Let me begin by saying this trip was fully compensated for. Every last part of it, but as always, that doesn't change the way I tell my story. Guys, don't you know me by now? Okay, so on to the important stuff--our little weekend getaway to Butler County. I'll be honest, like most of you, I was like, "Where and what is Butler County?!" The Donut Trail is what first enticed me, but I'll admit, there was so much more to Butler County than the Donut Trail! I'm going to give a run down our entire trip with some information about each stop--what we liked, didn't like...

Fleurish Home is an ideal store for any creative enthusiast.  It’s a store dedicated to all things “home”–entertaining, painting, decorating, etc.  It’s filled with endless DIY project ideas, because when it comes to Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint®, anything is possible. And, that’s what sets Fleurish Home apart from any other place–they are one of the very few retailers in America that actually sell Annie’s paint. Debra is the owner of Fleurish Home. After studying fashion in college, Debra started her retail career in visual merchandising and through that discovered faux finishing.  Always wanting to do something creative in the arts, this became her passion and after several years in the industry she decided to...

D&W Elements is a Columbus, Ohio based company dedicated to the fusion of modern design with vintage inspiration.  But, their beginning wasn't typical.  It all started from a bathroom vanity. "We know the passion and local pride you have for your city, and we are proud to help you show your support." Art has always been a part of Dan Wisniewski's story--the man behind D&W Elements. His grandfather was a woodworker by trade, and his father attended CCAD right here in Columbus.  Dan attended OSU for his degree in mechanical engineering.  Late into his undergrad degree he realized he wanted to pursue the creative side of engineering and focus on...

"My mom taught me how to crochet when I was little."   Ashley Toenjes grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota,  attending craft shows alongside her mother and aunt.  And now, she's attending her own craft shows for her whimsical and modern crocheted pieces.  Lather & Stitch-- that's the name of her Etsy shop. "I remember my mother and aunt would have a crunch time Friday through Sunday (the weekend before) the craft show.  And my cousins and I would all get to hang out.  After watching them, I knew it was something I wanted to do when I grew up." Her mother originally taught her how to crochet...

Sara Hudgens let us in on a secret.  Okay, she actually let us in on a couple secrets, but you have to read the whole story to find them out.   She told us the difference between a 50 minute massage and a 60 minute massage is critical.  Most places charge and arm and a leg for 50 minutes, but an extra 10 minutes can be crucial for massaging those "target" areas. Massage therapy has always been her end goal.  Even when she was at The Ohio State University in her third year still undeclared.  I think her mother had dreams of her becoming a teacher, but Sara...

Shirley's Popcorn. Yes, there was a real Shirley, and yes, she's the idea behind the popcorn business. Shirley was the lady who took the tickets at the movie theater in Bluffton, Ohio. She was well known and a familiar face in town, mainly because those who were regulars at the theater, loved her. Everyone loved her. She handed out free books to the kids and read to them while they were waiting for their movie.  She loved people and everything was "to die for." Shirley was the face of the theater.  Soon, people would stop by with their buckets of popcorn just for a refill--and to see Shirley, of course....

Martha discovered at a young age she wanted to use her hands to make things.  At age 6, she learned from a dentist, Dr. Moyer, who lived across the street. It was there, in his basement full of handcrafted trains and sculptures of wood, that she began painting.      "In 10th grade, on a visit to my sister's college, Mount Holyoke, I fell in love with hand crafted silver rings with pockets of enameling." From then on, she was bound and determined to be a silversmith. She studied at Washington University with a famous Finnish metalsmith by the name of Heikki Seppa. His approach was to limit the amount of metal in creating 3D structures and...

Courtney and Ryan are Ink & Co. He's the "maker and creator," and she's the "design and marketing." Although this is Ryan's "thing," they work a lot-- together, and even spend most evenings working after the kids go to bed. I mean, isn't it pretty cool that they get to spend their time together doing something they love, and it's also their family-owned business? Courtney has a day time job in software sales and Ryan is a stay-at-home dad. Well, more like "work from home dad." He was at home for 9 years, and when the kids went to school he wanted to go back to work....

Jodi Attar is passionate about food, "my philosophy is--eat good things that taste good."  She's even more passionate about her Gotta Eat Muffins. She grew up in Akron, but moved to Columbus for a pharmaceutical sales job.  Her first masters degree was in Health Administration, but as Jodi said it best, "it just didn't feel right, like Goldilocks and the Three bears, trying all the porridge."  Her husband is a Cardiologist at OSU, so she had the opportunity to stay home for a period of time with her first-born son, Ashton. "After a year, I felt under-stimulated and needed something to do." She got back into the job force working at...

Intentional. That's the word that resonates with me after our visit to Sacred Earth Wellness Spa. You can look at it a few ways. The setting surrounding the spa--intentional in the fact that you become connected to the natural world around you with the wooded ravine, calming fountain, and bridge that leads you to the woods. The massage--well, this was intentional at it's best. Every touch, rub, and part of the body massaged was chosen for a specific reason. And, that's part of Autumn's story. There's a reason behind her intentional work. And, it's pretty amazing. Who is Autumn, by the way? She is the owner of Sacred Earth Wellness Spa. The spa...