Women of all backgrounds can apply for the 24-month program at the new Nest Collaborative, a combination storefront retail space and business incubator in downtown Mt. Clemens.
In the first 12 months, the Nest provides women with their physical storefront, where all proceeds go back to the women in the program. After the first year, enrollees receive an additional 12 months of educational support.
Women sell their products out of the downtown shop but also take part in a retail boot camp. The Nest also hosts educational workshops every 60 days.
"This is important because starting a business is expensive and time-consuming with lots of struggles and adversity," says Dusty Welsh, Community Relations Manager at Nest Collaborative. "We believe that teaching skills will make people more successful in the future."
The storefront has regular business hours, where shoppers can find everything from clothing to pet goods, jewelry to chocolates and spices.
Workshops are open to the public and hosted every 60 days at O’Halloran’s Public House and Hall. Upcoming topics include Merchandising, Retail Sales & Inventory Management; Website Design, Content Creation, E-Commerce and SEO; and Social Media, Marketing and Press Releases.
Welsh says that the program got its start several years ago when the Mt. Clemens Downtown Development Authority ran a marketing campaign telling the stories of women business owners. It spurred the desire to bring more women business owners downtown. The Nest storefront opened over the summer.
There is no requirement for applicants to live in Mt. Clemens but there is a hope that once the initial 12 month period is complete that business owners choose to open a storefront there.
"It’s important to fill these spaces downtown," says Welsh. "We hope that when they fly the Nest that they find a Mt. Clemens storefront when they’re ready."
Nest Collaborative is located at 66 Macomb Place in downtown Mt. Clemens.
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