The Emergence of a Bonafide Makers Hub

It’s almost a secret – almost. Most people are still asking “Where is it, exactly?” when you ask if they’ve been yet. Tucked inside once forgotten side streets in the middle of a largely untouched segment of real estate, lies an emergent force in our city where creativity, commerce, and community intersect. The Warehouse District as it’s been officially dubbed – which is a pretty straightforward description of the landscape – is coming to life before our very eyes and Instagram’s. Leading the charge and blazing the trails is The Elizabeth Ave Station, a bonafide “makers” hub here in this up and coming hot spot that is West Palm Beach. But if you think that all you’re in for is macrame and watercolor paintings (albeit some of the most stunning and mindfully crafted you’ll find anywhere) then you’ve got it all wrong, really. So let’s talk about the why behind the what that is – The Station.

elizabeth ave.

First things first, West Palm Beach, meet Danni Mitchell and Danielle Casey. These ladies are Palm Beach County natives who each walked a creative path long before The Station came to life. Brilliant creators in the world of graphic design, branding, and content creating, Danni Mitchell is the visionary behind Gather & Seek, her means of serving those talents up to the world. And Danielle Casey is a masterful content creator who puts her passions to good use creating beautiful content for brands who need her magic. In the throes of their growing entrepreneurial careers, a gap in our community was identified – a place for creatives to not only house their businesses, but to tell their stories.

Sparks that lit the fire

What we needed was a home for our tales to be told by way of the gifts we have to share. Four walls and a roof where clients could be met. Something that sparked inspiration for ideas and visions to be generated, fostered and realized. A space held for goods to be offered that speak of the heart of the person who crafted them. And lots, and lots (and lots) of plants. It had to be cool, it had to be bright and inviting, it had to be cost effective for the startups on their hustle and grind, and for the love of you-know-who, it had to be picture worthy. Because, it’s 2017 and #ilovewpb, am I right?

If I could turn back time, I’d stop at 2015 and cue a montage of Danni searching for a wedding venue and landing in the Warehouse District of yesteryear, which was up until that fateful day, empty, dirty and industrial – and just waiting for a couple of lady bosses with a vision to get their hands on it.

heartswellAnd so The District as we’re getting to know it today was born. Elizabeth Ave Station opened its arms to our town in January of this year after the girls and their crew put in a couple of months of serious sweat equity to get this bare bones warehouse ready to give creative business owners from our own backyard, a home. An effort made possible with the unwavering support of a dedicated team of family and friends who are invested in the community that The Station is creating (including Danni’s future husband, Dean, who has been the muscle behind all of the renovations, and Jackie, the lead graphic designer of Gather & Seek). On a cool, crisp night in the early days of 2017, we met 15 local artisans who’d set up small, personal shops inside the open-concept space. We shopped, we ate tacos (Zipitios, duh) and nitro ice cream, we saw all of our friends, made new ones. We connected. That’s the whole point, you see.

Manta swimwear

The millennial era is the experience era. We care about the why that created what we spend our dollars on. Knowing the vision, mission, and purpose that informed the manifestation of this thing we’re spending on – whatever it is – matters. What we’re buying into is an experience, a feeling. This is the gap that The Station fills. It’s a place we can not only support local, but where we come together to be inspired as a community. Within this sprawling space of once-forgotten square footage, is the conditions to weave our collective threads together and thrive.

The summer saw The Station closing for a remodel, but we’ll be welcomed back in on August 12th to The Station 2.0 in all its glory (complete with even more stunning street art by Melissa Deckert, your Insta feed is about to get an upgrade – you’re welcome). Whether you’re buying a wall-hanging from Rachel of Drift & Dwell, handmade wrapping paper from Renee of Heart Swell Co, bowls or mugs crafted in the backyard workshop of Lani Goodrich bringing you Avenue Pottery, doing yoga in the yard, or making something with your hands in a workshop with the queen of craft, Hayley Sheldon, what is available to you is a world of unlimited possibility to connect and create

Story by Stefanie Osofsky 

Photography by Anna Reynal Photography