IndieAustin: Tapestry Dance

Tapestry Dance is both 30 years old and brand new in 2019.  Founded in 1989, Tapestry leapt onto the national stage and instantly became a highly regarded dance company.  Tapestry’s dance company is now the only full-time professional tap dance company in the world. But Tapestry’s reach extended far beyond the performing dance world with the establishment of its multiform dance academy and classes that made dance accessible to everyone.

Co-Founding artistic directors Acia Gray and Deirdre Strand created Tapestry to bring together the diverse worlds of tap dancing, contemporary, ballet, modern, and jazz.  Over the decades, Tapestry’s reputation and expertise in tap and tap fusion has earned a global reputation. Its annual Soul to Sole tap festival brings together dancers from all parts of the world in a multi-day celebration of dance technique and history.  As a resident company, Tapestry performs at the Long Center as well as other local venues while also touring the US and abroad. While featuring tap dance choreography, Tapestry concerts are known for telling profound stories and looking at compelling issues through a fusion of dance, music, poetry, and percussion as well as tributes to this indigenous American artform.

On the educational front, Tapestry has taught dancers of all levels and from all walks of life with astonishing results.  Students of Tapestry Dance Academy have gone on to professional dance careers not only with Tapestry itself but with STOMP, Michelle Dorrance Dance, Momix, Doug Varone & Dancers, The Rhythmic Arts, and SoundMovement in New York City to name a few.  Students looking for anything from professional honing to a great workout have found themselves in Tapestry dance classes. Tapestry’s dance programs focus on increasing self-confidence and self-expression while celebrating the history and technique of each style of dance.  This allows students to become dancers in the truest sense: through their art, they share themselves with their families and their communities whether for recreation or professional training.

Tapestry celebrates more than dance, more than tap, more than art–it celebrates rhythm itself.  Tap dancing may be the most celebrated form at this renowned organization, but rhythm works its way into every class and style and lesson that students young and old can take away from its varied courses.  Tapestry’s dances, concerts, classes, and faculty all embrace the artform of dance and the rhythm that connects us all.

Now Tapestry has found its new home in the Riverside neighborhood and is ready to welcome dances of all ages and from all parts of Austin and beyond.  Tapestry’s new home at 2105 Riverside Drive celebrates the impressive legacy of the company with dance studios named after their prior homes, while also moving forward with new and returning teachers, new classes, and a desire to serve their local community as well as all of Austin.

Who is the ideal student to take a class at Tapestry?  You! If you are alive then your heart has a beat; come celebrate that beat and the rhythm of your life with a dance class at Tapestry!

You can find out more about Tapestry and the full schedule of classes at tapestry.org.

IndieAustin: Think Big! Program

The Think Big! Program and its creators, Sandy Stewart (Founder) and Natalie Rodgers (Program Designer), are based right in the heart of the South First IBIZ District. They support small business growth here at home in Austin, as well as across the United States.

The Think Big! Program is a training program that was initially designed in 2007 as a spin-off product of Swiss Avenue Partners, its parent company. Swiss Avenue Partners’ proprietary training tools and methodologies were redesigned to fit the small- and micro-business needs and became the Think Big! Program. The curriculum teaches business skills, from the basic to the complex. Some have even referred to it as their own customized MBA program, specifically tailored to their company’s needs. Business owners and key (or upcoming) managers learn skills, know-how, and shortcuts for how to run a better business.

From day one of starting the company in Sacramento, Sandy had her sights set on moving the company to Austin where she had already been living previously for 6+ years. As she says ‘Once an Austinite, always an Austinite’. She was sure to tell anyone in California who called her a Californian, ‘oh no, I’m a Texan who just happens to be living in California’. She moved the company’s headquarters to Austin in 2010 and never looked back.

When it’s time to put their strategic hats on for their own business, they get out of the office and head to some of their favorite Austin spots like Barton Springs Pool or the Austin Public Library. They can also be seen out and about checking out the local coffee shops and restaurants when they want to get into a creative thinking mode.

In the fall of 2018, Sandy and Natalie decided to begin digitizing all of the training modules to create an online platform serving small businesses of all shapes and sizes.

The program is an online academy and includes multiple courses that range from lessons in both Direct and Indirect Sales, Strategic Planning modules, Financial Modeling lessons to modules dedicated to hiring and managing staff.

Because the program services a multitude of industries, they have fun playing in all different types of companies; bakeries, accounting firms, IT consulting firms, confectioners, manufacturing, construction, auto transportation, and senior care services to name a few. In all, they’ve helped over 65 different industries.

There are some areas that the program does not focus on, and in those areas the team at Think Big! Program becomes a referral source for a multitude of B2B service providers. They often uncover business needs that are best served by other experts, such as Marketing consulting, CPA and accounting services, bookkeeping services, IT consulting, legal services to just about anything that a small business might ever need.

Because the Think Big! Program team lives and breathes a value of community, they are keen to know well any B2B professional service neighbors so that their clients have a matchmaking experience that provides the best fit referral tailored to their need and personality style.   

They are already helping small business startups in the Austin area and with the sponsorship for startup grants, know that this will become popular in Austin with such an entrepreneurial spirit. In June of 2019, they are launching a sister academy called tãkoff built specifically for the startup business owner.

Sandy and Natalie were excited to join AIBA because they felt such a strong match of values between the Think Big! Program and the AIBA community. Both care deeply about small businesses and believe that strong, healthy, small business growth is what fuels a healthy economy and feeds a local community with flavor and style.

You never know when you might see them around town teaching at luncheons, breakfasts, webinars, or other events. Please introduce yourself. They are eager to get to know their fellow AIBA members and fans.

Contact the team at Think Big! Program via email at getskills@thinkbigprogram.com, by phone at 512-686-3600 or visit their online academy at www.thinkbigprogram.com. And check out their startup program tãkoff at www.takoff.biz.

IndieAustin: Furniture Market

What does your home say about you?  Are the furnishings, the lighting, the art a reflection of your taste and style?  Have you been telling yourself you can’t afford to express yourself in your décor? Furniture Market says you can have the best, and it won’t ruin your bank account. Step into Furniture Market on I-35 and now at The Shops at San Gabriel Ridge in Leander, and be transported into the world of possibilities, from sofas to leather to dining sets. It’s all here, at the very best prices in Central Texas. Furniture Market is a local spot.  That means owner Dwain Schuh can negotiate the best price from the supplier to the buyer.  He wants you to experience the unique and affordable offerings on display at Furniture Market showrooms, before you go anywhere else. He says “People come here and find leather, bedroom and dining sets they bought elsewhere, and realize they could have saved thousands by coming to Furniture Market first.  Sometimes they’ll wait weeks for months for an order, when it’s right here, ready for delivery.”

The variety of styles we carry is complemented by our truly remarkable values and affordable prices and that are typically much lower than the other stores in the area. Dwain says, “When we go to the big Furniture Market in Las Vegas or North Carolina to buy, things get confusing when we say we are from Furniture Market. You see, that’s where I came up with the name. I want people to feel like they have access to the same furniture all the other stores are offering. When you shop with us we bring the market to you!” He says, “We’ve got basic sofas for $399 and leather sectionals for $8,000.  We really do have something for everyone.” Our mission is to provide customers from all walks of life, the furniture they want and need and can comfortably afford.

Great prices, unbelievable variety and easy access make Furniture Market a great place to find the fashionable furniture that truly expresses your sense of style. But Dwain wants his customers to know that he buys for comfort, as well. He says, “This is furniture for living. You want your home to express your personality, but you also want it to be inviting and comfortable. A gorgeous chair or sofa is no good if you don’t want to sit on it.” This extends to mattresses as well; we have seriously low prices and great values on the best beds made.  If your budget only allows for the most basic mattress, you’ll find it here. We also carry the plushest, most luxurious sleeping systems, as well. Everyone deserves and can afford a good night’s sleep when you shop with us.

That’s why the folks at Furniture Market created a brand new, second show place in Leander, at The Shops at San Gabriel Ridge with more dreamy possibilities for your home, and advisors that want you to come back, again and again.

Great prices, unbelievable variety, quick delivery and easy access make Furniture Market the perfect place to find fashionable furniture that truly expresses your sense of style.  It’s a local place, hiring local people, that cares about Central Texas, the community and you.

If your budget allows you to furnish a small apartment or a palace, you’ll find it at Furniture Market.  Buy it today, sit on it tonight!

Furniture Market Austin, 10108 N. I-H 35, 512-836-6040 and now in Leander, 2081 Hwy. 183, Suite 120, 512-778-6100, www.myfurnituremarket.com.