Last week I spoke about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and this week I want to focus on why I'm doing this whole small business thing in the first place. It's not the appeal of being my own boss or having the flexibility to focus on what I want that motivates me to push forward THE STUDIO. Those are nice perks, don't get me wrong. But, I truly believe in what this creative space can be and the community that we will build around it.
Without getting too high on my soapbox, there's been a shift in how we interact as a society. I want to cultivate an environment of creativity and "good feels." Sounds ridiculous, I know. But, sometimes those are exactly the ideas that we need more of these days!
We are more connected than we've been before with the internet, cell phones, and digital capabilities - yet, I feel as if we're further away as a community. This isn't a new concept, but what's new to me is the desire to fight for a sliver of authentic engagement with others who are craving genuine connection. It's simply too easy to be flaky, there will always be another xyz waiting at the doorstep. I'm guilty of this myself - I need some help being accountable. I know Atlanta needs this as well.
This is where my vision comes into play. I want to be an creative incubation space and mean it. We are focused on making art accessible to those who want to make a career out of it or simply want to dabble for a few hours.
Imagine you're an artist who knows they love creating, but aren't sure exactly where that might lead. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have someplace you could turn to that has a community of like-minded individuals who have been through it before? That's THE STUDIO. Imagine you are great at your craft, but don't know the first thing about running a business. Would you show up to a short workshop on how to build your brand and market yourself more effectively? That's THE STUDIO. Finally, imagine you have a regular 9-5, but love the idea of clearing your mind by creating and learning. What if there were somewhere that has a crafts and artists excited to share their passion with you? That's THE STUDIO.
Drive down the streets of midtown and downtown and you'll see very few independent businesses and chain franchise after chain franchise. It's becoming more and more difficult for original idea small businesses to penetrate the market because large development firms have purchased up all the properties and rent at nearly unrealistically high rates. Too many times I wonder how a business can survive selling $4 cupcakes / coffees / etc. when I know they're bleeding money on rent.
I want to support the individual, but with the backing of a community. I see the money that is earned from workshops and crafts going back into the business to subsidise rent that an artist would have to pay to have their own workspace.
I know we can make this vision real - I need people who believe in it too. Will you join us?