DIY: Projects in Person’s Social Distancing Solution
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DIY: Projects in Person’s Social Distancing Solution

Founder and CEO Jill Miller finds creative solutions for a business centered around in-person contact.

As COVID-19 continues to shut things down, the concept of finally getting to that one project while practicing social distancing is a recurring theme. And Projects in Person, a DIY guided workshop space on Mainstreet in Hopkins, is finding ways to help make those happen.

While its workshops are being limited and its events are being cancelled, Jill Miller, the founder and CEO of PIP, said the company is launching new ways to get your DIY on and take the edge off staying cooped up.

TCB: How has your work changed or been disrupted by coronavirus?

Miller: With “in person” in our name, COVID-19 has been incredibly difficult to navigate. Future workshops are limited to 6 projects to allow for individual tools and social distancing, private and corporate events have been postponed or canceled, and while our events are live through August, the limiting of the number of attendees and loss of corporate events will affect our bottom line for the time being.

Q: Anything you’re able to do right now to compensate for lost work or create new streams of revenue?

A | We have pivoted to launch two new offerings. One, Our DIY kit, called the “Build Box”, which provides a mini DIY experience at home, is family friendly and aesthetically versatile. And two, we are firing up the “maker” side of our business, and offering select PIP projects to be built for you, to your specifications.

Q: Do you anticipate work bouncing back quickly, or are you bracing for the worst?

A | Since PIP is all about experience and relationship building, we believe the community will be thirsty to get out of the house and enjoy experiential businesses.

We are in the process of obtaining our liquor license, and look forward to offering another dimension of experience to our customers and bringing even more opportunities to build together. We hope to provide them something to look forward to, an opportunity to gather, and a productive and exciting experience.

Q: Any bright spots in this crisis?

A | There’s probably never been a better time to launch an at-home DIY kit than a quarantine. We’ve had the kit concept in development since late last year, but hadn’t pulled the trigger on launching. I don’t know a small business owner without a “thing-they-want-to-do-next” in the lineup, so we’re thankful we had this idea brewing and were able to act quickly to produce a final product.

Q: What’s your work at home set up?

A | As a mom of three, ages 4 and under, work can only get done during nap and after bedtime. While I’m a couch preferred worker, we live less than a mile away from the workshop, so it’s an easy place to sneak away to for a change!

Q: Your best advice to work productively at home?

A | Set timers––it’s easy to get distracted at home: Respond to emails for 1 hr, goal setting for 30 minutes. Force yourself to hyper focus and work in breaks and snacks.

Don’t work from bed––it’s tempting, and super cozy, but makes it too difficult to shut off work when it’s actually time to sleep