Start up funds for The 12th House by Diem Designs
Funding for my brick and mortar store by Diem Designs Studio. I have always dreamed of having my own store and sharing my favorite products.
After running my own business for 15 years and numerous years of retail experience I have decided to open my own gallery, cafe and gift store. I have pulled ideas from different areas of my life for this opportunity. We will have comfortable seating for coffee/juice and cafe items. In the space, there will be retail space for local artists and small businesses to showcase their products. It would be a 75/25 split with an art gallery/retail and the cafe. The retail space will be handmade mainly in Michigan items, along with products from my favorite artists. We would have a supply corner for our artists. We would have a small production studio for artists to rent for collaboration projects. I already have quite an inventory of my own handmade products as well.
A little bit about me and family over the last few years, I managed several of the Made in Michigan stores over a period of 5 years. When the company closed in January 2020 I lost my job. Throughout the last year with Covid and homeschooling my 3 children, we have suffered a lot of loss. My father and business partner had fought Multiple Myeloma and ESRD for the last 9 years. He taught me how to be a metal smith and business owner. Most importantly he taught me how to balance my time between having a family and being a business owner. He lived with my family for almost 15 years. I was his primary care taker. In October 2019, he broke his neck sitting up in bed as a result of 8 years of Multiple Myeloma taking its toll on his body. By February, we realized that he wasn’t healing and we got a referral for a neurosurgeon in Cleveland. He had surgery at the end of February. When Covid hit he was staying in a skilled nursing facility. I didn’t get to see him until August, when they called and said he had pneumonia and he was septic. He went to hospice and lost his fight on September 14th. A part of my soul is gone forever.
In the last year, I have lost 2 jobs, my cat, 2 dear friends, a cousin and my dad. I would love to win this grant to realize my dreams.
Obviously, it's a challenge to be starting a new business in this time of Covid. Especially when we really don’t know how things are going to pan out. I feel my great background in retail would help me to be able to navigate this crazy time.
I would use the money from this proposal to help secure a retail space, buy commercial equipment, displays and a POS system for the store. It will also be used in acquiring the correct permits and advertising.
Ultimately, I would love to have a working studio space to work with and support local artists. Here is Grand Rapids, there is a huge artist community to pull amazing art from.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
If you want to donate more than what I have listed, please let me know and I’ll find some good gifts for you!
*still workshopping the name* The 12th House in the zodiac is Pisces. My sister Jordan and I are both Pisces. She is the left fish and I am the right fish. Diem Designs Studio is the company my father John Diem and I started almost 15 years ago. It's always been a family affair, and will continue to be. If this comes to fruition, you will see my kids working in the space too. It's not child labor if they are your own kids right?