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Two West Michigan video companies take new direction on Grand Rapids' West Side

Deborah Johnson Wood

Two West Michigan business competitors, Kharmai Video Productions and Fresh Look Video & Multimedia, have discovered that collaborating on projects and sharing resources is a great way to make money and have fun doing it.

And now, owners Navin Kharmai and Casey Stormes have moved the video production companies from individual home offices to a shared space at the Goei Center's International Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, 818 Butterworth St. SE, Grand Rapids. The Goei Center is a renovated furniture factory that houses Eastern Floral, a banquet facility and collaborative workspaces designed to provide growth opportunities for startup businesses owned by women and minority entrepreneurs.

"I am the first generation East Indian-American born here, and I was born in good old Butterworth (Hospital)," says Kharmai. "I grew up in Grand Rapids, so I like to tell people that I'm as Dutch as the next guy. Ninety-five percent of the time my skin color is not an issue with clients, and I've been really able to expand my interests in the film and video industry."

Stormes operated Fresh Look for seven years in Hudsonville before moving to Grand Rapids on September 1. "Navin and I met about 10 years ago, and we've found it's beneficial to collaborate and share resources and equipment. We hire each other when we need help on projects, and offer advice on projects and a second set of eyes."

Both companies provide similar services, such as HD video production for corporate clients, public relations videos, and live event production services, like video recording and playback, projection, and staging, sound and lighting.

"We're a one stop shop in terms of creative new media storytelling," Kharmai says. "We looked at office spaces downtown, but they had very stark spaces with white walls, and we really liked the feel that's here – an old building that's very artsy with an urban feel."

Source: Navin Kharmai, Kharmai Video Productions, LLC; Casey Stormes, Fresh Look Video & Multimedia, LLC

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com. Development News tips can be sent to info@rapidgrowthmedia.com.
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