It started in 2019 as a silly idea on April Fool’s Day—to buy one of the smallest parcels of land in Detroit.
“I saw a listing on April Fool’s Day for this weird little piece of land on the Dequindre Cut,” said Eli Wolnerman, co-owner of Bea’s coworking space, which is located right by the Cut. “We thought we could use that space to put up a tall sign for advertising.”
They did more than advertise. Eli and his wife, Beatrice, created Bea’s Squeeze. They sold lemonade on the Dequindre Cut to help promote Bea’s, which opened early in 2020—right before the pandemic.
Now, Eli and Bea are back on the Cut, once again taking marketing activations to a whole new level.
They’re calling it Bea’s Small Business Art Garden.
“The exposure we got from this weird little piece of land [and Bea’s Squeeze] was so big that we looked at it as an opportunity to give back to other small businesses,” said Eli.
For a small monthly subscription, you can get a 3 by 3 foot sign that showcases your brand, artwork, or logo. If you need some design assistance, the Bea’s team can help with that. The piece of land where the Art Garden lives is located right under Gratiot—in the heart of Eastern Market.
“It’s intended to be artistic,” Eli said. “We want it to fit in with the whole vibe along the Dequindre Cut. It gives people another location to stop and take pictures.”
The value in this location is undeniable, which was something they witnessed in how much lemonade they sold in one summer.
“We’re trying to make it accessible to small businesses and create a whole program around this,” Eli said.
But that’s not the only program the Bea’s team has been working on. In addition to the Art Garden, Bea’s offers virtual programming for the BeaHive—their virtual coworking membership.
For $20 a month, members of the BeaHive get access to daily programming—seminars, speakers, workshops, etc—centered around networking, weekly topics, and health and wellness. Programming ranges from sketch classes to expert talks, and everything in between.
“We had such a great response from our ‘Don’t Bea Afraid’ program, so we thought about how we could give something like that to people every day or every week—how to keep people connected,” Eli said.
They also curate networking opportunities for members by specifically pairing people, “HiveMates,” to help facilitate collaborations.
“People can choose what they want to participate in,” Eli said. “We have people who are really happy that we have something regularly, because it adds a little structure to their day. And that’s especially important right now.”
Structure, support, mental health breaks…these are all great things members of the BeaHive or organizations in the Art Garden can find. Like with their marketing, the Bea’s team takes community support and connections to the next level.
For more info about getting your logo in the Small Business Art Garden, check out the Bea’s site: https://www.beasdetroit.com/small-business-art-garden/
Want to be a part of the BeaHive? Check that out here: https://www.beasdetroit.com/beahive/
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