Host Spotlight - The Science Behind an Art Studio

Mimi Liu


"Passion takes dedication. Dedication takes commitment. Commitment is an attitude. You need to have the right attitude to continue in the act of accomplishing your goal. Which is to give purpose in passion and exert what I’m capable of."

 

1. Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

I graduated from art college and have always been interested in art. Since young, I enjoyed art and developed a passion for it. I thought, if I enjoyed doing what I love doing I should share this with those who want to try and get into the act of art making. Verlocal has given me this opportunity to connect with the public and become a teacher in the process. I started Magicten Art Studio to offer an experience on the use of resin and its possibilities; creating your own home décor, craft items, jewelry and more. It is for those who are looking for a new hobby, or want to exercise the creative mind. This experience allows you to apply imagination to creation.

Resin Products including Plates, Bowls, etc

Resin Products including Plates, Bowls, etc


2. Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

Resin Boards

Resin Boards

I was working on a craft project for myself early this year, and I needed to decide on a material to complete the piece. In research, I chanced upon resin. I did not know much about resin then so I had to start from the beginning. After much research and exploration, I realized that resin very versatile and adaptable to other types of materials. I embarked on this as a hobby and created many items. The possibilities are endless. I realized that Singapore does not offer such workshops with the opportunity to learn about this specific material, nor the space to develop artistry for resin. I have the knowledge in hand, and wanted to teach what I know. Thus came to birth of my workshop, Magicten Art Studio. Magicten - represents your ten fingers, you create magic and anything with your imaginative mind with the extensions of your hands.

 

3. What does your passion mean to you?

I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family to pursue my passion. They understand my attachment to art and how much enjoyment it gives me. It keeps my drive going and helps me continue doing what I’m good at. The motivation is to become better at what I am good at and develop it further. Setting goals are easy, but accomplishing them is an uphill task, though not impossible. This became the main driving force of my work; regret not your passions, reap satisfaction and happiness in turn. Why choose to wake up to something you can’t find fulfillment in?

 

4. How has Magicten impacted your community and the people who support it?

Different Resin Designs on Stools

Different Resin Designs on Stools

Magicten has been running for a little over 2 months, and I have been receiving positive feedback from the students. Some find the experience relaxing, not thinking of work or feeling pressures from life. This comes as a surprise to them as their hands are always moving to match up to the ideas coming from the creative mind. Resin is a unique material and it seems to open up doors to a new artistic path. It is something they have never experimented on before, yet this allows them to loosen up, creating a relaxing and therapeutic experience. Some return for second workshop and bring their friends, this makes me happy as it is an indication that I am doing something right.

 

5. Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started Magicten?

Mimi working on a Resin Canvas

Mimi working on a Resin Canvas

Since opening the doors of Magicten, the awareness for this material has begun and word is spreading. This is the whole purpose isn’t it, to have people know what Magicten is about. I don’t expect it to spread like a wild-fire, but I’m definitely making an impact on the community! Not everyone will know about your business or what you’re about, not everyone will be interested. You can only reach so far as much as you can. My achievement is that I have students coming back for seconds and wanting more. They bring their friends because they as well want to share what they’ve enjoyed.
 

 

 

6. What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?


Having a vision is not enough, to construct your vision was my challenge. Vision is just the start of an idea. Nonetheless as it comes along you progress and it eventually builds. Building an architect (brand) you need a strong foundation, it is the ground base which your vision lies upon and where your business will grow.
 

7. What inspires you to continue building and improving your business? 

Resin Design Tools

Resin Design Tools

There is always something new that can be done, this is to keep the business going and keep it interesting. Coming up with new ideas so consumers can return for more or finding ways to appeal to those who have yet to try their hands at the craft of resin. I hope this shows the community the joy it brings to me and they can enjoy it too. It purely is fun!
 

8.What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?


Passion takes dedication. Dedication takes commitment. Commitment is an attitude. You need to have the right attitude to continue in the act of accomplishing your goal. Which is to give purpose in passion and exert what I’m capable of.

This is teaching, although not just an art form, but anything is achievable when you have the right attitude. So teaching others is what inspires me; to teach the things I love doing, I truly do enjoy in what I’m doing. My purpose is to share with others with what you can create and it's not that hard! With this direction, you give your best service to your students and convince them that they can do it too, maybe creating better than me. 

Collection of small ornaments and accessories made of Resin

Collection of small ornaments and accessories made of Resin

9.What are your goals for the future?


At the moment I’m starting small and still learning, gradually to grow my own business and understand customer’s needs, coming to know how much more I still need to do, and how to progress. It is like having an option to order either a whole cake or just a slice of it; you don’t want to have a whole cake you can’t finish, so just take a slice for now. Eventually when I’ve got a clearer perspective of my brand, I’d like to move to a bigger space and cater to more people. When that happens, include materials in the workshops, alongside resin art so there will be a bigger market for different audiences. Everybody gets a chance!

10.What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love?


You need to have the knowledge first. You have to believe first. Have the right attitude first. Know your skills first. Know what is possible first, and what is not. Be ready to accept you don’t always get what you want, but welcome what you don’t understand. You don’t always want to meet the people you want to meet, but you will. You eventually will have to find answers to your questions because no one is going to do it for you. There is always a solution – to everything! You have choices to make your decisions, your opportunity. It is whether you want to or not. When you are ready to test your capability, do it, when you have so much ready, when you know so much by now, what do you have to lose? Don’t be scared, it is your quest and you are already half way through it with this attitude. Most of all, have fun!

Hand-made Resin Cup 

Hand-made Resin Cup 

Join Mimi as she spreads the joy and love of resin to everyone in Singapore and the world! She's holding classes for you to teach you how to create your very own products!

Photo Credits : Olivia Kwok

LOS ANGELES: BANTER & BLISS CANDLE CO. WITH VERLOCAL

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BANTER & BLISS CANDLE CO. Experience with Verlocal

 

This past weekend I drove down to San Pedro for a Verlocal Experience with Banter & Bliss Candle Co.

Banter & Bliss is located in the year round market place called Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles.

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Sheena greeted us with a friendly smile and told us to take off any nice jackets or purses we had and place them to the side, as the oils and wax can get a bit messy.

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You start by picking out what scent or scents (you can mix a few) you want your candle to smell like. Ranging from traditional scents of vanilla and fresh cut grass, to fun ones like sparkling mojito and champagne kisses (smells like mimosas!), all the way to seasonal scents such as Fraser fir, cranberry marmalade and mistletoe. I chose to mix vanilla and Fraser fir.

There were 7 other people in the group with me. Two of whom were a young couple there to learn how to make candles and decide on scents so that they could make their own as upcoming wedding favors. She chose to mix a lilac and hyacinth combination that smelled like sweet summertime. Another two was a set of girlfriends just looking for something fun to do on the weekend, one chose a rose scent that smelled heavenly. There were also two women there with their mother who chose to make a candle that smelled like cranberry marmalade. Perfect for Thanksgiving that's coming up. Its such a fun activity to do whether you're alone or in a group and I can see doing this with friends often as everyone gets to go home happily with whatever scent they choose.

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You start by tacking the wick to the bottom of the glass jar. Sheena took this time to explain to us all about the differences in wicks and why certain ones should be used over others and how to know if you should be using a thicker or thinner wick.

Then we took the time to measure out 8 ounces of the scented oils. Up to 10 ounces is ideal for the candle but initially measuring to 8 ounces gives you wiggle room to adjust however you see fit. This was the fun part - getting to decide if you wanted your combination to smell more like one of the multiple scents or if you wanted it to just have a hint of a scent. To do this, you divide the 8 ounces into whatever ratio you think you'll like. I wanted there to be a hint of vanilla but mainly Fraser fir (like when you walk into a home at Christmas time and can smell the tree but a hint of fresh baked cookies in the background too) so I put 5 ounces of Fraser fir with 3 ounces of vanilla. After stirring it the vanilla was stronger than I had anticipated so I added another 2 ounces of the Fraser fir. So perfect!

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Sheena comes over to pour your wax for you. Then you can choose whatever color you want your candle to be and stir that and your oil mix into the wax. There are so many options for colors such as teal, pink, orange, red, green, light blue, dark blue, purple and grey. I went with grey - which initially looked black when she dripped it in. The colors definitely lighten up as the wax cools down which was also cool to see because it was kind of a surprise as to what exactly they would look like when they've cooled.

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Once we had stirred the color and oil into the wax we slowly poured them into the glass jars. Sheena had a cool little trick of threading the wick through a clothes pin to hold it straight up while the wax cooled around it.

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The candle takes about an hour to cool and be ready to take home. This is so nice because there is so much to do at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles and this wait gives you the time to do it. I grabbed a nice, warm coffee from a nearby booth, Drunken Cake Pops and browsed the booths. There are so many different things to look at and other fun crafts booths to stop at and check out. After browsing a bit I went back to Banter & Bliss' booth and made a label for my candle. It wasn't cooled yet so I went out had a delicious chicken sandwich from the food booth where people were picnicking and kids were playing soccer. There is also a craft brewery out there! What a cool place to spend a Sunday.

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It was such a pleasant way to spend a Sunday and I got to take home my own candle. Overall, I spent about 3 hours attending the class and dilly-dallying around. I would highly recommend attending a Verlocal Class at Banter & Bliss!

Thank you Sheena and Banter & Bliss! Thank you Verlocal for letting me know about this class! Hope everyone reading this can go check it out soon too and take home your own treasure :)

 

<3

 

 

 

P.S. Did I mention that Banter & Bliss partners with AbilityFirst as a production partner? The matchstick bottles sold by Banter & Bliss are filled by the AbilityFirst team at the Pasadena Work Center. All of the Banter & Bliss matchstick bottle purchases support AbilityFirst and its mission to provide a variety of programs designed to help people with disabilities achieve their personal best throughout their lives. How cool is that? They're so cute too. Click here to check them out!

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Make your personalized candle, with Banter & Bliss Candle CO.

Host Spotlight - Helping Others Live the Gluten-free Lifestyle

One Degree Gluten Free with Karen Horan and Tabitha Millington

 

1.Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

Gluten Free Pizza

Gluten Free Pizza

One Degree Gluten Free (1°GF) is the hub for gluten-free living in Singapore. As a business, we aim to provide useful information about eating, shopping, and living gluten-free. We also offer classes, talks and social events for anyone who is interested in learning more about living a gluten-free lifestyle.

The concept of 1°GF started as the directors -Tabitha Millington and myself – both have children who were diagnosed with celiac disease.  For those who are less familiar with gluten, celiac disease is an autoimmune disease where the body reacts to gluten and damages itself. The only effective treatment is a strictly gluten-free diet.

With over 15 years of combined experience running gluten-free households,  we have a wealth of information about the practical aspects of a strictly followed, medically necessary gluten-free diet and we hope to be able to bring together the gluten-free community in Singapore.

 

2.Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

Fried Chinese Dumpling - Gluten-free

Fried Chinese Dumpling - Gluten-free

Singapore Celiac and Gluten Intolerance Support Group formed in 2012 to help people following a gluten-free diet find dietary and emotional support and information.  The group continues to host monthly coffee mornings that are open to anyone wishing to join.  

1°GF grew out the request to teach classes and as a way to fund the all volunteer support group. Both Tabitha and I both wish to share our extensive knowledge and skills to help other families who are just starting their gluten-free journey. 
 

Participants in 1°GF's baking class

Participants in 1°GF's baking class

3. How has 1°GF impacted your community and the people who support it?

The response to reliable up-to-date gluten-free information and classes has been overwhelming. The proceeds from 1°GF help to fund and Singapore Celiac and Gluten Intolerance Support Group help provide resources that improve the lives of both expats and Singaporeans alike.  

Learning to fold Chinese Dumplings

Learning to fold Chinese Dumplings

4. What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

1°GF wants to reach a larger audience and help more people master gluten-free living without having the feeling that they are restrained.

 

5. Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started 1°GF?

One of the most satisfying accomplishments so far was the development and teaching gluten-free bread and potsticker classes.  For people who have not been able to enjoy eating certain food in years due to dietary restrictions, the opportunity to have a delicious gluten-free version is life-changing.  

Gluten Free Donuts

Gluten Free Donuts

6. What inspires you to continue building and improving your business?

Our inspiration comes from helping people become more confident and proud of their homemade gluten-free creations, especially good bread. There is great satisfaction in seeing people master the techniques in class as well as seeing them make new gluten-free friends and connections.   

 

Gluten-Free Bread

Gluten-Free Bread

7. What are your goals for the future?

The ultimate goal of 1°GF is to leave a lasting legacy in Singapore by raising awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance, creating a lasting gluten-free community, support structure and information to lean on.  We want to see Singapore be the first truly gluten-free accommodating country in Southeast Asia.  

 

 


8.What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love?

Be sure you are doing something you love and believe in. The payback in friendship, satisfaction and changing lives (one gluten-free meal at a time) is worth all the hard work.

Interested in learning more about living the gluten-free life or create gluten-free products that look and taste good? Sign up for Karen's class below!

He Molded His Life with His Passion in Pottery

“I believe all people need an outlet that allows them to step outside their daily reality to turn a vision into a product. Clay does this and more, allowing me to dive into a process that is both highly meditative and creatively satisfying.”

How often have you taken a step back to fully ponder over what you are truly interested in? Especially in today’s context, we often find ourselves putting our passions on hold to fulfill our daily expectations. In today’s Host Spotlight – Meet Scott, an avid potter and maker who pursues his driving passion in pottery while being career-focused. Read on to learn about the reason why Scott finds joy in creating and how his classes help to inspire individuals!

Hi, can you introduce yourself to our community and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

Hi, I’m Scott! I’ve always been a driven individual, equally focused on my career…and on having as much fun as possible. I spent a decade working in politics and foreign policy, before moving to Austin to start a company. However, while I stay busy with work, my passion for fun and creation leads me to live music venues, trout streams and the pottery studio.

Pottery, in particular, has been a driving passion. Beyond the joy of creating, it is the synapses, the creative process that creates and keeps sharp that I value above all. Call it what you will, but I’m better at every part of life when I’m making time to create with clay.

Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

In university, I took pottery class to fulfill art credit requirements. Many potters will tell you they never intended to become potters, but when given the chance the clay chose them. This is exactly what happened to me. That single class has now turned into a decade-long passion that I expect to be with me the rest of my life.

What does your passion mean to you?

To me clay is creation. I believe all people need an outlet that allows them to step outside their daily reality to turn a vision into a product. Clay does this and more, allowing me to dive into a process that is both highly meditative and creatively satisfying.

What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

I recently fulfilled a long-time dream, building and equipping a home studio. Pottery has always been about community, and Verlocal has enabled me to begin meeting and building a community around the studio.

How would you describe the link between your classes and the community around you?

For me, the classes are a way to build a community of creators, while offering those nearby a way to sharpen their skills or begin the ceramic journey that has meant so much to my life.

Can you tell us a little bit more about a story you’ve had between you and your students when you were teaching your classes?

So much of mastering pottery is about learning or knowing about, techniques that unlock a specific piece of the creative process. I used to work with a student named Allison who, with just a little work on how to center or how to pull clay from the bottom of the pot, was able to quickly improve her ceramic ability. This allowed her to rapidly gain confidence in her ability to throw bigger pots and create more balanced structures. The most satisfying piece of this was that she had long-term frustrations that were quickly put rest with just a small amount of good instruction.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn more about your passion?

Get started! The end result is a gorgeous vase, mug or platter, but it is the creative journey that gives me the most joy. Plus…you get to get muddy when making pots. What’s more fun than that?!

How long have you been living in the city? What are some insider tips you’d like to recommend to someone who just moved to the city?

I’ve lived in Austin for a year and a half, but have visited for many years. My best advice to new Austin residents is to take advantage of the cities’ friendly environment by joining new friends for Greenbelt outings, barton swims, and late-night dancing at one of Austin’s many wonderful music venues.

Is there a social cause you are really passionate about?

I worked in politics for years and consider myself to be an issue-driven individual, though I have a special affinity for environmental conservation and social justice.

What is your favorite moment/story you’ve had between you and your customers?

My favorite moment as a teacher is to watch a student have an “aha” moment, knowing that I helped them to discover a skill or a technique that further unlocks their creative potential.

What are your goals for the future?

I constantly seek new challenges. I hope to always be fortunate enough to pursue my passions, whether that be starting a company or mastering a new hobby.

Any recommendations for someone who might want to start their own business?

Just do it! And then remember that the challenges and the failures are simply learning moments as long as you are persistent enough to keep trying.

What does Verlocal mean to you?

It’s a platform and a conduit that both connects me to customers and helps me to discover and build a community around me.

Share one quote that resonates with you the most and what it means for you?

“We hear nothing so clearly as what comes out of silence. ” ― David James Duncan

Whether fly fishing or throwing a pot, I feed off the silent, meditative process. It brings me joy in the moment and creates a centered state of being that improves every other aspect of my life.

Host Spotlight - Building Friendships & Alliances One Meal at a Time

Meet Chef Rachel Zierzow

“Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what's out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.” - Pema Chödrön

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Hi Chef Rachel! Tell us a bit about yourself and what you're currently offering on Verlocal: 

My company, Chef Rachel Zierzow, started in 2006. For about 10 years, I taught natural foods cooking for the professional chef training program at a plant-based cooking school in Austin, Texas, and also was a healing personal chef for individuals with serious health conditions or those wanting to achieve optimal health. Currently, I am teaching my own natural foods cooking classes for the Austin community, each limited to 8 students, with offerings such as Holiday Tamales Workshop, Creative Vegetarian Sushi, Nourishing Buddha Bowls and Dressings, Healing Winter Soups, and more! I also have a blog that focuses on healthy recipes and holistic health tips.

 

When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

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In my 20's, I became interested in"Food as Medicine" when looking for alternatives to conventional medicine. I discovered the healing benefits of a natural foods diet, and learned how to use balance as a tool to choose the foods and activities that would create strength and vitality. After completing my certificate in natural foods cooking and macrobiotic studies, I was inspired to empower others to take charge of their health by providing personal chef services and cooking classes. I taught macrobiotic and Ayurvedic cooking in the professional chef program at The Natural Epicurean for 10 years. I am also a certified holistic, macrobiotic health counselor and work with individuals wanting to achieve optimal health or those experiencing a particular health condition.

 

Can you tell us more about the what students can expect from your class?

My classes are fun, hands-on, and informative. Group classes are limited to 8 people and private lessons are designed for just one or two people. Students can expect to learn about healing benefits of different ingredients and dishes, how to properly use knives and kitchen tools, helpful cooking tips and techniques, where to shop for ingredients, and more. Recipes are given out to students to make dishes at home. My recipes are nourishing, healthy, and delicious, naturally free of gluten, dairy, and sugar, and simple to prepare.

Sushi Making Class

Sushi Making Class

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What differentiates your classes than others?

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My classes are a combination of demonstration and hands-on, so that students can learn proper techniques and then practice. Some of my goals include educating my students about the healing benefits of food, how to make meals more digestible, and how to make the best choices when selecting food at the grocery store and eating out. I love to work with families, involving kids in meal preparation, and introducing new ingredients and cooking techniques to parents and kids. I am aware of the many diet restrictions people have, and ask my students before class if they have any food allergies I may be able to accommodate. All of my classes are free of gluten, dairy, and sugar, which is a help to many.

 

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What's your biggest achievement since the start of your classes?

The process of building friendships and alliances with people in my community while building my business has been the most rewarding experience so far.

 

What was your biggest challenge you've encountered thus far?

The biggest challenge has been shifting from teaching at a culinary school to creating my own community cooking classes. Getting the word out and getting folks to sign up ahead of time is challenging!

What advice can you give to people within your industry?

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Start small and let your business grow organically. Give a cooking demonstration at a community event, a friend's launch party, or a kid's birthday party. Ask a few friends to each host a cooking party at their house with different groups of friends where you teach a fun recipe or two. Find an event space or renovate your own kitchen to teach in. Learn how to take good food photos and share them on social media. Document recipes you make daily in the kitchen that you can use for class recipes later on. Browse magazines, cookbooks, and food blogs for ideas and inspiration. Pretty soon people will be asking you how to sign up for one of your classes!

If you're in Austin, Join Chef Rachel and experience a hands-on activity cooking class!

Tips for those Post Travel Blues

Coming home from a fun, new adventure can be a bit of a bummer. Sure it’s great to see everyone you’ve missed and be back in your own bed but the everyday life suddenly makes you miss the new adventures you were having on your trip (especially if you’re coming home from the wonderful sunshine to lots and lots of snow). Here are some tips on how to keep the excitement of the trip alive and things to do to cheer you up a bit:

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  • Create a scrapbook of pictures and momentos collected on your trip.
  • Make a memory box, like these, that look pretty on the shelf and can store those extra items that aren’t going to otherwise be displayed, such as plane tickets or receipts.
  • Grab your dog, snuggle up in your bed and pop in a travel movie or read a travel book. I love reading more about the cultures I have just been to and as soon as I got home from Cambodia, where I first really learned about the genocide that recently occurred in that country, immersed myself into books about the history there.
  • Count the countries you’ve been to and list the things you loved the most while there so you can recommend them to friends
  • Feed your travel blues with activities in your own city. The best experiences can be from your own area. Open up your browser and start searching. While googling can be a great source to search for activities, Verlocal has a great selection of experiences that are hands-on interactive and definitely worth the while. Checking off bucket list items can be easily done. Making a weekend into a staycation will eliminate travel blues.
  • Start planning! Make a list of where-in-the-world you might want to go next! Keep up that adventure spirit! As they say, an object in motion stays in motion, so keep on chasing those dreams.
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Host Spotlight – Turning Passion to a Part-time Business

"Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Not just for a week, not just for a month, but for years."

Shartini, Owner of Shartini's Food Journal

Shartini, Owner of Shartini's Food Journal

1.Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

Hi, I am Shartini and I have a great passion in bakes and desserts. As I have a full-time job, I am currently only doing it only during the weekends. With Verlocal, I would like to offer my baking classes to those sharing the same interest as me and be able to connect with other like-minded individuals who simply love cooking and baking!

My classes are suitable for beginners because I was once someone who doesn’t have an interest in baking but loves to eat them! My personal belief is that everyone has the potential to do what they love, so long as they put in the sweat and tears to get better at their craft. At the start, I didn’t even know how to bake a cupcake but now I’m able to make a 3-layered cake. In my opinion, life is all about giving yourself an opportunity to try something different and taking the chances when it comes.

2.Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

Fully Decorated Strawberry Cake

Fully Decorated Strawberry Cake

I first started off as a home cook before I decided to go into baking. In fact, about 2 years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a cook off challenge on Suria – a Malay television channel. The challenge was to create a dish that centered around chicken, a common ingredient but I knew that in order to win, I had to innovate and elevate the dish. In the end, I simply combined my love for Oranges together with the theme of Chicken to have my very own dish – Orange Chicken!

I presented my original creation and hold and behold, I won! Winning this competition has not only made my family proud but has also greatly boost my confidence to pursue my passion in the culinary field. Never would I have ever thought that a simple girl like me, who loves cooking in my small humble kitchen for my mother and my husband, could do this much and perhaps so much more. After the competition, my passion grew from culinary to baking and my curiosity to try a lot of bakes grew wider.

3.What does your passion mean to you?

Passion means to me is by waking up all night during weekend and sacrificing my time to complete my orders. Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. It’s like sticking with your future, day-in, day-out. Not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality.
 

4. How has Shartini's Food Journal impacted your community and the people who support it?

We wanted the community to know us as a 100% Muslim-Owned business who bakes are sweetness controlled. Ultimately, I would like to contribute back to my community, especially the Muslim community and serve them delicious treats bearing in mind the amount of sugar inside.

Snapshot of one of our cupcake making lessons!

Snapshot of one of our cupcake making lessons!


5.What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

We believe that through Verlocal, we can engage to more audiences and able to create awareness of our classes. We want to reach out to a vast audience who will be interested in learning how to bake cakes using localised ingredients such as my Ondeh Ondeh and Bobo Cha Cha Cupcakes Workshop which I think is really special as it’s not very common to find it online.


6.Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started Shartini's Food Journal?

Chendol and Bobo Cha Cha Cupcakes

Chendol and Bobo Cha Cha Cupcakes

Every one of our orders are our biggest achievement, we take it very seriously and professional because we are the chosen one by the client among all other home-based baker in Singapore. As such, we treat every one of our orders with the upmost respect and do our best to make the desserts as pristine as possible

 

7.What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?

I have no proper background in baking, and wasn’t sure if I could meet their expectations. 

 

8.What inspires you to continue building and improving your business?

Customised Liverpool Birthday Cake

Customised Liverpool Birthday Cake

It took multiple rounds of trial and error but eventually I saw improvements and this was what kept me going. There have been, and still are, many instances where I’ve doubted my capabilities, and there are many times where I’ve failed – but with time and lots of practice, it will all get better. 


 

 

 

 

9.What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love?

I think that we are all pretty hard on ourselves when we are passionate towards the things that we genuinely love and want to be proud of, and sometimes we get lost in the stress of it all. But as much as we want things to be perfect all the time, we have to also remember to savour and enjoy the process.

Love what you read? Stay tuned every week as we interview more hosts from different walks of life to learn about how they started doing what they do. 

Do you have an inspiring story that you would like to share? Drop us an email at junyan@verlocal.com and we'll be in touch with you shortly :).

Essentially Essential Oils

Essentially Essential Oils

Lately I have been so obsessed with diffusing essential oils in my apartment. They last so much longer than candles and smell so much cleaner. The world of essential oils seems so overwhelming at first when you go to google it and everyone is talking about “blends” and “mixes” and labels of oils that come from what look like pyramid-scheme companies.

I did some research on my own and through that (and some home trials) am going to try to break down the world of essential oils to others out there who are looking to ease them into their lifestyle as I have.

Host Spotlight: Behind The Scenes of a Silkscreening Entrepreneur

"Silkscreening ROCKS !!"

 

 

1. Can you introduce your company and tell us more about the experiences that you are offering on Verlocal?

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My company Peach Berserk is a fabric/fashion design biz that also teaches amazing silkscreen workshops. I have personally taught over 6000 people over the years of all ages. I love teaching the process of fabric design and screenprinting in my hands-on workshop and spreading the fun of designing and making prints yourself. am and find it amazing to show others how easy and inexpensive it is!

 

2. Tell us about your company background: When did you first become inspired to join the Screen Printing business?

I started screen printing in Art school (OCADU in Toronto) because I have always loved drawing and fashion, and enjoyed it so much, I decided to start my own fabric/fashion design business. Soon after starting my company, Peach Berserk I decided to add teaching my craft to others, and I have never looked back!

 

3. Can you tell us more about the design process of your fabric?

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Most of my fabric designs are based on my own drawings or pop culture images. I like to be a creative as possible so I just make what I would like to wear, and what I find fun. It is pure self-expression. And I find if they create something I like, others like it too!

 

4. Can you tell us what differentiates your Workshops?

My workshops are different because I am an amazing teacher! I love passing my craft on to others. Also, I teach my workshops in my working studio, so participants get an authentic experience. And I have crafted my class so you do all the basics of screen printing in one day, and leave with the knowledge to even set up your own system.

 

5. Tell us about your biggest achievement since the start of Peach Berserk

My biggest achievement is inspiring others - sometimes to even start their own creative business too! My main goal is to help my students to be as creative as possible and allow them to create whatever they imagine through screenprinting. 

6. What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?

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My biggest challenge when I started was convincing others I could do it. I had no business experience or training and I didn't go to fashion school! So starting my business all on my own has been a great learning experience. By starting my own business I didn't only prove everyone else who thought I couldn't do it but I proved to myself that I was able to accomplish my goal.

7. What inspires you to continue building and improving your business?

I love the challenge! Running your own business can be pretty stressful at times but it's also very satisfying. Being able to put in so much work and effort into something that is yours and that you started on your own is a great feeling. Another thing that also inspires is the reactions my students get after they have completed their silkscreening project. When I see them really enjoying my workshop it makes me feel good and makes me want to keep improving my business.

 

8. What are your business goals for the future?

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I just moved into a big new storefront building, and I want to create a great 'Toronto Event Space and Art Class Studio' and make it famous in the city of Toronto. I want to keep expanding and reach more students. I want my students to be able to be as creative as possible when they come to my workshop. 

 

9. What advice can you give to people who want create a business in the Screen Printing industry?

Create art that you love and others will too.

Developing a Wood Thumb in San Francisco

Cozily located between Folsom and Harrison, only a few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of Market Street, is the sign for Wood Thumb, a large, hands-on space ready to release the craftsman in all of us. Wood Thumb, technically housed at 354 5th Street, was the creation of brothers Christopher and David Steinrueck only seven years ago, who aimed to take (mostly) ordinary, salvage wood and create something extraordinary with it.

Although they teach classes for the everyday individual who has never touched a power tool in their twenty/thirty-some-odd years of life, the studio space is actually a working facility for small batch production furniture you’ve drooled over in Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, and Urban Outfitters.

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So, are you ready to jump into an assembly line and start producing 3,000 shelves?! Probably not, so it’s a good thing you actually get to work step-by-step and create your own Wood Thumb designed piece that you’ll treasure forever and ever.

Welcome to Class

I attended Wood Thumb’s Wedge Table class through Verlocal and was more than excited to put the finished product to immediate use in my NOPA living room. To start off the class, Christopher went through the history behind Wood Thumb – how Wood Thumb got its start, the creation and production of small batch furniture, and a bit about the artisans that work there. He also had some words of wisdom for those in class, saying that it all comes down to the journey:

“My main goal is to show people how
easy it is to make stuff.”

Coming from a family centered around woodworking and genuine craftsmanship, this was all music to my ears. It’s worth noting, however, that when asking the group of around 10 who had previously worked with wood before, I was the only hand raised. The majority of the group was doing this for the very first time and that made documenting the instruction and process even more incredible.

⚠️ Spoiler alert: every single person made a seriously beautiful piece of custom furniture that could have easily been sold in a magazine.

Introduction to Wood 101

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We had the opportunity to learn about wood, specifically wood grains and how the grain can dictate weakness or strength, all the way down to a cellular level. This makes a huge difference when choosing how to saw into the wood as well – knowing whether it will be an easy cut with the wood cells, or more difficult and working against them.

The Exciting World of Power Tools

Although some of the pieces had been pre-cut at precise angles to ensure everything fit together, the class had an opportunity to learn more about safely using the electric saw and making some measured cuts into the wood.

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Setting down our freshly cut sides and taking the tops of our tables with us, we moved over to a room with three routers, a tool I was unfamiliar with. This tool makes an exact cut in the edge of the wood to give you that rounded edge look. We learned that slow and steady is best when using the router, as going too fast could create uneven bumps in your table’s edge.

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From here, we received direction on assembling the puzzle-like wedge table with glue and a nail gun, along with wood-burning, sanding, and the final step of staining. Chris definitely made operation of the nail gun look like a cakewalk, but we all quickly learned (or at least I quickly learned) how difficult it is to use, specifically at an angle. I had quite a few nails decide to come out the other end since I couldn’t approximate the angle the gun needed to be at. Of course, I was pretty much done assembling my table once I finally got the hang of the nail length, but thankfully, Chris was able to either hammer them out or chop them off so they didn’t show on my finished table.

The Finishing Touches

According to Chris, putting your touch on the finished table was essential, acknowledging the work you put into the piece from start to finish. My past experience with wood burning tools is that they are pretty much impossible to use, so I stuck to a basic design and created letters out of dots. Others opted to burn initials, names or other creative designs into their own tables.

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After extensive hand sanding at our own pace – “you’ll know you’re done when you can’t physically sand any longer!” – I dusted off my table and joined the group at the staining area. Wood Thumb provided a bunch of different colors, dark and light, to stain the tables. Since the stain is absorbed quickly and dry to the touch after wiping it down, we were able to wrap them in some paper and immediately take them home with us. I’ll probably go out and pick up some clear coat for the table, just to ensure it doesn’t get harmed by accidental spills and moisture.

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Schoooool’s Out For Soma

Wood Thumb is really doing something incredible for San Francisco. As my spoiler alert stated above, every single participant took home something exquisite, and that really speaks volumes to both the instruction and the way the class unfolded.

They take the time to create and design not only the furniture and the process in which it's assembled for production at scale, but the way they teach others, most of whom have never worked with wood before, on how to build it and build it well.

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Many people can feel defeated when it comes to DIY projects – working tirelessly to make something just like the picture and, at completion, feel turned off by the entire experience. Wood Thumb debunks this. Walk in with all the experience, or none at all – creative juices flowing, or maybe a bit parched in that area – and I promise you will leave not only surprised, but also pretty proud of yourself.

A huge thank you to Wood Thumb and all of my classmates for allowing me to document the class!

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Host Spotlight: Helping Others Find Joy Through Tidying

"Tidy Up With Sue is changing lives through tidying."
 

 

1. Can you introduce yourself and your company and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

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My experience spans over 25 years working for some of the largest companies in the Northwest, including Weyerhaeuser, Amgen, and most recently at Microsoft. The positions I held allowed me the opportunity to take full advantage of my organizational skills, attention to detail, and project management skills. It was my love of organizing that prompted me to leave the corporate world and apply my experience and expertise to a career as an organizing consultant using the KonMari Method. The KonMari Method was created by Marie Kondo, a world-renowned Organizing Consultant and Author of the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy.

I am offering the Change Your Life Through Tidying: Discover the KonMari Method of Decluttering and Organizing Workshop on October 21, 2017, for clients who want a clear understanding of the principles of the KonMari Method of decluttering and organizing. This workshop is an excellent way to learn how to complete tidying on your own in an efficient, yet successful way, but need guidance and support to get started through the expertise of a trained organizing consultant. 

 

2. Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

As far back as I can remember, I would spend countless hours organizing my closets and cabinets using the latest and greatest storage containers and tools but all I was doing was storing the clutter out of site.  I became adept at creating the illusion that the clutter problem was solved. But soon, all the storage areas got full, and my house started to overflow with things until I completely filled up my living space once again.

I came across the KonMari method, which has gained worldwide popularity, and decided to give it a try and began decluttering her own home. My “AHA” moment was when I realized a storage method does not solve the problem of getting rid of clutter and a storage expert is really a hoarder in some respects.
 

3. What does your passion mean to you?

Going through this process myself was life-changing and decided I wanted to help others find joy in their life through tidying.  Now I mentor, guide and support my clients through The KonMari Method of decluttering and organizing to achieve their ideal lifestyle and living environment because this method helps identify what you value in life and discard the rest with full confidence. 
 

4. How has your business impacted your community and the people who support it?

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The KonMari Method consists of gathering together all of one’s belongings, one category at a time starting with clothing, and then keeping only those things that “spark joy”, meaning does it make you happy?  There is truly magic when tidying one’s home and clients have remarked that going through this process has made a significant contribution to their peace of mind by showing how to more effectively organize their homes and have adopted profound and permanent lifestyle changes because of it.
 

5. What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

I am passionate about helping others tidy up their homes so they can feel the joy that I did when I finished my tidying journey.
 

6. Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started your business.

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I have undergone rigorous training in the KonMari Method of organizing, including 50 hours of practice sessions with clients and passing a consultant’s exam. I am the first Certified KonMari Consultant in the Pacific Northwest and the 43rd Consultant worldwide to become certified in this method.
 

7. What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?

Working as a guide and coach, the KonMari process clears up physical and emotional baggage to make room for what truly brings joy and sometimes the challenges of decluttering is a very emotional one. Being there for my clients to help facilitate their decision-making with gentle encouragement and calm reassurance to ease them through each task is very important to me. 
 

8. What inspires you to continue building and improving your business?

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Unlike traditional methods of organization, the KonMari method emphasizes the importance of an initial assessment of your ideal lifestyle and living environment prior to jumping into decluttering and discarding. To help my clients visualize their dreams in this important initial step before tidying, I have undergone extensive training as a vision board leader and coach and will offer vision board workshops on a variety of topics.
 

9. What are your goals for the future?

To assist clients in their tidying journey, I am compiling a comprehensive joy journal and tidying workbook for use in my workshop so others can tidy their homes on their own and experience the joy and calm of a clutter-free and organized home.

I plan to offer the Intentionally Manifest your Dreams at the CREATE YOUR LIFE Vision Board Workshop on November 18, 2017, to help my clients visualize a life filled with dreams of their best life.
 

10. What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love?

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The beginning is always the hardest, but I promise you it will get easier! Giving up is NOT an option for those who want to succeed.

Host Spotlight: Staying Grounded In Her Bakery Dream

Verlocal Host Spotlight: Nanatang


“Pursing a passion is easy but maintaining it is not” - Serena Tang, Nanatang

1. Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

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Sure! My name is Serena Tang and I created the brand Nanatang, an online bakery, in 2013. Starting out as a small baking business, I was always on the lookout for means to expand my reach. Luckily, I happened to come across Verlocal on Facebook. My curiosity led me to learn more about their marketplace where small businesses like myself were able to host classes. Ryan contacted me soon after, and he was very kind in helping me better understand Verlocal’s platform and complementary services. So far, I am happy with the system that Verlocal offers!

 

 

2.     Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

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3D Unicorn Cake

I can’t really pinpoint the exact reason as to why I started baking. It could simply be because I’m a sweets glutton and love desserts! I started baking when I was 16, and my learning was largely based on trial and error. I was constantly watching online baking videos and reading different recipes to find new things to try out! Baking is really therapeutic. Oh, and that satisfaction you get when your friends taste your creation and go "it is sooo gooood!" ? It makes me even more motivated to keep pursuing my passion in baking!

 

Two-tiered Drip Cake Decorated with Blueberries and Macarons

Two-tiered Drip Cake Decorated with Blueberries and Macarons

3.     What does your passion mean to you?

Simply put, my passion is my life. I’m glad that I’ve found this love for baking, and am certain that this is what I can and will do for the rest of my life. I don’t think I will ever be sick of it! I believe that everyone lives for something or someone, and baking is exactly what I am living for. This passion made me who I am and has become an intrinsic part of me.

 

 

Cookie Monster Cake!

Cookie Monster Cake!

4.     How has Nanatang impacted your community and the people who support it?


Hmm, I feel that Nanatang brings joy to people because it revolves around creating beautiful edibles for special occasions. After all, what's a celebration without cake? To make artisanal customized cakes and add a unique touch to every occasion – that is what I hope to give back to all who love and support Nanatang.

 

 

5.     What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

Pursing a passion is easy but maintaining it is not. An ample amount of time, hard work, and practice had to be invested in baking for me to turn my passion into a way of life. Realistically speaking, this passion of mine has to be sustainable for me. Aside from being a hobby and form of enjoyment, baking also has to be a source of income. Having to sustain Nanatang financially may be draining at times, but it also pushes me to work even harder. At the end of the day, the sense of fulfilment is definitely worth all my efforts.

 

Gudetama Birthday Cake

Gudetama Birthday Cake

6.     Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started Nanatang?

This would have to be the setting up of a proper studio for Nanatang! Finally, a very own space of mine! I am still in the midst of this project but I am proud to tell you that I worked real hard for it – no shortcuts were taken.

7.     What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?

To stand out and be different from so many other talented people out there! Everyone has something to offer and there are countless of bakers who are better than I am. Up till now, I am still constantly upgrading my skills and honing my creativity. Learning is endless, there is always room for growth.

 

Winnie The Pooh Cake

Winnie The Pooh Cake

8.     What inspires you to continue building and improving your business?

All the support that I receive from friends and family really motivates me to continue pursuing my passion.

9.     What are your goals for the future?

To just continue expanding Nanatang as a business and to focus on making this passion a sustainable one! I can't predict what challenges may lie in the future, and that’s why being adaptable and versatile are extremely important for me.

 

 

10.   What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love?

Through my experience, I would say that there really is no fixed way to success. For those of you who wish to create a business out of your passion, all you need is to be brave and try things out. However, ensure that you can afford the time and energy to make this huge commitment. If you believe that you have the capacity to take up this new commitment, the next step is to set yourself a timeline and observe your progress. How much time can you afford to spend on making your passion into something sustainable? Set a time limit to your goal and strive to achieve it. As you work your way up, remember to always be realistic yet optimistic.

 

Feeling inspired? Discover Nanatang’s baking workshops now at the Verlocal Marketplace!

Elevate Your Cooking with JeffThe420Chef

Who is JeffThe420Chef?

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JeffThe420Chef, author of The 420 Gourmet, The Elevated Art of Cannabis Cuisine (Harper Wave, 2016), has quickly risen to prominence in both the cannabis and culinary worlds. Famous for inventing the process which deep cleans cannabis and industrial hemp to create odorless, virtually tasteless, strain-specific canna-oils and cannabutter for cooking, Jeff was recently named one of America’s top cannabis chefs by The San Francisco Chronicle. The Daily Beast has referred to him as “The Julia Child of Weed”.  

Jeff realized early on that the key to safe, healthy, better tasting edibles, is to clean the herb before infusing it (and all that comes with it) into oils and butter used for cooking. Just as one would clean fruits, vegetables, and herbs prior to cooking with them one should clean cannabis and industrial hemp before infusing it into oils for cooking and baking. Until JeffThe420Chef came along, cleaning cannabis and hemp prior to infusion was unheard of and had never been done before.  

 

The Freeleaf Process

To address the need, Jeff invented FreeLeaf™, a proprietary process which deep cleans and prepares the plant’s flowers for infusion. The FreeLeaf™ process removes a significant amount of the plant’s various compounds that contribute to the herbaceous taste associated with cannabis and hemp infused edibles. The end result of FreeLeaf™ is odorless, virtually tasteless, strain specific cannabis and hemp which is clean, healthy and ready to for infusion.  FreeLeaf™ has been lab tested and proven to contain both decarbed cannabinoids and the beneficial cannabinoid acids that contribute to the wellness benefits of CBD and THC products.

 

Educating the Public

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JeffThe420Chef released his cookbook on June 28th, 2016 but it's not only a cookbook. It educates individuals on how to cook with marijuana responsibly and properly. His book talks about the different methods of cooking with cannabis and perfecting marijuana infused cuisine. Get your copy of "The 420 Gourmet" today!

 

 

 

Quick and Easy Cannabis Recipes

JeffThe420Chef makes cooking with cannabis simple, tasty and easy. He has taught thousands of people through his classes, videos, and published articles. His videos are featured on prominent websites including Elite Daily and The Cannifornian and some have been watched by over 5 million people.  He and his recipes have been featured online, on television, and in high profile podcasts. Visit JeffThe420Chef's website jeffthe420chef.com to learn some quick tips on creating cannabis infused recipes.

 

Take Jeff's cooking class in Los Angeles, CA and learn the Elevated art of Cannabis-Cuisine Brownies and Watermelon Gazpacho with the master cannabis chef!

First 5 people to book his class receive a free, signed copy of JeffThe420Chef's book "The 420 Gourmet".

Book Your Class Today!

  • Author of The 420 Gourmet, The Elevated Art of Cannabis Cuisine 
  • Inventor of a proprietary process which deep cleans cannabis to create FreeLeaf™, clean, odorless, virtually tasteless, strain-specific cannabis for MMJ Patients.  
  • Named One of America’s Top Cannabis chefs by The San Francisco Chronicle’s GreenState.com 
  • Called “The Julia Child of Weed” by The Daily Beast 
  • Jeff his recipes, videos and articles have been featured online, on television, and in high profile podcasts including Wolf It Down with Tyler Florence, Super Into with Margaret Cho, Watch What happens Live with Andy Cohen, TMZ, Newsweek, The Boston Globe, The New York Daily News, The San Francisco Chronicle, Greenstate.com, The Huffington Post, High Times, Vice, Playboy, MerryJane.com, Culture Magazine, High Times, Green Flower Media, The Cannifornian.com, Prowdr.com, Edibles Magazine, Emerald Magazine, The Forward, WeedmapsTV, Playboy, WorldStarHiphop, and The Daily Beast.

Host Spotlight: Inspired by his Students and Masterpieces They Create

Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

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Hello! Hola! I am the artist Diego Marcial Rios! I am a formally educated art teacher. I have a BA- UC Berkeley, MA & MFA- University of Wisconsin at Madison in fine art and art education. I am currently offering a unique Mexican Sugar Skull making and decorating class via Verlocal on October 8 ( time: 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM)- special night class.  I am one of the very few professional artists in the USA currently teaching this type of an art class.

 

Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

Photo by: Ana Aragon

Photo by: Ana Aragon

I have been creating fine art from the time I was 3 years old.  I grew up in the turbulent 1960's. Both parents were political activists in the USA.  At age 3 my father took me to see the powerful mural called " El hombre de fuego" in Mexico by Jose Clemente Orozco.  I saw the mural and was stunned and forever impressed! I knew from the instant I saw this mural that I had to become an artist.  

 

What does your passion mean to you?

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"Passion" means a great desire to create beautiful and powerful art!

Helping others create art and express themselves through that art is what truly drives my passion. Being able to inspire others and pass on my knowledge and experience in art fills my heart with joy and I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity.

 

What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

I love art and I wanted to share my expertise with others, so I thought that joining Verlocal will be the perfect choice for me to help get the word out about the experiences I offer. Something that I really struggled with was marketing my art classes to the general public and Verlocal allows me to do that by posting them on their platform.

 

Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started your business.

My biggest business achievement in the art business so far is the ability to become accessible to the general population which is something that I really struggled with when I first started my business. Verlocal has definitely helped me move onto the next step in my entrepreneurial journey by promoting my classes on their platform.

 

What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?

The biggest challenge is marketing my classes to the correct demographic! In addition, obtaining an elegant and up-to-date website was also a challenge in addition to locating the correct consumers for my art classes.  What I discovered was the demographic that buys tickets for my art classes are higher social economic/managerial females over the age of 55.  

 

What inspires you to continue building and improving your business?

I am inspired by the attendees of my art classes! Often they show such fantastic imagination! I love it! In my continuation to improve my business, I learn new technologies and even artistic crafts. 

 

What are your goals for the future?

My Goals are to continue to build my business and increase profits by teaching, learning and creating art. As business continues to improve I would want to have more classes listed on Verlocal so that I may satisfy the demand.

 

What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love? 

My advice is to become the best at your craft! In addition to getting excellent at your craft, study business and marketing.  If you are not good at these skills surround yourself with others that are.

 

 

If you are located in the Bay Area join Diego at his 4th Annual Day of Dead Mexican Sugar Skull Decorating Art Class this October 8th at 8pm. Save your spot today!

Host Spotlight: She Left Math and Became An Award-Winning Artist

“Learn from the mistakes, take the risks and keep making more art. Take what you have learned and make it your own.”

When your heart tells you to go a different direction in life, would you have the courage to go for it? For Jayashree, that is exactly what she did in her pursuit of art. After spending years studying and teaching Mathematics, she realized that it is still art that brought her the most joy in her life. Jayashree followed her heart, resigned from her job and made art a full-time pursuit. Read on to learn more about Jayashree‘s story and how she is sharing the process of creating art to the community!

Hi, can you introduce yourself to our community and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?  

Hi, I am Jayashree. I love playing with paint every day. Two years ago, I stumbled upon an absolutely addictive and amazing style of art called Fluid Painting. After many trials and experiments, I have come up with a way to teach anyone (with little or no background in painting) how to make absolutely beautiful pieces of art in three hours.

 

Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

Ever since I can remember, I have sketched, doodled and painted. However, all through my college years and years afterward, I studied and later taught Mathematics. Not art. It is art that brings me joy. In a moment of epiphany, two years ago, I decided to pursue making art as a full-time job. Now, I rent a large studio space at a prime location, teach workshops to share my work, participate in 15 local juried shows, take on large commission pieces for clients and paint all the time. I truly enjoy every minute of it.

What does your passion mean to you?

It is the fuel that keeps me going every day.

What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host? 

My background in teaching has made it easy for me to share my work and the process in an effective manner with anyone that is interested. I have invested a lot of time in breaking down the steps to making a fabulous piece of artwork. It is really the most fun and rewarding experience for me to see someone else follow the steps and make it their own.

How would you describe the link between your classes and the community around you?

After starting these workshops, I held one at my studio for some youth in the community that is at risk of dropping out from school. Along with their mentors, 12 youth came over to create artwork. It was probably one of the most rewarding aspects of what I do when I get to share and be involved in giving back to the community.

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn more about your passion?

Like what I told one of my Verlocal students who wants to pursue this form of art on her own, you have to keep at it. Learn from the mistakes, take the risks and keep making more art. Take what you have learned and make it your own.

How long have you been living in Seattle? What are some insider tips you’d like to recommend to someone who just moved to the city?

I have lived here for 25 years and have a lot to share. The Pacific Northwest is rich in natural beauty with hiking trails within driving distance and tons of other outdoor activities apart from fun things to do within the city.

What is your favorite piece of work and the story behind it?

I am getting ready with a series in preparation for a solo show on March 9th in Capitol Hill, Seattle. My favorite piece is one that was inspired by a hiking trail in North Bend. It is titled “Rattlesnake Reflections”.

Tell us about your favorite moment/ biggest achievement since you start teaching art?

One of my youngest students was a 12-year old that made a beautiful circular painting she wanted to turn into a clock. Her mother later told me that she redesigned her room around the colors of her painting.

What are your goals for the future?

To make art that starts conversations; to bring people from all walks of life together through art.

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Any recommendations for someone who might want to start exploring a new passion?

Yes. Just try it. Experiences are richer than any other way to spend your time. You can only grow from them. What is stopping you?

What does Verlocal mean to you?

It has been very easy to set up the workshops on my calendar and let Verlocal take on the rest. It frees up my time and lets me create more art. I love that so many different people sign up for workshops. It makes the experience a rich one.

Share one quote that resonates with you the most and what it means for you?

You will never know until you try it. I tell myself this whenever I want to try something new and there is some hesitation.

Host Spotlight: Designing Experiences Through Movements

Dance With Your Heart, & Your Feet Will Follow
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Mikka has been producing events & retreats in the bay area and around the world for over 9 years. She is known for creating memorable experiences, both lavish and intimate. Her regard for lush cozy spaces, incredible music, unique performances, and themed decor creates an immersive container, where connections enliven and grow.

Deeply moved by her global exploration of aerial dance teachers and training, Mikka creates classes that are fun, creative, and inspiring. She draws on her background in dance and acrobatics to put a spotlight on playfulness, flow, and the love of self-expression through movement.

 

The start of Minx Productions

Mikka is passionate about designing experiences. Through her passion she offers pole dancing classes, acro-yoga, and a retreat at the end of the year. Her goal is to bring together individuals of all backgrounds through an art of expression; movement.

Acro-yoga Classes:

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Pole Dancing Classes:

Mikka Minx

What differentiates Minx Productions

The individuals that participate classes by Minx Production, will become a part of a tight knit community.  Individuals experience a feel good movement by joining a pole dancing class where you can explore a free style movement or dance therapy. Students of all-levels are welcome to join the class and participate with new theme new choreography.

Her biggest achievement

Retreat in Maui, Hawaii.

Every year Mikka hosts a unique retreat dedicated to inner beauty, outer expression, and a deep, throbbing lust for life. The retreat will be filled with revitalizing yoga, mind-blowing pole dance classes, inspiring activities and individualized instruction. Participants will be nourished with 3 fresh, local, organic meals everyday. All set in the beautiful retreat paradise, Hale Akua Garden Farm. Salt water pools, hot tubs overlooking the Hawaiian coastline, a 150 foot waterfall and everything else that makes a Hawaiian retreat amazing.

The retreat is open to 40 participants in a week long adventure. Individuals will immerse in dance, movement, and outdoor activities. There will be a big performance showcase at the end of the week, where students will take the stage.
 

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What inspires Minx Productions

Fitness professional can relate in having consistency in student base in order to build a community. Minx production has a purpose of inclusion providing a place to gather through experiences. The one thing that keeps Minx productions to thrive and continue every day is through inspiring retreat goers and hearing their positive feedback. Helping other people grow in their practice and change their view of life and continue to return to a class.

 

The future of Minx Productions

Produce more retreats and expand globally with different instructors, under the same model of our current retreat. With summer summer slowly coming to an end, 2017 Maui Retreat is approaching slowly.

You can join Minx productions on November 24th through 30th, on their Maui retreat. Thus far, 20% of the spots are filled. Sign up now to be a part of a movement of expression.

San Francisco's Pop-Up Color Factory Experience

San Francisco's Pop-Up Color Factory Experience

The word “factory” might bring thoughts of gray scale assembly lines, but the only things being assembled in San Francisco’s Color Factory in Union Square are smiles and perfect Instagram shots. The creation of Oh Happy Day’s Jordan Ferney and artists Leah Rosenberg and Erin Jang, the Color Factory deploys a wonderful mix of both fun and colors, along with the hip way to do art these days: interactiveness.

Host Spotlight: Crawling Your Way to Success

1. Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

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I’m Mogan and I’m the co-founder and chief entertainment officer of the Singapore Pub Crawl.

At its core, the Singapore Pub Crawl is a social nightlife experience. We bring our "crawlers" to four bars and a club and create an atmosphere that helps people meet new people. In today’s day and age, it's not really in our culture to just start a conversation with strangers. That's just missed opportunities to learn something new, make a professional connection or make life-long friends! Here at Singapore Pub Crawl we aim to get the conversation started in a very fun and informal setting. That's why we say, "There are no strangers on the Singapore Pub Crawl". 

 

 

2. Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

I am an educator by training, a sociologist by nature, and entrepreneur by accident. I recently graduated with a degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). My love for travel, the occasional impromptu celebrations and the opportunity for growth of a new business inspire me to do what I do. You know, after tertiary education all of us reaches this fork in our lives where we must make a decision whether to pursue our dreams or fall back to a regular day job.

In fact, I first came up with the idea of setting up a pub crawl while I was in Hong Kong many years back. My best friend and I were traveling and we decided to try out a pub crawl since we were in Hong Kong simply out of curiosity and didn’t expect much from the experience. As the night went on, I enjoyed myself so much and managed to connect with so many people from all around the world that I had positively the best time in my life! That was the moment a crazy idea hit me - let’s set up a pub crawl in Singapore! I told my best friend who was there with me and he’s been my co-founder ever since. I think ultimately, it was the opportunity to create something bigger than myself and to impact others that led me to become a business owner.

 

3. What does your passion mean to you?

We were 2 best friends with a fantastic idea, trying to start a business and make it work. We were pumped up about making the business work so we put our heart and soul into it but it was an extraordinarily uphill task. Convincing others in Singapore that this was a fantastic idea and to trust two young guys with neither real experience nor wasn't easy, to say the least.

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We wanted pub crawls to be a regular activity and it was tough convincing locals, perhaps due to our relatively conservative society. When we first started, we had to knock on so many doors and counters where we faced many skeptics who shot our idea down. Amongst those we approached, a few polite ones told us 'no' but there were others who told us point-blank that it would never take off and it would crash within 6 months. But we did the only thing we could... we kept knocking on every door we saw until we got enough people to give us that one chance and after months of hard work, we finally got CRAWLING!

Through these trying times, I never had the thought of giving up as I always knew that there was a solution to every problem we faced. Our team had the willingness to dig down and make things happen. To me, it is the dedication- or rather obsession- the sacrifices and hard work that constitutes what passion is.

 

4. How has Singapore Pub Crawl impacted your community and the people who support it?

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One of my aspirations behind starting Singapore Pub Crawl is to bring the businesses of the Food & Beverage and the Tourism Industry together. We hope to do this by promoting social nightlife activities that foster social cohesion and bring groups to nightlife establishments here in Singapore.

In terms of helping the community, we help our partners by driving footfall to their pubs, increasing their customers' exposure and evolving the pub crawl scene in Singapore. Our partners and stakeholders work hand in hand to give the best value to our crawlers and contribute immensely to creating a community of friends.

 

5. What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

It was not an easy decision to make, but we'd come so far and put in so much work. Having to spend countless nights managing schedules, payments and other administrative tasks were a nightmare. I thought the time was right and decided to go "full-time" to pursue my passion and become a host.  We took it one crawl at a time, always thinking about what our customers wanted. What do they need more of, what they needed less and we did our best to find a balance. We got through our first six months, and then a year and now it's been 5 years since we first began. I felt that it was the right time to take my business further so I decided to become a host.
 

6. Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started Singapore Pub Crawl.

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Being listed on TripAdvisor and the winner of the Certificate of Excellence Award 2015 and 2016 and 2017 as well. They are very meaningful to us because it represents the work and service that we do. Our personal motto is to always strive to do good work for our customers and always provide value for both sides.

 

7. What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love?

Grit, consistency and the belief in your idea. It's very hard work to make a dream real and you should go all out and make it a reality.

 

8. What does Verlocal mean to you? (Latin word for "true, or to see, one belonging to a community")

The word Verlocal is definitely in line with our ethos of creating a group and having no strangers on the Singapore Pub Crawl, Verlocal has been very supportive of its engagement with us. To me, Verlocal helped us connect better to our customers and has become an integral part of our community. As a partner, this is awesome.

 

About the Company

Singapore Pub Crawl was founded based on passion – a passion for meeting new people, good conversations, fun nights and well, cheap drinks. It was incepted and founded by locals – Mogan and Varman –  in 2011 and both of them have since conducted hundreds of crawls between them.

Ready to spice up your social life and experience the Singapore nightlife? Book your slot now and join the Singapore Pub Crawl! Laughter is guaranteed as strangers turn into friends on this night you won’t forget.


 

Host Spotlight: Creating New Experiences Through Her Passion for Tourism

 
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"I am passionate about introducing our guests to all the amazing people that make this city so great."

Located in the city that never sleeps, Lauren takes her passion of tourism and creates an experience that allows tourist to fully immerse themselves like a local. Like a Local Tours was awarded for their niche concept and popularity among travelers. We got the chance to ask a couple questions to the founder herself: 

1. Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you are offering on Verlocal?

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I'm originally from Wisconsin, but I grew up in Minnesota, Texas, and Pennsylvania. I graduated from Pennsylvania State University and have lived in NYC since 2004 and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, since 2008. I have over 10 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry and I am passionate about people and knowing the best places to go. Like A Local Tours specializes in exploring neighborhoods through food, fashion, and art. Our two most popular destinations are Williamsburg (Brooklyn) and Flatiron District.

 

2. Tell us about your company background: When did you first become inspired to create your own tours?

I started informally showing people around Williamsburg on weekends. This was before it became as popular as it is today. I’ve always wanted to start a business and luckily Like A Local combines my love of New York City and Brooklyn with my passion for people and travel.

 

3. Can you tell us more about your inspiration?

I am inspired by all of the amazing businesses that we work with. For example, OddFellows Ice Cream where their chef (who was a contestant on Iron Chef) comes up with the most incredible flavors and everything is handmade in their Brooklyn location. 

 

4. Can you tell us what differentiates your tour?

It’s no secret that there are tons of options when it comes to tours and things to do in New York City but we offer an opportunity to do what locals do. To learn history while eating great food and meeting locals. Plus, all of our tour guides are not only experienced and licensed, but they are also working actors. They are literally professional storytellers with incredible personalities!

 

5. Tell us about your biggest achievement since the start of Like a Local Tour?

I would say that my biggest achievement is earning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence every year we’ve been in business. Oh, and being listed in the Fodor’s Guide Book for New York City. They are very picky, and especially as a small business, that was a big win for us. I just love having the book and seeing us in print; with a glowing recommendation nonetheless!

 

6. What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?

The biggest challenge when I first started was getting the word out. But eventually word is spreading, and with our excellent reviews, I can’t complain!

 

 

 

 

7. What inspires you to continue building and improving your business?

Like any entrepreneur, I want Like A Local Tours to flourish. I have 15 tour guides and I also want to make sure we’ve got enough work for them. It’s a lot of pressure but it’s also very rewarding.

 

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8. What are your business goals for the future?

I want to continue to create new, exciting experiences! We are currently developing food tours in other neighborhoods.

 

 

 

 

9. What advice can you give to people who want create a business in the guided tour industry? 

My advice would be to serve an under-served market, like Queens for example. Or come up with something completely new and creative!

 

Lauren J. Beebe Founder, Like A Local Tours

917-417-0378 | lauren@likealocaltours.com | www.likealocaltours.com |
Insider Tours of NYC & Brooklyn

Artists You Should Start Listening To From This Year's Outside Lands

From Friday’s mad rush around the park in an attempt to not miss a single performance, to getting lost in Sunday’s wall of pure fog that wreaked havoc on glasses and cameras alike, I would call Outside Lands 2017 a success. Compared to last year’s (near-arctic for San Franciscans) festival, temperatures were chilly, but comfortable and the thousands that packed Golden Gate Park we’re happily running from Lands End to Twin Peaks wearing everything from tank tops and flower crowns to immaculately bedazzled suits and top hats.

Besides the never ending conversation of outfits, layers, and temperatures in the city of San Francisco, Outside Lands brought a large crowd together for an unrivaled music experience.

You’ve been listening to Gorillaz for over a decade and you had an unforgettable experience at Solange, but what about some of the other artists who killed it at OSL this year? I wasn’t able to catch every show, but I was able to attend many that had an impact on both myself and others.

 

My Favorite “Who’s On Sutro Absolutely Killing It Right Now?” Band: Joseph 

Image from @kfogradio on Instagram – J O S E P H ✨

Image from @kfogradio on Instagram – J O S E P H ✨

Joseph gave me the feels I once felt experiencing Haim for the first time in yester-OSLs past. The three sisters, Allison, Meegan, and Natalie Closner (I wasn’t kidding about that Haim comparison), went on early Saturday at the Sutro stage and it was true coincidence that I didn’t plan accordingly to see Guy Branum’s Talk Show The Game Show and ended up sitting down on the hill at Sutro.

The crew from Oregon gave an incredible performance and the crowd couldn’t help but dance. I’ll be blasting White Flag in my headphones at work for the next few weeks, but it was their second to last song, Sweet Dreams, that provided an unforgettable, almost-end to an entrancing set.

(Folk, Indie – Songs to get you hooked: White Flag, SOS, and Sweet Dreams)

 

The One I Was Stoked To See Announced ON THE Lineup: Sofi Tukker

Sofi Tukker – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

Sofi Tukker – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

I figured Sofi Tukker would bring out a good sized crowd, but boy did I underestimate the numbers. They pulled out all the stops for an insane crowd at Twin Peaks on Sunday. Sofi Tukker, who I believed to be a French group this whole time, actually comes to us from New York. I was hooked the second I heard Drinkee a year ago and couldn’t wait for their set time at Outside Lands – me and a few thousand of my closest friends.

Aside from fully embracing the audience in every part of each song, they surprised us all when they brought Maggie Rogers for a fantastic trio on Awoo. There was a consecutive reaction from the crowd around me once Maggie Rogers showed up – “did you catch her set? She’s incredible!” That brings me to my next recommendation…

(Dance, Pop – Songs to get you hooked: Drinkee, F**k They, and Awoo)

 

The Artist I Missed, But Everyone Was Talking About: Maggie Rogers

Image from @maggierogers Instagram – Photographer: Jack Gorlin (@jackgorlin)

Image from @maggierogers Instagram – Photographer: Jack Gorlin (@jackgorlin)

Outfitted in a red jumpsuit with silver streamers flying from her arms and waist, Maggie Rogers was apparently one of the shows you didn’t want to miss at the Festival this year. I did, however, so I had to catch up on Spotify for the surprise artist everyone was talking about on Sunday. From what I’ve heard so far, she boasts catchy tunes and an incredible voice worth blasting through the car speakers.

We all know the live performance is one of the best parts, so I’ll be catching her next San Francisco show!

(Folk, Dance – Songs to get you hooked: Alaska and On + Off)

 

The Band My Friend Told Me To Meet Them At When I Had An Opening In My Schedule: Dawes

Dawes – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

Dawes – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

Sharing in the experience of music with friends is the best, and somehow that feeling is heightened when you’ve never heard of the band before that moment. One of the more stranger occurrences is never hearing of the band yet somehow knowing the words to more than one song. It’s a great surprise, but also a bit puzzling.

This happened at Dawes, a rock group out of Los Angeles that performed on the Sutro stage Saturday afternoon. I was on a high from finding Joseph right before and having Dawes, a steady, great rock band with songs like “Things Happen” and “Somewhere Along The Way,” follow them up was great lineup move.

(Rock – Songs to get you hooked: Things Happen, When My Time Comes, and All Your Favorite Bands)

The Who – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

The Who – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

Between the ticket madness, thirty-minute-before-the-set dropouts, and Presidio Stage walk bys that had me grabbing friends asking if we could stay for “just one second,” Outside Lands was one for the books on its Tenth Anniversary.

Thanks for another memorable year in Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands Music Festival, and here's to ten more!