Thrive Economic Development’s founding mission in 2016 centered around the traditional economic development activities of…
Johnson Creek, WI – Flourish, a new coaching and event venue is the latest business to join the downtown area and is set to open Friday, April 22, 2022.
Flourish is the creation of Dodge County resident, Shelli Manning. She purchased the Depot Street building after Dr. Daniel Harvey, DDS, donated it to the Village with the proceeds benefiting Johnson Creek Public Library.
Manning had begun building a home-based coaching business a month earlier, capitalizing on her background in leadership and volunteer work. It was Wisconsin’s Main Street Bounceback Grant –providing $10,000 to businesses expanding or moving into vacant properties – that had her browsing commercial real estate.
“I wasn’t even looking for a building,” said Manning, “but by the time I’d made my second pass through the photos, I knew I was going to buy it. Just so much potential to bring my professional services to the business community, while also providing space for coaching & lifestyle classes and even suites for other women to bring their own businesses to life.”
It was pursuit of that grant which led her to work with Deb Reinbold of Thrive Economic Development. “We’re thrilled to welcome Flourish to Jefferson County. It’s great to see an idle building come to life again,” said Reinbold.
Even as the purchase process moved forward, Manning was still shy of the nearly $40,000 down payment. So, she crafted a donation request with a ‘pass through’ feature which would ultimately fund scholarships for local students, and reached out to companies she’d worked with in the past.
Horicon Bank responded with a generous $10,000 donation. Manning has a long relationship with Horicon Bank, having worked there earlier in her career and has remained a customer ever since. She credits them for providing career development as well as helping her along the path to home ownership several years ago.
“It’s an incredibly substantial gift,” said Manning, “Without Horicon Bank’s generosity, this idea would have likely died on the vine. I’m so very grateful and excited for the opportunity to pay it forward.”
Manning’s banking background also played a part in securing financing. First-hand knowledge of her work ethic helped American Bank’s VP/Commercial Lender Michelle Lesher make the decision to back the loan. The two worked together at Westbury Bank nearly 20 years ago, when Lesher took a chance on hiring Manning to be an Assistant Manager, even without finance experience.
“Despite not having a background in banking, Shelli was the best choice for the position and she exceeded every expectation I had for her and more,” said Lesher.
Manning is bringing that same drive to give new life to the former dental office / salon, including remodeling the two separate units into one cohesive business. Along with leadership, her event coordination and executive support experience are shaping the space into a venue ideal for corporate and executive events, as well as more personal gatherings like bridal and baby showers, plus suite rentals for independent professionals. All combined, make it a venture with much to offer both the local and extended communities, which she is excited to join.
Flourish will be hosting a weekend full of free events during their Grand Opening, April 22-24 – kicking off with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:00 pm Friday, 4/22/22, supported by the Village Administrator’s office. Details and tickets for the free events can be found online, either at www.flourishwi.com or by going to their Facebook page.