We love sharing about the people behind local businesses and are excited to introduce you to Coach Storm Sims from Soar Over Obstacles. Soar Over Obstacles is a parkour and Ninja Warrior style gym located at 1191 Fort Campbell Blvd. Suite I. It’s a place for conquering obstacles, whether they be the actual equipment in the gym, or the many mental and physical obstacles we all face in life.
Coach Storm started working as a trainer at the age of 16, and never stopped. He joined the Army Reserves at age 18 and became an active duty Soldier at 20 years old. He later made his way to Special Forces and served at Fort Campbell with 5th Special Forces Group from 1994-2015. Storm worked his way through several positions from SF Medical SGT, to Company Medic, BN Senior Medic and Team SGT. Throughout his career, he cared for people from his fellow soldiers to the peoples of various host countries.
As a parkour, ninja, and Spartan SGX coach, Storm is now spending his days training, motivating, and cheering on people of all ages and learning abilities. He has classes for everyone from preschool through adulthood, from kids seeking a sport they can enjoy and fully participate in, to adults looking to improve their health and fitness. Coach Storm is a helper by nature, and quite possibly one of the most patient people on Earth. (You just have to see him in action to understand.) Coach has created a place where everyone fits in, everyone gets to participate and everyone cheers each other on. There are even classes that stay on the ground for those people looking to get in shape without being airborne.
Storm’s biggest motivation is seeing the internal transformation in his clients as they gain confidence and meet goals! His excitement when someone conquers an obstacle they’ve been struggling with is thoroughly contagious. He’ll be kicking off a new 6 week Body Transformation Challenge in January for those of you looking to take back your health as you go into the new year. There are also several regional Ninja and Spartan events coming up in 2023. It’s the perfect time to jump in and start something new!
The gym family is always growing and Storm is bringing on additional coaches with plans to move into a larger facility in the coming years. Be sure to follow Soar Over Obstacles to see all updates and get more information.
Happy Friday Clarksville! It’s time for a prime time Feature Friday! We’re so excited to re-introduce you to YAIPak Outreach. Founded by Sherry Nicholson just a few short years ago, Yaipaks’ purpose is to serve the under-resourced through acts of kindness. In May 2016, Sherry founded YAIPak Outreach, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit after a life-changing experience in Nashville, TN. YAI is an acronym for You Are Important, which is a message that Sherry loves to leave with everyone she encounters. Sherry herself experienced homelessness as a young mother, and the power of restoration through unconditional love. She is married to Steve Nicholson; together, they have 6 children and 14 grandchildren. YAIPak Outreach is a mobile outreach organization that exists to bring Hope. With four main projects affecting children in trauma, veterans moving from homelessness to housing, those affected by natural disaster, and large community outreach events. In six short years, YaiPak has gone from a living room operation of stuffing purses with necessities, to a massive warehouse operation and a team that is one of the first groups on the scene to aid in nearby natural disasters. YAIPak Outreach is an organization that has provided help to thousands of people in such a few short years, and we are always excited to see what they’re doing and support them in any way possible.
Sherry and her team head out each week to reach homeless encampments, making sure that these precious people are not forgotten and that they have their basic needs met. Through their Totes of Hope initiative, Yaipak provides basic household goods and furnishings for homeless Veterans as they transition into housing. They also provide necessities and comfort items to children in trauma, working closely with many area children’s services offices and local schools. You’ll also find them at community events year round handing out anything from school supplies to diapers and formula. Every Summer, they pack up loads of school supplies and clothing and head to East TN for their Operation Appalachian Kids outreach, which brings tons of fun and much needed necessities to Jellico, TN.
Sherry will be the first to tell you that none of this would be possible without the support of the community here in Clarksville! YAIpak has seen you all show up in times of need with donations and volunteering your time to help make the lives of our neighbors better. If you’d like to volunteer in the warehouse, you can show up at 1255 Paradise Hill Road, on Mondays from 9-12, Wednesdays from 12-2, or Thursdays from 5-8pm.
Good morning, Clarksville! It’s Feature Friday time!
Leslie Mannen, of Plato’s Closet – Clarksville, TN, has been a resident of Clarksville for over 17 years. During that time she has been raising her family side by side with her husband Nick as they work hard to reach their goals. Over the past 12 of those years Leslie has been an employee of Plato’s Closet, that is, until recently. The Mannen family got to see one of their goals come to fruition as they took over ownership of the store in September! Blessed with the mentorship of the stores previous owner, and her experience in the retail industry, Leslie went from employee to business owner.
Her leadership inspires her employees to not be scared of hard work and to value what they provide to the community here. One of those big benefits being the opportunity for residents of Clarksville to find great quality clothing at a fraction of the price of retail stores. It is obvious the importance and care Leslie displays when it comes to her love of this city. Since Leslie’s takeover, her and her team have been working diligently to carefully craft and curate a welcoming, warm, and quality environment for us to shop second hand.
It doesn’t stop there! They host a Small Business Saturday which will be on the 26th of November, this encourages shoppers to come and support a local small business. On top of that, they’ll be hosting a variety of Apparel themed event days, the first of which will be Coat and Boot Day tomorrow October 22nd. Additionally they have plans for an event to honor Veterans Day and even a Black Friday Event on November 25th! It is clear that Leslie and the staff at Platos Closet are committed to improving our community, and we are blessed to have a locally-owned franchise so invested in that.
Though Plato’s Closet is a nationally recognized brand, this location is owned by one of our own. Like many other locally owned franchises, Leslie is using her business as a tool to lift up our community and the other local businesses around her. Her story is proof that every position is important and your goals are within reach. LOCAL Clarksville is all about supporting locally owned businesses of all kinds, especially ones with a love for Clarksville like Plato’s Closet.
To get more information on Plato’s Closet or stay up to date with events, check out their facebook or instagram! And don’t forget to let them know who sent you!
It’s Feature Friday time!! Since today is the first day of the Artsville Festival, we decided to bring you one of Clarksville’s most influential artists. If you’ve followed us for any length of time, you may have picked up on the fact that we’re pretty big fans of Olasubomi Bashorun of Drafts by Olasubomi and DBO’s Creative Circle. It’s likely you’ve seen his work around town, from Starry Night Clarksville on Madison Street, to the Hi Five and Clarksville Balloons downtown on N. 2nd Street to the huge mural over on APSU campus, to name a few. His reach goes beyond Clarksville of course, as you can find his murals in Nashville and beyond, and you can even find him doing live paintings at concerts, such as Alicia Keys’ recent show in Nashville. His work adds personality to the inside (or outside) of many local businesses throughout Middle TN.
Ola has been into art ever since he could pick up a pencil. Born in Nigeria, he moved to Oklahoma at the age of 6. It was his high school art teacher, Kathleen Blake, that really connected some things for him. She showed him that he could channel and express emotion through art and therefore art could be used as a form of therapy. He went on to attend OK Baptist University where he studied both psychology and art. He uses both to this day, working with young people and soldiers alike.
After graduating, Ola took a gamble moving to Nashville, literally on a coin flip. He worked a variety of jobs from the YMCA to becoming GM at a carwash. He was missing the artistic outlet though. After becoming friends with some ballroom dancers, he learned to dance and then became a ballroom dance instructor himself. In 2016, Ola was hosting paint and dance nights at a home here in Clarksville. The diverse feeling of Clarksville as a college/military town, reminded of home, so he planted roots here with the opening of a gallery. Believing that art is a vital aspect for the growth of a city, Ola set out to bring a new depth of art to Clarksville, something beyond just “pretty” – and we’re so glad he did!
Reach out to Ola if you’re interested in private art lessons, art therapy, or if you’d like to commission some work! He is also hosting a Paint and Sip event October 7th, head to his page for details on that! If you have photos of yourselves enjoying Ola’s artwork, we’d love to see them!
It’s finally starting to feel like Spring around here. That means it’s time for a wardrobe refresh. Well ladies, this #featurefriday is for you! And dudes, listen up because the women in your life are sure to love The Christie Boutique located at 2170 Fort Campbell Blvd. Owned by Heather and her mom Charlotte, the boutique brings affordable, fun, and bright prints to the north side of town.
Heather was living overseas and had been contemplating opening a business with her mom. They had a couple businesses in mind, but went with a clothing boutique because they both love clothes. Just three weeks after Heather returned home, they opened the boutique. Since opening, they have built up a dedicated clientele that keeps coming back week after week.
Having grown up on the north side of town, Heather knew that was where she wanted to open the boutique. There aren’t many clothing stores up there and she wanted to make sure the residents, especially the military personnel and their families, were taken care of. They also have a heart for other small business owners. They currently host 10 vendors in the boutique, including foods, crocheted items, tumblers, and bath bombs. If that wasn’t enough to convince you to stop by, they also have great prices! Nothing in the store is over $45. If you can’t make it to the store, don’t fret! They ship throughout the U.S. and overseas to Germany, Italy, Japan, and Korea.
Ladies, if you’re looking for a fun night out, they host a monthly bunco night. The entry fee is $20 per person prior to the event, and you must be 21 years of age or older. They provide light refreshments. Everyone goes home with a gift card to the store ranging from $10- $50. You can sign up on their event page. They’ve also hosted craft nights for soap making and charcuterie board making. They plan on hosting another candle-making workshop sometime in June, so be on the lookout for that!
If you want to see what new items they’ll have each week in the store, catch them live every Friday night at 7 pm on Facebook. You’ll get 15-75% off and get a chance to see what the vendors are selling. Be sure to give them a follow to stay up to date with all of the things!
Who’s ready for another #featureFriday? We sure are! This week we want to tell you about Gladiator Brewing Co. If you haven’t heard of them, they are a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Brewery. They focus on what they call antiquity craft beers, meaning beers that have been around for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years.
Gladiator Brewing came about when owners James and Funda Pradke were in a tragic car accident. They both lost their jobs after the accident and realized they needed something that they could use as an escape and a retirement. Years prior James had a friend that bought an at-home brewing kit. James tried his own and ended up with a big mess in his kitchen. He went back to the brew shop and the woman there mentioned a homebrew day workshop. Intent on getting it right, James attended the workshop, and after that, he was hooked. From then on, he periodically brewed for fun but realized it would be a good business venture. The story behind the name goes back to his days in the Army. Gladiator was one of his call signs when he was deployed and to them, it seemed like a natural choice. They give all their beers a Latin-based name because it ties into the language base of the gladiator era and Roman culture.
As for their brews, James is the master brewer and Funda is the seltzer queen. Funda makes all the custom syrup flavors that go into the seltzers. She makes them with real ingredients. If the seltzer is based on a candy, then she’ll put the actual candy in the syrup to make it as authentic as possible. She tries to switch up the flavors and not reuse them more than once a year, so if there is a flavor you want to try you have to get it while it lasts. James makes the bases for the seltzers and beers. He researches base recipes using historic documents, tradition, and old brewing laws. They modify their water profile by adding minerals to mimic the waters of the countries they are trying to replicate. That then becomes the canvas to which they build and add the grains that they import from the regions in which the beers come. So, if you’re having a German beer, you can expect an authentic German beer.
They’ve recently started serving brunch. It’s a European-style breakfast spread, where everything comes to the table. Each person gets to choose the kind of eggs they want. Most of the food they serve is European-based and matches the regions of the beer they have on tap. Just like the brews, the food is authentic. They don’t Americanize any of their dishes and pride themselves on being a scratch kitchen. If you want to expand your horizons, and experience true European dining, head on over to Gladiator Brewing at 214 Tiny Town Road.