Hometown holidays in the Chagrin Valley

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Here’s how The Chagrin Valley Chamber is making our area a better place to live and work—for all of us. (Photography: Francis Angelone)

By Mary Malik

Welcome to the Chagrin Valley. This group of 13 area communities is supported by the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce (CVCC) which promotes local businesses and supports civic life, making this hamlet we call home an even better place to live and do business.

The CVCC began in 1943 to advance the commercial, industrial and civic interests of the Chagrin Falls community. Then in 1957, the chamber expanded to incorporate the entire Chagrin Valley and today has over 550 members.

“Each of our member communities brings something special to the area and, together, we’ve created a network of businesses who support each other to the benefit of all,” says executive director, Jessica Debeljak. “All year long the CVCC works to promote its members but holiday time is especially unique in the Chagrin Valley. There’s excitement in the air and the chamber events add to the festive atmosphere.”

Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce (CVCC) executive director, Jessica Debeljak

The CVCC provides members with an instant network of like-minded individuals interested in growing their businesses, expanding their brand and improving their bottom line. The benefits of membership include access to exclusive networking events, advertising for all budgets, community partnerships, business referrals, member discounts and much more.

“We help you succeed,” Jessica says. “Membership will increase your business’ value, visibility and credibility. And when you succeed, everyone benefits.”

CVCC membership also allows businesses to support many non-profit events throughout the year. These events are good for the community and keep the local market strong and growing. And chamber events exclusively for members provide helpful information and guidance to both new and experienced business owners.

Special events of the CVCC include a lecture series featuring speakers on everything from the advantages of the unique arts community here to how to protect your business from legal action and staying compliant when planning online fundraising.

“Anyone interested in growing their business will be able to do that here with the help of the CVCC,” says Jessica. “And resident memberships are also available for those who want to be the first to know about everything happening in the Chagrin Valley.”

Businesses thriving in the Chagrin Valley

Speaking of activities, no one does the holidays like this community. From the Sip & Shop in downtown Chagrin Falls to the festival of trees in Riverside Park, the Facebook local shopping videos made popular last year, and small business Saturday activities, the CVCC is helping to set a festive, holiday tone.

“Our members support each other and serve this community in so many different ways,” Jessica says. “The holidays are a special time for everyone to come together and celebrate what makes the Chagrin Valley such a special place to live and work.”

The CVCC’s year-round events draw attention to the Chagrin Valley for locals certainly, but also for visitors. This creates increased visibility for the members and builds connections far beyond this area.

“The Chagrin Valley is a welcoming, bustling and vibrant community,” says Jessica. “And the CVCC is proud to offer the support and resources to help businesses succeed, grow and thrive in the community we love.”


Previously…Adorned & Adorned Events

Dawn Marie Pahoresky, Previously Adorned

Did you say “yes” to more than one dress or maybe you’re still looking for the perfect gown? Dawn Marie Pahoresky has owned and managed traditional bridal boutiques for more than 30 years. With her grand re-opening last May, she’s proud to offer what brides really want at her beautiful new boutique called Previously…Adorned & Adorned Events.

“Our brides are moving away from the traditional boutiques, looking for the couture designers without the couture price,” Dawn Marie says. “There are many reasons brides today are purchasing more than one dress, including a change of heart, venue or circumstances.”

With traditional boutiques not allowing returns, some brides take unnecessary risks to sell their gowns online. “Instead, we are a secure and trusting resource for brides to successfully sell their gowns, and for new brides to save, plan and dream,” she adds. “And we’ll help you every step of the way.”

Previously…Adorned & Adorned Events consigns couture, new and like-new unaltered bridal gowns, and special occasion dresses less than two years old—along with belts, headpieces, veils and sashes.

Previously…Adorned & Adorned Events consigns couture, new and like-new unaltered bridal gowns, and special occasion dresses less than two years old—along with belts, headpieces, veils and sashes. “All designers, fabrics, colors and sizes are welcome through our exclusive consignment program, ensuring a solid return on the seller’s initial investment,” Dawn Marie says.

The Chagrin Falls boutique also offers event planning and coordination services for wedding receptions, bridal and baby showers, graduations, and other celebrations. A stunning, customizable collection of china, glassware, serving pieces and decorative accessories is also available for rental.

“In addition, we feature children’s dresses and an evening wear collection—including prom and homecoming dresses—as well as accessories for your special occasion,” Dawn Marie says. “From a formal affair to a backyard garden party, we’ll bring your vision to life.”

5210 Chillicothe Road, Suite D, Chagrin Falls; 440-488-8333; PreviouslyAdorned.com; Facebook @PreviouslyAdorned

Chagrin Falls Kuk Sul Do Academy

Jason Zakrajsek, Kuk Sul Do Academy

For 26 years Master Jason Zakrajsek, owner of the Chagrin Falls Kuk Sul Do Academy, has been teaching kids and adults the benefits of martial arts training. Master Jason now offers Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes for students of all ages and skill levels.

“As a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, trained by world-class instructors including members of the Gracie family, I am uniquely qualified and honored to pass on the Gracie self-defense curriculum which includes self defense for men and women, anti-bullying techniques for kids, and many more skills offering lifelong benefits,” Jason says.

Through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Jason promises a total body workout along with increased confidence, focus, and ability to function better under pressure.

“We train everyone from young kids to executives, firefighters, law enforcement and everyone in between,” says Jason. “This is a positive, safe environment to train, learn and grow. Come on in and let’s have some fun.”

300 Industrial Pkwy, Chagrin Falls; 440-247-4992; KukSulDoAcademy.com; Facebook and Instagram @ChagrinFallsJiuJitsu


Deby Lexow, Locle Box

Deby Lexow noticed some unique things about Cleveland when she moved here from Chicago

40 years ago. “Clevelanders take tremendous pride in their sports teams, the many ethnicities that make up the city, and especially the food,” Deby says. “We were introduced to the tradition of pancake breakfasts and I developed relationships with some of the suppliers. I began sending these local products as gifts to friends and family at the holidays.”

Fast forward to 2008—after Deby retired from her corporate job and was looking to flex her creative muscle—and a lifelong love of gardening led her back to school to become a Master Gardener at OSU.

But Deby wanted more.

“With the help of my daughter, I started a business to support and promote small-batch local artisans,” Deby says. “LOCLE Box provides gifts that show appreciation and gratitude to customers, friends and family. They are filled with local products with a lot of heart.”

Deby finds her LOCLE Box artisans at farmers markets and popup shops all over Northern Ohio.

“I like to see, feel and taste the products, talk to the artisans myself and hear their stories,” Deby says. “LOCLE Box is about the experience, the joy and feelings of expectation and delight when receiving a gift, especially when it’s unexpected. In fact, the best time to send a gift is when it’s least expected.”

The hand-packed LOCLE Box is filled with locally made products that are consumable, usable, or recyclable, including the box itself. This is important to Deby.

Choose from themed boxes—like “Movie Night at Home,” “Traditional Ohio Breakfast” or “Pure Pampering” or a special holiday box online. Or customize a perfect box for your special someone by calling Deby.

“We’re creating an experience here,” Deby says. “Whether it’s a corporate gift or something more personal, gift-giving should be intentional. Our goal is to deliver joy to everyone who receives a LOCLE Box.”

LOCLEbox.com; 216-870-1365; hi@loclebox.com; Facebook @LocleBox

Highway Garage and Auto Center

Cheryl Cameron, Highway Garage

Dealership-quality service at family pricing. That’s the promise of Highway Garage and Auto Center in Chagrin Falls. In business for more than 47 years, Highway Garage started with the goal of being their customers’ trusted auto service provider for life—and that remains their goal today.

“We are a full-service auto repair and body shop and also offer tires, 24/7 towing service and on-site rental cars,” says Highway Garage’s Cheryl Cameron. “We have customers who have come to us for 30 years and more and now their kids come here with their cars. It’s a real family atmosphere.”

Highway Garage hires only experienced, knowledgeable and competent technicians qualified to service both domestic and foreign cars.

“And we’re also here to help guide you through an often confusing insurance claim if you’ve been in an accident,” Cheryl says.

From oil changes and battery replacements to electrical work and body repairs, Highway Garage is your friendly—and trusted—neighborhood auto repair shop.

From oil changes and battery replacements to electrical work and body repairs, Highway Garage is your friendly—and trusted—neighborhood auto repair shop.

8410 Washington Street, Chagrin Falls; 440-708-0600; HighwayAutoCenter.com; Facebook @HGChagrinFalls

The Luczkowski Agency

Barb Luczkowski, Luczkowski Agency

Insurance is protection. It’s a small price to pay to protect investments like homes, autos, possessions, health, and especially the future of loved ones. These subjects aren’t pleasant to think about so it’s a good thing that Barb Luczkowski, a licensed insurance agent and certified financial planner, started The Luczkowski Agency in 1991 to think about them for you.

“Life is unpredictable,” Barb says. “I started this company to help our clients plan and prepare for the future. We help you face life’s uncertainties with confidence and peace of mind.”

For life, auto, home and business insurance, college and retirement planning, Barb’s team works closely with you and always asks the right questions so you can be sure your home, family, business and your future is protected.

“We customize the best protection for our clients whatever their needs might be,” Barb says. “As members of this community for 30 years we pride ourselves on our personal connections. Our clients want to do business with us because of our expertise, experience and the security of knowing we care.”

L to R: Barb Luczkowski, Kim Coneglio, Annette Scavone, Joyce Santore, Carlee Duggan and Carol Koches.

The Luczkowski Agency is committed to their community. For each new client, they make a donation in your name to a local charity.

“Your concerns are our concerns,” says Barb. “We are here for every phase of your life. Our popular online video series answers many of your insurance and financial questions. If you have a teenager, be sure and check out the video offering seven tips for teen drivers.”

The Luczkowski Agency has you covered for all of life’s changes.

8045 Mayfield Road, Chesterland; 440-729-4042; LuczkowskiAgency.com; Facebook @TheLuczkowskiAgency

Chagrin Home Improvements

Chagrin Home Improvement Team Members

Joe Jacobs, owner of Chagrin Home Improvements, started his interior painting and deck restoration business with a few close friends and family in 2014 based on what they all knew best—the painting skills they learned working summer jobs in high school and college for master painters and experts in the trade.

“We learned there’s a right way to execute a paint job to guarantee the best results for the customer,” Joe says. “The difference is that we pay great attention to detail whether painting or deck staining. It’s the only way we know how to do it.”

Joe Jacobs, Chagrin Home Improvements

Joe says that proper wall preparation makes all the difference in the final product and can even affect the look of the color you apply. That beautiful shade you choose might look completely different on an improperly prepared wall.

Other things—like the right tools for the job, the highest quality paints and products, the correct type of paint for the room, even the right order in which to do things—all make a big difference and require specialized training.

“I don’t use subcontractors or hire seasonal workers,” Joe says. “Many companies do interior painting in addition to other things and they hire workers last minute who are strangers and not properly trained. When you hire us to do the job you’re getting true professionals who do this job with expertise, efficiency and great attention to detail. We go above and beyond the ordinary to be the best at what we do.”

Joe has invested in a state-of-the-art wall sanding system for a perfectly smooth, even finish while eliminating dust with a high powered HEPA dust collection system. Joe says it’s a game changer when repairing walls and prepping for paint.

Call Joe today and get on the schedule and on your way to beautiful, freshly painted rooms for the holidays.

440-247-6700; ChagrinHomeImprovements.com; Facebook @ChagrinHomeImprovements

Core Elite Wellness Fit Cryo

Victoria Kilpatrick, Core Elite Wellness

Core Elite Wellness Fit Cryo is a premium health optimization studio providing true whole-body cryotherapy services along with more than 14 different optimal health and wellness treatments—all either FDA-approved or employing scieince-based technology.

“Whether it’s slimming and toning or recovery, pain relief, immunity boost, relief from chronic illness or managing the stresses of life, we focus on optimizing your overall health,” says owner and founder, Victoria Kilpatrick, who has 30 years’ experience in the medical field. “Cryotherapy is short time periods of exposure to very low, dry temperatures that mobilize the immune system. It can help everything from arthritis and depression to allergies, hangovers and acne. And with all of the additional treatments offered here, we are an overall wellness studio dedicated to the health of our clients—whatever their needs may be.”

Quick recovery and optimal performance is not just for athletes. We all strive to be elite in our own lives regardless of our age or fitness level.

Core Elite Wellness recently added a new Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber that helps clients looking for faster injury recovery and improved overall function.

Core Elite Wellness offers everything from cold-based treatments to infrared light, from an oxygen bar and a hyperbaric chamber to advanced compression therapy and EMSculpting. Y

“Increasing oxygen and blood flow to all body tissues stimulates circulation, treating a multitude of physical and mental conditions,” Victoria says.

Core Elite Wellness offers everything from cold-based treatments to infrared light, from an oxygen bar and a hyperbaric chamber to advanced compression therapy and EMSculpting. You can also enjoy slimming shots along with immune-boosting vitamin shots and IV nutrient infusions. Flu season is upon us and everyone can use a little vitamin boost to help fight those winter colds and flu.

“We want to help you feel younger, stay mobile and enjoy your life,” Victoria says. “We treat clients from age 10 to 86 in this family-friendly atmosphere at an affordable price, and family memberships are available. We take every health and safety precaution to guarantee you a positive overall experience.”

33315 Aurora Road, Solon; CoreEliteCryo.com; info@coreelitecryo.com; 440-600-2655; Facebook @CoreEliteCryo

Chagrin Arts

Karen Prasser, Chagrin Arts

Since 2007, Chagrin Arts has been presenting inspiring arts programming and stimulating conversations that enrich lives.

“Our programs can be a messenger for social change and connect people to a greater purpose,” says executive director, Karen Prasser. “We believe the arts have the power to be that messenger.”

The month of December welcomes the world premier exhibit of award-winning photojournalist, James Wood. People, Power & Protests in the Pandemic: A Photojournalist’s View of Free Ohio Now and Black Lives Matter memorializes the outrage, despair and resilience of people determined to bring about justice.

Since 2007, Chagrin Arts has been presenting inspiring arts programming and stimulating conversations that enrich lives.

Shop the Chagrin Arts Holiday Arts Gift Shoppe on Main featuring all handmade items from Kelly’s Working Well Farm. The soaps, ornaments, candles, jewelry, baked goods and more make great gifts and stocking stuffers.

“There’s still time to support Chagrin Arts buy purchasing an engraved brick that will become the foundation for our new Garden of Hope green space,” Karen says. “It’s a special way to support the arts and mark your family’s legacy.”

88 North Main St., Chagrin Falls; 440-247-9700; ChagrinArts.org or Facebook and Instagram @ChagrinArts

Village Trends Boutique

Elizabeth Tarkowsky, Village Trends Boutique

With locations in Chesterland and Chardon, the local and female-owned Village Trends Boutique offers trendy and classic style clothing for women of all sizes at affordable prices.

“This was a main goal when I opened the Chesterland store in 2018 and then the Chardon location last year,” says owner Elizabeth Tarkowsky. “We focus not only on female clients, but also on local female artists, offering them a place to display their talents and sell their creations.”

Elizabeth’s customers range in age from 18 to 80 because everyone enjoys shopping not just for the latest clothing fashions but also handmade jewelry, homemade chocolates, artwork and a wide selection of gift items.

Elizabeth’s customers range in age from 18 to 80 because everyone enjoys shopping not just for the latest clothing fashions but also handmade jewelry, homemade chocolates, artwork and a wide selection of gift items.

“I’m very proud to offer this space to celebrate and showcase the talents of local women for my customers to enjoy,” Elizabeth says. “It’s a great place for holiday gifts so stop in and see what’s new.”

8177 Mayfield Road, Chesterland; 440-688-4104; 105 South Street, Chardon; 440-214-9449; VillageTrendsBoutique.com; Facebook and Instagram @VillageTrendsBoutique


  • November 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 - Gates Mills Players Fall Production: The Hollow at Gates Mills Community House
  • November 13 - Fairmount Center for the Arts “Hip Hop Workshop” (Free! Registration required)
  • November 13 - The Taste in Bainbridge at Chagrin Valley Athletic Club (CVAC), 6 p.m. - midnight
  • November 13 - CVCC Sip & Shop - Downtown Chagrin Falls, 4 - 8 p.m.
  • November 14 - Fairmount Center for the Arts “Pull Back the Curtain Speaker Series”: Through the Eyes of the Artist: Leonardo da Vinci (Free! Registration required)
  • November 17 - CVCC Meet Me @ 5 - The Last Page, 5 - 7 p.m. (Free for Chamber members; $10 nonmembers)
  • November 19, 20, 21 - Fairmount Center for the Arts “Honk! Jr.” Theatre Performance
  • November 19 through Friday Jan 7, 2022 - CVCC Festival of Trees - Riverside Park
  • November 20 - Open House at The Skin Care Studio, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • November 20 - Geauga Fresh Farmers’ Winter Market Inside Lowe’s Greenhouse, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • November 21 - Chagrin Arts Meet the Artist Conversation Space, 2 p.m.
  • November 21 through Friday Feb 25, 2022 - Chagrin Arts Exhibit Opening: People, Power & Protests in the Pandemic
  • November 26 - Village Trends Boutique’s Black Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • November 26 - Lowe’s Greenhouse Pines & Pints, 5 - 7 p.m.
  • November 27 - Village Trends Boutique’s Small Business Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • November 29 - Village Trends Boutique’s Cyber Monday


  • December 1 - Open House and Ribbon Cutting at Chagrin Valley Dermatology, 4 - 6 p.m.
  • December 2 - FDC, FDC Jr., and Fairmount Hip Hop Crew perform at The Ohio Statehouse, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. (Free!)
  • December 8 - Sapphire Creek Winery’s Holiday Planter Workshop Featuring Lowe’s Greenhouse, 6:30 p.m.
  • December 4, 18 - Geauga Fresh Farmers’ Winter Market Inside Lowe’s Greenhouse, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • December 10 - Village Trends Boutique’s Home for the Holidays, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Chardon location)
  • December 12 - Sapphire Creek Winery’s Winterfest: Theme- Ugly Sweater, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • December 15 - CVCC Member Holiday Party - Ugly Sweater Style, Lowe’s Greenhouse, 6 - 8 p.m.
  • December 17 - Village Trends Boutique’s Under the Twinkle Lights, 5 - 7:30 p.m. (Chardon location)
  • December 18 - Village Trends Boutique’s Panic Saturday Event, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • December 22, 23 - CFSO Wassail Christmas Concert Chagrin Studio Orchestra
  • December 31 - Sapphire Creek Winery’s News Year’s Eve, 7 p.m.

The 13 communities served by the CVCC are Auburn, Bainbridge, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Newbury, Orange, Pepper Pike, Russell, South Russell and Woodmere.

The Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce is located at 83 N. Main Street, Chagrin Falls. For more information on membership and events call 440-247-6607, email info@cvcc.org and check the website CVCC.org and Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce on Facebook and Instagram.