Women Launch New Collaboration To Help Home Manufacturers Succeed – Albert Lea Tribune
Two small business owners Albert Lea are opening a new business this month in Skyline Plaza to provide other home-based manufacturers with a place to showcase and sell their designs.
Megan Haukoos, owner of Meggie Sue’s Cupcakes & Co., and Nina Cardel, owner of gray + clay, launch Maker Space Collaborative.
Maker Space Collaborative is essentially “a showcase for home businesses and for those looking to learn more about starting their own small business,” according to the company’s Facebook page. It will also offer educational events and courses.
Cardel said that with running businesses out of their homes, they know it can get pretty hectic at times.
“We want to create a peaceful space where they can come in and sell from here, come spend time with us, meet other manufacturers,” she said. “A great thing that we both want is a space where people can meet and meet and meet other designers, meet people who want to be designers.”
Haukoos said she started Meggie Sue’s Cupcakes six or seven years ago baking birthday cakes for families and friends. She has since grown until she participates in vendor exhibitions and other festivals in the city.
“In this last year, in particular, I’ve grown exponentially because it was more of a little reunion moment, so more people wanted to make it a little more special,” Haukoos said.
The company offers decorated cakes, cupcakes and cookies, which it says were particularly popular last year.
Cardel said she started gray + clay, making earrings, necklaces and key chains a year and a half ago as a quarantine hobby.
“It took off a lot more than I ever imagined,” she said. “It grew up quickly and as I got older I really worked on my craft and making sure I produced really good quality parts, and with that people started to realize the quality of my job and started buying more. “
Her pieces are made of polymer clay, and she mixes colors by hand, spreads them out, cuts them, fires them, pumices them and assembles them.
“There is a lot of love in every pair of earrings I make,” she said.
It has wholesale sales at four different stores in three different states – including Sterling Main Street in Austin, Willy’s Nillies in Northwood, a hair salon in the Twin Cities, and a boutique in Florida – and is open to other opportunities as well. .
The two women said they met because they were in several of the same markets.
At one point, Cardel’s business started to take off faster than she had expected and she was looking for an assistant who could help her.
“I loved his stuff from the first glance so I was like, ‘Of course I will,'” said Haukoos.
As they got to know each other better, they said they found they had a lot more in common than they initially thought. They both have 4 year old children who have become best friends.
Haukoos said his parents own Big Dream Organics in Skyline Plaza and let him know that a space will open up in the plaza.
“Me and Nina kind of have the same style – we like industrial bohemian type stuff, so we both fell in love with it immediately,” Haukoos said of their new space.
“It kind of feels like a big, urban city,” Cardel added.
They immediately got hold of the owner of the mall and said they would be interested in leasing the space and have so far been working on cosmetic upgrades.
Cardel will use part of the space in the back for his desk and create space, while Haukoos will use another space for storage.
The women said they have heard a lot of positive comments about the opportunity so far and expect a smooth opening at the end of September.
“I’m very excited for the growth to be able to have this space,” Cardel said. “I think it’s going to be a very good thing.”
They said they were also excited to bring more people to this side of town and said they felt Skyline had a lot of potential.
Their inauguration will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on October 30. They said they each plan to have products available for sale, and they also hope to have two or three other manufacturers.
Anyone interested in showcasing their hand-selected products is encouraged to contact the women of the Makers Space Collaborative on Facebook.