A reiki healer and fifth-generation painter, Hannah Manges believes in the power of intuition, such as when she sensed that what her adult art students needed most was to finger paint. Though she's classically trained, Manges never cared for the rigidity and competitiveness that often characterized the art industry. She further saw that teaching her adult students in a classical tradition took the joy out of things; most of them were there to try something new and expand themselves, not master technique. So during a class in which her students struggled to find joy in their work, she put their canvases away and grabbed a stack of paper plates. Thus began her BYOB finger-painting class, which has evolved into an experience in which people "kick off their shoes, have some wine, and have some fun."
Though the BYOB finger-painting course remains among her most popular—it's earned recognition in local press, such as the Midland Daily News—Manges leads other classes that range from couples' painting workshops to watercolor for beginners. She also teaches art via her television series, Painting Pictures with Hannah Manges, on Midland Community Television Network Channel 99. "I'm becoming a celebrity to all the 80-year-old women in town who read the paper and watch public television," she laughs.
To further encourage students and visitors to become more comfortable with art, Manges posts signs throughout her gallery that say, "Please touch everything." She encourages everyone to fully experience each piece of her art, which includes The Healing Tree series, a collection Manges began to connect with her deceased mother.
For many, maintaining a healthy fitness regimen is an off-putting chore on par with cleaning the garage or assembling that backyard roller coaster for the kids. The folks behind Snap Fitness, which now boasts locations all over the world, are of the opinion that this doesn't have to be the case. They believe 24-hour access to premium cardio and strength-training equipment, innovative easyFIT monitors to track personal progress, and perpetual guidance from certified professionals can help transform physical fitness into an accessible activity that yields measurable and tangible results. In addition to providing online workout rubrics and meal plans, they work to keep sweat glands up and running by offering workout rewards programs, making regular check-in calls, and measuring bodies—sans padded muscle suits—every 30 days.
At each of its seven locations across Michigan, Seung-Ni Fit Club helps clients of all ability reach peak physical condition through kickboxing, bootcamps, and the studio's proprietary body-sculpting and slimming regimens. Core workouts build strong abdominal and lower-back muscles with targeted movements, while kickboxing sessions burn up to 1,000 calories per hour as participants fight against the resistance of heavy bags and invisible bad guys. Zumba classes get bodies moving to infectious Latin rhythms, and BodySculpt classes build dense, well-defined musculature through high-intensity dumbbell workouts.
For a more defense-based workout, exercisers can turn to Seung Ni's comprehensive martial arts program. Classes include Brazilian jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, and kids' programs for children as young as three.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable visitors to fortify their physical well-being with a cornucopia of advanced fitness equipment and certified personal trainers. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man or one of his many secretaries tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength-training gear or top-of-the-line cardio machines, which feature televisions and other media diversions. A friendly, unintimidating atmosphere provides a refreshing change of pace from aloof gym employees and ear-splitting pump-up jams. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Most popular offering: Painting classes, private parties
Pro Tip: You are welcome to bring your own drinks and snacks.
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
What sets your business apart from your competition?
We offer a fun, relaxed atmosphere with patient instruction. Creativity is encouraged if you want to go a different direction with your painting. Our fine art gallery displays the work of only local artists.
What was the inspiration for starting this business?
Engaging art in all aspects in a relaxed, non-intimidating atmosphere. From beginners to the more experienced, I want people to have fun first. Then the things they learn won't feel academic.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Arrive 15 minutes early to find your seat and apron, and be ready to have fun!
What is the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
Proud smiles, and people saying, "I never thought I could do this, but I did. It looks great, and I had fun!"