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Julia Perla Huisman

Brad M. Wolf

Kathryn MacNeil

Margaux Friedman Lindsey Gottschling Jeanine Perla Arty Reyes Ashley Spencer


Abigail Spihlman


Kim Ranegar

Rahsaan Taylor

Michelle Hamstra

Teresa Schmidt

Amanda Wilson

Jillian Pancini

Carrie Steinweg

David Zuccarelli





HERE Magazine 10769 Broadway #320 Crown Point, IN 46307 readheremag.com Instagram, Twitter: @readheremag Facebook, Pinterest: /readheremag © 2019 JPH Publishing, LLC

PART N E R WI TH U S! One of HERE magazine’s primary goals is to promote local small business through both editorial and advertising opportunities. Do you want to get the word out about your business? We can help!

OUR P ROM OTION AL O PPO RTU NITIES INCLU D E: -Print advertising for all price ranges -Digital advertising on a newly designed website and weekly email newsletter -Branding and marketing services -Website design -Video production Email info@readheremag.com or call 219.230.3320 for more information. readheremag.com






Two families choose the life of minimalism

How inclusion elevates art





Artists collaborate to celebrate Spring

Old time is worth a man’s new time





Oliver Iguardia, the entrepreneur behind Sawdust

Inside the bold, empowering world of women’s roller derby





Mythos creator Alec Villareal shares the passion and how-to of zine making

Valpo pair opens woodworking co-op to share creative space with others





Spring happenings around Northwest Indiana

New distillery intertwines ingenuity with a nod to history


Plan a mini vacay at these unique local retreats

T H E I D EA B O O K 34




Exploring the two concepts in men’s fashion

Bhavy J Designs makes women’s work apparel that combines comfort with on-trend professionalism


Integrating plant life into the life of a home


Photo by Brad M. Wolf


spring | 2019


FROM T HE E D I TOR We are (finally) embarking on a new season… spring! A season of rebirth and new beginnings. Incidentally, HERE magazine is experiencing a rebirth of its own, and I find it quite appropriate that the timing lines up with our Spring issue. We announced in early January that we will be publishing four issues per year instead of six, and producing more online content in the meantime (as well as some additional themed print issues, which I’ll tell you about in the coming weeks… stay tuned!). This allows for more quality content in more places, and fosters a best-of-both-worlds scenario—meeting our readers in the digital space while also producing a lovely printed piece they can hold in their hands and keep on their coffee tables. We are also launching a brand-new website design over at readheremag.com! It has a stunning new aesthetic that better matches our print design, and a more user-friendly format for our readers. We partnered with Sawdust, a design agency in Crown Point, for this redesign and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Give it a visit and let us know what you think! There are some smaller changes we’ve introduced in this issue as well. First, because most of the HERE audience is active on Instagram, we’ve included the Instagram profiles of those featured in our stories. For small businesses in particular, social media following is vital to growth, so please check them out on Instagram and give them a follow if you like what you see. The second change is to the last page of the magazine. We formerly featured photos submitted by local photographers, and now we’re giving writers a turn! Renamed “In Your Words,” this page will feature poetry and short essays by NWI writers. We at HERE love the written word, so we embrace any chance to highlight that art form. Interestingly enough, all of these changes are happening at the same time I’m experiencing something new in my personal life… the birth of a child! In fact, I’m scheduled to deliver my baby girl on the same day that this issue arrives from the printer. It’s always a fun mystery when professional and personal worlds collide, and in this case the theme of birth and rebirth couldn’t be more closely linked. I’m overwhelmed with joy, anticipation, and yes, some nervousness, at the growth happening in both worlds. I know there will be some growing pains and it won’t always be easy, but ultimately, change is good. All of this is good. Thanks for joining me on the ride. Julia Perla Huisman Editor and Publisher

SH O PK E EP ER S P OTL I GHT This Mother’s Day, give the mom in your life something memorable from a local shop or artisan.

Notepad, $16.50 | Pens, $2 Clutch, $28 Toluka Paperie + Gifts 9442 Calumet Ave, Munster tolukapaper.com | @tolukapaper

Gift Card for Yoga Classes Prices vary One Yoga 1605 LaPorte Ave, Valparaiso onevalpo.com | @weareonevalpo

Mommy & Me Photography Session $100 Vanessa Hein Photography vanessaheinphotography.com @vanessaheinphotography

Cookie Box $15 Cookie By Kim cookiebykim.com @cookiebykim

Jacket, $75 | Necklace, $24 Ivy Boutique 204 Jefferson St, Valparaiso shopivyboutique.com @shop_ivy_boutique

ADVE RT ISING FE AT URE readheremag.com



T HE DR E AME R How Oliver Iguardia grew from imaginative child to innovative entrepreneur by Julia Perla Huisman Photography by Annette McKeown Sometimes, you just know in your gut what you’re meant to do. For Oliver Iguardia, owner of Sawdust creative design agency in downtown Crown Point, his varied career path always pointed him back to what he loves most: design.

Long-time entrepreneur, designer, and creative thinker Oliver Iguardia is the owner of Sawdust in Crown Point.


spring | 2019

Were you creative as a child? How did the events of your early life lead you to where you are today? As a child my head was always in the clouds. I remember my teachers telling my mom, “He is a good student but he just doesn’t pay attention,” or, “He is always looking out the window.” I always felt that there was more to life. I pictured the world as a canvas. Growing up in Chicago was the best inspiration. The architecture, the people, the culture, the noise... it all paved the way for me to express my dreams through creativity. Growing up, we didn’t have much, so we relied on our imaginations to keep us busy. As a result, a sheet of paper and a pencil were essential in my life. You’ve had a couple of other businesses over the years. What were they and how have the successes and failures helped you? Back in 1997, my brother [and I] started a distribution company. I was 19 years old. This immediately exposed me to the business world, and I was hooked. It was a learning experience that paved the way to the education of running a business, and it opened the door to logo and packaging design, which was part of my job there. From there I moved on to the restaurant industry, which was the most exciting yet the most difficult adventure of my life. My wife and I were recently married and would rollerblade down Taylor Street in Chicago where we found this little unique place called Taco Fresco, a healthy alternative to traditional Mexican food. It was fresh, new and we fell in love with the concept. So we became owners of the place in 2003. The restaurant life was hard but I continued to push forward. In 2006 we decided to open a second location from the ground up in Munster, where we were living at the time. Halfway through this journey, my wife and I had our little girl Olivia Lee. The idea of operating a restaurant while supporting a family was scary enough, not to mention the recession economy of 2007-08. But I dove into the restaurant world and learned the ins and outs of operating and running a restaurant and also the experience of what a space should look like, what it should feel like, and how to market it. Design and creativity had once again shot an arrow in my heart. I loved the whole process of telling the brand’s story, from the use of color, textiles and texture of our space to the ingredients and flavors of our food. It was all creatively and conceptually developed. So my romance was in full swing.



Through running a restaurant and managing a family, through making big mistakes and making up for them, I decided to continue my education. I put myself through design school. I wanted to learn the fundamentals; I wanted the full experience. After seven years in the restaurant industry, that journey had run its course. I was ready for my next chapter. I wanted to be a designer—back to my love for art and creativity. Back to the basics, back to the paper and pencil. The experiences and failures of my journey in the business world and the need to grow my family had finally paved the way to what I loved best—art! What led you to start Sawdust? After my time in the restaurant industry, I knew that I wanted to really dive head first into the design world. I found a need to be more than just a freelance designer—I wanted to create something with more substance. Something that would bring other designers and creatives together. Something that I could build long-lasting friendships in. So it started in 2009. Through ups and downs, different names, discouragement, disappointments, accomplishments, and ten years of hard work, we now have what I call my second home: Sawdust. What about design compels you? Why do you like this line of work? Telling a story visually. Through brand identity or a digital experience, I love telling a story. It allows me to express my creative energy while helping my client/partners tell their story and reaching their goals. Why is branding important? Branding is important because it is the window to your world. It is what attracts your audience to your product or service. It is the first impression, your calling card, the foundation of your business or persona. It is what makes your story memorable. So it better be a good one. What trends in design/branding do you see coming in the next year? If I could have a say, I would like things to continue to be minimal. Less noise and more focused on content and story. The most powerful message is a consistent one. But design is ever changing and always evolving. So who knows, the next year may bring something new and spectacular. Aside from Oliver the designer and entrepreneur, who is Oliver the person? I live in St. John along with my beautiful wife Gina, my adorable daughter Olivia, and my two loving pup-pups Romeo and Chloe. I love to smoke cigars, drink a good whiskey or gin, enjoy a good beer, and drink coffee by my dear friends over at Smalltown Coffee Co. Oh, and I love the Wu-Tang Clan. Everything that I have and will accomplish in life, I owe it all to God. Without him my story would not be what it is today. He has been the one who has dried my tears, heard my screams, and comforted my soul. How do you feel about the creative surge that’s happening in Northwest Indiana? I feel good in the sense that you see more and more creatives coming out of the woodwork. The creative scene has definitely grown since I first started ten years ago. I encourage everyone to continue to challenge themselves and not conform to a small-town mentality. Always think big! Always have the hunger to be better at what you do. Never stop learning. Never settle for something just “cool” or “good.” Always go for amazing, always go for purpose.


spring | 2019

FI ND I T HE RE Sawdust 110 S Main St, Unit 2A Crown Point sawdust.co | @swdst

DERBY DAMES DOMINATE Inside the bold, empowering world of women’s roller derby WO R DS Ama n d a Wi l s o n

Action-hero dreams of fearless stunts and daring adventures aren’t limited to little boys and boys-atheart. Girls and women, too, yearn to race, compete and conquer. Little action-hero wannabes grow up to hold stable jobs and keep families together, but the inner adrenaline-junkie remains. Roller derby is for women looking for their next adventure. The contact sport, complete with falls and collisions, started out as a form of roller skating racing in the 1920s and evolved into its current form in the late 1940s. Roller derby games, also referred to as bouts, consist of two opposing teams with each team scoring points by passing members


spring | 2019

P HOTOS Miche lle Hamstra

of the opposing team. The Illiana Derby Dames, established in 2012, is a nonprofit organization whose team members hail from Northwest Indiana, Northeast Illinois, and the South Shore area. The bouts provide feel-good entertainment that builds women up while giving back to the community through donations and volunteer work. A local charity is selected for each bout; all proceeds go to the selected charity, and Dames are actively involved in community outreach throughout the year. “We strive to assist and support smaller local charities close to our skaters’ hearts,” says Dame Sarah Cantrell,

who goes by Scare N’ Dippity on the rink. Charities the Dames have supported include INFEAT, South Suburban Humane Society, and the Cancer Support Center of Homewood. Community outreach includes supporting region residents in need, such as when team members took part in a Lynwood softball tournament for two local policemen diagnosed with cancer, as well as yearly participation in Girls on the Run and 500 Turkeys. “We only hold one major fundraiser a year for the league,” Cantrell says. “Everything else we do is for charity.” Christine Bunton was a stay-at-home mom to two small children five years ago, and she recalls being “bored out of my mind” when she found out about the IDD. She fell in love with roller derby from her first skate. “I was never athletic and I never played a team sport,” says Bunton, whose derby name is Eve Iscerate. “I hadn’t skated since childhood

before that first practice. But, I loved roller derby from the start.” Cantrell recalls watching her sister-in-law participate in roller derby bouts. “I would go watch her and think, ‘These girls are crazy, there’s no way I could ever do that.’” After watching from the sidelines for two years, she came to roller derby boot camp at her sister-in-law’s urging. “I went to the first practice and almost didn’t go back because I was so sore after.” Yet she stuck it out, thanks to the support of her husband and friend who teamed up to watch Cantrell’s four children, including twin toddlers, which she says made her twice weekly practices possible. Inspired by Cantrell, her husband and friend recently joined local men’s derby league Chicago Bruise Brothers. “They now have first-hand knowledge of why I love this sport so much,” she says.



Roller derby is not a dainty sport and not for the faint of heart. Practices and bouts include warmups, and players exercise off-skate and strength train, but injuries do happen. In one bout, Cantrell dislocated a knee, relocated it, and iced it for 10 minutes before rejoining to finish the game. Bunton says the adrenaline rush of roller derby far outweighs the risk of injury. “It’s so fulfilling to be taking care of your body in such a powerful way.” In a culture that all too often objectifies and dismisses women based on body type and age, a sport that celebrates and empowers women is refreshing. “Derby builds up your strength whether you’re short, tall, fat or thin,” Bunton says. “We have 50-year-old women holding their own with 18-yearolds. A tiny, skinny body maneuvers into tight spaces. A large, strong body is a major asset for assertive maneuvers. There’s a place for every body type. Roller derby has built my confidence and self-esteem like nothing else has.” Just as body type or age shouldn’t deter anyone from roller derby participation, Amanda Hughes, aka Nan Slaughter, emphasizes that you don’t need to be an experienced athlete or skater to take part. Though she’d wistfully watched a friend participate in roller derby, Hughes initially lacked the confidence to try it herself. But, with the encouragement and support of IDD members, she went to boot camp in summer of 2018 and is now one of the league’s newest members. “I still suck, but not as badly as I did when I started,” she says. “I’m learning skills and making amazing friends in the process.”

And, Hughes enjoys the support and admiration of her husband and daughter. “My 5-year-old tells everyone we come across that her mom plays roller derby,” she says. “Her little eyes light up when I say, ‘Mommy has to go to practice now. Be good for Daddy,’ and she says, ‘I love you, Mommy! Kick some tush at roller derby!’”

R EADY TO ROLL? Interested participants, sponsors and local charities who would like to partner with the IDD can contact the Illiana Derby Dames board at illianaderbydames@gmail.com. Look for details on upcoming games at illianaderbydames.com or on their Facebook page. Follow the Dames on Instagram at @illianaderbydames.

THE ZINE SCENE Mythos creator Alec Villareal shares the passion and how-to of zine making WO R DS Al e c Vi l l a rea l

P HOTOS Brad M. Wo lf

“ZINE: magazine; especially: a noncommercial, often homemade or online publication usually devoted to specialized and often unconventional subject matter.” - Merriam-Webster Dictionary When HERE asked me to write about zines— how to make one, what to do with it once you’ve made it, etc.—I struggled at first to get going. Writer’s block really kicked me into the passenger seat and took the wheel for a while. Then, I decided to start with the reason I began making zines in the first place. The main character of the short story I’m about to tell is a guy named Jonathan, whose wife just died of cancer. I’m at her visitation, waiting in a long line to talk with Jonathan. He’s standing not too far from the open casket, next to an easel that’s holding a large piece of poster board with pictures of him and his wife plastered all over it. The guests scan the pictures on the board, point to whichever one catches their eye, and Jonathan proceeds to tell the story behind that particular photo. One sympathetic remark after another, after another, after another, ensues until I’m standing in front of Jonathan. The man has held his composure until he sees me, and his voice begins to tremble because he knows I see through him. I look past his courageous strength and find a pain beyond pain. Before I know it, I’m giving Jonathan a hug and then I’m standing in front of the casket. I’m looking at the remains of a woman who suffered terribly, who left a husband and two kids behind. Jonathan and his wife met when they were 40, and in less than 15 years they’d have to say goodbye to each another. Damn it, life. Why heap the sad on you? Because I was reminded that good men like Jonathan, who has to sleep in a bed apart from his wife forever, are the reason I created the zine Mythos. They encouraged me to be a lifelong learner, to kill my ego and truly pursue what I love. I give you a sad story in hopes that you’ll sober up and hear what I’ve got to say next.

Let me be your Jonathan. I’ll tell you what you need to hear. If you’re passionate about anything, you can make a zine. The story behind how Mythos began isn’t interesting. In fact, I find it completely unimportant to share. Instead, I’ll tell you how you can make your own zine. That’s why you’re reading this article, after all. It’s not about me. Take old magazines, cut them up, and paste various words and images onto seven or eight sheets of folded, white 8.5” x 11” paper. Any copyrighted images you use, distort them beyond recognition. This will help prevent legal disputes. If you can write, throw some writing in your zine. If you can draw, toss some drawings in it. Once everything is pasted down, take that hard-copy of your zine, scan it, print copies, fold the copies and staple them. There you have it. Your zine is made. Let what you love be the driving force behind the creation of your zine, because if you’re not passionate (I mean, really passionate) about what your zine is about, you’ll likely give up in a few short months. I’m passionate about meeting new people and bringing them together. So I created a zine that allows art to rub shoulders with art. It’s a collaborative zine that showcases work from creatives all across the country. If you’re passionate about politics, then make a zine explaining your political opinions. If you’re passionate about wrestling, then make a zine about wrestlers. If you’re passionate about flash fiction, you know what to do. Want to get your zine out and into the world? Leave copies of them at the places you frequent. You’ll be surprised at the following you’ll glean. If you’re local to Northwest Indiana, Green Door Books in Hobart will house your zines for a small cut. Green Door is a great supporter of the arts. They have publications by some of my favorite local zinesters: Bearhead, Gloomworld, Harvey Woodlawn, Perennial Magick, Casey King, Skeleri, and Appendix Z.

So how should I end this? I know. How about this?

Yes, you.

I’m wrapped in the cold sheets of my bed, listening to the droning of a box-fan that serves as a lulling, white noise to me and my family through the night. I’m lying in darkness, drifting to sleep, thinking about you.

You might never know me and that’s fine. I’m lying here alone, and you’re wherever you are. You’re reading your nice, new copy of HERE. Wherever you are, you’re reading these words— Let me be your Jonathan. Let me tell you what you need to hear: if you’re passionate about anything, you can make a zine.

Alec Villarreal is the founder of Mythos Publications. He works at WeCreate Media in Valparaiso and enjoys reading literary fiction in his spare time. He lives in Northwest Indiana with his wife and daughter. Follow Mythos on Instagram at @mythospublications.

WELCOMING WOODWORKERS Valpo pair opens woodworking co-op to share creative space with others WO R DS Ki m Ran e ga r

P HOTOS Jillia n Pa n ci n i

Jo e Ub b en a nd Bi l l O e d i n g , fo u n d e rs of t h e B o ard Ro o m


spring | 2019

After decades of day jobs, two Valparaiso executives are turning their love for woodworking from hobby to moonlight venture by opening the Board Room. Part co-op and part creative laboratory, the Board Room is a dream-come-true for people like owners Bill Oeding and Joe Ubben. Both men maintain busy day jobs but have been dabbling in woodworking projects for years, in their own garages. “A while back we built a wood kayak together in my garage, which meant kicking my wife’s car out for the better part of a winter,” shares Oeding, who serves as Valparaiso’s city administrator during the day. To be fair, Oeding did warm the car up for his wife, Danielle, each day. “Fellow woodworkers run into the same challenges when working from home—woodworking creates sawdust in basement settings and working in the garage means dealing with Northwest Indiana winters,” says Ubben, a long-time marketing professional who currently serves as marketing director for Our Greater Good. So, the two combined their woodworking artistry with their business acumen to open the Board Room, an 1,800-square-foot cooperative workshop, open for memberships. They considered other names, such as the Splinter Group and 9 Fingers, ultimately letting their wives settle on the Board Room. Members of the Board Room enjoy 24-hour access, sharing space and equipment as well as expertise and ideas with other woodworkers. “What we have here is a notch or two above most home shops that may have been assembled with equipment from big box stores,” Ubben says. The equipment has been carefully curated from the estates of dedicated woodworkers who valued quality craftsmanship. “Woodworking is a lot like owning a sports car,” he says. “There’s always something more that you want, but we don’t want for much here.” The equipment is only one component, however. “Our goal is to have a cordial group of people who like to do woodworking and are willing to share and learn from each other,” Ubben says. Oeding agrees. “I was recently talking with a fellow woodworker in his 60s and he told me he’d never met a woodworker he didn’t like. Our co-op is about building that community where we’re helping each other, pitching in and learning a craft,” he says, adding that when talking of woodworking, many people think of guys. “Yet there are ladies out there who we know we could learn from. We’re also interested in learning more about design here and CNC [computer numerical control] work, so we’re open to different talents and levels of experience,” he says.



Eventually the pair would like to offer some classes to spark interest and introduce woodworking to a new audience, perhaps bringing in a teacher to lead the group, similar to wood shop classes of yesteryear. “In the good old days, people went to work and could say, ‘Hey, I built that.’ But, in most of the decisions we make today, you don’t have a tangible outcome. Woodworking is very rewarding for giving you that sense of satisfaction, looking at what you’ve accomplished,” Ubben says. Both partners continue to create and experiment with projects. Ubben recently finished a kitchen island for his wife, Victoria, and Oeding is working on an autographed baseball holder for the grandson of a friend. The Board Room is a place for them to continue learning and collaborating.

T H E S ET UP Members of the Board Room enjoy 110- and 220-volt electrical, comprehensive dust-collection equipment, two air filtration systems, LED lighting, pull-down electrical cords, compressed air access throughout, and abundant prep and sanding tables. The atmosphere is relaxed as tunes play in the background. Noticeably absent is a clock, which may be added as both Oeding and Ubben admit that they can lose track of time when working on a project.

FI ND I T HE RE The Board Room 456 S Campbell St, Unit C, Valparaiso theboardroomvalpo.com To get involved, prospective members (18 and older) are invited to come in for a free tour and interview, with mandatory training required before working in the space.



What’s Happening around Northwest Indiana

| Compiled by Ashley Boyer

MARCH 2-3 Home & Lifestyle Expo 10am-5pm Sat, 10am-4pm Sun, Blue Chip Casino Hotel & Spa, 777 Blue Chip Drive, Michigan City, balc.org Meet with professionals in home building, remodeling, home maintenance, landscaping and more.

MARCH 23 LaPorte County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Show 8am-4pm, Michigan City High School, 8466 W Pahs Rd, Michigan City, lpmastergardener.com Fun and educational day of gardening sessions, kids’ workshops, vendors, food and more.

MARCH 9 Art Night Fundraiser 5-10pm, Portage Recovery Association, 5965 McCasaland Ave, Portage, facebook.com/portagerecovery Silent art auction, coffee bar, live acoustic music and food, benefiting the Portage Recovery Club.

MARCH 30, APRIL 27 Homewood Indoor Farmers’ Market 8am-noon, Marie Irwin Center, 18120 Highland Ave This indoor market features produce, baked goods, artisans, local coffee and food, and flowers.

MARCH 9-10 Maple Sugar Time at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore 10am-4pm, Chellberg Farm, 618 N Mineral Springs Rd, Chesterton, nps.gov/indu Maple sugaring activities abound: See and participate in turning maple sap into syrup, take a tour, sample a taste and more. MARCH 9-10, 16-17 Maple Syrup Time at Deep River County Park 10am-4pm, Deep River County Park Wood’s Historic Grist Mill, 9410 Old Lincoln Hwy, lakecountyparks.com Learn how to tap maple trees, see sap being made into syrup in the sugar shack and over an open fire, taste the syrup and more. MARCH 10 Switchback 7-9pm, Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster, theatreatthecenter.com The internationally renowned Celtic soul duo performs. MARCH 15 Taste of the Region 7pm, Halls of St. George, 905 E Joliet St, Schererville, serviceleaguenwi.org All-you-can-eat-and-drink event with more than 40 Region restaurants whipping up samples of their culinary creations, live music and dancing, dozens of silent auction items and more to benefit the Service League of Northwest Indiana. MARCH 16 Corkscrew and Brew noon-4pm, Thomas Centennial Park, 220 Broadway, Chesterton, dunelandchamber.org Local wineries and breweries gather for a springtime tasting, with music and food available for purchase.


spring | 2019

APRIL 6 27th Annual Gala for Opportunity Enterprises 6-11:30pm, Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa, 777 Blue Chip Drive, Michigan City, oppent.org/gala Cocktails, a gourmet dinner, live music by the Connexion Band, live and silent auctions, a raffle and an open bar, hosted by Delta Theta Tau to benefit Opportunity Enterprises. APRIL 6 Firefly Ball 7-11pm, Michigan City Senior Center, Two on the Lake, Michigan City, washingtonparkzoo.com An illuminating night out featuring dancing, appetizers and a cash bar to benefit the Washington Park Zoological Society. APRIL 11-MAY 18 Spring into the Arts downtown Valparaiso, springintothearts.com Valparaiso Community Schools’ celebration of the arts featuring artwork by students at downtown locations, as well as art-themed events. APRIL 13 21st Annual Spring Fling 5pm, Traditions Event Center, 2107 Welnetz Rd, Michigan City, michianahumanesociety.org Cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions to benefit Michiana Humane Society. APRIL 15

Found & Shared Workshop 9am-2pm, Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corrine Dr, Hammond, fetchingmarket.com A workshop for entrepreneurs featuring business/life coaches, networking, brunch, and a creative workshop.

APRIL 24 Tri Kappa Tri Town Taste 5:30-8:30pm, Villa Cesare, 900 Eagle Ridge Dr, Schererville, eventbrite.com More than 30 Tri Town restaurants will offer tastes of their signature dishes, plus music, raffles and a silent auction. Proceeds promote education, culture and charity.

MAY 18

APRIL 27 Chocolate Walk noon-4pm, downtown Valparaiso, valparaisoevents.com A day of chocolate bliss with sweet treats offered at more than 20 downtown locations. Tickets on sale March 11.

MAY 24


Dames at Sea Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster, theatreatthecenter.com

A loving parody of early Hollywood movie musicals, this playful romp is filled with song, dance and laughs.

Spring out to Sunset Festival noon-4pm, Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 Meridian Rd, Valparaiso, portercountyparks.org

Welcome warm weather with outdoor fun—interactions with farm animals, wagon rides, bounce houses, food vendors, a vintage baseball game, a beer garden and more. Plus, homebrew and BBQ competitions.

Taste of Valparaiso 5:30-8:30pm, Porter County Expo Center, 215 E Division Rd, Valparaiso, trikappavalpo.org

Valparaiso Tri Kappa’s annual fundraiser with samples of signature dishes from 30 local restaurants, a raffle and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit community organizations. MAY 25-26

Michigan City Food Truck Festival 10am-8pm, Fedders Alley, 150-200 Lakeshore Dr, Michigan City, michigancityfoodtruckfestival.com

Gourmet food trucks, live bands, beverages and more.


The Region celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with festive 5Ks and lively parades. MARCH 9


Michigan City St. Patrick’s Day Parade 1pm, Franklin St between 10th and 4th Sts, Michigan City, michigancitylaporte.com

St. Pat’s Pre-Parade One Miler Run/Walk 6:45pm, First United Methodist Hall, 352 S Main St, Crown Point, hometownhappenings.net



18th Annual Runnin’ with the Irish 5K 8:30am kids’ fun run, 9am 5K run/walk, Indiana Dunes State Park, 1600 N 25 E, Chesterton, thtiming.com

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Crown Point dusk, downtown Crown Point, crownpoint.in.gov


Leprechaun 5K Run/Walk 9am, Crown Brewing, 211 S East St, Crown Point, crownbrewing.com


With vintage items, antiques, one-of-a-kind artisan goods and upcycled vendors, these pop-up markets offer a unique shopping experience, complete with local fare, drinks and live music. MARCH 1-2 Fetching Market 5-10pm Fri, 10am-4pm Sat, The Well at the Distillery, 400 E Margaret St, Thorton, Ill., fetchingmarket.com

MARCH 16 The Collective Artisan Market 10am-4pm, LaPorte Civic Auditorium, 1001 Ridge St, LaPorte, thecollectivein.com

MARCH 3 Rustic Peddler Market 9am-3pm, Halls of St. George, 905 E Joliet St, Schererville, facebook.com/rusticpeddlermarket

MAY 11 Three Little Birds Market 9am-4pm, Porter County Expo Center, 215 E Division Rd, Valparaiso, facebook.com/3littlebirdsmarket

MARCH 8-9, MAY 10-11 Hunt & Gather Market 5-10pm Fri, 10am-5pm Sat, Lake County Fairgrounds, 889 S Court St, Crown Point


New distillery intertwines ingenuity with a nod to history Wo rds by Ca r r ie Ste inweg

Northwest Indiana is bursting with craft breweries and if you make your way into Southwest Michigan, there are wineries galore, but one thing we don’t see much of in this booze-infused region are distilleries.

Distillery offers seasonal and updated classic cocktails with rum, whiskey and gin crafted on-site. It also features liqueurs produced at the distillery for Apologue Liqueurs, plus house-made bitters and an infused vodka of the week.

Until recent years, distilleries seemed isolated in the South, where the big names produced whiskey, bourbon and other spirits in mass quantities, but the surge in small-batch popularity has created big demand in the Midwest, and the newest distillery to the area is now open in Thornton.

Beverages can be enjoyed along with bites from a simple food menu that includes a cheese board, veggie panini or three variations of flatbread pizza made from a homemade dough recipe developed by owner Andy Howell. “Our love of fermentation we execute with the dough, as well. It goes beyond our distillery floor,” he says. “We’ll add more [menu items] as we go. We wanted to keep it simple and do it really well and then scale it up.”

Housed in an 1857 building that remains the oldest standing brewery in Illinois, the Well at the


Ph otog raphy by Mich elle Ha mstra

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The men behind the Well are owner Andrew Howell and head distiller Ari Klafter. readheremag.com


The venue can host up to 250 for private events, with plans for further expansion. Among the special events that have been held there are a bridal show, New Year’s Eve party and weekly trivia and movie nights. The recent addition of a municipal lot provided additional parking. Renovation of the building, which operated as a brewery from 1857 until 1957, took four years. During Prohibition, beer brewing was done quietly while soda pop was manufactured. The original owner, John Bielfeldt, bought the land from John Kinzie and Gurdon Hubbard, prominent fur traders who were among the first permanent European settlers of Chicago. The duo had purchased it from Native Americans. In the past half-century the building was occupied by light industrial operations on one side and several restaurant/bars in another part. Now Howell and his business partner Jake Weiss have taken the reins. The artesian well that inspired the restaurant’s name filters in water from an underground aquifer fed from Lake Superior. It is connected to the tasting room and can be viewed on tours. Limestone from the original well was repurposed to create the sprawling bar in the tasting room.


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In August, Howell brought on Ari Klafter as head distiller. Trained in Scotland, Klafter earned a masters in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University. Klafter is currently working to hone recipes of three main products that they expect to hit store shelves in mid-2019: a pecan whiskey aged in oak barrels with hand-toasted pecans, a dark barrel-aged rum, and a citrus-forward and floral gin. The two look forward to customizing events and creating a Distiller-for-a-Day program where individuals or corporate groups can distill with Klafter, observe how the spirit ages and in the end be presented with their own bottle of whiskey with an individualized label. Tours are available Thursdays through Sundays at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. for $10 per person, which includes a tasting of three spirits. Reservations can be made online and walk-ins are permitted if space allows. Tours are limited to ten people. “We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback,” Howell says. “People are happy with this space and what we’ve done with it.”




FI N D I T H E R E The Well at the Distillery 400 E Margaret St Thornton, Illinois thewell1857.com @thewell1857




Plan a mini vacay at these unique local retreats Words by Kim Ran egar Months of snowy sidewalks and gray skies have us longing for a getaway where we can reconnect with nature or share time with loved ones. We found three nearby spots that inspire us to pack our bags and forward our mail indefinitely.


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F L AM I N G O R A N C H Lakeside, Michigan @steveandfilip

Nestled in a forest, just a half-mile from Lake Michigan, Flamingo Ranch is a four-bedroom retreat, complete with amazing outdoor spaces for groups to gather. The retro ranch has been professionally decorated by designer-owners in a breezy coastal style. Friends and family will all have a spot, including a four-bed bunkroom and modern kitchen with all the tools for communal cooking. Step outdoors to the heated plunge pool (an elevated pool, surrounded by wood deck and chaise chairs), fabulous cabana and bar, and even a 20-foot tall teepee. There’s plenty to do on-site, but Pier Street Beach is just a 15-minute walk away. Or, go antiquing along Red Arrow Highway, hike nearby at the Robinson Woods Forest Preserve, visit Warren Dunes State Park, and refresh at Greenbush Brewing Co. in nearby Sawyer. Book it: Available for daily and weekly rentals (minimums depend on season). Contact steve@steveandfilipdesign.com.

Photos by: Interiors by David Sparks Exteriors by Steve Somogyi



B R E W E RY LO D G E Michigan City, Indiana

The 14-room boutique hotel is a creative partnership between neighboring Shady Creek Winery and Zorn Brew Works. Surrounded by 31 acres of wooded land with streams, ponds and wildlife, the historical former inn and corporate retreat has been transformed into the modern, rustic Brewery Lodge, with hand-hewn beams, cozy fireplaces, and wood-paneled walls. Downstairs, you’ll find a rustic bar (open to the public), serving Shady Creek and Zorn favorites, along with an assortment of regional craft beers and wines, plus an ever-changing bar and dinner menu by Chef Kelly Cahalan. On-site event space is available for hosting your own private party, or book an excursion on the Lodge’s own 13-passenger van, which offers tours of eight breweries in the surrounding Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan area. Book it: Available for overnight getaways, events and brewery excursions. Visit brewerylodge.com.

Photos by WeCreate Media


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FA RRA ND HA LL Colon, Michigan @farrand1854

Situated in Amish farm country, Farrand Hall offers a unique experience for guests with its 1854 Greek Revival home, 12 acres of woods and prairie, and neighboring farms. A magical spot for gatherings and events, Farrand Hall welcomes guests from the grand entry hall, cozy library and parlor, to the four guest rooms (three with sitting rooms and one with an ensuite bath complete with clawfoot tub), and a fully outfitted kitchen. Purchased in 2017, owners James and Jacob have lovingly restored the home, added modern amenities, and sourced period furnishings to create a warm and historic ambiance, perfect for overnights or events from bridal showers to family holidays to photo shoots. During warmer months, guests enjoy the BBQ grill and outdoor garden festooned with a ceiling of lights. Book it: Available for events, photo shoots, and overnight getaways. Contact info@farrandhall.com or visit farrandhall.com.

Photos by James Gray


ST Y LE VS. FASH ION Exploring the two concepts in men’s fashion Wo rds by C hr i s Su row ie c | P h oto s by Za h ra S c h o o ley

Which should we aim for: fashion or style? It might not be a question most men ask themselves. Some don’t even know the difference, which is no big deal. Frankly, fashion and style are quite different from each other, despite their correlation.


The dictionary definition of fashion is “a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament.” Fashion leans more along the lines of trendy items, or things you may see on the runway, for example. This art form is a way for designers to be bold and remain creative, allowing them to make a name for themselves through the outfits they try to bolster. Due to the fact that fashion follows trends, it can’t last forever. As time fades by, the trends might go along with it, leaving remnants of old pieces that may never be worn again, or maybe they will be worn once in a blue moon. Some may argue that style wouldn’t be what it is today without fashion. This is true. Without fashion, there wouldn’t be a foundation for a style to be built on. And due to the constantly changing fashion trends, style makes some changes as well. For example, T-shirts previously worn only with urban attire can now be paired with classic menswear, and track pants formerly assigned to athleisure have evolved to the urban fashion scene. It’s all a matter of how you wear it. Hence, personal style. Many of today’s trends consist of nuances from several decades of clothing. Trends don’t ever go away completely; on the contrary, they come back little by little as time goes on, for better or for worse.


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An example of “better” are the striped sweaters and ripped jeans from the nineties, and leather jackets from the fifties. For worse… I’ll leave that for you to decide. Fashion, to me, is less personal. Fashion is dictated by what everyone collectively decides to wear or bring back into trend and season.


The dictionary definition for style is “​a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.” But this definition doesn’t do it justice. I feel it’s missing something, maybe a more personal touch. Being fashionable isn’t all that practical to me, unlike style. Style isn’t just what’s on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside, too, and that is of utmost importance. If you don’t convey a certain level of confidence or demand a certain level of respect, what’s the point in really trying to look good, or in spending a lot of money to look your best? Style is easier to approach than fashion is. Style is how you feel and how you want to project yourself. Finding your personal style is a process, but ends up being one of the best things you can do for yourself. Fashion is something you have to copy, from the hat to the shoes, in order to pull off the trend. Style, you choose. Plain and simple.

I leave you with this: focus on style. With style comes confidence. With confidence comes the chance for success. And with whatever success looks like to you, ultimately comes happiness. In the end, that’s what we all are really searching for.

Chris Surowiec is a fashion blogger at practicalstyleguide.blogspot.com. He lives in LaPorte and can be found on Instagram at @practicalstyleguide.



T HE F R ON T O FFIC E Chicago designer Bhavana Jain of Bhavy J Designs makes women’s work apparel that combines comfort with on-trend professionalism. P h oto s by Te re sa S c h m id t

Clothing Bhavy J Designs | Chicago Location Zoseco Coworking | Valparaiso

Model Angelina Dani | Chicago

Hair Cheri Folliard, Top-Knot Bridal | Munster Makeup Morgan Hecht, Makeup by Morgan Valparaiso

“The Brooklin” tweed blazer, $150 | “The Ambar” tweed A-line skirt, $125 readheremag.com


“The Savannah” floral dress, $175


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“The Jasmine” floral embroidered top, $110 | “The Aaliya” denim A-line skirt, $125

A B O UT ZO SECO COWO RKI NG zoseco.com | @zosecocoworking Zoseco Coworking is a space for those who work independently but desire a collaborative office space. It is a hub for entrepreneurs and freelancers to connect. One of the first coworking spaces in Northwest Indiana, Zoseco is located in the heart of downtown Valparaiso and offers “the fastest internet in town.” readheremag.com


ABO UT BH AV Y J DESIG N S bhavyjdesigns.com @bhavyjdesigns Inspired by the modern professional woman, Bhavy J Designs offers a fresh take on American contemporary wear by elevating classic Western silhouettes with thoughtful design details that create unique, transitional pieces. Subtly incorporating the use of vibrant colors, imported fabrics, sophisticated embroidery techniques, and floral motifs, Bhavy J believes in empowering women through timeless designs.

A BOTANI CA L HAVEN Integrating plant life into the life of a home Photo s by Brad M . Wo l f

Greener y is certai nl y havi ng i ts mo ment in the sun, co m i ng bac k into o ur ho m e s i n bi g and beautiful ways. I t ’s o ne thi ng to shove a pla nt o r two i ns i de the dusty o pen cor ne rs of a ho us e, and quite anothe r to craft a wo r k of art o ut of botani cal e l e m e nts . Adam Wiltfang and H eath T i m m of Va lpara iso have m aste re d the latter, and then s o m e. Wi l tfang , the owner a nd c reati ve ge ni us behind De s i g ne r De ss e rts Ba ker y, invites u s i nto hi s m i nd’s eye and shares i nnovati ve i deas o n ho me de s i g n, and how to brin g the o uts i de i n.

outTHE theLIlittle in the room,ROOM, I couldn’t makeTup my mind WHWhen EN PL Aplanning N N ING OUT T TLEwall WA L space L S PACEavailable AVAIL ABLE IN Tliving HE LIVING I COULDN’ MAKE UP MYon M IN D artwork or wall hangings, so we decided to make a living wall with plants. O N A RTWO R K OR WA LL HA NGI NGS , S O WE DECIDE D TO MAKE A LIVING WALL WIT H PL ANTS.

Stepping into the sun room is like being inside a greenhouse. I painted the entire room, including the ceiling, an ash gray to create the perfect backdrop for all of the greenery. Then I added a leather daybed with lots of furs, blankets, and pillows to relax and take in all the beauty of the plants and enjoy some relaxing time with a good book.

For the plant wall, I installed cork tiles in a random pattern and then painted. I then attached a variety of hanging pots, baskets, and vases to fill with different plants and foliage. It is easy and fun to change out the plants throughout the seasons for a fresh new vibe.

I always wanted a massive kitchen—it’s the true heart of any home. I took the classic black and white but added a few twists. Clean white cabinets and dark black granite countertops are accented by the smoky gray glass subway tile. The clean lines make it a great space for showcasing our collections of dishes and utensils we have collected over the years. Don’t be afraid of color! Instead of all white, I took dark moody grays and painted them on the ceiling, then added floating reclaimed wood panels above the island and dining table to add depth and showcase the light fixtures.


the simpler life Two local families choose a life of minimalism, and share their findings Wo rds by David Zu ccarelli Photogra p hy by th e Trask an d Joh n son fam ilies

The Trask Family


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The Johnson Family

A few years ago, a new kind of lifestyle trend made waves across the United States—and in stirring fashion. Dubbed “minimalism” and largely buoyed by the progressive-minded millennial generation, evidence of this fascinating anti-consumerism craze sprang up just about everywhere: from all-day television programs dedicated to the ins and outs of tiny-house living, to countless magazine and newspaper articles outlining what the average human (“like you!”) can do to live a more clutter-free and fulfilling lifestyle. Though the minimalist fever has marginally simmered down since the height of its Twitter-trending popularity, the movement certainly hasn’t disappeared altogether. Perhaps that’s because minimalism—despite the seemingly endless feed of Instagram profiles and Pinterest boards dedicated to the aesthetically pleasing nature of minimalist decorating and style—is more than just a fashion statement or a chance to admire that white shiplap eye-candy. Indeed, many a social scientist has made the case that minimalism is a response to the issues plaguing our planet, particularly amidst a materialistic society that is quickly outgrowing the Earth’s natural ability to preserve harmony between man and nature. Still, as the popularity of the movement has stabilized—moving away from “trend” status and establishing itself as more of a societal niche— defining minimalism isn’t as clear-cut as one might think. Take two families living out their own minimalist lifestyles in Northwest Indiana: Steve and Susan

Trask, and Will and Jewel Johnson. Both of these families live with very few possessions inside simple homes that celebrate the history and architecture of the house. They homeschool their children, utilizing nature, reading and writing as important teaching tools, alongside experiencefocused opportunities for discovery and creativity such as chicken-raising, bird-dissecting, and fossil-hunting. Perhaps most importantly, both families abide by their commitment to experiences and human connection over materialism and hectic day-to-day lives. Yet, each family is unique in their outward expression of minimalism, as is immediately apparent on their respective Instagram profiles. The Trasks (@suest_), a family of six with their four children aged between seven months and seven years, manage to balance their minimalist lifestyle in an urban Crown Point environment, raising chickens in the backyard. The Johnsons (@this_simple_life and @simple_life_at_home), a family of five with three children aged between four and nine years, own a stripped-down farmhouse in rural Goshen, and are rarely seen wearing clothing that isn’t black or grey. Still, apart from the entrancing photos on their Instagram feeds—each of which speaks a thousand words to what their respective minimalist lifestyle looks like on a day-to-day basis—the question that lingers in many a follower’s mind is simply: Why? We sat down with these two families to draw closer to the answer, as well as probe what the Average Joe might have to gain from taking on small aspects of a minimalist lifestyle.



H OW WO U L D YO U DEFI NE LEA DI NG A MI NI MA L L I F EST Y L E ? Johnsons: To us, minimalism is simply focusing on the things you really love, and ditching the rest. Even regarding those things we love, we make sure we don’t have an unhealthy amount. That may be possessions. It’s also time, and making an effort to balance a schedule that isn’t so busy. It’s even emotional energy, like focusing on the people that we really care about, and letting go of toxic relationships. Trasks: For us, leading a minimal lifestyle means living with simple intention. Intention in what we bring into our home, into our bodies, and into our head space. We aim to seek simple moments by forgoing a busy schedule, and leaving space for spontaneity, plenty of free play, and availability to be of service to our family, friends and community.

W H EN D I D YO U B EGI N YOUR J OURNEY TOWA RD M I N I MA L I S M? Johnsons: Living in a rural community, in addition to our faith, we already sort of had ties to simplicity. But we still had a lot of junk when we got married, and we tried to keep up with other couples and how they were living and decorating their houses. It was still DIY and simple, but it wasn’t restful. We went through a difficult financial time as well, and that experience really opened our eyes to how much material items negatively affected our lives. So we got on Craigslist, sold basically everything, bought a farmhouse, and made a change. Trasks: Around seven years ago, we picked up a book from a local secondhand shop with a bunch of essays on voluntary simple living. Much of the book was


spring | 2019

written as a response to environmental and social concerns, but it also placed an emphasis on fostering community and faithfulness to God. After reading the book, we began gardening and backyard chicken-keeping, and it all evolved from there.

WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFEST YLE T HAT MIGHT BE PART ICU L A RLY DIFFE RE NT FROM T HE AVE RAGE PE RSON’S? Johnsons: One big aspect is really just our farmhouse. When we made the commitment to minimalism, we wanted to use our creativity in place of money. We used that philosophy in renovating our farmhouse, and exposing the interior to celebrate the simple and natural design of it. The whole farmhouse was really designed around this wood-cook stove we bought on eBay for maybe three hundred bucks. And sometimes in the winter mornings, it’s pretty cold in the house. But cutting the wood, feeding the fire, heating up the house, grinding your coffee and cooking food over the stove is something special. It draws the whole family around it, and we’re all together. Trasks: We make an effort to start our days unhurried. Our morning rituals linger and our day unfolds slowly. We home-educate our children, but our day doesn’t resemble typical classroom activities. We lead our children towards self education, which is done through direct contact with the best books, poetry, art and music. Keeping urban chickens has taught our kids about responsibility, sustainability and compassion towards animals. Our days have a lot of unstructured time and our kids’ creativity thrives on that. We also love living in downtown Crown Point, where we can walk to city events, numerous parks, the library, shops and the grocery store.




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WH AT D O YO U LOV E MOST A BOUT MI NI MA L I S M? WHAT DO YO U LOVE L EAST, OR EV EN HATE ? Johnsons: One of the challenges can be trying to explain our family decisions to someone who doesn’t understand—or doesn’t want to understand—our lifestyle. Like trying to explain that we don’t really do a lot of presents for our kids for Christmas, and that makes us come across as monsters. And when we try to explain that we substitute things with experiences, it might sound condescending. But something that we love about minimalism is that it allows us to be creative for everything, including for holidays. Like for Christmas, we put books on hold at the library, and we wrapped these huge stacks of books, and every day our kids opened a new book and they loved it. Trasks: On a practical level I love how minimalism in design looks visually. With six people in the house there is a lot of unavoidable “stuff” happening. But organizing them in a beautiful way like thrifted baskets for art supplies, old canvas bags for laundry, reused glass bottles to store oatmeal and soap, it all makes us happy. I don’t think we like how the idea of minimalism can seem all or nothing. There are things that can be simplified in everyone’s life. But that doesn’t mean people need to stress over, or feel bad about the things they have.

WH AT D O YO U TH I NK YOU A ND YOUR FA MI LY HAVE L E A R N E D O R G A I N ED FROM L I V I NG THI S LI F EST YLE ? Johnsons: I would liken it to a health journey, in that it might be really rewarding to go run five miles every day, but at times it’s also really hard. At the end of the day, I think we’ve become experience-focused rather than possession-focused. Most of our money comes from my [Will’s] job as a freelance photographer and graphic designer. Having that flexibility is great because it allows us to travel and spend time together when we want to.

Trasks: On an emotional level, our family has learned that nurturing relationships with people and creation is more fulfilling than consumerism. It’s also taught us to think about sustainability when making purchases. We try to thoughtfully consider what we keep in our home. We recently moved to a house that was built in the early 1940s, and we decided to keep it mostly original, and embrace its craftsmanship, history and simplicity. We look for quality, well-made furniture, and have been able to source all of our furnishings (with the exception of mattresses) from local resales, antique shops, Craigslist and family.

WHAT DO YOU T HINK T HIS KIND OF LIFEST YLE CO U L D OFFE R OT HE RS, E IT HE R IN YOUR HOME TOWN REG IO N OR ON A WIDE R SCOPE , PE RHAPS GLOBALLY ? Johnsons: Part of the reason we started our Instagram page was just to be a spark for someone else’s journey. It doesn’t have to be full-fledged minimalism, and there are benefits even for adding a little bit of a minimalist lifestyle to your day-to-day. Learning to have less waste and clutter is a small thing that can make a big difference. We had a meeting at work where everyone took out their wallets and emptied out whatever they didn’t need. Little receipts and garbage and things like that. It was amazing how thin everyone’s wallets were after that. Little mindful actions like that are so freeing, and taking those small steps can lead to having less waste and clutter around the home and in your life. Trasks: I think that a minimal lifestyle can offer people freedom—freedom to simplify their schedules, homes and minds, or maybe just their linen closet. On top of that, there are so many creatives putting out quality products made locally and sustainably here in Northwest Indiana. And little things like using cloth napkins instead of paper, or investing in a water filter instead of buying bottled water, or just living with less in order to increase your charitable giving can all make a big difference on both a small scale and globally.






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Imagine your favorite story. Now imagine if all stories followed the same script. Even when the characters change, they still look alike. While the characters were different, the flow and direction of the story stays the same. Now stop and imagine if everyone you knew had the same background as you. The same strengths and weaknesses, the same fears, and again, the same story. In some ways, it can seem comforting. Shared experiences are great, but what you might miss out on can be much greater. People tend to move toward the recognizable, which is perfectly understandable. But when we are too similar, we are withheld from the greater world around us. Inspiration and innovation are limited by what we can see. By expanding our view, amazing things can happen. Picasso’s interest in African masks was important in developing Cubism, along with his contact with different artists. The movie Hidden Figures is the story of how three African American women—Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson—helped America win the Space Race. This was during a time when racism and sexism were against them. There were many at NASA who wouldn’t believe that a woman, especially an African American woman, was able to do the complex math needed to assist in the mission, but they were proven wrong.

Pictured are the diverse faces from our community, taken from stories featured in HERE over the past year.



I talked to four local diverse individuals about their thoughts on how inclusion (or the lack thereof) impacts life and work. “Unlike diversity—which is a noun—inclusion is [like] a verb that means taking the action of including others within a group or structure,” says Zion Banks, a writer from Homewood. “We practice inclusion by creating space in our culture for others who do not look, think, worship or act like the majority.” Inclusion goes beyond just race. It can be listening to and including people from different backgrounds, ages, gender and walks of life. “I have found that working in a creative space with younger people is energizing because they work so much faster and are more expedient with technology,” Banks says. “The result is a more efficient process and better outcomes.“ A famous ad campaign from Apple once said to “Think Differently.” In business, it is said that groupthink is dangerous, and to think outside of the box is a goal. Kenny Awosika, an IT director who grew up in Gary and now splits his time between Nigeria and Washington DC, adds that “to be included in matters, to be part of the group decision, makes for a better motivated workforce. Inclusion allows for the creation of solutions that are more thought out and well rounded, and it breaks up divisionism and silos. A diverse workforce creates for better inclusive decisions.”


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Chris Huang, a university registrar for Governors State University, warns of the hidden dangers in a homogeneous culture. “People tend to think alike and may have the same biases or ignore warning signs,” he says. “Also, having a homogeneous company, behaviors and attitudes that could be racist or inhumane could be tolerated in that culture.” Di Billick, an actor and writer from Valparaiso, shares how inclusion has helped elevate her art. “Speaking from experience, the more culturally and gender-diverse my group of friends became, the better my writing became,” she says. “Empathy is one of the most powerful tools in my toolbox as a writer. Having my singular experience, no matter how tumultuous it has been, is still just one view. Any broadening of perspective always helps with the creative process because it opens new avenues of your brain.” There are many lessons that we learn every day if we listen hard enough. By taking in the words and experiences of others, we become better. Whether it is at work or in our family lives, inclusion matters.






O LD TIM E IS WO RT H A M A N ’S N E W T I ME Clothing: Tenden | Grand Haven, Michigan tenden.us | @tenden Location: Wilson’s Barbershop | LaPorte wilsonsbarbershop.com | @wilsonsbarbershop Models: Patrick Werner of Chicago John Roetker of Valparaiso


Tenden is a men’s clothing line and boutique created by designer Todd Hancock of Grand Haven, Michigan. Hancock uses new and vintage equipment and materials to produce solid, classic designs. Tenden is launching a new product line this spring, which can be found at the brick and mortar shop (19 N Seventh St in Grand Haven, Michigan) or at the March 8-9 Hunt & Gather Market in Crown Point.


spring | 2019

Checkered shirt, $95 | Selvedge denim jeans, $195 readheremag.com


Twill checkered shirt, $135


spring | 2019



Round collar chambray shirt, $135 | Herringbone twill overshirt, $165


spring | 2019

Japanese Selvedge chambray shirt, $145 readheremag.com


Selvedge denim jeans, $195


spring | 2019










LO CA L A RTISTS CO LL A B O R AT E D O N A W H I M S I CAL S H O OT TO CELEB RATE T H E C O M I N G S PR I N G . TH E OA KEN DAUGHTER T he yo ungest d aughter from the folk , O l dest as the old est oak , Who have ever called the forest home, O l der than the fae that roam, And takes the walk in winter, late, O l d enough to antiq uate, To hel p i n the herald ing of Sp ring , Who se rul e i s old er than the Kings’. - Cal eb T homp son, Westville Photography: Nicole Beezhold, Valparaiso Art Direction/Stylist/Model: Rachel Blane of Autumn Shadow Designs, Hobart PROPS Antlers: Society, Valparaiso Decanter with crystal stopper: Uptown Shoppes, LaPorte Necklaces/shawl: Yesterday’s Treasures, Chesterton Rings: The Bookworm, Wanatah Miniatures/tiny table: Spill the Milk, Valparaiso (now closed) Vintage skirt turned tablecloth: St. Stanislaus Resale Shop, Michigan City Russian samovar (teapot): Coachman Antiques, LaPorte Red gypsy shawl: Hunt and Gather Market, Crown Point Vintage lace and green enamel plate: Two Peas in a Pod, Wheeler


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spring | 2019




spring | 2019




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Do you have a poem or short essay to share? Email julia@readheremag.com to submit your work.


spring | 2019






spring | 2019

Profile for HERE Magazine

HERE Issue 009 - Spring 2019  


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