220 Series: Day 8: Some Elbow Grease

Angela Barbash
February 9, 2019

Do you remember the first place you moved into when you moved out of your parents’ house? I remember moving into our house in Ypsi when we were 23, and even though we had lived in an apartment before it, we still walked in on day one realizing how many basic things we needed just to function. Everything from a mop to salt for the ice.

This past week at 220 was a lot like that. It started off with a run to the store for toilet paper and soap. Those early store runs in the first 48 hours led to an unfortunate step back, which then led to a miraculous redemption later. What happened? In true Murphy’s Law fashion, I lost our only set of office keys. Yes, I’ll own it. Between store runs and drop offs, before we even got to our first Monday morning, the keys had disappeared. It was embarrassing, I felt sheepish, but luckily our property manager Dave was Johnny (Dave) On The Spot and had a new set for us when we arrived on Monday.

We debated what to do about a lost set of keys floating out in the wide world somewhere and the security risk it posed, but fortunately, by Wednesday they had miraculously appeared. If you have lost faith in humanity, feel restored. As we were leaving the office for the day, my husband turned his head and happened to have caught a metal glimmer on the window sill outside our building. Someone found them on the ground and simply placed them on the sill. Really? I wish anyone who has ever looked down upon our town could know that this really did happen.

With keys back where they belong, we moved on with the week. We had tons of visitors. People just dropping by out of the blue. Billy Kangas from Hope Clinic gets the distinction of the first person in the community to see our space, and Gary and Marilyn get the distinction of the first clients to drop in. We had LightSpeed by for fiber optic internet installation, the Fire Marshal by for the inspection, the fire extinguisher folks by to replace out our cans, Tyler came by for the celebratory pic, and vendors were in and out for team meetings.

We also had a Team Cleaning Day where everyone came together to roll up their sleeves, trade their laptop for a duster, and get the space in a livable condition. Luckily, it wasn’t grimy… just dusty, a bit forgotten. You could almost see the ancient brick come back to life as we gave it a little TLC. This first week was fun, and awkward, since our space is definitely not user (read: butt) friendly yet. Prior tenants have left all manner of uncomfortable furniture in the space and we’re in this awkward period of trying to function in our new home before it’s comfortable and furnished as we’d like.

After many years in business we finally found a growth agency – DO:BETTER (also an Ypsi company) – that gets us in a way no one else has before. If you’ve been following us for a while, you will have noticed our brand change last summer and that’s being followed up with a new website in the next couple of weeks. We’re also having them do an environmental design for our space before we start throwing up every idea we’ve ever had onto it. We’ll dedicate a future post just to the vision we have, which I think you’ll enjoy.

We’re a Certified B Corporation®, so reduce, reuse, recycle is something we take seriously. This next week we’ll begin sorting through what was left behind, salvaging what we can, and making our wish list for things we’d like to crowdsource from the community. We’d rather spend our money on employee benefits and livable wages than furniture, because you know, #PeopleFirst, so it’ll be fun to see what treasures we’ll find among our local friends.

If you’re reading this and you think you have a perfect thing for us, drop us a note at inquire@revalueinvesting.com.

Angela Barbash



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