Call it what you want—it comes down to being nice! During the month of February, Rockford local businesses will be partnering with the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan (MHF) to spread the message of be nice. within the Rockford community. The be nice. campaign was initiated by the MHF in 2011 to create awareness surrounding the issues of bullying in schools, workplaces, and community-wide. Rockford community member, Kristen Bloem, became aware of the be nice. initiative when she attended an event for the Mental Health Foundation. Bloem states, “Just two simple words, I felt inspired to help and bring this Rockford.” With her help, Rockford businesses are jumping on the be nice. bandwagon by selling be nice. t-shirts, bumper stickers, and wristbands in their stores. First to jump on board are Kimberly’s Boutique and Aunt Candy’s Toy Company. All proceeds from be nice. merchandise sold by Rockford local businesses will go toward bringing the be nice. Campaign as well as the Live Laugh Love Mental Health Education Program to Rockford schools. Christy Buck, Executive Director, of the MHF started the Live Laugh Love Mental Health Education Program six years ago to combat the overwhelming statistic of high school students becoming victims of suicide in West Michigan. Buck reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death among high school students in Kent County. The Live Laugh Love curriculum is designed to educate adolescents about mental health illness, focusing on the themes of mental health stigma, the effects of bullying, recognizing signs of depression and anxiety, recognizing signs of suicide, and knowing how friends can help friends find help. Over the past six years the MHF has educated over 10,000 adolescents about mental health. In its newest endeavor, the MHF is bringing the community together to increase awareness of treating people with civility community-wide by partnering with Rockford, Grandville, Grand Rapids, and East Grand Rapids to proclaim February 24 as be nice. day. Be nice. is more than just saying “don’t bully,” it is a strengths-based perspective and a positive way to minimize bullying in our schools and communities. It is also a proactive way to encourage kindness among kids, parents, coworkers, and community members. By supporting the be nice. campaign, Rockford local businesses […]
Rockford gained a retail storefront and The Sewing Room gained some square footage with a little juggling of tenants at 54 Courtland Street. Kimberly’s Boutique expanded to the shop to the east and The Sewing Room moved back to behind Kimberly’s back door (formerly Keren Hart). Building and Kimberly’s Boutique owner Kim Smith said her addition opened the day before Mother’s Day. “It was a phenomenal day,” Smith said. She completely remodeled the space from its former service use to retail. With new lights, walls, paint the area is bright, colorful and packed with product. Shoppers can use either of the two entrances and walk freely between the spaces, together totalling about 3,000 square feet. “It’s almost like a mini-mall,” Kimberly said. “People should be able to find everything from casual to formal. It’s all color coordinated, so if you know the color you want you can go right to it.” Kimberly said The Sewing Room owner Liz is also tickled with the arrangement. Kimberly’s gained two dressing rooms and another entrance on Courtland. Smith’s store offers apparel, purses, gifts, jewelry, including Brighton and Chamilia and more. Beads are hot this year and Not Your Daughters Jeans continue to be very popular. Kimberly’s opened in June, 1993 and employs six people. The store is open seven days a week.