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VOL. 133 | NO. 157 | Thursday, August 9, 2018

Co-working and Retail Space for Digital Creatives Launches on Main Street

Special to The Daily News

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What began in 2017 as a Slack messaging channel for digital creatives turned into a limited liability company with the goal of improving Memphis’ digital design industry through education, community and solidarity. Now, the group has a physical co-working and retail space in Downtown Memphis.

Shelda Edwards started The Hive Collective to help grow Memphis’ digital design industry. Starting Tuesday, Aug. 7 and running through the end of the month, Edwards will occupy a temporary space at 100 Peabody Place as a part of the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Open on Main program. (Daily News/Patrick Lantrip)

“We wanted to be able to offer both co-working, as an extension of our Slack space online, and retail space as an opportunity for those of us who don’t make enough product to fill up a whole table to ourselves,” said graphic designer and illustrator Shelda Edwards, the founder of The Hive Collective.

Using the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Open on Main initiative, The Hive is piloting a pop-up space to serve digital creatives with professional and educational opportunities and give others a chance to connect with those creatives, as well as purchase their locally made posters, pins and appeal.

“This idea really resonated with us, as one of our ongoing goals is to build a more connected, integrated and community-focused Downtown,” said Brett Roler, DMC’s vice president of planning and development.

The space at 100 Peabody Place opened Tuesday, Aug. 7. Retail and co-working hours for the month will be 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Co-working rates are $10 per day or $25 per week, which includes access to a desk, WiFi, a printer/scanner and coffee.

The Hive Collective’s space is geared toward creative entrepreneurs who fall outside the maker and artisan realms of creating. (Daily News/Patrick Lantrip)

Past tenants of the DMC’s Open on Main spaces have been typically retail or event-centered.

“We tend to attract creative retail and that retail tends to be collaborative in nature,” Roler said. “Many of our retailers have been artists who work in various mediums and, through the Open on Main process, they have begun to form a community. We love seeing how open they have been with each other, sharing ideas and best practices, even coming together to work on their next iterations.”

The Hive Collective’s space is geared toward creative entrepreneurs who fall outside the maker and artisan realms of creating.

Edwards said the group aims to provide members with a cache of digital resources, in-person programming, meetings and workshops to develop skills and grow their knowledge base.

The group is hosting a grand opening “swarm” party on Saturday, Aug. 11; a workshop for those interested in hiring digital creatives on Aug. 18; and a workshop for designers on freelance and small business taxes and finances on Aug. 25. The closing day on Aug. 31 coincides with South Main Trolley Night.

The Hive hopes the pop-up shop will show demand for a more permanent space and more resources, as well as attract more members to the group itself.

“Having recently launched my own video production and motion design studio after years on a creative team, it has been essential for me to stay connected with other creatives for collaboration, community and support,” said Noah Glenn, founding member of The Hive, and owner of Perpetual Motion. “I spend most of my days working on my own, but The Hive has made it so that I don’t have to feel alone. I’ve got a group of people who are sharing similar experiences, and they are always there for feedback and advice, to share useful resources, or post funny links. It’s like an awesome group of co-workers who are all working together separately.”

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