For the month of July, we’re spotlighting some cool ideas in the commercial real estate realm. Some of our members have interesting models and shared spaces that we can all find inspiration from.

Sharon Payer is the owner the The Station Park Circle. The Station is a marketplace that houses local vendors, makers, and artists. Sirena White-Singleton is the co-owner of The Creative Realm Space, a coworking, photography studio and small event space located in North Charleston. She also owns Aneris Photography, one of the businesses that occupies the space.  

1. Why did you choose this model of shared space for your business?

Sharon-

I choose this model for my business because I know it works. For the past decade before opening The Station, I had been a vendor at a couple of other similar marketplaces. I love finding goods that have been disregarded. And I love having a place to showcase these goods for people that appreciate them too. It can be rather stressful and costly to open an entire store on your own. For me, it made sense to seek out others with the same mindset and work together.

Sirena-

We chose this model of shared space for business because of the immediate community. Small business ownership can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be so we created a shared space.

2. What benefits does this shared space model bring to your own business?

Sharon-

There are numerous benefits to this type of model. Number one is the local shopping experience we’re able to give to the customers. Each of our 40+ vendors has something different to offer: their unique style, whether it’s furniture, art, accents, or hand-crafted goods. And that leads to another benefit: the overall collaboration of over 40 small businesses under one roof who truly enjoy what we do. We’re able to focus on creativity, sustainability, and our treasure-seeking passion. We are a family in here and we all support one another. The influence of social media in this type of shared space is truly beneficial to each small business as well as The Station as a whole.

Sirena-

The benefit is that we are able to collaborate, connect, and produce an environment for fostering support for small businesses. Plus we are able to build a community with our neighbors (Daddy’s Girls Bakery and Mr. Narwhal’s Magnificent Snoballs).

3. What benefits are there for businesses that use this space?

Sharon-

Models like shared spaces allow a small business to have a brick and mortar to conduct their business, without the overhead expense of an entire building to manage themselves. At The Station, each vendor pays rent depending on the size of their space as well as a standard commission to cover expenses and CC processing. Our shared space also allows each small business more freedom, not having to be there every day to run their own shop. We have a central check-out, managed by our vendors, which enables us to be open 7 days a week. The Station also collects and remits to the state the sales tax each month, just one more benefit to the small businesses that make up our shared space!

Sirena-

The main benefit is community and connection. If you are looking for an intimate environment to host a workshop or class, cowork, or have a small event then we’re the place for you. The Creative Realm Space is a safe space for creatives, entrepreneurs, and small business owners to create, build community connections, and grow their businesses. We value integrity, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, respect, and community. We welcome you to our safe and productive space.

 

Erika Grimes