O'Fallon Progress

Local business news

Plants bask under a grow light at The Indoor Earthworm located at 116 E. State Street in downtown O’Fallon.
Plants bask under a grow light at The Indoor Earthworm located at 116 E. State Street in downtown O’Fallon. twall@bnd.com

The Indoor Earthworm ‘turning heads’ in O’Fallon

The new O’Fallon business’ name speaks for itself — The Indoor Earthworm.

With a downtown O’Fallon location at 116 E. State Street, business co-owners Nathan Hubbard and Travis Wheatly of O’Fallon said they are excited about offering the community of O’Fallon an affordable organic way of growing indoors, and outdoors too.

“We are excited to have a unique business like The Indoor Earthworm in our community and our chamber,” Debbie Arell-Martinez, O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce executive director, said.

The store specializes in hydroponics, soil, plant nutrition and lighting. Wheatley said he and his business partner started the store because they saw a need. Some items offered include KindLED lights, high pressure sodium lights, metal halide lamps and mini lamps. Organic soils and fertilizers, heirloom seeds, vegetable and plants ready to plant and-or eat are all available too. Moreover, the shop is equipped with clippers, snipers, shears, pH testers and balancing products, indoor garden rooms and hydroponic tables, lamp movers and heating pads, as well as informational books.

“If not here, Missouri was about the closest place to find something like this,” Wheatley, who previously worked 18 years at a sod farm, said. “Plus, downtown O’Fallon is rejuvenating, and we wanted to be a part of that.”

Wheatley said that as far as plants are concerned, everything sold in the store is organic. He said curious people have popped in to learn more about the store and have come away gardening enthusiasts. “We’re turning heads,” he said.

If that’s not enough, there’s free coffee in the store. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Contact the store at 618-726-7910.

Painting With A Twist opens

Looking to shake things up a bit for a fun afternoon with family or friends — Painting With A Twist, a national franchise started in 2007 in Los Angeles, Ca., is now in the metro-east. The recreational business is located at 3760 Green Mount Crossing Shopping center in Shiloh, and was brought to the area by Beverly Whysall, who moved to O’Fallon in 2010.

Started in 2007 by Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney in Mandeville, La., the concept pairs instructional art with friends or family, wine and a lively instructor to produce individual works of art. If you can’t draw a stick figure, no problem — all talent levels are welcome.

The instructors will show participants, step by step, how to create a work of art that you will be proud of, and want to hang up on your wall. With local artists right there in the studio available to provide tips, tricks and techniques.

Everyone in class paints the same picture, but they all come out differently because we are all unique individuals with varying perceptions. So, if you want your roof to be purple and not white, no problem.

Whysall and her family were transferred here for an employment opportunity. Having traveled all over the country working in construction management, Whysall was looking for a chance to stay at home in the area to be closer to her family.

After attending several classes in Texas while working on a job in Temple, the entrepreneur felt O’Fallon needed a place where art and fun could come together, so she bought a franchise.

“I have always dreamed of owning my own business. Painting With A Twist is so much more than a Sip and Paint studio. We are all like family. My hope is to make this business as much fun to everyone here as it has been for me,” Whysall said.

Office hours are noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; and, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturdays. An ‘open class’ is offered daily, and private parties can be scheduled. Party groups are for 10 or more people, and can be scheduled with a date and time on the website.

“We believe strongly in giving back to the community and I look forward to sharing my love of art with all of you, for years to come,” Whysall said.

The cost is $35 for an individual to participate in a two-hour class, and $45 for a three-hour class. The package includes your canvas, your paint, apron, easel, brushes and fun.

“We also have corkscrews, wine glasses, plates, napkins, utensils and hopefully a new found talent you’ll want to explore,” Whysall said.

GCS donates over $1,000 to Walk A Mile In Her Shoes

GCS Credit Union employees joined together to raise $1,075 in the month of April to benefit Call For Help Inc. by donating to the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes in Swansea.

In an ongoing effort to support the local community, GCS employees participate in Jeans Days each month. In exchange for a donation of $15 or more, employees are permitted to wear jeans on Fridays and Saturdays during the month of April.

Call For Help Inc. hosted its first, of what they hope, is an annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, and international fundraiser to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence, at Schranz Park in Swansea Sun. April 16.

With over 20 walkers, approximately $5,500 was raised for Call for Help Inc.

Call for Help has 24-hour assistance to victims of rape, molestation, harassment or other sexual assault.