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Collaboration, Creativity, Community: Come Join Us for Two Great Events!

When we decided to launch a new e-commerce based lifestyle brand, we knew that we didn’t want our brand (or ourselves) to exist solely in the digital world. So Heather and I also made a commitment to ourselves and each other that when we started our new business we would not lose sight of what’s really important – and that’s real connections in the real world and being able to creatively contribute to community. After all, we live in a community and region that is extremely creative, collaborative and supportive. We want to be out in the world to be inspired by others, and hopefully add a dose of our own inspiration into the mix. 

“The earth has music for those who listen.”  – William Shakespeare

With that in mind, despite the craziness of running two businesses, three kids and our busy household, we didn’t want to let go of the one thing that’s been the most fun and rewarding experience for us over the last year – and that’s hosting community events and initiatives that are creative, family-friendly and take place in the great outdoors.

This summer’s season of events started with Fairy Fest at the Fairy Trails in June. Now that we’re in July, we have two new events coming up that we want to share with you. We hope you can join us!

Traverse City Street Pianos – An Unveiling Event!

In the spring of 2016, Heather and I were in Colorado to celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary. While strolling the downtown Denver streets, we came upon a number of colorfully painted pianos in different parts of the city. These were more than pieces of street art, they were functioning musical instruments played spontaneously by passersby. We looked at each other with the same thought – something like this would be perfect in Traverse City.

So we got working on it. Being such a collaborative, community-oriented place, it wasn’t very hard to get the wheels in motion in Traverse City. Within a month, with the help of Jerry Snowden and the Miller Snowden Development Group, we had a piano in place and the Traverse City Street Piano initiative was born.

The street piano was a big hit last summer. Nearly every time we passed by the piano someone was playing it. We witnessed some amazing performances ourselves, including a number of extremely talented Interlochen Center for the Arts students who made the trip to Traverse City to check out the piano.

We knew we wanted to bring the street piano back this year. But this time we wanted to do it bigger and better. And we knew we couldn’t do it alone.

So this spring we began to reach out to other individuals, organizations and businesses to see if they were interested in getting involved. The response was immediate and amazing. Even though we’ve witnessed it many times, we’re still blown away by this collaborative community when we see it up close and personal.

We’re happy to announce that music is coming back to the streets of Traverse City at a street piano unveiling celebration for the whole community on Thursday, July 20th starting at 5:30 p.m.

There will be not one, but two newly designed pianos on the streets this summer, one next to the Chase Building at Park and Front Streets downtown, and the other just over the Boardman River pedestrian bridge, next to the new Kayak, Bike & Brew building in the warehouse district. We’ll visit both during the event.

Students and faculty from Interlochen Center for the Arts are creatively painting the pianos, so come check out their artistry. And Musicians from Interlochen Center for the Arts will play the pianos during the event! Join us for some or all of the festivities at this free, family-friendly event.

Earlier this week we had the pleasure of hosting a group of Interlochen students and faculty at our home for a piano painting party. Students worked on one piano and faculty on the other – we can’t wait to unveil them to you next week on Thursday, July 20th in downtown Traverse City!

It was so fun to see such talented people at work. It was especially great for our girls, who are all avid young artists, to see the Interlochen students work their magic. Here are a couple of sneak peek photos of the pianos in progress.

Traverse City, Street Pianos, Street Music, Traverse City Street Pianos


Traverse City Street Pianos, Traverse City, Street Music, Street Pianos


5:30 p.m. A musician from Interlochen will be playing at the Park and Front Street piano. We’ll have free helium balloons and fun noisemaker instruments for the kids so they can help lead the walk to the second piano.

6:00 p.m. Norte! will lead a walk from the Park Street piano through downtown to the second piano location, just over the Boardman River pedestrian bridge, next to the new Kayak, Bike & Brew building in the warehouse district (about a .5 mile walk).

6:30 p.m.  A musician from Interlochen Center for the Arts will begin playing at the second location, and there will be a table set up with fun crafts for the kids.

After the music stops the party doesn’t have to – join other event participants for an after-party at The Workshop Brewing Company. Event attendees will receive $1 off pints of Journeyman beer.

We are extremely grateful to the incredible individuals, businesses and organizations who are helping Life and Whim to make this year’s event extra special. Special thanks to: Traverse City Tourism for financial and other support; Interlochen Center for the Arts, its students and faculty for lending their amazing artistic and musical talents to make the event special; Norte! for always being awesome; TentCraft for donating a cool tent to protect the piano located in the warehouse district; Miller Snowden Development Group and Kayak, Bike & Brew for graciously allowing the pianos to be hosted on their respective properties; and The Workshop Brewing Company for always supporting art, culture and community in Traverse City.

See you at the street pianos!


Looking for something fun to do this weekend in northern Michigan? We’ve got you covered!

Come join us this Saturday, July 15th from noon – 2 p.m. at the Fairy Trails at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. We’ll be set up in the piazza area (across from Left Foot Charley) with Susie Q, our mobile pop-up shop.

We’ll have crafts for the kids, our products on display, and we’ll be putting a new fairy house on the Fairy Trails for you and your kids to explore and discover (along with all of the other great houses out there!). We’ll also be painting special “Fairy Rocks” with fairy messages on the back and placing them on the trails before the event for kids to find (make sure to put them back where they’re found for others to discover!). And we’ll have materials on-hand for kids to paint fairy rocks of their own. It will be lots of fun!

We’re always looking for new ways to make the Fairy Trails fun and exciting, so we’re particularly excited about having kids hunt for fairy rocks as they traverse the trails.

Fairy Rock, Traverse City Fairy Trails, Traverse City

Building a fairy house takes a bit of time and effort, but you only need a few minutes to create a fairy rock. Next time you’re on the Fairy Trails, keep an eye out for fairy rocks, and create one of your own to add to the collection!

We’re having a blast this summer in Traverse City. Come celebrate with us!