Help Keep The Greenery Mpls Open!

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I knew it was a risk. I knew it was a risk to sign the lease to this space, but I had to take it. I had to try. The landlord told me, it’s all a risk. How do you grow if you don’t know? And the business has grown, faster than I imagined. The growth in 3 years from being a pop-up, to a spot in Midtown Global Market, and now here in this incredible space is a lot to wrap my brain around! In truth, I was at the market for such a short time before COVID shut the market down, then the uprisings, that I didn’t really get the opportunity to grow there & it still kind of feels like I’m in year 2 of running my business, rather than the 3rd. So, when my lease was nearing the end at MGM, I started looking for other options and saw the old Fairbault Woolen Mills space was available. A reach, I felt! But I tried no less.


I had negotiated from the get-go to try to get the rent lowered. It was expensive. We’re still in the throes of a pandemic. People are only just beginning to come out again. $2500 was asked of me since the previous tenant was paying $3500, I was getting a “deal.” I asked if he could do $1800, he said, “think about what you can really do and get back to me.” I asked for $2000. He asked, can you do $2200? I took it. Knowing this was HUGE stretch for me from the meager rent in comparison at MGM of $800, but my business wasn’t growing there. I knew it would grow here, I was hopeful, I manifested, I prayed. I had $5000 left from a grant I received during the pandemic and used it as a deposit. We signed the lease. I gulped and my heart leapt! With this bigger beautiful space, I could share it with other talented local makers, I knew we could host events, I knew it was the right move for The Greenery Mpls.


Soon though, it became very apparent that this rent was dipping into my reserves, not allowing me to get ahead. Although business is the best it’s ever been, a huge portion of the profits goes to sustaining this space. I started panicking about keeping up with supply & demand, paying rent, my vendors, my car, insurances, my kid’s needs, etc. I was doing community work during this time but scaled back because I was burning out. Scaling back also meant I lost my buffer income. I was shocked when I was late on rent for August and he immediately threatened with an eviction. Which was the opposite of the message that is posted on their 3-day rent reminders of, “We understand people are going through hardships during this time. If you need to make payment arrangements contact the office. We pride ourselves on stewardship, etc.” I’ve attempted to make arrangements. I have reached out to resources in my Native community for assistance, amongst other organizations but it still looms that this breach in the lease could lead to an eviction. I am devastated. Devastated that we worked so hard and invested thousands of dollars to get here only to have it taken for $2200. For $2200, I would have an eviction on my record impairing my ability to rent again, as a woman-owned business, when he knew this was a stretch for me to begin with. It feels predatory, this complete inability to work with me to resolve it and I would lose my deposit, unable to use it for another affordable location if needed. Verbatim, “It’s clear what the consequences are.” It feels more punishable than workable.


For the most part, I have been doing everything by myself. I don’t have a team, other than my family who have helped me through every move we made. The Taurus in me doesn’t like to ask for outside help until it’s dire, like a bull in barbed wire. Even then, this is humbling for me to do this, to ask for help, but it's so needed.


If you have been positively impacted by our shop, The Greenery Mpls, please consider donating any amount and please leave a few kind words. I’ve been told that the shop feels warm, inviting, and supportive and has been a great addition to the neighborhood. This is an accomplishment in and of itself. My mother said I should petition to stay! If we are indeed summoned, I’d like to at least share how the shop has made an impression on you. I am forever grateful for each of you who have come through and supported us during tough times. You’re not only supporting the shop but also many vendors. Consider this a petition of support!


My main concerns are first and foremost to pay last month and this month’s rent immediately so we can prevent eviction, even if this isn’t the final destination for our business. Second, I want to make sure the vendors are paid and taken care of. Donations will go directly to sustaining this space, vendors, then utility bills, until we figure out our next best move. This $15k will help with this transition and help us to stay open and on top of things. We (myself & my family) would love your help and are so thankful you took the time to read this and share.


With deepest humility & gratitude, chi miigwech!


Mel

Owner, The Greenery Mpls

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Organizer

Melissa Marcelle 
Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
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