lauren slavinMy name is Lauren Slavin, and I am a 24-year-old reporter living in Bloomington, Indiana.

I’m a general assignment reporter for The Herald-Times, Bloomington’s daily newspaper. Previously, I wrote for Homes & Lifestyles of Southern Indiana magazine, Adventure Indiana, and Biznet through the Hoosier Times. I am also an editor with Feminspire, a for women, by women media website.

I spent four years at The Towerlight, an independent student-run news organization under Baltimore Student Media that serves the Towson University community, the final of which I served as editor-in-chief and the vice president of the BSM board of directors.

Please view my resume, Pressfolioe-mail me or make a LinkedIn connection, and explore the rest of my interactive portfolio.

“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.”
– Henry R. Luce

Perks of Partnership: Local businesses form win/win situations

Deanna Hawkins, left, of Sugar Daddy’s Cafe’ shared her storefront with Joan Fischer of Joan’s Caramels. Courtesy photo.

Deanna Hawkins, left, of Sugar Daddy’s Cafe’ shared her storefront with Joan Fischer of Joan’s Caramels. Courtesy photo.

Joan Fischer had been renting Sugar Daddy’s Cakes and Catering Café’s kitchen for a year to make caramels for her sweet shop, Joan’s Caramels, when the suite next door to the bakery became vacant. Joan Fischer and Sugar Daddy’s owner Deanna Hawkins had become close friends through their working partnership, and combining their locations for a dominant presence in south side sweets sounded as good as a brownie drizzled with caramel.

“The reaction from everyone was nothing but positive,” Joan Fischer said. “Everyone kept saying that they were so happy Bloomington now has a shop like ours: locally owned with homemade desserts and sweets.”

Now, brides and grooms visiting Bloomington for wedding tastings at Sugar Daddy’s often leave with more than a cake to cut on their special day. Customizable caramel wedding and shower favors from Joan’s are for sale just steps away. That’s what Joan Fischer calls a “business marriage made in heaven.”

In an effort to keep all aspects of Bloomington business in Bloomington, several local business owners have capitalized on common interests by working with each other instead of in competition.

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Art Meets Nature: Outdoor Sculpture Gallery is a Masterpiece

Music played throughout the studio, a large red barn, while the artists participating in the Cast Iron Sculptures Workshop made their pieces. Men and women, old and young, some from Indiana, others from as far away as the United Kingdom, worked side-by-side well into the evening on what would become the Sculpture Trails’ newest exhibition.

The sculptures all tell stories, and some stories are connected. Like the one that inspired Garrett Krueger’s “Go On Over and Ask Her To Dance”: A sculpture of an arm extended to take a dance partner in hand.

“He had never met this girl and he said, ‘Shall we dance?’ And they did,” Dianne Masse says. “So they danced all around the studio, and from that a little romance began. And they still, after two years, are still seeing each other, and I thought well isn’t that interesting, we have a love story.”

It’s one of dozens, if not hundreds of tales Dianne could probably recall while giving a guided tour of the Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum, which has grown to close to 80 pieces and spans for more than a mile across her property in Solsberry.

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Fog Heaven: Custom Home Makes For Perfect Mornings

The rich variegated brown and red hues in furniture made of natural cherry wood, like snowflakes, are never found in the same piece twice.

Contact with sunlight darkens the wood, and over time, an original pattern forms. Like the cherry wood kitchen cabinets, bookshelves, desks and even a piano in Chris and Jeanne Adamson’s home, every feature is unique to their needs and personalities.

“This is a true blending of us,” Chris said of the 4,000 square foot Bloomington home.

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