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Columbus women tell their stories on new podcast. Lorrin Higgins proudly uses the F-word. That’s feminist, thank you. After finding a dearth of female voices in the Columbus podcast scene, Higgins started reaching out to bloggers and business owners, deciding that if she could find five interested guests, she would start a podcast for women, [...]
Linda Lee Baird

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Columbus women tell their stories on new podcast.

Lorrin Higgins proudly uses the F-word. That’s feminist, thank you. After finding a dearth of female voices in the Columbus podcast scene, Higgins started reaching out to bloggers and business owners, deciding that if she could find five interested guests, she would start a podcast for women, by women. The five responses came quickly—then 10, then 20—and Higgins purchased some recording equipment. Women of Wonder launched in February.

Each weekly episode is an interview with a local a woman about her opinions and experience. While Higgins is used to being the person who asks the questions, she agreed to answer some for me about Women of Wonder and what she’s learned from producing it.

What’s the Women of Wonder story? How did this podcast start?

It’s really a podcast that’s dedicated to sharing the stories of local women who are doing cool shit…. Honestly it’s very selfish of me to start this because I wanted to meet more cool women… I really was aching for a feminist group or section of Columbus that I could go to and talk about these things… These episodes are literally me getting to know our guests.

What are the criteria to be a Woman of Wonder?

I have just two qualifiers… If you are a woman, if you identify as a woman, and if you are [in] or from Columbus.

Tell me some of the highlights of who you’ve interviewed and what you’ve talked about.

With (photographer Autumn Theodore), we talked about… periods, making the big leap into starting your own business and working for yourself… feminism and how it affects her work… This Friday we will have my friend Anna [O’Reilly] who talks about her gratitude journaling and how that’s basically changed her life… Ciera Shanks and I talked about our worst date… She talked about the documentary she’s making about threee young African-American kids going through the school system who have ADHD…  The minisodes (released every other week) are… usually me and my friends picking something lighthearted.

You call this a feminist podcast. What does that mean to you?

I say it’s feminist-leaning… I believe that men and women should be treated equally. That’s what feminism means to me… One of [the show’s taglines] is ‘sharing women’s stories because we deserve to be heard;’ I feel like that is a generically feminist thought process.

Who’s your audience? Why is this a Columbus-focused podcast?

I hope the audience is people in Columbus. I want people to become familiar with their own community… I think it would be so cool for someone who is wanting to get connected into this community to start listening to these episodes and learn about what people are doing in this community. Columbus is the first place that I ever felt like I was at home… I remember coming here to visit Capital [University] when I was still in high school to do a tour, and I knew it, I could see myself there. I love this area because it’s like a small town… but the good parts about it. I’ve lived in a small town where everybody knows your name, and sometimes it’s not good.

[The city] serves anything that you want. If you feel like you want to be a little more artsy and focused, you could go to the Short North during Gallery Hop … I am really into Japan and Japanese culture—we have a section to that! Go out to Old Henderson! You can go to Tenske and go to the grocery store and live your best life! And that is just so cool.

Have you had any personal takeaways or “ah-ha!” moments from your conversations with your guests?

There’s been small things.. Shari [Hicks-Graham]’s episode with the skincare; she told me this mind-blowing tip about putting your treatments on top of your moisturizer, which just blew my mind because from when I was a child I was told to put everything underneath… One of the episodes I recently recorded, we were talking about body positivity and how we viewed our bodies since a young age because media’s so hard on little girls… I just walked away from that like, I can’t believe I’m not the only one.

Every time I walk away from one of these interviews… I say to myself, all of the parts [of producing a podcast] that are hard are totally worth it, and I wish I could do this forever…  I want to keep meeting women who want to share their story, because I think that everybody’s got a story.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. You can listen to Women of Wonder at womenofwonderpodcast.com.

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Arts & Culture

Thinking Big: The Amazing Giants bring circus arts to events across town

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If you have been to a local festival, parade, or corporate event where you’ve seen stilt walkers, fire-eaters, hula-hoopers or lyra artists, there’s a good chance you’ve been in the presence of an Amazing Giant. Founded in 2011 by Jessica Minshall, The Amazing Giants was born out of one woman’s love of stilt walking and her friends’ desire to learn the skill. Now a new challenge is looming for the group—a business expansion to Hawaii.

Working in the service industry, Minshall saw a need in Columbus for a different type of entertainment. She taught herself how to walk on stilts for a festival gig out of state. This new hobby intrigued a group of her friends, and they decided to learn, too. From there, The Amazing Giants were born. “My partner and I bought a lot of stilts and just taught people how to do it,” she said. “We all found each other.”

What began as a few friends learning a new skill and having fun together practicing it evolved into a booming business with 40 employees and contract workers, including magicians, face painters and more. They are hired for events to do everything from wearing full bodysuits covered in tiny mirrors and dancing to wearing and serving champagne from large metal skirts to dazzle a crowd.

“We have evolved with different equipment, too,” Minshall said. The Amazing Giants owns the only sway pole in the Midwest. It allows performers to create a large- scale spectacle with an extreme cirque-style pole acrobatic act without the need for a permanent installation. With hundreds of costumes, 20 pairs of stilts, and entertainment offerings of just about every circus art imaginable, The Amazing Giants truly seek to astound.

Having had great success in the Columbus market, Minshall decided to grow her business, and recently brought The Amazing Giants to Honolulu. “I had family out here that I would visit and realized they don’t have anyone doing what we do. There’s not really a group or team of stilt walkers working together,” she said. So Minshall bought six pairs of stilts, and hosts open gyms where interested performers can show off their skills and possibly train on stilts. “They don’t need to send me a resume, necessarily,” she said. “It’s about personality and talent.”

Importantly, Amazing Giants must have an abundance of confidence without an overabundance of ego. “I tell people we have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. As an entertainer you have to get over your shyness and put yourself out there.” The ability to work as a collaborative team player is also key, she said. “Our team often works in tight quarters, and whether or not it is well-received, you have to put on the show as best you can.”

Although Minshall is keeping the headquarters in Columbus, now headed by Chief of Operations Olivia Ranier, she says she is excited about the expansion and her recent move to Honolulu. “It reminds me a lot of Columbus because it has that small-town, big-city feel with a similar {\(metropolitan area) population of around one million people,” Minshall said. And the environment is ripe for her type of business. “In Honolulu, we have events year-round; in Columbus our business slows down after New Year’s Eve,” she said. “There is also a lot more tourism and a convention center that brings in a ton of people.”

Although her business has expanded, don’t for a second go thinking that Minshall is going to forget where she comes from. “A lot of times people ask me where I am from and they say, ‘Wow, I’ve been hearing a lot about Ohio lately.’ I have nothing but good things to say about Columbus and what kind of platform it’s given me. It’s a massive city with a thriving arts and entertainment culture—and it’s extremely underrated. I will be Columbus-promoting forever.”

For more information visit theamazinggiants.com.

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Sports

Big Macs and Bowl Games: Enter McDonalds sweepstakes for college football getaway

614now Staff

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Now that Ohio State has secured its bid to play in the 2019 College Football Playoffs, every fan across Columbus is vying for tickets to the Bowl Game. Lucky for you, McDonald’s has the answer.

Today, McDonald’s launches their Buckeye Bowl Game Sweepstakes in partnership with Ohio State Athletics, where one lucky winner will win a trip for two to the 2019 Fiesta Bowl Game on Saturday, Dec. 28, including prime tickets to the game, transportation to and from, plus hotel and travel accommodations.

Fans can enter the Buckeye Bowl Game Sweepstakes by purchasing a Quarter Pounder or Quarter Pounder with cheese from any McDonald’s in the greater Columbus area, either in restaurants or through their favorite delivery service. With each order, customers will receive a golden ticket with entry details, leading them to the sweepstakes website.

And the best part is for every submission placed, McDonald’s Owner/Operators of Columbus will donate $1 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, helping them meet their annual fundraising goal.

“For McDonald’s, and for those of us as local business owners, it’s about more than selling burgers. It’s about creating a lasting impact in our community,” said Mike Telich, Columbus McDonald’s Owner/Operator in a statement. “Supporting RMHC is more than just a donation, its ensuring families with ill or injured children get the emotional and physical support they need, as well an alternative to the financial burden of staying at a hotel and going out for meals."

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Community

Oh Snap! Local photo studio helping bring Columbus’ imagination to life

614now Staff

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SPONSORED

We can only count on our memories to preserve moments so much, and word of mouth can only get us so far. Sometimes, a message needs to be captured with a shutter and presented with an image.

At Zurïe Studio you can bring your imagination to life and preserve special moments in one beautiful place at a reasonable price. The space features a sun-soaked studio and clean aesthetic, allowing the subjects of your photos to command the screen without distraction.

The studio also offers paper backdrops, stools, and minimal props to amplify your project, mini session, or photo shoot. All outside props are welcome, too, with a loading dock to make setup a breeze.

Speaking of mini, (614) Kids Club has teamed up with Zurïe to offer a FREE Family Holiday Mini Photography Session! Join us December 7th from 10am-Noon at Zurïe to have your picture snapped by LA + Co Photography.

This event is open to the public (as long as you get your ticket in advance), but (614) Kids Club members will receive:

  • (614) Kids Club Members get to skip the line
  • Two digital prints of their minis – for FREE

Click here to learn more and reserve your spot!

Whether it's head shots for the office, new products you want to promote, a creative vision that keeps you up at night, or just trying to get one nice picture of your family acting like the love one another, Zurïe is passionate about the people of Columbus, and will work with you to create something beautiful and memorable.

Zurïe Studio is conveniently located at 3477 N High St. in Clintonville, directly behind the new Katalina’s. They are open 8am- 5pm every day by appointment. To learn more and book your rental, visit zurie.co.

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