Raleigh entrepreneur removes hurdles for businesses with new co-manufacturing space

Raleigh, NC (WNCN) – While many of us turn to big box retailers for holiday shopping and throughout the year, there are also many small, local businesses that support them.

The cost for new business owners to set up and get a space to set up can make it a challenge for them to get started.

“Traditional co-working spaces are more for office or internet space [access] While many business owners needed a place to set up, Johnny Hackett Jr. said.

He runs The Factory, the first co-production space of its kind in Raleigh. Finding home space can be challenging when new business owners want to build their own product. Also, renting space and paying for equipment can be expensive.

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“That barrier was removed, and then we removed another barrier in terms of access to this equipment that you need to create this product,” Hackett said.

The factory has computer equipment and software for makers to use, from candle making and cosmetics to t-shirt printing, photography or digital design work.

Hackett staff also provide training and guidance for those new to the machines.

A survey from Shopify found that business owners spend an average of $40,000 in their first year, most of which goes to space and equipment. For a small fee, businesses can become members of The Factory.

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“As a new business owner with a new idea, you can come here and start that idea,” Hackett said.

When the entrepreneurs finish their production, they can sell it at Hackett’s store called the Black Friday Market. These products are sold without commission.

The storefront also carries products from businesses that manufacture their products elsewhere. It’s just another way Hackett is breaking down barriers for local business owners.

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The owner of Bath Salt Therapy is one of those who produce it in the factory and sell it at the Black Friday Market.

He’s literally always here—making products until the sun goes down. “I’ve seen his train and I’ve shown other people how to make those products.” Hackett said.

Less than a year after opening The Factory, Hackett says they’ve helped nearly 100 businesses. In the past four months, these entrepreneurs have sold over $250,000 worth of products.

“We just want to do our part as small business owners in retail,” he said.

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