Collaborative Workspace in NE Mpls. Opens Retail Shop

Collaborative Workspace in NE Mpls. Opens Retail Shop

The Mill, which grants its members access to a variety of tools and equipment, has opened a retail space where members can sell their creations to the public.

The Mill opened earlier this year to provide a collaborative workspace for local entrepreneurs, artists, and engineers—anyone who makes things.

Now, it’s giving those individuals a chance to generate revenue on-site.

About a week and a half ago, The Mill, located at 2300 Kennedy Street in Northeast Minneapolis, opened a retail space, founder Brian Boyle told Twin Cities Business on Monday.

The Mill currently has 39 members, who have access to a variety of tools and equipment, including 3-D printers, industrial sewing machines, sign cutters, soldering stations, computers with design and drafting software, a woodworking shop, and a metal shop. Memberships can be purchased on a monthly basis for $125, for a six-month period for $672, or for a year for $1,200.

Boyle said that members pitched the idea of a retail space, and they can now sell their products on consignment in a space near the entrance of The Mill. The retail space is open to the public between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

“One purpose of The Mill is to allow members to sell what they create, either through their own channels or through our own,” Boyle said. “People are creating amazing stuff, so we might as well let them make a few dollars on their creativity.”

The items sold thus far have been relatively small, the most expensive being a $30 purse. Other sales have included earrings, “artistic magnets,” and T-shirts.

But given the sophisticated tools and machinery at members’ disposal, Boyle sees potential for larger-ticket items; for example, one member may soon sell furniture. Signs, children’s toys, and iPad stands are also among the diverse products expected to hit the showroom floor, Boyle said.

One of the perks of visiting The Mill’s retail space is that shoppers can interact with the individuals who made the products—and who may also be willing to create custom products to meet customers’ specific needs, according to Boyle.