If you are in the Chicago event scene, you’re no stranger to Lional Rivero & Sean Cannon’s company Event Creative with their expansive spaces – Venue One Chicago and Venue One North Shore (formerly the Bulls practice stadium). Their next venture is Life Creative, which launched October 1st and is a combination of work space and business creation. The goal is to give public individuals access to resources event industry professionals easily have at their disposal. Event Creative has 70,000 square feet in venue and manufacturing space. They have everything from meeting spaces, a maker factory, a television network and production studio, event production facilities, training rooms and a co-working community. The multi-purpose arena is not only a great space to host meetings but also aims to give individuals access to resources event industry professionals have at their disposal including things like a 3D printer and CNC Router. Individuals can work on everything from unique artwork to custom furniture and even massive visual displays. With so many resources available and talented staff on hand, Sean and his team want to make it possible for people to create their own business in addition to providing alternatives for small to midsize businesses that may be outsourcing and therefore encourage them to bring their business back to the US.
“We want to allow people to start their own companies without having to come up with a lot of seed money, find a location, buy equipment and build out an office space, all the challenges aspiring entrepreneurs face when they want to start a business,” explained Sean Cannon, CEO of Life Creative.
“With Life Creative, we have everything in house which means that people don’t have to worry about the overhead they normally have and can bring costs to a competitive level while paying staff fairly. Our model is built to improve the quality of work while creating jobs and opportunities within our community,” Sean added. “So much gets outsourced to countries like China and local people are losing jobs.”
The many-faceted plan aims to be inclusive of all types of work, even if you don’t have a business idea that requires manufacturing.
“We’re a creative campus – even if you need just a desk or an office or professional space for meetings. We also provide the added benefit of education classes to our members and even have special opportunities for not-for-profits.”
The business model makes sense and seems beneficial all the way around. Need a place to work for yourself or a small team? You can get a membership. Have a business idea but don’t know where to start? Get a membership. Their training opportunities include everything from wood and metal work to flower arrangements to marketing. They have audio/visual equipment on site in addition to a wide variety of resources including talented and knowledgeable staff.
“All you really need is the idea and we’ll help you with the rest.”
And they really do mean “the rest”. There is an e-commerce component on their website (and you can still sell your product anywhere else). Not good with internet stuff? They’ll help you with that too.
What’s the catch you ask? Nothing unusual. Life Creative, like any business, does keep a percentage of sales in exchange for their services which is taken after expenses such as cost of goods to manufacture the product. But if you had your own business, you’d have to pay to turn on the lights and you wouldn’t have a large team of talented individuals available to help you do it right the first time (inevitably a money saver).
Another great aspect of Life Creative is that Sean aims to keep a smaller percentage of space and opportunities available for more disadvantaged members of society, particularly individuals from low-income neighborhoods who may not have been equipped with the tools to live out their business dreams.
“We need to give more people second chances,” Sean explained. “These are people who want to do good and improve their lives, who maybe have a great idea but they don’t have the specific skills or even the opportunity to try. Right now we’re also working with the Chicago Urban League to bring in kids and teach them about our industry as well as create paying projects. The goal is to change the atmosphere and encourage creativity and give people the skills they need to get a job or even create their own business which then in turn will create more jobs and better the community. ”
It’s hard to disagree with that sentiment. While many people are aware of the complicated issues of our current social and economic situations, the question is how do we work to change it? Although Sean and his wife Lional were born in New York, they consider themselves Chicagoans and aren’t blind to the problem.
“I believe that we can work to make this city better. I believe that this city can be better. “
Interested in becoming a Life Creative Member? Visit their website at http://www.lifecreativehq.com/en to learn more.