Clatter Creative: Going beyond the pen

Business owners know that standing out in their industry can be tough to do. While each business has its own unique approach to how it serves and appeals to their patrons, it can be challenging to put a finger on. Dianna Coulter, owner of Clatter Creative calls this “The Why.”

Clatter Creative set down roots in Holland just two years ago. After working in different arms of the marketing industry, Dianna and her husband decided to move from Chicago to Holland. Having family in the area, they had vacationed in West Michigan and wanted become a permanent part of the community.

Since migrating, Dianna has enjoyed meeting businesses owners and entrepreneurs in Holland and the surrounding areas. Through a mix of promotional materials and marketing expertise, Dianna works to uncover “The Why” for each of her clients and help them start and continue a conversation with their customers. Her extensive portfolio of branded merchandise and apparel helps businesses reach their target audience and leave a lasting impression.

It could start with a fancy pen that showcase a business’ name and address. But Clatter Creative strives to go beyond that. When Dianna sits down with her clients, she wants to get the big picture; who is this business? What apparel or merchandise will turn their message into a brand? It can take about a month from start to finish, but each step of the process is manageable and approachable.

Whether it’s looking for a few items a business can give its loyal customers or outfitting a company with a full arsenal of branded merchandise, Clatter Creative will make sure the message is as unique as the client.

To find out more, visit clattercreative.com.

Putting the Spotlight on Diversity

“I’ve never had safety. I will always be seen as a threat due to the color of my skin.”

This was a statement made by an attendee at the recent Local First Measure What Matters workshop.

Facilitated by One World Diversity, the workshop focused on the importance of diversity. One of the first comments made at the event was that it was looking to encourage dialogue – open and honest feedback – in a safe space. To respect those boundaries, I have intentionally refrained from including names with any of the shared quotes.

One World Diversity utilized vignettes to highlight various scenarios that can take place within the business community and the city as a whole. From there, attendees were able to discuss their thoughts and feelings related to the presented subject matter. Additionally, there was a panel-led discussion building upon these topics.

The workshop was eye-opening to say the least. It was interesting to hear about the challenges many have experienced right here. At times, it can be easy to feel this is such a small town that we are immune to these types of issues. Unfortunately that is not the case. There were several thought-provoking discussions as well as actionable takeaways.

When considering the importance of diversity, it was stated we need to think about its impact on the community as well as the ways in which businesses can help. As employees, individuals should use their voices, be cognizant of racial differences and encourage innovation, one panelist shared.

By focusing on equity and inclusion in the workplace, it can help promote success and wealth for all. “Forty percent of Grand Rapids is minority. Think about the taxes, revenue, etc. being generated and contributed to the community,” another panelist stated. Not only is inclusion the right thing to do but it is also smart business.

As employers, it is wise to think about diversity in hiring. Also, think about diversity when branding and marketing your products or services. Be inclusive in your messaging and ensure your audience can understand it, which may mean translating is necessary.

Panelists challenged attendees by stating –

“There has to be some discomfort in the conversations that we have.”

“We are all responsible to help build community together.”

“You have the solutions and you have the power. You don’t have to have all the answers and you won’t always get it right.”

What steps can you and your organization take today to help encourage inclusion internally and within the community?

The next Measure What Matters workshop will take place on September 20 at Atomic Objectlearn more

About Stingray Advisory Group LLC: Stingray Advisory Group LLC is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. By creating dynamic customized solutions for business growth, we empower businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools to further their development. To learn more or schedule a consultation, visit www.stingrayadvisorygroup.com

Preserves: Going beyond breakfast

Thornburg and Company is a small, family-owned artisan food company located in Holland that specializes in creating artisan-made gourmet preserves, specialty Michigan maple syrups, and other goodies. 

Thornburg and Company takes great pride in their craft as artisans and it shows. Their preserves are made without pectin or artificial preservatives and have a farm-to-table freshness. All recipes are inspired by the fruits that grow here in Michigan and are crafted in small batches, using the old-fashioned methods.

If you’re a foodie, you’ll fit right in. Owner Pam De Vries says she loves seeing the way people experiment and appreciate the passion Thornburg and Co. puts into their work.

“They totally get using the preserves beyond just a breakfast food,” she says. “We also appeal to those that truly appreciate the method of how we prepare our products, those looking for a fresh tasting non-chemical alternative to share with their family.”

The company was founded in 2011 by Ryan Thornburg, a Master Chef in St Joseph, Michigan. Passing his knowledge on to Pam, he sold the company in the fall of 2015. She brought it to Holland to share it with her community where she uses the same techniques and tricks of the trade.

“He is an excellent resource whenever anything arises, I can always count on him,” she says. “After all his name is forever attached to the company. He is the “Thornburg” and we are the “and Company”.

Pam has learned to wear many hats as a small business owner and the company has had their fair share of struggles and frustrations along the way. When she first bought the company, rumors spread that it was going bankrupt and out of business. Pam worked hard to dispel them, the community responded. They also struggle with a saturated market. To participate in farmer’s markets meant searching out a place that did not already have too many similar businesses.  

Today Thornburg and Company continues to grow. They are working on a few other options in the marketplace and will potentially branch out on their offerings. If you want to learn more about their business and how to take preserves beyond breakfast, join us at Lakeshore Fork Fest on September 28 at Coppercraft Distillery – Get Tickets!

West Michigan Farmers Markets

West Michigan farmers markets provide endless options for purchasing delicious, local fare. Below are a few of our favorites!

Allendale Farmers Market

Located in Parking Lot G at 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, Michigan 49417

Open Wednesdays from 10am – 1:30pm Learn more

Fulton Street Farmers Market

Located at 1145 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8am – 3pm Learn more

Grand Haven Farmers Market

Located at Chinook Pier, Under the Green Canopy, Grand Haven, Michigan 49417

Open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8am – 1pm Learn more

Holland Farmers Market

Located at 150 W 8th St, Holland, Michigan 49423

Open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8am – 3pm Learn more

Muskegon Farmers Market

Located at 242 W Western Ave, Muskegon, Michigan 49440

Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8am – 2pm Learn more

Rockford Farmers Market

Located at 27 S Squires St Square, Rockford, Michigan 49341

Open Saturdays from 8am – 1pm Learn more

Southeast Area Farmers Market

Located at Martin Luther King Park 900 Fuller Ave SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506

Open Saturdays from 11am-3pm Learn more

Go. Live. Work. Play. Locally with Consumers Credit Union

You need to bank and your bank closes at 5:00 p.m.? In Grandville and Plainfield, Consumers has your back and is open until 7:00 p.m. weekdays! This is one unique feature of Consumers Credit Union. They help you bank how you want, when you want.

Consumers is local and has served West Michigan since 1951. Join 80,000 personal and business members across West Michigan who love the ultimate in customer service. Consumers simplifies banking through exceptional service, education and convenient technology, Consumers makes it easy for members to bank how they want, when they want.

You can see for yourself how they treat their members like family. Stop in any one of their 20 offices across Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and the Lakeshore, and you’ll feel like you’re visiting your favorite cafe. There’s always free Wi-Fi, coffee and a friendly face. You can bank where everybody knows your name!

Consumers’ online, mobile and in-person services make banking convenient no matter where you are. Member favorites include Mobile Check Deposit, Online Banking and extended drive thru service through their new Interactive Tellers, which serve as both an ATM and during office hours, allowing you to complete complex banking transactions with a teller just as you would in a regular office.

Learn why Consumers is a Best and Brightest company in the Nation and is consistently ranked highest in member satisfaction.  

Connect with Consumers for your personal or business banking needs, stop in an office or visit www.consumerscu.org

20 Year of Cheers!

Pioneering West Michigan brewery, New Holland Brewing Company is celebrating 20 years this year. Through those two decades, they’ve turned growing pains into innovation and built a community around their “Stop and Taste” way of life.

As the first brewery/distiller in Michigan, New Holland had a steep learning curve. When they began making Dragons Milk, their bourbon barrel-aged stout, they faced temperamental wood and unpredictable favor outcomes. What resulted was a completely different problem: keeping up with demand.

“As it grew to become more and more of our volume, we would have to re-imagine, re-invest and re-engineer many solutions to continue to grow Dragon’s Milk to be the unlimited release that it is today, available every day in all markets,” says Fred Bueltmann, Vice President of Brand and Lifestyle.

Today, they do even more with the repurposed barrels. In addition to making beer, they flip the process on its head and use the Dragon’s Milk barrels to make Beer Barrel Bourbon. Once they’ve finished their beverage tenure, spent barrels are turned into chairs, signs, tap handles, chips for your smoker, and more. 

This, along with their scratch menu, make New Holland a waste-not, want-not kind of place. Not to say that they don’t live without extravagance. Their twentieth year has been packed with celebration, including the Hatter Day Street Party in June, which featured a throwback pack of six classic (and otherwise out of commission) beers and live bands, including The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The next 20 years are sure to bring many reasons to stop and taste with old friends and new.

Find out more at newhollandbrew.com or get social on Facebook @newhollandbrewpub @newhollandknickerbocker Twitter @newhollandbrew or Instagram @newhollandbrew