By Jenny Callison
EAST WALNUT HILLS - When she married, Davida Gable realized she didn't need traditional household gifts. Her research into marriage trends showed her that many couples have already accumulated what they need to set up housekeeping.
Gable was inspired to start Lime Balloon - Gifts Outside the Box, an online catalog of things people can do rather than objects they can own. The gifts aren't just for newlyweds: they can be purchased to mark birthdays, anniversaries or other occasions.
The company's Web site, www.limeballoon.com, contains gifts of arts performances and lessons, nature experiences, tours, sports activities, spa visits, cooking classes and fitness programs. All the activities' organizers are in Greater Cincinnati, although the activities themselves are geographically diverse.
Information: 961-LIME (5463).
American Century among fastest-growing
MASON - Four years after its founding, American Century Mortgage has been named among the nation's top 100 fastest-growing companies by Entrepreneur magazine.
The magazine's June issue ranks American Century No. 60 on its "Hot 100" list. To assemble the rankings, the publication pulled information and financial statements from Dun & Bradstreet's database, then measured each company's sales growth from its founding. All companies on the list were started no earlier than 1999.
American Century was established in 2000 by Ed Clark and Rick Browning. The company grew from four employees and a $75,000 initial investment to an organization of 48 employees and $6.9 million in sales for 2003. It has offices at 4770 Duke Drive, Suite 100 in Mason and at 7300 Turfway Road, Suite 110 in Florence.
Information: 459-4900 or www.americancenturymtg.com.
Wellness center opens second location
MASON - The Family Counseling and Wellness Center has expanded from its office in Cleveland to a second location in the CMC Office Center, 7577 Central Parke Blvd., Suite 104.
The center specializes in counseling for stress reduction and hypnosis for those who want to lose weight or stop smoking. It also offers craniosacral and somato-emotional release and specialty massage therapy for relaxation, migraine relief and pain management.
The owner, Diane Miller Mendell, has a master's degree in social work and is a licensed independent social worker. The center also has massage therapists on staff.
Financial consulting firm has new owners
WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP - Matt Roth and Mary Hassett are the new owners of the C.J. Valenti CPA practice at 8087 Cincinnati-Dayton Road.
The firm name is now Financial Consultants of West Chester, doing business as Roth and Hassett, CPAs.
As its name suggests, the firm now offers a broader array of services. They include tax consulting, planning and preparation as well as QuickBooks consulting, business planning, monthly accounting and bookkeeping, and payroll and sales tax preparation.
Roth and Hassett also provide financial, retirement and estate planning services.
Portrait studio wins two blue ribbons
HAMILTON - Francis Grover of Grover Portrait Studios won two Blue Ribbon Awards in the High School Seniors Folio Photography Competition. The competition took place at the Senior Photographers' International Convention and Trade Show in Daytona Beach, Fla.
A panel of photographers judged the field of nearly 900 photographers. Submissions were evaluated on artistic and technical merits.
Grover, whose studio is at 528 Main St., does all senior photography work himself and has produced portraits of more than 2,000 seniors from 40-plus area high schools.
Information: 863-7368 or www.groverphotography.com.
Bookstore partners with literacy group
OAKLEY - An independent bookstore is doing more to promote literacy than just selling reading materials.
The Blue Manatee Children's Bookstore has partnered with Batavia's Reading Junto, a nonprofit literacy awareness organization. Available for sale at the store are children's T-shirts with the slogan, "When I grow up I want to be literate." Two designs are available. Proceeds go to defray Reading Junto's program costs.
The Blue Manatee is at 3054 Madison Road in Oakley Square. Information: 731-2665.
Minister helps tailor weddings to individuals
BLUE ASH - An ordained interfaith minister specializes in helping couples design personalized marriage ceremonies that express their faith and customs.
"For a variety of reasons, my clients do not have access to a minister to marry them, but they still wish to have a deeply personal and spiritual ceremony," said the Rev. Debora Hall Bradley, owner of Spiritual Ceremonies By Design
Bradley consults with the couple to help them create their own rites, officiates at the wedding and provides a printed, bound copy of the ceremony as a keepsake.
Information: 984-6354 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dog sitter completes pet first aid course
COLLEGE HILL - Dog sitter Marilyn Dapper can now administer first aid to canines in her care that experience a health crisis.
Dapper, owner of The Dapper Dog Sitter, recently completed American Red Cross training in Pet First Aid. The course taught her how to recognize an emergency and how to react and included training in skills such as CPR and rescue breathing, response to choking and pressure-point technique to stop bleeding.
Information: 591-0107 or email@example.com.
Painting teachers offer in-home art party
LOVELAND - A crafty pair have a new location and a new activity to share with painting enthusiasts.
Kathy Supe and Vicky Echler, owners of KV "One Stroke" Decorative Painting, are now based in Suite 10 of the Loveland Gateway Center, 600 W. Loveland Ave.
The two started their business of teaching the Donna Dewberry decorative painting technique about a year ago. They have now introduced Dewberry's newest concept, In-Home Art.
"In-Home Art functions similarly to a Tupperware party," explained Supe. "The hostess gets to pick a project for her guests to paint. The cost is $25 per student."
Test helps personalize workout, diet plans
MADISONVILLE - A fitness club has announced that it can test individuals to determine the specific exercise and diet formula that will help them reach their fitness goals.
Revolution Spinning & Fitness, at 4721 Red Bank Road, now offers the F.I.T. Revolution metabolic and fitness assessments and action plans.
"These assessments are scientific, specific and unique to you," explained Mary Beth Knight, Revolution's co-owner. "The F.I.T. Revolution Metabolic test can bring you within 2 percent of your exact metabolic rate."
Knight said the test is available for $150.
Revolution Spinning & Fitness, founded in 1999 by Barb Phillips, boasts a full-service weight room, personal training, Pilates, yoga, specialty classes and spinning. It also can administer the VO2 Max/Sub-max fitness test, which charts when the body switches from burning fat to burning carbohydrates.
Boxes-U-Rent provides durable containers
SHARONVILLE - A new company aims to ease the strain of moving by providing a better box.
Boxes-U-Rent offers commercial-grade plastic containers designed to take the place of cardboard boxes. The boxes, which come in four sizes, are available for rental periods of four weeks. Customers can pick up and return the containers or can arrange for delivery and pickup.
"Our containers need no taping, do not collapse, have handles and are waterproof on five sides," said Chris Goepper, company vice president. Boxes-U-Rent is at 11483 Enterprise Park Drive.
Information: 772-6937 or www.boxesurent.com.
Silver Spoon offers art for children's tastes
MASON - A new purveyor of children's furnishings and accessories aims to spark children's imaginations and create a unique environment for them.
Julie Weeden and Laura Bransford are the owners of Silver Spoon LLC, located in the Red Door home furnishings store at 600 Reading Road.
"Our showroom is a space depicting an array of fine art for children, small furniture pieces and accessories as well as great gift ideas for the expecting mother," Weeden said.
Silver Spoon also offers personalized and custom pieces. A gift registry for new mothers is available.
Information: 807-7403 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
E-mail email@example.com or fax 564-6991 with openings, expansions and other news about neighborhood businesses.
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