Starting in Aug, 2008, I worked out of my home for 3 years and 3 weeks. When I opened this little retail shop in MoDiv (a new incubator space in downtown Grand Rapids, housing 12 businesses in one “mini mall”), I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure how it would work, being so close to other small businesses.
After only 9 weeks there’s one aspect of the space that I definitely didn’t anticpate. A strong sense of family is starting to form with my neighboring vendors. Being so close to each other, it’s easy to know what’s going on with my neighbors, and we’ve already created a sense of support. I haven’t felt such camaraderie since working at the publishing company and I honestly forgot how nice it was.
Since we’ve opened up shop, we’ve already shared many “water cooler” moments (often at the Kitchen Sinc brownie cooler), venting and getting to know each other’s silly nuances. We’re often helping each other watch stores and grab lunches. Just yesterday we had a little “going away” party for one of Vue Design’s interns. I have only known this (awesome) Calvin student for 7 weeks, and I was almost in tears having to say goodbye.
I’m quite amazed and thankful knowing that even as a (very) small business owner, I still have such awesome people around to greet me in the mornings. I’m sure it’s an experience unique to a place like MoDiv.