Let’s Rock the House

Have you heard? The College Football Hall of Fame closes its doors this Sunday (12/30/12). As you know, they are moving out of South Bend. What you might not know is that all tickets and sales this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) will benefit South Bend athletics. And, to sweeten the pot, admission is only $2 per person and all items in the gift shop are buy one get one free. Yes, it’s true. What a great way to end their stay in our fine city. Quick, grab your family and friends. Let’s rock the house that Rockne would have helped to build if only he could have… and let’s send CFHOF off on a high note.

Have ideas on uses for the CFHOF building once it is vacant? Share your ideas here and be sure to join Three Degrees of Separation MeetUp as we discuss that at an upcoming gathering.

December 27, 2012 at 9:33 am 2 comments

Kickstart Something Yummy

…and something totally rad. Jackie & Chris von der Mehden want to create an Oneironautical Headquarters. What? No worries, as they’ve explained this. An oneironaut is a navigator of dreams. In these headquarters, you can dream too, as it is a “community co-working space, artistic launching pad, and social change machine, fueled by coffee and sweets from downstairs.”

Jackie & Chris already have a presence in Michiana as Rabbit Moon Bakery. After a trip to Paris, Chris fell in love with macarons (no, not macaroons). He has turned that obsession into a great confectionery business. While the business is thriving (thanks to places like Purple Porch), it’s time for a storefront. But the idea is bigger than a mere storefront. It’s a chance to help revitalize downtown. It’s an opportunity to work cooperatively with other dreamers. An idea to change the conversation around business from competition to collaboration. Did I mention radical? Or, as they might call it, “weird.”

Their goal is “to restore the first of many empty buildings in the area and turn it into a thriving hub of art, culture, business, and community…  created a new model of doing business (that is really a new model of living) based on the simple truth that when we work together, everything is possible.”

I am completely fascinated by their concept and excited to see it in South Bend. But to be successful, they need community support. Consider investing in their idea in return for some yummy benefits. You can read all about those benefits and more about their dream at their Kickstarter page:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1390640688/rabbit-moon-bakerys-oneironautical-headquarters

Let’s make 2013 amazing for South Bend. Let’s “be the change.”

December 12, 2012 at 11:29 am 2 comments

O Christmas Tree

One of our family traditions is to hunt for the perfect tree. During our hunt, we seem to check out every tree in the field. Even those that are too tall or too small still get a once over from us. This year, we even found our 2015 Christmas tree (as long as no one chops it down before it reaches its perfect height). During the hunt, we begin mostly with glances. Then we get serious and begin to study the tree. Is the shape uniform? Is the trunk straight? Is it the right variety (we like fir trees)? Will it fit our space? Is it the most beautiful one we can find? After traipsing through the field, it seems we always come back to one of the first trees we spotted. It seems as if there is something magical in those first trees. An attraction that can’t be beat.

Even if you’re not the Christmas tree type or you’ve always had an artificial tree, you’ve probably experienced something like this in your life. For you married gals, it could have been the hunt to find the perfect wedding dress. You may have purchased one of the first ones that you tried on, but you still had to try on a few (hundred) more just to be sure. For you guys, maybe it’s the hunt to find the perfect ring for your gal (No? Well insert your own masculine anecdote here). I know for me, it was the first wedding dress that I tried on that won my heart. I’m telling you, there’s something magical in those firsts.

For those of you that still need to get a Christmas tree, consider venturing down Orange Road to Southern Plantation. It’s a great family tree farm. You are greeted right away, with candy canes for all. There is complimentary cocoa and cider when you’ve completed your hunt. The prices are reasonable ($25 or $40). This is definitely a SHOP LOCAL experience! Put 63727 Orange Road into your GPS and head on over. Make this a new first for your family. Happy hunting!


December 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

As you know, he’s making a list and checking it twice. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying the festivities downtown South Bend this weekend (plus, there’s still time to make it onto Santa’s good list). Be in front of the Morris by 5:30pm on Friday (12/7) to witness Santa’s splendid arrival and the annual tree lighting ceremony. Free cookies and hot chocolate make this event extra festive!

Afterwards, wander around downtown and check out some of the holiday pop-up shops (Brew Werks is in front of State Theatre – be sure to pop in). Don’t miss Santa’s Gingerbread Village as well as the sleigh rides. There is also a tree and wreath sale that benefits NNN (Near Northwest Neighborhood). Santa’s Workshop has been set up inside the College Football Hall of Fame. Fun, fun!

The festivities continue on Saturday with Breakfast with Santa at Fiddler’s Hearth and South Bend Civic Theatre‘s play A Laura Ingall’s Wilder Christmas. With so much to do and see, there is something for everyone. Grab a friend, neighbor, family and enjoy all that your downtown has to offer! I’ve mentioned just a small bit of what’s happening downtown, so be sure to check out the special website that lists all the fun:  http://www.downtownfortheholidays.com/

December 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

Three is a Magic Number

Recently, I was able to hang out with a handful of wise, inspiring people who gathered to start something new, something desperately needed in South Bend. If you’ve followed my blog through Startup Weekend South Bend (SWSB) , what comes next will not surprise you. If you have not been an avid reader of my daily adventures during SWSB, then you might want to go back and catch up (just sayin’).

After attending a Startup Weekend, the hardest step is taking the NEXT step. What is the next step? How do I take that step? Where do I even begin? Those are just a few first questions after completing my weekend with my awesome team. Luckily, many from the Startup Weekend, and others–like the cool people at enFocus–have realized that we need a way to support and encourage each other. We need an avenue to connect to others that can help us at every scary turn.

I know, I said “scary turn.” Maybe for you brave readers, this notion of taking an idea and running with it seems easy. For me, it’s a BHAG if there ever was a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) in my life. And it’s scary – truly scary to me.

This is when three proves to be a magic number. Three fellow teammates who are still there to walk through the next steps. And, most excitedly, Three Degrees of Separation, a new meetup group that wants to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in our area.  This group’s goal is to inspire and connect people to the local “ecosystem, the community and to the world of start-ups.”

Luckily for those of us in the South Bend area, we are a close-knit community.  We have realized what that closeness affords us – that we are likely never more than three degrees away from success.

Need inspiration or just curious? Consider joining the Three Degrees of Separation MeetUp on Tuesday, December 4th from 6pm to 7pm at Main Street Coffee House (downtown South Bend). There will be a few quick speakers and then plenty of time to connect to other idea people, founders, angels, VCs and more.

I’m excited about the 3s in my life. Those 3s inspire, empower and encourage me. Do you have 3s?

3 d logo

November 30, 2012 at 8:57 am Leave a comment


I can’t say thanks enough to everyone that voted for ConnectHelp in the Global Startup Battle. I just finished a meeting with my ConnectHelp team. We are all thrilled after hearing from so many of you. Your positive comments validated our idea and have encouraged us more than you can know.

We will be diligently working on the website and look forward to sharing it with you next year. In the meantime, consider reaching out to friends and relatives around the country for us. We need to connect with helpers that will assist us in this process of building community. Might your cousin in Salt Lake City or your buddy in Montana be willing to help? If so, please connect us.

Thanks again for your votes and kind words. We’re moving forward to build a better community (and a better nation). Peace!

November 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment

Voting Closes Soon

I was blessed with an awesome team at Startup Weekend South Bend. We worked for 54 hours to make ConnectHelp a reality. Now we need YOU to vote for this idea on Facebook in the Global Startup Battle:

  1. Go to http://bit.ly/RBfOVg (you will need to like this page if you haven’t already)
  2. Vote (be sure to do this everyday until the 27th)
  3. Share with your friends (on Facebook, through tweets, etc.) and ask them to vote

ConnectHelp.org: the one-stop resource connecting local human needs with local resources anywhere in the world. Let’s show the greatness that is MICHIANA – go and vote, then please ask your friends to vote. Keep voting every 24 hours until midnight (PST) on the 27th.

November 26, 2012 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

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