Unique co-work space focuses on building creative hub in downtown Flint

FLINT, Michigan — Featuring original brick walls and a view of bustling Saginaw Street, Mainsail collective is of the original co-working spaces in downtown Flint. A pet project of local photographer Mike Naddeo, the space is also a meeting place, portrait studio and sometimes even a yoga studio.

Naddeo is an independent photographer and videographer — content creator as he calls it — who has been working in Flint for more than a decade. A commercial photographer, he is the force behind many local campaigns including the Flint Registry, political campaigns, Crim Fitness Foundation and others. Also a photographer for Flintside, Naddeo ventured out to create Mainsail Collective in June 2017. It is one of a growing number of businesses (including GoodBoy Clothing and Flint Trading Co.) expanding into the second floor office and retail spaces along Saginaw Street.

Hosting everything from art shows to podcasts, Naddeo hopes to see the space become a hub for creativity, with a special focus on helping out photographers just getting started in the business. 

“A lot of people leave the industry because the start up costs are expensive,” Naddeo said. Although it might seem counterintuitive to help other photographers build their business, which could create more competition for him — Naddeo said he just wants to see more people given the opportunity to succeed and produce the highest-quality photos. “If I can do something to help the industry as a whole, then I think that’s great. I think that’s the newer way to think about it.”

Having the right studio space has even helped Naddeo further develop his business. Moving beyond local clients, Naddeo also shot an ad campaign for Reebok featuring Kelsey Koch, a University of Michigan-Flint graduate and owner of Serenity Yoga in Grand Blanc. The photos were used as part of Reebok’s social media marketing.

Mainsail Collective is located at 432 S. Saginaw Street, above Café Rhema. For more information, see its Facebook Page
 
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