The Shed is unique to Highland Park and the North Shore. It's a music social club that provides rehearsal space for musicians who want to practice individually, jam in group settings, network, and/or attend clinics and intimate concerts, according to General Manager Lauren Blumenthal.
The 45-year-old Deerfield resident also sings the praises of the Shed as an event space that has "musically inspired décor, plush seating, leather and Italian marble adornments and a permanent full-service bar all ready to go."
What made you want to open this type of business? The need for a rehearsal space outside of the home was the primary reason we started The Shed. This venue boasts three unique rehearsal rooms, all fully equipped with instruments and back line. The event side of the business was a natural progression, as it was the perfect place to entertain.
Why did you decide to open your business in Highland Park? We have a strong community of friends and family in the area who share our love of music and expressed a desire to have a place they could come to and share their hobby with other like-minded people.
Why did you pick this specific location/storefront? Since our first purpose was to be a rehearsal space, which can be quite loud, we needed an area that was countercyclical to neighboring businesses so we didn't disturb them.
What obstacles did you find when you started? Like any business where you are the first of its kind, we were creating the market. We didn't have anyone else from which we could model ourselves off of or tweak to work in our marketplace.
Did you make use of any programs or incentives offered by an organization or local government? There were none to our knowledge.
If you could offer local officials one piece of advice to make their town more attractive to entrepreneurs, what would it be? To help businesses grow, it relies on the community to work together and create the appropriate signage and marketing efforts to create awareness. Our physical location can be challenging to find the first time, as are more than a dozen other great businesses in our complex. Allowing unique signage will help draw people to us and help grow this Briergate district.
What mistakes did you make? Not knowing that we were going to grow into an event space, we have had to make some design modifications to make it viable. Since we thought we were going to just be a rehearsal space, being tucked away was a benefit. As we have grown to be more event-based, being tucked away doesn't give us the street exposure.
What did you do right? We tapped an underserved market. Seeing the excitement on musicians' faces when they practice here, as well as the rave reviews we get from every attendee of an event, lets us know we are on to something.
What advice would you give to someone else looking to open a business in Highland Park? Talk to other businesses in the area and find out ways in which you can help each other. There are a lot of good businesses in the area, and everyone seems to want to see each other succeed. Their input can help you immensely!
What are your hours/address/phone number/website? Rehearsal hours are booked on request, as are the events. You want to practice in the middle of the night, let us know!
We are located in the Briergate District in Highland Park. 1480 Old Deerfield Road, No. 11.