Sharman Ghio grew up dancing at her mother’s studio in Redmond, but her career took her to other cities, including New York and Los Angeles.
When she was a transplant in California with young children, Ghio missed the support system of family and friends.
“It was isolating,” she said.
She operated a successful dance program for children in California, but when she returned to the Northwest, she thought long and hard about how she could best combine her love of the arts with her previous career in technical marketing and still have time to spend with her growing family.
When she found a delightful Craftsman home near in Redmond, Ghio's business plans for a family center really started to take off. Two years later, has made its mark as a place where the whole family can hang out together.
Not intended to be a daycare, the business instead offers options for adults while they are waiting for their youngsters who are taking classes, like a comfortable play area with wireless internet access and self-serve coffee and tea, or a massage therapist who’s on site several times a week.
“Our intent is that everyone can get a recharge,” Ghio said.
Ghio has contract instructors who teach a variety of classes and workshops for kids, and she partners with other businesses to expand the offerings. One thing she’s really excited about now, she says, is a new partnership with Aspiring Youth, a program for adolescents with Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD.
Through the program, youth with special needs will be able to attend support groups at the same time as their parents attend a support group. Meanwhile, their siblings will also be able to access activities.
Ghio says partnerships like this really touch on what she has hoped to accomplish with Orange Blossom Society.
“That’s why I opened—the whole family can come.”
Ghio says she really enjoys being able to connect with members and be part of the community, too.
“When new people move to town, I love being a resource for them, and just connecting people with each other, too,” she said. “I’ve personally never been to a place like this before, and it’s been a dream come true for me.”