Completed several years ago, we’re pulling this project out of the archives to share with you all!
In 2019, the team at Woody’s called us for a full workplace redesign project. Their building had been passed down through the family—without change—and desperately needed a refresh. We wanted to remove some of the built-ins and add flow and function to their two-story office space.
A common challenge we face is needing to work within the existing footprint, rather than completely gut the floorplan.
We used our creativity and furniture options to create a more functional space and restructure offices where possible.
To give the lobby a more welcoming feel, a new history wall and product display was installed. We also provided a variety of seating options.
The building was completely revamped with a fresh coat of paint, flooring, and AIS furniture—and art was provided to complement the space. Woody’s office now has a combination of their branding colors paired with industrial elements.
Acoustics was another problem for the team. To solve for this, we used two design tactics:
Lighting: BuzziSpace lighting reduces excessive background noise in open spaces while providing a unique aesthetic.
Flooring: We selected the J+J Flooring Kinetex carpet tile, a durable, carpet-like material that acts like a hard surface but also absorbs sound.
SOLV Marketing is a Midland, Michigan creative agency offering social media marketing, video and photography, content writing, and brand identity services.
Often, our workplace design projects require us to start from scratch with a blank slate. But SOLV — being the creative geniuses they are — had already begun renovations on their office space. They installed the wood floor and wall paneling, the decal wallpaper, and the impressive chalkboard.
But they found themselves trapped in a time-suck of searching for the perfect furniture and accessories. That’s when they called us at SPACE in for support and decision-making!
The SOLV team gave us specific direction on their vision. They wanted a steampunk theme: a retrofuturistic subgenre of science fiction that incorporates technology from 19th century steam-powered machinery. (We had to Google that!)
Their clear — if a bit complicated — theme meant they hadn’t found the right furniture solution. The team also wasn’t sure if they were going to stay in their leased building, so they requested a somewhat flexible design solution, just in case.
Finally, the building’s original wood trim is a much lighter tone than the color selected for the new flooring and wall paneling.
Working with the existing elements in their space, our team searched high and wide for the right furniture solution. We landed on Arcadia Contract’sWorksmith brand. This modern furniture style is functional, flexible, and ties in the lighter wood trim.
Taking SOLV’s stylistic lead with the steampunk theme, we selected a handful of fun, bold, humorous accessories. These included a globe, giant dice, a funky blue coat hanger, and a small wheeled cart.
We’re proud of the way we stepped into this challenge, creating collaborative spaces and a laid back, enjoyable space for the SOLV Marketing team. We can work with you on any workplace design project — no matter what stage you’re in!
As we celebrate SPACE’s 26th anniversary, we’re proud to reveal our new brand and website. Founder, Kathie Fuce-Hobohm, reflects on the business and prepares to pass the baton to her second generation of leadership.
Five people and a dream: SPACE’S beginnings
When my previous business partner, Lisa Hulbert, and I launched SPACE, we were just five people, three computers, and a big dream.
In 1994, Lisa and I worked together at an office furniture dealership in Midland, Michigan. At that point, an ownership transition resulted in the new owner closing the business to concentrate on the Detroit market. When he called me asking me to tell the staff of the news, I became what I call an “accidental entrepreneur.”
Lisa and I purchased the company’s assets and, 90 days later, opened SPACE. With the help of a man named John Bartos, we found our building, moved in, and continued delivering to the previous company’s existing clients.
Building a real business: SPACE’s early years
My background is in education—high school English—and coaching cheerleading. I had taught for a few years before I was laid off. That turned out to be one of the pivotal moments of my life.
I was hired by Battle Creek Office Interiors, working as a sales rep for Jack Meyers—an outstanding mentor. After only one year, my husband got transferred to Midland, I consider that divine intervention, as it brought me a step closer to what became SPACE.
I had quickly learned I loved the industry; it was my true calling. So with a few thousand dollars we had saved in bonds for our children’s college education and part of Lisa’s inheritance, we built SPACE into a “real business.”
At that point, we didn’t know what we didn’t know, but we had to start somewhere. I reached out to the Chairman Emeritus of Chemical Bank, Alan Ott, who helped me create a formal business plan.
In 2004, we were awarded our first GSA contract. Three months later, we received a fax asking if we wanted to bid on providing furniture for the Department of Health and Human Services. We checked “yes,” and were the only one in the U.S. who sold the right products and checked yes!
In 2007, we won the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, and the prize included a three-day business retreat. Spending time with the Edward Lowe Foundation as a result is where we began to learn how to truly run a business, understand the financial acumen, and turn this endeavor into a sustainable living.
Passing the baton: SPACE’s future
As of February 1, 2021, I have officially entered my final year as Dealer Principal of SPACE. I’ll spend this year passing the baton to our Gen 2 leaders as I prepare for a new advisory role as Chairman of the Board on February 2, 2022.
Three years ago, we began a purposeful program to transition the strategic planning, financial strategy, and leadership to this next group of leaders. And I’ve been so proud as I’ve watched them find their voices and step into leadership positions. I’m thrilled that my son, Paddy Hobohm, is taking over the business as president, and that SPACE will become a second generation small business.
At SPACE, we design for the future of work. My prediction is that the work from anywhere movement will continue with full steam. Our company is actively adapting to interior design trends to suit employees’ needs wherever they work. However, the pendulum may swing backward—with people eager to work collectively again after so much time in isolation.
Our team serves clients’ needs regardless how they choose to work.
I’ve always been passionate about helping women-owned small businesses grow and thrive. Did you know that only three percent of women-owned small businesses achieve revenue over $1 million annually? In retirement, I plan to continue mentoring young women through the Midland Women’s Executive Round Table and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP).
I can’t leave without thanking the many clients, team members, and mentors who have been so kind and generous throughout my career.
As they say, the worst day I’ve ever had owning my own business was better than my best day working for someone else. I’m confident I’m leaving this place in great hands. But for now, I’m eager for one more year at SPACE. Join us in celebrating SPACE’s 26th anniversary!
Carpet tiles have been and still are considered to be the height of fashion and practicality in the corporate office environment. Here are just a few of the advantages of choosing carpet tiles for your office space.
Creativity: Carpet tiles are the first and foremost when wanting to truly design a space. With their small size and ability to be cut to precise shapes, carpet tiles let you create an environment that is right for your business.
Versatility: Because of their size and layout, carpet tiles can be laid to fit rooms that are less than conventional. Because carpet tiles can be cut easily, the process is easier, faster and produces a finished final product.
Durability: Carpet tiles are VERY durable. There is a reason carpet tiles have been around since the 50’s!
Warranties: Carpet tiles can come with the best warranties for the life of your carpet. Engineered wood and Laminate can come with a warranty, but most times are a shorter length with stipulations.
The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For competition identifies and honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in operations and employee enrichment that lead to increased productivity and financial performance. This competition scores potential winners based on regional data of company performance and a set standard across the nation. This national program celebrates those companies that are making better business, creating richer lives and building a stronger community as a whole. The Best and Brightest Program honored 437 national winning organizations from across the country out of 2000 nominations. In addition to honoring all national winners, this year a new subcategory was introduced, The Top 101 National Winning Companies.
SPACE Inc. was recognized as one of the highest 101 scoring companies that demonstrated exceptional innovative human resource practices and set high standards for all businesses. The elite categories include: Compensation, Benefits and Employee Development; Recruitment, Selection and Orientation; Employee Achievement and Recognition; Communication and Shared Vision; Diversity and Inclusion; Work-Life Balance; Community Initiatives; Strategic Company Performance and the Best of the Best Businesses.
SPACE is a commercial interior design firm and office furniture dealership that transforms workplaces into beautiful and productive work environments across Michigan and across the nation, the company stated. Founded in Midland in 1995, SPACE has always put employees’ needs at the forefront of their policies, according to the company. It said with a strong focus on innovation, continuous improvement and community engagement, SPACE positively impacts the lives of the SPACE family and the overall community.
“We are thrilled to be recognized as a 101 Best and Brightest Company to Work For in the Nation” said Kathie Fuce-Hobohm, president and CEO. “We have always been highly committed to our clients, our team and the Midland community. It is the way we do business and the right thing to do. Winning national recognition for these core values is an unexpected honor.”
“I want to thank SPACE Inc. and all of the wonderful people who came out and volunteered their time to make my office amazing! The installers were a joy to work with and I couldn’t ask for anything else in a new office! It is absolutely stunning!!” – Tai Petrillo, Program Director of Greater Midland Early Care and Education at Longview “A very special thank you to John Dybas, Jeff Young, Mike Campbell, Paddy Hobohm and Bob Hobohm for volunteering their time to install this office after hours and Kathie Fuce-Hobohm for designing the work surfaces and coordinating the effort. I truly appreciate it!”
Just take a look at the before and after of this unbelievable transformation!