Snow globe business highlights Dayton history

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A local woman is selling snow globes that highlight the Dayton region, and using the proceeds to give back to the area.

Kelly Lehman said her business Global Love Dayton is a new social enterprise that is giving half of net proceeds to the Stewardship Resources Foundation Fund at The Dayton Foundation.

Lehman said she moved here from northern Virginia and fell in love with Dayton, deciding to stay and make a home here despite family and grandchildren in Boston. Now she wants to use her business to help other people also love the area through her snow globes showing Dayton landmarks and the city’s history.

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“My sole purpose is making people see how beautiful Dayton is,” she said.

About a year an a half ago, she started doing some research and said she couldn’t find any decent snow globes promoting the region. She said she could only find one “really cheesy” snow globe with a cow, barn, golf club, astronaut, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Wright Flyer.

“And it’s dreadful. I though it’s a horrible way to depict our state,” she said.

Lehman’s snow globe project went on hold, however, after she couldn’t find an alternative to manufacturing them in China. But in January she learned Victoria Theatre Association sells snow globes made by an Australian snow globe maker Leah Andrews, who has worked on commemorative snow globes for Hollywood types like Quentin Tarentino and Steve Martin.

With a partnership with Andrews, the first Dayton snow globes arrived in August.

Lehman said the initial snow globe design is hopefully the first in a series, if the sales go well. The design is called the Birthplace of Aviation globe and shows the Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop, Huffman Prairie Flying Field, the Wright Flyer, Hawthorn Hill and the Deeds Carillon Bell Tower.

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“It all began because I’m very fond of Dayton,” she said.

Lehman said she gets irritated when locals don’t feel pride about the area and don’t get into the local culture. The snow globes will promote the rich history of the area, she said.

The globes are sold at four gift shops: Carillon Historical Park, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Agnes and Orson and Delcark’s Card & Gift in the Town & Country shopping center.

Lehman said she missed summer gift shop visitors since she started selling in August, but is now hoping to see some holiday interest.

“But now we’re just starting the Christmas season so this will be the real test,” she said.

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