Meet Ms. Clara, the daughter of two symphony musicians and an early childhood music specialist.   She has a goal to provide quality music education to young children in a community-building environment. After teaching for years through some Chicago area programs, Clara struck out on her own this fall and her music business is rockin and rollin!

Earlier this year, even though Clara was hosting classes through some other suburban park districts, she was looking for a place to support her large Oak Park fan base. And when she was trying to find space in Oak Park, she called and asked Michelle Vanderlaan at Sugarcup Trading. Michelle said yes, in a true spirit of generosity. Currently Clara has two music classes that meet regularly in the basement of Sugarcup Trading.

I didn’t even know that Sugarcup had a basement.  Sugarcup Trading owner Michelle hosted her Green Halloween Costume Swap in this renovated space (which I missed unfortunately). She is planning on using it more and more in the coming months. I can’t wait to see some more activities hosted here.  The space is perfect, and supporting a kids regular activity seems like a fantastic way to build a community in a retail location. I’m often impressed by business owner ingenuity and this is one of those times.  

I have to give both of these entrepreneurs lots of accolades to tell you the truth. Music classes on site means that mom’s are walking through regularly at least once a week. Those moms and dads are going to see new merchandise as it comes in, they are going to develop relationships with staff.  Those moms and dads are going to talk about it and those conversations translate to community support.  Sugarcup Trading’s image of clean and green and giving is fully reinforced. It makes a perfect pairing for both businesses.  

As far as the classes go, I was able to finally attend one. Clara’s energy is captivating. The children all arrived excited about the chance to shake, and sing and play. It is the kind of quality class I would love to have attended with my kids. And I can see how Ms. Clara has quickly developed a foundation of fans in the area. I know I’m one.  

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Sarah, a life long Oak Parker, enjoys supporting local small business as much as possible.  With over 20 years in big box and little box retail, she brings a unique perspective to our local business community. ...