By Sydia Bell

When was the last time you sat down and had a conversation that allowed you to share creative business solutions, be inspired by your peers and network among friends? That is exactly what happens every day at The Stove Works, a restored industrial complex on Krog Street in Inman Park.

Many might only know the building as the home of Rathbun’s restaurant and Krog Bar, but there’s a multitude of creative businesses that also inhabit this historic space.

I recently sat down with Shachar Oren of Neurotic Media, Richard Taylor of Taylor Architecture, Erik Stadler founder of Blue Sombrero, and Cliff Bramble, general manager of Rathbun’s. We gathered in Dolly Evans’ space, where she has operated Small Business Services for more than a decade, to discuss the collaborative atmosphere at The Stove Works.

“It’s always good to do business with people you know,” said Bramble. Since the complex is home to more than 15 different creative companies, the ability to network, learn from and be inspired by other businesses can only help with delivering the best possible product.

The collaborative process is highlighted by the work between three enterprises in The Stove Works: Mountain View Group, Mira Design & Strategy and Three Squared. All have benefited from collaborating with one another and have gone so far as hiring each other as contractors on certain projects.

This isn’t a complex that feels dry and sterile; on the contrary The Stove Works attracts companies whose owners and employees alike “don’t own a pair of slacks,” according to Oren.

Every business just seems to “fit” and that is exactly what Jeanie Wooster, owner of The Stove Works, strived for when choosing tenants. Bramble credits Wooster with creating such a healthy work environment because “the person who owns the building knows the building and cares.”

For Wooster it isn’t just about the bottom line or collecting a check, she understands that the personality found at The Stove Works is one of its greatest assets and is exactly what fosters credibility amongst the group.

Whether it is the food trucks found there every Wednesday, dog friendliness or free parking, The Stove Works has put the familiar saying, “Two heads are better than one,” into practice.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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