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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Collaborative Shoppe set to open September

The Collaborative Shoppe, slated to open in September, will offer creatives and small business owners a collective space to sell and display their products.

Owner Melissa Winko, 47, hopes the space will go beyond sales, giving artisans and entrepreneurs opportunities for collaborative work.

It will feature a retail boutique and art studios, where craftsmen can work in-house, Winko said.

With $4,000 invested and 25 vendors interested in joining the collective, Winko is determined to raise $25,000 through crowdfunding for renovations.

Winko said she’s had her eye on the abandoned downtown shop at 1305 S. Main St. since June.

“I wanted to bring the shop to the people so that people don’t have to travel to collaborate with like-minded individuals,” Winko said.

Veronica Mentor, an 18-year-old who frequents open-mike nights throughout Gainesville, said she looks forward to having a collective space where she can share and work on her spoken word.

“I didn’t choose to do consignment because this is my shop just as it is theirs,” Winko said. “People deserve to get paid for what they create.”

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