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The Honeycomb Network: Co-working & Co-creating

A multi-faceted, mixed use community space that centers people of color as leaders, teachers, and creators.

$16,618
pledged of$20,000 goal
148
0Days Left

Project Description

Responding to COVID19

"In a time of destruction, create something.” - Maxine Hong Kingston

On March 10th, 2020, I faced what so many other small businesses have faced in the wake of a global pandemic, a terrifying challenge. I was terrified not only for the health of myself and family, but also by the reality of having a start-up brick and mortar I intended to open within a month of receiving the shelter in place notice from the state. I had been devoting my time and resources into starting the Honeycomb Network for months, and just weeks before I planned to launch my fundraising campaign and solidify our year ahead of workshops, classes and events with excitement and confidence, the government announced new policies to ban gatherings of more than 10 people.

How could I launch a co-creating and co-working space when everyone has been mandated to stay at home? How could I seek funding for a project when everyone is frightened at the prospect of an unstable financial future?

Like many, it halted my well thought out plans and the business structure I intended to implement and grow. It forced me to take a breath, pour over and re-think the reality of what this pandemic means for so many folks and their households, children, elders, routines and structures.

I went back to the drawing board. Which in reality meant I went back to staring at a blank paper, pen in hand and began the reflective journey of weighing why this space is not only necessary, but vital, and even more so now. This is part of what I wrote:

This is all I know, this is what I trust. There is a larger meaning deep in the crevices of this new reality. As an empire crumbles, what will be built in its place? How will we shift our priorities? Who will we center? What have we learned? As the tower flames, and the structures collapse, what I hope is to co-create a space with my community that serves as a creative, healing, thriving center for our growing collective and visionaries of a new, better, more equitable world. A space to connect, dream, build & manifest.

This space and network will be a necessary option in re-building and revitalizing, beginning with the Humboldt Park community where the space is located, through reciprocal generative programming and leadership opportunities for People of Color. It will serve to center our skills, knowledge and wellness in all areas of creative business and entrepreneurship.

Before the crisis even hit, research has shown that people of color have suffered the decades and even centuries of discriminatory policies and systems that have and still fuel the inequities we see today.  For instance, the under-investment we see in predominantly Black and Latinx communities such as redlining, gentrification and displacement as well as unequal access to capital, and lack of job opportunities have created a huge racial and ethnic wealth gap. According to the Urban Institute, for every $100 in White family wealth, Latinx families have $12, and Black families have $10. 

As covid-19 data continues to be broken down, we now see how it exacerbates the above data in how it is disproportionately affecting Black and Brown communities due to these disparities in income and access to healthy food options + quality healthcare services. More than ever we need spaces that will work intentionally to offer proactive solutions and alternatives to structures not built with us in mind. This is not a time to live myopically.

What has come out of this moment of forced isolation, is the reminder of our interconnectedness and value.  It has also shined a glaring light and sobering reminder on the inequities and life threatening consequences that racist systems have had on people of color across the city and globe. It is shifting our world and paradigms in horrific and beautiful life affirming ways.

This is not the time to fold. This is the time to build anew. And for these reasons and many others, it is actually the perfect time for the Honeycomb Network to be born.

Love,
Denise Ruiz, Founder/Director

 

What is the Honeycomb Network?

The Honeycomb Network is a multi-faceted, mixed use community space founded by artist & designer Denise Ruiz alongside associate director Cristina Gutierrez, to provide a safe place for POC to be centered as leaders, teachers, facilitators and learners in order to work, grow and sustain. As we grow, we will intentionally and respectfully cross pollinate across industries, generations & communities.

The space is currently under renovation and we invite you to invest in the future of Chicago and Latinx, womxn run spaces by joining this movement.

 

What will the space look like?

Decor is inspired by the lush, vibrant colors of the Caribbean and Biophilic Design.

 

Decor is inspired by the lush, vibrant colors of the Caribbean and Biophilic Design.
The space is still undergoing renovation, but here is the latest update! Photo credit: Tanya Bermudez

More about our space:

  • Location is on "Paseo Boricua" between two 55 foot steel Puerto Rican flag monuments and is walking distance to the 207-acre Humboldt Park 

  • Location is accessible by public transportation

  • Location is wheelchair accessible with ADA compliant bathrooms and ramps

  • Location includes an open kitchen with cabinets, stove, refrigerator and sink

  • Location is a double space that Includes 1 large 1,175 sq ft event space, 2 workshop spaces, 1 private conference room, a 2-3 person shared office space, 1 phone booth and a 1,175 sq ft co-working area.

  • Coming Winter 2020: A retail boutique that features a curated gift shop selling items, products and handmade goods by POC creatives and makers.

  • Coming Fall 2021: A Honeycomb homeschool hub

  • Coming Winter 2021: A cafe run by a local business

   For more information please visit the FAQ section of the campaign!

 

What will we offer?

Our core offerings are our co-working & co-making space, our co-creating classes, our event space, and our wellness offerings. 

Co-working space: General amenities include high-speed internet, printer, refreshments, and an open kitchen. Meeting rooms and workshop spaces are also available for rental.

Co-Creating classes: From plant based cooking and Afro-Caribbean dance to chakra balancing, urban gardening and filipinx martial arts, to unique brand strategies for your creative business growth, our range of in-house and virtual workshops are curated to meet the desires of our diverse and layered community.

Event space: Our 1,715 + event space comes with an open kitchen and dedicated bathrooms, and is available on weeknights and weekends.

Wellness offering: Our space will offer sliding scale therapy by a licenced bi-lingual therapist 3 times a week as well as Ayurvedic health counseling with a certified practitioner. We will also hold bi-lingual restorative justice/peace circles and quarterly mental health focused events.

In addition, we will offer virtual workshops, webinars, digital memberships and cohort opportunities.

We offer affordable memberships for our space, but drop-ins are also welcome!

 

Why should you fund the Honeycomb Network?

Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the United States with a history of intentional racial red-lining that occurred for generations before and affects generations now. Many of the same neighborhoods abandoned by local government throughout the years are currently being gentrified, pushing communities out of their homes, schools and networks. The Humboldt Park community, where this business will be located is one such neighborhood fighting for its right to hold space against this tension.

The Honeycomb Network is centralized on the commercial strip of Division Street between Western and California avenues known as “Paseo Boricua.” It is rich in Puerto Rican history, character and culture. And while it is distinctly Puerto Rican, its community residents have always consisted of many cultures and ethnic background, as does its surrounding neighbors.  It also hosts many visitors and partnerships from Pilsen to Austin to Hermosa. The Honeycomb Network intends to balance preserving community character and accessibility while creating programming that supports creative entrepreneurs and artists from across communities, cultures and diaspora. 

With the U.S. becoming more diverse over the next 10 years, and Latinx communities leading the way, this means it is vital to create entities to meet the needs of a more diverse clientele. This includes ensuring there is bilingual resources, language proficiencies, and even the demographic representation in the leadership and partnerships to better serve the community and bring communities that have been neglected together to build, skillshare and grow.

The Honeycomb Network intends to do just that.

Where will your money go?

We are currently renovating our space. Your money will assist with start-up costs including furniture, supplies, equipment, software and hardware, rent and everything else that is needed to put us all on the path to success and growth!

Chicago local folks: In-kind donations also accepted for PLANTS!  Please gift us a special plant you picked to add for our biohilic design intentions. Also accepting in kind donation for proficient English/Spanish writing translators, brick and mortar design help, used books, bathroom supplies, copy paper, marketing, artistic and creative services, and assistance for launch date. We are open to it all.

Photo credit of flag: Tanya Bermudez 

 

Who is on our team?

 

Founder/Director: Denise S. Ruiz is a Chicago born & raised, Queer Boricua from the Humboldt Park & Logan Square communities. She is a single mother of 2, educator, mixed media artist, jewelry designer, expert thrifter, creative consultant, youth advocate, event coordinator, and writer. Denise is the co-creator and co-founder of Books, Brunch & Botánica (est. 2017) and the founder and designer at Madre de Perla Designs (est. 2013).

Associate Director: Cristina Gutierrez is a certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor, herbalist, educator, and community organizer + First Nation, Latinx mother of 2, born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago. She is the creator and founder of Ayurvedic Elements Apothecary (est. 2014) and co-creator and co-founder of Books, Brunch & Botánica (est. 2017).  She specializes in helping folks ”Learn the Language of the Body” in her course online while simultaneously working to create spaces for accessible wellness around town. 

 

  • Your support will create a space that will benefit generations in Humboldt Park and across Chicago's communities of color. 
  • It will assist in the intentional creation of a mutual force for collaboration, solidarity, healing, and sustainability
  • It will provide enrichment through virtual and physical programs and offerings. 
  • It will allow our vision for this space to co-create, co-build and learn. To fuel joy and empowerment. 
  • It will offer a beautiful and healing aesthetic in an urbanized area. We want you to feel different as soon as you walk in the space, to breathe better and leave better than you started.
  • To be a catalyst for neighborhoods and cultures to respectfully exchange and engage. 
  • To cross-pollinate across industries and generations because we believe in the Indigenous practice that values our children and elders, as well as nature and plant medicine
  • This connection is needed for the next decade and beyond to truly thrive. This is not only about valuing a new business, this is about a movement of value.

We thank you for your contribution!

 

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where will The Honeycomb Network be? 

  • The Honeycomb Network will be located in Chicago’s historical neighborhood community of Humboldt Park. It will sit centrally on "Paseo Boricua" on Division and Washtenaw, between two 55 foot steel Puerto Rican flag monuments and is walking distance to the 207-acre Humboldt Park 

 

What public transportation will it be by?

  • The Honeycomb Network is accessible from the (#70) Division bus, The (#52) Kedzie/California bus,The (#49) Western bus, and is nearest to the Division & Western stop off of the blue line train station.

 

Is the location handicap accessible?

  • Yes, The Honeycomb Network will have ADA compliant ramps to enter the space as well as a movable ramp for other locations in the space as needed. The bathroom is also handicap accessible.

 

Are the bathrooms gender neutral?

  • Yes

 

How is Parking near there?

  • Parking is metered with some free street parking available around the neighborhood.

 

Will the Honeycomb Network be LGBTQ friendly?

  • Absolutely, the founder is part of this community

 

What is Biophilic Design and why does it matter?

  • Biophilic design is basically what our elders have been doing and knowing for generations. It incorporates elements from nature, such as plants, water features, earth energies and natural lighting, into the workplace. 
  • Incorporating direct or indirect elements of nature into the built environment have been demonstrated through research to reduce stress, assist in mental clarity and focus, boost creativity, and aid in well being. Being surrounded by natural elements helps reduce blood pressure levels and heart rates. It also purifies the air to keep our respiratory functions clear and healthy. This is so relevant in this current crisis globally and a way to move forward with wisdom.

 

Will the Honeycomb Network offer services and workshops in Spanish?

  • Yes, the Honeycomb Network plans to have bi-lingual offerings as much as possible and will encourage this from our bi-lingual facilitators who plan classes at the space.

 

I’m not considered a POC (person of color), does that mean I can’t be a part of the Honeycomb Network?

  • Everyone is welcome to join membership, participate in and support the workshops & offerings. However, all facilitators, leaders of programming, events, classes etc. are exclusively LEAD by a person of color - Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, Black, Indigenous, etc.
  • POC needs and businesses are centered and prioritized in this space. It is important that we see one another and ourselves in leadership roles. We welcome diverse perspectives and collaboration, but it is important to know and respect this when engaging with the Honeycomb Network. 

 

Why do you center People of Color as leaders/facilitators as well as their businesses?

  • Research has shown that for people of color, decades, even centuries of discriminatory policies and systems has fueled the inequities we see today.  For instance, the under-investment we see in predominantly Black and Latinx communities such as redlining, gentrification and displacement as well as unequal access to capital, and lack of job opportunities has created a huge racial and ethnic wealth gap. According to the Urban Institute, for every $100 in White family wealth, Latinx families have $12, and Black families have $10.
  •  It is imperative that we work intentionally to balance that gap and inequity. Part of that effort means to prioritize and centralize those whose small businesses, skill, service and creativity is not being valued in the same capacity. 

 

When will the Honeycomb Network be open?

  • With the current pandemic and shelter in place as well as the fundraising need, The Honeycomb Network hopes to have a fully backed space ready to launch physically between June-August. We intend to keep all backers notified as we are informed.

 

Why raise money for this business?

  • The Honeycomb Network is a community bootstrapped business, for the community by the community. We believe in the power of our collective investments across all communities and income to bring about the kind of entities that are reciprocal, necessary, enriching and generative to all of us. An investment in the Honeycomb Network is an investment to our place as leaders and innovators in the communities we are a part of and serve. As well as the places we call home.


 

 

 

Vanessa
07/14/2020
Monetary Contribution
$40
JMann
07/14/2020
Monetary Contribution
$50
Gabby
07/12/2020
Monetary Contribution
$100
Felice Davis
07/10/2020
$30 - Virtual Events Package
$30
Jodene
07/08/2020
$30 - Virtual Events Package
$30
07/08/2020
Monetary Contribution
$1,000
Sarah C
07/08/2020
Monetary Contribution
$50
Zulma
07/08/2020
Monetary Contribution
$100
Melanie Maldonado
07/07/2020
$30 - Virtual Events Package
$30
ariel aguilera
07/07/2020
Monetary Contribution
$25
Monetary Contribution

You can contribute anywhere from $5 and up. Any amount is valued and appreciated.

Thank you for your valuable contribution and support of the Honeycomb Network!

62 Supporters
Select this reward
30.00 USD
$30 - Virtual Events Package

Your valuable contribution of $30 will give you a reward of:

  • Access to one virtual event or class a month for 3 consecutive months
  • Event types: Performance, Music, Poetry, Storytelling, Theater, Dance etc.
  • Class types: Cooking, Writing, Dance, Making, Yoga, skill-share etc.

Thank you for your support!

73 Left
27 Supporters
Select this reward
45.00 USD
$45 - The Honeycomb Network Launch Party

Your valuable contribution of $45 will purchase a ticket to the fundraiser launch party at the Honeycomb Network. (Date TBD) There will be food by Casa Yari, Urban Pilón, & Amor Y Sofrito.  Program facilitators speaking on their upcoming classes, beverages and spirits, raffle and rotating Dj sets. 

Thank you for your support!

 

76 Left
24 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
$100 - "The Blossoming" 1 mo. Membership

Your valuable contribution of $100 will enroll you in a one month membership trial to the Honeycomb Network's  Tier 1 membership package:

Tier 1 - The Blossoming

$100 a month membership

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours 6 days a week
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member early invites to events
  • 2 hour conference room usage a month
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member status name on website
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

7 Left
18 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
$250 - "The Blossoming" 3 mo. Membership

Your valuable contribution of $250 will enroll you in a 3 months membership to the Honeycomb Networks's Tier 1 membership package at a discounted price within the first year of opening:

Tier 1 - The Blossoming

$100 a month membership 

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member early invites to events
  • 2 hour conference room usage a month
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member status name on website
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

21 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
400.00 USD
$400 - "The Honey Bee" 3 mo. Membership

Your valuable contribution of $400 will enroll you in a 3 months membership to the Honeycomb Networks's Tier 2 membership package at a discounted price within the first year of opening:

Tier 2 - The Honeybee 

3 month membership

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours a month
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member discounts to ticketed events a month (15%)
  • 2 hour conference room usage ( ½ off rates after)
  • Member status name & business link on website
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

8 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
$1000 -"The Blossoming" 1 yr. Membership

Your valuable contribution of $1,000 will enroll you in a 1 year membership to the Honeycomb Networks's Tier 1 membership package at a discounted price within the first year of opening:

Tier 1 - The Blossoming

1 year membership

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member early invites to events
  • 2 hour conference room usage a month
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member status name on website
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

3 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
1,500.00 USD
$1500 - "The Honey Bee" 1 yr. Membership

Your valuable contribution of $1,500 will enroll you in a 1 year membership to the Honeycomb Networks's Tier 2 membership package at a discounted price within the first year of opening:

Tier 2 - The Honeybee 

1 year membership

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours a month
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member discounts to ticketed events a month (15%)
  • 2 hour conference room usage ( ½ off rates after)
  • Member status name & business link on website
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

Thank you for your support!

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
3,000.00 USD
$3000 - "The Honey Bee" 2 yr Membership

Your valuable contribution of $3,000 will enroll you in a 2 year membership to the Honeycomb Networks's Tier 2 membership package at a discounted price within the first year of opening:

Tier 2 - The Honeybee 

2 year membership

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours a month
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member discounts to ticketed events a month (15%)
  • 2 hour conference room usage ( ½ off rates after)
  • Member status name & business link on website
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

3 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward

About the Entrepreneur

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

You can contribute anywhere from $5 and up. Any amount is valued and appreciated.

Thank you for your valuable contribution and support of the Honeycomb Network!

62 Supporters
Select this reward
30.00 USD
$30 - Virtual Events Package

Your valuable contribution of $30 will give you a reward of:

  • Access to one virtual event or class a month for 3 consecutive months
  • Event types: Performance, Music, Poetry, Storytelling, Theater, Dance etc.
  • Class types: Cooking, Writing, Dance, Making, Yoga, skill-share etc.

Thank you for your support!

73 Left
27 Supporters
Select this reward
45.00 USD
$45 - The Honeycomb Network Launch Party

Your valuable contribution of $45 will purchase a ticket to the fundraiser launch party at the Honeycomb Network. (Date TBD) There will be food by Casa Yari, Urban Pilón, & Amor Y Sofrito.  Program facilitators speaking on their upcoming classes, beverages and spirits, raffle and rotating Dj sets. 

Thank you for your support!

 

76 Left
24 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
$100 - "The Blossoming" 1 mo. Membership

Your valuable contribution of $100 will enroll you in a one month membership trial to the Honeycomb Network's  Tier 1 membership package:

Tier 1 - The Blossoming

$100 a month membership

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours 6 days a week
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member early invites to events
  • 2 hour conference room usage a month
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member status name on website
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

7 Left
18 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
$250 - "The Blossoming" 3 mo. Membership

Your valuable contribution of $250 will enroll you in a 3 months membership to the Honeycomb Networks's Tier 1 membership package at a discounted price within the first year of opening:

Tier 1 - The Blossoming

$100 a month membership 

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member early invites to events
  • 2 hour conference room usage a month
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member status name on website
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

21 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
400.00 USD
$400 - "The Honey Bee" 3 mo. Membership

Your valuable contribution of $400 will enroll you in a 3 months membership to the Honeycomb Networks's Tier 2 membership package at a discounted price within the first year of opening:

Tier 2 - The Honeybee 

3 month membership

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours a month
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member discounts to ticketed events a month (15%)
  • 2 hour conference room usage ( ½ off rates after)
  • Member status name & business link on website
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

8 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
$1000 -"The Blossoming" 1 yr. Membership

Your valuable contribution of $1,000 will enroll you in a 1 year membership to the Honeycomb Networks's Tier 1 membership package at a discounted price within the first year of opening:

Tier 1 - The Blossoming

1 year membership

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member early invites to events
  • 2 hour conference room usage a month
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member status name on website
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

3 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
1,500.00 USD
$1500 - "The Honey Bee" 1 yr. Membership

Your valuable contribution of $1,500 will enroll you in a 1 year membership to the Honeycomb Networks's Tier 2 membership package at a discounted price within the first year of opening:

Tier 2 - The Honeybee 

1 year membership

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours a month
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member discounts to ticketed events a month (15%)
  • 2 hour conference room usage ( ½ off rates after)
  • Member status name & business link on website
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

Thank you for your support!

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
3,000.00 USD
$3000 - "The Honey Bee" 2 yr Membership

Your valuable contribution of $3,000 will enroll you in a 2 year membership to the Honeycomb Networks's Tier 2 membership package at a discounted price within the first year of opening:

Tier 2 - The Honeybee 

2 year membership

1 person

  • Access to co-working & co-creating benefits during operating hours a month
  • Member rates to host markets/events
  • Member rates to host workshops and/or classes
  • Member discounts to ticketed events a month (15%)
  • 2 hour conference room usage ( ½ off rates after)
  • Member status name & business link on website
  • Quarterly e-newsletter
  • Member directory

Thank you for your support!

3 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward