Friday, November 18, 2016

Team Boyne is one of the keys to Boyne City's success

Written by Boyne City Manager Michael Cain, reprinted from The Review, the official magazine of the Michigan Municipal League: Team Boyne is a voluntary group of members of the business community, nonprofits and leading organizations interested in promoting entrepreneurship and development. It is a welcoming environment where new and existing businesses can get confidential support and guidance from the rest of the Boyne City community. Team Boyne brings community leaders together on a monthly basis for some very important networking. It isn't uncommon to have 25-30 people sitting around the table, each sharing what is new or important with their organization, as well as what they are hearing on the street. This way, everyone has a good, general understanding of where the community is going and any items that might need to be addressed. This process helps avoid surprises and circumvent parties working at cross purposes. It has been amazing how guards have come down and real dialogs have developed.  Full article PDF.  Full page-turning article, pages 36-37.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Smitten Designs started small, grew fast

Reprinted from the newsletter: The story of Smitten By The Mitten, a Boyne City business, starts six years ago with a Google search for “best places to retire.” Among the results were Traverse City and Petoskey, sparking an idea. Ivette Dixon, a Louisiana native, was moving to Michigan.
Despite never visiting the state before, she saved her money for a year, found a house on Craigslist and moved to Boyne City with her husband in 2010.
“I wanted to live someplace with camping, lakes, beaches—the outdoors,” Ivette says. “There’s fours seasons. I can go skiing or boating and it’s beautiful. You can’t find that everywhere.”
When Ivette moved to Michigan, she had no intention of starting a business. She worked at several local businesses including Cafe Santé and then Petoskey Brewing. Jewelry making was a hobby. But when she wore one of her lockets while bartending, coworkers and patrons kept asking where she got it. So she started selling them on the side. In 2013, Ivette did a giveaway on Facebook and the post went crazy. She got so many orders she quit her job, made a website and took out a $5,000 loan for equipment. Smitten By The Mitten State took off.
As Smitten By The Mitten continued to grow, Ivette moved locations several times for more space. Now she’s downtown (118 Water St.) across the street from Red Mesa Grill.
At the shop you’ll find a mix of region- and event-specific products such as the craft beer long-sleeve shirt, Detroit athletics hoodie and Yooper jewelry collection.
Including the U.P. in her designs and logo, is important to Ivette. “So often you just see the Lower Peninsula mitten in designs. The U.P. is gorgeous and a huge part of our state.”
Ivette designs and makes all the jewelry, apparel and displays for the store. She also does custom floral arrangements, wreaths and wood signs.
Exploring different regions of Michigan has inspired many of Ivette’s designs. A few of her favorite places to visit are Glen Arbor, Empire Bluff Trail, Marquette and Pictured Rocks. Ivette recently started a journal on her website to share her travel finds and recommendations. 
“I wasn’t born here, but I love this state. I want my designs to be meaningful and to invoke feelings of home so people can wear them again and again.” Full story on

Country Living features Boyne in "Best Small Mountain Towns" for winter

Boyne Mountain Resort
Boyne City is featured in the Country Living magazine website along with high-profile winter towns including Jackson Hole, Park City, Bozeman, Steamboat Springs and Lake Placid. The story says readers can "Treat cabin fever by booking a winter break in these high-altitude towns where snow is considered a good thing."

Here is the profile of Boyne City and Boyne Falls: "Can you even discuss winter weekends without mentioning mittens? Boyne Falls is at the top of the Michigan Mitten and offers some of the most reliable snow in the Midwest. The two skiable mountains catch all the winter weather coming off Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, refreshing the powder on the slopes and terrain parks. If there's too much weather, you can slip away to the indoor water park or head into Boyne City, a historic downtown district that welcomes visitors year-round. You'll find plenty of candy shops, restaurants, breweries, boutiques and bookstores along Water Street and Lake Street to distract you. Read the full story." See the story online.