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The AWESOME Company

Fill in the blank: ___________ is awesome. What’s the the first thing that comes to mind? If you said, “art,” or “organic clothing” or “small business,” the Awesome Company has you covered. Jacquie Mahan came up with the idea for the company in 2016 when she imagined something she could hang on her wall announcing [...]
Linda Lee Baird

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Fill in the blank: ___________ is awesome.

What’s the the first thing that comes to mind?

If you said, “art,” or “organic clothing” or “small business,” the Awesome Company has you covered. Jacquie Mahan came up with the idea for the company in 2016 when she imagined something she could hang on her wall announcing her personal awesome—pilates—to the world.

Mahan realized everyone had something that could fill in that blank. She reached out to her friends Meghan Klein and Kathy Borkowski with the idea of starting a company to let people express their awesome on t-shirts, bags, and fine art prints. Klein suggested it would be more awesome if their products were organic. Borkowski thought it would be awesome to employ adults on the autism spectrum to make their custom goods. The Awesome Company was in business.

In honor of Autism Awareness month, I sat down with co-founders Mahan and Klein, and employee Brendan Pratt, to learn more about the company.

Why did you found the Awesome Company?

MK: We want to celebrate whatever the individual thinks is awesome. Whatever is special to you is something that we want to help you celebrate.

JM: My youngest son has autism. [Co-founder] Kathy is an autism mom and her son is 18, so he has to start thinking about getting a job… Eighty percent of people with autism are underemployed or unemployed. That is a huge problem, and a huge community that is capable of working but isn’t finding jobs.

What’s it like to work here?

BP: I like the people a lot. I like the fact that I come in and it’s not the exact same mechanical job every single day.

Part of the Awesome Company’s mission is employing people with autism. Why is that important?

JM: Our employees come in and they want to work. What I’ve said is there is a superpower in everyone with autism. I can see it with all of our employees here. Sometimes they don’t know their superpower until they get here, and then we help them find it. People on the spectrum invented a new way to do our inventory. Brendan told me, “Every time you have me do inventory, I have to reorganize t-shirts and count them. Why don’t you just organize them all the time? Use rubber bands.” So now we have rubber bands, and they look better. There’s the superpower: they see things from a different angle.

BP: For high functioning autistics, we can be very helpful in a workplace. I’m very good at systematic thinking. It’s a shame people like me don’t get more chances.

JM: Sixty percent of people on the autism spectrum have normal to advanced intelligence. Why is someone who has great intelligence not employed? There are lots of capable adults with autism that are really frustrated right now [that] they can’t contribute to their communities and get insurance and get the things that neurotypical people get because maybe people are scared of the word autism.

MK: Maybe they don’t do well in an interview process, or they can’t get their foot in the door. We’re accepting of that, looking at their abilities.

JM: Innovation happens when we don’t do things the normal way. If we do it, then other people will do it and it’ll be the norm. And then neurodiversity isn’t a cool thing, it’s just what’s happening.

April is Autism Awareness month. What can people do to show support?

JM: Bridgeway Academy is a school for autism in Columbus. We’re trying to help Bridgeway Academy send more of their kids on the spectrum to summer camp. If you go to our website and you click “Bridgeway Academy,” 10 percent of the proceeds goes to send the kids to camp. Donate money, go on the walks, and be a part of the autism community.

BP: The single best way to support [the Awesome Company]: if you need a t-shirt done, get it done, because at the end of the day she [Mahan] can’t employ people if she doesn’t have money to pay them.

What are the benefits to having your headquarters in Columbus?

JM: Columbus is our hometown, it’s where we feel comfortable. It’s a community that supports new businesses. 

What do people in Columbus think is awesome?

JM: Columbus is awesome, love is awesome, teachers are awesome, naps are awesome.

What do you think is awesome?

BP: Zaphod Beeblebrox. If you’ve read the Hitchhiker’s [Guide to the Galaxy] books—he’s the guy with two heads and three arms.

Awesome answer.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. To learn more, visit theawesomecompany.com.

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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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Sports

The Big Ten: 10 reasons why Jim Harbaugh is an absolute nutcase

1870 Staff

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There’s no question Jim Harbaugh is a weirdo. He’s been caught picking his nose on the sidelines, he essentially wears the same outfit every single day no matter the occasion, and his personality is about as bright as a military general on cocaine. In other words, Harbaugh is set in his ways, and his ways are strange as shit.

But there’s more to this man’s madness than booger flicking and khaki pants. He’s a weirdo that wears many hats (but not many different variation of pants). And we have 10 reasons to prove it to you.

1.) Jim Harbaugh, the Spongebob fanatic.

To quote the coach on a radio show in Ann Arbor, “I love his attitude. He attacks each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind! I’ve kind of modeled my behavior after him. We all should. What a great employee he is. He’s a go-getter. He’s always got a bounce to his step. He’s got pizzazz. He puts his heart and soul into making those krabby patties. I think he’s awesome.” Uhhh, sure. Whatever you say, man.

2.) Jim Harbaugh, the house guest.

“Mom, can coach Harbaugh stay the night tonight?” Those were (probably) the words of Michigan’s current kicker, Quinn Nordin, as well as the defensive end from USC, Connor Murphy. In an effort to get the two recruits to commit to Michigan, Harbaugh took trips to visit the athletes. Perfectly normal. What’s not normal is Harbaugh crashing at the recruits house for the night. Dude, you are the third highest paid coach in college football. You’re either too cheap to buy a hotel, or you’re too odd to realize this was a weird ass move.

3.) Jim Harbaugh, the music man.

If you haven’t had the luxury of watching this music video, put this magazine down and pull up YouTube. Rap duo, Bailey, produced a Michigan hype song to promote the 2016 season titled “Who Has It Better Than Us?” which featured Harbaugh literally screaming those exact words for the chorus. This is just as much weird (Harbaugh’s rap career isn’t looking good) as it is ironic as the Wolverines would go on to lose to Ohio State and in their bowl game against Florida State. We can think of at least two schools that have it better than ya’ll…

4.) Jim Harbaugh, the conspiracy theorist.

He said they were a “nervous bird.” We’re not even gonna attempt to explain this. Here’s what a former Michigan quarterback, Wilton Speight, had to say to Bleacher Report about the hate against chickens: “He thinks some type of sickness injected its way into the human population when people began eating white meats instead of beef and pork. And he believes it, 100 percent.” … Riiiiight.

5.) Jim Harbaugh, the babysitter.

Turns out that fateful night he stayed with Connor Murphy wasn’t the first time. Harbaugh has stayed at the Murphy residence in the past, when he was a head coach at Stanford, to recruit Murphy’s brother, Trent. During the night, Connor and Trent’s mother went into labor forcing the father to take her to the hospital to give birth. As for Harbaugh and, at the time, 12-year-old Connor? Here’s what Connor told the LA Times: “Coach Harbaugh sat on my living room floor with me and we drank milk and played chess.”

6.) Jim Harbaugh, the patriotic music man.

If coaching doesn’t work, it seems like Harbaugh is eyeing a career in music. In 2016, rapper Lil Dicky came to Ann Arbor to preform. For reasons we have absolutely no way of understanding, Lil Dicky brought Harbaugh on stage to… sing the national anthem? And, as on brand as the mother fucker is, he was wearing those damn khakis for the performance. He probably flicked a few boogers backstage, too.

7.) Jim Harbaugh, the president?

Apparently rapper Wale and Jim Harbaugh are cooking something up for a presidential run. In 2016, Wale tweeted at the TTUN coach and endorsed him for a presidential campaign. Harbaugh responded back eager to bring Wale on as his Vice President. Let’s play a game, Buckeye Nation, would you rather have Trump as president, or Harbaugh?

8.) Jim Harbaugh, the khakis man.

We all know how much the man loves his Dockers, but do you really know how deep that love runs? The man worksout in his khakis. We’re sure that never gets too sweaty. The man swims—SWIMS!!—in his khakis. And he’s even been spotted running around the practice field shirtless showing off that pasty-white dad bod, but still in those damned khakis.

9.) Jim Harbaugh, the dietician.

We already know the man hates chickens, but did you know how much he loves cows? Almost as much as he loves khakis, believe it or not. Harbaugh is convinced that milk and steak are a “natural steroid.” Here’s what Harbaugh had to say about his affinity to “natural steroids” on a radio show in Ann Arbor: “I take a vitamin every day. It’s called a steak. … I truly believe the No. 1 natural steroid is sleep, and the No. 2 natural steroid is milk, whole milk. Three would be water. Four would be steak. [Steak] … it goes with everything.”

10.) Jim Harbaugh, the actor.

Why not? He’s a president, a singer, a rapper, a babysitter, and even a Spongebob stan. Of course he’s made a few appearances on television. The first time was on Saved By The Bell where he didn’t even get an excited “woo!” from the fake audience when he came on screen. Screech gets one every time he’s on camera and he’s a main character. The other time was when Harbaugh showed his true side on Detroiters for a skit. He loses his shit during a tailgating style game and ends up drilling the main character in the back of the head with a football. Okay so the Detroiters skit is actually kind of funny.•

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Sports

Top 5 times Ohio State broke Michigan’s heart in The Game

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Curtis Samuel Shows off His Madden Moves (2016)

For all Buckeye fans, this moment is unforgettable. After going down to Michigan in the second quarter, the two teams matched blows all game and even ended up in double overtime. After J.T. Barrett converted a fourth down, Curtis Samuel 15-yards to seal the win. Not only was Samuel’s TD amazing, it also cemented the Bucks’ place in the College Football Playoff while keeping TTUN out. Two birds with one stone.

Game of the Century (2006)

In the final iteration of the Buckeyes led by Troy Smith and Ted Ginn, Jr., the Buckeyes did not disappoint. This game had perhaps the largest implications of any on this list, because everyone in America pretty much knew that the winner would advance to the BCS National Championship game. Also: who could forget both Beanie Wells and Antonio Pittman going 50+ yards for touchdowns in the same game?

Ohio State Can’t Go to a Bowl Game… But They Also Aren’t Going to Lose (2012)

While Ohio State was dealing with a ban from bowl games, they didn’t stop wrecking opponents, and Michigan was no exception. Heading into the game, Michigan was the No. 20 team in the nation and had hopes for a win over their rival as well as moving up in the rankings to get a more prestigious bowl game. The Wolverines got neither.

Tyvis Powell is Clutch as Hell (2013)

This was one of the more competitive games in recent history. After being tied at halftime, the Bucks and Wolverines continued to trade blows until the very last moment. At the end of the game, Devin Gardner threw a touchdown to Devin Funchess to bring Michigan within 1 point and set up for a PAT. However, Michigan gambled for the win by going for two, and Tyvis Powell shut them down. It’s basically the Ohio State football equivalent of LeBron James’ block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals, except Ohio State actually ended up winning.

Beat Michigan, then Win The Championship (2002)

Going into the game as the #2 team in the nation, Ohio State had amassed 12 wins before facing off against their bitter rival and were working on one of the best seasons in college football history. Seeing as Michigan had played spoiler to the Bucks’ perfect seasons three times in the ’90s, it felt like Michigan could keep Ohio State out of the BCS national championship, but Will Allen had other plans. With time expiring, Allen snagged an interception near the end zone that prevented the Wolverines from scoring a game winning touchdown. After that, Ohio State went on to beat Miami and win the BCS national championship. Talk about a story book ending for the Bucks — and a nightmare for the Wolverines.

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