By: Chace Vineski
AccelNow – Social Media Coordinator
After attending a Young Professionals Tri-Cities (YPTRI) event last week, held at Skillville in Johnson City, I finally got the chance to see first-hand what this community workshop for artisans and artists was all about. Skillville officially opened in November of last year and was founded by three friends: Brad Cornelison, Leah Jobe, and Seth Thomas. I had the opportunity to talk with Seth and learned that his drive to start up this workshop goes back several years ago.
Seth Thomas had started his own company making custom furniture for five years prior to starting Skillville with his partners. It turns out that one of his primary reasons for starting his furniture business was to gain the capital needed to help start up Skillville. Seth’s drive to learn everything business didn’t stop there. Six months before starting this community workshop he decided to sign up for the nine-week Co-Starters course in Johnson City. While he was one of the only graduates of his class with prior business experience, he said the course was very valuable to him. His experience and improved knowledge were evident in him winning the Co-Starters pitch competition held at the end of the course. His suggestion to future Co-Starters attendees is to already have some of their business plan defined prior to taking the program so that you will get a better understanding of the intricacies you will learn throughout the nine weeks.
In terms of the reconstruction of the Skillville building, Seth and his partners handled most of it themselves. In fact, they did pretty much everything with a few exceptions like the plumbing and electrical. They even did the painting on the outside and inside of the building. Altogether, it took them nine to ten months to get the building ready for opening.
Since at the time there was nothing like Skillville around the area, Seth, Brad, and Leah didn’t quite know what to expect when the doors opened. However, since their inception in November, the traction Skillville has gotten has exceeded their expectations. If you are looking to learn a new hobby as an artisan or artist, Skillville in Johnson City is for you.
To find out more about Skillville and the classes they offer, follow their facebook page Skillville