The words of Johnny Holm, offered when I was feeling a little lost on how to get myself out there as a singer-songwriter in Minneapolis, are forever burned into my memory, “No one is ever going to know you if you’re playing music alone in your basement.”

This was but one of the many times I have needed to be kicked out the nest and learn how to fly on the way down.

I am guessing (and hoping) that there are many folks like me. Wondering where to go to meet like-minds, be creative, and collaborate. Well, look no further than the Mogwai Collaborative. I know, I know, now you’re thinking, “What in the world is that?”

“The space itself is obviously inspiring. I can only imagine what will happen as a result of the inspiring occupants!”

Mogwai Collaborative is a brand new, innovative, creative, co-working space located in the Hubbard Building right here in Mankato. They are hosting a Business to Business Networking event on July 2nd starting at 4pm and it’s open to the public! This event is a great opportunity to see and learn more about the space. I’ve been lucky to see this space go from undone blah to like, jaw-dropping woah!

The team at The Collaborative tell me that Mogwai represents an entrepreneur starting out in business as naive and innocent then transforming into a gremlin — referencing Stephen Spielberg’s 1984 movie Gremlins. It implies the transition to a crazy monster disrupting markets.

Local Craftsmanship!

Mogwai Collaborative - Mankato, MN
Mogwai Collaborative

The entire Mogwai space was built from the ground up by local businesses. Local artist, Michael Cimino, painted two huge art murals in the space, there are sit-stand desks from Office Space Design, and private phone booths made out of glass from South Central Glass. The lights literally turn on when you enter the booth. Ta-dah!

Even the tiling and the carpet, from Rickway Carpet is highly visual.

There’s a full cafe in the space too with beautiful exposed copper piping from SRP, a small local business from Waseca.

Dickinson Tile did the mosaic back-splash.

Old Fashioned Carpentry did all the woodwork.

Degroods installed a state-of-the-art media center and all the appliances.

Even the coffee is from a local, Apotha Coffee Roastery! Coming from a pretty serious coffee snob, it is really fantastic!

Project Manager, Dain Fisher, designed the layout and Heather Clark-Fisher from Salvage Sisters played a huge role as interior designer.

Mogwai also has a full-time director, Stephanie Braun and a full-time caretaker, Adam Blume. This place is pretty serious!

Whew, what a list and what a vision! As a music nerd, they have lights in a specific area that change color and move to sound. Good chance I’ll spend some time on opening day in that corner. After our set at Solstice, I was able to show this space to my band mates from Minneapolis and one of them said, “I would literally drive down every day to work here!”

The space itself is obviously inspiring. I can only imagine what will happen as a result of the inspiring occupants!

Grand Opening – Public Welcome!

Mogwai Collaborative - Networking Event
Mogwai Collaborative – Networking Event

Jonathan Zierdt, President of Greater Mankato Growth, will be speaking at the grand opening. As a bit of a newbie to town, I’ve been told he is an excellent public speaker. I plan to set up our music gear early, so I can get a dose of inspiration!

I was asked to provide live music from 6-8 pm and am really stoked to play with a full band. We rehearsed on Monday and it was super fun! I guess Mogwai is forcing me to collaborate with like minds already. I was lucky enough to put together a stellar band and what was a little new for me is I had never met two of the three members until our first rehearsal. Johnathan Moeller introduced me to Logan Burns and Ryan Rader. They know music!

Yup, I’m still being kicked out of that nest.

So, it seems to me, Mogwai Collaborative is the place to be on July 2nd. KEYC will be there, Midtown Tavern will be catering, Lola’s Food Truck and Mankato Brewery will be there. Even Chankaska Winery will have a wine tasting, which is pretty cool! This event seems like a big celebration of people and companies that pride themselves on doing things very well.

And so, it’s not always what you know but who you know. Though you need to know what you know, meeting people who also know can connect you to what you want to know. You know?