Photo by Johnny Quirin.

Finding Friends

“We’ve been here six and a half years. It’s time to put an expiration date on it and move on,” said Kim Carignan, 54, a resident of Grand Rapids’ northeast side. Carignan, who has lived in Detroit, Chicago, New York and Naples, Florida, said she and her husband haven’t been able to make the friendships they’d hoped for in West Michigan, something she said was easier in the other places she’s lived.
Gemini Handmade's new store provides greater retail space.

Gemini Handmade Expands to Collaborate with Community

This past June, Parliament the Boutique rebranded as Gemini Handmade after five years on the South Division Avenue for the Arts corridor. Now, the local artisan-based shop has made another big move—to 963 Cherry St. SE.
"Tyler was given those wool mittens while he was homeless; we washed them and he was able to provide them to someone else who volunteered at the event and also happens to be without a home."

Purple Backpack Project Delivers Lifesaving Items to Homeless

As temperatures drop and snowstorms await, local nonprofit Dirt City Sanctuary said even though items such as a proper pair of boots should be an essential necessity to surviving winter, many individuals in West Michigan walk the streets without such provisions.
Author Mary McKSchmidt walks along the beach near their home in Holland, Michigan.

Navigating Uncharted Waters

In Mary McKSchmidt’s latest book, “Uncharted Waters: Romance, Adventure, and Advocacy on the Great Lakes,” she’s sailing with her husband on Lake Michigan, taking a view of its eastern edge, when she’s overcome by a nearly spiritual wonder. She’s scanning the shoreline for the spot she stood as a girl — recalling a vibrant springtime that left her in love with the water she sailed.
Zeal Aerial Fitness

Take Your Workout to New Heights with Zeal Aerial Fitness

A new fitness studio, Zeal Aerial Fitness, was welcomed into town on Nov. 9. Founded by Christina VanDam, the studio said it is the first all-inclusive aerial fitness facility to come to Grand Rapids.
The Hero Foundation collects Christmas gifts for families in need during the holiday season.

The Hero Foundation Offers Families Relief During Holiday Season

As the holiday festivities begin, The Hero Foundation wants to remind the community not every family is lucky enough to afford Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas presents let alone pay for everyday necessities. Families coping with cancer are not only concerned with the emotional aspects of the disease, but they must deal with the financial side effects of cancer as well.
A Pleasant Dog has relocated into a larger space.

A Pleasant Dog Expands Services in New Home

Canine training business A Pleasant Dog has found a new home. In an effort to expand its services, A Pleasant Dog relocated from Wealthy Street to 1430 Knapp Street NE.

The Counting House Charms with Modern Take on the General Dry Goods Store

If you want a true sense of modern-day general store magic, The Counting House welcomes you.
Dégagé Ministries dining hall is open during the morning and evening hours.

Dégagé Ministries Commemorates Impact with Event Featuring Patrons’ Stories

Transforming lives and restoring hope in the Heartside community, Dégagé Ministries is a Christ-centered, non-profit organization that offers valuable programming and services to homeless and disadvantaged individuals in Grand Rapids. To commemorate its impact on the community, the ministry is hosting this year’s “Celebrate Dégagé.”
Photo by Johnny Quirin

Treetops Collective Supports Refugee Women Making GR Home

Upon entering the storefront for Treetops Collective on South Division Avenue, it immediately becomes clear that people are at work. Commercial sewing machines are positioned along the street-side window; long tables overflow with fabric, beads and half-finished products; shelves are stacked with T-shirts, onesies and cloth baskets for sale. Women talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company.
Photo by Johnny Quirin

Getting Crafty

Admit it: you have one. You’ve probably admired someone else’s at least once. It’s that art or hobby you’ve said for years you’re going to start one day. Maybe you’ve dreamed you could learn to paint with watercolors, learn martial arts, sail or weave. Perhaps you want to learn woodworking, ballroom dancing or sewing.
To & Fro

7 Things to Know About TO & FRO

The new activewear shop TO & FRO helps you look good during yoga, at the gym or while running (your life).
Rodolfo Gonzales Interior Design Grand Rapids showroom.

Furniture Showroom & Interior Design Firm Sets Up Home on Monroe

A furniture showroom and interior design firm has moved into the former MoDiv space and it is quickly gaining attention from interested passersby.
Happy Cat Cafe

Happy Cat Cafe Celebrates One Year

It’s been one year since Katie Palumkura and her husband, Abarsh Palumkura, opened the Happy Cat Cafe and they couldn’t be more proud of their business.

The Rescuers

Peg Markle sat at a glass-top patio table on the wooden deck outside what is both her home and the site for Wildlife Rehab Center, 1504 Union Ave. NE. Sporting a pink T-shirt beneath an unbuttoned blue-on-blue shirt, Markle, the WRC executive director, was within reach of her coffee and her cordless phone, which seemed to ring every 10 minutes.
Ginny Mikita holds a photo of her 13-year-old dog Kadie.

Passing Peacefully

When they say “dog is a man’s best friend,” that’s no exaggeration. A family or companion pet can make a profound difference in many people’s lives, and their memories are often cherished forever.
Pottery Lane potters wheel

Walking Down Memory Lane

Kelly Kermode still has the small pinch pot she made in kindergarten. It’s a reminder of where she started and where she’s going when it comes to life and her pottery skills.
New Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington, Photo courtesy of City of Austin, 2017.

New City Manager Makes History with Appointment

Mark Washington, Grand Rapids’ next city manager, is a busy man.
Little Dreamers soccer themed party.

Little Dreamers Sleepovers is a Real Snoozefest

Mr. Sandman might be out of a job. The legendary figure who’s been putting people to sleep and bringing good dreams has some competition in town with a woman who’s got her own bag of tricks for overnight fun and rest, and she’s a hit with the kids.
Women's City Club at Cork.

Women’s City Club Looks to Reinvent Itself After 94 Years

There’s an old phrase, “Home is where the heart is.” To many, family members mean a full heart. To some, great friends often become as close as family. For the Grand Rapids Women’s City Club, members found both family and a sense of home at the historic 1860s Heritage Hills home, the Sweet House, which the club had occupied since 1927. This past April, due to financial reasons, the club said goodbye to its long-term home and entered into uncharted territory.




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