First Fridays: Experience Networking in a New Way
Jan30

First Fridays: Experience Networking in a New Way

First Fridays is a place where people can network, learn and grow. When Jere Johnson moved to Fort Wayne from Chicago, he was looking for an uplifting and energetic community. Brothers Jere and Jim Johnson launched First Fridays to create a space where people could come together to learn more about our region and about each other. “We want to create a meeting forum where members can grow as individuals and where they can network and really primarily focus on Northeast Indiana,” Jim said, “because that’s where we are and we think there’s a lot of great things that go on here and a lot of great things that people maybe don’t even know about.” First Fridays is hosted at Indiana Wesleyan University on, you guessed it, the first Friday of each month. Different speakers are featured at each gathering to take on a variety of leadership topics like conflict, collaboration, entrepreneurship, etc. Each session, attendees will come away will a better understanding of leadership in Northeast Indiana. How it all started: Jim told Living Fort Wayne that the idea for First Fridays was inspired by the 2017 Global Leadership Summit (GLS). GLS is a leadership conference broadcast world-wide from Willow Creek Church in Chicago, which, much like First Fridays, invites a variety of speakers to discuss what effective leadership looks like. Their first conversation about bringing a regional leadership forum to life transpired on the second day of the GLS. They sat down over some “very expensive Coliseum hamburgers” and at the end of their discussion decided the goal for this programs was to,“have a purpose to come together that’s beyond networking, but networking happens within the context.” Once the idea came to head, the brothers were eager to move their plan into actions. Jim told Living Fort Wayne he and his brother covered his office with large Post-it notes, mapping out their vision for First Fridays. Recalling wisdom he learned from another influential leader, Author Tony Robbins, Jim said, “if you’ve got a great idea when you’re working on something don’t try to make it perfect, get out there and take massive action on it and you’ll see success.” Incidentally, the brothers only planned to host First Fridays for a season and evaluate the need to continue or adjust. “We’ve already had people saying, ‘well you’re going to do this again next year aren’t you?’” Now there is no stopping this momentum, the First Fridays team already has several speakers lined up for 2019 and are continuing to build upon their vision. Why you should go: The First Fridays team has successfully created an environment where talking...

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ReStore Your Passion with Habitat for Humanity
Jan23

ReStore Your Passion with Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne invites members of the community to an exclusive sneak peak of their new retail space at the ReStore Your Passion event on February 8th from 6 to 9 p.m.   Why a New ReStore? According to Lindsay Hannah, director of development for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne, the ReStore’s is not able to reach its full potential in their current location on Wells street. “It is not a high-traffic area, it is not easily accessible, the parking is limited, donation drop-off and pick-up was not convenient for customers and the sales floor size limited our ability to properly display all the great items we’re trying to sell.” With their new location on Lima Road near Glenbrook mall, all of these issues will be resolved and Hannah said Habitat can expect to grow their annual ReStore revenue from $750,00 to $1.5 million within the first few years. “Doubling our revenue at the ReStore would cover Habitat’s annual operating costs, allowing us to commit 100 percent of donations to families in need of affordable homeownership.” Why is this so important? Habitat’s vision is, “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” Right now there are more than 1,000 people in Fort Wayne on the waiting list to apply for Habitat’s affordable homeownership program. The predicted increase in revenue from the new ReStore will support their vision by providing a 300% annual increase in the number of families served through Habitat for Humanity in Fort Wayne. Now that is something to celebrate! With champagne and local cuisine, the ReStore Your Passion event will cheers to the upcoming grand opening of the new ReStore and benefit Habitat’s Women’s Build. Tickets cost $40 for single attendees, $70 for couples and $25 for groups of at least four...

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How to Crush Friendsgiving in the Fort
Nov16

How to Crush Friendsgiving in the Fort

Thanksgiving is the time when those friends from out of town come around, everyone takes time off work, and we can’t wait to show our old chums the recipes we learned to cook all by ourselves. This perfect storm spawned the creation of a new holiday that millennials dub Friendsgiving. Anyone who has ever attended a Friendsgiving feast knows the warm fuzzy feeling of sharing potatoes with the people you love most. These folks also know that Friendsgiving is about equal contribution as all parties must bring a dish to share.   Here is the ultimate guide on how to crush Friendsgiving in the Fort: 1. First Stop: Organic Groceries Your friends deserve only the very best Friendsgiving ingredients. Where better to find locally sourced organic produce than the Three Rivers Co-op?   2. Don’t skip on the bread Bread rolls are a staple at any Friendsgiving. Show your friends you have good taste and care about keeping your money local by showing up to the party with these GK Baked Goods pretzel and pan dolce rolls. And let’s face it, millennials are just plain over boring bread. A post shared by GK Baked Goods (@gkbakedgoods) on Nov 12, 2017 at 7:16am PST 3. Be proud to partake of our pecan pie Abigail’s Confections is taking orders for Thanksgiving pies now. Whether it’s apple, cherry, sugar, pumpkin, chocolate or one of each, your Friendsgiving is not complete without one of these decadent desserts. A post shared by Abigails Confections (@abigailsconfections) on Nov 10, 2017 at 7:08am PST 4. Everything Pumpkin Spice Thanksgiving is your last chance to indulge in those pumpkin spice cravings that come around once a year. Satisfy your heart’s desire with the people you love most with these limited edition pumpkin chai cupcakes from Zinnia’s Bakehouse. A post shared by Zinnia’s Bakehouse (@zinnias_bakehouse) on Nov 14, 2017 at 5:03am PST 5. Provide plenty of wine Of course you are not going to go through all the work of putting together an elaborate Friendsgiving feast without the perfect bottle(s) of wine from Wine Time. Whether you choose to share with your guests or not… we won’t tell 😉...

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Five Things You’ll Find at Meli Mei
Nov15

Five Things You’ll Find at Meli Mei

Holiday shopping season is officially upon us. If you are looking for that perfect dress for your Christmas party, charming pieces to add to your wardrobe or a gift to put under the tree, Meli Mei has you covered. This charming boutique opened this past August in the City Exchange Shops in downtown Fort Wayne. They are ready to see how much locals love to “shop small” this holiday season. Here are a few things you can expect to find when you shop Meli Mei: 1. Specialty products from around the world Meli Mei is proud to bring fashion from different cultures to our region by selling accessories from around the globe. Thanks to this hip boutique, you can shop styles from Paris to Bangkok here in Fort Wayne. Meet the maker Monday: Anne Cauduro is a Brazilian designer, who now resides in Paris, France. Growing up, Anne was always interested in crafting as she watched her mother create clothes and accessories. Anne later got her degree in Fashion Design, but was feeling lost. In 2016, she moved to Paris and began creating jewelry that would transmit her personality and a mix of her life in Paris and her Brazilian roots. She started working mostly with natural materials from Brazil and felt particularly in love with all the gorgeous healing stones from there. Later her partner Guilherme joined and they created @laboboa together. “Being able to create a connection with another person, to deliver a piece that we made with our own bare hands, and which will make someone happy to possess, is special. It gives us a feeling of empathy to one another, and that’s such a beautiful feeling. Empathy can change the world.” Here at Meli Mei, we are proud to work with such talented designers and always striving to bring you the best products from around the world.#shopmelimei #meethemaker #meetthemakermonday A post shared by Meli Mei (@shopmelimei) on Oct 23, 2017 at 1:11pm PDT 2.  Goodies for all ages Shopping with your little ones? Meli Mei makes it easy for you as they carry merchandise for all ages. You may even find a matching set for you and your darling tot or teen. Gorgeous bracelet sets for you and your little princess💚💕💚 A post shared by Meli Mei (@shopmelimei) on Feb 15, 2017 at 6:03am PST 3. Trendy graphic tees that say how we are all really feeling If you rock the comfy chic look and are a wee bit sarcastic, then you will love these tops. Go ahead, let the citizens of Fort Wayne know what is truly on your mind. A post shared by Meli Mei (@shopmelimei)...

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