The PopUP shop is a year in the making for The Network Hub’s Chief Motivating Officer, Angie Barnard. “Supporting local entrepreneurs is integral to our mission, and Nanaimo is overflowing with artistic talent,” says Barnard, “The Nanaimo Bar PopUP Shop is the first step in the journey as we support local brands and expose them to larger markets. Our big vision is a permanent Network Hub Artists’ Studio with work, event, training, and retail spaces specifically showcasing Vancouver Island artists; and once thriving, to take that business model into other communities that have a base of distinctive artistic talent.”
In addition to providing a venue for artists in business, The Network Hub will be collaborating with co-working tenant, Fiona Friesen of Glue Solutions, to launch an “Artist-2-Entrepreneur” support program. Friesen’s claim to fame in 2015 was turning three Boeing 737s worth of recycled plane-seat leather into Aviator Dopp Kits, a shaving kit that sold out in her Etsy store generating over $5,000 of revenue.
“My background in marketing and business coaching was instrumental in making the right decisions, attracting media attention and drawing buyers from across North America,” said Friesen. “Artists do not follow the typical pathway of entrepreneurship from business plan, to investors, to sales projections. I’m eager to share the methods I use, which respect the artist’s journey while providing evaluation tools to explore new opportunities, make smart business decisions and sell more.”