GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A shared work space in the heart of downtown called Little Space Studio opens its doors to the public with a ribbon cutting Wednesday, bringing their monumental project to completion about a year after they initially planned to launch.
FOX 17 first spoke to the team behind Little Space Studio in December of 2019 about their project. At the time, CEO of the space, Alysha Lach White, and her husband were still funding the build-out.
“We had a big project ahead of us, and we had no idea how it was going to get paid. So we were fund raising, and we were doing investment tasks,” Lach White told FOX 17 on our visit Wednesday morning.
They were initially planning to open the space in Grand Rapids' historic Harris Building up to the public in June of 2020; of course the pandemic threw a wrench into those plans.
“Right in the middle of our second construction project is when COVID hit, and so that's when we were shut down,” she said.
“The conclusion we came to was the need that we were serving in the creative community, and in the arts and innovation communities, it was going to be there regardless if COVID was or not. So, either we push through and honor the investment we've made up to this point, or we just cut a loss.”
They decided to push forward, eventually finding a major investor to back the project in October 2020 that allowed them to continue building out the space.
“The best thing about our team is we're all dreamers, and we're never short of ideas, and I think that's fully the reason why we're here today,“ said Community Manager Sarah Sucharita Bushi.
The space is broken up into two floors of space that creatives can utilize.
The first floor is an open-concept work area that people can utilize for just $75 a month (Start-Up Membership).
The second floor is a secure area with dedicated business spaces, that is accessible 24 hours a day with a key fob (Professional Membership).
You can also purchase a day pass to utilize the first floor for just $15 a day (eight hours).
Little Space Studio also has a high-end recording studio and live control room that can be utilized (along with an on-site audio engineer) for a small fee on top of your membership.
One of the major goals behind the business is to make creative tools more accessible.
“Art, and specifically fine art and design, can be a very exclusionary field if you don't have the money to go to art school, or the supplies that you need," said Little Space Studio designer Maddison Chaffer.
They have already filled many of their spaces within the building with clients, and are hosting their official ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday evening.
They are still looking for impact investors to help facilitate their continued growth.