In an industry where most interior designers tend to be sought after for their own particular style, Jeff Sheats Design in Irvington is not your typical interior design firm. Specializing in residential interiors with an offshoot into an occasional light commercial spaces for his clients, owner Jeff Sheats and his staff strive to create a customer-centric service from material selection to construction management and full furnishing services.
“Our goal is to really tailor our work to each client,” says Sheats.
Sheats possess over 23 years of experience as an interior designer, starting his own practice after helping friends remodel and furnish their own home interiors in Indiana. Moving to Irvington in 1991, Sheats is known for his close eye for detail and the lengths he takes to get to know his clients’ preferences. He likes to compile lists of intricate data down to which hand his clients favor and their lifestyle habits in a survey he created called the “It’s You™ Survey.” His end goal is to best reflect his clients’ characters in their interior arrangements. He can take a client’s replies and translate those into a build out of a new home, remodeling and fully furnishing an existing home all while deploying his hand selected contractors and artisan installers.
To fit the wide range of styles people may fit into, Sheats is always on the hunt for new building and furnishing materials. He regularly attends design centers across the country shops globally for materials, accumulating a professional library full of samples filling half of his work studio in the Irvington Office Center.
Sheats is particularly happy with how the interior design business is evolving. Today’s clients are increasingly becoming better informed about home design and can better help him paint the picture and articulate what they desire for their dream home.
“My creative urge is to completely design around you,” he said.
While Sheats expects continued and controlled growth in business, he strongly favors the small boutique feel of his company and the personal service and attention he now provides his customers by being able to work with all of them directly. He is set to work both locally and throughout the US.
It’s our top goal at The Mug to provide customers with the freshest, best-tasting farm-to-curb “slow food” they have ever eaten. We take pride in the fact that we source our meat from local farmers who never use antibiotics and raise their cows, pigs and chickens the “old-fashioned” way – out on green pasture where they can be free to roam and enjoy a happy life in the open. When it comes to other produce and items at The Mug, we source as much as we can from other local purveryors. Come experience The Mug for yourself and taste the farm-to-curb difference!
We are Irvington’s local food market! Tyner Pond Farm is known for their local, fresh and quality meats. Tyner Pond Market is here to bring the same great products plus produce, dairy, bulk, dry goods, and coffee to the community. At the market you will find products that support the same principles that made are farm so great! Produce that is not sprayed with chemicals or pesticides, Cheese that is made with milk and bread that has a short ingredient list. At the market we want to help you complete your meal, if it for a table of one or for the whole family.
We love taking care of our customers and want them to be informed about the health of their vehicle. So, we like to provide you with the information to keep your vehicle on the road for years to come. This means letting you know what will need addressed in the future on your vehicle and giving you estimates so that you aren’t blindsided with a large bill. Often a small fix now will prevent a major fix later.
Boyd Restoration Remodeling, LLC is a home remodeling company located in Indianapolis, Indiana. We provide elegant and cost effective residential remodeling and repair services. We’ll evaluate your project, LISTEN to your needs, and provide an HONEST assessment of what your project requires.
Serving the East Side community for over 50 years, Walker & Associates Insurance was founded in 1960 by the parents of present owner, Doug Walker Jr. His father, Doug Sr., worked full time as an IFD firefighter, and his Mom, Joanna, as a local realtor. Doug Sr. started the agency as a part-time job to supplement his income on days off as a firefighter. He sold auto insurance to firefighters, while Joanna would refer her clients for home coverage.
Doug Jr. came on board in 1978, and the agency continued to expand its personal lines book and grow into the commercial lines arena. The agency continued to grow, and is now a full service agency with a staff of 30 employees. Walker & Associates office is located on the corner of East Washington St. and Sadlier Dr., with another location in Carmel. Their agents offer a diverse range of coverage to individuals and the small to midsized business owner.
Agent Matt Wilhelm grew up in the Irvington neighborhood and is excited to see the revitalization of the business corridor. He has 12 years of experience in the Property & Casualty insurance arena, and works with business owners and individuals to review their current coverage, make recommendations, and quote with the array of national and regional insurance carriers they represent.
“It’s a great to have a job where I’m working with the local businesses and residents, as well as volunteering in the community,” said Wilhelm.
Due to the firm’s local ties, Walker & Associates takes a pointed interest in working for the community. The agency sponsors local charities such as the Autism Society of Indiana, Race for the Cure, and St. Mary’s Child Center on a yearly basis. Doug Walker also resides on the board of directors for the Ransburg YMCA.
Walker & Associates has experienced staff and represents A-rated insurance carriers. It offers excellent customer service and guarantees quick responses to inquiries and requests, follow up talks with clients, finding the most competitive premium, and assistance with any issues that the insured may have with their coverage.
“Diligence and customer service are what we are about,” said Wilhelm.
Are you and your staff constantly putting out fires with no time left in the day to be proactive about what’s coming at you next? Want the convenience of an extra hand without committing to a permanent employee? Perfect. I’m Tara Elder, Chief Stress Reducer. I am known as a “Jackie of All Trades” and my specialty is refining systems and removing barriers that seem to stack up when we spend our days in reactive mode. I have a background in senior management and I understand that when the fire extinguishing begins it can become a stressful cycle. Let me help you break this cycle and regain some control of your time in the office.
The Irvington Garden Club (IGC) is a group of community minded, garden-loving neighbors from Irvington (and beyond). IGC is one of many clubs in the central district of The Garden Club of Indiana, Inc., which is a member of the central region of the National Garden Clubs, Inc.
Since our founding in January 1999, our goals have been to:
Promote interest in native plants, wildflowers, grasses and wildlife habitats.
Stimulate the “greening” of Irvington by example through tree plantings, beautification sites, and cooperative efforts with other community organizations.
* Increase the knowledge of gardening of our members and others through monthly meetings, the Conservatory, and our newsletter.
* Enhance the quality of life in our community by sponsoring farmer’s markets, an annual garden tour, and participation in Irvington events.
On October 9, 1933 KEMBA Indianapolis Credit Union was charted in the State of Indiana to serve employees of The Kroger Company and their families. In fact, KEMBA stands for Kroger Employee Mutual Benefits Association.
KEMBA has since expanded our charter to include those that live or work in Marion (excluding Pike Township), Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Morgan and Shelby Counties in Indiana. Chances are if you live in Central Indiana, you can become a KEMBA Credit Union member.
Just off Washington St. and Sheridan visitors to the Irvington neighborhood will likely stumble upon the vibrantly painted storefront of Maximum Grow Gardening, the area’s only hydroponics and aquaponics supplier.
Owner Justin St. John, started fiddling with hydroponics in college.
“Hydroponics to me was like owning a fish tank to other kids. I found it very interesting, and fun to do” said St. John.
Hydroponics and aquaponics, the process of delivering nutrients directly to the roots of plants via water and artificial lighting has been on the rise in Irvington and the state as a whole, attracting everywhere from 20 year-old men in college to 60 year-old women in gardening clubs.
“The process often makes plants grow much faster and healthier than their outdoor counterparts.” Said St. John.
At Maximum Grow, St. John and his staff seek to provide only the best service. They are more than happy to work with newcomers to the scene making sure they know how their equipment works and finding out any problems with faulty equipment. They offer classes for those wishing to learn more about the process. They even conduct their own hydroponic experiments in the back room. Right now they are working on using colored LED lighting as an alternative to sunlight.
“I love the job and I just feel like I live vicariously through the customers,” Said St. John. “This whole area has treated us very well what with the garden clubs and everything.”
- Recruits exciting new businesses to the heart of Irvington.
- IDO also oversees the Irvington Streetscape project which focuses on creating a sense of place and enhancing the economic vitality of Irvington.
- Manages the redevelopment of the old Indy East Motel which has become a sleek and contemporary 50 unit apartment complex called Irvington Lofts.
- Promotes the Irvington Green Initiative which focuses on sustainability efforts in Irvington,.
- Awarded over $180,000 in grants to local businesses and property owners. Facade grants improve their buildings’ appearance and beautify our corridor.
Snips, nestled on the east side of Indianapolis in the Historic area of Irvington is one of Indianapolis’ most recognized full service salons.
A member of Indiana Public Libraries, the Irvington branch has been a central hub of the neighborhood since the early 20th century when it began in a joint establishment with the growing Butler University. Over the course of the last century it has only moved twice, the Irvington Public Library (IPL) currently resides in the heart of Irvington on the corner of Washington and Audubon.
Sue Kennedy, an avid lover of books and people runs the branch. She has worked among the books at libraries and bookstores since she was in high school.
“I’m very at home in this place.” She said.
Located along the busiest bus route in the city, the library is easily accessible by much of the city. It is the largest internet provider out of all the area’s public libraries.
“One of our priorities is to provide computer and internet access to those who can’t normally access it,” said Kennedy. “It allows people to apply for jobs and use email who normally would be unable to do so. We strive to serve the community first.”
In tandem with the library’s charter as a community center, the IPL provides meeting space for local organizations like gardening clubs and business associations. It even has expanded an area for teenaged patrons designated for after school gathering and phone charging. It has been heavily utilized.
Irvington Library also plays a sizeable role in community functions like the Folk Music Festival where it has provided jazz listening sessions, storytelling workshops, and folk music-related lectures. During the famous Irvington Halloween Fest, it hosts family events like child performances, live music in the parking lot, and a designated children’s area.
“We are here and we have many great resources for all ages, rediscover us if you haven’t been back.” Said Kennedy.
A light musky smell of leather and wood permeates the air, clothing of all colors and textures line shelves of reclaimed wood, the glass counter is surrounded by a diverse collection of sterling silver rings, shaving kits, and other accessories. Everything from shoes, to socks, to wooden ties, to the bicycle mounted on the wall can be purchased at James Dant – a store for men, in Irvington. Dant himself, or one of his two employees wait behind the counter of the store, pleasantly greeting those who enter before leaving them to look around the wide assortment of high-end clothing.
What started out as a dream for Thomas “Tommy” James Dant, fresh out of his undergraduate at Ball State with a degree in entrepreneurship, quickly became a reality when he started up his store in 2014 through a sublease on Washington Street. He immediately began receiving press and on opening day the store overflowed with visitors eager to see if James Dant lived up to its rep as a comfortable and accessible high-end shopping environment.
“There wasn’t really another store of this kind in Indiana before we showed up” Dant says, “The city had a need for a man-centric shop.”
Specifically focusing on American brands and hand crafted items, Dant wishes to bring a unique selection and style to his store, pushing to be part of what he dubs, “the makers’ movement”. He is always hunting for new brands and styles by attending shows in locations across the US.
In just six months after its opening, James Dant’s inventory quadrupled and began to pull customers from a much wider area. Dant has done everything from shooting promotional videos in his store to outfitting television personalities. He has plans to expand his business in the near future but would love to always keep a flagship shop here in Irvington.
“Irvington was really great to me, all the local support was what really kicked this store off. I love the neighborhood feel. [James Dant] is not afraid to evolve but we will always stay true to our values.” Dant says.
Irvington Community Schools’ extended school day, year-round schedule keeps students on track to achieve academic excellence. Our tuition-free public charter schools have been making good on this promise to our community of learners since 2002. To learn more about Irvington Community Schools, contact our school leaders:Jennifer Daugherty (Irvington Community Elementary School, K-5), Loryn Venekamp(Irvington Community Middle School, grades 6-8), or Deanna Pryor (Irvington Preparatory Academy, grades 9-12). We appreciate your interest in Irvington Community Schools!
In wake of the state’s decision allowing charter schools to offer their services to Indiana residents, current superintendent of Irvington Community Schools (ICS), David Nidiffer helped establish the small liberal arts charter to give members of Irvington and the surrounding area another option for their children’s schooling. Serving students of all ages grades K-12 with separate facilities for elementary, middle and high school, it is hard to believe the #1 ranked Indianapolis public charter school has only been around for 13 years.
Soon after its opening, ICS built its own elementary school and bought its middle school building from Little People’s Prep in 2010. The charter opened its new high school, Irvington Preparatory Academy, shortly after. It is located off of University Boulevard in the heart of Irvington.
Many in the community were initially skeptical about a high school being run out of the neighborhood, but their minds quickly changed when they saw the vast benefits of the institution.
“The building was about to be boarded up which definitely would not have been a good look for the area,” Nidiffer said. “And even though Irvington has many draws for new residents, its things like local schools that get people to stay.”
The school holds its students to high academic standards, requiring students to take at least one AP class before graduating and now requiring all students to receive an honors diploma if they wish to graduate. They accomplish this by focusing greater attention on students than larger institutions. In the first graduating classes of 2010 and 2011 the school graduated a total of 117 student who went on to more than 20 different colleges and universities. For many students, they were the first in their families to go to college and – for some – to graduate high school.
“We are a smaller system, students receive a lot of individualized attention, if you’re child wants to put their head down and go through school unnoticed, this is not the place to do it.” Said Nidiffer.
Besides providing state-sponsored schooling for children and free and reduced lunch for 60% of its student body, Irvington Community Schools takes pride in its focus on civic engagement. High school students are required to spend at least 10 hours every year working in the community, eventually adding up to 40 hours by the time they graduate. Activities vary from cleaning up the neighborhood to working in the senior home. A couple students have done their boy-scout final projects in the neighborhood.
Currently the school also boasts 10 varsity sports including basketball, volleyball, track and field and soccer. Golf and tennis are both scheduled to be added to their repertoire.
“We just get better and better at what we do.” Nidiffer said. “Our school is small, safe, teaches respect, and gets students involved.”
Black Sheep Gifts has creative and unique gifts including great greeting cards, Fair Trade merchandise, and locally made items. For a good laugh, check out the magnets and yodeling pickle!
Selling everything from old–style candy to jewelry to greeting cards, Black Sheep Gifts in Irvington stocks a wide and eclectic variety of goods.
Store owner and manager Lisa Bennett lived in the Irvington community for 15 years before starting her variety store.
“I always said there was no good place to buy a simple greeting card,” She said.
Despite the store’s success in the neighborhood, Bennett possessed no prior experience in the retail industry when she first decided to open Black Sheep’s doors. She worked as a corrugated box saleswoman up until a couple months before her father, Frank, lost his battle with cancer.
“With the insurance money I decided to try something new and this store is the result.” Bennett said.
Registered with the city as Thanks Frank LLC, Black Sheep Gifts began operating in May of 2010 as one of the first retail businesses in the neighborhood, quickly becoming an integral part of the community and a landmark for visitors. There is even a mural on the back wall drawn by a class of 7th graders that she keeps around.
“I like to think my store has something to offer for everyone,” Bennett said, “I am always on the lookout for new items to sell and I always keep an ear open for customer suggestions.”
Bennett plans to open up a second and possibly a third store in Indiana though she could never imagine leaving her Irvington location.
“Irvington is such a terrific neighborhood and it is on the rise in Indiana, I hope the feel of the area never changes,” she said.
Black Sheep Gifts is located on Washington Street between James Dant and Jockamo’s Pizza.
Formerly Irvington Vintage, Irvington Vinyl is now a full service record store inside Bookmamas, with more than 20,000 quality used, new and rare vinyl records. Also CD’s, turntables, T-shirts, music posters, etc. We buy record and music collections, please call first.
“Drop those off in the next room, I’ll be over in a minute,” Owner Rick Wilkerson says to a woman entering his quaint establishment with a large canvas bag presumably laden with vintage vinyl records.
Wilkerson strides over to the counter and begins to sort through the stack of sleeves in a brisk fashion, pausing here and there to look at their names.
After a few short moments he turns to the woman apologetically and says, “I’m sorry but I think I may have to pass, I just have so many copies of these I don’t have space.”
Much of Irvington Vinyl’s stock comes from individuals like this who seek to sell their old record collections. While Wilkerson loves to purchase quality stock, the limits of the store encourage him to be fairly selective of titles based on their desirability and condition.
Since its official opening in 2014 in its shared store space with its locally renowned bookstore partner, Bookmama’s, Irvington Vinyl has seen a growing customer base.
“People really want to buy vinyl right now,” said Wilkerson, citing his primary customers as younger music enthusiasts who have decided to get into the record collecting game and older consumers who never quit or returned in the wake of the decline of the compact disc.
“In some cases it has kind of become a family activity where every member has their own collection.” he said.
Irvington Vinyl boasts a wide range of new vinyl releases, used records, turntables, and vinyl cleaning supplies. Wilkerson, the former owner of the now-defunct Missing Link Records in Broad Ripple, believes his claim to fame is his rare and used record collection which he believes is the best in the city. The store has attracted many serious collectors from in and out of town including celebrities like Bob Pollard of Guided by Voices and the hip hop band, Atmosphere in recent months.
On Record Store Day this past April, more than 100 people lined up before the store opened to get the best selection of that day’s special releases.
The store is located on Johnson Avenue by the Irving Theater and across from 10 Johnson Avenue coffee shop.
Founded in 1964 George Thomas Florist is dedicated to offering the very freshest flowers, plants as well as well as a unique line of gifts.
George Thomas Florist is a company built on customer service with a satisfaction policy that is unconditional. We take the guesswork out of sending flowers and gifts. One stop shopping. You can get delivery 24 hours a day 7 days a week. George Thomas Florist’ welcomes special requests.
Past the vibrant displays of flowers arranged in pharmaceutical cabinets from an old Rexall Drug store clustered around the front door of George Thomas florist, employees mill around large antique wood benches preparing arrangements with flowers of all types. Light reflects off the wet floor from a recent hosing. A sweet floral aroma permeates the entire building. Manager and vice president of George Thomas, Sam Smith, stands at a table in the back arranging a bouquet himself, surveying the doorway for customers.
While residing at its current location on Washington Street for only the past four years, George Thomas has been part of the Irvington community since 1964 when it was first established on 10th and Arlington with the help of Smith’s father, Thomas Smith.
“We’re a family company,” Smith said. “I work here, my wife works here, my mother comes in almost every day, and my daughter practically spent the first three years of her life here.”
While the business has shrunk from seven stores to one over the past few years, Smith looks at the shift as a consolidation.
“The market for walk-in flower orders has really gone down. Most flower sales these days are done via the internet or by phone so we figured it was more cost-effective to run out of one store. That and we enjoy having social lives.” Smith said.
By switching to a media market, George Thomas hopes to better appeal to the wide audience of flower givers.
“Statistically flower givers are highly like-able, friendly, and successful people. People buy flowers for all sorts of everyday occasions. Anniversaries, illnesses, birthdays, you name it. Just not all of them enjoy browsing through stores.” Smith said.
One of the company’s most popular deals is its “Flower Happy Hour”. On weekdays between 4:30 and 5:30, all loose flowers in their coolers become 50% off. Customers can easily obtain weekly fresh flowers for their homes.
George Thomas is located off of Washington Street, just east of Ritter.
Artisan Realtors is a full service real estate company and your best source for buying and selling real estate in Central Indiana with an emphasis on the Indianapolis Metropolitan area and the surrounding counties, which include: Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion and Shelby counties.
Driving through the commercial district of Irvington on Washington Street, the large glass windows of Artisan Realtors suddenly peer over the shrubs and flowers sprouting out of an urban garden next to the Ossip Optometry building. A banner placed in one of the large bay windows reads; “Your Only Irvington Real Estate Office” in dark green letters.
Specializing primarily in single family home sales, Artisan Realtors remains the Irvington area’s only in-house real estate agency. Consisting of 12 associates, the company prides itself on its local, hands on, service-oriented business model.
“We do the work ourselves. If you do business with me or any of my associates they will be with you through the whole process,” Dan Adams, owner of the business said.
While his office doesn’t receive the same amount of daily foot traffic as his retail neighbors, Adam’s business remains as much a part of the community as anyone else. Adams himself participates in the local business association and his office door is always open to clients, associates and Irvington neighbors alike to drop by.
Selling mostly Irvington real estate, Adams is quite familiar with the local market and personally feels there is soon to be an increase in the demand for property in the area.
“People are very attracted to these ‘walkable communities’ where all the restaurants and shops are within easy reach,” he said. “My advice to people with an eye on property here is to move fast.”
When Dr. Greg Ossip and Dr. Colleen Brown first drove by the old Irvington muffler shop off of Washington St. and Ritter set to become the new branch of Ossip Optometry Brown was to manage, she was skeptical.
“The building was an absolute disaster when I first saw it, but Dr. Ossip just has an eye for this kind of thing.” Brown said.
Sure enough, the Irvington branch of Ossip – an optometrist and high-end eyeglass merchant originating out of a house in Broad Ripple in 1952 – opened in 2011 to the immense popularity the company usually enjoys. Making their first million in just a few short years.
“We tend to attract up-and-coming, progressive-minded people, there are a good amount of those in Irvington.” Brown said.
Selling brands from Ray Ban to Converse, Ossip prides itself on being a leader in eyeglass style and provision of the latest optometric technology and procedures. The wood-paneled store designs with their glass display cases full of eyeglass arrangements and relaxed lighting create an air of calm and sophistication.
Dr. Brown herself boasts a dense background in the field of optometry. A lifelong resident of the Irvington neighborhood, Brown’s father owned an optometry practice in the area called Fox Optical. She worked there as a child until it was bought out by Ossip.
Brown is still an active member in the community, her and the rest of the store’s staff participate in local events like Irvington Halloween fest. Much of the staff lives in town as well.
“I’ve been doing this my whole life and just love it here,” Brown says. “At the rate it is growing, Irvington could easily be the next broad ripple.”
The store has recently hired a third optometrist in preparation for their expanding customer base. It is open from 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM on weekdays.
Entering Geneva Hair Studio, you are likely to double take and think you have entered a retail store. A wide assortment of professional grade beauty products and makeup grace the ample shelf space of the lobby. Various articles of women’s clothing hang attractively behind the long checkout counter. However, a steady stream of daytime appointments are escorted by fashionably attired employees into the main business practice of the company, the adjoining salon section of the establishment. An even more spacious white room lined with 14 chairs.
“Our goal is to get those chairs filled up” Jamie Zentz, stylist and owner of the business says.
Zentz may not have long to wait. Establishing her salon in Irvington in 2010, business was so good in the original 900 square foot establishment that she moved the company across the street in 2014 to a new 4400 square foot location.
“We suddenly had all of this extra space. We doubled the number of chairs and still had lots of room left.” Zentz says. “That’s why we decided to add retail elements to our studio.”
Even with the retail addition, plans are in motion for expanding the business even farther. Three hair treatment rooms are currently in the works as well as expansions into skin care and body waxing. These will open as soon as the staff finishes training.
Geneva trains its staff frequently and thoroughly, priding themselves on their year-long apprenticeship program that employees must go through in addition to graduating from beauty school.
Zentz cites her primary influence for her business as her grandmother, Geneva, who owned a salon just outside of Irvington in the 70’s called Swirl Curl. The salon is named for her.
“I spent a lot of time with her before she died and she had a big impact on my life.” Zentz says.
An art major in college, Zentz is a self-proclaimed lover of everything beauty related and believes working with hair is as much an art as painting. Many customers ask for her specifically though she spends most of her time running the business out of her office. Zentz describes her customer base as generally professional females though has seen an increase male customers. Geneva Hair Studio prides itself on being unintimidating and inviting to all patrons.
“Our number one priority is to meet our customers’ image goals.” Zentz says.
While outwardly nondescript besides the unmistakable artistic rendition of a red steak on the windows comprising their logo, the interior of Lodge Design in Irvington is an eclectic mix of poster-lined dedicated office space, original interior decorating choices and entertainment. An old railroad wagon serves as a makeshift coffee table, two old arcade pinball machines stand in a corner, a stuffed mountain lion lies draped on a log overlooking the firm’s 9 employees as they go about their day.
“My buddy from high school went into taxidermy” Jarrett Hagy, co-owner of the firm said.
Lodge Design’s creative layout runs parallel to what it does; create. Employees mill about the various rooms and lounge in chairs while working off of their laptops or switch to a cubicle when they need to focus. They meet periodically during the day to brainstorm ideas.
A growing direct-to-consumer marketing and advertising business specializing in branding, radio, and TV ads, Lodge Design’s account portfolio includes some celebrated local businesses. Nicey in Broad Ripple, Huddles in Nora, Lutheran Health, Sun King, and a longstanding partnership with Conner Prairie to name a few.
Hagy and the rest of the firm have been part of the Irvington community for 16 years, residing in their current location for about ten. Hagy has always admired the residential diversity of his community even when they first opened in the neighborhood. Many of his employees live here. They have seen their share of businesses come and go in the Irvington community, but believe the town is going somewhere new now.
“Irvington has transformed into a destination, our clients almost never met with us in our offices back in the day. Now they want to come here and get lunch.” Hagy said.
The company wishes to keep on expanding their footprint throughout Indiana and believes they have the ability to do so.
“We’re a small design firm that strives to do the best work in the country.” Hagy said.
A used & new bookstore specializing in Indiana books & authors, located in Historic Irvington, directly across from 10 Johnson St. coffee shop.
Located in the quaint two-room establishment it shares with Irvington Vinyl in historic Irvington off of East Ritter and South Washington Street, Bookmama’s is known for its wide variety of new and used books, particularly its growing collection of titles written about Indiana and publications by Hoosier authors.
Owner Kathleen Angelone has always loved being around books.
“When I was a child, my mother always bought my brother books but almost never bought me any. When I finally asked her about it she said it was because I didn’t need the encouragement because I read so much.” She said.
After her parents passed away, Angelone used her inheritance to buy out Bookmama’s current location from an internet bookseller, purchasing the entirety of their stock.
One of Angelone’s favorite parts of her job is when authors come for book signings and launches. She remembers one time when author Saundra Mitchell launched her new young adult book, Vespertine, at her store.
“This group of girls came all the way over from Illinois dressed in 19th century clothing as homage to one of her previous books. They kind of missed the signing but we all just hung out for a while afterwards and chatted and I could tell it made the author’s day.” She said.
In addition to its famed Indiana themed book collections, there are rumors of hauntings around the small shop. It appears in multiple books on the subject and attracts its share of ghost hunters.
“Apparently spirits in 1920s garb who lived here when it was a masonic lodge are supposed to hang out by the front door. Fortunately I’m told they only allow only nice people into the store,” Angelone said.
When asked what else she would like customers to know about her business she said, “I just love to sell books. That’s all there is to it.”
Residing in a small corner office just off of Washington Street, Irvington Insurance Agency owner Eric Wilson often leaves the lights off, preferring to bathe the room in the ample natural lighting provided by the large windows that make up most of the street-side wall.
A lifelong Irvington resident, Wilson began his agency in 2007 after leaving American Family Insurance,
“I wanted to be able to be my own boss and offer my clients the most coverage options possible,” he says.
Irvington Insurance provides property, casualty, life, and small-commercial insurance to those in the area.
Selling common insurance packages like these, Wilson receives customers of all ages and walks of life, though he believes the main trait they have in common is that they are nice people.
“After all they’re buying insurance right?” He says.
Having grown up in Irvington, working in the town seemed like a natural choice for Wilson who returned to the area after joining the military and a brief stint in Philadelphia.
“I can’t really imagine living anywhere else,” he laughs, “Irvington has always been my home, I love the diversity of the people here and it just keeps becoming a better place.”
Wilson is currently working towards expanding his staff and plans to remain in the community for the long haul.
“I’m gonna do this forever, I’m probably going to die here at this desk.” He grins.
Playground Productions Studio began many years ago as a home recording studio on the southside of Indy and has since evolved into a 3000 square feet location in the heart of historic Irvington in what is now known as The Irvington Coal Factory. Owner and operator Adam Riviere dreamed of opening a recording and rehearsal studio outside of his home and that dream was realized in October of 2013. Riviere is honored to be a part of the arts community and he is also proud to have been the first storefront to open in the ever-growing Irvington Coal Factory.
“Right now Irvington is going through a Renaissance in their music and art scene, and I am glad to be a part of its growth alongside others in The Coal Factory,” Said Riviere.
The studio has something to offer for everyone involved in the arts. To name a few – recording & rehearsal space, digital transfers (vinyl records to CD, mp3 or other digital formats), various instrument lessons, belly dancing classes, drum circles and an art gallery. General rental space is also available for such events as birthday parties, kirtans, health and wellness classes, workshops, various private functions and more.
Almost every visitor that steps foot into the studio feels immediately at ease and at home in the warm atmosphere Riviere has created. The walls are painted in vibrant colors that represent celebration and the floors are graced with an array of beautiful rugs that create a comfortable, homey environment.
The studio boasts four spaces with a multitude of uses in the arts, with three of the four rooms designed with recording and rehearsal in mind. The “Live Room” is a 1000+ square foot space built and designed for what the name implies, live performances and recordings. Additionally a 360 square foot soundproof “Rehearsal Room” intended for rehearsal and recording; and a cozy 63 square feet “Isolation Room” built to isolate a soloist, duo or trio for recording are incorporated into the building. Aside from the musical aspect of the studio, Riviere utilizes 50 square feet of art gallery wall space in order to showcase the talents of local artists The studio truly offers a space to suit every need with very reasonable pricing.
“This space was built to celebrate the music and arts community. It delivers some of the best-sounding rooms in the state,” Riviere said.
Every third Friday, the Playground hosts 3rd Friday @ the Playground. The doors open at 6pm and the night is kicked off with a community drum circle at 7pm. Immediately following the drum circle, the Playground hosts a unique performing artist, whether it be a radio theater troop, pole exercise demonstration, or bluegrass band, it is guaranteed to be a one of a kind night, having never had the same group perform twice. Also for the viewing pleasure of visitors, the Playground displays art in its gallery from a different local artist each month, and recently began hosting First Friday events to showcase the artist and musicians.
Most recently, the Playground hosted the Discover Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival and the Acoustic Ascent Songwriting Competition with live performances by local artists. The festival is set to become an annual event and Adam hopes for another opportunity to hold the event at the Playground.
Owner and operator Riviere began his career in music at a tender age and has spent more than 25 years mastering his various crafts. He is well versed with more than 30 instruments, including but not limited to world percussion, didgeridoo, and Native American style flute. He received his formal education at Butler with a bachelor’s degree in music business and went on to receive a music technology master’s degree from IU.
Rivere’s mantra is to “keep the music going” and that is what he intends on doing for the Irvington community for years to come.