Jan Parker McCollum and her husband, Tim McCollum, were empty nesters looking for something new. So a year ago, they packed up their businesses, left the Detroit area, and moved into Boardwalk Condominiums.
The quest to find office space for her interior design company, J. Parker McCollum, Inc
., concluded when Jan McCollum found a 985-square-foot loft on the third floor of the Brass Works Building, just down the street at 648 Monroe Ave. NW.
"The idea of moving was huge," McCollum says. "Tim and I both operate our own businesses (he owns LTC Consulting), but they are businesses that can be operated wherever and we didn't want to think about 'what if.' We call it a next chapter journey."
McCollum designs residential and commercial interiors, working with area builders, local furniture makers, homeowners, and business owners. The company has a full-time design assistant, two interns from Kendall College of Art & Design, and plans to bring on an office manager in the next few weeks.
"We want to be a hotbed of ideas and design," McCollum says. "My goal is to develop a great team of designers, and I'm especially interested in mentoring new designers. We're so excited to have the interns from Kendall. We include them in the design process, so as we're working on projects we get them involved in concepting, drafting, and research."
McCollum says that, coming from the east side of the state, she didn't realize there is a distinctive West Michigan culture. She's put a lot of time and energy into learning the culture and connecting with the community through groups like the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
and Home Repair Services
"A lot of our focus has been learning West Michigan and understanding the market here," she says. "We really love it here."
Source: Jan Parker McCollum, J. Parker McCollum, Inc.
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor