MOLINE, Illinois-- A new business coming to the Spotlight Theatre and Event Center in Moline will bring together creators and entrepreneurs alike.
"It's about building a sense of community, bringing people together and giving them somewhere great to be," says Katie Thompson, who's opening The Market.
The owner of Through her Eyes Design is turning two floors in the former Scottish Rite Cathedral on 7th Avenue into a place to showcase local artists and businesses.
"I want The Market to be a trendy place for people to shop," Thompson says, "things like women's clothing, home decor, handmade signs."
Thompson is bringing in vendors who have sold their products on their own, either online or at farmers' markets, to sell them in-store. That includes a custom furniture company, jewelry makers and sign makers. She'll display their products where people can come in and buy them.
She even wants to help people start their own businesses. If someone has a product but doesn't want to start putting out money for their own building, they can sell it at The Market before opening their own store.
Altogether, she's working with 35 vendors to fill the space she's leasing.
She's looking to bring in a coffee shop, where vendors can also display their creations.
"The excitement that I'm getting back from the community at large, is really what's driving me on," she says.
But amid all this excitement, Thompson says there's a little fear.
"It's very scary," she says. "And Adam, one of the owners, said how do you think we felt when we built a castle."
She's leasing her space from Adam Bain and Blake Humphrey, who bought the former Masonic Temple in Moline last spring.
"We're taking on this behemoth of a project," Bain says.
Bain says he wants the Spotlight Theatre and Event Center to be a place people can come to and find community.
He and his childhood friend have now filled the space with the Spotlight Theatre, Purpose Coaching and a reception hall. With The Market coming in, there's just a bar and one other area to fill.
"It is an exciting thing to see your plan come to life," Bain says.
And for Thompson, she says it's great to help bring new life to the historic building.
"People drive past this building all the time, and maybe have never stopped in or known what the building is," she says.
She hopes The Market gives them a reason to stop in.
Thompson says she'll start renovating her rooms right away, hoping to open The Market on April 27, 2019. Vendors will pay a rental fee plus a percentage of sales to help cover the marketing they'll get having their products displayed.
You can email Katie Thompson at email@example.com to learn more.