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New Acorn Studios collaborative workspace to provide creative community in Grand Rapids

For freelance food stylist Laura Goble, self-employment can start to feel sort of solitary with no real, permanent work community.

"Right now I’m in Cleveland working on a Red Lobster shoot and I love everybody I’m working with, but we all go our separate ways until we meet again," Goble explains over the phone.

So, when Goble purchased the property at 919 E. Fulton, she knew she wanted to make the new Acorn Studios a place where folks could meet again – or for the first time, depending on who you are and how you can utilize what she calls most simply, "a collaborative workspace."

Goble bought the building that was formerly host to The Home Store and Gallery boutique and retail shop about three years ago. She lives on the second floor, which she renovated before tackling the ground floor space; all redesigned with the keywords clean, simple, and modern in mind.

With concrete floors, open rafters, and large, bright windows, the 1,500-square-foot Acorn Studios workspace is, as the website describes, "a blank canvas space, intentionally designed for people to gather, learn and make." Included in that space is a large "work kitchen," a front room with a sofa, and a large, empty main room, generally designed as a gathering space or photo/video production studio.

Renovations to the additional 1,700 square feet of outdoor patio space are still underway, but when completed Goble says she sees it as the perfect space for weddings and outdoor receptions.

To host your own event, rates start at $200, but there are also two cooking classes currently available at $65 apiece, and Goble hopes more will fill the schedule as Acorn Studios builds a community all its own.

"I guess I just think of it from my own perspective of being self-employed, traveling a lot, I kind of sometimes miss that work community thing," she says. "For myself to have dinner parties there and bring in friends and people I know to do their thing and kind of showcase their talents and skills as well, is really, really attractive to me -- providing that space for people who don’t have that day-in-day-out. I think there are a lot of us in the creative community, here."

Acorn Studios will officially open for business with a launch party on July 24. To RSVP, visit acornlaunch.com.

Writer: Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Acorn Studios
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