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Three West Michigan Products At 2012 Women" s Expo You Won"t Want To Miss

Do you like to run? Many people from West Michigan do. And Gary Kowalczyk is one of those people he runs the Fifth Third River Bank Run every year. Gary was a product development engineer for many years and came up with the idea that let him start his own business while he was out doing what he lovesrunning.

While wearing his reflective vest, he witnessed a car zooming by without its headlights on and realized that the reflective part wasnt going to work. So he engineered the LED Light Vest. One that uses LED lights to keep him safe. And since he likes running with his dog, it was only natural he would make one for dogs as well.

As a matter of fact, the vests he makes for dogs work well enough for many of his partners during his weekly outings with the Wednesday Night Grand Rapids Track Club to follow his dog because the poochs vest lights the road so well.

The human version has 24 LED lights (12 on front and back) The dogs is illuminated with 12 (6 per side). Rechargeable batteries power the bright lights, but they dont give off much if any heat, so you wont be putting out any extra sweat.

She started making them to remember and cherish places she had been. She moved here from a small beach town in California, which she still misses in the winter, and wanted to make a piece of jewelry to remember it by. It was her first map pendant, and it most certainly wont be the last. They are selling well.

Upfront uses real maps nothing from the Internet or anything Photshopped. By using the authentic maps, shes accumulated quite a collection. In what she calls her personal library, Julie has a room filled with atlases and hundreds of road maps. Shes constantly buying more.

Every map is an original, which makes each pendant the same. She has rounds, squares, and rectangle shapes ranging in different sizes, using silver, copper and pewter plated with gold. But its not the metals that are precious the value lies in the sentiment of the location being worn. Proof of that can be found in this story by far the best story Id hear this week if not this year.

This woman had lost over 40 members of her family in concentration camps. Her mother was one of only two family members that escaped and were only able to survive by being hidden in these towns. Her mother then immigrated to Grand Rapids and then raised her family here. Needless to say, Julie found the maps and found a way to put all three into one pendant. Now that is a priceless piece of jewelry.

Fietscafes (dutch for "bike cafe") were first created in the late 1990s. They are very popular party bikes and are often seen throughout Europe. And now, Grand Rapids is officially the 17th US city to have the green pedaling machine. How did they get here? Thats where Laurie Ryan comes in. It seems her cousin introduced Laurie to her first bar bicycle on a recent visit to Minneapolis. She knew at first sight she wanted to bring it to Grand Rapids.

The concept is that of a party bike. It does resemble a pub with an awning, bar, and silver tap to which you can attach a keg of wine or beer (on private property, of course). Whether its a bachelor party, reunion, pub crawl, ArtPrize, etc. this is a fun way to meet new people or take your group on a tour of the town while saving on gas money.

Basically, everybody pedals while youre sitting at the bar stools (video). Dont worry if you rent one, you wont have to steer or brake it comes with a pilot, but if you want to get anywhere youve got to pump those pedals. If this sounds like a lot of work, dont worry its not. Top speed is 5 miles an hour, so youre not pedaling too hard. As a matter of fact, it can be propelled by as few as 4 people.

Overall, the LED lights are widely used for automotive lighting, and will come out with even more innovation in the future.


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