Maddie Obray with Hainsworth Co. does Lily Petite’s hair. The salon is one of several beauty businesses at the Palette Collective at Chandler Village.

Small businesses make up over 99 percent of all businesses in Arizona and are an integral part of the state’s economy, but the price of entrepreneurship is high. Between supplies, marketing and rent, aspiring business owners have to come up with a lot of upfront funding to make their dreams become a reality.

A group work space concept called Palette Collective is lowering that barrier to entry by offering affordable rents and support for new businesses in the East Valley.

Palette Collective, founded by Gilbert resident Seth Wells and Brett Kalina of Phoenix, features large retail spaces subdivided into smaller units that small businesses can rent at relatively affordable prices.

The rooms, which come in a variety of sizes, can cost a tenant anywhere from roughly $850 to $2,000 per month depending on the size of the space. Monthly rent includes utilities and Internet access, General Manager Jacob Trayer said.

Based on its current roster of tenants, Palette Collective appeals predominantly to the beauty sector, though it is open to businesses from all industries.

Current tenants include hair stylists, massage therapists, aestheticians and tattoo artists.

Louise Yanock, who runs Inspire Skin Care at the Chandler Village location, 505 S. Chandler Village Drive, first heard about Palette Collective from a friend earlier this year. She decided to start her own business there when the Dolce Salon and Spa closed unexpectedly in Chandler.

“(My experience has) been amazing,” Yanock said. “It is a really good vibe in here and everyone is really upbeat and positive.”

The rooms at Palette Collective are a blank slate – four white walls – in order to allow tenants to customize the space to fit their branding.

“The reason we don’t set anything up to start with is to give our tenants the ability to set their own branding and have their branding at the forefront,” Trayer said.

Palette Collective encourages its tenants to customize the rooms to reflect their businesses and offers tangible support to help business owners do just that.

They will purchase, plumb and install a shampoo bowl for hair stylists. For other renters, such as aestheticians and massage therapists, the team provides a $300 rent credit to purchase a vanity with a sink.

All new tenants also receive a fresh coat of paint in their suite in a color of their choosing.

Wells and Kalina opened the first Palette Collective about two years ago at Gilbert and Germann Roads in Chandler, 2100 S. Gilbert Road, Suite 22.

The team has since opened a second location at the Chandler Village shopping center and is in the process of opening three new locations, including a spot at Elliot Road and Priest Drive in Tempe.

The group work space concept is not new and has existed throughout the Phoenix Metro for years with varying levels of success. The team behind Palette Collective is working to set their product apart from other ventures by developing a strong sense of community among its tenants and customers.

“I think there was definitely a vacuum for this type of concept,” Trayer said. “We saw it in Phoenix, but out in (East Valley) there was definitely a need for this type of thing.”

He added, “There were people doing it, but we just knew there was a way to do it different and try to inculcate a better sense of community.”

One way they are doing that is through encouraging the business owners to support each other and share clients.

“Everyone here is very positive and helpful in referring each other (to clients),” Yanock said.

The team also introduced a concept called The Marketplace, which will feature food, drink and retail concepts and will serve as the central gathering place within Palette Collective locations.

The Marketplace opened at the Chandler Village location in October and features Press Coffee and Graz Kitchen Fresh.

“The Marketplace was intended really to bring a lot of the tenants and their customers together,” Trayer said. “Rather than having no interactions, lots of our tenants know each other and share customers.”

 

– Reach Wayne Schutsky at 480-898-6533 or wschutsky@timespublications.com.

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