Here we are readers. It’s the last Phind out Phriday of 2011. So who gets to wrap up the year for us and how did I decide who that person would be? When selecting who to interview for this final Phriday it didn’t take me long to decide to re-interview Brandon Davis the Editor in Chief of American Dreaming Magazine, a magazine which sets out to use words to write pieces which inform, inspire, and instruct. Mr. Davis was actually the first featured entrepreneur on the blog.But if I talked to him before, what has he done to deserve to be talked to again?
He made a part of his dream a tangible reality in just a few short months since we first met. I thought you all should read about it and hopefully be encouraged to chase your own dreams in this new year even harder.
Last time we met, Mr. Davis and I met at the gelato shop in Rittenhouse. This time I was headed to Northern Liberties. I met Mr. Davis on a cloudy Saturday afternoon at The Dreaming Building. He gave me a tour of the loft style space before we sat down to talk. High ceilings, clearly designated spaces for work and play (video game set up and basketball), comfortable seating, and art adorned walls.
Phreedum: I like it.
Phreedum: No problem. Tell me about acquiring this space.
BD: We applied for a $25,000.00 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project online. We had a space in the past and then didn’t renew the lease because we wanted to put more money into the business so we worked from home or various coffee shops throughout the city.
Phreedum: So then having this kind of space was always a part of your vision for American Dreaming Magazine?
BD: I put a co-op space on the vision board for American Dreaming Magazine about a year ago. If anything goes on the board it’s gone through a lot of thought and revision first. Things, this space included, only make the board once I believe it will further the mission and vision of the company and with time, creativity, and hard work is achievable. Plus, when we stopped working in an office space it felt like wherever we met the creativity was left there. The creativity was getting left at coffee shops, diners, home etc. We wanted to house the creativity.
Phreedum: When you applied for the grant for the space what did you say you wanted?
BD: Beyond an office space we wanted a co-op space for other dreamers. We wanted a space where people could come and work on their dreams, receive education and feedback, mentorship, have access to other entrepreneurs, and showcase their talents and skills.
Phreedum: Who are the “other dreamers?”
BD: Anyone and everyone from the writer to the makeup artist. The photographer and the videographer. The dancer to the yoga instructor. If you want to do a pop up shop, an art show, or a photo shoot let us know. This space was sought after and selected with young entrepreneurs in mind. It’s our desire to help entrepreneurs with the struggle of being a start up. If you’re creative and need a space, we’re here to help.
Phreedum: I’m assuming since we last met, that applying for and receiving the grant and acquiring this space were entrepreneurial highlights for you. Any others?
BD: Getting the grant definitely was a huge highlight. When we applied we applied for $25,000.00 and we didn’t know that grant amount was typically reserved for larger companies. To compete with larger corporations and high schools for the grant and receive it, was great for us. As you mentioned, so was acquiring the space. A lot of time and energy went into selecting the perfect space and to find it has been just as great as receiving the funding for it. We were also recently featured in Philadelphia’s Business Journal for the work we have been doing and hope to continue doing- supporting young dreamers in Philadelphia.
Phreedum: Speaking of Philadelphia, Why Philadelphia? You could have set up shop anywhere.
BD: Philly needs this. There is no other space created for and by young people. We want Philly’s young people to support young businesses, to connect, build, and grow. We want to invite, inspire, and celebrate the great young talent the city has and being here, we get to do that.
Phreedum: In 2011 you all not only continued to put out great magazines but you sought after and achieved a space for American Dreaming Magazine and other dreamers. What can we expect in 2012?
BD: You can expect dreams to come true. As young entrepreneurs utilize this space you can expect to see their goals met and dreams unfold. You can expect art shows, fashion shows, trunk shows, pop up shops, workshops about various skills, experts in various fields speaking to interested persons, yoga classes , etc. Something is going to be going on at the building every day if we can help it.
We are also launching our Boot Strap Project. It’s a contest and 20 people need to sign up before the contest can officially start. Once 20 people sign up each person will be responsible for recruiting 50 people to subscribe to the magazine. The first person to have 50 people sign up will win $1,000.00 to fund their dream. Everyone else who signed up will get $5.00 for each person they were able to get to subscribe to the magazine. We intend to launch this project on January 2nd, 2011. People can visit the website for more information.
Phreedum: Last question. Any words of encouragement for the other dreamers?
BD: Be relentless. Once you have a dream go for it. People won’t get it, but you don’t need to get distracted, slow down, or stop because of other people. This building started as words on a vision board. Now it’s a space that houses the vision board.