Tag Archives: shoes

Skateboard Underground

December 6, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Silo barely looks open. The only sign indicating its presence at 517 S. 13th Street is a small sticker that reads “SILO” in black, block letters. The sign, which sits slightly askew, is pasted on a glass door beneath a blank, gray marquee.

It’s intentionally vague. Enticingly exclusive. Silo, a skateboard shop which officially opened in June, doesn’t even list a telephone number.

“It’s almost like going back to beeper days,” says store owner, Brant Van Boening.

That throwback style is kind of the point. Silo, an expansion of the Grand Island original, sells skater fashion gear and lifestyle products to discerning buyers—those who, like Van Boening, 35, are seeking a return to the “glory days” of skateboarding—the early 80s and 90s when teens connected over grainy videos of flips and twists and daredevil rides. It was that time before corporate sponsorship and TV specials—when skating was rebellious, a counter-culture means to express individuality. “Our big thing, or this kind of movement,” Van Boening says, “is just finding kindred spirits in smaller companies that celebrate the uniqueness of what skateboarding was.”

Inside Silo, those kindred spirits are represented in backpacks, shoes, jackets, hand-stitched wallets, and select socks, each carefully arranged on sparse shelves. The store’s whitewashed walls are broken up by a colorful display of local and imported skateboards that look more like artwork than sporting gear. On the shelves, the products include handmade, limited and exclusive lines—outdoor jackets by Patagonia, a California-based company that traces its manufacturing “from fabric to assembly, all the way to our doorstep;” Syndicate, a limited line of VANS (staple of skater street cred) shoes; and CONS, an exclusive range of Converse shoes similar to classic Chuck Taylors but with rugged soles and cushioned insoles, that sums up Silo’s selection: comfortable, high quality, and distinctive.

“There’s not a single product in here that we [Van Boening and his small team] haven’t worn, had, put through the ringer in some shape or form,” he says, adding he hopes to create a personal shopping experience for his customers. “We want to connect with our customers on a face-to-face basis, and we want to take the time to talk about products in an honest way.”

Those products can be pricey, and there’s definitely an elite quality to them, but Van Boening notes they are not meant to be snobbish. “Everything in here is made to be used and abused,” he says. “[The products are] for that kid with that discerning eye for quality, durability, and specialness.”

So special, in fact, that even the president of VANS needed to track down a pair of his own line recently. Silo received an email (no phone…) from his assistant requesting a pair of the latest Syndicate shoes. “By the time he even saw them, they were already allocated [to select dealers] and out the door,” Van Boening says.

“We took care of him the same day.”

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Pet-Proofing Your Home

August 16, 2013 by

Planning on expanding your family with a bundle of furry love? Pam Wiese, vice president of public relations and marketing at Nebraska Humane Society, says that the NHS has pamphlets to hand out about pet-proofing a home, as well as a behavior hotline. Still, Wiese has learned a lot from firsthand experience.

For example, her two labs Rudy and Bree may or may not notice the screen door is closed when they come crashing back in from playtime. Wiese has discovered that a pair of simple “bird magnets” (magnets that attract each other on either side of a screen or glass) keeps the rambunctious pair from tearing through her screen door. Again.

Use Wiese’s following tips to prevent such destruction to your property, as well as eliminate hazards to your pet’s health:

Be tidy. “Unfortunately, one of the best things to do is keep your home picked up,” Wiese says with a laugh. By getting in the habit of putting your shoes in your closet and shutting the door, you remove an opportunity for puppy to develop a taste for leather.

Get down on their level. View your home from your new pet’s vantage point, and you might be surprised at what nooks, crannies, and cords a kitten or a puppy could get tangled up in. Block holes, put covers over air vents, and get cords tidied out of the way.

Put food away. Even if you’re thawing meat, Wiese recommends shutting it in a turned-off microwave or setting it overnight in the fridge. “You don’t want your dog to learn that you keep food on the counters,” she says. “That way, the one day you do forget to hide the German chocolate cake, he’s not going to be looking for it.”

Close everything. Get a covered trashcan. Close the toilet lid. If your cat’s a Houdini, consider childproof locks on cabinets.

Organizing Bedroom Closets

May 25, 2013 by

How many times have you been late to work because you couldn’t find one of your shoes in your closet? Or maybe that cute scarf you bought last month? Whether you have a small amount of closet space or a slight shopping addiction, organization can be your best friend.

The first step to solving the mess: Utilize the closet space you have. Find an organization system that works best for you. If you have a small space with too much stuff, it might be a good idea to purchase an organizer with plenty of shelves and drawers (IKEA has lots of these). Another great investment? Clear storage bins. They’re stackable, and you can see what’s inside without getting them out.18 April 2013- Bailey's home is shot for HerFamily Magazine.

It helps to organize clothing, accessories, and shoes in your closet by season. Store anything that isn’t currently in season in bins and label the season on the outside of the bin. With the clothes that you have out for the current season, hang the hangers from the backside of the rack. Only face the hangers the correct way if you’ve worn the clothes during the season. Any clothes still backward at the end of the season should be donated to eliminate clutter.

Have a hamper in the closet as well. This way, clean clothes and those already worn are separate, making laundry less of a headache. There’s nothing worse than having to wash the entire contents of your closet because you’re not sure what is clean and what isn’t.18 April 2013- Bailey's home is shot for HerFamily Magazine.

Since several home organizing blogs have become popular in the last few years, it’s worth looking around at some of the unique ideas on the web, too. Pam with DIY Design Fanatic suggests taking smaller wicker baskets and nailing them to the closet wall to keep track of socks, tank tops, etc. Multiple blogs recommend installing key hooks or corkboards with push pins to hang necklaces so they don’t get tangled. If you’re not sure where to start looking for ideas, don’t forget about Pinterest. It’s a fabulous source of DIY solutions.

Filling Mom’s Shoes

April 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Daughters become inspired, motivated, and awed by their mothers as they see them dash out the door on a volunteer mission time after time. They often follow in their footsteps.

But as daughters trail mothers down the volunteer road, they’re finding the path has veered. More women in the workplace means a different approach to volunteering. Meetings once scheduled for mornings are now scheduled for noon so volunteers can return to jobs. An e-mail sent at midnight is now more likely to happen.

How volunteers schedule their time has changed. The dedication and sense of responsibility that daughters learn from mothers has not. Here we share four stories about the gift mothers give daughters that keeps on giving —the gift of volunteering.

Gail Yanney & Lisa Roskens

Gail Yanney became an anesthesiologist in the 1960s when few women held careers. At the time, the consensus was that working women didn’t have time to volunteer. (We know better now.) But she soon became one of Omaha’s most active volunteers.

Her volunteering career began while she was a busy student at UNMC College of Medicine. Invited to join Junior League, she asked permission from her department head.

“He said, ‘Physicians need to be part of their community,’” remembers Gail, who is now retired.

Passionate about the environment, she was a teacher naturalist at Fontenelle Forest on her day off. Gail is also a founder of the Women’s Fund of Omaha.

 “I was inspired by my mother, who did things women didn’t do then. If you’re not influenced by your parents, you’re not paying attention.” – Lisa Roskens

With her husband, Michael Yanney, she received the Spirit of Nebraska Award from the Eppley Cancer Center last year.

Gail’s daughter, Lisa Roskens, learned from her mom. “I was inspired by my mother, who did things women didn’t do then. If you’re not influenced by your parents, you’re not paying attention.”

Lisa is chairman of the board, president, and CEO at the Burlington Capital Group, a company founded by her father, who partners with his wife in philanthropy. Volunteering is a family affair at the Roskens’ house where Lisa’s husband, Bill, and their two children join in. They rally around animals and kids and have helped at the Nebraska Humane Society and at Take Flight Farm.

Lisa tries to pass on to Charlie, 13, and Mary, 10, what her mother passed on to her. “We try to instill that sense of giving back as an obligation to being a citizen in a community. I don’t tell them what charities to support, but foster independence.

“Mom said the only thing you get out of life is what you give away.”

Sharon Marvin Griffin & Melissa Marvin

Sharon Marvin Griffin and her daughter, Melissa Marvin, have received many of Omaha’s top honors for volunteering. For Sharon, they have included Arthritis Woman of the Year, Ak-Sar-Ben Court of Honor, Salvation Army Others Award, and United Way of the Midlands Volunteer of the Year, among others. For Melissa, awards have included the 2010 YWCA Women of Distinction and honors from the Omaha Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Each has been involved in more than 40 charitable activities over a lifetime. Each presently serves on 10 nonprofit boards. Coincidence? Not likely. Melissa has inherited her mother’s zest for volunteering.

“Mom is a professional volunteer,” says Melissa. “No. 1 is the importance of giving back. No. 2 is the importance of how to be a leader, how to work together in teams. I try to emulate that.”

“Mom is a professional volunteer…I try to emulate that.” – Melissa Marvin

Melissa remembers her first volunteer experience at age 7. She and brother Barney, then age 2, delivered Christmas gifts to shut-ins. “We looked on it as an honor,” she says.

The family, including her father, Sam Marvin, who died in 1997, together rang bells for The Salvation Army.

The mother and daughter also have in common busy careers. Sharon, who is married to Dr. William Griffin, has had a 25-year career in real estate at NP Dodge. Melissa is with the Cohen Brown Management Group and is director of Community Engagement for Metropolitan Community College.

Mom has the final word: “The more you give, the more you grow.”

Susan Cutler, Jeanie Jones & Jackie Lund

Susan Cutler has big fans in her daughters.

“I watch all the friends Mom has made and the rewards you get from giving. I have huge shoes to fill,” says Jeanie Jones. “I don’t think she realizes how big those shoes are.”

Those shoes took the first steps to volunteering in her hometown of Council Bluffs, where Susan lived with her husband, Bill Cutler, a funeral director. They moved to Omaha in 1987. “When I started volunteering, I learned so much about my community,” she says.

She volunteered at her children’s schools. “I wanted to meet other parents, learn what was happening,” says Susan, who was a third-grade teacher earlier in her life. She presently is on the board of directors of the Methodist Hospital Foundation and Children’s Hospital Foundation and is co-chairman for Joslyn Art Museum’s 2013 Gala.

“I have huge shoes to fill. I don’t think [Mom] realizes how big those shoes are.” – Jeanie Jones

Her daughters have their own impressive resume of community service.

“I remember Mom was involved in Ak-Sar-Ben when I was in sixth and seventh grades. I had to go to stuff and didn’t like it,” laughs daughter Jackie Lund. The mother of two children is owner of Roots & Wings Boutique in Omaha. But Jackie now goes to “stuff” and enjoys it. She is guild board treasurer of the Omaha Children’s Museum.

“I met some of my best friends through volunteer work,” says daughter Jeanie, who has three children. She serves in leadership positions for such groups as Clarkson Service League, Ak-Sar-Ben, Joslyn Art Museum, and Girls, Inc.

Susan said she didn’t try to influence her daughters. “Your children do what they watch, not what you say.” She continues her devotion to volunteering. “You learn about yourself, as well as about the community. It all comes back to you more than you can ever imagine.”

Sharon McGill & Kyle Robino

Kyle Robino remembers as a child slapping stickers on hundreds of mailings for charities. That was her first exposure to the world of volunteering with her mother, Sharon McGill.

Their family’s tradition of volunteering has been passed down from generation to generation. Sharon inherited the volunteering gene from her mother, who helped establish the Albuquerque Garden Center, and from her grandmother, a strong force in her rural New Mexico community. “I looked back at their lives and learned how they made things better for others,” she says.

Sharon brought along her talents as a ballet dancer when she moved to Omaha in 1968. Not surprisingly, her first volunteer act was helping to build a professional ballet company. A dancer, teacher, board president, and, later, ballet mistress for Ballet Omaha, Sharon took her two daughters along. They attended ballet classes and absorbed the essence of volunteering from watching their mother. She now serves on the Joslyn Castle board.

“I think people who volunteer clearly had mothers who were great role models. My mom was a great role model.” – Kyle Robino

Kyle and her sister, Gwen McGill, who resides in Napa Valley, Calif., are following in their mother’s ballet shoes.

The JDRF is the center of Kyle’s volunteer work. Five years ago, her older daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Kyle’s husband, Mike, is board president of the JDRF Heartland Chapter.

“As you get older, you figure out what your passions are and what causes are personal to you,” says Kyle, who owns Old Market Habitat flower shop. “I think people who volunteer clearly had mothers who were great role models,” she says. “My mom was a great role model.”

Kyle is now a role model for a possible fifth generation of volunteers—daughters Olivia, 14, and Ava, 7. These young ladies will have big shoes to fill, too.