Written by: Tyler Strong of The Augusta Press
Leela Hoehn is the owner of The Rainbow Vision, a paper goods and gift brand. When she found out the building at 1296 Jones Street was coming available, she jumped at claiming the space for the next phase of her creative enterprise.
“I was motivated to have this space,” Hoehn said. She and her husband, John Robinson, envision the space as a gathering hub, a creative commune for people of all ages and walks of life to fill out with their own perspectives and ideas.
The building, which formerly hosted Pink Slips, an artist space and workshop, is a blank canvas in which Hoehn can run her existing business while also offering myriad outlets for fellow creatives and spirited folk to commune.
That process didn’t take place overnight. Hoehn has been working to renovate the building for the past few months, along with help from her husband and their family. It’s been hectic, especially in the midst of the pandemic and with a toddler at home, but it’s coming together very quickly now, said Hoehn.
She will run The Rainbow Vision out of the building in tandem with the online presence it has mostly existed in for the past eight years.
“I’ve been working from home for a long time, and I know people have a desire to be around others again and gather after this past year. We want to fill that role for the community,” Hoehn said.
As for the interior of the space and what will go on there, the building has room for many different activities. There will be pre-made coffees and teas for takeaway, and there are comfy chairs and couches for people to stop in and work on stories or sketches. There’s a spacious back room fit for hosting workshops with local artists and creators. And a small stage has been built for live music, something that was especially crucial to Robinson.
“When I was a kid here, there weren’t many options for young people to come play music,” he said. Both were deliberate in mentioning that the Funhouse is geared toward all ages, like 18 to 21-year-olds coming into their own and looking for an outlet that’s not the local bar scene.
“This space is going to be inclusive for everyone,” Hoehn said. “We’re creating a space for the creatives.”
Hoehn and Robinson have ideas for what the space could be, but when the community is introduced into the equation and starts to populate it with their own perspectives and voices, the potential of the Funhouse will truly be unlocked.