When my wife and I made an investment in downtown Derry, NH in 2015 we did so for many reasons. Currently we are building a regional instrument rental business for the band and orchestra programs in the northeast. We also wanted to build a downtown music education and performance experience that would contribute to the economic vitality of a worthy community.
Having experience getting a high-tech business incubator off the ground in Central Massachusetts made me consider utilizing some of our underperforming real estate in Derry as a makerspace.
The Smash Shared Space allows us to accomplish several important business improvements simultaneously.
-Support artist entrepreneurs who cannot afford commercial space in MA and NH, but have a worthwhile business plan.
-Optimize the revenue generation of our space. The space, once underperforming now generates income during an extended schedule of hours, attracting families and individuals who would otherwise never experience Smash Music.
- Successful monetization of our artist entrepreneurs will lead to additional needs for commercial space. Smash Music will provide some of that space and assist other Shared Space members in locating new space in the region.
We have been developing this makerspace since October 2017. To date, we have four full-time Smash Shared Space members. Artist in residence Nolan O'Connell, All that Sass's Jen Sassak, Early Childhood Development instructor Lexann Mecklenborg and a yoga program. We also support the retailing of exclusive relationships for four regional luthiers and one flute maker.
Between these and other new in-house programs Smash Music now offers 10 additional ways for consumers to engage in the fine and performing arts from throughout the region.
We offer services to members such as inventory and schedule management, marketing, business plan counseling, grant-writing and a host of other development services. To our knowledge we are the only makerspace of its kind for New Hampshire.
The town of Derry has been in a transformative period for more than two decades. Ours is a town steeped in traditions yet being dynamically re-defined by newcomers from throughout the northeast. This and the issues associated with the daily commute of our professional class present challenges for anyone engaging in a downtown business. Business incubators and makerspaces can play a key role in attracting and retaining various business entities to our region. They can also bring our people together in a way other entities do not. In our case at Smash Music, we feel our makerspace can play a significant role in the economic development of downtown Derry while espousing the importance of relationship-building, craftsmanship, pride in one's environment and the successful pursuit of creative endeavors.