Somerville Space Nurtures Small Businesses

By Julianne Lee
BU News Service

Located in Somerville’s Union Square, Fringe Union describes itself as “a 7,500-square-foot creative business incubator and co-working space.” This co-working space is a warehouse that was transformed into offices in 2009 and is now comprised of 15 small businesses, such as a green roof design company called REcover and a handmade geometric light fixtures company named Tesselights.

Within the warehouse, few lines are drawn where one business begins and the next ends.

“Coming into a place like this where the walls are down and you can hear creative conversations going on…it’s just this constant source of inspiration to keep pushing your self,” said Stebs Schinnerer, owner of Paper Fortress film company, one of the companies in Fringe, located on Olive Street, since the beginning.

The space not only fosters ongoing creativity and motivation, but also exchanges of ideas and advice. A new business, Forêt floral design which has been at Fringe for 10 months, appreciates that the setting offers “such a vast support group of people that have already been through some of the things that you’re working through as a small business,” said Forêt co-owner Erin Heath.

This article was previously published on under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and the Boston University News Service.

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