Goodbye. (Almost.)


Goodbye. (Almost.)

Sayonara 2014. Can't wait to see the surprises in store for 2015!


It's a new year, and that's always exciting.

Pick your palette, paint your year.

2014 was a breath of fresh air, but 2015 is making room for a whole new scene!

What's going to be different? 

It's going to be filled with surprises.

People love surprises, and so do we.

Families, businesses and charities are putting their personal stamp here by planning fun events, parties, meetings, classes, or whatever else will breathe life into an empty room--how cool is that?

The future looks promising, so we do plan to continue forward, to make improvements, and to expand. It's good to have goals, to put one foot in front of the other, to enjoy the ride, and most importantly--to smile. :)

Smiles are contagious, and we invite you!


Have a mile long ta-da list?


Have a mile long ta-da list?

Superhero kid

Ever have Ta-Da Moments?

They're the times when you feel a sense of pride because of something you've accomplished.

They can be little things like finishing ALL of the laundry (if that's even possible), or big things like graduating from college with a degree.

We work hard to achieve our goals, and we deserve a pat on the back for pursuing them to fruition.

Have any ta-da moments you're proud of?  We want to hear about them! Tell us in the comments below.

We also have a few ta-das up our sleeve too, from the people who host community events here.

Here Goes: Ta-Da!



Party and Event Hall Woodstock IL

Mixin Mingle is a great place to host private parties.  Choose everything for your party from the food, drinks, decorations, and entertainment. You can rent our space for:

  • Birthday Parties
  • Baby Showers
  • Bridal Showers
  • Baptisms
  • Family Get-togethers
  • Dances
  • Mixers
  • Reunions
  • Celebrations
  • Graduations
  • Receptions
  • Farewells
  • Weddings
  • Holiday Dinners
  • & More!


Interview with "What's Up Woodstock?"

1 Comment

Interview with "What's Up Woodstock?"

Whats Up Woodstock

There are some great things happening in Woodstock, and a lot of people are coming together to fill the town with community spirit. One that is near and dear to us is What's Up Woodstock, a Facebook page and blog started by a girl who grew up in Woodstock, and it connects the community with the area's activities. The creator recently asked us to do an interview, and wrote this for us.

The complete interview is pasted below.

1. What made you decide to run Mixin Mingle?

Ever since I entered the workforce, I always wondered if I had what it would take to open a business. Back then, I was always looking to achieve the next milestone in my career and education. I thought to myself, “if I could only learn more skills”, or, “if I could get the right job or promotion (i.e., make more money)”, then maybe I’ll be “happy” or feel like I’m “enough”.  I was very frustrated in my career even though I was making great money. I spent 8 hours a day in a cubicle staring at a computer screen waiting for life to happen, waiting for life to become exciting. I was extremely bored and started daydreaming all the time about my dream business. I had just finished my Professional MBA at Northern IL University in Hoffman Estates. As part of the program our group was supposed to meet once a week to work on our projects and sometimes we needed to practice our presentations. This is where I began to identify how difficult it was to find a meeting space.  We ended up having meetings in a conference room of a library, or at Panera, or at a team member’s home or work. It was very hard to find a place that worked well for all our needs.

Then, I decided to have my graduation party and again found how difficult it was to find a room to have a party where we could bring our own food and drinks, have a DJ and alcohol. We ended up using a clubhouse at a condo association because it was affordable and could fit a lot of people. But we had to know someone to get in there.

A few months later, my longtime boyfriend and I decided we wanted to marry because we were expecting our first child.  I looked everywhere for an affordable place to have a decent wedding.  We didn’t belong to a church, and I really wanted to have our ceremony and party in the same place. We ended up getting married in the banquet room upstairs at Pirro’s.

In August 2010, a few months after giving birth to my son, I came down with a severe case of postpartum depression and was hospitalized at Centegra. During my stay there and in the outpatient program, they had a series of activities to help patients get well. There was everything from fitness to arts and crafts to music. I realized then that I needed to incorporate these activities regularly in my life.

Shortly after returning to work from the medical leave I was laid off from my job. My world turned upside down and I knew that finding a new job in the recession would not be easy.  At the time, I was seeing a doctor who was treating me using clinical hypnosis. One of the things I asked him to do was help me figure out if I should start a business. He said he could and he asked me to write down what I liked doing and what my skills were. I told him I wanted to use my skills in marketing to help small businesses. I also wanted to have a fun job that would work with the lifestyle I wanted to have. The best I could come up with at the time was to be an independent consultant, but I knew small businesses really wouldn’t have the funds to hire me. So he set the intention during one of our sessions that the idea would just come to me one day.

Well, that day came when I was standing in my kitchen putting dishes away. All of the sudden I was flooded with ideas because it dawned on me that in the last few months I went to all these different places to do different things. I went to a yoga studio for a meditation workshop, I went to a fitness center for a Weight Watchers class, I went to a church for an event with many classes, I went to a library for a cooking class, I went to a historic building to see a small play, I went to the Racetrack for an expo, and I went to Starbucks for a committee meeting. I realized I was going all of these places to do all these things and I saw no reason they couldn’t all happen in the same location. It was the perfect job for me. I was so excited that I told Steve (my husband) that I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

That motivation was powerful enough to lead me to take that leap of faith and dive head first into starting a company.

2. When did you open the shop?

We officially opened our doors on Thursday, May 5th, 2011. It was Cinco de Mayo. I had my friend Tracy Walker come and teach a Hatha Yoga and Meditation class. Nobody from the public came, but my family, friends and husband showed up. Someone was looking in the window at what we were doing so I went outside to talk to her. She said she would come if we did a Zumba class. So I found a Zumba instructor and people started coming for Zumba. That’s how I got my first real customers.

3. Have you had any help?

My family and friends have helped support my venture as much as possible. Plus every customer, instructor and event planner has helped shape the business and has worked hard to help it grow.  My business suffered three disasters over the years with two floods and a car crash. People in the community were a huge help during those difficult times.

4. What are you most proud of?

Every time there are people I don’t know in the space who are there for a class or event, it makes the hair on my arms stand up. Or when people say what a great idea they think it is. Because when I first started out, I had no idea what I was doing and frankly I felt stupid putting myself out there this way.

5. What is your favorite event to be a part of?

I think I’m the only person who has been to every single event, and for the most part, they’ve all been special in their own way. I am a person who likes variety and I have a short attention span, so I want my business to be a place that attracts popular activities.

6. What's the craziest thing you've seen or been a part of with mixin mingle?

Hands down it was the Homestuck party. Hundreds of young people came dressed in costumes and threw a dance party.

7. What are your goals with mixin mingle?

Long term, I want to create a repeatable and profitable business model in order to bring the concept to other places. Short term, I would like to fill the empty space with activities. I am also working finding other businesses that can make use the space to offer great public events.

8. Do you feel like you've been successful so far? Why?

From a buzz building standpoint, it’s certainly been successful. It’s hard for businesses to get people to visit their space and to get people talking about them. We have so many different people hosting and planning events and they are spreading the word for us. The more people who see the room and feel at home here, the better our chances they will think of us or recommend us in the future.

9. What is one thing you want to do with mixin mingle you have not done yet?

I always thought it would be cool if a big brand came in to do a pop-up store or event.

10. Is there anything else you feel we should know about you or the business?

We are one of the most open and flexible companies around and feel that we can accomplish more through partnerships than we could by ourselves. We like putting other people and businesses in the spotlight to connect them with the community.  We can learn so much from each other and help each other succeed. If anyone reading this has the inkling they might like to try something entrepreneurial or out of the box, we urge them to contact us because we provide a low risk mechanism to do just that.

1 Comment

A Place to Shine Music Songwriter Showcase Featured in PlanIt Northwest


A Place to Shine Music Songwriter Showcase Featured in PlanIt Northwest

A Place to Shine Music
This has been copied and pasted from the PlanIt Northwest site. Click here to go to original article on PlanIt Northwest.
January 30, 2014 • 09:27:10 a.m.

Aspiring songwriters showcase original music at Woodstock venue


Jim Green performs during the Songwriters Showcase at Mixin Mingle Friday in Woodstock. Cassandra Vohs-Demann owner of A Place To Shine Music studio on the Square, has started a monthly showcase to "bring Nashville to Woodstock," said Vohs-Demann. (Kyle Grillot –

Songwriter Showcase

WHEN: Third Friday of every month. Next showcase is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21.

WHERE: Mixin Mingle, 124 Cass St., Woodstock

INFO: To take part or for information, call 847-507-1352 or visit or

The hardest thing for a songwriter can sometimes be finding someone to listen.

Once a month in a quiet room on the Woodstock Square, a crowd gathers to do just that.

"This is my divorce angst song," Tim Merkel said after stepping up to the microphone, his guitar in hand. "It's pretty self-explanatory, an analogy to a house falling apart."

All eyes are on him as he strums and sings his creation.

Merkel ( was one of three performers on a recent Friday night invited to take part in a relatively new Songwriter Showcase hosted by Cassandra Vohs-Demann and A Place To Shine Music, the training program she runs for singers, songwriters, educators and artists.

A singer/songwriter herself who also performed that night, Vohs-Demann has brought in local and regional songwriters since October in an effort to promote original music and accentuate the art scene in McHenry County.

"I'm trying to bring Nashville to Woodstock," she said.

The Songwriter Showcase takes place the third Friday of every month at Mixin Mingle, 124 Cass St., Woodstock. The next showcase is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21. Admission is $7.

Songwriters take turns performing their original songs, often relaying the story behind them. Audience members laughed, then tapped their toes and nodded their heads as Jim Green ( shared his "Boxcar Man" song about a hobo jumping a train.

"It's not often a lot of us get to play to a very attentive crowd," he said.

Using his guitar as both a drum and a string instrument, he also played the harmonica.

He'd thought of the song while listening to an old cassette of "train songs" created by harmonica players, he told the crowd. The songs actually sounded like trains on a track.

"I thought the idea behind that was interesting, so I tried to translate it to guitar," he said.

Another song told the story of a man trying to jump a train with a time-sensitive freight, or a "hot shot," Green said.

"If you get on one of those, you'd better hang on because you're in for a ride," he said.

Behind the piano, Vohs-Demann's songs told a different story, one written for her niece's wedding, another for stressed women everywhere.

"No Time to Cry" is about how women tend to overextend themselves, she told the crowd.

"All of a sudden you wake up one day and say, 'Man, I'm a mess. I hate everybody. Nobody loves me,' " she said with a bit of a laugh. "You get overwhelmed, and I think sometimes we give so much we forget we need to refuel. I'm a better giver if I'm fueling myself."

Vohs-Demann performs often throughout the area, and her CD "Here I Am" is available on iTunes and elsewhere. Through her own songs, her studio and now the Songwriter Showcase, she follows the mission statement, "Believe in what is possible. . . "

Those who know her, have worked with her and attended the showcase admire her effort to bring the community together through music.

"She wants to let the community experience the wonderful artists right in our backyard. That's her goal," said Flora McIntyre of Woodstock, who attended the recent showcase. McIntyre's daughter, Alayna DeVar, has worked with Vohs-Demann as a voice instructor.

Vohs-Demann said she'd love to draw in as many diverse artists to the showcase as possible from all over the country.

"We hope to get the word out and fill the place," she said.


2014: A Dreamy New Year Workshop Hosted by Toni McLellan


2014: A Dreamy New Year Workshop Hosted by Toni McLellan

Dreamy New Year 2014 Vision Board Workshop

We are absolutely PUMPED about 2014 after participating in the Dreamy New Year Workshop hosted by Toni McLellan Coaching.  It was a really fun exercise and it was perfect timing because it is a NEW YEAR, and we are eager to make this year even MO BETTA' than the last. Toni started off the workshop with a brief intro about herself and sharing her tried and true methods for setting goals. Then, she turned the tables on the group to share more about themselves. We went around in a circle, spilling our dreams and aspirations, as well as our personal struggles. It was inspiring and comforting to hear everyone share openly to complete strangers. At the end of the sharing, Toni brought us over to the tables filled with vision board goodies. She brought everything from magazines, scissors, decorating materials and glue.

Vision Board Set-Up2

We each grabbed a blank board and began to clip pictures or text that we wanted to paste to our vision boards. Toni encouraged us to choose a word and a color to start.

Toni McLellan

After a little while, we posed for a picture with our visions for our fresh New Year. Excited to see it unfold. :)

Completed Vision Boards


McHenry County Workforce Pairs up with A Place to Shine Music to host a Youth Event


McHenry County Workforce Pairs up with A Place to Shine Music to host a Youth Event

A Place to Shine Music

We had some special guests recently--high school students from the McHenry County Youth Workforce Program traveled the Woodstock square and stopped at several locations to learn a variety of life skills from businesses. A Place to Shine Music hosted the group to teach participants about music, rhythm, and finding one's way through life. It was an hour long, interactive exercise with learning and singing.

A Place to Shine Music

A Place to Shine Music



It was a Picture Perfect Holiday Boutique


It was a Picture Perfect Holiday Boutique

Picture Perfect Holiday Boutique Event

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It was SO COLD outside, but we got to get up close and personal with BlueCopper Photography for the Picture Perfect Holiday Photo & Gift Boutique. The owner, Stephanie (shown below flashing the PEACE sign--Woodstock, eh?), set-up her photo studio in the Back Room at Mixin Mingle.

BlueCopper Photography

One-by-one, families entered the back room for their appointment to claim an UNBELIEVABLE deal on 5 digital photos for $25. Not a bad idea to convert the space into a photo studio, huh? Yes, those little cuties are twins.

BlueCopper Photo Shoot

Many people also found great gifts in the shopping boutique organized by Michelle Rentschler with GirlzJust WannaHave FunEvents. If you haven't met Michelle yet, we want you to get to know her a little better. She hosts one-day-only retail shopping events that are open-to-the public approximately once a month at Mixin Mingle. These events feature local and independent representatives who offer products from well-known and newer brands, crafts from local makers, and products/services from area businesses. Her next endeavor will be held on the same night as Girls Night Out in Woodstock, IL (formerly called Ladies Night in Woodstock) on Thursday Dec. 5, 2013 from 5-10pm. All are welcome to attend, admission is FREE, and so is the fun. This is the one night a year where gobs of lovely women completely take over the Woodstock Square and enjoy fabulous deals from local businesses. Check out the Downtown Woodstock Collaboration community page on Facebook for this and many other great events in Woodstock.

We hope to see you there!


A Place to Shine Songwriters Mingle with a Big Friday Night Crowd


A Place to Shine Songwriters Mingle with a Big Friday Night Crowd

A Place to Shine Music Showcase

Songwriters Friday night saw the fall season's first really chilly evening on the Woodstock Square, but a crowd of music lovers were cozy and warm with us at Mixin Mingle where A Place to Shine Music presented their first Songwriters' Showcase.

Half a dozen really talented songwriters from surrounding communities performed their songs and had the house clapping and foot tapping for a couple of hours, while the wind whipped outside. The audience sang along or just enjoyed the performers, and some new friendships were forged as the music heated up and people relaxed and mingled. The tantalizing smell and taste of Jaci's Cookies helped set the mood and really enhanced the complimentary coffee and tea served by Mixin Mingle.

Singer Steve Sebby of Crystal Lake

Alison Joy and Partner Daniel, of Elgin

Songwriters' showcase is hosted and presented by Cassandra Vohs-Demann, owner of A Place to Shine Music on Dean St. in Woodstock. A professional musician, vocalist, teacher, and songwriter, this woman of many talents believes artists should have a place to perform, and audiences should be able to enjoy live music affordably and locally. (Left, Steve Sebby of Crystal Lake)

If you missed last night's showcase, mark your calendar for the third Friday of each month and join us at 7:30 on November 15. We guarantee you'll have a great time, even if it's snowing. These performers enjoyed tuning up before the show. (from the left, Tim Merkel, Will Kruger, Sandie Gronert Kindschy)

Hey! If you aren't keeping up with our events calendar, you are missing terrific opportunities to get out and have a great time! (Last photo, Alison Joy and partner Daniel Bieri, of Elgin. They're known as Rune. Not pictured, Serena Isabelli)

Thanks to Tammy's Pizza in Spring Grove for sponsoring Songwriters' Spotlight.



McHenry County Magazine Article Featuring HoneyCraft Market at Mixin Mingle

About a month ago McHenry County Magazine contacted us with questions for a feature on HoneyCraft Market for their September 2013 issue. Well, today we got to see the online preview written by Olivia Morrissey, and we wanted to share it. Sometimes we worry that we aren't doing a good enough job communicating the message about who we are and why we exist, but Olivia got it and expressed it eloquently in her story, and we thank her. Pasted below is a portion of the article from the McHenry County Magazine Website.  

Hub Of Handmade art


Created: Sunday, September 1, 2013 12:32 a.m. CDT
Handmade necklaces, like this one designed by Jo Williams of Woodstock, are one of the items available for purchase at HoneyCraft Market in Woodstock. (Photo by Heather Nelson)

One of the Woodstock Square’s best kept secrets is just beyond a sidewalk littered with passersby toting shopping bags, past high picture windows dotted with colorful advertisements, and across the hall from a vacant toy store.

There lies a room, empty and quiet. The historic Square is home to the spacious room, dubbed Mixin Mingle by its owner, Nate Grindeland.

The airy space waits patiently for the next business meeting, mixer or social event to crowd its halls and bring people together. Its nondescript walls and open floor plan lend themselves to whatever event should happen to come through its doors.

And almost every month since November 2011, the space has transformed into HoneyCraft Market, a homemade craft and vintage market.

Like Harry Potter’s renowned Room of Requirement, the once-bare walls become lined with market vendors selling their wares to satisfy the needs of the budding creative community in McHenry County.

To read the full story, pick up the latest issue of McHenry County Magazine.
McHenry County Magazine HoneyCraft 1
McHenry County Magazine HoneyCraft 2
McHenry County Magazine HoneyCraft 3


Kid's Birthday Party Room Woodstock, IL


Kid's Birthday Party Room Woodstock, IL

Logan Birthday

You can rent Mixin Mingle to host a Kid's Birthday Party in Woodstock, IL

Mixin Mingle is a great place to have birthday parties for kids. You can rent the room and have entertainment, food and beverages and more.

Logan had his 4th birthday party and all his friends and family came. RC Juggles Entertainment is a local balloon artist who made sculptures for the kids and put on a magic show with juggling and yo-yos.

There was time for socializing, playing, food, cake, presents and fun.


HoneyCraft Market {July 6} Handmade Meets Vintage!


HoneyCraft Market {July 6} Handmade Meets Vintage!

HoneyCraft Market

HoneyCraft Market is here and gone again, and boy it was a day to remember. For starters, it was the first nice day on a Saturday in a while, which means that people were visiting the square in Woodstock, IL. They come to Woodstock from near and far (hear that Alabama?!?) to check out the award-winning Woodstock Farmer's Market, cute retail shops, historic buildings and surprisingly good places to eat. Lucky for us, we have a retail storefront on the square and people just wander on in at public events like the monthly HoneyCraft Market. At the July 6, 2013 show there was a Handmade Room, a Vintage Room, a Do-Bar and a Make-It Workshop. There was a lot of fun to be had in one day and the local businesses who participated in the event were happy with the turnout. See you at The Next HoneyCraft!


HoneyCraft Vintage Room



Letterpress 101 with RAR RAR PRESS

Sunday May 26th, 2013 Nicole and I took a class at RAR RAR Press in Chicago.

We got to tour the studio and old letterpress equipment and we learned all the ins and outs of printing the old school way. It was such a fun experience and we both got to go home with some cool pre-printed cards.

Here's a picture of Nicole in the lobby at RAR RAR Press: RAR RAR PRESS Lobby










Here's a picture of the letters we picked for our sign: Mixin Mingle Get A Room








Here's a picture of the letters locked into place and ready for press: Mixin Mingle Sign










This is "George" - and he's at least 100 years old. Still kickin'! RAR RAR PRESS George Press








Here's a picture of the final product. Luckily the ink was green! Ready to go into the store! Mixin Mingle Get a Room Sign










We had a great time! :)



Mixin Mingle Story - Our Name & Logo

Mixin Mingle Logo

There aren't many great short names for a business, and it wasn't too easy to come up with a brand name that would cover everything we wanted to do at Mixin Mingle. We knew that our new store was going to be a social place that could be used by many people and groups in the community who wanted to explore, connect and party, etc., so we started to brainstorm names and nothing was available. Somehow the words "Mix" and "Mingle" kept coming to mind, and the idea of spelling something wrong occurred to us so we could get a good domain name for the business registration and website. That's how we came up with the word "Mixin" because it sounds like "Mix and", but it also sounds like "Mix in"--as in with a group of people. We liked that name so much and it was available. Only problem was that people said we may not want to use it because it sounded like a place for single people. It hasn't been too bad though and we find that we need to explain who we are anyways since our business is newer and started in Woodstock, IL...which is kind of a small town.

Once we settled on the name, it was time to design the logo. The mark is actually a mirror reflection of two small green "ems" flipped vertically. The design of the mark is significant to our brand because it connects similar pieces together. We also omitted the dots over the i's so they wouldn't distract from the words.



Mother's Day Brunch Buffet

The day was Sunday, May 12, 2013: family & friends gathered on the square to celebrate a Mother's Day Brunch Buffet catered by Now We're Cookin of Woodstock, IL. This was the first event of its kind at our space and we couldn't have been happier with the turnout. The menu and set-up was fabulous, and we were even serenaded by local musician Andrew Sedlak. A pop-up style food event coupled with entertainment is just one type of event we could have ever hoped to have imagined here. Here's to many more to come! Brunch4





Celebrating 2 years in business today!


Celebrating 2 years in business today!


Cinco de Mayo is kinda sorta a special day for us because it marks our two year anniversary. We held our first class on the fifth of May in 2011. Anybody remember what we did? It was a Hatha Yoga class led by Tracy Walker. Where is Tracy today? She is the owner of Nurture Yoga & Massage in Richmond, IL. A lot has changed since first opening, and it has been a wild ride to say the least. Year one we spent a lot of time and money improving the original location at 231 Main St. We also made a ton of mistakes when it came to our business model, pricing and watching our expenses, but thankfully we were able to implement changes and have started to see some success. In October 2012, we had to move locations as the result of multiple floods. We were lucky enough that 124 Cass St was available because the new location seems to fill in the pieces that were lacking in our last place - visibility & ambiance. Cass street has a great view of the square and our store has ginormous south facing windows so you can just gaze out onto the park.

If you are familiar with Woodstock, you already know the square is a historic and vibrant place with a heartbeat all it's own. It's one of the reasons we fell in love with this city and wanted to plant our roots here - so we could spend more time in this community. One day, we hope to have multiple locations in as many beautiful, walkable cities as possible.

Thanks Woodstock for helping us find our path! :)


Open Jam Night


Open Jam Night

Open Jam

It's Sunday evening, the weather is good, the music is playing. Woodstock, IL has some talented musicians who come together for impromptu open jams. The hard part is finding a neutral location to set-up and just jam with friends for a few hours. This is one of the reasons we opened Mixin Mingle - so that groups could have a place to do their thing, their way. So far, so good. Welcome!!! :)



Holistic Fair Was a Hit!

Nurturing Necessities hosted a fabulous Metaphysical/Holistic Fair to raise funds for their charity in April. The event drew large crowds and raised almost $700 for their charity. They had psychic readings, tarot cards, aura photography, spirit guide paintings and more. It was a great day!