New Rules to win back the community

New Rules founder Christopher Webley (on right) and project events coordinator Dayvion Brown.

New Rules founder Christopher Webley (on right) and project events coordinator Dayvion Brown.

A creative mural of stories and symbols is set to go up by the end of this summer on the side of the New Rules shared work and event space building at 2015 N Lowry Avenue North.

One of the participants in the production is 30-year-old Christopher Webley, the founder and CEO of New Rules, which opened in October of 2016. Webley started his entrepreneurship journey with real estate, aiming to combat the issue of homeownership for individuals and families living in low-income communities.

After struggling and getting laid off, Webley quickly picked himself up, founded New Rules; a 4,000-square-feet communal marketplace that combines an affordable shared workspace, retail and event space for creative artists and small businesses.

“We’re really focused on economic development and sustainable leadership through the lens of shared experiences,” says Webley.

Members of the diverse community can now find a space where they can create products and projects, then sell them at the same time. This space will be dedicated to creating a legacy for those who are mission-driven, and will meet the needs of the diverse community that makes up the Northside.

New Rules is not only helping small business owners to grow, but also aims to nurture the next generation of sustainable leaders.

Every month, the building is open to community members while the staff and artists work on creative projects. This allows the staff to create an alternative avenue for the youth in the community every time one of them walks by.

This summer, New Rules welcomes their first student interns through the Step-Up Achieve program. Dayvion Brown, a 16-year-old Northside student, is now the Project and Events Coordinator.

Although Brown has worked at multiple places prior to New Rules, he has had an experience that is contrary to the typical corporate office experience that Step-Up Achieve students have.

“It’s a different story every day,” says Brown. Every week, he works on different tasks to further advance the production and progress of New Rules for events and projects.

Webley encourages Brown to work on several projects throughout the summer, including the creation of organizational platforms that help staff and guests locate equipment in storage for events or for daily necessities.

This summer, Brown and the other Step Up interns will be leading and helping to create a mural all around the New Rules building, showcasing the diversity of North Minneapolis. The mural was led and proposed by the Creative Assistant, Antonio Bell, who is working together with Brown to locate local artists and collaborators.

Bell has already made a proposal that has been approved for funding, and by October, the mural will be up as one of the last community events for the summer, followed by a project presentation by each student intern.

Community members are invited to join the student interns once the date and time has been chosen for the student intern presentations where they will be speaking about what they’ve gained as interns at New Rules, and what they’ve worked on as creative artists, assistants and project coordinators.

“I am really focused on transferrable skills,” said Webley, “a big component of our workspace is skill-sharing.” He included that the last project presentation will also be considered as one of those transferrable skills in which the students are required to practice public speaking and presentation.

Every student intern is also invited to join New Rules at connecting with various partners, gaining networking experience and participating in opportunities that allow them to gain different skills such as collaborating, problem solving, team work and communication.

Webley hopes to help the student interns gain valuable experience with other Northside entrepreneurs and business owners. Cultivating and expanding the horizon for the youth and local business owners is an important part of Webley’s goal as the founder of New Rules.

The student interns have helped Webley and New Rules to outgrow their space and has even encouraged Webley to expand and create a pipeline for the current students and future generations, so that every student intern and member of the shared workspace can have the opportunity to learn from one another and solve existing issues in the community.

While various events are available to community members in North Minneapolis on a weekly basis without having membership, working with New Rules is made affordable to community leaders and entrepreneurs, and is highly encouraged for individuals of all generations whom wish to achieve their dreams of becoming creative artists, entrepreneurs and leaders.

This month, New Rules has reached new heights as they are nominated to receive the People’s Choice Award as the startup or new business that is Most Likely to Succeed by the Minnesota Business magazine. The winner of this award will be announced in the Minnesota Business magazine this November, and your support will help the growth of this groundbreaking business for the staff, creators and youth at New Rules.

Office and event spaces on Lowry Avenue are open every Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 10a.m. to 3p.m. on Fridays. Visitors may contact coordinators and staff members at info@newrulesmn.com or visit newrulesmn.com for more info on how to get involved.