Main Street MI: origin story

February, 24, 2021

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Main Street MI founder, Brandon Still, at "21" in downtown Clarkston. 
Photo credit: Liv in the Moment Photography


We moved to Clarkston for the same reasons so many people do: a wonderful and walkable downtown, a vibrant restaurant scene yet quiet neighborhoods, a family-friendly community with great schools where we could raise a family, and what seemed like a manageable commute to work.

Less than two years later, the daily commute to work and regular trips to the airport just didn’t work for us.

I left my company to venture out on my own from a comfy, new home office and I embraced all the joys that accompany working from home: pajamas all day, no alarm clock, taking care of our puppy ... and eventually realized I wasn’t being productive, and I simply missed working with people.

For a while I was a regular on the coffee shop scene, rotating between a few local spots so I didn’t wear out my welcome. And then one day I finally had enough.

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Here’s what happened….

 

I had been working for months to land a meeting with a potentially game huge client. We sat down at my favorite coffee spot and I handed over a pitch deck (that took a ton of work to prepare by the way).

Barely a minute into my presentation someone he knew interrupted.

Politely, I sat while the two chatted away. 10 minutes turned to 15 minutes, and what seemed like an eternity later, the game-changing client turned back to me and said, “thanks so much for the proposal, I’ve got to get to my next meeting, but I’ll look it over”.

And just like that, I lost my opportunity.

Photo credit: Liv in the Moment Photography

I needed an office.

 

Nothing major, nothing fancy. A business address, a quiet place to meet clients, and a place where I would be focused and productive. Oh…and also something on the low-end of cheap.

 

I toured every office space around. They were beautiful, the landlords were great – but they were way too big and much too expensive.

 

What I needed was a coworking space.

 

A simple, affordable, month-to-month, flat-rate space where I could build my company surrounded by like-minded people. A temporary spot until I was ready to step up and get my own private office.

 

I reached out to several coworking spaces to see if they were interested in expanding into Clarkston.

 

And I kept getting the same answers – “it’s not a big enough”, “it’s not a place for entrepreneurs”, “people there can afford regular offices”, and so on and so on.

 

I couldn’t understand why no one saw the need to bring a relatively common entrepreneurial resource (coworking) into this great, quaint, main street town. So I did what only seemed logical to me – I started my own.

 

And in the fall of 2018, Main Street MI Coworking was born.

Paul, founder of Wiz Tech Computer Solutions and Chloe, owner of Chloe Arielle Designs
Photo credit: Spot On Productions

It wasn’t long before I was hearing from all kinds of entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and freelancers all of whom said they’d been waiting for coworking to come to Clarkston.

 

Writers, website designers, painters, realtors, musicians, and so many other independent professionals started to join and our concept began to take off.

Today, Main Street MI has three different locations, dozens of incredible members, and we are bringing our mission to more towns across the state.

 

Our goal is to help rebuild the small, historic, entrepreneurial hubs that Michigan’s main street towns once were.

 

We are bringing an important resource to small business owners and entrepreneurs that want to balance life in a small town, with the connectivity and amenities present in more urban settings.

We welcome you to reach out and explore how our diverse and growing community

of members can be a part of your entrepreneurial journey.

Main Street MI founder, Brandon, at "21" in downtown Clarkston. 
Photo credit: Liv in the Moment Photography