A quick search of the internet finds that the Top 10 Trends in Physical Fitness include group training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), fitness programs for older adults, bodyweight training, employing certified fitness professionals, yoga, personal training, functional fitness training, exercise as medicine, and wearable technology. Other trends include virtual/online training, outdoor activities and ax throwing.
While a review of what’s trendy may seem an odd way to introduce a new venue in town, it actually makes good sense. Especially when you paraphrase an old saying: “The family that works together, stays together.”
Such is the case for Fran Nichols and her son, T.J. On October 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a community event called the Fitness and Wellness Showcase will be held at The Osage, a new venue in Benton that Fran, T.J. and other members of their family created in the old Sears location on 1110 Ferguson Drive, Suite A.
Fran describes the event. “Our co-sponsor is HOTWORX. Manager Michael McNamara is very knowledgeable in the fitness field, and with me being a registered nurse, we wanted to combine the two and offer an opportunity for the public to visit all that Saline County has to offer in the health and fitness field. We are inviting all interested medical clinics, fitness gyms, dance gyms, martial arts, physical therapies, dental, vision, mental health, drug dependence, skin care, restaurants serving healthy menus, police, fire, and the list goes on. And yes, we have a bakery coming. This event will be interesting and extremely informative for all ages with door prizes and lots of fun.” As you can see, trends in physical fitness and a new venue do have something in common.
As for the history of The Osage and the “family working together” part, we must go back to the year 2013.
T.J. started BluStream Media while he was still in college. “It began out of our home,” says Fran, “and the business has grown significantly. Thus, we needed a new home for it. The old Sears building was purchased and not only did BluStream Media have a new home, but a new business was launched.” Fran suggested an event venue would fit nicely in the extra 6,400 square feet not used by T.J.’s business.
And the concept for a venue named “The Osage” was born. But from where did the name originate? According to Fran, it’s another example of family togetherness. “T.J. and his new wife Mary Katherine came up with the name ‘The Osage,’ after the restaurant near Branson where we all witnessed their big marriage proposal in December 2018.”
If you are keeping score, that’s three family members thus far. But wait, there’s more.
T.J.’s father is a businessman who was invaluable in making this new venue happen.
“Terry, Sr. has been instrumental with the project as well, as the four of us have worked very hard to make this a go,” says Fran. “Mary Katherine and TJ are pretty good at laying floors. You can usually find me with a paint brush or a roller in my hand, and Terry, Sr. is usually cleaning up behind us.”
Since BluStream Media has been in the industry for seven years, T.J. and his family have been in event venues all over the country. “We were able to implement the best qualities of what people need in a venue as we launched The Osage,” says T.J. “So many folks who come to see The Osage having previously been in the old Sears store reply, ‘What a big difference; it’s so nice now.’ We now have a new floor, new paint, kitchen, a conference/hospitality room, two restrooms, a studio area, and an editing room…plus the new warehouse for BluStream Media. It was all an extended family effort, along with several friends dropping in to see what they could do to help.”
Bookings for all types of events are coming in from both local and out-of-state sources. The main bookings so far are conferences, seminars, holiday parties, birthday bashes, and weddings.
“Also, our goal is to plan some community events for Saline County to come together in an ‘uptown’ atmosphere to network, socialize, and just have a good time,” says Fran. “Our grand opening consisted of 20+ vendors that came together in one space to promote their event products and services. We had DJs, bakeries, florists, make-up and hair artists, print studios, hotel planners, wedding planners, photographers, and even a brass band! It ended up being an awesome party in itself, and we can refer all of these vendors to our clients that book with us.”
“What separates us from some of the other event venues is that we have in-house audio/visual production support from BluStream Media,” says T.J. “It’s a one-stop service and our guests save money by bundling lights, audio, video, photo, projectors, staging, etc. We can accommodate groups as small as fewer than 20 up to 250.”
With the flexibility The Osage provides, it seems the Nichols family should be busy for a very long time.