Hospital Garb With Style
November 2010 Issue
There may come a day when patients checking into the Cleveland Clinic — particularly women — will actually want to slip into a hospital gown. The venerable medical institution is trying out a new style by Diane von Furstenberg based on the fashion designer’s iconic wrap dress. It eliminates the embarrassing open back of the standard-issue hospital gown that has been the target of jokes for decades. Clinic executive liaison Jeanne Ryan calls the collaboration “a great marriage” that has produced an essential clothing item meeting patient needs.
“It’s stylish and comfortable and provides dignity and coverage,” she says.
Von Furstenberg initially signed on to the gown-redesign project after meeting clinic president and chief executive officer Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove at a 2008 networking conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.
“I think that it was intriguing to her, to be a part of improving the overall patient experience,” Ryan says of the legendary designer’s participation. “She just felt she could contribute.”
Von Furstenberg’s bold print incorporates the clinic’s green-and-blue logo on cotton-twill fabric. She donated half of the nominal fee paid for her company’s services back to the clinic.
Ryan admits there were some challenges in working with high-fashion types accustomed to making creations whose stiffest endurance test is surviving a trip to the dry cleaner. But the last of four prototypes appears to be a keeper: a gown available in four sizes and corresponding colors with a double-V neck (for easier stethoscope access), breast pockets on the front and back (for monitors and drains), and an adjustable gathered waist that can be tied on either side — all of which eliminate the bothersome question, “Which is the front?” — Lynne Thompson
Tastes of Home
What are you in the mood for? Maybe it’s pasta from Marietta or pancakes from Chardon. Or perhaps you’d like to settle in with a book that explores Ohio’s covered bridges or presents a challenge with crossword puzzles.
No matter what your pleasure, you’ll find it at The Flavor of Ohio, a 23-year-old Cleveland company that brings the best of the Buckeye state to your door — including those chocolate-and-peanut-butter namesakes so many of us hunger for.
“People are often surprised to learn that when it comes to food, Ohio offers more than maple syrup,” says owner Carol Westfall. “So, our mission is to spread the word about the wonderful items made around the state.”
Everything the company carries — which amounts to 100-plus products — is non-perishable, so all are ideal for gift-giving. The Flavor of Ohio’s popular holiday baskets, designed to ward off winter’s chill, include Candlelight Dinner for Two, an assortment of gourmet noodles, sauces and salad dressings, complemented by chocolate and candles; and Breakfast in a Box, featuring teas and muffin mix. Westfall also designs custom-made arrangements.
Buckeye candy and apple butter are predictably popular fare. But the magnitude of another best-seller took Westfall by surprise.
“Men love The Authentic Stadium Mustard,” she says with a laugh, “we ship it by the case all over the United States.”
For more information about The Flavor of Ohio, call 800/755-OHIO or visit flavorohio.com. — Linda Feagler
Men of Steel
There’s an adage that says that if you want something done right, you’d better just do it yourself. But when you step inside the warehouse/studio that houses TORK Inc.’s larger-than-life sculptures, it’s clear that in some cases, collaboration is the key to success.
In just over a decade, TORK Inc. Industrial ARTifacts co-founders Tony Ball and Mark Lagergren have turned their respective talents into a prominent artistic enterprise, crafting their ambitiously big sculptures for businesses, organizations and communities in Ohio and beyond.
“[Our work] is very balanced with regard to what Tony does and what I do,” Lagergren says. “That’s our focus — to create these large pieces that combine two different areas of expertise.”
TORK (which is a derivative of Tony and Mark’s first names) was born when Ball and Lagergren met while both were students at the Columbus College of Art and Design. Ball was studying fine art, with a specialization in resin. Lagergren was mastering sculpture, with a concentration in metal.
“We didn’t know each other,” Ball says. “We had a glass-blowing class together, and our instructor said ‘you should work together.’ We started collaborating on a few things, and eventually it turned into a business.”
And what a business it is; the duo has made quite an impact with their bold sculptures — TORK pieces adorn the exteriors of Cameron Mitchell restaurants, are scattered throughout public parks and are displayed in museum exhibits. Their most recent collaboration was for Franklin Park Conservatory’s Savage Gardens exhibit. Their contribution: carnivorous plant sculptures, which Ball says was one of their most remarkable projects.
“Getting to play with a giant Venus flytrap, and going inside a giant pitcher plant … the scale of all of the plants was unreal,” Ball says.
“What we’re really about is using these materials — this combination of metal and resin — in ways they’ve never been used before,” Lagergren adds.
The partnership works, thanks to a unique combination of expertise and a shared appreciation for extraordinary artworks.
“I love coming to work in the morning,” Lagergren says.
For more information, visit torkworks.com or call 614/492-1810. — Jennifer Rogers