We are LOFTIE Spaces & Events, one of the newest additions to downtown Peoria in the Warehouse district :) Man, it has been quite the wild ride up until now.... this is the first time I have ever taken on a project of this magnitude and it has been both fun and completely insane. I have been fortunate enough to meet some incredibly smart and visionary individuals right here in Peoria and cannot wait to see who else this city brings my way!
I came up with LOFTIE's concept when I realized that most major cities were going to become more and more restrictive on the short term rental industry and the homeowners/investors/landlords who owned the properties. I could envision how those rules would impact those of us who had small businesses and needed those homes to really make a living. I soon realized that there may be a hybrid way of doing things where one can bypass those restrictions..... commercial and residential mixed buildings.
When I first saw this warehouse and met with the owner Mr. Larry Winkler (shout out to Mark Wagner for the introduction) I had this crazy voice inside of my head that told me "take the whole building..... this is going to be a game changer". Yeah. Pretty sure I was going insane, but my crazy ass listened to that voice and I walked up to Larry and told him I am taking the whole place.
I think that definitely shocked everyone in that tour (including myself) and Larry even asked me where I was going to get the money (and I am pretty sure he thought I was crazy too haha) and my response was "I don't know, but I am going to get it. Give me a couple months & don't let anyone else take this". That was it. I was 100% all in & didn't have $10 to my name. Literally. I was broke AF.
I spent (well, still spend) 7 days a week working on my businesses & pour every penny back into my business. I haven't taken a paycheck in almost 4 years.... but, it's 100% worth it.
With support of my friends & family, I pulled together the first 2 months of rent & deposit, with a little extra to start furnishing some of the rentals. I packed up and moved from gorgeous Seattle, drove 30 hours across country in 1.5 days, with my niece and 2 huskies, showed up in Peoria & immediately got started.
Have you ever lived inside a 1/2 unfinished construction project? It is definitely a memorable experience haha. Our first night, an incredible guy by the name of Kirk Prather spent HOURS in our unit to ensure that we had working hot water. Poor guy didn't leave until after midnight, but by thunder he made sure he had it working (Paige and I appreciate you like CRAZY for that Kirk). Nate Hoagland and his crew worked hard to get us appliances and the basics covered too, haha.
Just as we were starting to see progress in one area, things were going wrong in other areas. It felt like we were never going to get a break & never get to open. The amount of ups and downs that have happened (and in some cases are still happening) is sometimes so overwhelming that you never if you are going in the right direction or the wrong direction. What I do know is that I am an entrepreneur to my core. I believe in LOFTIE. I believe in Peoria. I believe in my incredible teammates and I, at the end of the day, believe in myself above all else. I live and breath LOFTIE and KNOW it is going to be something that all of YOU are going to love just as much as I do.
Come see what I see. Come tour LOFTIE & meet our amazingly capable tribe and fall in love with LOFTIE in every aspect. Bring your family, friends, host your wedding, family reunion, conferences, trainings meetings, take selfies, smell candles, try CBD products, eat some hemp chocolates, drink coffee and teas or just come and sit down and read a book. Come, and experience LOFTIE in its truest & most raw form. Or wait until our Grand Opening when it will be in all its glory. Either way, LOFTIE is here for YOU.
See you soon!