Some things are just meant to be. In early 2013 I laid out a plan for a unique office environment that would not only house our three companies, Liquid Creative Studio, Marketing Mud and the Business Report of North Central Florida, but also a collection of creative groups from the community. I wanted to build an environment where creatives of all sorts would gather to work, collaborate, share and…..create. I wasn’t exactly sure what it would look like but I knew that I wanted a space that encouraged interaction and sharing between creative types of multiple disciplines.
Early in 2014, I was one of the panelists at the Gainesville Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association’s annual media breakfast. The purpose of the breakfast was to introduce staff of non-profit agencies in Alachua County to members of the local media. The panel answered questions and provided insights to the non-profits on how they should interact with the media in order to get their events and news covered.
One of the audience members was Karen Koegel, President of the Gainesville Fine Arts Association. After the panel discussion Karen approached me to see if we would be interested in covering a story about the GFAA. A week later we met and during the course of the conversation she stated that her goal was to establish a home for the GFAA, a 91 year old organization that had never had a permanent space. I knew right then that I had found a roommate.
As we began to look for space we felt that being downtown was important. An old warehouse seemed to be the ideal type of setup for this collaborative space that we would share with the GFAA. We looked at a few fixer uppers that offered a lot of space but would have required significant capital investment. Despite looking at multiple spaces that didn’t quite work, Karen and I remained committed and refused to stop looking until we found our home. Eventually we found the perfect spot.
The building, previously an auto detailing shop on South Main, wouldn’t jump out to most as an ideal home, but to Karen and me it was the perfect spot. It will house our offices, the GFAA offices, a permanent art gallery and space for workshops and small events. The construction work is nearing completion and we are excited to introduce our space to the community.