Rosanna Hrabnicky is show manager for the Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo, which opens Friday, March 27, at the Cleveland Convention Center, 300 Lakeside Ave., Cleveland 44113. There will be celebrity guests, more than 300 exhibitors and flowers galore. The show runs Friday from noon to 9 p.m., next Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, go to the website: Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo
Paul Swan, owner of Swan Plumbing and Heating, has been a plumber full time for more than 46 years. Before then, he helped his dad in what is now a fourth-generation business. For much of his career, he has worked to raise the image of plumbers by wearing a tie, dress shirt, jacket and dress pants on the job. This shows a high level of respect for the homeowners he serves. Call Paul, who's based in Richfield, at 330.659.6233, or visit his website.
Margie and Ray Toombs, owners of Maid Brigade of Northeastern Ohio, clean your home the way you would clean if you really wanted to clean. But who does? It's so much better to spend your time doing what you want to do. Maid Brigade employees are all thoroughly background checked, so you can feel comfortable and secure letting them into your home. For more information: 330.453.6000 or Maid Brigade
Karen Starr, co-owner of Hazel Tree Interiors, currated a unique exhibition at the Akron Art Museum called "Living with Art." She took over the Corbin Gallery and its adjacent lobby, creating living spaces using paintings and photographs from the museum's collection and locally made furniture and accessories. The exhibition, which has received favorable write-ups in newspapers all over the U.S., runs through April 5. For hours and other information, visit the museum's website. To learn about Hazel Tree, visit the store's website.
Zach Goebelt is the owner of C.O.I. Stonework, formerly known as Complete Outdoor Installations. Now that we're finally heading into spring, Zach's big project at Stan Hywett is underway. He and a team of other experienced dry stone masons will rebuild the stone wall around the mansion, which once belonged to the founder of Goodyear. Zach plans to have a Facebook page documenting the team's progress. He also will be available for other projects at the same time. Dry stone masonry walls are beautiful, long-lasting and as affordable as manufactured concrete block walls. To reach Zach, call 330.338.4733 or visit his website.
Chris Shaw is one of the managers at the Trader Joe's in Eton, the shopping center in Woodmere on Chagrin Boulevard. Also known as Crispy, he's the Happiness Coordinator at the store, which he says hires only happy people because they help customers feel good. Chris is available to speak at club meetings, churches, synogogues or just about anywhere else, he says. His talks are free, and he brings a bag of groceries to give away. To schedule a talk, call him Sunday through Thursday at the store, 216.360.9320. Ask for Crispy!
Tim Jolly and Bill Rodgers of Lake Shore Insurance Agency talked about protecting yourself against identity theft and the importance of reviewing your homeowners' policy periodically. For instance, this is a great time to make sure that you're protected against damage from ice dams after this brutal winter weather. Also, they said, there's great value in working with an independent agency like theirs. To reach them, call 330.644.4716 or visit the website.
Jacob Grimm, owner of Brothers Grimm Landscape & Design, promises that spring is finally here now that we're out of single-digit temperatures. It's time to look at your yard and assess what needs to be done. He encourages homeowners to work with a professional to create a plan that can be executed in phases. To reach Jacob, call 330.882.4639 or visit his Facebook page or his website.
Bill Melver, a counselor with SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Executives), has lived in 24 cities around the world and says that he and his wife consider Akron to be a real jewel. In that spirit, he is compiling a list of "crown jewels" of Akron. He says SCORE is one of them because the volunteers give so much back to the community. Jacob, who was wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt touting Akron's Cadillac Hill, says that the distinctive San Francisco-worthy hill is well-known in this area for being a challenging climb for most vehicles. If you want to add to Bill's list, call him at 330.256.0741.
Andy and Kathy presented "My Beautiful Home" live on the main stage of the HBA Akron Home & Flower Show on Friday, Feb. 27. We had three guests speaking on "From Chaos to Serenity: Cleaning, Clearing and Beautifying Your Home." The guests were Karen Starr, interior designer, author, singer and co-owner of Hazel Tree Interiors; Margie Toombs, co-owner of Maid Brigade of Summit and Stark counties; and Mary Ann Winkowski, author and paranormal investigator who was the inspiration for the TV show "The Ghost Whisperer." All three experts gave terrific advice and told great stories. To learn more about what they do, visit their websites: Hazel Tree; Maid Brigade; and Mary Ann Winkowski.
The next morning, we were back at the John S. Knight Center to do our remote broadcast from the Home & Flower Show. Our guests were Chris Eyerman of Eyerman Landscaping; Jacob Grimm of Brothers Grimm Landscaping & Design, who's co-chair of this year's home show; Jim Sukys, director of development for Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, the Saturday bag sponsor; and Don Brown of D.F. Brown Construction (330.815.3688) and HBA's Professional Remodelers Council. Don is the president of the council, which sponsored the Giving Tree raffle at the home show benefiting Akron Children's Hospital's Doggie Brigade. If you're reading this before 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 1, when the home show ends, you still have time to talk to Chris, Jacob, Jim, Don or any of their associates at their respective booths. If not, visit next year's show -- it will be worthwhile and fun.