that garner attention for being a great place to work. Google is frequently seen as an
innovator, not only for their online applications, but also for making the work climate
productive, hospitable, and enjoyable.
Bridging A Divergent Community Jumpstarts Discovery and The Economy
Geography, proximity and community are vital in the world of freelance work. Community
is an important driver for discovery because we hear about jobs or potentially beneficial
situations while on the way to do something else, through everyday conversations, and this
requires nuanced social skills. The following section, Discovered Gold While Searching For
Steel, is a perfect example of the importance of secondary connections called “bridging”
which Richard Florida describes as, “looser ties that extend across and connect different
groups. . .Bridging activities provide the conditions for creativity, for the Eureka moment
when new possibilities suddenly become apparent” (Florida, 2009, p. 120). It is often
through secondary bridging activities that lead to surprising opportunities.
Discovered Gold While Searching for Steel
A bridging moment organically happened when Steven Tatar discovered a vintage knitwear
company, Ohio Knitting Mills, which was in the process of closing down while he was out
scouting for some structural steel for an art project. He was also looking for a new
community location for a development meeting in Cleveland and somebody mentioned that
Ohio Knitting Mills had a lot of space. Steven was a bit surprised to find the shell of a
working knitting mill and arranged a subsequent meeting with the owner who was
interested in selling off the remainder of knitwear stock. Steven’s discovery was a pleasant
surprise and he remarks:
We were snooping around. I walked in and there were these old knitting machines in
operation still knitting. There were thousands and thousands of cones of yarn. They
were in the process of packing it up and shutting it down. But they were still running
out a few contracts and orders. There was a skeleton crew of about a dozen people
at the max. It was clearly on its way down. The vibe was so real. It was old school.”
Steven, an entrepreneurial freelancer, envisioned greater branding possibilities for this
vintage knitwear collection (1947-1974) and this prompted the rebirth of Ohio Knitting
Mills (http://www.ohioknittingmills.com).
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