Just Around the Riverbend
Tiffany Napper of Bats on Strings is back with her latest business venture — Riverbend Collective — a new kind of shared work space for businesses.
“A shared workspace for creative entrepreneurs is something I’ve dreamt about for a long time,” says Tiffany Napper, owner of Bats on Strings and new founder of Riverbend Collective. “But the realization of it happened rather organically.”
Napper was presented with the opportunity to rent an entire second floor on Oak Street that she felt had endless potential.
“The timing was right,” she says. “So the obvious answer was to say yes, put in a little elbow grease, and open it up to fellow entrepreneurs at monthly rates they could afford.”
Napper’s desk rates start at $250 a month, or non-designated members can snag a desk for a day for just $20 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Riverbend is more than a co-working space. Napper says it’s a network of creatives and a safe house for new ideas.
“Our drop-in desk makes it possible for anyone to get out of the house for the day,” she says. “Even if you aren’t ready for a full-time office space. My hope is that it provides other creatives the opportunity to work in a space that helps fill their creative well.”
Napper has first-hand experience with a space like Riverbend. She has seen how getting out of the home office and having an office space can allow for growth.
“One year ago, I made the leap out of my home office and into a dedicated office space thanks to an opportunity presented to me by a few creative entrepreneur friends,” she says. “Bats on Strings ultimately outgrew that space, but that opportunity had a life-changing impact. I saw an immediate improvement in my work/life balance, and I saw my business grow thanks to interactions I was having in and around the office.”
Napper is hopeful that she can provide a similar opportunity for other startups. To help them promote growth and creative expansion by having exactly what she’s offering – space.
“A Riverbend member is treated like part of the family,” she says. “Those with dedicated desks and office spaces keep their own hours, and membership includes free WiFi, Kentwood water, a once-a-month cleaning service, access to a photo studio, and unrelenting creative support. Members without a dedicated office are invited to our monthly dinner parties and can also reserve the Drop In Desk on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
Napper says that the only challenge has been a fun one.
“The biggest challenge initially has also been what I love, and that is fixing the space up a bit,” she says. “I’ve spent countless hours painting, scrubbing, and scouring flea markets and thrift stores, and all on a very limited budget. I hope it shows! I have received countless emails and phone calls about the space, and I keep hearing more and more people say, ‘Tell me about Riverbend.’ That makes me smile because it means there is a need for what I am creating!”
Napper is very excited about this endeavor. She hopes to not only give businesses a place to operate and grow, but to help foster a community of like-minded creative people where everyone can help each other out.
“We will all gather round for the first Riverbend dinner party on October 28th,” she says. “I hope to also host movie nights and yoga days and whatever else this group of inspiring go-getters shows a collective interest in. Running a startup is hard work. It will be nice to have each other to lean on and take a load off with now and again.”
Learn more about Riverbend by visiting their website.