in Uptown, may not attract the most dollars to Uptown businesses, Rogers said, but they do play an important role in giving people a chance to see what Uptown has to offer.

"That's just a big invitation to get people up here," she said. "We don't expect to do a lot of business those nights, but it's a chance for us to showcase our businesses."

Going forward, WUMA and the Visitors and Convention Bureau plan to continue to partner together and, along with the city and other interested Westerville groups, to continue to create marketing strategies and more opportunities for residents to come and explore Uptown.

Hartnell said he believes the partnerships being developed in Westerville are what will fuel an increased awareness about Uptown.

"It's the first time in years that these groups have been pulled together," he said.

Other initiatives to increase awareness about Uptown include a push by WUMA and its member merchants to educate and encourage people to shop locally owned businesses.

Since Rogers took over as WUMA president in July, the group has focused on publicizing the 3/50 project, which encourages people to think about three local merchants they would be sad to see close and to commit to spending $50 at a locally owned, independent business each month.

She said she believes the effort has brought positive results for businesses, and merchants plan to continue to raise awareness.

"I think the talking that we've done has paid off," she said.

A future city project also could have a positive impact on business and traffic in Uptown Westerville, Westerville City Councilwoman Diane Fosselman said.

For more than a year, the city has been working on plans to update the South State Street corridor.

Design standards have been upgraded for the area of State Street south of Uptown, and the city plans to reconstruct the intersection of South State Street and Huber Village Boulevard and to work with the Ohio Department of Transportation on a planned overhaul of the intersection of I-270 and Westerville Road.

Those upgrades should encourage more visitors to Uptown, Fosselman said, because they will give visitors to Westerville entering north from I-270 a positive impression of the city.

"What we're going to work on there is the entryway to the community," Fosselman said. "That's what sets the first impression to the community."


Click here to read Jennifer Nesbitt's story online.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Uptown Westerville is a Place for Post Season Values

Take 35% off all Amish Originals Furniture Co.'s 2009 holiday ornaments, decor, and accents!

Visit Amish Originals at 8 & 38 N. State in Uptown Westerville!

Image of Snowball Snowman (c)2009 Amish Originals Furniture Co. All rights reserved.

Uptown Westerville is a Place for Miriam's Journal

The latest installment of Miriam's Journal is on the Amish Originals Furniture Co. blog.

Just click here to connect.

Uptown Westerville is a Place Where School is In Session

Welcome back Otterbein College students! Happy 2010!

With holiday breaks over for our area students from Kindergarten to College, just a reminder to adjust your driving accordingly!